Astal was meant to be a showcase of the Sega Saturn's 2D capabilities. It features large, colorful sprites, and detailed background artwork that appears to have been hand-painted. Unfortunately, Astal's release came at a time where the gaming market was moving towards 3D graphics with Sony's Playstation console, resulting in poor sales. Due to the poor sales of the game, it is considered to be somewhat of a rarity in certain circles.
The protagonist is the namesake character Astal. Astal's primary method of attack is to grab enemies directly in front of him and throw them over his shoulder. By jumping in to the air and attacking, Astal slams his fists downward. Pressing down and attacking will cause Astal to violently punch the earth, stunning all enemies on screen. As a final method of attack, holding up on the D-pad will cause Astal to inhale large quantities of air, which can be released by pressing the attack button. A fully charged gust of wind can kill lesser enemies and stuns larger ones. After rescuing a small bird in the first level, Astal can command it to do various tasks for him, such as fetching extra health when needed, or attacking enemies. By plugging in a second controller, Player 2 is given control of the bird.
Somewhere in the universe, the Goddess Antowas created a world using only a single jewel. This world was known as Quartilia, and to inhabit this lonely world, Antowas created two humans: from a red jewel, a boy, named Astal; and from a green jewel, a girl, Leda. Leda was blessed by Antowas with the gift to create life, and it was Astal's job to protect Leda from any dangers. Despite Astal's sometimes over-protective nature, Leda fell in love with Astal. Content with her creation, the Goddess Antowas slept. Seeing his opportunity, the evil demon Gerado attempted to conquer Quartilia as his own; but Astal and Leda resisted his efforts. To help with this task, Gerado created his own human: Geist. Geist kidnapped Leda, and imprisoned her at the bottom of the Ocean. Astal fought bravely to rescue Leda, but in doing so, he shattered the bottom of the ocean, destroying it. The battle between Astal and Geist eventually woke Antowas, who fought Gerado and won. Angry with Astal for ruining the ocean, Antowas banished him - but Leda took pity on Astal, and gave him her necklace. With the matter of Astal and Gerado settled, Antowas went back to sleep once again. Unable to stand being separated from Leda, Astal shatters his bonds and frees himself from the realm Antowas had banished him to, only to return to find Leda has once again been kidnapped. Astal's quest to rescue Leda begins once again...
- Stage 1: The Journey Begins
- Stage 2: Into the Darkness
- BOSS: The Evil Eye
- Stage 3: The Deep Forest
- Stage 4: The River of Dreams
- BOSS: The Forest Fiend
- Stage 5: Volcanic Valley
- BOSS: The Guardian of Fire
- Stage 6: Sea of Clouds
- Stage 7: Glacial Rift
- Stage 8: The Crystal Palace
- BOSS: Frostbite
- Stage 9: Plains of Destiny
- BOSS: Destiny Unfolds
- BOSS: The Fight for the Future
- Astal made frequent cameo appearances in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, as cover artist Patrick Spaziante was a big fan of the game and the character.
- The North American Box for Astal contains an oddity among Sega Saturn titles: the spine for the game case is blank. Most game cases feature the game's logo on the spine, but this is not true for Astal.
- Putting the Astal disc in to a CD player reveals a bonus music track: A vocal version of the game's main theme song, "Let Me Try Again", sung in Japanese.
- Hidden deep within the art files for Astal are sprites for Nintendo mascot Mario, drawn in the Astal visual style. These were most likely used as early test graphics.
- All english voices in the game are provided by Lani Minella, who voiced numerous other Sega characters, such as Rouge the Bat.