Sega Master System – Phantasy Star

We are at the 342nd century of the sidereal era on three planets of the Algol solar system. On the planet Palma, under the democratic rule of King Lassic, people were happy and lived in tranquillity and peace. Palma scientists had developed, some 200 years ago, space travel which led to the colonization of the otherer two planets of the solar system, Motavia and Dezoris.

Unfortunately, the situation did not last. Gradually things started to change. A new religion appeared and a rumour was running that it came from another galaxy. The priests, about whom nothing was known and nobody had ever seen, promised immortality to all those who would join them. The king, who was beginning to get old, entertained the idea of eternal life. So, he was the first one to be converted to this religion. Then Lassic completely changed. One day, the priests offered him a mystical armor, from the day he put it on, he started ruling as an evil and corrupt tyrant.

The game is amazing, especially when compared with other titles of the Master System. It offers a first person view in the dungeons and a display approaching 3D games that come out much later. It may be noted that the game is one of the first cartridges to include an internal memory for saving the player’s progress.

What jumps out right away is the fact that the game is pretty, very pretty for the ability of the time. The city is large (Caminet, capital of Palma), composed of three parts connected by gateways, themselves guarded by guards. Furthermore, approaching a resident, entering a building or even when using the main menu we are shown a pseudo first-person view which offers a new perspective of the city. All of this with shimmering colors and a design that does not lack taste. For sure, the graphics perfectly contribute to the ambience and honor the Master System capabilities. But it does not stop there, throughout the game you will encounter a wide variety of environments: from the plains of Palma, the Dezoris’ snowy steppe passing through Motavia’s rocky desert, we get the feeling that we are truly travelling, a surprising feat for an over 20 years old game!

Sega Master System – Action Fighter

Action Fighter is a vehicular combat game developed and published by Sega in 1986. First launched in Arcade, the game was later adapted for the Amiga, the Amstrad CPC, the Commodore 64, thr DOS, the Master System and finally for the ZX Spectrum.

You play a secret agent who receives a letter from the President to perform a top-secret mission. In short; Your mission, pilot a bike that will turn into a car and then into a plane ( by recovering the other letters ) can eliminate many enemies. Each level scrolled vertically and has some races where the player must navigate an area as soon as possible and a ” shoot them up ” part. The game’s mechanics are modeled on the classic Spy Hunter came from Midway in 1983.

Sega Master System – Alex Kidd

Alex Kidd was before Sonic (Sega’s mascot) the first character created by developers like Sega Kotaro Hayashida and Rieko Kodama. Alex kidd appeared for the first time in 1980 in the game Fantazy Zone as the official mascot of Sega. He gets his first game in 1986; Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Interestingly, in the cartridge version of the game, the character has the head and fists disproportionate and feeds onigris (rice dumpling) while in the version included in the console he eats a hamburger. In fact, Alex is a 14 year old boy (manga style) from the 1980s inspired by Bruce Lee and Sun Wukong.

Unfortunately, the character would know have a few years of glory, too Japanese at heart, he was not really suited at the time for the international market. Moreover, with the onset of Genesis, Sega definitely wanted younger looking mascot. Alex Kidd was too childish and no longer corresponded to the image of the company. Sega had therefore created a new mascot able to seduce the North American market. Sonic the Hedgehog was born in 1991.

Sega – Master System

The third generation home console is launched in Japan in 1985, with Alex Kidd as its mascot. The console is latter redrawn before being sold in the US as the Sega Master System in June 1986, one year after the release of the NES. Its selling price is then $ 200. Although the Master System is on one or a few points more advanced than the NES, it does not reach the same level of popularity in the United States. This deficit in popularity is amongst others attributable to the larger quantity of games on the NES and to its additional marketing year.

The Japanese firm then has 90% of the North American market. Hayou Nakayama (CEO of Sega) decides to not deploy much effort on the marketing side. In 1988, the rights related to the console in North America are sold to Tonka, but the popularity of the Master System continues to decrease.

In the 1990s, Sega is successful with the Sega Genesis and redeems the rights of the Master System from Tonka. Sega then launched a redesigned version of the Master System, the Master System II. This new more compact version, no longer has a “reset” button or port that accepts cartridges in card format. These last two changes are made to minimize production costs.