Site Sections

Sega MegaDrive FAQ

  Frequently Asked Questions 
	Version 2.2
Written and updated by: Chris Foulger	(

This F.A.Q is written from a European (U.K) point of view if anyone
in the U.S or Japan or Hong Kong wants to help me out with regard to 
Genesis/Megadrive information I will be more than happy.

Thanks to the following contributors
Jon Dyton		(
Jon Legg		(
Ron Kiser		(
Andy Welburn	(
Matthew Nielson
Adri			(j.hoogestege@hccnet .nl)

Distribution notice
You are free to distribute this F.A.Q as long as it is kept intact,
Including this notice if you have any corrections or additional
for this F.A.Q let me know.
Also if you put this F.A.Q on your website let me know and I will send 
you the updates.

This F.A.Q is not endorsed by Sega Enterprises or Sega Europe. 
No guarantee is made to the accuracy of the information
in this F.A.Q All trademarks and copyrights are recognized.

Where to find the latest version this F.A.Q
WWW: http//

E-MAIL: by request to 

I. General information
   1.1 What is the Sega Megadrive?
   1.2 What is the history of the Megadrive?
   1.3 What is the difference between Megadrive 1, 2 and 3? 
   1.4 What are the technical specifications of the Megadrive?
   1.5 What are the aesthetic differences between each Megadrive?
   1.6 How many different variations of the Megadrive exist?
   1.7 What pack-in variations exist?

II. Compatibility
   2.1 can you play Japanese or U.S games on a U.K Megadrive?
   2.2 Can you play Master System Games on A Megadrive?
   2.3 Can you play Game Gear games on a Megadrive?

III. Software
   3.1 What games are Available for the Megadrive?
   3.2 Who is Sonic the Hedgehog?
   3.3 How many sonic games are available for the Megadrive?
   3.4 Do any games use extra chips for better graphics?
   3.5 In Japanese text mode are there any differences to U.K games?
   3.6 What Japanese games had different names in the U.K & U.S?
   3.7 What unreleased games were there?
   3.8 What games were released in the U.K but not in the U.S?
   3.9 what game packaging variations are there?
IV. Accessories
   4.1 What accessories are available?
   4.2 What multiplayer accessories exist?
   4.3 What are J-carts?
   4.4 What cheating cartridges are available?
   4.5 Were there any unreleased accessories?

V. Upgrades
  5.1 What is the Mega CD? 
  5.2 What are the technical specifications of the Mega CD?
  5.3 What is the 32x? 
  5.4 What are the technical specifications of the 32x?
  5.5 Is it possible to play import 32X games on a U.K 32X?		

VI. Trivia
I General Information
1.1 What is the Sega Megadrive?

The Sega Megadrive was the first true 16 bit video game console 
and was made by Sega.

1.2  What is the history of the Megadrive?

After the 1984 videogames market crash cartridge based consoles had lost 
acceptance in the consumer market in favor of cheaper disk and tape based 
systems such as the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore 64.
About 1987 things were beginning to change in the marketplace and 
consoles had begun selling again. Master System achieved reasonable sales of 
230,000 units in Europe and the Nintendo N.E.S in America that was estimated to 
be installed in one out of three American households. 
Sega saw that time was right for a more adventurous console and more
importantly that people were willing to pay for more expensive 
Cartridge software.
16 bit machines had already reached home computer users by 1987 
through the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST. A cheap powerful 
Instant loading console based on this technology that was more 
than capable of replicating the best arcade games of the time 
was bound to be a top seller.
The first version of the Megadrive was released in Japan in 
October 1988. The four games available Super Thunderblade, Alex Kidd and the 
Enchanted Castle, Altered Beast and Space Harrier 2 showed how much better the 
Megadrive could handle arcade conversions compared to the equivalent home 
A large profitable grey import market quickly grew up around
the Megadrive and N.E.C's also powerful console the PC Engine 
Supplying gamers with these consoles raising awareness of the
Megadrive before the official release.
The Megadrive was renamed Genesis and released in America in 
September 1989. sports simulations were very popular in America 
especially John Madden and NHL ice hockey that helped sell the machine.
The early launch of the Genesis in America gained a lot of the market
from Nintendo before they could get their 16 bit Super Nintendo on sale.
A European launch followed in November 1990 and caught the Christmas rush.
Virgin Mastertronic distributed the Megadrive in the U.K. The first
U.K shipment of 30 000 units went to the larger chain stores of the time  
Comet, Dixons, Rumbelows and Toys R Us and sold steadily for 189.99.   
Western third party publishers like Electronic Arts, Disney and later on Acclaim 
were eager to sign up to produce games for the Megadrive expanding the 
variety of titles available, Showing that the Megadrive could handle 
more than just arcade titles, Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse from 
Disney and Populous from Electronic arts being two such examples.
But is was with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog and a subsequent pack-in that 
saw sales really take off.
A year later a sequel was created (sonic 2) and Backed by an imaginative 
marketing campaign (sonic 2uesday) became the Megadrive's biggest selling title 
ever. The Megadrive caught the media attention in a really big way and Sega 
sponsored all kinds of sport, music events and other products, continuing to 
bring awareness of video gaming to a wider audience and increasing sales.
The successful sales continued and two separate upgrades were produced a CD ROM 
drive and a 32 bit adapter although due to poor software support they never 
achieved the same success as the base unit.
The Megadrive was the early 90's most successful console and gained a huge 
library of arcade conversions, sports and original titles. The machines early 
Success lay in its accurate conversions of popular arcade games. Later on in its 
life innovative marketing wide range of great software and a 99.99 price point 
for the Megadrive played a part in its 
Success. The last games released were at the end of 1997 in Europe and late 1998 
in America.

1.3  What is the difference between Megadrive 1,2 and 3? 

In an effort to increase the sales and reduce manufacturing costs the  
Megadrive was redesigned in 1993 and this was known as the Megadrive 2.
The technical specifications remained the same but the casing and some  
features were changed as follows:

* Headphone jack removed
* A/V port changed to a custom multi out port that now provides stereo sound to 
T.V's (previously only Mono was outputted on Megadrive 1 as the headphone port 
was used for stereo sound.)
* RF out port removed
* Auto switching RF lead included
* Power lead port made smaller and a different AC adapter used
* Push button power switch 

Japanese Megadrive 2

There are also a few slight differences to the Japanese Megadrive 2 as listed 
below, although the size and shape remain identical the western version of the 
Megadrive 2. 

* Slide switch remained 
* Japanese Version had red colored flaps on the cartridge port
* no power LED  
*The text "high grade multi purpose intelligent terminal" embossed just behind 
the cartridge port

*Packaged with a 6 button pad as standard

Genesis 3
Smaller than a Megadrive 2 and was released only on the U.S under license from 
Sega by a company called Majesco in 1997. This version of the Genesis was 
incompatible with the 32X and Mega/Sega CD

1.4  What are the technical specifications of the Megadrive?

C.P.U	                   Motorola M68000 16 bit processor 
                         running at 7.67Mhz
Sound C.P.U              Z80a running at 3.58 MHz
Main sound chip		 Yamaha YM2612 6 channel FM
Additional sound chip    4 channel PSG
Palette                  512
Onscreen colours         64
Maximum onscreen sprites 80
Resolution		       320 x 224
Outputs                  separate R.F aerial and R.G.B outputs (AUX connector - 
Megadrive 1 only),
                         stereo headphone jack (original model only)
                         9 pin EXT port (Early original model only)
Expansion port on the bottom right hand side for Mega CD
2 nine pin joypad connectors on the front of the machine.

1.4 What are the aesthetic differences between each version of Megadrive?

Aesthetics for the Megadrive 1 width 28.5 cm height 5 cm length 22.5 cm the 
original Japanese Megadrive had a Gloss black finish. There was large logo in 
gold "16 BIT" On the circular molding on the top of the Megadrive also around 
this circle was printed the text "multi purpose intelligent terminal". At the 
bottom of the circle is a square section in purple. To the left side of the 
console are the cooling vents. "Sega Megadrive" is printed in white on the lower 
right of the console. The reset button on the machine is blue as is the start 
button on the joypad.

For the American Genesis the "16 BIT" logo was slightly smaller. Text in white 
was printed around the circular molding and reads "High Definition Graphics" A 
large Genesis logo was printed in front of the cartridge port. The reset button 
and start button on the joypad are both now white.

The European Megadrive had the text "high grade multi purpose intelligent 
terminal" printed around the circle and the smaller "16 BIT" logo was used. 
"Sega Megadrive" was printed in the same place as the Japanese machine. The 
Reset button and start button are white.

There is also an Asian Megadrive had no text printed around the circle and the 
larger "16 BIT" logo was used. "Sega Megadrive" was printed in the same place as 
the Japanese machine. The Reset button and start button are blue. This is often 
mistaken for a Japanese Megadrive 
But internally is identical to the U.K Megadrive and has a PAL output. 

1.5  What different variations of the Megadrive exist?

Original Japanese version (Megadrive 1) featuring headphone jack and AUX 
port with Japanese language settings and a cartridge lock.

American version was identical but renamed Genesis and had English language 
Settings. The cartridge lock was removed.

European version similar to the Genesis version but converted to display 
PAL 50HZ signal and English language settings. 

Slight changes to the Megadrive 1 removed EXT port and added the message
"produced by or under license from Sega Enterprises" to the boot ROM.

1993 totally redesigned Megadrive 2 more square shaped design removed the 
headphone jack and only one custom multi output for sound and picture (See 1.3).

Wondermega was a combined Megadrive and Mega CD made by J.V.C that had improved 
sound capabilities. The connectivity of the machine was improved also as a MIDI 
connector, phono plugs and SVHS connector were added to the machine. The karaoke 
function including 2 inputs for microphones was concealed under a sliding door 
on the front of the machine. There were buttons on the top of the machine that 
allowed you to use a small selection of sound enhancements (Game, Bass Ex and 
Karaoke) that also could be switched on when a normal Mega CD game was used.
Originally came packed with a four game CD  called Wondermega Collection - Game 
Garden that featured the Megadrive game Flicky, a quiz game, Pyramid a puzzle 
game and an air hockey game.The Game Garden disc is also compatible with CDG (CD 
and Graphics)enabled CD players. 
A later pack in Japan was a platform game Wonderdog by Core. The enhanced audio 
capabilities of the Wondermega were its main selling point and the internal CD 
player screen had an extra option that allowed you to change the pitch of any 
music CD being played. Additional peripherals included a cartridge "Wonder MIDI" 
that let you create music and connect to MIDI compatible devices another add on 
was a music keyboard "Piano Player" that allowed you with the additional 
software to learn to play the keyboard and create music.
The Wondermega was also redesigned and the machine was given a softer more 
curved look and was renamed Xeye when launched America and did not get a 
European release.
A third version of the Wondermega was also released in Japan only that had some 
of the extra connectors removed and the joypads were remodeled infra red 

Multimega was a combined Portable Megadrive and Mega CD and was aimed at
a more affluent market. The launch price for the Multimega was a staggering 
350.00. Although it had no built-in screen to play games on the move it could 
double as a portable CD player and was powered by 2 AA batteries that only had 
enough power to run the CD payer. To play Megadrive and Mega CD games the 
Multimega had to be plugged into the mains. 
The portable CD control buttons are on the front of the console (play, stop, 
Etc.) and a small backlit L.C.D displayed the track number. An extra line out 
port was provided for connection to stereo equipment.
 It was also possible for a Multimega to be connected to a 32X although this set 
up did not allow you to play 32X CD's as the disc drive lid was blocked by the 
32X unit. 
The Multimega was known as the CDX in America.
There were 2 different pack-ins sold with the Multimega, first was Road Avenger 
and a later pack-in included Fifa Soccer.

Nomad was a fully portable Megadrive with a built in 3-Inch colour L.C.D screen 
that could also be connected to a television using the same scart or RF lead as 
the Megadrive 2. Although strangely connecting the unit to a television did not 
turn the screen of the Nomad off during play 
There was a second joypad port on the bottom of the machine for two player 
The Nomad played normal Megadrive cartridges so it had the same wide 
range of software as the Megadrive. The Nomad had 6 fire buttons for use on 6 
button compatible games. The Nomad was powered by 6 AA batteries that you fitted 
to a case that clipped to the back of the unit. A rechargeable battery pack and 
AC adapter were also available.  
The Nomad was released in America in late 1996 for $149.99 but did not receive a 
European release.

Megatech was an arcade machine that featured 8 interchangeable Megadrive or 
Master System games in a juke box style arcade cabinet. This was first released 
about 1989 fitted with the best Megadrive games available at the time, like 
Thunderforce II, Altered Beast, Tetris, Last Battle, Space Harrier 2 and Golden 
Axe. Master System games like Great golf and Parlor games were also available 
but all the machines I have seen were only fitted with the better looking 
Megadrive titles  The games could be changed at any time and later titles 
available included sonic. The games were identical to the Megadrive versions, 
even the game cheats worked! 
The games for this cabinet were supplied on a Japanese shaped Megadrive cart 
although they are slightly heavier. The labels on the games were silver and red 
and only had Megatech and the name of the game printed on them. These carts were 
not compatible with a standard Megadrive due to the extra information that was 
stored on them to run the second monitor,a different length edge connector, 
number of pins, pinouts, and spacing.
A second smaller 9-inch monitor was built into the top of the cabinet
and displayed instructions for each of the games. But you paid to play for a 
timed period as the time ran out the playing screen 
would flash green to inform you that extra credits would needed be inserted to 
continue playing.

Mega-play. Sega released this in 1993 after the Megatech. This was another 
arcade cabinet version that was running on the Megadrive hardware. 
The system is Jamma compatible (an arcade hardware standard) and was able to 
play special Mega play carts. The games were delivered in a sort of Megadrive-
box, but there are no pictures on the box. The only differences on the boxes 
were the titles. The system used only one monitor and can run four different 
inter selectable carts at once.

Megajet was a handheld Megadrive that could be rented for use on Japan airlines 
flights. There was no built in screen as you plugged the unit into the L.C.D 
television that folded out from the armrest.
The cartridges plugged into the top of the Megajet and it had 6 fire buttons for 
compatibility with games like Street Fighter 2. There was a second joypad port 
on the bottom of the Megajet for 2 player games. 
A selection of four games were available to hire for the flight including Super 
Monaco GP 2 and Sonic, although you could use your own games if desired. The 
Megajet was also available in limited quantities at Japanese retail outlets and 
was marketed as a portable Megadrive.

Laseractive this was a laser disc player from Pioneer that could take plug in 
modules and one of these could play Megadrive and Mega CD games. It could also 
display Megadrive graphics over Streamed video from compatible Laser discs.
The format was known as Mega LD and only a few games were released on this 
format. 3D glasses were also produced for the Laseractive for use on compatible 
discs like Melon Brain and 3D museum. The other modules available allowed you to 
play PC Engine HU Cards and CD's and karaoke. 

Mega PC a PC made by Amstrad that could play normal Megadrive games and PC 
This was launched in Japan as the Terra drive but I believe that it was a 
different company cooperating with Sega. Released in the U.K in 1993 
redesigned and changed casing colour from dark grey to cream. The specs 
were 386sx running at 25Mhz, 1 MEG RAM and a 40 MEG hard disc IBM compatible. 
Mega PC could also be connected to a Mega CD. An updated version was later 
released called the Mega Plus with improved specs 486, 33Mhz with 4 Meg RAM.

MSX Two of the AX series of machines that were only ever released in the Arab 
countries by a company called Universal were capable of playing standard 
Megadrive cartridges. The AX330 MSX had a cartridge port on the top of the 
machine and had 4 built in MSX program's Calendar, painting, Arabic writing and 
English writing. The other MSX machine the AX990 came packaged with 50 program's 
but I would think that they are likely to be either MSX program's or an 
unofficial Megadrive multi cart. 

Aiwa CSD-GM1 was manufactured and released by Japanese stereo company Aiwa and 
was a portable CD, radio and tape player (a ghetto blaster) that could also play 
Megadrive and Mega CD games via an extra section that could be attached to the 
bottom of the unit. The attachment unit contained the cartridge port on the 
front, joypad connectors, reset button and AV out port. When this unit was 
attached to the main unit a serial cable connected them together. Mega CD games 
were played via the CD drive on the top of the unit. The pack also included a 
custom blue coloured joypad but no pack in game.

1.6  What pack-in variations exist?

Megadrive 1 packs have included the following games at some time 
Altered Beast plus one joypad (original pack-in 189.99)
Megadrive 1 altered beast, one joypad, Moonwalker plus Moonwalker video (special 
offer pack-in)
Megadrive 1 Sonic the Hedgehog plus one joypad
Megadrive 1 World Cup Italia 90 plus one joypad

Megadrive 2 packs-ins have included:
Street Fighter 2, virtua racing, Sonic 3, The lion king, Aladdin, EA Double 
Headder (John Madden, NHL ice hockey) ,Sonic 1,Sonic 2 and Sonic collection.
Megagames one (columns, world cup Italia 90, super hang on)sonic & Streets of 
rage, sonic 2, 
Megagames 6 packs there were three different versions of these which were on 6 
game multi game cartridges.
Variation 1 (Revenge of Shinobi, golden axe, streets of rage, columns, 
world cup Italia 90, super hang on)

vol.2 (World Cup Italia 90, Alien Storm, Super Thunderblade, Columns, Super 
Monaco GP, Super Hang on)

vol.2 variation 2(Revenge of Shinobi, golden axe, streets of rage, columns, sega 
soccer, sonic)As of November 1999 this pack was still available from the 
catalogue shopping store Argos.

Another limited edition value pack in set was Megagames 3 (Alien Storm, Monaco 
GP and Super Thunderblade) Ecco the Dolphin and European Club Soccer.


2.1  can you play Japanese or U.S games on a U.K Megadrive?

Originally the Japanese games did not fit a European Megadrive because the 
cartridges were a slightly wider and a different shape to the European games. 
This was easy to overcome by either using a converter cartridge that simply 
extended the Megadrive's cartridge connector and then you just plugged the 
Japanese game on top.
Or the other way you could overcome this was by cutting two notches out from the 
side of the cartridge port so the Japanese game would fit.

Early Genesis games had no protection at all and could played without a 
converter or any modification. July 1992 saw extra protection being added to a 
lot of the games by means of a software program that checked the language 
setting on the machine and what signal the Megadrive is outputting (N.T.S.C 60Hz 
Japan & America P.A.L 50Hz Europe). If the game was being played in the wrong 
territory a message usually appeared telling you that the game was incompatible. 
Again this was not too hard to overcome new converter cartridges could be 
brought similar to the Japanese converters but on the back of the cartridge 
there were a set of dip switches and if you set them in the right order the 
import came would play. The settings were often shown on a sticker attached to 
the front of the cartridge. The second method requires an internal conversion to 
be made to your Megadrive and two switches need to be added to change the 
settings of the Machine. One switch toggles between Japanese and English text 
the other toggles between 50Hz & 60Hz display.
The Megadrive could then be set to a European, American or Japanese hardware 

2.2  Can you play Master System Games on A Megadrive?

Yes but you will need a Powerbase Converter this sits on top of the Megadrive 
and plugs into the cartridge port and allows you to play
the Master System cartridges and cards and the pause button was on the front. 
You can use light gun and 3D glasses games and any other master system 
accessories. A new version was released in Europe that was compatible with the 
Megadrive 2 but the card port was removed so you could no longer play card games 
or 3d glasses games. A third party Master System converter called the Mega 
Master and was distributed by Fire and Datel in the U.K this looked like the 
Megadrive 2 converter but could not play card games the pause button was a 
toggle switch on the side.

2.3  Can you play Game Gear games on a Megadrive?

Unfortunately not, although a converter was talked about in some magazines and 
referred to as the Mega Game Gear there was no official announcement was made.

III. Software

3.1  What games are Available for the Megadrive

There is not enough space in this F.A.Q to list them all but there is possibly 
more than 900 games including variants released during the 10 year life span of 
the Megadrive. The most popular games were the sonic series, streets of rage 
series, Fifa soccer series, John madden American football series, Street fighter 
II special champion edition and the Mortal Kombat series. Go to for the most complete list of Megadrive games on the 
net the G30 project.

3.2  Who is Sonic the Hedgehog?

Sonic was and still is Sega's mascot character. After witnessing the success of 
Nintendo's character Mario and the success of his games Sega realized that they 
needed a strong character and game to help push Megadrive sales. Development 
started in April 1990 they looked at their previous mascot character for the 
Master System Alex Kidd, but he did not have a real mass market appeal, and was 
too similar to Mario. 
They decided to make a new Character by holding an internal design competition 
at Sega Japan. There were 100 competition entries out of which 4 finalists were 
chosen. The 4 designs were a wolf, a bulldog, a fat man (who was developed into 
Dr. Robotnic) and a blue hedgehog created by artist Maoto Oshima. He came up 
with the character by crossing Felix the cat with Mickey Mouse and the 
developing the character further. The Sonic game was finally released in July 
1991 and was a staggering success.
Several more Sonic games were made across all the Sega machines including 2 
arcade games (Sonic the arcade game & Sonic Fighters).

3.3  How many Sonic games are available for the Megadrive?

The games are, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic 
spinball, Sonic collection (sonic 1,2 and DR Robotnic's mean bean machine on one 
cartridge) and Sonic 3D also known as Sonic Blast in America.
Also on available on Mega CD Sonic the Hedgehog CD and on 32x Knuckles Chaotix 
featured sonic characters but not Sonic.
Sonic made cameo appearances in a few games as follows Soiell, Art Alive, Wacky 
Worlds, Ultimate Soccer, Joe Montanna football and was on the loading screen on 
some Sega released Mega CD games. DR. Robotnic's mean bean machine was a puzzle 
game with sonic's main enemy DR. Robonic taking the lead role.

3.4  Do any games use extra chips for better graphics?

Like the Super Nintendo there is a Megadrive game that uses extra chips to 
improve graphic performance.
Virtua Racing from Sega uses the Sega Virtua Processor created in conjunction 
with Hitachi.
The specifications of the SVP are as follows:-

Chip Command Type: DSP, 1 command, 1 clock
Speed / Instruction per second: 23MHz (23 mips)
ROM: I-ram (instruction RAM) 2048 bytes
Polygons per second 300-500 (16 colours) with 4 interrupts
RAM: D-RAM (optional installation)
Sound expansion: 2 channels PWM (pulse wave Modulation)
Data BUS bandwidth: internal / external 16 bits  

3.5  In Japanese text mode are there any differences to U.K games?

Yes quite a few Megadrive games include bilingual text options some that I am 
aware of are as follows:

Mystic Defender / title reads Kujuki 2(Spellcaster 2)also the intro changes from 
a page of text telling the story to an animated Cinema
featuring the games characters.
Legend of Ju Ju/ title reads Toki 
Ghouls and Ghosts /title reads Daimakumaira, restart points in the game are 
Revenge of Shinobi /title reads Super Shinobi
Truxton / title reads Tatsujin
Streets of rage 1 & 2 /title reads Bare knuckle 
Mercs /title reads Commando II in Japanese text
Super Fantasy Zone / cinemas are in Japanese text
Cyberball / Modem option is added to the select screen  (not selectable)
Also if you use a Powerbase converter there are some Master System games that 
show Japanese text or different titles screens when played through a Megadrive 
with Japanese settings.

3.6 What Japanese games had different names in the U.K & U.S?

Lots of games were reprogrammed for western releases to satisfy the growing 
demand for new software. These changes were often more obvious then the 
bilingual text options that were already built into some games
(see 3.5). Sega and particularly Renovation who specialized in converting games 
for release in the west converted the most games in this way. So far the games 
that I know of that have different names to the Japanese releases are:-

Axis FZ 			- Final Zone
Devils Crush		- Dragons Fury
Super Masters 		- Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf
Volfied			- Ultimate Qix
Final Blow			- Buster Douglas Boxing
Shiten Myooh		- Shadow Blasters
Runark			- Growl
Assault Suit Leinos 	- Target Earth
Magical Hat Adventure	- Decap attack
Soko Ban			- Boxxle
Wani Wani World		- Berlin wall
Junkers High		- Outrun 2019
Puyo puyo			- DR Robotnic's Mean Bean Machine
Cameleon Kid		- Kid Chameleon

3.7  What unreleased games were there?

Due to the fact that the Megadrive was released in three main territories there 
are some games that were announced for a western release but never appeared. 
Even between the America and Europe some games were not released (see 3.8) for 
example X-perts and Vectorman 2 were due for a European release but never 
arrived although they were released in America.
These are the games that to the best of my knowledge were announced but 
never released in any area.

Wacky Races
Chaos Engine 2 
Last Survivor (AKA Battle Isle)
Fireteam Rogue - Interplay 
monster hunter (Menacer game)- Sega
Power Drift - Sega         
zero Tolerance 2
Dino racer
Stephen Segal, 
House of Fun (a license from the band Madness)
Shadow of Yserbius
Interplanetary Lizards 
Smaartvark (A.K.A Arnie the Ardvark),
Elite (Megadrive version also contained 32X code) 
Kartoon Kombat 
Mall rats (based on the film).
Four Sega VR games 
Outlaw Racing 
Iron Hammer
Nuclear Rush
Matrix Runner 
all of which were 16 MEG cartridges. 

3.8 What games were released in the U.K but not in the U.S?

This section is under construction and more titles will be added, so far I know 
of the following PAL only titles. Some of these were also released in Japan.
Super Fantasy Zone, Alien Soldier, Megaman the Willey Wars, Wrestle War, Jimmy 
Whites Whirlwind Snooker, Micro machines Military, Brian Lara Cricket, Brian 
Lara Cricket 96, Super Skidmarks.

3.9 what game packaging variations are there?

Often due to the various different shaped cartridges made by the many companies 
releasing games for the Megadrive this lead to a wide variety of different cases 
for the games. One small thing to note about Japanese import games is that they 
have no have no tags on the top to hang the games from shop racking.
A few of the Sunsoft games were sold in mini boxes that were half the size of 
the standard boxes, The lager companies produced their own dedicated cases and 
carts Taito capcom and Namcot all had there name printed inside the box and on 
the back of the carts. Card boxes were used for later releases in the US and 
Accolade games were released in two part card boxes that the top lifted off. 
Virtua  Racing needed a special box due to a much larger cartridge although the 
size for the case was not changes only the cartridge holder on the inside of the 

IV. Accessories

4.1  What accessories are available?
Menacer Sega's own light gun the biggest light gun ever created for a home 
The Menacer was made up of three interchangeable sections, the main section 
could be used as a pistol and to this a stock could be added for extra support 
and the third section was with twin sights that clipped on to the top.
The Menacer was powered by 6 AAA batteries and was not connected by a wire to 
the Megadrive but by an Infra-red beam that relayed signals to a receiver box 
that sat on top of the television. The Menacer was advertised as the most 
accurate light gun ever. The Menacer retailed for 60.00 and came packaged with 
a 6 game cartridge that was mostly target shooting games. The best game was 
based on the Megadrive game Toejam & Earl which the player fired tomatoes at 
enemies from the Toejam & Earl game.
Only three other games were Menacer compatible T2 the arcade game, Bodycount and 
Corpse Killer on Mega CD (there is also a 32x CD version of Corpse Killer)

Arcade power stick this was Sega's own large sturdy three-button arcade style 
joystick and was available at launch. There was adjustable speed rapid fire for 
each button. The Japanese version and a micro-switched joystick but the U.K and 
U.S versions used rubber contacts.

Analogue control pad this was called the AX-1E controller and was a black, 
circular shaped pad. There was an analogue sick and an analogue throttle control 
as well as 4 independent fire buttons and a start button. 
This controller was compatible with Afterburner II, F1 Hero and Galaxy Force II. 
This pad was only released in Japan.

Infra red control pads sold as a complete set that included a receiver box and 
two three button controllers. These were sold as a dual format peripheral due to 
the compatibility between Megadrive and Master System controllers.

6 button joypad Sega made a 6 button joypad for use on games like Mortal Kombat 
and Street fighter II that required more than the 3 buttons that the standard 
Megadrive joypad had.
Features included a rolling base to the D pad and 6 buttons there 
is a mode button on the top right of the pad that if held down when turning on 
the Megadrive the pad would set to a three button mode. This was needed for 
games that were incompatible in 6 button mode I.E Forgotten Worlds, Alien3, 
Golden Axe 2 and Decapattack.
The mode button could also be used as an extra fire button or a select button. 
The Japanese version of the 6 button pad was slightly smaller with a shorter 
lead and a purple start button.

Arcade Power Stick II a joystick similar design to the Arcade Power Stick except 
with 6 buttons and a mode button.

CD ROM drive (see 5.1)

32 bit adapter (5.3)

Activator One of the more unusual Sega add ons was this controller that was a 
sort of virtual reality controller. The Activator had eight sides and was placed 
flat on the floor. Infra red beams were projected up from each of the sides.
The player stood in the middle and broke the beams at different hights and 
combinations to produce the moves on screen. Compatible mostly with
fighting games although a manual included in the pack displayed combinations for 
some of the more popular Genesis titles. Only released in America.

Mega modem before Sega TV and Edge 16 modems was the Mega Modem that was only 
released in Japan in 1991. This plugged into the EXT port at the back of the 
original Megadrive. A Sega game net was set up to use the system but was not a 
success. The Mega modem was due for release in America under the name "Tele-
Genesis Modem". There were three games launched with the Mega modem Cyberball by 
Tengen and the two other games were Shikinjoh and Tel Tel Baseball both by 
Sunsoft. One of the later released compatible titles was Advanced world war 
simulator and all the instruction books for these games included the Mega modem 
manual in the back section.
Batter Up a baseball controller for use on baseball games that are popular in 
America. Made by Sports Sciences and was only available in America. 

TV Golf a Golf controller for use on  EA golf games like the PGA series the 
controller was shaped like a golf club. A second unit plugged into the control 
port one and was placed on the floor in-front of the player. A very expensive 
item that sold for about 100. This was also produced by sports sciences.

Master System converter (see 2.3)
Various converters to play imported games made by third party manufacturers. 
(see 2.1)

2 button mouse made by Sega primarily for use on role playing games,
This mouse was a standard shaped mouse with red buttons the left mouse button 
had identifying lines on it. The most interesting feature is that this mouse can 
double as a trackball by turning it upside down, pushing the ball acted as 
another fire button. 

Mega mouse A 3 button mouse was also released this had an extra button but could 
not be used as a trackball and was only released in America.

2 different modems for use in America. Edge 16, X band
Sega TV Cable games adapter was created in cooperation with Time Warner and 
Sega. The adapter was a similar shape to the Master System converter 2 except it 
was a bit larger and had a cable TV connector on the side of the unit. You paid 
monthly fee like a standard cable/satellite channel and selected games were 
provided to play for a limited time. Playable previews of Games due for release 
were also made available on the Sega TV channel. The idea behind this was to 
promote more sales of the game on release. Games could not be saved on the 
adapter so if you liked a game you could go and buy it. Sega TV was only 
available in a few areas of the U.K that had cable TV although not all areas 
that had cable were given the option of Sega TV. The service was eventually 
stopped late 1997 after a run of a couple of years.
Hyperscore this was a plug through cartridge for recording high scores that 
could then be displayed on Teletext. The game Cartridges were plugged into the 
top of the Hyper score and then the high scores were saved into it. Next there 
was a phone number you could call and upload your score by means of a speaker on 
the front of the Hyperscore similar to a tone dialer. All the game scores were 
then put into a national league and the highest score won a prize. Scores could 
be checked by going to the Hyperscore Teletext page. The Hyperscore was made and 
marketed  by Hasbro.
Multi game selector For Genesis this was an adapter that plugged into the 
cartridge port and had spaces for ten different games. The idea was similar to a 
juke box so you could select to play different games easily by just pushing a 
button. This was a third party peripheral that was only released in America.

Justifier this was Konami's own gun for use on their titles. This was a more 
standard looking light gun shaped like a revolver. For two player games the 
second gun plugged into the bottom of the player one gun. The player one gun was 
pale blue player two's was pink. Compatible games were Lethal Enforcers 1 and 2 
(also the Mega CD versions) Snatcher and Corpse Killer on Mega CD (there is also 
a 32x version of Corpse Killer)
The Justifier was not compatible with Menacer software.

Sega Powerstrip The complete Sega Megadrive set up required four power supplies 
Megadrive, Mega CD, 32x and a television as the adapters were quite large often 
normal extra plug extension sockets would not fit. Sega released a special 
extension unit colored blue with red sega text printed along the top. This 
provided 5 plug sockets. Only available in America.

Miracle keyboard For Genesis this was a complete music keyboard add on for 
learning to play the keyboard. A separate game cartridge plugged into the 
Megadrive and contained several practice programs and games to help you learn to 
play. This was a third party peripheral that was only released in America. Cost 
of this peripheral was over $200 due to the size of the keyboard.

4.2  What multi taps exist?

There are two official multi tap adapters available one from Electronic Arts and 
one from Sega, and one was a third party multi tap adapter made by Gamester.
The E.A tap was a small adapter that plugged into both  of the joypad ports and 
the four ports were on the front.
The Sega multi 4-player adapter plugged into the player 2 joypad port. A lead 
extended from the port to a small box that had four ports and a sliding selector 
switch on the top. The selector switch had five settings 1 to 4 and Multi if you 
were playing a 2 player game you could choose which port to use and multi 
selected the four player mode
five players could be used as a controller could be plugged into port one.
Colour stickers were provided with the adapter that could be attached to each of 
the pads to identify each players controller.
One obvious advantage of the sega adapter was that two adapters could be used 
for eight player games like the Japanese released J League Soccer.
Unfortunately they were incompatible with each other Electronic arts
Four score only worked with E.A games and the Sega multi player adapter only 
worked with the sega games. The Gamester adapter provided the ideal solution to 
this situation by being compatible with both multi tap standards. Later released 
games were programmed to work with both Sega and E.A adapters.

4.3  What are J-carts?

J-Carts were made by Codemasters and these were cartridges with two joypad ports 
built in. The idea being that if you brought the game you could enjoy multi 
player games without the need for an additional multi tap. This was especially 
useful because as there were already two incompatible multi tap's available.

4.4  What are J-carts were made?

Only Codemasters made J-carts the titles are as follows:-

Pete Sampras tennis
Pete Sampras tennis 96
Micromachines 2
Micromachines 96
Micromachines Military
Super Skidmarks
At a later time some of these titles were produced on standard cartridge for a 
lower price

4.5 what cheating cartridges are available?

Action Replay made and distributed by U.K company Datel who also make various 
console peripherals. They also made a second version the Pro Action Replay 2 
that had a built in code finder. The Action Replay could be used to play 
Japanese import games and if the correct codes were found import games with 
programmed protection could be played.

Game Genie by Codemasters distributed in the U.K by toy manufacturer Hornby. The 
Game Genie had a disadvantage over the Pro Action Replay and that was due to the 
fact that the codes had to be provided by Hornby although you could create your 
own codes it was very difficult.

4.6  Were there any unreleased accessories?	

Yes there were these are the unreleased accessories that I am aware of.

Virtual reality headset that was shown with four games (see 3.6)at the 1993 
C.E.S show in Chicago U.S.A. Sega VR (The official name) was due to go on sale 
in America in December 1993.

Graphics tablet was announced when the Megadrive was launched in Japan and it 
suffered many delays until it was eventually cancelled. The Graphics Tablet 
would have perhaps allowed the use of art programs and would have been 
compatible with the 3.5 Inch disc drive. It is possible that development was 
changed over to the Sega Pico (an educational graphics tablet).
Keyboard and 3.5 Inch disk drive were supplementary units to the Mega Modem but 
were cancelled due to the poor performance of the Mega Modem in Japan.

Neptune a 32x and Megadrive combined similar in shape to a Megadrive 2.
Only one non-working prototype of this is known to exist, which is only a case 
mock up for display purposes and does not contain any working electronics.

Analogue steering wheel designed by AM2 for use on Virtua Racing was also shown 
prior to the release of the game but was never released due to the expense of 
the wheel. It was later modifications were made the base of the wheel was 
changed and then launched as the Saturn Arcade Racer. 

Modular Cartridge containing the Sega Virtua processor as more games that used 
the SVP chip were planned this would have reduced the cost of these games by 
containing the SVP on the modular cartridge. The games would then plug in on top 
containing the game data for the chip. This would have saved paying for a new 
expensive SVP chip each time a new game came out by using this add on.

V. Upgrades
5.1  What is the Mega CD?

The Mega CD is a CD ROM drive that plugs into the expansion port on the side of 
the Megadrive and allows specially written CD software to be played on the 
Megadrive. The Mega CD could also play normal music CDs both 5 and 3 inch discs 
and could play CD+G discs. The Mega CD also improved the graphics and sound of 
the Megadrive. There are 2 versions of the Mega CD that are technically the same 
but with different casings. 
The Mega CD 1 Sat underneath the Megadrive 1 and featured a motorized  
front loading CD drive. The Mega CD 2 was released at the same time as the 
Megadrive 2 and attached to the side of either version of the Megadrive and had 
a top loading CD drive.

5.2  What are the technical specifications of the Mega CD?

Main C.P.U	      Motorola 68000 running at 12.5Mhz in parallel with the 
                    Megadrive's C.P.U
Graphics processor    Custom ASIC chip that could handle scaling and rotation.
CD Drive              Single speed CD ROM with a 150 Kbytes a second data 
transfer rate
CD Buffer             128 K bit CD ROM data cache memory
Sound	                Stereo P.C.M 6 channel
                      16 Bit D/A converter
Save memory           64 K bit back up RAM (back up RAM cartridge is also 
Outputs               stereo phono sockets

The Mega CD did not improve the colours on the Megadrive although it did allow 
the Megadrive to display film footage F.M.V.

5.3  What is the 32x? 

The 32x is a 32 bit upgrade unit that plugged into the cartridge port of 
the Megadrive. The 32x improved the graphic and audio capabilities of both the 
Megadrive and Mega CD. Extra graphic abilities included the ability to display 
graphics layered over standard Megadrive graphics for example on the 32x version 
of Mortal Kombat II the backgrounds were made by the Megadrive whilst the 
sprites were handled by the 32x. 
The 32x could also display 50 000 texture-mapped polygons a second 
and hardware scaling and rotation.

5.4  What are the technical specifications of the 32x?

C.P.U 		Two Hitachi SH2 32BIT RISC running at 23Mhz / 40 MIPS

Co processor 	A new 32x VDP works with the Megadrive's 68000 and Z80

Palette		32,768 simultaneous colours

Memory		4 MBIT RAM in addition to the Megadrive and Mega CD

sound		Digital stereo PCM, programmable sample rates, audio mixing
                with Megadrive sound.

5.5 Is it possible to play import 32X games on a U.K 32X?

It is not possible to play Japanese or American imports on a U.K 32X due to the 
poor sales of the 32X no converters were produced. If you have a switched 
(50/60hz) Megadrive though an American 32X will work. This is the only way to 
play import 32X games. 

VI. Trivia

* DR Robotnic's Mean Bean Machine was originally a Japanese game called Puyo 
Puyo from Compile. The puzzle section remains the same but the cinemas feature 
DR. Robotnic trying to take over Sonics world. This was done to make the game 
more appealing to the western audiences.

* Zero Tolerance is a Doom style corridor shooter that has the ability 
to link up 2 Megadrive's and 2 televisions like the link mode seen in some 
Playstation games. The link lead was received through a mail in voucher that was 
packaged with the game. The link lead plugged into each of the second joypad 
ports and was similar to a joypad extension lead.

* The main bad enemy character in Sonic the Hedgehog Dr. Robotnic is known as 
Dr. Eggman in Japan.

* There are 2 versions of Klax available for the Megadrive one is made by Namcot 
for Japanese release. The second version was made by Tengen for the western 
release. In my opinion the Tengen version is the better.

* Some of the best music ever produced for the Megadrive as heard in The 
Revenge of Shinobi and streets of rage was created by a top Japanese musician 
Yuzo Koshiro he actually had a Megadrive sound chip built into his recording 
studio. Music CDs could also be brought in Japan with his 
Megadrive music re-mixed.

* Joe Montanna American Football II was the first game ever to feature a full 
running commentary as heard in a lot of sport CD games today. This was 
revolutionary advance in game sound and was even featured on a U.K science and 
technology program (Tomorrows World). There was also a Sportstalk baseball 
released in the US.

* Sega's Sonic license was taken into new territory with a Sonic fruit machine 
this licensed gambling machine was released through Deith Leisure a subsidiary 
of Sega Europe who also run Sega's arcade machine business in the U.K.
* Virtua racing caused an interesting problem for some people with cordless 
phones, the frequency of the SVP chip was picked up by the phones and they would 

* The rarest Megadrive game ever released was the original Phantasy Star. There 
were only ever 1000 of these ever made and it was exclusively sold in Japan. The 
game was a straight port of the Master System version with no improvements as it 
ran on the Megadrive's internal Master System chip.


Base Media

Copyright © 2000 - 2022 Base Media. All Rights Reserved. Console Database is a trademark of Base Media. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Base Media User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Our other sites: Deals United - Daily Deals Aggregator and WhichPlug? - Travel Adaptor Finder.