Sega Master System

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Pit Pot

Pit Pot is basically an action puzzle game for the Sega Master System.  It came out in 1985, and in 1986, it was rereleased in Europe with Astro Warrior.

The first screen in Pit Pot shows the witch flying by her castle.

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Montezuma’s Revenge came out in 1989 for the Sega Master System.  From what I could find, there was a sequel called Montezuma’s Return.  It had a lot of ports.  There were Atari versions for the 800, 2600, and 5200.  There was a Commodore 64 version.  The sequel came out on Gameboy and Gameboy Color.  There was also an early FPS on PC (which, judging that the developer is still Utopia Technologies Inc is still in the same family.)

Here, Panama Joe (in green) is climbing down a ladder after avoiding a spider.

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This game is a basic Zelda clone for the Master system.  It was a 1990 Sega release.  A lot of people say that Zelda games aren’t really RPGs, but they’re close enough to count for me.

The first "labyrinth" in Golden Axe Warrior. I really do like the color choices in the game.

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Spellcaster seems to be based off of the manga series Kujaku-Ou (Peacock King.)  It came out in 1988 in Japan, and 1989 in the US.  It’s basically a text adventure interface mixed in with a side scrolling action game.

The Japanese cover of the game definitely shows the manga roots.

Since the side scrolling sections use fireballs from the hero, they feel a bit closer to a clunky shooter.  Talking sections of the game mostly amount to looking at stuff to find people to talk to, getting keywords for locations, and then travelling to said locations.

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Wonder Boy is an odd series to discuss.  Part of the problem was that the Wonder Boy name was copywritten with Sega, but the actual game series belonged to what was then called Escape.  Escape later changed their name to Westone.  This resulted in games getting new sprites and plots but keeping the same gameplay on non-Sega systems.  The second game in the series, for example, was reclad as a Bikkuriman game with very catchy music.  The fifth game in the series got changed into a beetle themed Power Ranger like character in a game called “Dynastic Hero.”

The sword in Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (1989) has a decent range.

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Dragon Crystal came out in 1990 – 1991 for the Sega Master System and the Game Gear.  Much like Fatal Labyrinth, it’s a randomized rougelike rpg with a very luck based progression through the game.  On some runs, you may get amazing luck, and on others you literally had no chance of winning from the beginning.

The start of this run was in a field of flowers. The yellow object behind the hero is an egg. As the game goes on, the egg hatches into a dragon.

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Golvellius is a Zelda like game.  You fight monsters in real time on a field, gaining gold, and then entering caves to access upgrades or dungeon areas.  It came out for the MSX, MSX2, and Sega Master System (1987 for MSX, 1988 for Sega Master System.)  The first Zelda game, by the way, came out in 1986.

The scrolling dungeon lets you only go to the right. Picking the wrong path may trap you, but you can simply retry.

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The white squre on the right is your location in town, and the left window is the person living in the house.

In 1987, ASCII Entertainment and Kogado Studio made Miracle Warriors for a large number of systems (MSX, MSX2, PC88, FM-7, and NES/FC.)  The game was slightly remade for the SMS version and the game difficulty was tweaked.  It came out in the US in 1988.

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With older games, a common complaint is that the graphics are dated.  Usually this is followed up with “It’s just too ugly.”  Problem is, I think a lot of people don’t know what to expect graphically for various systems.  For example, Dragon Quest VI was a graphical showcase of the day, but people have said that it’s unusably ugly.   Now, you can say, for example, that you hate the Dragon Ball Z esque art style of the sprite work.   You could say that the spritework doesn’t match the tone of the game.  However, most people criticizing retro game graphics do it from the perspective of the game not being – say – Halo without any understanding of what a good or bad game looked like in the era.

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The Master System sometimes feels like Sega was struggling to make something that stood out from the NES lineup. Phantasy Star was the system’s RPG.  It came out in 1987, and was wildly popular enough  to merit sequels on the Genesis.

Saying "I will make sure that my brother died not in vain!"

The game begins with a cutscene.

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