Koutetsu Teikoku
Battle Wings



Catalog# T-28033

Capacity 8M

Price 7,800円

Released 13/03/1992

  • 1 Player
  • 'em up
  • Empire of Steel
  • Steel Empire


In the year 18XX, evil events are unfolding. Damd – the world’s largest city – has fallen under a military coup led by the bloodthirsty dictator Sauron. Marshaling his fleet of massive airships under the banner of ‘The Motorhead Empire’, this unpleasant chap has quickly and effortlessly subjugated almost the entire planet, save for one tiny region which continues to hold fast.

The Republic of Silverhead – for that is its name – may be David to Motorhead’s Goliath, but it has developed the ‘Imamio Thunder’, a weapon capable of incredible destructive power. With this vital advantage, Silverhead must fight for its very existence – and you’re the lucky pilot charged with taking the fight to Motorhead’s capital, and perhaps even beyond…


With its unique visuals and steampunk setting, it’s little wonder that Koutetsu Teikoku has gained cult status over the past couple of decades. A reasonably straightforward scrolling shooter, what it lacks in surprises it more than makes up for in atmosphere.

You’re able to control one of two ships, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. This adds to the reply value as the tactics required for each craft are different. The inventive level design and bizarre selection of enemy ships makes the game feel very different from its peers.

Koutetsu Teikoku’s lofty reputation these days has as much to do with its rarity and visual style than its gameplay. It’s certainly not the best blaster on a console that is packed with quality examples of the genre, but it’s definitely worth a peek if you’re a fan of this type of game. The setting makes a welcome change from the typical futuristic scrolling shooter.


Koutetsu Teikoku was released in the West by Acclaim under the titles Steel Empire (NA) and Empire of Steel (Europe). Compared to the Japanese version, these editions have little in the way of value with collectors, and can be obtained for next to nothing on the second hand market.

Koutetsu Teikoku was also ported to the Nintendo Game Boy, and received a release in the West.

According to the game’s credits, one of the main inspirations for Koutetsu Teikoku was Caar H. Schitch’s 1819 novel Imperio do Aceiro (Empire of Steel). Most fans tend to agree that the major influence on the production of the game was Studio Ghibli’s seminal 1986 anime Laputa: Castle in the Sky, which boasts very similar flying machines. The opening level of the game also mimics the suspended railway lines shown in the movie.



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