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Defender II (NES)

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Title Screen

Defender II

Also known as: Stargate (JP)
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publishers: HAL Laboratory (JP), HAL America (US)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: September 24, 1987
Released in US: July 1988


CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Defender II is a port of the Defender sequel, Stargate, but renamed Defender II.

It's also the origin of the "Round Start" and "Game Over" themes from Punch-Out!!

Regional Differences

Japan US (Title) US (Menu)
So early! Huh? How do i select things? Now no one will realize how old this game is!

The western version completely redesigns (and removes the color cycling effect the Japanese one had, for some reason.) the title screen, adding some extra copyright info. and moves the main menu so it replaces the added copyright info after pressing Start once.

If the 1983 copyright date (and striking resemblance to early NES title screens) in the Japanese release seems unusual, that's because this game, alongside a set of 3 other Atari games (Millipede, Joust, and a unknown title that was never released.) were originally created as part of an abandoned deal for Atari to distribute the Famicom in western regions. The development of these were outsourced to HAL Laboratory. Who ended up self-publishing the titles a few years after the deal was abandoned.

Japan US
Looks like a normal space game. Now with a blue ship!

Like the other 2 Atari ports, the western release redesigns the in-game Graphics somewhat. The ship is changed from Orange to Blue (though curiously the HUD icon is unmodified), the humanoids are given a facelift, the white lines representing your current position are pulled back a bit, and the top score has been freed from it's original square border.

Truncated Music

As noted, the music that plays when a round is started was later reused in the Arcade (and NES, albeit with different instrumentation) version of Punch-Out!!. The arcade board uses the Ricoh 2A03, the same CPU that the NES included, as an audio chip/secondary CPU. Hence why it was able to be ported over so easily.

Defender II Punch-Out!!

However, a little known fact is that an entire second measure of the song had originally appeared in Defender II. and was presumably removed in Punch-Out!! due to it's Space-like sound not really gelling with the Boxing setting.

Hidden Text

The following string is found only in the US version at 657.

 DEBUGED BY TOSHIO SENGOKU  ( Intelligent Systems )  1987/07/31 15:00 

Toshio Sengoku also hid his name in other software such as FamicomBox and Revenge of the 'Gator.