S E G A M A S T E R S Y S T E M 
            Frequently Asked Questions 
            Version 2.06
Created and maintained by: Jeff Bogumil (jeffb@access.mountain.net)

NOTE: While this FAQ is decidely slanted towards the SMS U.S. market,
it does contain some foreign country release information. For more detailed
info about the SMS (especially software) in other countries, please refer 
to Clint Dyer's SMS Foreign Release FAQ, available at 

Join the SMS Mailing List by sending e-mail to sms-list-request@segasages.com,
with the subject "subscribe".

Adam (doleman@ime.net)
Barry Cantin (BCantin@aol.com)
Bon Sawyer (bikewks@gold.net.au)
Brett K. Carver (brett@sr.hp.com) 
Cap Scott (CapScott@aol.com) 
Clint Dyer (APDF35D@prodigy.com) 
Craig (s9407341@yallara.cs.rmit.edu.au)
Galen Komatsu (gkomatsu@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu) 
Jack Laughlin (laughlin@soeil.acomp.usf.edu) 
James P. Grenert (grenert@harvey.mayo.edu)
Jesse Telephone Booth (boothj@rpi.edu) 
John Daniels (ah499@cleveland.freenet.edu) 
Ken Arromdee (arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu) 
Mark Knibbs (markk@netcomuk.co.uk)
Master of Slow Progress (dzubera@CS.ColoState.EDU)
Matt Kasdorf (kasdorf@eta.uleth.ca) 
Michael C. Cukan (mcc2@cornell.edu)
Nathan Page (nmp20@cai.cam.ac.uk)
Patrick J. Errico (s0024211@hawkmail.monmouth.edu)
Rampage (rampage@ccnet.com)
Richard L. Holbert (rholbert@rcinet.com)
Russ Perry Jr. (perryda@sol.acs.uwosh.edu, "Russ" in subject) 
Ryan H. Osborn (rosborn@ecn.purdue.edu) 
Steve Wills (gt2378b@prism.gatech.edu) 
Meet Mr. Malaria (kyoshiro@netcom.com) 
Ulrich Hilmer (HILMER_ULRICH@DIODE.donut.ruhr.com) 
Charles McDonald (cgfm2@hooked.net)
John Winget (john-a-winget@uiowa.edu)
Jon Deeter (jond@wvi.com)
Dominick Roman 
Jeremy Statz 
Jess Ragan
Robert Worne
I hope I haven't forgotten anyone... :-) 
This document is Copyright (C) 1996, 1997 Jeff Bogumil. Feel free to 
distribute this FAQ in whole - NOT in part - to the ends of the Earth. 
If you wish to include this FAQ in any form of publication or compilation 
(newsletter or book; electronic or paper product, CD-ROM or disk), please 
contact me first at jeffb@access.mountain.net.
I cannot be held responsible for false or mistaken information. This FAQ is 
in no way endorsed by Sega of America or affiliates. All copyrights and 
trademarks are recognized. 
USENET: Posted regularly to rec.games.video.sega & r.g.v.classic 
WWW: www.gamefaqs.com
E-MAIL: Send a request to jeffb@access.mountain.net
Foreign pack-in info, plus questionable pack-ins defined.
Short note about the MS3 in Brazil
Lots of Label, Software, Packaging, Title Variations defined
Emulator info (still pitiful, but it's something)
Complete Wonderboy game list (yes, I listen) :-)
Battery replacement tip
Web page list updated; SMS sources updated
Hidden text in game ROMs
Minor corrections throughout
I. General Information 
1.1 What is the SMS? 
1.2 Why didn't it gain popularity? 
1.3 What are the technical specifications of the SMS? 
1.4 What accessories are available for the SMS? 
1.5 What pack-in packages exist? 
1.6 What 3rd parties developed games for the SMS? 

II. Compatibility 
2.1 Is European software compatible with U.S. units? 
2.2 Is Japanese software compatible with U.S. units? 
2.3 Can I play Game Gear games on my SMS? 
2.4 Can I play SMS games on my Genesis? 
2.5 Can I play SMS games on my Game Gear? 
2.6 Can I play 3-D games without the 3-D glasses? 
2.7 Can I play Sports Pad games without the Sports Pad? 
2.8 Can I play Light Phaser games without the Light Phaser? 
2.9 Do Genesis controllers work with SMS games? 
2.10 Is there any possible way to play SMS cards on the SMS II and Game 

III. Sources 
3.1 Where can I find SMS hardware and software? 
3.2 Are there any magazines with SMS coverage? 
3.3 Where can I find SMS cheats, tips and strategy guides? 
3.4 What other Internet resources are available? 

IV. Modifications 
4.1 What would I find if I compared the SMS and Game Gear? 
4.2 Is there a way to move the SMS pause button to a controller?
4.3 How do I make a SMS language switch?
4.4 How do I make a 50/60Hz (PAL/NTSC) switch? 

V. Trivia 
5.1 I've heard about a built in, hidden game. What gives? 
5.2 What is the SMS/Zillion relationship? 
5.3 Did SMS software really start the "meg" thing? 
5.4 I've heard about a limited edition SMS game. Info? 
5.5 Do SMS carts contain dual language ROMs like Genesis carts? 
5.6 The instruction manual says <such and such>, but the game does/says 
    <such and such> Info? 
5.7 What SMS games are recommended? 
5.8 What SMS games are not recommended? 
5.9 What exactly is Y's based on?
5.10 Are any SMS emulators available?
5.11 Where can I find SMS ROMs?
5.12 What Wonderboy games were released, and on what systems?
5.13 How do I replace the battery in my <name> cart?
VI. Game List 
6.1 What games were released for the SMS?
6.2 How were SMS games packaged? 
6.3 What packaging variations exist?
6.4 What label variations exist?
6.5 What title differences exist?
6.6 What software variations exist?
6.7 What SMS software was announced, but not released? 


[1.1] WHAT _IS_ THE SMS? 
The SMS (Sega Master System) was Sega's answer to Nintendo's 8-bit NES 
(Nintendo Entertainment System). Technically superior, the system never 
gained much in the way of a large user base due to numerous factors (see 
1.2). The SMS sported quite a few gems during its short life, however, 
such as the renowned RPG Phantasy Star and the highly rated 3-D Glasses. 

The Sega Master System appeared on store shelves shortly after the release 
of the NES. It is large, tech-looking system measuring 14 3/8 W 
- 6 5/8 D - 2 3/4 H, with sharp corners (unlike the Genesis or SMS II) and 
black plastic casing. In comparison, the NES looks like a Cessna 
single-engine compared to the SMS' SR-71 design. After a one inch base, 
the machine is formed upward and inward to form the cartridge slot plateau. 

Rather snazzy... 
| RF OUT A/V OUT Overhead view 
| | | 
| | CHANL 3/4 | Extension port (never used) 
| | | | | 
| \ / | 
| \ ############## VENT ################################## / | 
| \ / | 
| |---------------------------------------------------------| | 
| | | -----CART SLOT ----------|| | 
| | | -------------------------|| | 
| |---------------------------------------------------------| | 
| / | | \ | 
| / | RESET PAUSE | \ | 
| / | | \ | 
| / --------------------------- \ | 
| / ------------ \ | 
| | | | 

    | | | | 
                    ASCII art by Jeff Bogumil 
/________________\ ORIGINAL MODEL (SMS I) 
|__________________| Nondescriptive front view 

The SMS has an introduction screen which appears each time you turn 
on your SMS (with or without a game inserted). The Sega logo slowly 
"slides" into view mid-screen (with accompanying sound effect), and 
the text "Master System" appears underneath. A two-tone intro tune is 
played during this sequence, which is best compared to the opening tune 
in the 16-bit Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog (though, in the 
SMS' case, the singing choir is replaced by the simple tones). 
Unlike the NES, the SMS has an instructional screen that appears if 
you turn on your system without having a cart or card inserted (the 
instructional screen appears after the introduction screen). Later 
on (specific time-period, anyone?), Sega switched to built-in software, 
which automatically loads if you turn on your machine without a game 

In what seems to be a tradition with game systems, Sega of America 
released the Sega Master System II in 1990 in order to increase it's 
current user base via inexpensive (though downscaled) hardware. This 
"2nd generation" SMS (comparable to the Atari 2600 Jr. and remodeled NES) 
measures _ x _ x _. Very much the opposite of the original model, the SMS 
II looks similar to the remodeled 16-bit Genesis system. Smooth curves, 
rounded corners, variable degrees of black and gray colored plastic, 
plus an enlarged, white Pause button for those "dive for the system" 
type of action games. As an incentive, Sega included Alex Kidd 
in Miracle World as a built-in freebie. 
Unlike the SMS I, however, the SMS II lacks the following features 
(they were dropped in order to reduce the price of manufacture): 

* Card port (resulting in the inability to play card based 
games and 3-D carts (since the 3-D glasses use the card slot)). 
* Swinging, hinged cartridge slot doors (the SMS II cart port operates 
via a sliding cover). 
* Opening logo music tune and text "Master System", when powered up. 
* Reset button. 
* Power-on light. 
* A/V output. 
* Extension port. 
            Overhead view 
        ASCII art by Ryan H. Osborn 
    POWER | CH4/CH3 
    | _| | 
    { } { } { } 
    / \ 
/ ____________ _______ \ 
/_/ \ / \_\ 
| \ / | 
| |_____________________________| | 
| _____ |\ /| | 
| / \ | \_________________________/ | | 
| | | | | | | | 
| | PAUSE | | | | | | 
| | | | |_________________________| | | 
| \_____/ |/___________________________\| | 
| | 
| ||POWER|| | 
| (****---) S E G A | 
            {____} {____} 
            | | 
            CONTROL 1 CONTROL 2 
From Mark (markk@netcomuk.co.uk):
"In France, the MS 1 (_and_ the MS 2, which had the A/V port instead of 
RF jack) were sold with an RGB lead (model 3085). One end plugs into 
the MS, the other into the SCART/Peritel socket on a TV, via a small box 
in the lead. It gives a _lovely_ clear picture. The box contains a 
small PCB, the purpose of which is to provide the blanking and function 
switching signals. (So my TV switches to RGB mode automatically when I 
turn on the console, and back again when I switch it off.) On the box 
it says: 'Adapteur R.V.B.'." 

In Brazil, a "Sega Master System III" has been released. Evidently similar
to the MS2, with some subtile changes. An SMS III "Super Compact" was also
released. For more info, see Clint Dyer's SMS Foreign Release FAQ:

There are various adapters available that will allow you to play SMS games
on other Sega manufactured systems:

Power Base Converter (SMS->Genesis; See question 2.4)
Master Gear (SMS->Game Gear; See question 2.5)

There are many factors contributing to the SMS' failure in gaining a 
significant amount of the market (statistics show the NES having 90% of the 
8-bit market, with the SMS and Atari 7800 sharing the remaining 10%). 

#1. Nintendo's third party policy (at the time, if you programmed for the Big 
N, you programmed for the Big N only). Thus, Sega suffered. I believe 
Nintendo relaxed their restrictions later on, with a 4 year waiting period 
before a licensee could transfer an NES title to another format. Even later, 
Nintendo again reduced restrictions upon government pressure. By this time, 
however, the SMS had failed to make significant sales, resulting in little 
interest from outside developers. 

#2. The Nintendo Entertainment System came first and was quickly accepted by 
video game starved consumers. 
#3. With the NES' head start came a disturbing trend in consumers: everyone 
likes to stick together. Jimmy buys a system just like the one Bobby has, so 
as to fit in with the crowd. 
#4. Poor software. I admit, the SMS sported some retched stuff with its 
introduction, with most of it leaning toward the sports/action spectrum 
(i.e. didn't appeal to the entire crowd). 

#5. Poor management by Tonka Toys. In 1987, Sega of America sold its SMS 
rights to Tonka, believing that Tonka's toy distribution would better allow 
the SMS to be circulated. Unfortunately, the distribution didn't make much of 
a difference, what with the dismal marketing and support given by Tonka. 
Popular titles (such as Gauntlet and Psycho Fox) appearing in Europe were 
passed over by Tonka for such flops as Cloud Master and Dynamite Dux. Soon 
after the release of the Genesis, however, Sega of America reacquired the SMS 
rights, which were quickly followed by some new software releases (including 
previously ignored European softs such as Psycho Fox, and downscaled 16-bit 
translations like Ghouls 'n Ghosts). This was too little, too late, 

#6. My own personal peeve -- the pause button is located on the SMS base 
unit instead of a controller. Given, this may not have affected sales 
much, but I'm sure it did nothing to help the system's popularity. :-) 

#7. A lack of 3rd party exposure. Tonka did nothing to really advertise 
SMS 3rd parties. Activision and Parker Brothers games are only recognized 
by their small logos on the box packaging; there were hardly any other 
distinguishing features that hinted at any licensee involvement (except for 
Activision possibly having a hand with the infamous black packaging of their 
carts). Nintendo, on the other hand, did give exposure to their 3rd party 
developers. Marketing-wise, the promotion of companies developing games for 
_your_ system adds security and lasting value to your product. Sega did not 
make this mistake with the 16-bit Genesis and tried to correct the mishap 
when they reacquired SMS rights. 
While the system failed in the U.S., it greatly succeeded in Europe, 
Australia, and Brazil (where the SMS III (!?!?) is still being sold).
The following has been reprinted from the rec.games.video FAQ (statistics 
by Corey Kirk): 
Bits (CPU): 8 
Bits (Gx): 8 
CPU: Z80 
MHz: 3.6 
Graphics: 240 x 226 
Colors: 52/256 
Sprites: 16 
Sprite size: 8 x 8 
Audio: mono 
RAM: ? 

The following has been contributed by Matt Kasdorf: 

From SMS I packaging: 
ROM: 1024K Bits 
RAM: 64K Bits 
Video RAM: 128K Bits 
Colors: 64 
Resolution: 256x192 Dots 
Screen Scroll: Horizontally, Diagonally, Vertically, Partial 
Audio: 3 Sound Generators, Each Four Octaves, 1 White Noise 
Characters: 8x8 Pixels, Max 488 
Sprites: 8x8 Pixels, Max 256 
Some Text from the Box: 
"4 way scrolling", "up to 4194K Bit memory", "256K Bit Memory Sega Cards", 
"up to 4194K Bit Memory Sega game Cartridges", "with lithium Back Up RAMs" 

RF Converter: MGB3-VU3401, 8E388 
PCB Component Side Markings: (c) SEGA 1988 
            SEGA (R) M4 POWERBASE / NTSC 171-5533-01 
            837-6629 19 AUG 1988 
CON2: 35 Pin Card Slot 209-5020 K16R 
CON3: 50 Pin Cartridge Slot PSB4D255-4R1 M18R 
CON4: 50 Pin Card Edge 
IC1: Zilog Z0840004PSC Z80CPU 8828 SL0965 
IC2: 0821EX SEGA MPR-11460 W46 
IC3: NEC JAPAN D4168C-20 8829P5007 
IC4: SEGA (R) 315-5216 120U 8820 Z79 
IC5: SEGA 315-5124 2602B 84 18 89 B 
IC6: NEC JAPAN D4168C-15-SG 8828XX215 
IC7: NEC JAPAN D4168C-15-SG 8828XX215 
IC9: SONY 8M09 CXA1145 
SMS Control Pad Information: 
-female plug on end view: 5 4 3 2 1 
            9 8 7 6 
-pin 1: Up 
-pin 2: Down 
-pin 3: Left 
-pin 4: Right 
-pin 5: No Connection 
-pin 6: Button 1 (Start) 
-pin 7: No Connection 
-pin 8: Common (Ground?) 
-pin 9: Button 2 
VictorMaxx's StuntMaster helmet (a puesdo-VR goggle display) is
evidently compatible with the SMS 1 via the A/V port.

Here are those offered by Sega. Other companies also developed various 
peripherals, including joypads, joysticks and light guns. In Japan; a BASIC 
program language attachment, keyboard and light pen (is this the same as the 
Graphics Board?), and "audioadapter" (what is this?). Sega of America 
announced a "Graphics Board" (a drawing pad, with images appearing on your 
television screen) and a 3.5" disk drive with the SMS' introduction, but 
neither accessory was released. 

Tonka announced a few peripherals in their '88 "Let the Games Begin" catalog. 
They include an "Arcade Command Stick" ((#43052) questionable existance), a 
"Mega Phaser" ((#43051) evidently released), Light Tablet ((#?????) rumored 
ONE prototype to exist -- I would guess this tablet is the Graphics board 
announced by Sega), and a 3.5" disk drive (#?????) not released -- again, 
most likely the same item as Sega's disk drive). Product numbers listed 
(43xxx) are by Tonka, not Sega.

Two SMS card -> SMS II/Master Gear converter (card -> cart port) prototypes 
are known to exist. 

Available in Europe is the Pro Action Replay (a cheat code device similar to 
the Game Genie). From Adam (doleman@ime.net):

"The PAR is used to create codes that, when put in at the code screen, will
enable you to alter the game in a certain way. You can get infinite lives,
infinite energy, and all sorts of other goodies. It is made by Datel and
is not available in the US. I'd get into the technical aspect of it, but I
don't really understand how it works :)"
Paddle Controller (product #????) 
Evidently, this device was not released in the U.S. as previously believed. 

Sports Pad (Power Ball) (product #3040) 
A rollerball controller developed for a couple early sports games (Sports Pad 
Football and Great Ice Hockey; possibly others). 
Light Phaser (product #3050) 
Similar to the NES Zapper, but of higher quality. A sleek, jet black 
pistol, with "hair trigger" (no clunky "recoil" found, unlike the Nintendo 
counterpart). Light Phaser compatible games required (see 6.1). For an 
interesting trivia note, see 5.2 
3-D Glasses (product #3073) 
Quite innovative at the time of release, Sega's SMS 3-D glasses still draw 
rave reviews from video game players. 3-D compatible games required 
(see 6.1). A SMS I is required for this device, as the 3-D glasses hook 
up to the system via the card slot. 
Control Stick (product #3060) 

        \----/ ASCII art 
        || by 
    _ _ || Jesse Telephone Booth 
The Control Stick was a joystick designed for right handed control, instead 
of the typical left handed set-up. It was sold separately for $20-25, 
was packaged with the SMS cart Outrun (sold together for $45-65), and was 
also sold with the Rapid Fire Unit ("Rapid Fire Control Stick, $??.??) 
Black, gray and red design. 
Rapid Fire Unit (product #3045) 
From Brett Carver: A small device that is inserted between a two-button 
controller and the game system. It provides an auto-repeat capability for 
the control buttons which saves a lot of wear-and-tear on fingers for games 
like Astro-Warrior. The auto-repeat could be turned on for each button 
                Switches to turn on/ 
                    | off auto-repeat 
        Plug for V 
            system ----------------- 
            | | | 
            V | 2 [X ] | 
            --- | | 
            | |=======| RAPID FIRE [<- Plug for 
            --- | | controller 
                | 1 [ X] | 
                | | 
                ASCII art by Brett Carver 
This unit was seen offered through Sega in their early "SEGA 
Challenge" newsletters. Buying 3 games would get you the item. It 
was also available via retail ($8.50), and packaged with 
the Control Stick as the "Rapid Fire Control Stick" ($??.??). 
A 3rd party rapid fire unit may exist (more info in a future update). 
Control Pad (product #3020) 
The joypad which comes packaged with SMS systems. Resembling the 1st 
generation NES pads, three versions exist: 

1. Three button/mini-joystick. Once the thumbpad button cap was removed, 
a small "thumbstick" could be inserted. 
2. Three button. The third button sits recessed in the center of the 
thumbpad. The button has no function during gameplay. 

3. Two button. The thumbpad button as been entirely removed. This 
version is most commonly associated with the SMS II, when it was 

From Nathan Page:
"3041 Handle Controller

Black plastic thing, stickers to give the impression of car instruments. 
Breaks easily. I don't have any other details handy, but I have a large 
review of the thing. It apparently works reasonably well."

This device was not released in the U.S.


When released, U.S. SMS I pack-ins included (product # shown): 
3000 Hang On/Safari Hunt ("Master" package; including base unit, 2 
    controllers, combo cart, light phaser and hook-ups; original 
    retail price of approx. $200)
3005 Hang On/Astro Warrior ("Base" package; including base unit, 2 
    controllers, combo cart and hook-ups; original retail price 
    of approx. $120) 
3001 Missile Defense 3-D ("SegaScope" package; including base unit, 2 
    controllers, cart, 3-D Glasses, light phaser and hook-ups; 
    original retail price of approx. $???) 
There are also 3 (possibly 4) different built-in software variations of the 
SMS I. I assume these systems replaced the base units and carts listed in 
the above packages. They are: 
#1. Hang On/Safari Hunt 
#2. Missile Defense 3-D 
#3. Hang On/Astro Warrior (exist? I have yet to encounter one) 
#4. Hang On 

The SMS II was released with Alex Kidd in Miracle World built in, one 
controller and necessary hook-ups. 

Sega of America had a short-lived special offer with the Power Base 
Converter, offering Golden Axe Warrior as a free pack-in. 

In Europe, players were given the same pack-ins as those in the states -- 
concerning the original "Sega Master System." They also received the 

Sega Master System II, w/Alex Kidd in Miracle World built-in; Sonic the
Hedgehog cart pack-in, controller(s?), hook-ups

Sega Master System II, w/Sonic the Hedgehog built-in, controller, hook-ups

"Sega Master System Plus", a SMS I with light gun and Operation Wolf 
cart (?), controller(s?), hook-ups

"Sega Super System", SMS I with 3D glasses (game?), controller(s?), hook-ups

"Sega Super System Plus", SMS I with light gun, 3D glasses, Missile Defense 
3D and Operation Wolf carts, controller(s?), hook-ups

SMS II, Sonic 1, Sonic 2 (assuming Sonic 1 built-in, Sonic 2 as cart), 
controller, hook-ups

SMS II, Sonic 1, Columns, Super Monaco Grand Prix, 3rd game (title?)
(Sonic built in, other three as a three game cart (Master Games 1)), 
controller(s?), hook-ups

SMS II, Lion King, controller, hook-ups

In Australia, at least 5 pack-ins exist: 

1. The SMS I with Alex Kidd in Miracle World built-in, controller(s?), 
and hook-ups.
2. The SMS II with Alex Kidd in Miracle World built-in, two
controllers, hook-ups, and a Double Dragon pack-in cart.
3. The SMS II with Alex Kidd in Miracle World built-in, hook-ups,
controller(s?), and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 pack-in cart. 
4. "Sega Master System Plus"; SMS I, two controllers, light phaser, and
Hang On/Safari Hunt built-in
5. "Sega Super System Plus"; SMS I, two controllers, light phaser, 3D
Glasses, Hang On/Safari Hunt built-in, 3D Outrun (cart?)

In Japan (the birth place of the Sega Master System), the "SG-1000" (early 
Japanese SMS) came and went pretty quickly. Later, the "Sega Mark III" 
appeared, which is similar to the U.S. SMS unit except for some added FM 
chips (in fact, Sega of America based our SMS on the Mark III). Also 
available in Japan was the "Sega Master System" (which featured built-in 
3-D hardware) and from Samsung came the "Gamboy" (a licensed Master System 
with FM sound). UPDATE: New info supports the following: that the Sega 
Mark III is similar to the U.S. SMS INTERNALLY (external differences are 
so dominate, they result in cart incompability between SMS and Mark III). 
Also, the Japanese version of the Sega Master System may NOT include 
built-in 3-D hardware. Can anyone clarify this? 


Third party licensees were scarce on the SMS. Activision and Parker Brothers 
are the only actual game releasing U.S. 3rd parties I'm aware of, though Sega did 
gain permission to "reprogram" numerous games developed by other companies. 
Absolute Entertainment did sign on as a 3rd party, but during the SMS' death, 
handed over their R.C. Grand Prix to Sesmic, who (I suppose) turned it over 
to Activision. AE canceled James Bond 007 for a U.S. SMS release. These 
are the only two games I'm aware of (concerning AE's involvement with the 

In the UK:

Absolute Entertainment
Flying Edge
Image Works
US Gold

U.S. Parker Bros. games were released by US Gold in the U.K.

Yes. Although folks may be wondering about PAL and NTSC definitions, there 
appears to be only some minor problems playing European games, and only 
with a small minority of carts:

From Mark (markk@netcomuk.co.uk):

Game Problem
---- -------
Prince Of Persia Occasional slight graphical glitches
Jungle Book Ditto, and the scrolling is sometimes jerky
Back to the Future III Does not work at all. Game hangs.

Presumably BTTF III contains code to check for 50Hz, and locks up otherwise.
This is borne out by the fact that I can start the game in 50Hz, then switch 
to 60Hz while playing. The graphics are rather flickery, but it works. 
When the game is over the machine hangs.

Strangely, Prince of Persia works fine on a 60Hz Mega Drive/Power Base
Converter combination!
Japanese SMS software is compatible with foreign SMS units, but the Sega 
Mark III carts are not compatible with any SMS unit. Adapters exist, 
however -- a Sega Mark III -> SMS converter, and Sega Mark III -> MegaDrive. 
The SG-1000 is most likely incompatible with the SMS and Mark III. For
more information about the SG-1000 and Sega Mark III, please refer to Clint
Dyer's SMS Foreign Release FAQ (http://www.best.com/~cdyer/)
The official word: No. The unofficial word from curious hackers: I don't 
see why not. The NEW unofficial word: No, due to color conflicts. Here's 
some information I received (from Meet Mr. Malaria (kyoshiro@netcom.com)): 

"As for the possibilility of running Game Gear games on an SMS, 
I'd say no, or at least a firm possibility tha[Bt it can't. 
The Game Gear can run SMS carts, of course, but that may very 
well be due to intentional downward compatibility of the GG to the SMS, 
and such may not work in reverse. The only hardware [difference] I know of 
between the two on a chip level is that the GG has a 4096 color palette, 
while the SMS has a 256 color palette, but that may be enough. If the GG 
has a larger palette, than it must have a different method of setting 
each of the color registers than the SMS did: The SMS color can be 
determined by one byte, so probably only needed one register, whereas a 
number from 0 to 4095 needs two bytes, and therefore the GG chips 
probably have two color registers, or one register with a special system 
which allows both bytes to be written one half at a time. 
The Game Gear was probably designed to allow the color registers 
to be set by either the 256 color method (for downward compatibility), or 
the 4096 color method, whereas the SMS was created before the GG, so it 
would not support a GG-specific game's method of setting colors. 
The possible problems resulting from this incongruety -alone- 
might be: 
#1. A complete crash (if the GG game tried to set registers that did 
not exist or had nothing to do with color) 
#2. Completely scrambled colors (if the GG uses the same registers 
to write the colors, but in a different way) 

#3. No picture at all (if the GG writes colors using registers that 
had no function in the [SMS], so no SMS color reg would ever be written 
to, and all would default to black, so no picture) 
It may still be possible that the two are still compatible, but 
only [if Sega] intentionally created the GG to set colors in a matter that 
would cause the [SMS] to use it's nearest approximation, or if each cart 
were programmed to be SMS compatible. 
Summary: It looks to me like the GG was designed to be downwardly 
compatible with the SMS, but the SMS would not have been designed to be 
compatible with the GG."

-- BUT --

From Richard Holbert (rholbert@rcinet.com):
"I don't own either, but I read your FAQ and have an idea that might work.
Aside from the obvious hardware interface problems, the software
incompatibilities could be addressed as follows: I think it should be
possible to rewrite the SMS BIOS ROM (or whatever Sega calls it) to map the
extra color codes to their nearest SMS equivalent.

Source code for both SMS and GG BIOS would be very helpful, but someone
could probably disassemble them."

Someone once mentioned that a pre-Christmas '92 issue of VG&CE contained a 
mailorder ad offering a GG to SMS adapter, but my VG&CE collection is 
incomplete, and I haven't been able to confirm its existence. Any 
information is welcome. 

For more information, check out the Modifications section of this FAQ.

With the aid of a device called the Power Base Converter, it's possible to 
play all (*) SMS games (including 3-D, light phaser, and cards) on the 
original model Genesis. The converter retails for $40-50, but can be found 
discounted for as low as $15. Note that a Power Base Converter for the 
Genesis II is available in Europe only. 

From John Winget (john-a-winget@uiowa.edu):
"I have sucessfully attached the adapter to my Gen II system by cutting off
the tab on the back where the screw went through to secure it to the Gen I.
there is a considerable gap left under the adapter when plugged into the
Gen II but if you add a heavy foam aroung the edge cut to fill the gap it
is more than secure enough to use."

From Clint Dyer (APDF35D@PRODIGY.COM): 
"Only F-16 doesn't work on the PBC -- in short, it uses all the 
pins across the board, and is the only card to do that. Thus, the PBC 
wasn't made to read all the pins." 
Yes. A few adapters exist, with Sega's own being the "Master Gear." 
Restrictions apply: 

* Only cartridges can be used. 
* Small text and objects are difficult to make out on the Game Gear. 
* 4-meg SMS carts have minor difficulties (i.e. the occasional scrambled 
graphic) due to Game Gear limitations. 
* Carts requiring special accessories or a second controller won't function 
A few games do have special codes or options to disable the 3-D feature, 
and they're listed below. If anyone knows of any other 3-D games with a 
2-D option, please let me know. 
Zaxxon 3-D: Press pause at the title screen to bring up an option menu. 
Simple enough. :) 
Poseiden Wars 3-D: Plug a control pad into the 2nd port. With this 
controller, press button #1. 
Space Harrier 3-D: Play the game in 3-D until you reach the first boss. 
Let him kill you. If you obtained a high enough score, you'll get an 
initials input screen after the Game Over message. With the 2nd 
controller, and holding button #1, enter T-H-R-E-E. Note that the word 
will not be displayed on the screen. 


You can move in a diagonal direction only, though very quickly.

Sega did re-release Sports Pad Football as Great Football, which is 
compatible with the standard controller (possible dual compatibility 
with the Sports Pad). 


Two such games have been reported: Operation Wolf and Lazer Ghost.
Neither were released in the U.S.


Yes -- kind of. The standard Genesis 3-button and 6-button joypads work 
fine with most SMS games, though there are some carts which are 
incompatible. (Is this a pin conflict, and if so, can it be fixed?) Here 
is a list of games which do NOT function with Genesis controllers. 

Alien Syndrome 
Bomber Raid 
Great Volleyball 
Montezuma's Revenge 
Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? 
Wonderboy in Monsterland 
Tennis Ace

SMS card games were re-released in Europe as carts -- that's your best 
option. There ARE card -> cart port converters, but only two are known to 



Best bet: The SMS Mailing List. Most folks are willing to help find that
certain cart, and you'll usually be able to find some great prices and
trades. Hell, mention what you're looking for to Clint Dyer -- guy has a
memory like an elephant. :-) 

Also, yard and garage sales, flea markets, and pawn shops.

rec.games.video.marketplace wouldn't hurt either.

If you're in serious need of SMS control pads, you should see which games 
in your collection will function with a standard Genesis pad. The following 
games have proven to be incompatible: 

Great Volleyball 
Alien Syndrome 
Wonder Boy in MonsterLand 
Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? 
Montezuma's Revenge 
Bomber Raid 
Tennis Ace

Place classifed ads in video game fanzines, such as Digital Press.
Telegames USA offers accessories and U.K.-imported software. You can 
request a catalog and other information: (214) 227-7694 (voice). Most SMS
collectors recommend going thru their U.K. based counterpart -- though 
you're paying overseas shipping, the prices are still much less expensive
(sometimes as much as a $40 difference):

Kilby Bridge
Leicester LE18 3TE
United Kingdom

Tel: +44(0)116 2880445
Fax: +44(0)116 2813437

Tenex Computer Express has some compatible controllers available in their 
Commodore/Amiga catalog; the Beeshu Ultimate Superstick (joystick with 
turbofire), Kraft Systems TripleTrack (rollerball), and Beeshu Zoomer 
Control Yoke (flight simulator controller with turbofire). They can be 
contacted at: 1-800-PROMPT-1 (voice). (This source still valid?) 

Video Magic offers some SMS hardware and software. You can request a 
catalog by writing to: 

Video Magic 
P.O. Box 9542 
Pittsburgh, PA 15223 

(Is Frank still in business?)

Nathan Page (nmp20@cai.cam.ac.uk) provides a service wherein he will 
attempt to locate any SMS game (including European releases). This is 
done in the form of "waiting lists" for the popular games. Mail him an 
offer for a particular cart, and in what condition you expect the 
box/manual etc to be in. You will then be added to the list. Whenever he 
finds a cart that someone is looking for, the highest person on the list 
who wants it gets ot for the price Nathan paid, plus shipping, plus a 
small "finders fee". 

Nathan also tried to hold a stock of Europe-only releases for sale or trade.

The following is a list of U.K. based electronic games dealers. Thanks to 
Jeremy Statz for these locations. (Are these sources still valid?) 
Select Consoles (mail order only) 
(052) 587-3573 
KC's Computers and Console Magic 
3 High Street 
Leics LE11 !py 
(050) 921-1799 

Raven Games London 
74 Bromley Road 
Kent BR3 2NP 
(081) 663-6810 
Surfcliff LTD 
34 Norton Road 
Tumbridge Wells 
Kent TN4 0HE 
P.O. Box 84 
Station Approach 
Hereford HR4 9YU 

If you're looking for a SMS Game Action Replay, try Datel (the manufacturer)
directly: www.datel.co.uk The SMS list reports Datel has the device for
about $40, including shipping.
Not anymore. :-)

Back issues to look for, though, would include the following:

Electronic Gaming Monthly
Video Games & Computer Entertainment
Sega Visions

Anyone have any foreign recommendations?

The SMS Cheats Compilation is the best source for cheats; you can find it
incorporated into Sega Sages (http://www.segasages.com). There are also
a few dedicated FAQs available (try http://www.gamefaqs.com). The 
compliation covers both domestic and foreign releases.

The text version of the SMS Cheats Compliation is available via e-mail; send 
a request to jeffb@access.mountain.net


SMS Central

Robert's Classic Videogame/Computer Museum

The Space Harrier Page
Fans of Space Harrier will love it.

The Phantasy Star web page
Covers all Phantasy Star games, but with lots of PS1 info (including some
really nice maps. Recommended for PS fans.)

The SMS Mailing List 
The SMS Mailing list has been moved to a new site. To subscribe,
send e-mail to sms-list-request@segasages.com, with the subject

The SMS Foreign FAQ 
Maintained by Clint Dyer, this FAQ includes a complete UK game list.
Highly recommended for collectors looking to tackle the SMS import
market. You can find it at Clint's Handhelds page:

The Sega Masters' Guild 
A web page containing a list of SMS collectors and their goods, this 
FAQ in HTML format (an old version, but with images), and a list of 
SMS mailorder firms. http://comp.uark.edu/~ivaz/sega.html. This page
hasn't been updated in ages...

Jon Deeter's SMS page
A true SMS fan, Jon is. Look here for lots of cool pics (including BIG
box scans).

The Sega Notebook
Really cool site.

Richard's Sega Master System Page
Looking for SMS Pro Action Replay codes? Go here.

The Phantasy Star One Home Page

Videogame Music Archive
Looking for SMS midis? Check here.

SMS World

Nintendo and Sega Emulators
Good links section for SMS/NES emulator fans.

Archaic Ruins
Best emulator site on the net.

Telegames (sells SMS stuff, including UK games, but you'll pay...)
(Does Telegames UK have a web site?)

Nathan's Home Page
This page up?

The Game Gear is actually a slightly scaled down SMS, with its own play 
screen (of course) and controller features built into the portable unit. 
The systems are extremely similar: it's known that the Master Gear (SMS to 
GG adapter) is only a vehicle which connects the SMS cart and GG port pins, 
with little or no electronics used in the process. This being the case, 
I've printed the following information in the hopes that some technical 
maven out there can use these statistics in order to create a GG to SMS 
adapter (no matter the cost <Grin>). Thanks to Matthew Kasdorf for 
providing all this stuff. 
Sega Master System Cartridge Information: 
-two sided printed circuit board 
-50 pin edge connector: Component Side: pins 1 - 49 (cartridge 
forward) Solder Side: pins 2 - 50 
Sega Game Gear Cartridge Information: 
-single sided printed circuit board 
-PCB Component Side Markings: 837-7846-01, MB98536-015, 9119 K12 
-PCB Solder Side Markings: (c) SEGA, 1990, MADE IN JAPAN, 171-5953-A 

-surface mounted die, blob protected 
-2 surface mounted capacitors 
-45 pin edge connector: 2 4 6 8 ... 42 44 
            1 3 5 7 ... 43 45 
-No connection on pins: 1, 26, 27, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, and 45 
-V+ connection on pins: 2, 35, and 43 
-V- connection on pins: 16, 17, 18, 41, and 42 
SMS to GG Adapter Information: 
SMS Pin Number: GG Pin Number: SMS Pin Number: GG Pin Number: 

1 2, 35, 43 26 11 
2 3 27 10 
3 -- 28 9 
4 26 29 8 
5 34 30 7 
6 33 31 6 
7 32 32 5 
8 31 33 4 
9 30 34 -- 
10 29 35 2, 35, 43 
11 27 36 28 
12 25 37 36 
13 24 38 -- 
14 23 39 38 
15 22 40 -- 
16 21 41 -- 
17 20 42 -- 
18 19 43 -- 
19 16, 18, 41 44 -- 
20 17 45 -- 
21 16, 18, 41 46 39 
22 15 47 40 
23 14 48 -- 
24 13 49 -- 
25 12 50 --

DISCLAIMER: Neither Jeremy Statz nor Jeff Bogumil are responsible for 
any damages or losses made, be they to the system, controller, materials, 
or individual, if this modification procedure is performed. 
            Procedure by Jeremy Statz 
            Written by Jeff Bogumil 
[The following hack was submitted by Jeremy Statz, who performed the 
original procedure on his Power Base Converter. I've rewritten the concept 
to make it more easily readable, and given notes for SMS I owners. I HAVE 
NOT given instructions for the SMS II, but I would guess that only some 
minor changes, if any, would need to be made - ed.] 
"Wand" soldering iron 
VERY small clippers 
Liquid Latex 
Plastic Cement 
Insulated wire connectors, set of 4 
4 pieces of wire, each approx. 1 foot in length 
4 pieces of wire, each approx. 7 feet in length 
Small pair of needle nose pliers (for SMS owners) 
Small Phillips screwdriver 
Electrical tape 
NOTE: It's recommended that you color code the wires together 
(i.e. a red 1 footer with a red 7 footer, etc...) 
STEP 1: Using a phillips screwdriver, remove the top black 
casing from your PBC (or SMS). The pause button should be easily seen. 
(SMS owners will have to use the screwdriver and pliers to remove a large 
metal shield before they can proceed.) 
STEP 2: Take the clippers and VERY CAREFULLY snip the 4 
attachment prongs of the pause button. Remove it. 
STEP 3: Solder each wire (7 feet long) to each prong of the pause button. 

STEP 4: Solder each wire (1 foot long) to the appropriate points on the 
PBC (or SMS). Be sure to match up the color codes with their respective 
connections (i.e. The upper left pause button prong should be matched with 
the upper left location on the system). 
STEP 5: Carefully work the 4 wires (attached to the system) through the 
pause button port of the cover (and shielding, for SMS owners). Do not 
replace the covers yet (i.e Do not replace the screws). 
STEP 6: Take the wire connectors (it really doesn't matter what type they 
are, as long as they are insulated) and solder them to their appropriate 
STEP 7: After all the solder has dried, and all the connections have been 
checked for sturdiness, place liquid latex over any exposed wires to 
prevent electric shock and/or corrosion. 
STEP 8: Replace all the wires and shields. 
STEP 9: Use plastic cement to glue the pause button to a comfortable and 
reachable spot (during gameplay) on your favorite SMS controller. 
STEP 10: To clean up the wire pollution, you may want to tape the four 
wires together with electrical tape. 


Currently unknown, but bi-lingual SMS ROMs have been confirmed. Current
methods involve a Power Base Converter with MegaDrive (Japanese Genesis),
PBC with Genesis w/language switch of it's own, or using a English/Japanese
option in the popular SMS PC Emulator, Massage. See question 5.5 for more 

From Mark <markk@netcomuk.co.uk>:

Language switch: This is probably possible. You just need to know what pin to
switch. E.g. the MS 1 board is self-explanatory regarding 50/60Hz switching. 
I used information gleaned from doing this to work out which pin of the 
graphics chip needed to be desoldered and switched, in order to fit a 
50/60Hz switch to the MS 2. Maybe someone who has a Japanese MS could open 
it up, and have a look inside...?


From Mark <markk@netcomuk.co.uk>:

I have written a document detailing how to add a 50/60Hz switch to the Master
System 1 or 2. You can find it, and some other console modifications, at:

For people with PAL Master Systems, fitting a switch is (IMHO) essential. 
Most games play too slowly on PAL systems. Going to 60Hz speeds them 
up by 20%, to the correct speed. For those with NTSC consoles, they 
can see how awful playing on a PAL console is.


The original model of the SMS has a built in, code accessible maze game; 
your goal is to guide a small snail through a series of different levels. 
Not much play value, but it's a nice extra to have. 
If you own an original model SMS without a built in game... 
Turn on your SMS and wait for the instruction screen to appear. With 
controller 1, press up and hold buttons 1 and 2. 
If you own an original model SMS with a built in game... 
First, hold down the sequence given above. While holding, turn the machine 
on and wait. 
The SMS II (and possibly late released versions of the SMS I with 2 
games built-in) do not have the snail maze game. 


It seems that the Light Phaser is the sequel to the "Zillion Gun", a 
toy Sega introduced in Japan years ago, following the "Laser Tag"
style of play. To promote the gun, Sega introduced a manga (Japanese 
comic) series, which proved extremely popular. The manga gave way to 
Zillion anime (Japanese animation; "Japanimation"). With Sega owning 
the rights, they introduced the SMS with the Light Phaser, which is 
modeled after the Zillion Gun, except for the Light Phaser's markings. 
Oddly enough, neither of the Zillion games for the SMS use the Light 
Phaser during gameplay.

New information states that the Zillion gun was included with the
Zillion video game as a promotional effort. (Was this a "deluxe"
or "special edition" packaging?) 

Another SMS game has been shown to be based on anime --
Spellcaster is based on Peacock King-Kujakuo (with a sequel
appearing on the Genesis as Mystic Defender).
I won't claim that the SMS was the first home video game system to break 
the 1-megabit barrier, but yes, SMS carts were the first to use the term 
"mega" as a means of sales promotion. Later, Sega picked up "meg" when 
promoting their 16-bit Genesis game, Strider. You'll find "mega" plastered 
on boxes and labels of certain SMS titles. 
The overhead, vertical shooter called Power Strike was promoted by Sega of
America as a limited edition game, offered through their user-base club. 
Later, it popped up in limited quantities in various toy store chains. 
The game's packaging is in black and white; screen shots and all (giving the 
appearance of a counterfeited item). Power Strike is known as Aleste in 
Japan. NOTE: It has been reported that Power Strike is also available in 
a full color packaging -- this is probably Power Strike 2, which is similar 
to the original but with color packaging. 

Power Strike was released in other countries with color packaging, and 
without any sort of "limited edition" monikor attached. The game is 
typically hard to find, however.


Apparently, yes. It's been proven by using a Power Base Converter/MegaDrive 
combination, though I haven't had anyone actually hack their SMS and find 
or create a language switch (seems to be viable though, as shown by an 
accident that occurred). Info follows: 

From Ken Arromdee, who was kind enough to forward me the post: 
"Someone recently posted a bit of information to the net indicating that the 
SMS was indeed language switchable. If you missed it, here it is... 
From: hancom@crl.com (Han Lee) 
Newsgroups: rec.games.video.sega 
Subject: Re: M.U.S.H.A. 
Date: 4 May 1995 13:21:11 -0700 
In article <3o8m21$p64@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu> arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu 
(Ken Arromdee) writes: 
>hancom@crl.com (Han Lee) wrote: 
>>No. Power Strike is the Alleste. If you have a Mega Drive (Japanese 
>>version of Genesis) and a Powerbase Converter, you should be able to see 
>>Power Strike title changing to Alleste. 
>Can you confirm this? It may definitively answer a long-unresolved question: 
>confirming the existence of language switch games on the SMS.... 
>Ken Arromdee (email: arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu) 
Yes. You indeed can have a language switch on Master System games if you plug 
in Powerbase Converter to a Japanese Mega Drive. It also says "Sega Mark III" 
as a start-up title logo. I've discovered a lot of bi-lingual games, 
such as Zillion, Penguin Land, Kungfu Kid, Power Strike/Alleste, and etc. 
BTW, since Genesis has a FM sound chip, does anyone know if the Japanese 
Master System games with FM music work on the Mega Drive? I know the 
Japanese version of Phantasy Star and Out Run had FM musics." 

Some information which also supports language switching (from Meet Mr. 
Malaria (kyoshiro@netcom.com)): 

"My slant on the Dual-Language debate: YES. I've only had this 
happen to me once, but it did happen: 

Once, while playing Aztec Adventure, I accidentally bapped the 
end of the SMS, causing a reset. Instead of the normal Sega logo, 
however, I got the Sega Mark III Logo (the words "Sega Mark III" written 
in medium sized white italic letters, with a multicolor flashing 
background, no music and no regular Sega logo). The normal Aztec 
Adventure [intro] followed, but when the scroll unrolled, instead of the 
title it said "Nazca '88", which I assume was the Japanese name. The 
rest of the game proceeded normally (though I didn't get very far, so the 
ending might have been different). Next time I reset the game it went 
back to normal, and I could never get it to happen again. 
For the record, I have the original U.S. SMS system, and I bought 
it fairly soon after the system was released. 
What I infer from this is that: 
The built-in Sega ROMs in the U.S. version has the Japanese ROM 
vestigally, and either the ROM senses which system it is in and runs 
accordingly, or the system starts the appropriate ROM, perhaps based 
on jumper settings??? 
The carts contain both versions, and... 
Since the unit has proven itself to be capable of running both by my 
accident, it should be possible to build some sort of switcher or 
modification which will launch the SMS running as a Japanese 
However, I couldn't say how to do it."

And another accident from Patrick "Killer Bee" Errico 

"I was reading your FAQ and I too have seen the elusive "Sega Mark III"
screen. I have a SMS I, It was bought the 1st X-mas that the SMS was
available. It happened to me twice, once while I was playing Zillion, and
another time while playing Miracle Warriors. With Zillion I accidently pulled
out Black Belt and put in Zillion with the power on, then the Sega Mark III
screen popped and and flashed colors. I spent the rest of the day trying
different combonations of games with no luck. With Miracle Warriors, I just
bumped the power base and the Mark III screen appeared flashing colors again.
Both times, it never went into the game, just stayed with the logo on the
screen. Today I'm a little to jumpy about smacking my SMS, it might kill 

Galen Komatsu reports that Penguin Land comes up with an apparent
title change via a language switch: "Pengin Rando: UchuuDaiboken"
Translated: "Penguin Land: Great Space Adventure" No gameplay
differences have been found.

Transbot, Astro Warrior and Ghostbusters do not show any
differences when language switched.

Forwarded to me by Clint Dyer, from the SMS mailing list:

"From: Galen Tatsuo Komatsu on Tue, Apr 16, 1996 1:01 AM
Subject: Bilingual games
To: Dyer, Clint; Dyer, Clint

ok I risked certain damage to electronic components from the
constant switching on and off of my Megadrive, and came up with
these results on "bilingual" SMS games.

Test equipment: Japanese MegaDrive with (American) Power Base Converter
        American Master System

Basically what I did was plug things into the MD<PBC setup,
if someting outside of the expected or Japanese text came up, I
marked it as bilingual.

In general the "Venetian Blind" Logo is replaced by a "SEGA
MARK III" screen so those have been ignored...though there are a
few different SMIII screens. Basically they're all the same,
SEGA MARK III appears across the middle of the screen in angular
letters, at a slant. The background is blue or black, the letters
are sometimes white, sometimes flashing. Sometimes there's no
logo screen, sometimes a different one as noted below.

Time Soldiers: "SEGA" logo appears, nothing else
Hang-On/Astro Warrior (or Safari Hunt): no startup logo
Shanghai: SEGA logo fades in. Game instructions in Japanese, and
if it matters, the instruction graphic is centered horizontally.
Zillion: Japanese title, Japanese text in game.
RC Gran Prix: no startup logo
Double Dragon: "SEGA" logo appears, blue appears in gradations.
(dark blue towards the top & bottom, lighter blue near the
    middle horizontal)
Penguin Land: Japanese title
World Gran Prix: Title is "The Circuit"
Gangster Town: no startup logo

These games appeared to show no changes:
Space Harrier, Transbot, Quartet, Rampage, Ghostbusters, Wanted,
Afterburner, Rambo III, Great Football, Super Tennis, ZillionII

Finally, anyone with Power Base Converters ever have trouble getting
some games to run? I sometimes have difficulty getting Rampage and
Transbot to run. Shinobi, Slap Shot, and Great Golf refuse to run period.
(they run fine on my SMS without problem.)"

So there you have it -- three instances of language switching. Trouble is, 
we don't all have MegaDrives and PBCs, and I'd rather not sit around bapping 
my SMS for hours on end. :-) If anyone can find a way to create a language 
switch using the SMS base unit, PLEASE send me the procedure. I'll add it 
to the FAQ immediately. 

A popular SMS emulator, Massage, has an option that allows you to start 
the game ROM with the language switch set to Japanese. 
Following is a list of instruction manual corrections: 
CAPTAIN SILVER: There are only four rounds and three bosses -- the Joker, 
the first Pirate, and Captain Silver. 
GOLVELLIUS: The Ring of Invisibility - as mentioned in the game - is 
actually a Ring of Invincibility. 
Name corrections -- 
------ ---- 
Saipa Rolick 
Taruba Bachular 
Waruso Warlick 
Jaspa Crawky 
Heidi Haidee 
GREAT BASEBALL: You are unable to select your catchers. 
PSYCHO FOX: Typo correction - the words "stages" (on pg. 20 and 21) should 
read as "rounds." 
SPACE HARRIER 3-D: The correct continue code is - when you die, press Up, 
then buttons 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, on controller #1. 
SPELLCASTER: To use a spell, continuously press the joypad Up and Down, 
while holding the fire button down. 
TIME SOLDIERS: Once the two continues are used, the game ends. This 
corrects the manual's statement that if there are two players playing at 
the same time, a player will always be revived, as long as the other player 
remains alive. 
ZILLION: Don't enter the suicide code in room C-4 as instructed by the 
instruction manual. Such kidders, Sega... 
ZAXXON 3-D: The W capsule lets you access the different weapons. The E 
capsule lets you receive an extra ship. 
This is a matter of opinion, but here are some top picks from various

RPG: Phantasy Star gets top billing here. Some folks are akin to
Miracle Warriors, but PS wins by a wide margin.

Action RPGs: Golden Axe Warrior, Golvellius and Y's all receive high
marks, with most leaning towards Golvellius and Y's.

Shooters: R-Type and Space Harrier top the list.
Action Platform: Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap is the first to be
Rambo: First Blood Part II and Ghostbusters are typically spoken of.
Other picks include: Afterburner, Aztec Adventure, Spy vs. Spy,
Thunderblade and Zillion II. 


A series of books (hence, Y's: Books 1 & 2 for the Turbografx-16
CD-ROM). Apparently 6 to 8 books based upon the Y's story have
been published in Japan. The SMS received a translation of the
first book, and the TG-16 CD the first and second books. Later
sequels (Y's 3+) are not based on the book series.


There are a few, but the most popular is known as Massage. Like other
SMS emulators, it's capable of emulating Game Gear games as well, and offers
nice extras like language switch capability and Pro Action Replay code
support. More stable on most systems than other SMS emulators. High-end
486 required. You can find it at any number of Emulator sites, such
as Archaic Ruins (http://archaic-ruins.parodius.com/).


You won't find them thru the mailing list, packaged with any emulator, and
you won't find any references to ROMs in this FAQ. I will not answer ROM
e-mail requests.

The best way to find ROMs is to tackle a few web search engines and look
for them.

DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse retaining ROMs of any kind, illegally.

On an interesting note: Charles McDonald has written an interesting utility that
reads SMS ROMs and spits out any text it may find. It's been discovered that
some ROMs contain hidden messages beyond the text you'll find in the game.
The utility can be requested by e-mail: cgfm2@hooked.net. 


Here it is, a compendium of WB:MW info (posted to the SMS Mailing List
by Charles McDonald <cgfm2@hooked.net>):


1. Wonderboy {Side scrolling ride the skateboard game}
2. Wonderboy in Monsterland {One with the maze and the Mekka Dragon}
3. Wonderboy 3: The Dragon's Trap {Shape change into the mouse/lion game}
4. Wonderboy in Monster World {Similar to WB3:TDT, more linear}


5. Wonderboy 3 {Just like WB3:TDT}
6. Monster Lair (Wonderboy 4) {Unusual shooter/scroller (Thanks Clint!)}
7. Wonderboy 5 / Monsterworld 3 {Similar to WB3:TDT, more linear}
8. Monsterworld 4 {Play as a girl with a genie and a bird}


9. Wonderboy in Monsterworld {Similar to WB3:TDT, more linear}


10. Dragon's Curse {Just like WB3:TDT}
11. Monster Lair {Shooter game with big enemies}
12. Dynastic Hero {Similar to WB3:TDT, more linear}
13. Super Adventure Island {Sequel to the ride the skateboard game}


14. Wonderboy 2 {Same as Wonderboy in Monster Land}
15. Wonderboy 3 {Just like WB3:TDT}
16. Monster Lair {Shooter game with big enemies}
17. Bikkuri Man {Unusual thinking/quiz game}
18. Dynastic Hero {Similar to WB3:TDT, more linear}
19. Super Adventure Island {Sequel to the ride the skateboard game}


20. Wonderboy {Side scrolling ride the skateboard game}
21. Monster World 2 {Just like WB3:TDT}

ARCADE (8-bit)

22. Wonderboy {Side scrolling ride the skateboard game}
23. Wonderboy 2 {Same as Wonderboy in Monster Land}
24. Wonderboy 3 (See below) {MAYBE it's WB3:TDT, not sure though}

ARCADE (16-bit)

25. Monster Lair (See below) {Shooter game with big enemies}

As you can see, the majority of the WB:MW games are ports to other systems.
There are also 8 NES/SNES/GB games, which are spin-offs of the original
Wonderboy. Like I have said before, there might be more games for the 
Japanese NEC home computer, and for the MSX/2. All the Pc Engine games 
have the characters replaced with strange (mythical ?) ones. Bikkuri Man is 
tied in only because it has those unusual characters, it is not like any 
other Wonderboy game.

According to the Video Arcade Preservation Society, the third and last Arcade
title is supposed to be Wonderboy III: Monster Lair for the Sega System 16,
but I have absolutely no way of confirming either way.

Westone, developer of the Wonderboy games, no longer exists, so grab all 
Wonderboy games you can find. Their only other game was Riot City / Crest 
of Wolf, for the Turbografx Super CD, which is a Final Fight clone.


This is still up for discussion, but some promising info:

In reference to Y's and the need for a battery replacement, from the SMS 
Mailing list:

">So..... If anyone is curious, we bought it at a battery store called
>Batteries Plus, item # CR2032BP 3v Lithium. I don't have a phone number for
>them, but they are scattered throughout the U.S."

Anyone else successful in a battery replacement?


A foreign game list is available thru Clint Dyer's SMS Foreign Release
FAQ, available at http:// 
Following is a list of U.S.A. released software. Originally created by 
Greg Alt (galt@asylum.cs.utah.edu), I've modified it a bit by adding my own 
comments and alphabetizing the entries. This is a finite listing, as Sega 
has dropped software support for the SMS in the states. 
4xxx = Sega card (32 kbytes) 
5xxx = Mega cartridge (128 kbytes) 
6xxx = combo cart 
7xxx = Two-Mega cartridge (256 kbytes) 
8xxx = 3-D carts (requires 3-D glasses unless otherwise noted) 
9xxx = 4 Mega cart (i.e. 512 kbytes) 
x5xx = battery back-up RAM 
2-D = a 2-D code is available (see Section II -- Compability) 
r? = released in the states? questionable... 
lp = light phaser required 
sp = sports pad required 
A = by Activision (3rd party) 
PB = by Parker Brothers (3rd party)
S = by Seismic (3rd party?) 
shooter = space ship (usually) based shoot 'em up. Examples: R- 
        type [SMS, Turbografx-16, arcade, Gameboy], Astro 
        Warrior [SMS], Lifeforce [NES] 
action shooter = "non-rail" (but usually vertical scrolling) shooter; 
        usually as a human character. Often two player 
        capable. Examples: Time Soldiers [SMS, arcade?], 
        Ikari Warriors [NES] 
action = side scrolling, sideview action platform. Examples: 
        Shinobi [SMS, NES, arcade], Mega Man [NES, SNES, 
        Gameboy, Genesis] 
sports = fitting into a sports category. Will be defined in 
Action/adventure = action game with adventure-like overtones. Unless 
        stated, action-adventure games are sideview. Examples: 
        Legend of Zelda [NES], Wonderboy in Monsterland [SMS] 
Full RPG (FRPG) = complete role playing game set-up, with experience 
        point system. Examples: Phantasy Star [SMS], Final 
        Fantasy [NES] 
overhead = birds eye view of the gameplay area. Usually provides 
        scrolling in all four compass directions, or vertical 
        only. Example: Legend of Zelda [NES], Golden Axe 
        Warrior, Astro Warrior [SMS] 
sideview = view of the gameplay area while oriented on the same 
        plane. Usually provides horizontal scrolling only. 
        Example: Altered Beast [SMS, Genesis, arcade] 
3rd person = game in which the viewpoint is from directly behind the 
        player controlled object. Examples: Space Harrier 
        [SMS, Turbografx-16, arcade, Game Gear], Afterburner 
        [SMS, NES, arcade] 
1st person = game in which the viewpoint is from the "inside" of the 
        player controlled object. Examples: F-16 Fighting 
        Falcon [SMS], Air Diver [Genesis], Doom [IBM PC] 
An asterisk (*) after the title name indicates that a help
section is available in the SMS Cheats Compilation. 
Product numbers can be found by noting the last 4 digits in a game box UPC 
code (applies to U.S. releases, and non-3rd parties, only). 
And now, the actual list... 
----- ---- ----- 
Action Fighter * 5055 overhead racing 
Aerial Assault 7041 sideview shooter 
Afterburner * 9001 3rd person shooter 
Alex Kidd in High Tech World * 5116 action-adventure;3rd in series 
Alex Kidd in Miracle World * 5067 action-adventure;1st in series 
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World * 7050 action-adventure;4th in series 
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars * 7005 action;2nd in series 
Alf * 5111 action-adventure 
Alien Syndrome * 7006 action shooter 
Altered Beast * 7018 action 
Astro Warrior * 5069 overhead vertical shooter 
Aztec Adventure * 5100 action-adventure 
Black Belt * 5054 action 
Blade Eagle 3-D * 8005 overhead vertical shooter 
Bomber Raid * 5003 A;overhead shooter 
California Games 7014 various sports 
Captain Silver * 5117 action 
Casino Games * 7021 gambling 
Choplifter * 5051 sideview shooter; nonlinear 
Cloud Master 7027 sideview shooter 
Columns 5120 action-puzzle;tetris clone 
Cyborg Hunter * ? A;action-adventure 
Dead Angle * 7030 3rd person Gangster shooter 
Dick Tracy 7057 action 
Double Dragon * 7012 action;2 player sim. 
E-Swat * 7042 action 
Enduro Racer * 5077 overhead angled m.cycle racing 
F-16 Fighting Falcon * 4005 1st person flight simulator 
Fantasy Zone * 5052 sideview shooter 
Fantasy Zone II * 7004 sideview shooter 
Fantasy Zone: The Maze * 5108 shooter-maze 
Galaxy Force * 5004? A;3rd person shooter 
Gangster Town 5074 lp;shooting 
Ghost House * 4002 action 
Ghostbusters * 5065 action & driving 
Ghouls 'n Ghosts 7055 action 
Global Defense 5102 sideview shooter 
Golden Axe * 7032 action 
Golden Axe Warrior * 7505 overhead action-adventure 
Golvellius: Valley of Doom * 7017 overhead action-adventure 
Great Baseball * 5071 baseball 
Great Basketball * 5061 basketball 
Great Football 5058 sp?;football 
Great Golf * 5057 golf 
Great Ice Hockey * 5062 sp;ice hockey 
Great Soccer 5059 soccer 
Great Volleyball 5070 volleyball 
Hang On/Astro Warrior /* n/a p;motorcycle racing/o. shooter 
Hang On/Safari Hunt /* n/a p;m. racing/lp;shooting 
James "Buster" Douglas Boxing * 7063 boxing 
Joe Montana Football * 7062 football 
Kenseiden * 7013 action 
King's Quest * ? PB;action-adventure 
Kung Fu Kid * 5078 action 
Lord of the Sword * 7016 action 
Marksman/Trap Shooting 6003 lp;shooting/lp;shooting 
Maze Hunter 3-D * 8003 overhead action-shooter 
Mickey Mouse: Castle of Illusion 7053 action 
Miracle Warriors * 7500 full RPG 
Missile Defense 3-D * 8001 lp;shooting 
Monopoly * 5500 boardgame 
Montezuma's Revenge * ? PB;action 
Moonwalker * 7052 action-adventure 
My Hero * 4001 action 
Ninja, The * 5066 overhead action-adventure 
Outrun * 7003 3rd person racing 
Paperboy 5121 deliver papers;avoid obstacles 
Parlour Games 5103 various parlour games 
Penguin Land * 5501 puzzle-action 
Phantasy Star * 9500 full RPG 
Poseiden Wars 3-D * 8006 lp;shooting;2-D code 
Power Strike * 5109 overhead shooter;"limited" ed. 
Pro Wrestling * 5056 wrestling 
Psycho Fox * 7032 action-adventure 
Quartet * 5073 sideview action-shooter 
R-Type * 9002 sideview shooter 
R.C. Grand Prix * 7007 A (S?);overhead racing 
Rambo III * 7015 lp;side scrolling shooting 
Rambo: First Blood Part II * 5064 overhead action-shooter 
Rampage * 5001? A;as monster,destroy buildings 
Rastan * 7022 action 
Reggie Jackson Baseball * 7019 baseball 
Rescue Mission * 5106 lp;overhead shooting 
Rocky * 7002 boxing 
Shanghai * 5110 boardgame-puzzle-matching 
Shinobi * 7009 action 
Shooting Gallery 5072 lp;shooting 
Slap Shot Hockey * 7035 ice hockey 
Sonic the Hedgehog 7076 action-adventure 
Space Harrier * 7001 3rd person shooter 
Space Harrier 3-D * 8004 3rd person shooter;2-D code 
Spellcaster * 9002 action-adventure 
Spider-Man 7065 action 
Sports Pad Football 5061 sp;football 
Spy vs. Spy * 4010 action-adventure 
Super Monaco GP 7043 3rd person racing 
Super Tennis * 4007 tennis 
Strider 9005 action-adventure 
Teddy Boy * 4003 action 
Thunder Blade 7011 3rd person shooter 
Time Soldiers * 7024 overhead action-shooter 
Transbot * 4004 sideview shooter 
Vigilante * 7023 action 
Walter Payton Football * 7020 football 
Wanted! 5118 lp;shooting 
Where in the World is C. S.diego * ? PB;education-search 
Wonderboy * 5068 action 
Wonderboy in Monsterland * 7007 action-adventure;2nd in series 
Wonderboy III: The Dragon's Trap * 7026 action-adventure 
World Grand Prix 5053 3rd person racing 
Y's: The Vanished Omens * 7501 action-RPG 
Zillion * 5075 action-adventure 
Zillion II: Tri Formation * 5105 sideview action-shooter 
Zaxxon 3-D * 8002 3rd person shooter;2-D code 


SMS games were sold in much the same way as early 16-bit Genesis carts: a 
box resembling a VCR tape case, with the instructions, game, and any 
pamphlets/advertisements held on the inside walls. The major difference 
between the 8-bit and 16-bit packaging is the color; SMS boxes are typically 
(*) white with a checkered pattern - in effect, the negative of early Genesis 
packaging. Card boxes are thinner than those of carts. The boxes were 
shrink wrapped until the Genesis appeared; then Sega opted to simply seal 
the case with a small "Sega" sticker along the seam. Final releases (such 
as Spider-Man) were sold in their original European packaging, with nothing 
changed but the UPC code (a sticker is placed over the European code). Such
games typically have multi-language instruction booklets. 

* Color and style variations amongst SMS game boxes are usually 3rd party 
related. See below.


Minor packaging variations (small differences in manual and box design) 
usually fall under the work of Sega and their attempts to reintroduce the SMS after
Tonka's less-than-spectacular "success." Box color variants are usually a
sign that the game was developed by a 3rd party, such as Activision. 

Some info from the SMS mailing list concerning booklet variations:

">What I *did* find, though, was that the instruction booklet was of the
>later SMS variety; i.e., pages have a dull finish instead of glossy. 
>Well, when I got the old copy of PS to compare to, I noticed that the
>boxes were different too! Not by that much (artwork was the same) 
>but I know that there are label variety collectors of the classic carts 
>and my being a stamp collector (a hobby that THRIVES on minor 
>varieties!) I thought it was interesting.

Actually, I find it very interesting also! I started collecting little
variations like that a long time ago and found that my collection
doubled in no time at all. See, almost EVERY Master System game made
has at least one variation... Here's a list of some of them that I
know of:

1. Sega for the 90's. I think this is what you're describing... Does
the second one (or the first one) have a Sega for the 90's sticker on
the cart or box or both? When Sega bought the MS back from Tonka, they
put the stickers to all the carts in their stock. Some of the packages
were changed at this time also... By changed, I mean the color of the
blue lines on the front was changed, or the title on the spine was
changed a little.

One other example that I can think of is Black Belt. One has big
letters and one little letters. The color of the lines are different

2. Instruction manuals... They come on glossy and flat paper. They
come with light blue lines on the front and dark blue (almost black)
lines on the front. The really early ones were like the later ones,
but had no art on the front and the lines were reversed (dark blue
inside, white lines) (these are incredibly rare, btw)."

From Jon Deeter (jond@wvi.com):
"... I have seen a copy of RC Gran Prix with a "distributed by Seismic"
label on the side (and all over) the box." Anyone else have this? 

More apparent, and much easier to spot, are box color variations:

Bomber Raid Black Activision
Cyborg Hunter Black Activision
Galaxy Force Grey Activison
Ghostbusters * Black Activision
Rampage Red Activision

* Also appears in the common White variation.

Whether the 3rd party or Sega were responsible for the color variations is
not yet known.

Power Strike (promoted by Sega in the U.S. as a limited edition) has been
seen packaged in black & white, and color (which could be Power Strike 2,
or a foreign release).

In the UK, the "Combo" cartridges come in blue boxes with white checkered. 

While most domestic SMS games have a red-brown, maroon label, there are
some Blue label and 3rd party exceptions. Also, label color variations 
are extremely common overseas, typically representing a 3rd party release.

Generally, it's believed that:

1. Blue label variations usually indicate a late release or re-release 
(where the same color was used in all countries as a cost-cutting 
2. Other color variations indicate a 3rd party release (colors are usually 
3rd party specific and cart specific).

In the U.S., the following have been reported:

Slap Shot Blue not released in U.S. with Red
Alex Kidd: Shinobi W. Blue not released in U.S. with Red
Reggie Jackson Base. Blue Red label also available; which is more 
Carmen Sandiego White Parker Bros. release in U.S.; purple lettering
King's Quest White Parker Bros. release in U.S.; purple lettering
R.C. Grand Prix White
Fantasy Zone Blue a re-release?
Penguin Land Blue a re-release?
            Purple some Parker Bros. titles?

It appears that Australia received quite a few blue label variants with 
late releases and their re-releases of popular titles, with each label 
having a Game Help number printed on the label.

The following Australian variations have been reported:

Sonic Blue available in Blue with re-release
Sonic 2 Blue probably applicable to all carts released
Wonderboy III Blue available in Blue with re-release
Mortal Kombat II Blue
Mickey Mouse: CoI Blue

In the U.K., color variations are very common, usually representing a 
3rd party.

Back to the Future 2,3 Orange 
Star Wars White also seen in Red
Marble Madness Blue
Xenon 2 Blue
Impossible Mission White
Mortal Kombat II White
Gauntlet White
Speedball II Purple published by Virgin
James Bond 007: Duel Pink/Purple

This is very much an incomplete listing -- additions, corrections, and 
comments are welcome: jeffb@access.mountain.net. Does anyone maintain 
such a list already?


Wonderboy in Monsterland has also been seen domestically as:

Super Wonderboy in Monsterland
Super Wonderboy in Super Monsterland

No gameplay differences are apparent; simply a title change.

Monopoly was also released with the label "Mono Poly." Once Sega
realized the mistake, they halted production and corrected the
label. "Mono Poly" carts are out there, and are perhaps(?) the
rarest of SMS carts in the states. There are no differences in
the actual carts.

Foreign release title differences:

Rambo: First Blood Part 2 Rambo Canada
                Secret Command Europe

Great Soccer World Soccer Europe

Reggie Jackson Baseball American Pro Baseball Europe

Walter Payton Football American Pro Football Europe

"Buster" Douglas Boxing Heavyweight Champ Europe


The Canadian version of Captain Silver contains extra material, 
as implied by a Sega of America help sheet (extra levels and boss 
characters). Why these were deleted from the U.S. version is not 
known. I also have no idea if the U.K. version contains the extra 
material, or if other Canadian games have major dissimilarities. 
NOTE: New information states that this was most likely a EPROM
version of the game, and was probably never released.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World is available in THREE slightly varied 
versions: one with rice balls, one with hamburgers, and one with root 
beer. (The ball/hamburger/beer is the item Alex is eating/drinking on 
the intermission map screen.) It appears that the root beer version is 
limited to cart only, although cart versions with the rice ball exist. 
The hamburger version has been found in the SMS II only (thus far). I 
believe the rice ball version to be the most common; I have no idea 
how rare the root beer or hamburger versions of AKIMW are. Note that 
the root beer cart was reported in Puerto Rico, and the hamburger 
variation in Indiana (could geographic locations come into play?). 
No actual gameplay differences have been reported. 
Most games that were released in a card format in the U.S. were also 
released as carts in the U.K. (in conjunction with the SMS II). 


This is a list of SMS software that -- though announced by Sega or the 
video game press -- was not released in the U.S. 

Assault City -- Pix seen in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly 
(CES coverage).

Bank Panic -- Pix seen in an issue of EGM (Sega takes over SMS

Basketball Nightmare -- Pix seen in an issue of EGM (CES

Battle Outrun 

Combat & Rescue 

Cyber-Shinobi -- though offered by Sega in an issue of Sega
Visions, this game was not released in the states.
(Cyber-Shinobi was mistakenly labeled as released in the states as 
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World in an earlier revision of this FAQ --
the source (a SMS catalog) had incorrectly matched the name
with a screen shot.) 

Donald Duck: The Lucky Dime Caper -- Though featured in a two page 
review by Sega Visions, this game was not released in the U.S.

Dynamite Dux -- Reviewed by EGM, but not released.

Gain Ground -- Pix seen in an issue of EGM (CES coverage).

Gauntlet -- Pix seen in an issue of EGM (CES coverage).

Impossible Mission 

Maze Hunter 3-D II -- Though mentioned in some SMS catalogs, this
game appears to have never been released.

Outrun 3-D 

Party Games 

Pat Riley Basketball -- Previewed by numerous magazines, and
offered via mailorder in an issue of Sega Visions, this game was
never released (foreign or domestic). Prototypes exist, however.

Pit Pot -- Pix seen in EGM (Sega takes over SMS distribution). 

Scramble Spirits -- Previewed and reviewed in EGM. 


Super Basketball 

Ultima IV -- Reviewed in an issue of EGM. 

Warrior Quest -- released in states as Spellcaster. 

Woody Pop 


[End of File]