Head Buster English Translation

[Translation information] [Game tutorial] [Stage maps]



Download the Head Buster translation patch (*.IPS) HERE!

The translation for this game was started by me, Chris Covell in July 2005, and completed in mid-August. I am in no way affiliated with NCS; this is just a fan translation project. Read the readme in the file above for more details.


Head Buster is a turn-based strategy game that was released in Japan for the Sega Game Gear in March 1991. Not that there's anything remarkable about this game, it's just that it's one of the few strategy games that I have ever had fun playing (Nintendo's [system] Wars series is the other.)

The game system is very simple: with your money (Gold), purchase a robot or two (up to 5) at the shop, and equip the robot for best performance on the battlefield. Different body parts and weapons will affect the robot's manoeuvrability, defensive capability, shooting accuracy, and weapon range. After positioning your robot strategically, you can target an opponent's robot and the two robots will duke it out.

There is no realtime battle system here, and no sprawling maps. The first battle takes place on a stage only 3 screens across. So, what I like about this game is its simplicity. It's a potted strategy game, but good tactics and weapon choices will mean the difference between victory and the scrap heap.


Getting Started



From the title screen, you can choose to start a solo game or continue by using a password.

With 2 Game Gears hooked up, you can battle a friend rather than the computer.



There are 10 stages in total. Before each stage, your opponent taunts you with a menacing remark.



When you start the game, you have 600 Gold and need to buy a robot. With 600 Gold, you have just enough to buy 4 light robots.

Alternately (and necessarily on later stages,) you can buy a couple of stronger robots and equip them with better firepower.



The robot can be equipped with many parts.

  • Body armour makes your robot much tougher against attacks, but slows it down substantially.
  • Movers affect the robot's speed and type of terrain it can cross.
  • Sensors improve the aim of the robot. When you buy a robot it doesn't have any sensor, and thus its aim is poor over longer distances.
  • Computers endow the robot with more complex skills, such as repairing damage while on the map, and dodging enemies' attacks.
  • Hand weapons are the main weapons. Grappling (close-combat) weapons can be used many times, while longer-range weapons need to be reloaded once ammunition has run out.
  • Shoulder weapons are usually long range, but can't be reloaded once used. Some shoulder options improve your manoeuvrability or evasiveness.


Some of my favourite weapons are the Light Sabre, Lightning, Napalm, and Double Cannon. They have rather devastating power and look very cool when shot.

However, the Light Sabre becomes much less relevant in later stages, as enemies start to attack you with maximum-range weapons. You almost never get close enough to have hand-to-hand combat at that point.



Now our robots are equipped and ready to head out onto the field. Pressing the '1' button when the cursor is over a unit shows its current equipment and hit points.



Usually our first step is to move our robots around the field.



Ridges and cliffs like the large one above can't be traversed, so they basically create bottlenecks in the map.

Different terrain is easier or more difficult for your differently-equipped robots to cross, so the maximum distance that your robots can cross will always vary.



Make your move, press the 'Start' button, and the enemy moves around too.

As is normal with strategy games of this type, each side has a turn to move and fire; and for each turn, the side that moves first alternates. This means that sometimes you can block an enemy with your robot, and sometimes the enemy can block your robot.



Check to see if any enemies' units are within your weapons' ranges, and then aim away.



Darkened regions are unreachable by your weapon. Of course, if an enemy is within a highlighted region, fire at it!



Once a target has been chosen, battle commences. Various factors, such as distance from your target, whether there are trees or hills in the way, and the type of sensor your robot has, will affect how many hits you actually get in during the battle.



If all the enemy's robots or the enemy's base station is destroyed, then the match is over and you have won!



Or if the same happens to your units or base station, the game is over for you.

You're better off restarting the game from your last password, because the small stipend you get from delivering newspapers really isn't enough to rebuild your forces.


Stage Maps



A short and simple map, though you do get squeezed by the 3 impassable ridges. The enemy is pretty weak so there are many ways to win this easily:

  1. Equip a heavy unit with strong firepower (such as a Light Sabre in one hand and Lightning in the other) and assault each enemy unit in turn.
  2. Purchase 4 light units and rush straight to the enemy's base, ignoring the enemy robots. Then, quickly end the match by pounding the base with all 4 robots
  3. And so on... Use your own strategy.


This is a very small map, with a river running down the middle. Use some tougher units with the longest-range firepower and start attacking while in the water.

I dunno; does anybody know a better strategy?



Plenty of water and bushes here, but even with a suitable Mover, the bushes will slow your robots down.

The enemies seem to make long-range attacks here, and they tend all to gang up on one of your units, so when your unit has become damaged, send it to the back to move out of harm's way.



Lots of water in this map and the next few as well, so get rid of all your units' Dash Mover. Upgrade to some long-range weapons because that's how the enemy attacks you: he hangs back a little and snipes at you.



The grey pads in the middle are (I believe) recharge stations, where your units equipped with computers can repair their damage.

There's plenty of tree cover here, so perhaps long-range aerial weapons work best?



I don't know how well bushes protect your units from enemy attacks -- it seems all they really do is slow you down. Of course, the enemy will move its 5 units in several directions, so it might be better to sit at the openings of the bush ring, or behind trees, and fight defensively.



2-leg Movers will not serve you well here, since they can't traverse the sand. I'm not sure of a good strategy here; perhaps to spread out your fighters along the left side and make use of the recharge pod at the bottom is a good strategy for weaker or damaged units.



This is a mostly open range for battles to take place. There's lots of room for movement, so perhaps concentrating on attacking any enemy with a long-range attack if they're in range, and evading fire if they're out of range is a good way to pick off the enemy.



Here's a checkerboard of passable and impassable areas. You can use the corners of the ridges for sniping at enemies.




The final battle. By this point, the enemy has begun cheating, by equipping his robots with parts that you cannot buy in the shop (without hacking), such as a "Face" Sensor, and a devastating "Atomic" Shoulder weapon.

Good luck! You're gonna need it! (As they always say in the movies.)

One strategy that I've found that works great on this map is rushing all of your robots single-file through the water on the extreme right, then heading down through the water and pummeling the enemy's base with all your robots' firepower.
The enemy's robots will have spread out through the left and centre of the map haphazardly, so they'll already be too far from the right side to regroup and mount an offensive.



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