Sega Game Gear Appreciation Thread: Separating The Men From The Boys

Color Portable Video Game System

Codename:Project Mercury
Generation: 4th
Released:JP October 6, 1990
NA:] April 26, 1991
EU: June 24, 1991

Launch Price: NA $149.99
JP¥ 19,800
EU £99.99
Units Sold 10.62 Million
Total Games Released By Region:
JP: 196
NA: 233
Eu: 196
Games Produced:Over 350

Technical Specifications:
Proccessor: 8-bit 3.5 mhz Zlog Z80 Chip
Screen Size: 3.2 Square inches
Display Resolution: 160X144
Colors Available:4096
Colors Diplayed on Screen: 32
Sprite Size: 8X8
Maximum Sprites:64
Ram: 8KB
Video Ram:16KB
Audio:Texas Instruments SN76489 (Mono Audio Output) Same Chip as the Sega Master System (Stereo Output) through Headphone Jack

AC Adapter: Input 120V 60HZ 6W
Output 9V DC 300 mA
Batteries Required: 6 AA, Alkaline Recomended
Battery Life: 3-5 hours
Media: ROM Cartridge 1M-Bit to 8M-Bit
Discontinued: 1997
Successor: Sega Nomad

Action Accessories Available for the Total Game Gear Experence

Deluxe Carrying Case holding 12 Games
TV Tuner
Master Gear Converter
Car Adapter
Gear-to-Gear Cable
Rechargeable Battery Pack
AC Adapter
Wider Gear Screen Magnifier

Launch Titles:
Game Prices Ranged from $24.99-$29.99

North America:
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Coloums G-Loc: Air Battle
Psychic World
Revenge of Drancon
Super Monico GP

Super Monaco GP

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Coloums G-Loc: Air Battle
Psychic World
Revenge of Drancon
Super Monico GP
Dragon Crystal
Wonder Boy

Much like the Genesis, Sega had created and advertised the Game Gear as a mature handheld, to compete with the Nintendo Gameboy. Sega had some memorable advertising with their “Genesis Does what Nintendon’t” advertisment. A lot of people seem to forget that Sega had backlash from a paticular ad, “If you were color blind and had an IQ of less than 12, then you wouldn’t mind which portable you had."

Nintendo had organized protests against Sega for insulting Disabled people. Sega of America president Tom Kalinske responded by saying “Nintendo should spend more time improving their products and marketing rather than working on behind-the-scenes coercive activities."

Sega of Japan did not take this approach and decided to advertise the Game gear as a cooler option and feature Japaneses women in their ads.

Game Gear Prototype

Games of Note:

Shining Force: Sword of Hayja

Shinobi II: The Silent Fury

Dragon Crystal

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe

Defenders Of Oasis

Fantasy Zone GG

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap

Game Gear Games Available on Virtual Console
Dragon Crystal
Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble
Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
Sonic The Hedgehog
Defenders of Oasis
Sonic Blast
Tails Adventure
Crystal Warriors
Sonic Labyrinth
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
G-LOC: Air Battle
Sonic Drift 2
Vampire: Master of Darkness

The symptoms of faulty capacitors include

Distorted Audio from the main speaker and or Headphone jack.
Bright parts of the picture create ‘ghost lines’ in the dark parts.
Screen looks washed out, dim, and lacking in contrast.
System shuts off completely. Sega Game Gear Repair & Restoration Modern LCD Screen Replacement Video How to Connect a Sega Game Gear to a TV via RGB SCART Connecting a Sega Game Gear to any TV"]Sega Game Gear RGB, Composite, S-Video Out Mod with LCD Upgrade



I loved my Game Gear, it followed me everywhere. I used it as a portable Master System (which I also had) with the Master Gear converter.

I spent a lot of time on both Ecco games:

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I still use my Game Gear which is why i desperately need a recap and a McWill mod.

Man, I really need to get my GG screen backlight modded one of these days.

My new(ish) GG

Have since put a new glass screen on it. The glass screen is classy but of course flat, it doesn’t seem right compared to the curved surface of the original plastic one.


That’s a nice one, D.Lo! Growing up, my brother had a Game Boy, and I had a Game Gear, so I loved that thing. I recently recapped mine, so it’s still trucking along. Hoping to pick up an Everdrive for it soon.

During Surgery



Nice job!! I don’t have the balls to open mine up.

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I really wish the GameGear could be anything but a major disappointment of my childhood. Sure, it isn’t a dumpster fire like the 32x but I remember lobbying for it for YEARS and when foster parents finally got it for me (selling gameboy and games to afford it) I got to find out just how bad the screen was and how just being in color wasn’t enough to make up for it. Tails Adventure was the one bright spot for me, being a really good game that couldn’t be played in a better version elsewhere.

I was lucky enough to have a Game Gear, Game Boy, and Lynx back in the day. All three were great in different ways and complemented each other well. It would be hard to pick a favourite. I think the GG often gets unfairly shit on because its gems are often more obscure than the GB’s.

What I loved about the GG:

  • It arguably had the best portable games in certain genres: Shining Force for SRPGs, the Shinobi games for action-platformers, the Aleste games for vertical shooters, Devilish for ball/paddle games, Fatal Fury for fighting games.

  • When I bought the system in 1991, it came with Columns. Afterwards, Sega of America had a promotion where you could send in the box’s UPC and get Sonic free. I didn’t think I would qualify but I did end up getting the free game.

  • The Master Gear Converter was cool because it let me play SMS games on the go. It had graphical gliches on some games but most played fine.

  • I was able to get UK Sega magazines here in Canada so I knew I was missing out on new SMS games. At least with the GG, a bunch of these did come out in North America as ports or simultaneous releases. I did have some access to Japanese imports. Finding GG Aleste locally was awesome.

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Gotta recap both mine, but I’m happy with my little collection. I’ll try get a pic up sometime. I particularly like it cos they’re all CIB and I probably paid an average of like $2-3 each for them lol.

The Gunstar port on GG is pretty damn good all things considered! M2 did a wonderful job.

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Wow, M2 did that port? Had no idea, must have been one of their first? I bought a mint boxed copy of GG Gunstar Heroes cheap back in 2000 off eBay, really expensive now. Will post a pic when I can.

I grabbed a free, busted, GG that’s im going to turn into a consolized GG when I get the time. I’m pretty excited about that!

Took me years to get my own one. For me it was killer to have Wonder Boy on a handheld (and Alex Kidd via converter, and Sonic later). I got to borrow my friend’s one back in the day, I literally could not afford to play it due to the battery usage. I didn’t use rechargeable because they were still fairly expensive back then, and also the manual said not to use Nickel Cadmium batteries and I obeyed lol.

Stretching it a bit there IMO, maybe Shining Force is best in breed? Game Boy had pretty much every top Japanese developer releasing great games, and the PC Engine GT played the entire PCE card catalogue.

I wasn’t comparing with the PC Engine GT/Turbo Express or Nomad. The portables that originated as consoles have stronger line ups but it’s not really fair to compare with them.

Game Boy had the largest quantity of developers but I don’t think it had the very best game for each type. I’m curious what action-platformer on Game Boy or Lynx you think would beat Shinobi II. Bionic Commando is probably the closest for me but not as good. Unlike the GG Shinobis which differ quite a bit from console games in the series, it feels a bit of a rehash of a previous game.

Gotta repost this here in case anyone has a Game Gear Everdrive:

Regarding that genre, depends on your definition of ‘action platformer’? Any platformer with a forward attack? Belmont’s Revenge and Operation C, Turtles 1 and 2, Kid Dracula, the Rockman games, Batman ROTJ, Wario Land.

When it comes down to individual game preferences will it will always be hard to agree on any single game being ‘top of the generation’ (apart from some obvious Game Boy knockouts like Link’s Awakening), but Game Boy just has the breadth in all genres. It’s the PS2 of that war.

Indeed, it is one of their first next to Gauntlet IV on Genesis. How much did that copy cost ya back then if you don’t mind me asking?

Finally did up the step-by-step video tutorials for the mcwill modern LCD + TVout mod

and the GG Light Gun mod (my quest to have the ultimate GG)

Awesome thanks for posting. This is something I definitely want to get done, but I’m not sure it’s something I can pull off. I’ll watxh it tomorrow after work.