All About Treasure


I included this section on the site because I felt that anyone who had the interest to visit a Gunstar Heroes fan site would definitely want to play other games by Treasure. To this day Treasure makes mostly old school action and platform games. If you liked Gunstar Heroes and have a Genesis I would suggest getting Dynamite Headdy. But if that isn't enough to quench your thirst for extreme violence and patented Treasure weirdness you will definitely want to check out their other games. Below is a list of the games that Treasure has produced from their beginnings as a Konami development team to their most recent releases.

List of Games by Treasure

*Created by Konami, but purportedly with many of the employees that would later form Treasure.
Highlighted: are the games that I have had a chance to play and actually know something about.

*Contra (NES)
*Super C (NES)
*Castlevania (NES)
*Castlevania IV (SNES)
*Contra III (SNES)
*Axelay (SNES)
Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)
Alien Soldier (Genesis, Japan only)
Light Crusader (Genesis)
Dynamite Headdy (Genesis / Gamegear)
McDonald's Treasure Island (Genesis)

Radiant Silvergun (Saturn / Arcade, Japan only)
Guardian Heroes (Saturn)
Silhouette Mirage ( Saturn / PS )
Rakugaki Show-Time (PS, Japan Only)
Mischief Makers (N64)
Sin and Punishment (N64, Japan only)
Bangai-O ( N-64 / Dreamcast , N64 version is Japan only)
Silpheed: The Lost Planet (PS2)
Stretch Panic (PS2)
Ikaruga (Dreamcast Japan only, Gamecube Japan and US,)

Wario World (X-Box..... nah! just joking: Gamecube)
The Fighting (GBA)
Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Bad Dream (GBA)

Dragon Drive (Gamecube, Japan only)


The Treasure team members have an extremely proud history of developing some of the most consistently fun, addictive, and innovative action games of all time. Although Treasure is a relatively small development house, they seem to have a rare devotion to making quality titles that rivals even the giants of the industry. I know when I think about the development companies that consistently innovate and push the medium in new directions I draw up a short list. There's Nintendo's EAD, Sega, Konami, Capcom, Namco, and then there is Treasure. It's easy to get left in the dust as technology advances, and many development companies get caught rehashing old formulas for too long, but over the years Treasure has managed to innovate and create new types of gameplay, or make old formulas seem new again.

Most any action game fan who has played Contra, Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga, or Radiant Silvergun will tell you that these are among the greatest action games of all time. These games are years ahead of their time, or sometimes such a huge paradigm shift from the norm that a comparison to other games of the genre seems silly. Not every treasure game can be an instant classic though, but so many others have aged so well. To this day I will spend hours playing Bangai-O and Sin and Punishment because these games are just fun to play. They don't end when they are beaten, because like any good game, the pleasure is in the gameplay and not just the pursuit of beating the final boss.


Contra, one of the greatest games ever!

Like I said before, The designers at Treasure got their start programming classic games at Konami like Contra and Castlevania for the Nintendo Entertainment System and the SNES. After leaving Konami and starting their own company, the designers of Treasure forged an excellent relationship with Sega, programming a number of games that appeared exclusively on the Genesis. Treasure never did release any games for the SNES, but Treasure's method of designing games specifically around a system's capabilities and always getting the most out of the hardware wouldn't have made cross platform conversions very easy or economical. Surely Gunstar Heroes would have been nearly impossible to make on the Super Nintendo, just as the kind of Mode 7 rotation in Castlevania IV would not have worked on the Genesis.

Radiant Silvergun

Treasure's games for Genesis were excellent. Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy are undeniable classics. Alien Soldier was never released in the US, but this fast paced boss battling action game is definitely worth playing. Continuing their relationship with Sega, Treasure made some of the best games to be released on the Saturn. This may seem strange to American gamers, but in Japan the Sega Saturn was a successful system and competed with the Playstation in sales. As a result, Treasure's excellent Saturn games : Radiant Silvergun, Guardian Heroes, and Silhouette Mirage are hard to come by in the US. Just one look on Ebay will let you see how in-demand these games are. I've seen the Japanese import Radiant Silvergun sell for over $200. But that's not so surprising since most gamers consider Radiant Silvergun to be the best shooter on the Saturn, and one of the finest 2D shooters ever made. Another notable Saturn game is Guardian Heroes. It's a medieval beat-em-up with role playing elements. Although I haven't played Guardian Heroes myself, everything I've read seems to suggest that it is a sort of advanced version of the NES classic River City Ransom.


Strangely, Treasure never released any original games for the Playstation in America. Rakugaki Show-Time was Japan only, and Silhouette Mirage is a port of the Sega Saturn original.

With the Launch of the Nintendo 64, Treasure released Mischief Makers. This game really didn't get the credit it deserved. Everyone seemed disappointed that it wasn't a 3D platformer like Super Mario 64. But Mischief Makers is an excellent 2D platformer that is definitely worth playing. Treasure has made two more games for the 64 since Mischief Makers. Bangai-O, the Japanese only puzzle shooter is excellent (although the DC version is better, and saw a US release). Sin and Punishment is a 3D shooter on rails much like Starfox, but instead of using space ships the player controls characters who can run and jump making the game more reminiscent of Space Harrier or Cabal.

I'm Wario and I'm gonna win!

Treasure continues to support most of the modern gaming platforms. They have released Bangai-O and Ikaruga for the Dreamcast, both of which are of the highest quality. The slightly underwhelming Stretch Panic and Silpheed sequel have been released on the PS2, and my console of choice, the Gamecube, has received the American release of the amazing Radiant Silvergun sequel Ikaruga. Also Released on the Gamecube, Nintendo's Wario World, which was in fact developed by Treasure.


Although I fancy myself an action game fanatic, I am not God, and have not played every Treasure game enough to review. But when I do get my hands on a new one I will write it up here. Then you can read what I have to say, and go to the nearest video game store and buy every Treasure game they have on the shelves.

Wario World (Gamecube)


Wario World brings good news and bad news for Treasure fans. Let's start with the good news first: The control, the level design, and the gameplay all live up to the lofty standards of past Treasure games. The bad news: Wario World is a short game, and it's also not the most challenging game you'll ever play. For now though, let's avoid the negative because there are tons of great things to say about Wario World.

First of all, Wario World is perhaps the first 3D platformer that I can play with the same ease and fluidity as the traditional 2D plaformers of the 8 and 16-bit era. Believe it or not, Wario World is even easier and more intuitive to play than Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Sunshine. This is high praise indeed, but there are trade-offs. Instead of placing the camera behind the character and giving the player total control of the camera as the 3D Mario games have done Treasure has opted to make the levels more linear and leave the camera in one place. The end result is a game that plays like a cross between the 2D platformers of old, and the 3D games we are used to now. In most places there isn't a lot of depth to the levels, and although they are 3D they scroll almost exclusively from left to right. Treasure has in a way simplified the 3D platformer to make it more playable for a wider audience. I would say that the game doesn't feel completely unlike Luigi's Mansion, except that I believe Wario World to be a great deal more fun than Nintendo's GC launch title. Another thing... the bosses in Wario Wortld are great. Wario World has some of the best boss encounters in modern video games and they feel like they were pulled right out of a 16-bit action platformer like Gunstar Heroes. Very old school, very fun!

Wario World is a great game. There is no denying that fact. But I can't help but think that it could have been so much more. It seems that once Treasure had the game engine ironed out, they could have spent a little more time to make the game longer and more challenging. Super Mario games of old had somewhere between 40 and 100 levels. Now I'll admit that the levels in Wario World are a bit longer and more complex than the average SMB level, but not grossly so. Wario World has 8 levels. Granted, they are 8 very fun levels complete with fantastic boss confrontations and colorful graphics, I think Wario World could have been a truly great game. I think it could have been one of the best platformers of this or any year. I don't have any problem with short games.... just read my Ikaruaga review. But Wario World isn't really challenging enough to be as short as it is, and because of this it doesn't have the depth or replay value that Ikaruga has. Wario World also doesn't really challenge you to come back and improve your performance and score like most great short games do. At the very least, Wario World is a great rental game. You can beat it in one weekend, and although it is fun to come back to later you may not find yourself coming back very often after you have completed it and opened up all the Warioware Inc demos. Great game...... could have been two or three times longer though. A solid recomendation to any Treasrue fan, with a few extra points for gamers who love the Gameboy Wario games.

Ikaruga (arcade, Dreamcast, Gamecube)

Ikaruga Freakin Rocks!!!

To me, this is everything a shooter should be. Until I see something better I'm inclined to say it's everything a shooter can be. It is the official sequel to Radiant Silvergun, and it lives up to the myth of it's predecessor. I say myth, in part because I have never played Radiant Silvergun. But I can say this: despite all the hype and furor stemming from that legendary game which everyone talks about but few have played, Ikaruga still blew away every expectation I had of it. It's brutally difficult, but the gameplay is refined to near perfection. In a way this game reminds me of Contra. It's difficult, but I never get frustrated and I keep coming back again and again, never getting bored, and always improving.

Now, about the gameplay.... Ikaruga can best be described as a blending of the gameplay elements in Silhouette Mirage and Radiant Silvergun. It's a traditional vertical scrolling shooter like Radiant Silvergun, Space Megaforce, or 1943 but there are a few twists. Like Silhouette Mirage, your ship and every enemy is assigned one of two polarities: dark or light. While your ship can switch back and forth between light and dark, the enemies are static. White enemies fire white bullets, and black enemies fire black bullets. As the player you have a choice: by choosing the same color as an enemy you can absorb their bullets and charge up your super weapon. By choosing the opposite color as an enemy you can double the damage you inflict, but their bullets will kill you. If you want to score big you need to kill enemies in groups of three according to color. The challenges are nearly endless, and Treasure did a unbelievable job of presenting the player with all sorts of interesting and unique situations.

In the end I guess this game isn't for everyone. It's so hard there will probably be people who won't put in the time and will give up on it. But if you start playing with an open mind, you will no doubt love it. Ikaruga offers such a challenge that I suspect only a fraction of the people who play or buy this game will ever beat it or get anywhere near mastering it. It's simply that hard. But it is still accessible, and I suspect that more casual gamers will still have fun perfecting their scores on levels one two and three. One can always hope, maybe I'll beat Ikaruga on one credit some day. Probably not, but right how I'm happy with my 100 chain on level one and I'm still improving. More than any other game I've bought for this current generation of systems, I come back to Ikaruga over and over again, play the game for 20 to 40 minutes, and get completely immersed in the gameplay. Ikaruga is still truly fun an exciting for me even after playing the first three levels over and over again for more than 30 hours. Ikaruga is definately in my top five games off all time. Highest possible recommendation.

Silpheed: The Lost Planet (PS2)


This game really reminds me of the SNES game Axelay. It's a vertical scrolling shooter that pretty much puts everything before it to shame visually. Unfortunately, Treasure and Game Arts didn't seem to put the same amount of work into the gameplay as the visuals. Silpheed plays like virtually every other shooter out there, it's just prettier. Do I recommend it? Yeah! It's lots of fun, it's beautiful, and the controls are tight. I just don't want anyone to be expecting Radiant Silvergun or Ikaruga, cause they ain't gonna get it. If you're a shooter fan, this is among the best (or only) ones out there these days. I don't know if this game is great for Treasure fans however, because it really doesn't have any of Treasure's trademarks. In Japan this game was released without Treasure's name on it. It think it's probably safe to assume that Treasure was using this game to get used to the new PS2 hardware or simply needed the money from Game Arts. Perhaps Treasure didn't feel it was up to par with most of their releases. Anyway, enough negativity, it's a decent game..... Luke Warm Recommendation

Bangai-O (Dreamcast, N64)

Bangai-O Screen

There will be tons of people who won't like this game, but those people probably won't be visiting this site. Bangai-O is a perfect example of vintage Treasure. It is strange, primitive, and unlike anything else on any console..... ever. You control a small robot who has free roam of the 2D scrolling levels. Like most Treasure games Bangai-O has a gimmick. In Gunstar Heroes it was the weapons system, in Mischief Makers it was shaking things, and in Bangai-O it is blowing things to hell. The whole point system revolves around killing as many enemies with a single shot as possible. In fact, the power of your superweapon is dependent on how much enemy fire is on the screen. The more enemy bullets on the screen, the closer they are to you, and the faster they are moving, the more powerful your super weapon! Sound crazy.... it is. The more explosions on the screen at once, the more you will be loving life. Why didn't someone think of this a long time ago? The graphics are a little primitive, the main character is small (very small), and the plot is absolutely incoherent and drug inspired, but the amount of carnage that can be dealt out in this game is unmatched. If you are reading this because you like Treasure games, and you have a Dreamcast, then you should have this game, this game is a perfect example of why Treasure has so many hard-core fans. Highest Recommendation.

Sin and Punishment (N64)

Sin and Punishment Artwork

This has got to be the best 64 game never to be released in the United States. Treasure Developed it, but it was published by Nintendo in the final days of the N64. This means that there are quite a few Japanese copies out there, and you shouldn't have to pay too much to import one. I only paid $40 at the local game store for my copy, and if you like action games it is worth every penny. Sin and Punishment is a 3D shooter on rails, much like Starfox or Panzer Dragoon except that the game characters are running on the ground. This almost makes the game seem a bit like the Arcade classic Cabal, Space Harrier, or the old GI Joe arcade game. To add variation to gameplay your character can jump and swing a sword at nearby enemies. The play control is darn near perfect and allows for the fluid and fun gameplay that you expect from Treasure games. Because of the excellent and varied level design, and the tight controls his is a game that is fun to come back to even after you've beaten it. The Graphics are pretty dated by today's standards, but some of the effects are much better than what you will see in other 64 games. The polygon count is pretty low, but I would still rate the graphics as excellent because of the way the game moves and the design of the characters and their settings. I think one point that I need to touch on is the fleet combat level. In one of the latter levels of the game your character flies around a Naval fleet on a deck that has been torn from one of the ships. This is one of my favorite levels in any action game ever, and one of the most blissful experiences I've ever had playing my Nintendo 64. I think that the Rail Shooter is the obvious evolution of the standard side or vertical shooting scroller, and like Starfox, this game is as fun as anything else out there. I think rail shooters can be a great deal of fun. Too bad Sega released Panzer Dragoon Orta on that piece of crap X-Box. Highest Possible Recommendation.

Mischief Makers (Nintendo 64)

Mischief Makers is a fast paced two dimensional platformer for the Nintendo 64. Although I like this game a lot, I can find a lot more to complain about in this game than I can most Treasure games. Some of the graphics are blurry, and the backgrounds tend to repeat themselves. The levels are extremely varied when it comes to objectives and playing styles, which of course means that wile some of them are wonderful, others fall a little short. There is also the nagging problem of what I like to call "way to much plot for an action game"! In between levels you are forced to watch an absolutely silly and pointless plot.... why can't I skip these scenes! I don't care! I want to blow stuff up now! Now that I have spent most of this review complaining, I will finish by saying that this game is a lot of fun and well worth picking up. The action is very unconventional. Instead of shooting, you spend most of your time jumping, throwing things, and (yes you are reading this right) shaking enemies and objects. Yes, shaking things is integral to the gameplay of Mischief Makers. Strange? Yes, of course. But this is a Treasure game. I recommend this game to any Treasure Fan, with a high recommendation to anyone who buys Treasure games just because they are weird.

Silhouette Mirage (Playstation, Saturn)

Silhouette Mirage Logo

I own the Playstation version of the game, and no matter what those Saturn geeks tell you, owning the PS version is just as acceptable for your average Treasure fan. This is the game that invented the concept that Ikaruga was designed around, but I don't think Silhouette Mirage will be nearly as fondly remembered as Ikaruga. Silhouette Mirage is a platform shooter in the same style as Gunstar Heroes and Contra, except that it's nothing like either of those games. Wait... does that make sense? The gameplay evolves around the fact that the main character can switch between Silhouette and Mirage attributes (read light and dark) to fight her enemies. The enemies in the game are either light or dark, and dark enemies can be easily killed by light power and visa-versa. Now I'll be honest, I couldn't really get into the game. It's actually pretty deep as far as gameplay is concerned. For a casual action game fan, it's probably a little too deep. The gameplay is so different from other games in it's genre that you really need to spend some time with it to appreciate the thought that went into designing it. I'm not sure if I dove in deep enough because I never got past the point of mild frustration. But if you are a Treasure fan, do pick up this game. It was released in the United States and shouldn't be too hard to find. I think that Treasure fans who are willing to invest some time into this game will really like it. It has all the weirdness you could ever want in a Treasure game, and it has tons of completely unnecessary story (just like Bangai-O) for you to attempt to make sense of. It's a great game, but certainly not for everyone. Recommended.

McDonald's Treasure Island (Genesis)

This is my least favorite Treasure game. Still, light years better than you'd ever expect a McDonalds licensed game to be. It's still more fun than your average Genesis platformer, and it still has some cool effects in it, but I just don't see Treasure fans playing this one for very long. The game is colorful, with a similar look to Dynamite Headdy, but that's where the comparisons end. Although the graphics are decent, and the controls work pretty well I would have to only give this one a mild recommendation. So don't go out of your way to pick up this title. But if you do happen to find it, you will probably be able to buy it for less than three dollars.I guess with a price like that I think it's safe to say that you should pick it up if you are a Treasure fan. It's a decent game, and Treasure made it..... a very luke warm recommendation.

Dynamite Headdy (Genesis)

Dynamite Headdy Box

Like most Treasure games for the Genesis, Dynamite Headdy didn't sell very well in the US, therefore the game can be hard to find. Thankfully it isn't as in-demand as other Treasure titles such as Gunstar Heroes or Radiant Silvergun so you shouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg. Although not quite as spectacular as Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy has everything you look for in a Treasure game: Crazy special effects, tons of sprites with little to no slowdown, an interesting weapons system, psychotic bosses, and trademark Treasure strangeness. The main character (Dynamite Headdy) is an ant who bashes enemies with his head. And their are many different head upgrades with which to deal out death to your enemies. The game is a variation of the standard two dimensional platformer, but it is an excellent one. If GH is a ten, then Dynamite Headdy is an 8, which is still head and shoulders above your average Genesis game..... highly recommend.

Light Crusader (Genesis)

This is one of the more recent additions to my Treasure collection. I was very pleasantly surprised when I first played it. I had read reviews on the Internet that said it was hard to play because of the perspective and complexity, but I found it to have smooth controls that were fairly easy to get used to. Light Crusader is an action RPG much like the 8 and 16 bit Zelda games with an isometric view that, although flashy, does make gameplay little harder than it needed to be. The characters are very realistically drawn for a Genesis game, and the background graphics are often stunning. Overall, it has a much more adult feel than most RPG's of the era. The dungeons are dark, and some of the death animations are a little graphic. The puzzles and challenges in the dungeons are enough to keep you playing, but pale in comparison to those found in the Zelda franchise (especially the Nintendo 64 incarnations). Like most treasure games, Light Crusader contains some effects that you just don't see in other 16 bit games. The dungeons are filled with mock-3D objects that must be utilized to advance to the next room. Most of the doors are made of polygons, that slowly (and smoothly) swing open when unlocked. If you enjoy games like Zelda as well as Treasure games I would highly recommend Light Crusader. I can't recommend it to people who are looking for another Treasure action fix. This game has little in common with Contra, Gunstar Heroes, or Radiant Silvergun.


Although I fancy myself an action game fanatic, I am not God, and have not played every Treasure game enough to review. But when I do get my hands on a new one I will write it up here. Then you can read what I have to say, and go to the nearest video game store and buy every Treasure game they have on the shelves. My reviews are concise, and intended to help individual gamers decide what games they might be interested in. Please, click on one of the links below.

Wario World NEW!

Ikaruga NEW!

Silpheed: The Lost Planet


Sin and Punishment

Mischief Makers

Silhouette Mirage

Mcdonalds's Treasure Island

Dynamite Headdy

Light Crusader



Back in 1993, Konami, best known for Metal Gear, Castlevania, Gradius, Contra, and those great Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, had an internal affair that would soon affect all of gaming. The team originally responsible for Contra (and Axelay, swwwweeeet Axelay), were sick and tired of being Konami's bitch, churning out loads of sequels to existing games with little room for creative control or experimentation. While once or twice being allowed the opportunity to make a game with original concepts, they were constantly under restraint. Many of their games never made it out of R&D. After a while, the group broke off from Konami, forming a company that was soon bestowed with the now legendary name of........... TREASURE!!!!!

Fans of space shooters owe it to themselves to play Ikaruga, a game that was designed both to impress their sensibilities and to challenge every ounce of their being. Yet anyone who appreciates what makes a truly great game should be able to recognize Ikaruga for its elegant design, aesthetic beauty, and sheer challenge. Make no mistake--it's not nostalgia for a bygone era of gaming that makes Ikaruga so appealing. Rather, it's that Ikaruga takes 20 years of great ideas in game design and somehow manages to put an entirely new spin on them, not for novelty's sake, but for the sake of making a game that's both familiar and utterly unique.

Score= 8.0
Reviewer Tilt= 10

Wario World
Like Luigi's Mansion, what's there is good. I just wish there was more of it. I can definitely recommend Wario World as a great rental. But anybody interested in buying it should consider just how quickly it's all over.

IGN Score= 7.1
Reader Score= 7.7

Radiant Silvergun
To call Radiant Silvergun the best shooter out of all the next-generation consoles is to do it an injustice. It is simply one of the best games, period. That said, since the likelihood of SOA bringing this one to the States is absolutely nil, the next course of action would be to pick up the import. This game is an absolute must-buy. Never has a shooter combined relentless, thoughtfully-designed action with such stunning graphics and sound. Mix in a moving storyline with exceptionally well-done voice acting (in Japanese) and beautiful real-time cutscenes, and you've got a shooter experience unmatched by any that have come before. Few games stay with you after you've turned the system off, but Silvergun does, and it's more powerful for it. The game has a polish and finesse worthy of a Ferrari, complete with a trunkful of secrets that only the best will discover. The true beauty of the game only reveals itself after numerous repeated plays. With an addictive gameplay, and the necessary incentives to keep you coming back, Radiant Silvergun makes you feel as if you've never really played a shooter before. It's a whole new experience.

Score= 9.0