A Handy Guide to the Shadowrun Multiverse

Shadowrun has known many incarnations. The rest of this site is dedicated to the four editions of the pen-and-paper roleplaying game, which shares a communal and aggregate history, known among players as "canon." This page details other Shadowrun games that do not make up part of this history. This is a guide to these seperate game universes and important plot points - where the games intersect with canon, and where they break off. It does not include tips a tricks, walthroughs, screenshots, cheat codes, ROMs, emulators, or detailed card listings. However, it does contain plot spoilers. You have been informed.


FASA Corporation, 1990

DMZ (Downtown Militarized Zone) is a pseudo-boardgame designed to mimic urban combat in the Shadowrun Universe. The boxed set came with booklets of rules and archetypes, maps, and sheets of colorful cardboard figures and plastic stands (though many gamers preferred using Shadowrun miniatures). The universe does not differ from the canon, set in the year 2050. The DMZ rules are modified version Shadowrun 1st Edition.

Shadowrun (SNES)

Developed by Beam Software and released by Data East, 1993

A roleplaying game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super Famicon. For the most part, the game universe conforms to canon and is set in Seattle in the 2050. The following exceptions are notable:

Despite these inconsistencies, the Shadowrun (SNES) game is fairly consistent with Shadowrun canon, including the names of equipment, the presence of all four metahuman races (as well as some critters, such as vampires, nagas, shapeshifters, and dragons), and notable names such as Maria Mercurial and the Rust Stilleto gang.

Last but not least, it should be noted that Shadowrun (SNES) promises at the end that there will be a Shadowrun 2 - which was never produced.

Shadowrun (SEGA)

Developed by BlueSky Software and released by SEGA, 1994

A roleplaying game released for the SEGA Genesis and SEGA Mega Drive. The game universe does not diverge significantly from canon and is set in Seattle in 2053. Several points worth noting:

Shadowrun (SEGA CD)

Developed by Group SNE and released by Compile, 1996

An interactive fiction game released (in Japanese Only) for the SEGA Mega CD system, an add-on to the SEGA Mega CD. An English translation has never, to the best of my knowledge, been made. It appears that the game is based on the Japanese translation of the Shadowrun pen-and-paper roleplaying game, which were significantly adapted for the Japanese audience. Shadowrun (SEGA CD) is set in Neo Tokyo. It's most notable breach from canon appears to be the lack of Goblinized metahumans (orks and trolls).

Shadowrun (TCG)

Released by FASA Corporation, 1997

A trading card game (TCG), Shadowrun (TCG) was developed as a collectable and customizable card game for two or more players. Along with the main set was produced one one expansion set, Underworld, several promotional cards, and a short-lived magazine. The general universe is taken from the canon in 2058, with minor differences, most notably the presence of what appear to be full body cyborgs (such as Skwaaaark) and certain 'dead' characters such as Hatchman (though he does have an updated Hatchetman 2057 card) and Fuchi; and historical events such as Ragnarock! and the Cermak Blast. Gameplay is significantly different mechanically from every edition, but is thematically in line with regards to the basic rules of the game universe. Numerous characters and locales are taken from canon, especially 'Prime Runners' such as Sally Tsung, Dodger, and Ghost Who Walks.

Shadowrun: Duels

Released by WizKids LLC, 2003

A collectable action figure game, where posable six-inch plastic action figures, equipped with various gear and posed on large 'clicky' bases, engage in duels with each other. The game produced two sets of six characters, a promotional character, a set of promotional gear cards, and a trilogy by Steven Kenson. The universe is taken from the canon in 2063, with negligible differences. Several of the characters were based on art examples from Shadowrun Third Edition archetypes (such as Liada the Elven mage). Mechanically based on similiar Clix mechanics rather than canon rules.

Shadowrun (X360)

Due for release by Microsoft Corporation in 2007

Due for release as a first person shooter (FPS) for both the X Box 360 and the Windows Vista. Shadowrun (X360) appears to differ drastically from canon. Set in Santos, Brazil in 2021. This entry will be upgraded once the game is released.

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