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Title Screen


Developer: Quintet
Publisher: Enix
Platform: SNES
Released in JP: December 16, 1990
Released in US: November 1, 1991
Released in EU: 1992

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
ItemsIcon.png This game has unused items.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

ActRaiser is a basic-but-fun platformer elevated to a new level by the inclusion of city-building simulation sequences between stages.

Debug Mode

So you'll never get lost. Heh. "Efect".

A debug mode can be activated with the following game enhancer codes:

Game Genie Pro Action Replay
US version:

Japanese version:
US version:

Japanese version:

Controller instructions for action scenes:

  • Hold R to make things go in slow-motion.
  • Hold Select and press R to warp to the next room. Note that the second stages in any world are linked to the first ones. For example, using this in the Fillmore forest stage will take you to the second stage caves. If there are no more rooms in the sequence, you'll be looped back to the first one.
  • Hold L + Select and press R to warp to the next stage. You'll only enter the first stage of each world this way; use the above option to go to the second stages. If used in Northwall, this will take you to the Death Heim. If used in the Death Heim, you will be sent to Sim Stage 1 (Fillmore), where you can advance no further as you're not able to use the debug features in Sim stages.
  • Hold R and press L to display your X/Y coordinates. (Note: Do not attempt this while moving, or this key combination will effectively act as a "suicide code", killing the Master instantly.)
  • Press X + A to exit to the map.
  • Hold R and press Start to enter Music Mode. Press B to activate text and begin playing songs. Press Left/Right to decrease/increase the music index, and B to play the selected song. Press Down/Up to decrease/increase the effect index, and Y to play the selected sound effect. Press Select to exit.
  • Hold R and press Y + B: Unused; does nothing.
(Source: JLukas)

Unused Items

A pair of unused items. Or their graphics, at least, as you don't seem able to hack them into your inventory.

  • A bag of what? Some kind of bag, which somewhat resembles the Goat Food found in Soul Blazer. Most likely intended as some sort of offering necessary to advance a town.
  • Woof! Dogs can occasionally be seen wandering around the villages, but you can't get one as an "item".

Hidden Message


基本パーツ中世 (まち)

A little message that comes after the game's graphic for the world map: "Kihon pātsu chūsei (machi)" translates to "Basic Parts - Mediaeval (Town)".

Regional Differences

To do:
Also, European differences.

Title Screen

The international title screen has several changes: the "A" was redrawn, the "R" was capitalized, a crack was added to the emblem, and the Japanese characters were removed. Additionally, Enix and Quintet switched places for some reason.

Japan US/Europe
Actraiser jpn title.png Actraiser-title.png

Game Modes

In addition to the regular game mode, the European version makes Professional Mode (renamed "Action Mode") available from the start and adds a difficulty selection to both modes.


In the original Japanese version, the game is based around your powers being sealed by the demon king "Satan". In order for your powers to return, it's necessary for you help the humans of the land so that they worship you, whereby you gain strength from their piety. This was almost completely rewritten for the US release.

Death Heim

There is no animation of Death Heim emerging from the sea in the Japanese version. You are simply told that it has appeared once you return to the Sky Palace. When you go back to the world map, it's simply there.


The American and European versions are significantly easier than the original Japanese version: there are fewer enemy encounters in both the action and simulation portions of the game, and the action sequences have fewer traps and enemies.

Action Stages

In the US version:

  • Fillmore, Act 1: Birds have smoother plumage and more realistic animation. Goblins have a different face, with flashing red eyes, and have been given a club in place of their bare hands. Beasts have a different face, and have more hilighting and better shading.
  • Fillmore, Act 2: Ghouls have a different face. The skeletal half-dragons have a different face and sword.
  • Bloodpool, Act 1: Birds have an improved wingtip. The worms that fly up from the water look very different; the palette is also entirely different. Lizardmen (naked in the Japanese version) have clothes and a more "predatory" face.
  • Bloodpool, Act 2: Floating Skulls have a different face. The stabby skeleton lizards have been redrawn, and look more skeletal. Goblins have the same modified face as the ones in Fillmore; the formerly unarmed ground Goblins have been armed with daggers, while the flying Goblins' spears are slightly lengthened. The fireball statues have been redrawn completely, now looking more like gargoyles. (Their fireballs have also been slightly altered.)
  • Kasandora, Act 1: Scorpion Men have had their faces modified, and their pincers made more prominent. Flying Goblins have been altered the same way as the ones from Bloodpool Act 2.
  • Kasandora, Act 2: Birdmen (naked in the Japanese version) have been given clothes, a facelift, and a slightly modified sword animation*.
  • Aitos, Act 1: Hobbits have had their faces modified to make them look more... grizzled. Mini Tornadoes (fired by the strange birdmen) have an additional frame of animation*, and have been redrawn.
  • Aitos, Act 2: Flying Goblins have been altered the same way as the ones from Bloodpool Act 2.
  • Marahna, Act 1: Four pixels of a single frame (seriously) of the Spearmen have been altered, slightly improving their shading. The boss at the end of the stage has been modified to look less like a carnivorous plant and more like some kind of alien blob monster.
  • Marahna, Act 2: Arrows fired from the Arrow Traps flash.
  • Northwall, Act 1: Ettins have had their faces modified. The fireball statues have been altered the same way as the ones from Bloodpool Act 2. This required an extra tile in each of the "firing" frames*; for some reason, the "idle" frame already had the extra tile.
  • Northwall, Act 2: Ettins modified, same as in Act 1.

*Denotes a change that alters sprite composition in an incompatible way.

The werewolf wizard at the end of castle makes a sound when it disappears. The sound is the same as the one used when the hero disappears in the final stage between boss battles.

In Death Heim, the first enemy's statue has horns in the original but no horns in the USA release.

The button configuration changed slightly. In the US release, pressing the A button used magic. In the Japanese version, you had to press Up + Y to use magic, which sometimes resulted in accidental misfires. Additionally, the type of magic you use, used up different amounts of scrolls depending on which one it was. For example, the "Magic Fire" used only one scroll, but the "Shooting Stars" used two scrolls. This was changed in the US release so that all types of magic use only one scroll, drastically lowering the difficulty level in boss fights.

The half-apple item restored only three health points in the Japanese version. In the US version, it restored much more than just three.

There are two extra copies of the player's crotch in unused portions of the PC sprite data. In the Japanese version, they appear to be from an older version of the sprite. In the USA version, they have inexplicably been replaced with tiles from the newer sprite.

Sim Stages

Japan US
Changes a-cross the board. Scary face!

The little emotion balloons that appear above your peoples' heads were changed for the North American release slightly. The "skull" icon became a scary face (used when your followers turn against you at Maranha), while the skull itself took the place of the yellow cross (used when your followers are killed). None of the other icons were altered.

Japan US
EEEEEEVIL? Not so evil?

Due to Nintendo's policy of not allowing religious symbolism in games at the time, the skull monsters' lairs were changed from a Star of David design in the Japanese version to an unassuming diamond in the US one.

Japan US
I No I

The Pyramid in Kasandora features the Eye of Providence in the Japanese version.

Other Differences

  • The magic costs for the various natural phenomina/natural disasters are different between the US and Japanese releases.
  • The item that increases crop production in the Japanese version was (unsurprisingly) rice, instead of the wheat it became in the US release.
  • You cannot immediately take another rice offering in the Japanese version, whereas in the US version the supply is replenished immediately after you take one.
  • Earthquakes target houses randomly in the Japanese version; in the US version, they specifically target only older houses and so can be used to increase the population of your cities by clearing out older (lower occupancy) buildings.
  • The Angel's health regenerates quickly and regularly in the Japanese version, whereas in the US version it replenishes only after the city expands.
  • The man who gets lost in the desert in Kasandora is explicitly mentioned as having died and been buried near the main palace, whereas in the US version this was only implied due to Nintendo's censorship policies.