Ristar, released as Ristar the Shooting Star (リスター・ザ・シューティングスター, Risutā za Shūtingu Sutā ) in Japan, is a platform game developed by Sonic team and published by Sega for the Sega Genisis in 1995. A Sega Game Gear version, which features very similar gameplay in different level designs, was also released in the same year.
The game stars a humanoid cartoon star who uses his hands and long, stretchable arms to both move and combat enemies. Reception for the game has been generally positive, but the game's initial release was overshadowed due to the imminent ending of the Genesis's lifecycle and the beginning of the Sega Saturn and other fifth generation video game consoles.
Much like other games from the same timeframe, such as Gunstar Heros, the game's story varied between the Japanese language release and its English language counterpart. In all versions of the game, the events take place in the Valdi System, where an evil space pirate, Kaiser Greedy, has used mind control to make the planets' leaders obey him.
In the Japanese version, the inhabitants of Planet Neer (Flora in the English language version) pray for a hero before Greedy's mind control minion, Rhio, snatches the planet elder. The desperate prayers reach the nebula of the Star Goddess, Oruto. She awakens one of her children, Ristar, with the sole purpose of granting the wishes of the innocent people. He must stop Greedy and the brainwashed leaders of each world in the galaxy to restore peace to the galaxy.
In the English language version, Oruto is omitted altogether. Instead, Ristar has a father figure, the Legendary Hero, who is a shooting star that protects the Valdi System. Rather than Oruto awakening Ristar, the Legendary Hero was kidnapped by Greedy, and it is up to Ristar to rescue his father as well.
The Japanese version of the game ends with Greedy, and two underlings, Iounus and Uranium, stranded on a deserted planet or moon, with a picture of Ristar appearing in the space, while Greedy simply stares at it. The ending scene shown in the English shows Ristar being re-united with his father once again.
All versions of the Game Gear game feature the same scenario, involving Oruto, as the Japanese Genesis version.