The Third Moon is the final stage from the original Arcade game and all its ports. In Japanese, the stage is also known officially as The Third Moon's Capital (第３の月の都). The intro text shown at the beginning of the stage is written in Nordic runes, and spells out "ᚦᛖ ᛏᚻᛚᚱᛒ ᛗᛟᛟᚾ", phonetically spelling "The Thirb Moon", notably misspelling the word "Third".
Built with the most advanced technology found on Earth, The Third Moon is a satellite station which serves as Grandmaster Meio's base and absolute center of his dictatorship. Its main structure is known as the "Imperial Capital" (帝都), an artificial city heavily defended by soldiers and machines, and where the satellite's core, the Anti-Gravity Device, is located. From within this city the Grandmaster watches over Earth and conducts his twisted experiments.
Having solved the mystery of life and after the creation of the Anti-Gravity Device, Meio devised "The Third Moon Plan": by using the power of the device to launch the Third Moon off Earth's atmosphere, it'd create a combustion similar to thermonuclear weapons that would erase all life on Earth, killing all "Sons of Old Gods" and leaving a "New World" for him to repopulate with his own lifeforms.
However, Hiryu found out the truth behind the "Third Moon Plan" and, having discovered the station through the Amazoness that once worshiped Meio as a god, made his way towards it intent on finishing his mission. Once he arrived at the place of the final battle, Hiryu moved past the strong defenses of the Imperial Capital, aiming at the core of the station. Finding and destroying the Anti-Gravity Device, Hiryu stopped Meio's plans. Pursuing the escaping Meio, both have their final showdown on an escape pod, with Hiryu's final victory over the evil sorcerer.
Note: Area names are not official
Imperial Capital - Exterior
The exterior area where Hiryu starts out. The starting point is a platform with a Mr. Elephant ready to attack. Following is a giant satellite dish and a stepped platform, which leads into a large depression in front of the city entrance. In the middle of the depression stands a long pillar with another dish and several platforms where soldiers and a single Shadow Tag Bullets Soldier stand guard, as well as several metallic cables (which act similar to the Amazon's vines). The far end of the area is a wall going up with more platforms, housing more enemies and Frog robots.
Imperial Capital - Inner Chambers
This area is almost entirely in an inverse-gravity effect, forcing Hiryu to move upside-down through the ceiling. Following a small entrance, there's a narrow corridor with several drill spears coming up from the ground. In the upper area there's an optional small room housing the fight with the gray-clothed Kuniang team. Following from the corridor, Hiryu reaches the largest room in the area: a squarish space overrun with Hit Mouses and with several drill spears coming out from both the floor and walls. There's practically no ceiling, which with the inverse gravity means Hiryu can end up falling 'up' and out to his death.
This complicated area requires very precise movements and knowing both the enemies' patterns and the spear movements in order to get through without damage. Going down into a small entrance at the end of the area is the Anti-Gravity Device's chamber, identical in shape to the one in the Balrog.
Corridor & Escape Pod
Going through the shaft below the Anti-Gravity Device's chamber, Hiryu reaches Novo's room, similar to the one in St. Petersburg. After destroying Novo, there's a straight corridor with several platforms over a chasm and a few robot enemies, leading to a long platforms where Hiryu fights against previous stage's bosses resurrected by Meio.
The platform leads to a dead end, but fortunately Ouroboros appears and carries Hiryu to the final area, as Meio speaks about his plans. The escape pod (also called the Supreme Tower in English) is a tall tower with several branching platforms at the sides, each containing an Item Box with useful power-ups. As soon as Ouroboros is destroyed, it takes flight and the Grandmaster appears for the final boss fight.
Enemies present in this stage include:
- Mr. Elephant
- Flying Mosqueman
- Hit Mouse
- Shadow Tag Bullets Soldier
- Boss: Kuniang M.A. Team (optional)
- Boss: Anti-Gravity Device
- Boss: Novo
- Boss: Solo (optional)
- Boss: Mecha Pon
- Boss: Lago
- Boss: Ouroboros
- Boss: Grandmaster Meio
- Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 36. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 4
- Gamest Staff (October 15, 1992). "Capcom Game Street". Gamest Extra: All Capcom (81). Pg. 42-45.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 3
- Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 42. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider (English). Instruction manual, Pg. 16