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Space Harrier II was one of two games released when the Mega Drive first launched in Japan on Oct. 29, 1988. The other launch title was Super Thunder Blade. Both of these games were also North American launch titles for the Genesis.
The interesting part of Space Harrier II is there are options that allow the player to change the pitch of the Y-axis of the controller's directional pad, thus changing how the movement in-game works. This is a pre-cursor to the controls of flight simulator games as well as console based FPS games of mid to late 1990's, as well as games like Star Fox [SNES].
There is also a rapid fire option available in the game that allows the player to just hold down the fire button to unleash a wave of laser rounds in succession, rather than having to simply mash the fire buttons or employ to triple flap technique.
There is a total of 14 level stages in Space Harrier II. The first 12 stages have a similar structure of sending a set number of enemy waves at the player and then ending it with a unique boss fight. The thirteenth stage, however, changes the formula. In this stage, the player must fight all twelve bosses in succession. Once the player manages to get past this stage, the fourteenth stage is final battle in which Space must do battle with the Dark Harrier. Once the Dark Harrier is defeated, the game ends and player is given a text based epilogue saying that the good deed is done while also implying that the game can be played again because evil never sleeps.