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Master System Appreciation Thread

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I'm back with another appreciation thread! Strider is to blame this time, after his MS games thread I started looking back at the system a lot more fondly than I remembered when I was a kid. I had one back in the day but always seemed to clamor for an NES and after looking on eBay this week I managed to get an SMS 1 with a couple of games. I've been looking at the PAL library and besides a couple of mega expensive games it doesn't seem all that hard to go for a full set so I'm tempted to give it a whirl. I also found a SCART lead for it in an auction which is winging its way towards me so no awful RF.

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Console hasn't arrived yet but I ordered Castle of Illusion (1 of my favs as a kid) and a control stick. Never used one of these before and its weird on closer look as the buttons are on the left, will be interesting to see how it plays. Was a bit annoyed with the condition of it as the guys on Amazon said it was "clean" but its absolutely filthy! Will give it a going over with some isopropryl this weekend.

I've also been looking at the other peripherals including the 3D glasses, now I've owned a pair years ago and was always impressed with the tech for the time. I only ever had a couple of games for it but I noticed this on eBay, seems mega expensive for a full set but is that the sort of price to be expected? Has anyone else gone after a full collection before?

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For some reason I have clearer memories of the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum than I do the Master System.

I'm 99.9% sure I owned one. Except for Sonic and Castle of Illusion, I really couldn't name any games though. Wasn't it essentially a really weak megadrive?

And why on earth are you buying one? Is the retro nostalgia THAT strong? Why not just emulate it?

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First console I ever owned, I won it in a Rice Krispies competition back in the late 80s, it was the Master System II. It came with Alex Kidd in Miracle World built in and for a while it was the only game I had. After several months of saving my pocket money I got together enough money to buy a new game. Sadly I could only afford stuff from the budget range. 10 year old me was attracted by the box art for this:

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Sadly the game was absolutely dreadful, but for a while I tried to convince myself it was good. I picked up two other games from the budget range:

220px-The_ninja.jpgml9xsID91Ui_RqsSWFq6hjQ.jpg

The first, 'The Ninja' was actually pretty good, but Super Tennis was pretty terrible. Fortunately pretty much everyone in my class at school had a Master System so I was able to trade some of these stinkers for actually good games. The Sonic games were obviously a highlight, sure they didn't have the speed or visuals of the MegaDrive versions but they had their own charm. The first game in particular, where you had to hunt for the chaos emeralds rather than get them in the bonus stages was pretty good.

By the time I had enough cash to upgrade to a MegaDrive I'd amassed a reasonable collection of good MasterSystem games. I've still got them in the loft somewhere. However, of all the games I owned, this is probably the one that I remember most fondly,

Wonder_Boy_III_-_The_Dragon%27s_Trap_box

Absolutely superb, the music, the stage design. I keep telling myself that one day I'll go back to it, I hope it hasn't aged too badly.

Although people often talk about the Alex Kidd games as being good, it was really only Miracle World that could even come close to being as good as Super Mario Bros. I remember borrowing Alex Kidd and the Lucky Stars from a friend, he'd only let me borrow it for one night, so I sneaked downstairs after everyone had gone to bed and played it to completion. The combination of the horrible visuals and horrendous music and sound effects caused me to throw up as the end credits rolled. Horrible game.

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I found the glasses do a better, less flickery job at 60hz. You can use them with a model 1 Mega Drive and the first Power Base convertor. Do that with a modded (or US/Jp) MD and you're away.

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For some reason I have clearer memories of the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum than I do the Master System.

I'm 99.9% sure I owned one. Except for Sonic and Castle of Illusion, I really couldn't name any games though. Wasn't it essentially a really weak megadrive?

And why on earth are you buying one? Is the retro nostalgia THAT strong? Why not just emulate it?

Was the NES a weak SNES? Weird point to make in a retro section fella :mellow:

Emulation is dull. You can have a pile of ROMs for loads of systems and never play any of them or get bored within minutes. There's nothing quite like having the physical stuff whether its software or hardware, tracking it down and having a set is all part of the fun. Plus actually owning something makes you appreciate it a lot more, you will find you spend a lot of time playing the games you actually own.

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220px-The_ninja.jpg

The first, 'The Ninja' was actually pretty good.

Wonder_Boy_III_-_The_Dragon%27s_Trap_box

The Ninja was one of the first console games I ever owned but god was it hard. I must have been about 8 years old and could never get more than half way through the first stage, I spent ages saving my pocket money for one of those rapid fire boxes thinking it would make the game easy. I remember sitting down with it plugged in, rubbing my hands together thinking "this is!" and then barely getting into the second stage. Ace music though.

Wonderboy 3 as I recall was a bit of a gamble when I picked it up. I used to save my cash up for months at a time then go to the local Toys R Us, I'd spend forever gazing over the attractive covers and screenshots. I seem to remember W3 didn't even have any pictures so I just grabbed it and off I went, best decision I ever made as its still one of my all time favourite classics. Going back to it today and it still holds up very well.

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I was always into the Master System rather than the NES, I picked up most of my games in the late 90s for a couple of quid each. These are my best finds, and would hate to try to replace these nowadays!

post-234-0-89763200-1415442774_thumb.jpg

They're both awesome games too!

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Try to stick with the normal MS controller, I still do/prefer it in most cases. Play The New Zealand Story and the Donald Duck game, my childhood right there.

MS is moddable for the usual 50/60hz, or well, mine has been.

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Try to stick with the normal MS controller, I still do/prefer it in most cases. Play The New Zealand Story and the Donald Duck game, my childhood right there.

MS is moddable for the usual 50/60hz, or well, mine has been.

when you say "normal MS controller", would that be the one WITH the hole to screw in the stick, and when was that phased out?

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Try to stick with the normal MS controller, I still do/prefer it in most cases. Play The New Zealand Story and the Donald Duck game, my childhood right there.

MS is moddable for the usual 50/60hz, or well, mine has been.

Does that make much of a difference for the games?

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when you say "normal MS controller", would that be the one WITH the hole to screw in the stick, and when was that phased out?

Phased out.

Does that make much of a difference for the games?

It doesn't bond well for personal memories but honestly (for any fan of the MS), yes. If only to see what we missed out on/had to deal with. The thing that fucks me up the most is when you think you remember a games tune so well and you bump it to 60hz and it sounds (and plays) like a new game.

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The Master System was the first machine I ever bought with my own money. I remember buying the pack with Hang on and Safari Hunt along with a £45 copy of Shinobi from my aunty's club book. It kicked the shit out of my amstrad, and I quickly bought a huge number of games, including the 3D glasses with all the spare cash I had (which wasn't much on a Gateway wage). I foolishly sold my collection to fund a Mega Drive, but I've been slowly getting games back. I'm now on the hunt for a master system converter so I can have less machines under the TV.

The 8-page top 25 that is in next month's issue made a lot of memories come flooding back and I'm delighted with what everyone picked as the best game on the system.

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I found the Master System a perfect machine for (at the time) accurate arcade conversions, some of which the MS version is still the only console version ( PS2 retro collections not withstanding)

Games like Rastan, Scramble Spirits, Space Gun, Time Soldiers and Quartet were good reasons for a die hard arcade fan to have a Master System as the home computer ports on the whole were pretty poor.

Others like Alien Syndrome, R-Type and Action Fighter were cracking versions of those titles at a time when things like a Megadrive and PC Engine were out of my financial reach

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Well worth doing a 60Hz mod, although some EU-only games (such as Speedball) will actually wig out in 60Hz mode. Make sure it's switched.

As you have an MS1, you should also consider EvilTim's FM mod, which plugs into the otherwise unused expansion port (plus a touch of soldering) and enables the gorgeous FM sound that the Japanese enjoyed. This thread (for a different FM mod) includes a list of which titles support FM sound - some of them never came out in Japan, but had FM sound that was never heard in the west! You can preview them using a decent emulator - whatever Meka turned into.

Phantasy Star with FM sound is absolutely fantastic. Get a Master Everdrive (or similar) and play the re-translation that the (excellent) SMS Power community did, as the original translation was utter balls, and lacks the FM sound.

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Are you sure all MS1's have the proper thing in the expansion port? When I open mine up it has a piece of plastic making me wonder how I would have installed myself if SEGA had indeed decided to release the thing. I assumed at the time it must have been removed from later MS1 models (or it's still there I need to break the plastic).

Edit: never mind looked at the installation guide, fits over the plastic so that it doesn't need to be punched out.

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Emulation is dull.

Having started using a real Amiga again after years of Amiga Forevering on PC, I couldn't agree more. It's lovely starting to piece a collection together again.

I've had Master Systems at various points over the years but I never really got along with it. The 8-bit era for me equates to the home computers so sadly I expect that will always be the case. That being said, there are a few games I've enjoyed, the one that stands out most being Psych Fox.

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I was only around four/five when I had my master system and was only bought the Sonic titles before we were bought a Mega drive, it's only in the last few years I've started collecting MS games.

Were the budget titles actually advertised as budget ones or were they just cheap? How much were they? How much was a standard Master system game on release?

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I remember the "cheap" games being £9.99 and the regular games being £24.99. The £9.99 range all only used 32Kb of ROM, and were available on both cartridge and (briefly) Sega Card.

If you can find scans of vintage Sega ads, you should be able to find out for sure. We had a few copies of "S: The Sega Magazine", which I think turned into Sega Power, which I think was the only Master System dedicated mag at the time.

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The Master System was my first ever console, I was 6 and I received a Master System II with built in Sonic 1 and a copy of Double Dragon, both of which I absolutely loved. I didn't get another game until Xmas when I was allowed one game from a trip to Bonds. I chose Tom and Jerry: The Movie and still detest it to this day. I couldn't get past the 3rd level and the title music is still burned into my memory to this day. I've never re-visited it either, for fear of embarrassment to what was actually probably a really easy game. The only other games I had were Moonwalker and Ghouls and Ghosts, which we picked up from the local Ritz store that were selling off a load of ex-rentals. By my Birthday in 94 we'd upgraded to the Megadrive.

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So I'm in the middle of buying the MS light phaser and a few of the games and remembered they wouldn't work on my 40" HDTV so off to eBay I went thinking I'd just pick up a cheap CRT set. Managed to find one for 99p! Looked fairly small in the picture, but when I went round to pick it up soon realised it weighed as much as a tank, 3 of us had to put it in the car. Just look at ti sat next to the normal TV! I'm absolutely knackered so will have to sort it all out tomorrow. Just wish I had the MS to try on it, still not arrived :(

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