Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
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S THE SEGA MAGAZINE
SPECIAL LAUNCH ISSUE
Your complete guide to the exciting world of Sega entertainment
IF YOUR TV COULD TALK . . .
DISTRIBUTED BY VIRGIN MASTERTRONIC LIMITED, VERNON YARD, PORTOBELLO ROAD, LONDON W11 2DX. TELEPHONE: 01-727 8070
Welcome to this special launch issue of S - the magazine dedicated to Sega games and gamesplaying; packed with vital information no Sega fan can live without. No more half-page reviews and a couple of tips every now and then. Over the coming months you can expect to see amazingly detailed and comprehensive reviews of the latest Sega products, plus all the help you need to make the most of your games.
Each month there will be news of the latest Sega coin-ops, plus playing tips to make your cash go further. We'll also be bringing you all the hottest news from Sega worldwide. And with contacts in Japan and the states, you can bet you’ll read it in S first!
Hope you enjoy this issue - either way, write and let us know. It's your mag, after all...
The third episode in Wonderboy’s amazing life story - and it's a belter! Tough, testing, hard, hectic, furious, frantic and absolutely the baddest. Turn the page and drool.
Fans of the Light Phaser can dust off their weapon once more before attempting to clean up the Wild 'n' woolly West.
Time to mortgage the house, put on your tux, frilly shirt and snazzy cufflinks, stomp into the local casino and promptly lose the lot.
Meet Sylvester, a slippery customer on and off the games scene. He'll make your life easier with winning ways on all those tricky Sega games - like Y's f'rinstance...
LAUNCH ISSUE OCTOBER 1989
All enquiries and correspondence should be addressed to:
Future Publishing Ltd., 4 Queen Street, Bath, Avon, United Kingdom BA1 1EJ
This magazine is a fully independent publication. The views expressed in these pages are not necessarily those of Sega Enterprises Ltd nor of Virgin Mastertronic, their UK distributors.
Contributions from readers are welcome although we cannot guarantee personal replies. We reserve the right to edit any contributions before publication.
© Future Publishing Ltd 1989
Just how well do you know your favourite machine? S takes the lid off the Sega Master System
TT makes his selection of prime Sega software that you should get your paws on
The full back catalogue of Sega games available. Which ones you got and which ones you don't?
All the news, gossip and hard-core facts from around the world of Sega, plus previews of the games just queuing up to get in next month’s issue.
This is where you get to air your views about the magazine and Sega life in general. There are prizes for the best letters and all it takes is a stamp.
To make sure of your copy of S each month AND receive two free issues, just sign on the dotted line. No S. no cred!
The Dragon's Trap
Wonderboy strikes gold once again in the third and latest episode of his life story
The adventure continues! Fresh from his escapades in Monster Land, the hyperactive hero returns in pursuit of the dreaded Dragon of Monster World - and ends up with more than he bargained for...
The action begins inside Monster's Castle where you take control of an armed and armoured Wonderboy as you hack your way past a variety of guards to reach the Dragon's chamber. A fierce battle ensues, in a head-to-head against the huge, fireball-spitting lizard. To defeat him, you have to leap up and strike the huge beast in the eye - every blow that makes contact reduces the Dragon's damage meter. When it finally reaches zero, the beast explodes into stars and releases a blue spirit which floats around the screen lobbing out gold coins. These can be collected until the spirit touches you - and this is where the game really begins: the Dragon's spirit carries a curse which transforms you into a fire-breathing Lizard-man!
With the Dragon dead, the castle begins to collapse around your small green ears - time to make a sharp exit. Heading back though the castle's corridors, you have to battle past the dragon's guardians and avoid the falling rubble, in order to reach the exit.
The tiny Mouse-man (that's him in front of the door) reachs the jungle level on his way to defeating the second dragon. Watch out for the big green frog on the left, who takes great pleasure in blatting Mouse-man on the head!
Having escaped and witnessed the castle's collapse, you now find yourself in the 'Dragon's Trap'. The only way to restore yourself to Wonderboy-like proportions is to traverse the length and breadth of Monster World, find the five remaining dragons, and do them over. Only once the last dragon has been defeated are you able to retrieve the Salamander Sword - the one artifact that can reverse the dragon's curse. What a downer.
Your quest scrolls and flick-screens its way across a mixture of different terrains, ranging from burning deserts with lava rivers to steamy jungle scenes and underwater caverns. There are platforms to negotiate, towers to climb and mazes to get lost in, and exploration is achieved with a mixture of walking, jumping, swimming and, later, flying.
From left to right: Wonderboy battles his way through the castle to meet the first dragon in combat. The huge beast fires a stream of fireballs at his small adversary, and although the dragon looks a fierce opponent, Wonderboy's energy is only slowly depleted. Once the dragon is killed, his small, blue spirit hovers around the screen releasing valuable coins. The spirit eventually touches Wonderboy, at which point the freshly-mutated Lizard-man has to make for the exit, avoiding falling masonry from the rapidly collapsing fortress.
Top: Lizard-man on one of the grassy islands to be found by heading right of the village. 'Bottom: An undersea kingdom resides below the islands. Beware of all the aquatic creatures which spit missiles and are deadly to touch.
You first appear in a small village which acts as the central hub of Monster World. From here, the five monster's lairs can be reached, and the village itself can be instantly revisited using one- way doors which are dotted around the landscape.
The village consists of a couple of buildings whose doorways lead to shops, a hospital and all manner of tunnels and waterways. On entering the first shop, a friendly one-eyed pig storekeeper (huh?) provides you with a password. This enables you to restart the game with your current character, status and inventory, and the shop can be revisited at any time to update your password.
Other doorways lead to more porky shopkeepers retailing the latest fashions in armour, shields and weapons, or a girlie in a red-cross hat offering to cure your wounds for a small price.
The local currency is gold coins, and these are earned by despatching the variety of monsters that just roam around looking for trouble. As the creature flickers out of existence, a coin or money bag shoots out and bounces along the floor. If you touch the dosh before it disappears, your bank account is automatically increased.
And it's not just cash that's up for grabs: some creatures release extra energy or special one-off weapons such as Boomerangs, Tornados and Arrows, which are used to kill the trickier adversaries. Touching these adds them to your inventory, and a jab of the Pause button accesses a status sheet allowing items in the inventory to be used.
If you're unlucky enough to touch your opponent in the process of duffing them up, your energy is reduced, as signified by a diminishing row of red hearts. Many plants and animals also shoot fireballs which are similarly dangerous so, to be on the safe side, avoid everything!
After exploring for a while - interspersed with some heavy-duty fire-breathing - you should find your way to the domain of the second dragon (just like the first, only harder!). Defeating this demon sees you transformed into Mouse-man, who must then continue the quest to find the third dragon. In this fashion you are then transformed into Piranha-man, Lion-man and, finally, Hawk-man in your bid to despatch all five dragons.
There is also a secret chamber, where you can metamorphosize into your alter-egos at will. A special block somewhere in the village (find it yourself!) is smashed to reveal a question mark. Touch it, and a doorway appears leading to the room where your transformations take place.
Clockwise from top left: Lizard-man breaths fire as a long-distance deterrent. He can live underwater but cannot swim; Hawk-man flies (pretty obvious, really) but suffers badly under water; Mouse-man walks on walls and ceilings and can sneak through narrow passageways. Also starts to act funny when getting damp; Lion-man swings a mean blade to destroy blocks in front and below him; and Piranha-man makes like a green Duncan Goodhew. Centre: There several transformation chambers throughout Monster land which enable the current character to be changed into another. You have to do this quite a few times on the trail of the final dragon. There's also some strategy involved: make the wrong choice and you'll find yourself getting stuck before too long.
The character Wonderboy first appeared as a 1986 Sega coin-op in which the diminutive hero ran, jumped and skateboarded past evil-doers in order to rescue his girlfriend Tanya from the grip of the brutish woodland King. Originally called Bock Lee Temjin - or plain old Tom-Tom to his mates - the small boy's escapades so impressed the people of Wonder Land that they bestowed upon him the ultimate accolade of Wonderboy. This simple arcade game made a terrific conversion to the Master System in 1987 and proved as popular as its arcade parent.
The follow-up changed pace and direction, becoming more of an arcade adventure. An invasion of the invincible Meka Dragon and his henchmen transformed the once serene Wonder Land into a demon-filled Monster Land. Wonderboy - now a teenager - is called upon to rid the land of the interlopers and restore it to its former peace. In the process, Wonderboy in Monster Land entered the all time top ten best-selling Sega games.
The latest addition to the Wonderboy saga has little to do with the coin-op of the same name that appeared recently, which will come as bad news to fans of the machine. But Wonderboy III is still a fabbo game in its own right, and should easily keep you occupied until Wonderboy reappears in his fourth adventure.
Each character has special abilities which are required to negotiate the different sections of Monster World: Mouse-man can walk up walls and across ceilings; Piranha-man can swim in water; Lion-man is good with a sword and can smash tiles beneath him; and Hawk-man can fly to the more inaccessible parts of Monster World.
When you finally run out of energy, your character sprouts wings and a halo and floats serenely off the top of the screen. A gamble/continue option then appears, allowing you to be reincarnated, but with reduced energy. Pressing button 1 to continue sets a potion spinning around a series of yellow and red hearts; if it stops on a yellow heart, the game continues, if it stops on a red heart, it's game over, kiddo.
Wonderboy III is an arcade adventurer's dream: it's wonderfully complex, with hidden rooms and passage ways, buried treasure chests full of goodies, special blocks with hidden bonuses, spring-loaded catapults and loads of weird monsters to fight. It's also very, very big - mappers had better get some megahuge sheets of paper!
Not only does it play well, but Wonderboy III looks and sounds terrific. As the game unfolds, the graphics just get better and better, with gorgeous jungle backdrops, underwater caverns and sunken ships - well, just cast your beads over the screen shots...
The scrolling is as good as expected, and although there are only a few frames, the animation on the creatures - and especially the ones you control - is really effective. All of the sprites are neatly drawn and move very smoothly, but beware of the devious inertia on your main character!
The inclusion of a password system is a major help in attempting to complete the game, with one drawback being that it always restarts from the village, instead of where Wonderboy (or any of his other alter egos) last died. For instance, if you croak trying to beat one of the Dragons, you'll have to hack it all the way back to his lair again.
If you're willing to put up with this one small(ish) inconvenience, Wonderboy III comes recommended to anybody with plenty of patience and a couple of months to spare!
It's only a cherry, but with a $25 bet, you're $75 up!
▲ Superb backdrops, with loads of variety.
▲ Plenty of neat special effects (bubbles underwater etc).
▲ Smooth movement of sprites around the screen.
▲ Main characters are large, well designed and beautifully animated.
▲ Jolly backing tracks, in keeping with the different graphical locations.
▲ Heaps of great arcade-style sound effects and jingles
▲ It’S BIG!
▲ Great mix of strategy and puzzling.
▲ Exciting platform and combat action.
▲ Constant urge to explore and discover new locations.
▲ Password system option helps sustain long-term interest.
▲ Immediate continue function for ’just one more go'.
▼ Restart from central village can be frustrating.
A superbly playable and compelling arcade adventure. This solid game represents a huge challenge and is bound to cause arguments over use of the TV set!
Virgin Mastertronic shook their heads in pleased disbelief recently when Rampage entered the July Gallup Chartalk 20 for full price computer games at number 2. This makes Rampage (£24.95) the biggest selling Sega game in Britain so far, and also sent it straight into the number 1 slot for the Value chart. This chart puts the games in order of total dosh spent by retail price versus units sold. Effectively, more money was spent on Rampage over the July period than any other full-price computer game.
All this provides a good indication of the strength of Sega in the market place and the increasing interest of the game-playing, cash-spending public. So there.
Rampage - Ralph, George and Lizzie stormed up the charts in July and managed to sell more cartridges in Britain than any other Sega game. Haven't you got it yet?
At the beginning of September, Virgin Mastertronic announced the signing of a new deal with Comet, the popular high street electrical retailers, to distribute the Sega Master System.
This agreement signals the imminent appearance of the Sega console in over 300 Comet stores country-wide, just in time for the big Christmas push.
Anyone who has bought a Sega recently will be pleased to hear that 12 of the biggest selling games will also be available through the high street store, so get yourself down to Comet and have a browse...
More utterly exclusive, incredibly brand new news to reach S is that Virgin Mastertronic are about to launch a special hand controller for the Master System.
The aircraft yolk-style joystick will enable players to steer, climb and dive just like the real thing. Suckers on its base provide secure handling, and it has fire buttons on the top of both grips, for that authentic fighter pilot feel.
The controller is designed to work with existing race and flying games, so you won’t have to rush out and buy new carts.
This gizmo should be available at the beginning of November, with a price tag of around £40, and a full review will appear in S as soon as we get our mitts on one.
It you’ve been a real arcade head for some time, you may well remember Sega’s Monaco GP machine from several years back. Well, that simplistic vertically scrolling dodge-the-cars has now been superceded in a big way!
Enter Sega's latest monster coin-op, Super Monaco GP. Representing the state-of-the-art in race games, this beast comes in three different cabinet systems: a standard upright, sit-in cockpit plus a deluxe cockpit boasting Sega’s new Air Drive System, providing extra realism through a moving chair.
In fact, the deluxe cab is a real audio-visual sensation, with a 26- inch screen, moving seat and quad speakers belting out four channel FM sound effects and music. Definitely the one to feed money into if you get the chance!
As if you hadn’t worked it out already, SMGP is based upon an existing F-1 racing car, and is just as much simulator as game, with a wonderfully sensitive steering wheel control, plus brake and accelerator foot pedals.
(Image caption) The large rev counter on the right tells you when it's tie to change gear.
Anyone who wants an extra challenge may also choose to drive with four or seven gear manual shift, located on the steering column - although beginners are advised to plump for automatic gear change, until the course is learned.
(Image caption) Deluxe cabinet - worth every penny!
The race begins on the starting grid where you must complete a qualifying lap before taking part in the race proper. As you overtake other cars - or get overtaken - your position in the line-up moves up and down, signified by a number on screen. There's a strict position limit imposed during the race which cannot be dropped below. For instance: you're lagging behind the leaders in 15th place, and the limit is set at 15. Should you be overtaken once more, you only have a small amount of time to recapture a higher position, otherwise it's back to the pits, Nigel.
Super Monaco GP sports the most amazing graphics - 2,192 Megabytes worth! Sega have resorted to their familiar system of whacking increasingly large sprites on screen to convey an impression of speed and movement, and this has been improved over their recent efforts - no more Thunderblade blocky graphics half-filling the screen. The surrounding Monaco urban landscape remains dead sharp all the way through, as buildings, tunnels, hair-pin bends, hills and dips stream past at blinding speed.
(Image caption) To stop you getting lost, the course map on the right indicates your position throughout the race.
But there's precious little time to admire the scenery, since you're too busy avoiding the opposition and trying not to wrap the F-1 round the nearest signpost. Hit another car or the Armco barriers and the car goes into a spin, accompanied by a dizzying graphic sequence, squealing tyres and realistic vibrations through the steering wheel and chair.
Tie this all together with comfortable, responsive control plus heart-stopping action, and you can experience what must rate as the best racing game to appear to date.
It might be a somewhat cut-down version that makes it to the Master System, but we'll just have to wait and see. Until then, check out the coin-op, ASAP!
The small, credit card-sized Smart Cards are currently being phased out due to their limited popularity with Sega users. However, the games which include Transbot, Hang-On, Ghost House, Teddy Boy and Super Tennis are all to be released on cartridge with the £14.95 price tag previously reserved for the cards.
It can now be exclusively revealed that Virgin Mastertronic, in conjunction with Youth Clubs UK, are to hold the National Sega Competition. Based upon a high-score contest on Sega consoles, the nationwide competition will take place at different locations throughout the country.
You don’t necessarily have to be a Youth Club member to take part, so if you think you're good enough, and fancy taking home one of the BIG prizes on offer, stay tuned for more details on the exact dates and venues next month.
In the next issue of S, we take a look at three brand new titles, Psycho Fox, Cloud Master and Tennis Ace.
Psycho Fox is a 2-Mega cartridge which follows the escapades of one cute and-not-very-psycho-looking fox in a Super Mario Bros-style platform-cum- beat 'em up, as he runs and jumps his way across a series of weird and wonderful landscapes.
To help him on his way, a small bird acts as his constant companion, whom the fox can chuck at enemies to kill them! Failing that, a good punch sends them flying.
Psycho can also transform into a hippo, monkey or tiger to help conquer trickier sections of the landscape.
This eight-way scrolling platform game boasts some brilliantly addictive gameplay, 21 levels and... well, read the the mega four-page review next month!
Cloud Master provides shoot 'em up fans with cause to celebrate as you pilot the Cloud Master of the title across some very oriental-looking backdrops, shooting some equally oriental-looking creatures.
With plenty of frenetic blasting action plus progressive weaponry and a special weapon purchase option, Cloud Master looks set to pick up quite a few zapping fans.
And just in time to completely miss the entire tennis season, Tennis Ace is, amazingly enough, a tennis simulation which caters for one and two-player singles, doubles, mixed doubles and just about every other variation you can think of in solo and competition matches.
Sport fans would be well advised to keep their eyes peeled for the full game test in the next issue of S.
PLUS: Competitions, prizes, high scores, more mega tips (complete with another full player's guide), a PC Show report, the low-down on Sega's amazing new arcade system and all the hard gen on the latest Sega happenings.
Better subscribe now, folks!
All you Sega owners can now join THE OFFICIAL SEGA CLUB!
S magazine will feature a special Sega Club section in every issue where members can get the latest gen on club events and special otters.
The Sega Club is a total backup service to club members.
The Sega Hotline: This a telephone service where members can ring in and get tips on the lastest games, info on hot new Sega products, leave highscores and try to reach that elusive MASTERBLASTER status.
User Groups: Sega owners are setting up User Groups all over the country. When you have set up a User Group simply call in to arrange a personal visit from THE CONSOLE MASTER TONY TAKOUSHI. He will bring along the VERY latest prototype games straight out of Japan for you to sample.
If you should fancy your chances you can take on Tony Takoushi in a head to head battle on one of the latest games (the winner is immortalised in S magazine, but TT hates to lose so beware...)
There will also be an ample supply of freebie games and Sega merchandise to be handed out
Members will be entitled to disounts on Sega games and Sega peripherals. These are not wimpy little offers but designed to save club members substantial amounts.
SEGA® Merchandise - Club members will be entitled to special Sega merchandise available only through the club. Items will include T-shirts, posters, badges, stickers, caps and hold-alls.
SEGA® Competitions - There will be exclusive competitions with VERY exclusive prizes. You have to be a club member to enter.
SEGA® Promotions - These will be special events held throughout the country, with plenty of Sega goodies on display and a chance to meet the faces behind Sega in the UK.
To join ‘The Sega Club’ and get your subscription to ‘S’ magazine (including 2 free issues), send a cheque or postal order for £19.95 made payable to Virgin Mastertronic.
Send to: Sega Club, Virgin Mastertronic, 2-4 Vernon Yard, Portobello Road, London, W11 2DX
Shoot to kill - but only the bad guys!
It's time to unholster the Light Phaser again, folks, as you take on the job of a rootin' tootin' rovin' Sheriff, on a mission to clean up the Wild West. After selecting a difficulty level from 1, 2 or 3, your duties begin in the town of Tombstone, where the good townsfolk are depending upon you to take care of their outlaw problem.
(Image caption) Tearing across the desert sands, you've just managed to plug one of the baddies (or his horse, at any rate).
(Image caption) The first challenge stage - a really tricky test of your speed and accuracy.
In a similar vein to Taito's Operation Wolf, the screen scrolls from left to right with characters appearing from behind buildings, at windows, through doors and casually walking down the high street through the hail of bullets!
The bad guys are immediately on the alert and do their level best to fill you full of holes. But being a good, law-abiding sheriff you can only shoot those people who are trying to shoot you: no blasting the poor guy with his hands in the air.
Similarly, you can't just shoot any cowboy who wanders into view, since some of them don't pull a gun. If you plug them before they turn to fire, a 'miss' is awarded and another red segment added to your green life force meter at the top of the screen.
In your quest to restore justice, you are aided by bombs hidden at random behind people and scenery. Cowboys, horses, pictures and lamps can be shot to reveal the explosive device, and another shot detonates it, clearing the screen of all bad guys.
Successfully reaching the end of the street signals the appearance of the baddies' leader who comes out, guns a-blazin'. This geezer has to be liberally filled full of lead before he finally bites the dust.
Having tidied up Tombstone, your efforts are justly rewarded with bags of cash, plus bonus credits depending upon the amount of life force remaining. Your life force is then completely renewed in readiness for the next trial that awaits.
(Image caption) The final showdown. There's a direct hit on some dynamite, but you're making little impression on the Boss' lifeforce.
(Image caption) Mary's, Outlands and coin shoot.
As justice calls you to another appointment with destiny, you mount your trusty steed and gallop across the desert to the next town, pursued by hordes of desperadoes on horseback. Unsurprisingly, these have to be blasted as they ride into view, to stop them from gunning you down.
Survive this running gauntlet of leaden death (gripping stuff, eh?) and a challenge section allows you to get your breath back and earn a bonus score. Armed with 24 bullets, your aim is to hit 20 targets (jars, vases and generally breakable items) before the countdown timer hits zero. A cursor highlights the target for a moment, which must be hit before it moves onto the next.
This three-stage sequence repeats again, starting with Mary's Saloon, where the baddies walk on, appear at windows and pop up from behind bars. After another horseback shoot-out across the Outlands, the second challenge scene appears where gold coins are flipped into the air, and 70 have to be shot to receive the bonus score. You have unlimited bullets for this bit, so you can blast away like crazy!
And so your mission continues on through Ricky's Bar and Nugget Town to the final showdown with the Big Boss himself (and Bruce Springsteen it ain't!). This head baddie scurries in between buildings shooting continually, while covered by his lackeys who hurl sticks of dynamite. To survive this barrage, you have to shoot the dynamite in mid-air to avoid being blown up, while trying to pick off the Boss as he appears. And yes, this is just as tricky as it sounds!
When your current sheriff finally hits the Boot Hill trail, a picture appears showing him wreathed in flowers with the option to continue beneath. Shooting the 'Yes' panel makes him roll his eyes, eerily, and the mission continues from the beginning of the last scene.
Unlike other shooting games, Wanted really drains all your reserves of speed and accuracy. It makes a nice change that you can't just mindlessly blast everything in sight, but need to rely on quick reactions to choose a target and then decide whether or not to blow it away.
There are loads of neat effects and little touches which spice up the action, such as bullet holes appearing in the surrounding woodwork, the ability to break lamps and bottles, plus a spattering of blood when the bad guys buy it.
The one disappointment is that there are only seven stages (plus two challenge sections): if you use the continue option, it takes just a few days to see all the levels. Actually finishing the game may take a while longer because of the hard last stage, but the inclusion of three difficulty levels helps boost interest - and it's always good for some target practice.
This is definitely one of the better shooting games on the Sega. Anyone who wants to exercise their reactions and trigger finger should send out a Wanted posse right away.
▲ Simple but smart backdrops - especially the last scene.
▲ Detailed characters.
▼ Jerky scrolling during the town sequences.
▼ Little variety in the characters.
▲ Pleasant western background tunes - but nothing special.
▲ Great gunshot sound during the intermission screens.
▼ In-game effects are a bit weak
▲ Plenty of variety between stages.
▲ Strategic gunplay spices up the otherwise simple action.
▲ Three difficulty levels help sustain the lasting challenge.
▼ Just nine scenes, and only the last few pose any real problem.
▲ Test of reactions and accuracy really gets the adrenalin pumping.
▲ Continue option keeps you coming back for more.
A smart shoot 'em up which puts the light gun to good use. Plenty of blasting action with an unusual twist - one of the best Phaser games so far.
If you're reading this article, it's a pretty good bet that you are already the proud owner of a Sega Master System. Quite probably you own the Light Phaser and 3D glasses as well. You already know how good the games are and how much fun the Sega is. But have you ever stopped to wonder just what goes on beneath that sleek black case?
Sega has been at the forefront of arcade technology since the first coins disappeared into a slot, and is no doubt a familiar name to anyone who has been driven crazy by Out Run, battled with Afterburner or been spaced out by Galaxy Force.
With a Research & Development section devoted to the design and manufacture of arcade games, it was only natural that Japanese giant Sega should extend its services to the games-hungry public by entering the home console market.
The Sega Master System we all know and love was launched in Japan in 1983 and made its debut in this country at the 1987 Personal Computer World Show at Olympia. Accompanied by a natty line in peripherals (the full line-up now includes the Light Phaser, 3D glasses, joysticks and a rapid-fire unit) the Master System has built up a loyal, and frequently fanatical user base to the tune of over 100,000 units in this country - and it’s still growing. You are not alone!
Although it was based around existing 8-bit computer technology, the key to the Master System's success is that it contains two special custom chips designed by Sega engineers: a sound chip and, the real heart of the beast, a dedicated graphics chip which handles sprites and scrolling - the foundations of most arcade-style games.
All the objects that whizz around your screen are either sprites or character blocks. Sprites are moveable chunks of graphic made up of 64 pixels in
an eight by eight configuration. They are 'overlaid' on top of the background, so they can be moved anywhere on screen without interfering with the graphics beneath. The Master System has a generous 256 sprites, but is limited to four per line - any more and they have to be drawn over alternate screen updates, causing them to flicker. This becomes most obvious in busy shoot 'em ups like R-Type.
Character blocks are also eight by eight pixel graphic chunks and are the basic drawing blocks which go to make up the scrolly backgrounds. These graphic units can also be animated by moving them to different screen locations, with a maximum of 448 'moving' character blocks on screen at any one time. Identified by their characteristically square edge, these can be spotted as the larger objects seen belting toward you in Space Harrier.
The picture you see on screen is made up of 49,152 individual picture elements, or 'pixels', with 256 in each row and 192 per column. Each pixel can be one of 64 colours, although there is a maximum of 32 colours allowed on screen at any one time. To benefit from all this visual wonderfulness, though, you're going to need some sort of electronic gogglebox.
The Sega talks to the outside world using a TV or monitor, and there are two video outputs: an RF socket which squirts the picture onto a domestic television set, plus a seven-pin DIN plug which carries composite video and analogue RGB. If you already own a dedicated computer monitor (Commodore, Philips, Ferguson, etc) a composite video lead is easily obtained through computer shops and improves picture quality substantially.
And for all the curious gamesters out there who have been wondering, the panel at the rear underside of the console hides an expansion port. Included as something of an afterthought, this port has the same configuration as the cartridge port and could have been used to connect another input device - a modem or CD ROM perhaps. Unfortunately, it remains unused.
(Image caption) What every Sega fanatic dreams of - the full kit: Master System, snazzy 3D glasses, well 'ard light gun, trusty old joystick and a copy of Rampage!
All Sega games are cartridge based and vary in size from one megabit (125K) up to four megabits (500K). The biggest of the four Mega games, such as Afterburner or Phantasy Star, would just about fill up the memory of an Atari 520ST or Commodore Amiga A500.
The program for each game is encoded onto individual ROMs (memory chips) which are slotted into motherboards. The boards remain more or less the same in any Sega cartridge.
Your perception of depth relies on the fact that you get a different view of the world from each eye. Your brain puts the two images together to create a three-dimensional representation of the outside world. However, your brain (gullible thing that it is) can also be tricked into perceiving three-dimensional views, just so long as each eye is provided with the appropriate two-dimensional image.
Sega's 3D games create and update two playing screens simultaneously, one for each eye, rapidly alternating between the two on screen. In order to make sure that each eye only sees one image, the glasses use liquid crystal lenses which turn clear and opaque in synch with the screen display: when the left eye's image is shown, the right lens turns black and vice versa.
Because all this happens many times each second, the image remains on your eye long enough for you to see a continuous, if somewhat flickery, picture giving the impression of a
three-dimensional playing field. It takes a while to get used to, but the result is pretty effective.
If you thought the 3D glasses were clever, then the light gun is pure genius. This clever piece of hardware brings a whole new perspective to games, allowing players to point and shoot directly at objects on screen.
The workings of the gun are all based around the way your TV or monitor draws its picture. Every l/50th of a second, a phosphor dot whizzes across the inside of the screen, gradually creating a complete picture in horizontal scan lines from top left to bottom right. The gun barrel contains a lens which focuses light from the screen onto a light sensitive cell. When you pull the trigger, the cell becomes active
and monitors the light level of the tiny area of screen which it is looking at.
The cell detects the phosphor dot as it passes the gun's line of sight and immediately sends a signal to the video chip, which does a quick time check: it knows when the screen refresh started, and how long it took before the light gun detected the dot. Since each refresh takes a precise amount of time, the chip can calculate exactly where the phosphor dot is at any point during the screen refresh, and so knows exactly where the gun is pointing.
It's then just a matter of determining if an object was hit at that particular point, and if so placing the corresponding explosion, bullet hole, animated death sequence, or whatever on screen.
All the fun of gambling without the risk!
Ideal for those people who are a) too young to gamble, b) don't like losing huge amounts of money, or c) sick and tired of blasting things, Casino Games allows participants to try and fill their pockets in the glittering forum of a Las Vegas-style casino.
After entering your name, a nicely animated girlie at the information desk welcomes you to the joint, and asks if you have account with them. If not, she hands over $500 for you to play with (what a woman!). Clutching your wad, you can now trot over to the card table, show your wizardry on the pinball machine or go feed the one-armed bandits.
If you manage to increase your initial investment to $1,000 or more, you can return to the girl at the information desk who provides a 10-digit number, so you can rejoin the game at a later date with all your precious winnings intact.
Card blunts can practise their hand at Baccarat, Blackjack or Poker. The former two are played against the house (with a dishy female dealer), while selecting Poker lets you challenge one of four Sega-assigned opponents: Nancy, Janet, Dick or Charley, each of whom has a distinct playing style. The selected opponent is portrayed graphically during the game, sulking when you do well, and raising a smirk when you lose - but at least they can't give you any lip!
Standard rules apply to all three games, with cards being dealt automatically. Selections are made with a series of small menus and by selecting those cards you want to change with a cursor. The size of your bet is increased or decreased with a movement of the joystick.
Of the card games on offer, Poker is by far the most enjoyable since it requires a little more thought in building decent hands and betting accordingly. Blackjack is less complex, but good for a few hands. Unfortunately, Sega's version of Baccarat provides little in the way of a challenge, since the computer handles most of your decisions: interaction is reduced to simply pressing the button to place a bet. Great for lazy card players, though.
(Image caption) So, you've decided to play poker, and chosen Charlie as your opponent. A skillful bit of playing and Chaz is $205 short and looking a bit glum!
The pinball machine provides some light relief from the other games in the package since you can't actually win any money on it.
However, there's always that top score to have a crack at...
Before starting, one of three table angles can be selected, effectively increasing the return ball speed.
The game begins when the first ball is launched from a typical spring-loaded plunger. This constantly moves in and out, and the ball is catapulted into play by pressing button 1, with the strength of the shot dependant upon how far out the plunger is released.
Button 2 actuates the right flipper, and any movement of the joystick activates the left. The table can be nudged by pressing button 1 during play - but use it too much and the 'TILT' sign appears, and your current ball is lost.
All the normal pinball- type bonuses are in evidence, with bumpers, roll-overs and targets, and the current high score appears at the top of the screen. Although it's a far cry from the likes of Sega's coin-op Time Scanner, the pinball machine does provide a challenging game. Only the lack of graphical variety should cause you to start yawning.
(Image caption) The pinball table provides a swift way of spending your cash.
The one-armed bandit is quite realistic in that it provides a good way of blowing all you hard-won loot in one go! The machine can accept tokens of 1, 5, 25, 50 or 100 dollars each time, allowing you to gamble as much or as little as you want.
As many as nine tokens can be entered per turn, allowing you to bet on each row up to three times; a win on any row then receives a triple payout. Betting on all three rows increases the chances of a cash return - but of course, there's more to lose that way.
Once the machine is loaded up, a jab of button 1 pulls the arm down and sends the reels spinning, accompanied by a realistic chunking noise. When a winning sequence appears, the tray fills up with tokens which are quickly snatched away by a disembodied hand.
Full-time fans of slot machines might be disappointed to find that the one-armer portrayed is of the old 60's style, with no nudges, holds, bonuses, flashing lights or reaction tests to be found down your local arcade. It's appropriate to the casino in question, but would have benefitted from being brought bang up to date.
(Image caption) It‘s only a cherry, but with a $25 bet, you're $75 up!
(Image caption) Having blown all your cash, a brilliant end scene shows the look of horror on your gambler's face with the realisation that he’s gone bankrupt. He then slinks off through a darkened street, as a scrolly message tells him to give it everything next time. Some help!
▲ Great animation on characters, the pinball table and the slot machine.
▲ Neat and colourful static screens throughout.
▲ Gorgeous end sequence.
▼ The card playing sequences are tidy, but a bit unimaginative.
▲ Loads of different ’sleazy’ gambling tunes and jingles.
▲ Sound effects are all pretty good, especially the slot machine and pinball.
▼ Only Poker requires any real thought or strategy.
▲ Great fun for solo Poker players.
▲ Added incentive of winning money, enhanced by the account system.
▲ A great game to bang in for a quick, no-hassle session.
▼ Limited variety with only five different games.
▼ No two player option.
A nicely implemented compilation of games which suffers slightly from a lack of variety. It's strange that there's a pinball machine, but no roulette wheel. Best suited to the occasional gambling fan, or as a break from mindless blasting.
Tony Takoushi, ex-C+VG stalwart, editor of the Sega user group's quarterly newsletter and general all-round games freak, casts his expert eye over the current catalogue of Sega games to provide you with his digital decathlon.
I must be a glutton tor punishment! S asked me to compile a list of my ten favourite games for the Sega Master System - and that's no easy task, I can tell you.
As my roots are firmly planted in zapping and most things arcadey, the shoot 'em ups and arcade adventures tend to rate high on my list - although my number one choice is no problem. The Wonderboy games are true classics: arcade action mixed with depth and slick presentation. After playing Wonderboy in Monsterland, I thought that it couldn't be topped. But they've done it! Wonderboy III isn't a direct clone of the arcade original doing the rounds at the moment, but uses elements from its predecessors and adds good doses of depth and playability. There's so much to the game, requiring you to explore, collect extra weapons and armour, and beat the dragon bosses at the end of each section. Simply brilliant.
I had become more than a little disillusioned with the average scrolling shoot 'em up - and not without good cause, since they were all basically rehashed coin-op classics. That was until Power Strike came along: a game in a heart-pounding, drool-worthy class of its own. It's a vertical scroller, which is nothing new, but has absolutely masses of aliens to shoot coming from every conceivable direction! Your ship can speed up and arm itself from a total of eight different, but temporary weapons picked up by zapping the corresponding numbers scattered around the screen. The weapons are MEAN and can hammer most enemy combos, but the skill comes in avoiding the aliens and ground bases which are all busting a gut to get you. A complete classic which no self-respecting zapper should miss!
Third party licenses are an integral part of a console's line-up, and the Sega Master System has plenty of big names writing for it. One of the biggest is IREM (Innovation in Recreational Electronic Media) which increased its presence in the arcades with the legendary R-Type. The conversion is a 4 Mega cartridge (four megabits = a whopping great 500K's worth of game!) and ranks as one of the largest available. It's a scrolling shoot 'em up with dazzling graphics, frantic play and huge motherships to kill. What really sets R-Type apart, though, is its superb presentation, playability and depth. The game has all eight levels of the original and plays virtually the same. A Sega classic.
I remember seeing Fantasy Zone in an arcade in Central London a few years back, and marvelling at the tasty rainbow colours and surreal backdrops. This popular game spawned a follow-up called - well, guess! Fantasy Zone II appeared with the same bizarre, colourful scenery but greater depth and zippier aliens. Another great blaster.
I adore car driving games and the Master System also delivers in this department. My favourite is World Grand Prix, a fast-paced Pole position variant offering action-packed racing and requiring the utmost precision and timing from the player. It offers an over-the-shoulder view of the track, and you can shift between low and high gears while dodging the opposition.
The sheer speed of the track plus other cars hurtling by (when they're not trying to ram you off the road!) gives a terrific sensation of movement, and you have to learn to anticipate corners and the other drivers’ moves. A real golden oldie, this one!
IREM gets another look-in with Vigilante, a slick beat ’em up with superb graphics, and plenty of fist-crunching action. This made a very tasty conversion, and although a mite easy, is good enough to make it into my number six spot.
Although not quite matching up to its sequel mentioned above, Fantasy Zone is still a favourite. The main character, Opa Opa(!) zips across different planets, blasting away like crazy and collecting gold coins from recently demised enemy creatures. The coins are then used to buy upgrade weapons systems from shops which appear. A little old, but addictive enough to keep you coming back for more.
The Sega has a good choice of peripherals with both the Light Phaser and 3-D glasses. Fortunately, great detail and design went into producing these add-ons and the games available reflect this. Space Harrier is my fave rave for the glasses: this takes the original Space Harrier and slots in new graphics, twangy sound and a fearsome three dimensional effect. It really gets the pulse racing and head buzzing with the speed of the attack. You are confronted with a head-on view of the aliens tearing toward you, and have to avoid them and their fire by dodging around the screen, zapping continually. Definitely one to be played with the bicycle clips off!
A favourite on the light gun is Gangster Town. This is a battle of wits with you cleaning up your town by shooting the gangsters. Despite being an out and out zapper, you have to watch your hit ratios and be able to instantly pick out the bad guys from the innocent bystanders. There are plenty of scenes and variety to help prevent feelings of deja vu.
Back onto arcade adventures, there are a couple of characters that stick out a mile here. Super Wonder Boy and Alex Kidd have proved so popular that there are now three titles for each. Alex Kidd in Miracle World was the first introduction to the cutesy character and was swiftly followed up with Alex Kidd and the Lost Stars, plus the soon-to-be-released Alex Kidd in the High Tech World.
My favourite is the Lost Stars episode, in which Alex has to replace the 12 stars of the Aries constellation to their appropriate positions. He does this by investigating six planets, each with their own brand of aliens and landscape-based dangers to avoid. This game draws the player with its deceptively simple but addictive play, imaginative and colourful scenery and some wonderful digitised speech.
So there you have it, my top ten games. There are some real beauts to choose from, but I’ve also missed out a lot of other games that I rate highly!
New Sega owners might not be familiar with the current range of software, which has been released over the last few years. Up to September ’89 there are over 80 titles - and here they are:
Greetingsss, Sega sufferers, welcome to my tips section. Sylvester's the name - but you can call me Sly. If you're in trouble - and you usually are - this is where help is near at hand (or it would be if I had any!).
This month's tips have been kindly donated by my good self, but from now on, you'll have no generosity: I expect to see bucketfulls of tipss, cheats, maps and other devious game-beating suggestions come flooding in. But since I know you lot never do anything without at least a hefty bribe, there are plenty of prizes on offer to the best entries each month, such as T-shirts, badges, posters and, of course, cartridges.
Also, if you're having problemss on a particular game send in an S.O.S. and I'll see what I can do. Send your tips S.O.S.s to: A Little Bit of Sly Help, S Magazine, 4 Queen Street, Bath, Avon BA1 1EJ. And if you can manage to remember it, include your phone number as well.
But enough of this idle banter, on with the sssshow. To get you all started, here are tips for some of the best-selling Sega gamess. That way, you're bound to have at least one!
IREM's joystick-buster is a brill conversion, but even makes me break into a warm sweat - occasionally.
If you've hit a sssticky patch and the Bydo Empire are kicking your horrible fleshy butt, then start the game and die (that shouldn’t prove too difficult for you lot).
Extra creditss can now be gained by rotating the control pad clockwise during the restart countdown. You can increase your sstock of lives up to 12 in this way, but this can only be done once per game only.
If you rotate the pad anti- clockwise instead, the R-Type sound check appears: soundtracks up to number 17 can be heard by pushing left or right on the pad, and pressing button 1. After 17, push button 2 and right on the pad to bring up effects 18 to 95 which are again activated by button 1.
A real bonus for R-Type fanss is the secret level in the middle of the fourth stage. Head for the two pillars at the top of the screen, (bottom piccy) and reverse the R-9 into left hand column. The screen then flashes and the hidden level is entered allowing extra weapons to be collected. Pretty sssmart, eh?
(Image caption) Just in case you can't follow these amazingly simple instructionss, the hidden level is shown on the right...
You can become invincible on the fourth level, by jumping up and down 30 times (each, if there are two players) as soon as the level is entered.
In one player mode, this will provide you with continuous play through to the end-of-level boss; in two player mode this continues until both players have to fight each other.
On reaching level four, stay at the bottom of the screen. This way, you automatically miss all the pipes and bars, without having to resort to any inept evasive manoeuvres which would probably fail anyway.
Also, flying low results in the enemy helicopters’ gunfire coming down but going straight through you. Now isn’t that useful?
And if you can manage to make it all the way through to the very last stage, hover at the top corner of the screen on either side. The fortress sssimply blows up of its own accord, whether you blast it or not!
(Image caption) The Thunderblade title screen, looking not terribly unlike a still from the film Blue Thunder.
The end-of-level bosses in Shinobi can only be defeated using a particular method of attack. Myself, I'd just bite them on the... well, just follow these useful hintsss:
Ken-Oh: Jump up and shoot at his face, while trying to avoid the fireballs.
Black Turtle: To destroy this giant 'copter, simply aim and repeatedly shoot at its nose cone. Don't worry about the attackers.
Mandara: Stand as close as possible to each statue and fire repeatedly. To defeat Mandara, aim for the crystal on its forehead. Lobster: This huge Samurai's weak spot is its face. You'll have to jump up and shoot it as it lowers it sword. Timing is essential.
Masked Ninja: The Masked Ninja appears in different guises. As the first one jumps on, don’t move - just time your shots to coincide with the disappearance of his force shield, which is just after he's landed. Three shots does the job, and once you have the timing, he's no problem. The whirlwind character can be beaten easily. Walk toward him, crouch to avoid his shots and low-kick him three times. The remaining characters just have to be attacked as their force barriers disappear. Speed and timing is all it takes - and loads of practice!
To use any Ninja magic you have collected, hold down button 2 and then press button 1.
Knowing you lot, you'll probably have enough difficulty in reaching Ken-Oh. If this is the case, reset to the title screen and press Down, Down, Left, Right, Up, Up on the joystick, and then jab button 2 to bring up a mission selection screen. Select your mission and stage by moving the joystick up or down, then press button 1 to start the action. Easy now, innit? I don’t know why I just don’t come round to your house and play the ssstupid game for you!
(Image caption) Top left: This is Shinobi's title screen where you do all the joystick moving business. Top right, centre: You should now be able to select your starting level, enabling the final Masked Ninjas to be confronted.
If you have the rapid fire unit, plug the gadget in and continually pull the trigger during play. Even when your ammo runs out, you'll still be able to continue ssshooting - and probably finish the game.
Sssimply select the Wolf because he is the fastest and most agile of the three monsters. After that, it's up to you!
Well, for all those sadistic, violent beat 'em fans out there, here are some tipsss to aid the defeat of those tiresome end-of-level baddies in Vigilante. I, of course, despise violence of any sort - and have no reservations in eating large chunks of anyone who says different. But, to businesss:
Stage 1 - City Streets: When the Harly Hog appears, crouch down and punch repeatedly.
Stage 2 - Junkyard: Let the slavering Mad Dog leap off the van, right over you. Even if he isn't close enough for direct contact, keep punching - the mangy mutt's life meter still ticks away. Bit of a buggette there, methinks...
Stage 3 - Bridge: Macehead the Horrible (sounds like this guy's got bigger problems than a chicken in a fox farm) throws large steel balls which, I'm afraid, you’re going to have to dodge. After that, keep crouching and punching for all you're worth - however little that may be.
Stage 4 - Downtown: Watch out for dynamite as you force macho lunkhead Iron Brian off the platform, then crouch down and keep punching (you should be getting good at that by now).
Stage 5 - Construction Site: To deal with the final loony - the tastefully titled Giant Defiant - crouch down, get close and then wield those nunchukas. You should now be able to rescue that pitiful human girlfriend of yoursss.
You still here? Oh, don't tell me, you're still whinging 'cause you can't get past the very first thug on level one. Try pushing the upper left diagonal and buttons 1 and 2 at the same time during the title screen. You should now be able to move the joystick to select whichever stage you want. Really, I'm jussst too good to you.
If you’re having problems directing that annoyingly active kiddy around Monsterland (sssounds like my kind of place), then follow the tips below. They just might save the little brat's bacon.
Round 1: To kill the Boss, just stand still in the centre of the screen and cut with the sword.
Round 2: Buy the shield at the shield shop. You can beat the Boss with four cuts if you have a sword, or two bullets if you have the gun.
Round 3: Buy Knight Armour. When confronting the Boss, aim just as he lands on the ground.
Round 4: There are no tips for Round 4. Well, you can't have everything, can you?
Round 5: Beat Giant Kong who is behind the hidden door in Area 2. Go underground to get a key. Drink two glasses of cocktail in the tavern in Area 3 to receive a letter.
Round 6: If all your medicine has been used up, there's a pharmacy hidden behind a secret door. Buy a pair of boots from the shop behind the hidden doorway in Area 2.
Round 7: Search for your Uncle in Area 1. Get to the top of the tower in Area 3 and blow a flute: the route to the residence will magically appear, where you can then meet your Uncle. When confronting the Boss, aim at him just as he is about to hit the ground.
Round 8: Go through the passage in Area 1 and collect the Magic of Lightning. After defeating all the snakes (defeating snakes?!! - well there’s gratitude for you!) with the Lightning, hit the Boss with the sword.
Round 9: Beat the Demon which hides behind the secret door in Area 2, to get the Sword of Legend. If you collect the Shield of Legend in Area 1, you won’t get injured so easily.
Round 10: Same as Round 4.
Round 11: Visit the shop at the bottom of the sea twice to receive a Coat of Arms. Buy the Armour of Legend in Area 4. Obtain a ruby from an old lady who resides behind the last door in Area 4.
Round 12: Be careful not to slip in the passage. You can defeat the Dragon by attacking its heads with your sword and bombs, or by using the Magic of Lightning. And thatsss yer lot.
Always take the right turns to make the fastest times. Memorise this course, so you can successfully anticipate the bends. Short but sssweet!
Another big arcade adventure this one. And I've no doubt that you're getting nowhere fast, so here's the answer to your pathetic anguished, plaintive cries for help, you pale, non-scaly vegetable eaters. Nothing less than a complete players guide, that'sss all...
Aron starts the game with a silly name, unarmed and with $1,000.
Immediately buy a short sword in the city of Minea, and be sure to equip Aron with it. Proceed to talk with all the villagers and explore all the shops. Writing any messages down you hear is a good idea at this point.
Exit Minea and enter the field. Kill creatures to build up your gold reserve and experience pointss. Cross the bridge to right and enter another field. At the bottom of the second field you will find a lake: at the indentation, attempt to walk on the water. As long as you're in the right position, Aaron will receive the Gold pedestal.
Return to Minea and enter the village market. Sell the Gold pedestal for $2,000, then buy the Sapphire Ring for $1,000. Take the ring to Donis in the Ohman bar and receive $1,500 as a reward. Use this gold to buy shield and armour. Once fully armed, Aaron can visit the Seer’s house, where he receives the Crystal.
To the right of the second field is the city of Zepik. Visit the house of Jeba - if Aaron has the Crystal, Jeba will then give him the Temple key.
(Image caption) Typical - some scantily-clad bimbette wearing nothing but a blue ball asks you to risk life and limb, so you go all gooey and trot off to get beaten up!
Leave Zepik to the upper right and follow a path through the hillss. Situated at the crest of the hill is the palace. The creatures therein are extremely powerful, so be sure to upgrade Aron’s arms as gold is accumulated. And always carry a wing so that return to Minea is easier.
Enter the palace and approach the gold statue to the far right. If Aron is in possession of the Temple Key, touching the gold statue will gain him entrance to the inner regions of the palace. On the far left hand side of the first floor is a chest containing a Ruby. On the far right of the first floor is a decorated wall. Touching this causes Ankharat to appear. To defeat him, stay at the top of the screen until Ankharat is in full view. Run and touch him, then return to your original position. After defeating him, a hole in the wall will open, revealing a passageway to the second floor.
Walk through the second floor to the stairss in the upper right corner, and into the third floor. There are three chests hidden throughout this level: the upper right chest contains a Necklace, the top chest has a Key to Prison, and the bottom chest holds the Key to Chest. Collect the Key to Chest, return to the second floor and unlock both treasure chests on that floor. You should find a Potion and a Mask.
With the Key to Prison, Aron can now enter the three prisons at the top of this level: the Silver Bell can be collected from the prison on the left. Moving back to the first floor, the locked chest there can be opened to reveal the Ring of Mail.
Exit the palace. Take the Silver Bell to the house of the Mayor of Zepik. In turn, the Power Ring will be offered.
At the top of the second field you will find a mine which has three levels, and whose inhabitants are even more powerful than those in
the palace! In the far left-hand corner are two chestss: one holds a potion, the other contains the Silver Armour. In the lower left side is a chest where the Timer Ring can be found. Proceed to the upper right corner of the first level to find a flight of stairs leading to the second level.
On the second level, go immediately left to locate the chest containing the Roda Seed. Further to the left is the chest holding the Harmonica, and in the lower right corner the chest which holdss the Heal Ring.
Leave the mine and make your way down the second field to the large triangular tree. Once the Roda Seed has been collected, standing in front of this tree allows Aron to converse with it. Buried beneath a Roda tree - there are two of them - is the Silver Sword.
Proceed to Minea to return the Harmonica to the poetress, Reah. At this point, return to the palace. From the third floor, make your way to the upper left corner and take the stairs to the fourth. In the lower left corner is a chest containing the Ivory Key. Go to the to top centre of the fourth floor where there are sstairs that lead to the fifth.
There are two treasure chests on the fifth floor: one in the upper right corner, and the other at the bottom left. These chestss contain the Marble Key and Silver Shield.
Throughout floors four and five there are several gold statues. Touching these results in Aron being transported to different locations throughout the palace. Touching the correct sequence gains him access to a room filled with pillars, broken and whole. Walk all the way to the left and there is another chest. Touch this and Wyrm appears (wonder if he's any relation?). Stab repeatedly with the sword to kill him. Once Wyrm is dead, touch the chest once more to receive a Book of Y’s.
Return to the Seer's house (Sara) in Minea and collect another Book of Y's. Take both books to Jeba in Zepik and she will read them.
Now, return to the mine. On the second level of the mine there are stairs at the very top centre that go to the third level. Once there, proceed to the top right corner. There will be a chest containing the Key to Doomed. On the left side of the third level there lies another chest containing a potion. From the chest, proceed to the bottom far left, where you will find a blue door. Pass through the door and touch the chest to encounter Birdo.
This guy is very difficult to destroy: do not attempt to kill the mini-batsss instead avoid them and wait until they join up to form a large bird, then just stab its wings. Don't rush the fight. Once the creature is dead another Book of Y's is received. Again, take this book to Jeba to be read.
It is now time to go to the Tower of Doomed for the second half of the quest, sso have a break, crack open a hamster or two and warm out for a while (well, I'm cold-blooded - I guess you'll just have to chill out instead).
OK. Return to the palace but do not enter. To the right of the palace is the Thieves den, where Goban lives. Beyond the Thieves Den is the Tower of Doomed - once it is entered it cannot be left, sso be sure to save the game at this point.
The first six floors of the tower must be carefully explored as there are many specific areass to look for: watch out for a room holding four chests, one has the Evil Ring, one has a Mirror, one has a potion and the other is empty. Continue on to find a room with three statues in the formation of an upside-down triangle. When the room is entered, the screen will flash and the door will be covered with a prison door. At thiss point, all silver arms will be lost. Walk into the prison door and a hole will appear in the right wall. When the man walks out, sspeak to him and receive the Statues for Rauba. Leave the room.
To find Rauba, look for a long hallway lined with stone statues. Put
on the mask and a door among the statues will be revealed. Enter the door and talk to Rauba in order to receive the Blue Necklace. Equip Aron with the necklace and the Evil Ring.
Return to the room with the three stone statues. Leave and go through the entire castle before returning. This must be done several times before the man on the right allows you to go on. When he finally does, the wall to the right will open allowing access to the seventh floor.
On thiss floor, there is a chest containing the Silver Sword. Take the stairs on the right to the eighth floor. On the left side of the eighth floor are stairs ending in a green door. Go through the door and enter a room with another green door - touch this and Insecta appears. To kill him, avoid the green objects that he hurls at you and continually stab at him. Once Insecta dies, open the green door to enter the room beyond: there are two chests there containing a Hammer and a Book of Y's.
Proceed to the stairs at the top centre of floor eight to reach the ninth. In the middle of the ninth floor there is a room with one chest surrounded by four stone statues. Be prepared, as the statues come to life and must be destroyed before opening the chest to reveal the Silver Shield.
Go to the right hand side of floor nine to find the stairs to floor ten. The tenth floor has two setss of stairs: those on the left lead up to the eleventh floor. When the room at the top of the stairs is entered. Aron’s life meter will begin to drop steadily - the room is poisoned! Run to the right and enter the door, hurry down the stairs and talk to the man. Read his message and when the life meter is full again, exit that room and head back to the door on the left. Go back downstairs to the tenth and then take the stairs on the right to a ledge with pillarss. Equip Aron with the Hammer and use it - the pillars will break and the poisonous room will now be harmlesss.
Before returning to the poisonous room, though, proceed right on the ledge to the next door. Enter the door and and make your way to the stairs on the far left. Climb up to the twelfth floor and out onto another ledge with pillars. Go right to the next door on the ledge and go through. To the left of that floor you will find Luther Jemma.
Return now to the poisonous room. From the room where the old man gave you a message and filled Aron’s life meter, continue right to another door. Take the stairs on the left to the thirteenth floor.
Make your way to the left and talk to the old man. Proceed to the right and climb the stair to the fourteenth floor. To the right of this floor there lies a green door. Enter and touch the next green door, whereupon 1-Ball will appear. In attempting to destroy him, do not touch the red spot in the centre or the rocks he throwss. Enter the green door to find two more chests holding the Rod and another Book of Y’s.
Return to the old man on floor thirteen and head through the doorway to the mirror. Touching the mirror while in possession of the Rod leads you to another area of the thirteenth floor (in fact, this floor is full of mirrors and can be very confusing - especially to dim humans - take it slow and try and memorise what each area lookss like). In this area there is a chest with the Silver Armour inside. By continuing through the mirrors and doorways, ssets of stairs can be found. Climb all the stairs as they lead to other areas. On the fifteenth floor you will find a chest with the Battle Shield.
(Image caption) To enter the mine, you have to pass through this entrance. Lucky for you we brought a map!
After collecting the shield, exit the room and go all the way to the left. Take the hallway up and go all the way right to the door. Pass through the door and up to the sixteenth floor. Here, there is a crossway to the Tower of Rado. Enter the tower and head all the way to the left to find a green door. Enter and encounter Reah, the poetess, who gives you a Monocle. Use this to read all the bookss in the tower.
It is now necessary to return to Luther Jemma on the twelfth floor. He will present you with the Amulet.
Proceed up to the fifteenth floor, take the stairs on the far left to the seventeenth floor. In the middle of this floor there lies a chest with a potion. From here, continue left to some stairss and the eighteenth floor.
You will find two sets of stairs here: take those on the right to reach the nineteenth floor, and make your way to the room which is guarded by two sstone statues.
Enter the room to find a chest surrounded by four stone statues. Equip Aron with the Evil Ring and the Blue Necklace, touch the chest and receive the battle Armour. Return to the eighteenth floor and take the stairs on the left to the twentieth floor.
Go left through this floor until a hole appears in the wall. Pass through this hole into a room with a chest and two guards. Kill the guards and touch the chest to receive the Flame Sword.
From the hole in the wall, continue left to stairs leading to the twenty-first floor, which is also filled with mirrors. Proceed as you did for the thirteenth floor to find the stairs which lead to the twenty-second floor.
Again, more mirrors - touching the correct one revealss a room with a green door. The room will
suddenly produce two faces, one black and one white, with fireballs revolving about each face. This is Heady, who is a real tough cookie. Go to the bottom centre of the screen and stay there. Wait for the two faces to merge and then run up and touch them. Only touching the white face causes Aron's life meter to drop, so whenever posssible aim for that one.
After Heady has been despatched, go to the far left and proceed up all the setss of stairs until you are facing a green door. This can only be opened if you are in possession of the Amulet, and is where Dark Dekt is hiding. Before you confront him, make sure to equip Aaron with all the Silver arms.
Touching Dekt makes the whole platform take off and fly through space, while Dark Dekt also starts hovering around, throwing fireballs. Touching him again makes a section of the floor disappear, so be careful! Use sstrategy to ssurvive: try
touching Dekt when standing on the edges of the platform first, so as not to make the centre of the floor disappear, then follow him around with the sword continually touching him. Once DD has been defeated, the last Book of Y's hidden in his cloak will be revealed and Aron’s quest is finally at an end. Gasssp!
I'm sure you've all managed to get a high on your favourite game, ssso why don't it in to me? If it's good enough, it'll end my high scores table, with your name in lights to the envy of all your mates.
Just write them down on a postcard or the back of a sealed envelope (I'm sure even you can manage that!) and on the other side scribble: Sly Scores, S, 4 Queen Street, Bath, Avon BA1 1EJ. And why not include some tips to explain how come your score's so big? You never know, there might be some prizes on offer for the best entries.
Well, hurry up, I'm waiting...
Write to: SCRIBBLINGS, S, 4 Queen Street, Bath, Avon BA1 1EJ.
And so we come to the part of the magazine written by you. Many readers saw the advert for the launch of S in Future Publishing's weekly magazine, New Computer Express, and wrote to us with their suggestions for the magazine.
I have sent you some ideas on features I would like included in the magazine. These include:
And finally, could you explain to me, and probably a few more inquisitive Sega owners, what the compartment on the back of the Sega is for?
Good luck with the magazine,
Steven Watson, Selby
Another good list of suggestions - and that's why S includes most of them already! Short reviews of old games are perfectly possible - if readers send in requests for an old game they want reviewed, each issue we'll cover the one that gets the most votes. Sound fair?
We don't however want to spend much space on news and reviews for other consoles and machines. For one thing, we simply don't have the room in S to give them all coverage. And secondly, we want to-provide you with as much information as possible on YOUR machine. The games available for the PC Engine, Konix console, Atari 7800 and Lynx, plus Nintendo's Entertainment System, Famicom and Gameboy are all completely different. If we covered them all, less than one quarter of the magazine would be relevant to the machine you actually own and use. By concentrating on Sega-only products, you profit from every single page of S.
We probably won't be having any money-off vouchers as such, but watch this space for something even better...
To find out what the strange removable panel on the back of the Sega is for, turn to this month's Sega feature.
I hope you find this letter useful in setting up and initiating your new Sega console magazine. In addition to the usual criteria of any computer magazine, ie: the letters page, tips and bugs report, cheats section, reviews and previews etc, may I also suggest the following specifications:
1: Perhaps you could include an arcades section mainly for Sega arcade releases. This would be a good indication to future Sega console releases, as Sega arcade licenses become speedily available on the Master System. Also, take into consideration other arcade companies since Master System releases are not entirely confined to Sega releases in the arcade.
2: You could obtain exciting previews from the land of the rising sun. The Sega releases are always released on to the Japanese market first. Almost all new products are released in Japan. I hope you can afford to appoint a Japanese correspondent.
3: The American Sega console scene is firmly overshadowed by the Nintendo Systems, but there may be a few Sega System aspects worth highlighting. Perhaps a game released there but not here, for example.
4: In one of your issues you could include a feature giving an overview of the Master System, what the circuit board looks like, what each chip does, and even though the capabilities of the system are not particularly outstanding it could still give owners an insight into how the machine works and what it is capable of. You could even do one of these features on Sega's exciting new 16-bit Megadrive (capabilities of this system ought to really make the fur fly!).
5: Perhaps you could include regular features on the Megadrive as this system will soon be released officially in the UK by Virgin Mastertronic. Informing the public on the hot new machine it clearly is (judging by Space Harrier 2, Altered Beast etc) could do a lot to aid sales of the machine.
6: Get Virgin Mastertronic to give you a couple o' thousand units of Sega Systems in readiness for a competition and/or Sega games and accessories.
Incidentally, if you meet Virgin Mastertronic tell them to release the ‘Megadrive’ version of the Sega 16-bit and not the 'Genesis', as it is known in America and Japan, as A: the name Megadrive is already well known over here, and B: 'Megadrive' sounds better. (The Genesis project was also doomed to failure in the Star Trek films!)
One more thing: I hope you can buy a single issue of your magazine since many people cannot afford to pay for 12 issues of a mag in one lump sum. It's rather easier to pay £1.25 each month as and when it's released.
Iqbal Shaikh, Leicester
You must be clairvoyant or something, since you've pretty much described the mag as it appears here. But in response to your points:
1: As soon as a new Sega coin-op appears you can be sure of a full review in the pages of S. There are plans to include reviews of non-Sega arcade machines whenever there's a possibility of a conversion, so keep your eyes peeled.
2: Previews of games are all well and good, but do you really want to read about games that you won't be able to get your hands on for six months?
3: Again, there's little point in describing a game if you cant get hold of it. But if Sega in Japan or America are up to anything interesting you'll be the first to hear about it.
4: You pre-guessed us good and proper here. Hope you liked the feature on page 14!
5: The Megadrive (and yes, it IS going to be called the Megadrive) isn't expected in this country until around Easter 1990. We'll . preview the machine and games in detail just before it's due for general release, but once again there seems little point in making you drool too far in advance. If you disagree, drop us a line.
Either way, there's more than enough great games coming up on the Master System to keep Sega fans busy.
6: There's no point in awarding Master Systems as prizes - if you haven't got one already, what are reading S for? However, you can be sure of some pretty mega prizes on offer in the next and future issues. Don't miss out!
Finally, there is a possibility of S reaching the news stands if demand grows large enough, but for the time being you'll have to content yourself with the subscription offer - which is a very tempting one, I'm sure you'll agree.
Here are a few suggestions for features:
1: History of the company Sega.
2: List of all software/hardware available for Sega consoles - especially US and Japan-only products.
3: Readers top 10 game tunes.
4: Follow the development of a new Sega game.
5: A competition in association with American and European Sega magazmes for readers to design a game Sega will manufacture.
Mark Wintle, Essex
Looks like S has really got you thinking! A feature on Sega Japan is definitely on the cards, but we don't really see the point of listing Sega products you can't buy in the UK.
If you do have any preference
in the music stakes, why not include them with your top 10 (you are sending in your top 10, aren't you?)
Follow the development of a Sega game? Hmmm, sounds a bit tricky. Of course I'd love to trip over to Japan every two weeks to see how their latest project is coming along, but the mag just might not get written.
Your last idea sounds good in theory, but may be a little bit on the optimistic side. Competitions like this have been held in other magazines, and generally the results go a long way to show that game design is usually best left to those who do it for a living.
Now it's your turn to write with your opinion on all things Sega. For example:
There's a mystery prize on offer to the sender of the best letter printed each issue, so no excuses. Anyone forgetting to include their name, address and telephone number will be labelled a plonker. Right, that's enough - get scribbling.
To get the Top 10 charts off to a swinging start, here’s a mildly official list of the best-selling Sega games. California Games is a new entry in at number 8 which has, by all accounts, been selling like brollies in a typhoon. If you disagree with this line-up, why not send in a list of your personal faves?
Then why not take out a FREE Reader Ad with S?
For just the price of a stamp, you can place a 30-word advert in these pages and reach thousands of Sega users. Simply fill in the order form below, pop it in an envelope and send it to Reader Ads, S, 4 Queen Street, Bath, Avon BA1 1EJ.
to Britain's only Sega magazine and claim two free issues!
We hope you've enjoyed this special issue of S. As you can see, the world of Sega gaming is humming with activity; and frankly, there's only one way of keeping up with the excitement. By subscribing to the magazine dedicated to your machine.
S costs £1.25 an issue, and a 12-issue subscription costs just £14.95 with postage and packing thrown in free. But for a limited period we're offering a special launch subscription which will give you 14 issues for the price of 12!
We're sure you'll agree that £14.95 is a small price to pay for 14 months of exciting involvement in the world of Sega entertainment.
Fill that form in now!
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your subscription to S you may cancel at any stage and receive a full no-quibble refund for all unmailed issues!
S is the latest magazine from Future Publishing, the company behind Britain's most exciting computer titles including ST Format, Amiga Format and New Computer Express and the creator of the award-winning ACE magazine.
The editor of S, Steve Jarratt, was part of the ACE team and before that worked on ZZAP! 64, Crash and Commodore User. And contributing editor Tony Takoushi was a C+VG columnist for many years, and is Britain's leading authority on Sega entertainment.
So when you buy S you can be sure you're buying the best!
"Do me a favour... plug me into a SEGA®"
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