Sega 8-bit (SG1000 to Master System) |OT| - Taking it to Mark III


That cleaned up rather well. Good job. Maybe with a little car polish you could remove some of the scratches too on the silver section.


My first console was the master system, the rectangular power base one with the card slot on the front, it was the set with light gun that had hang on and safari hunt built in, but it also had a secret snail game built in, you had to hold down certain buttons on the control pad when switching on the console to access it, does anyone else remember this game? I can’t even remember how I discovered it


Yes, Snail Maze is built into the bios of all early models.

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That’s it thanks


I often wonder if SEGAs success was a result of talent or more a result of publishers and retailers being sick of Nintendo’s iron grip.

There’s no doubt they had some talented hardware and software people working for them though but that doesn’t always mean success at retail.


Combination of both I think. You can also argue that their development was so good it saved them from corporate mistakes much longer than they would have survived near the top otherwise.

Take out the surprise Saturn US launch, Stolar killing Saturn and leaving tons of games in Japan along with 32X and even the lackluster Sega CD support, all driven by significant corporate infighting and stupidity, and Sega is likely still in the mix somehow today.


In the UK at least, in the late 80’s & early 90’s Sega’s home console success was helped by the arcades, at the time many of the arcade games we played were Sega and people wanted as close to an arcade experience as possible at home, I remember people saying it’s almost “arcade perfect” a lot! everyone played space harrier, afterburner, outrun and hang on etc at the arcades and it was an easy transition to a sega home console.
This headstart carried them for a while but once we moved onto 3D games and home console games became more than just arcade game clones sega fell behind and no amount of talent was going to save them, the arrival of the Playstation sealed their fate, it was just so good at the time, I only knew one person that had a Sega Saturn, there was no reason to own a saturn here because at the time borrowing games from friends was a big thing.


Yea, Sega’s arcade presence alone is a testament to their former talent. They were on par with Capcom, Nintendo, Namco, Konami, SNK, etc.

The Genesis and Dreamcast each shared a lot of DNA with arcade cabs both in software and hardware.

Genesis sold due, in part, to strong first party support and everyone’s obsession with Sonic too. They just never had a Gameboy/Pokémon like combo to help them weather the storm through console development slumps.


Sega were by far the best arcade company of the 80s and 90s.Absolutely no question. They had the best engineers, the best hardware, and the best games for almost two decades, starting with Turbo in 1981, all the way through to the last Model 3 games in the late 90s.

In home consoles, they were a scrappy budget outfit who outsourced a lot, were constantly playing catch up, just threw stuff at the wall to see what would stick, and pretty quickly started to use the cheapest nastiest factories and parts in China etc as early as the late 80s.

Somehow they still managed to have some great games! But man, the actual management…

Look at the history of their (TV based) console releases (counting major revisions/redesigns but not counting international releases separately)

1983 SG1000
1983 SC3000
1984 SG1000 II (pretty dramatic redesign with new features)
1985 Mark III
1987 Master System (Japanese version with extra features built in)
1988 Mega Drive
1990 Mega CD
1990 Master System II (dramatic redesign removing features)
1993 Pico
1993 Mega Drive 2
1993 Mega CD 2
1994 32X
1994 Saturn
1998 Dreamcast

I might even have missed some? The Majesco ones if they count?

Compare this to Nintendo’s equivalent:

1983 Famicom
1986 Famicom Disk System
1990 Super Famicom
1993 AV Famicom
1995 Nintendo 64
1995 Satellaview
1998 Super Famicom Jr (97 in the US)
1999 64DD
2001 GameCube

Just two much later budget revisions of old consoles, and three Japan-only add ons, otherwise pretty much a clean list of main platforms only. Nintendo was also all Japanese manufactured for this entire period.

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How come you count the Mark III and the Master System, but not the Super Nintendo or NES?

You’re right though, the Sega hardware was always a jumbled mess, and the quality certainly didn’t hold up the way Nintendo did. They really lost it when their solution to the competition of the SNES was to put out the 32X and the Sega CD. Just terrible deductions… In my opinion they brought it back with the Saturn and the Dreamcast, but the public had already jumped ship.

I love the Sega stuff, and I grew up with the Master System, Game Gear, SNES and Gameboy. By the time SNES hit the market, I could clearly see the quality difference, despite being a hardcore Sega fanboy. They had better 1st party titles, better overall game quality, and higher quality hardware.

Granted, the Master System “feels” cheaper in the hand, but it’s far easier to find a good working one over a NES, due to the front loaders being so hard on the 72 pin connectors.


In Japan, the Master System in a separate revision with extra hardware built in. It’s not just a simple western case redesign like the NES.

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I recently finished Phantasy Star 1 on switch and I was VERY surprised how much I enjoyed it. I played on “ages mode” which increases the XP and gold and decreases the encounter rate as well as adding a map for the dungeons. You’re still on your own for the overworld but I couldn’t imagine doing these dungeons blind especially as you get later in the game and theres lots of trap doors to fall down. I followed a guide as many recommend but I feel if I wrote down everything every town member said I would have been able to get through without much difficulty.

The overall game holds up fantastic though! I enjoyed the simple combat and really loved the first person dungeons. The story is great and the progression is tight. Even if I didn’t play with training wheels I would have thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s really caused my interest in Master System games to sky rocket!


Wrote up this on the premium mid-80s home Outrun experience.


That looks awesome… what if you were to buy a cheap rock band pedal and wire it into a button, so you could use it like a gas pedal?


Since this is just a thread I spam my links on now…


It’s okay, I will always appreciate the 8-bit Sega stuff!

This is cool as hell man, I love it.

How are those early Sega joysticks to use?

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I love your posts. Don’t stop. :slight_smile:


Yeah, I always enjoy reading those.


The controllers are pretty crap
Like an original VCS controller, using the same leaf connectors, but worse.


What do folks figure is the market price for a Master system at this point?

I stopped by the mom n’ pop game shop in a town near mine and was surprised to see that they had a Master System in stock. They usually only really have more common stuff like SNES and Genesis era and newer, and I never figured Master System was all that popular in my part of Canada.

Anyway they priced it at C$99. Reasonable or unreasonable?

Perhaps the best way to play is instead to use the cart adaptor for Genesis, but then I guess you’re not getting ‘the real experience’.