Fantasy Zone II was designed specifically for the 8-bit Master System, and shakes up the formula in a few ways (its subtitle, The Tears of Opa-Opa, was dropped in the Western releases). There are, once again, eight stages: Pastaria, Sarcand, Hiyarika, Bow Bow, Chaprun, Fuwareak, Sbardian and Wolfin.
Each level is broken down into several subsections that you switch between by running into warp points. Once you’ve cleared all of the bases in the level, you need to track down the special red warp point to encounter the boss. This is all extremely aggravating, because there’s no radar, so you tend to wander around until you find some enemy generators to kill, and hopefully remember where the red warp point is to finish off the level.
The shop balloons are gone too, replaced with stationary “shop clouds“ located at specific points in each level. Each shop also carries different items, with a few power-ups new to this game, like the Shield. The upside is that you can visit the shops any time. However, when you respawn from a death, you’ll be extremely underpowered until you find them. Some special power-ups are also hidden in the scenery. There’s also a Power Meter, allowing you to absorb more than one bullet before dying; directly colliding with foes will still kill you instantly though, until you find some items to extend it.
The background designs are even crazier than before, and show off some of the most colorful graphics on the Master System. Still, while the graphics are great for the system, it’s a huge step down from the arcade version of the first game. Furthermore, the music is a chirpy, terrible mess, which is especially a shame after the original’s catchy tunes. The FM synth soundtrack in the Japanese release is easier on the ear, but still isn’t very good.
Fantasy Zone II was also released in the arcades on the System E board, although it’s practically identical to the SMS version, with a few changes. It replaces the “Power“ meter with a radar. However, even though it shows the locations of the pods, it doesn’t highlight where you are. Each level is also timed, with a little “life“ indicator that slowly counts down to zero. You can only take one hit before dying, but any seconds left when completing a level will grant extra gold.
Fantasy Zone II was also ported to the Famicom and MSX2. Both are quite inferior to the SMS version, with terrible graphics, even worse music, constant slowdown, and in the case of the MSX2 version, choppy scrolling.
A port of the SMS game (with 3D effects, added radar, and area numbers by the warp portals) was included on the retail Sega 3D Classics Collection for the 3DS, along with its remake, Fantasy Zone II DX.