3-D WorldRunner is a third-person shooter developed by Square in 1987. The game was designed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, Nobuo Uematsu, and Nasir Gebelli, who went on to create the popular RPG series Final Fantasy. Nobuo Uematsu composed the eight music tracks in the game as well.
The game was originally released on the Famicom Disk System as Tobidase Daisakusen. The North American version, which was published by Acclaim, was the first Square game to be released in North American.
The game was notable for being a psuedo-3D title similar to games like Space Harrier because of the view being from behind the player and the game's forward scrolling effect. It was also one of the first stereoscopic 3D games. The game came packaged with a pair of red/blue 3D glasses which allowed the player to enjoy the 3D mode of the game. Square reused this technique in Rad Racer.
The player controls the World Runner (known as Jack in Japan) in Solar System #517, which is being attacked by a race of aliens known as Serpentbeasts, who are led by the evil Grax.
In this game, the player can move left and right and will constantly run forward. The speed at which the character moves forward can be increased or decreased by the player. While moving forward, the player must avoid obstacles he is running towards and jump pits that appear in the stages. The player can execute a long jump by pressing the jump button and holding up. Shorter jumps can be taken by holding down with the jump button. In later stages, the player will find junior jumpers and super jumpers as part of the stage. These will launch the Worldrunner into the air when stepped on, and are used to clear large gaps.
Enemies will also approach and fire at the player, who must dodge their attacks. If the player has collected the missile power-up, they will be able to defend themselves. Laser missiles are automatically obtained for the boss fight, so it is possible to move through the stages without collecting the weapon. At the end of each stage, the player gets the ability to fly and can freely move vertically in order to battle the Serpentbeast bosses.
WorldRunner contains eight worlds; each is divided into different quadrants. Each world contains unique enemies and between 1 and 6 Serpantbeast bosses. Ancient columns are also present in the stages, which will grand the Worldrunner additional abilities. These power-ups include:
- Power Potions which will absorb one hit from an enemy.
- Laser Missile which allows the player to attack enemies.
- Extra lives.
- Atomic Power which renders WorldRunner temporarily invincible
- Cosmic Clock which resets the time counter.
- Magic Mushroom which kills WorldRunner on touch.
There are also many super stars in each stage; collecting them will increase the player's score.
Quadrants also contain warp balloons which will transport the Worldrunner to a bonus stage. Bonus quadrants are filled with super stars and columns with power-ups.
3D World Runner is not a very rare game, even complete; however, most complete versions still do not have the 3D glasses originally included with the game.
A sequel to 3D Worldrunner was released in Japan for the Famicom only entitled JJ.