Sega Master System

Games on the Sega Master System

FIRE AND ICE

SNOWBALL FIGHT WITH A COYOTE
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INTRO
As the Amiga’s and Atari ST’s time was coming to an end there were still great games like this one being released. The IBM port of this game didn’t get much attention and the master system version was so cut down it was rubbish and begs the question why they didn’t go with a Megadrive/Genesis version instead!?

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BACKSTORY
So here’s a wacky fucking story for a pretty straight forward game, Suten an intergalactic criminal hides on earth in the desert trying to elude capture. He is being hunted by Glem who tracks him to earth and decides to get one of its inhabitants to do his dirty work for him because he is a giant pussy! He doesn’t want a human as he sees them as stupid and clumsy! Sutens magic is affecting the other simpler animals so he decides to choose a fucking coyote and will help him subtly from a distance.

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GAMEPLAY
You start this side scrolling platformer in the Arctic and move your way through gradually hotter levels until you get to the desert at the end. This is apparently Glems way of gradually getting you ready to take one Suten. Movement is done via the joystick with jump being up, and the button firing little snow balls which is your primary weapon. Other than snowballs you can pick up other more powerful one off weapons from hidden ice boxes around the level and lightning bolts from shooting rain clouds. Shooting enemies freezes them so you can run through and shatter them, but make sure you do this before they thaw You occasionally get a little puppy following you that is invincible and helps by running through baddies but is generally pretty useless. To complete a level you must find all the pieces of a key which number 6 from the enemies and find the exit door. A time limit it is in place which is the sunsets in the background which you get 6.

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IN THE REAL WORLD
In the Arctic throwing snow balls at enemies makes sense but in the jungle or desert what the fuck!? Where is he getting the fucking snow?! Biology wasn’t my strongest subject but I’m pretty sure if you freeze an animal it will die and still be dead even when thawed. Sonic the Hedge Hog was in the same boat all his animal pals were turned against him but he had the decency to break them out of there robot skin and they hopped away, Cool Coyote leaves none alive! That’s how you be cool kids!

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CONCLUSION
This game was the most colourful game I owned apart from Zool and Trolls, the setting sunset in the background was ground breaking for the time. Also the mini map of the world stretched the entire base of the screen with beautiful shimmering water that would load up a good minute before the game was ready, giving you something to look at. The levels had heaps of hidden boxes, weapons and things to do and all the enemies were varied and unique to their levels. The only issue was there wasn’t a save option you had to complete the game with 3 lives and many levels had leaps of faith that would generally have you landing on a bad guy. That being said it can’t take away from such a beautiful a game that is actually fun to play so bring this one back!

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WORTH REPLAYING?

GOOD
Amazing graphics
Nice touches in animation
Awesome world map
Heaps of variety in levels

BAD
Leaps of faith
Your puppy is a half wit
No save option

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Released on the Amiga & Atari ST in 1992, then ported to PC & Sega master system.

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ALEX KIDD: IN MIRACLE WORLD

BIG EARS & BIG FISTS

Released on the Sega Master System. Date of release 1986.

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INTRO
Alex Kidd was Sega’s first attempt as a Mario killer, they ended up dumping his ass and pinned their hopes on Sonic the Hedgehog. So what went wrong and why is his name foreign to most new gamers?

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BACKSTORY
You play as Alex Kidd (well duh!) a child that was stolen from his family as a baby by an evil lord. For some reason you end up on a mountain learning “Shellcore” an ancient art that makes you strong enough to break stone into pieces. One day on a walk you find a dying man who tells you that the heir to the throne of Radactian (Igul) and his fiancée have been abducted and that you are his half-brother, making you are part of the royal family. So it’s up to you to get him back and save Radaction.

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GAMEPLAY
This is a scrolling platformer like Super Mario Bros except unlike Mario bros it doesn’t always scroll to the right; you actually start by going down then right in just the first level. Left and right on the D-Pad control your movement with down allowing you to squat, button 1 to jump and button 2 to punch. As in Mario bros you break bricks by punching them and these hide valuable items for you to collect. The items found in bricks range from money bags in two sizes (big and small) and special items. Special Items include a ring that shoots a ray across the screen destroying any bricks and enemies in its path, an extra life and a reaper that kills Alex on contact, so run!

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At the start of most levels you will enter a shop that you can buy amongst other things a motorbike and helicopter (depending of the layout of the level.). Boss fights consist of a best of three game of paper, rock, scissors. Like Mario of the day you couldn’t save games so you had to start from the beginning when you died, there was however an undocumented code that allowed you to continue indefinitely once you died.

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IN REALITY
OK you find out that you have a family that you never knew of and your half-brother (that you have never met) has been abducted, will you risk your life to save them? Fuck no! Did they search for you when you were abducted? If they were still searching for you they probably wouldn’t have been abducted in the first place! Personally I would turn up and introduce myself to mum and dad (the queen and king) and take my rightful place as the next heir to the throne!

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In this fantasy world there are dragons and a big ass octopus and that’s fine but motorbikes and helicopters seem a little out of place. The dragons did look surprised as I shot past them at 150 on my Kawasaki! So you punch your way through the level and finally get to the boss fight to be confronted with a game of rock, paper, scissors what the fuck. I’ve got massive fucking fists, he’s going to know my move every time, that’s bullshit!! Punch him in the face and end this bullshit game!

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CONCLUSION
I owned a master system and this game was every bit as good Mario. It had better graphics, way better level design, heaps more to do and collect. There always seemed to be something new to be found every time you played this game, it was very deep for a platformer that bordered on an adventure game and maybe this was its downfall. Mario bros was simple, go right as fast as you can collecting coins and getting maybe three different types of powerups reach the flagpole, rinse and repeat. Alex on the other hand had different ways to traverse, shops, over 10 different items to buy with different attributes and boss fight that were just odd.

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Also Mario was after “The Princess” simple and straight forward, whereas Alex was after a Prince called fucking “Igul” who’s a guy with a shit name. What teenage boy wants to rescue another boy?! This was the first game I had on my Master System and I loved it and I can’t help but think that it might have still been around today if it had a few tweaks before its release. So Mario won and I think it can be summed up by something Steve Jobs said ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’.

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