Astro Warrior/Pit Pot

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)
Astro Warrior/Pit Pot – The Combo Cartridge – Sega Master System (1986)

Here’s another Sega game (actually, two games) that has garnered interest from a potential buyer, the combo cartridge Astro Warrior/Pit Pot.

Unfortunately, I have no recollection at all of how I acquired this game, though I do know that it was prior to moving to the US. There is evidence of this inside the game case, where curiously I wrote the name of a Hong Kong classmate. At the same time, I wrote my own initials on the cartridge itself. Man, what a strange kid.

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)
Notice the typeface that’s slightly different from other Sega games.

This version of the cartridge appears to be an all-English version, perhaps intended for the UK market. That sort of makes sense, considering that when I bought this cartridge Hong Kong was still a British colony. Looking at scans of the game available online (e.g. SMS Power!, Sega Retro, first page of Google), it would seem that this might be the first scan of the English-only version. If so, I’m happy to be able to contribute.

Another interesting feature of the game is the typeface used on the back of the box as well as the instruction manual. Perhaps due to the game being an English-only release, the font is different from every other Sega game that I have. The spacing between letters seems a bit off, too. If I didn’t know better, I might surmise that this was a bootleg game.

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)

For the actual games themselves, I do remember spending quite a lot of time with them. Both games start off easy at first, then ramp up the difficulty quickly. In Astro Warrior, as can be seen in the demonstration video below, if you die in the later stages your ship reverts to the slowest and most basic version, making it nearly impossible to avoid the fast-moving enemies in the later stages (well, that plus my skills have seriously eroded in old age). In Pit Pot, the practice level is super easy (again, video below), but later stages require a level of patience and note-taking that I never had as a kid. I don’t think I even beat the beginner level. But now, as an adult, I’m actually curious to see how far I’d get in the game, so that’s something to look forward to in the coming days.

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)
The inverted Sega logo looks pretty cool.

Lastly, some interesting tidbits from my experience playing these games as a kid: in Astro Warrior, there was a way to get the two “Asistor” ships at the beginning of the level by shooting really fast. I accidentally discovered this when using the rapid-fire unit. Even so, it was pretty hard to do, and I couldn’t always get it. A quick Google search today reveals that this is a known trick. In Pit Pot, some of the rooms are arranged in the shape of Chinese (or Kanji) characters, offering a hint of what to do next. This can be seen in the video thumbnail below, where the character “up” is shown. That’s how I knew which way to go. 😉

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot Manual (PDF, 58.8 MB)
Astro Warrior Helpful Hints (PDF, 1.78 MB)


Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)

Astro Warrior/Pit Pot - The Combo Cartridge - Sega Master System (1986)

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet – Multiple Games

Tonight’s Sega helpful hints sheet features five different games: Space Harrier, F-16 Fighting Falcon, Enduro Racer, Global Defense, and Zaxxon 3-D.

It seems likely that I requested this sheet for Global Defense, since that is the only game in this list that I owned in the early 90s. It wasn’t until that one time in college that I acquired Enduro Racer and F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Global Defense was a super hard game, and I don’t think I was ever able to use both control pads successfully. It would have probably been best to enlist the help of a friend, so that one person could focus on flying the satellite, and one person could focus on firing the gun. I’m sure someone has already beaten this game on YouTube, so the ending is available to me if I want to “spoil” it (well, maybe if I haven’t beaten the game in 30 years, it’s time to take a shortcut).

As always, hope you enjoy this museum post!

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Multiple Games

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet – Wonder Boy III

Since we did a Genesis helpful hints sheet last time, I thought we’d do a Master System one tonight. The game is Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, one of the best games for the system. Unfortunately, this helpful hints sheet was not one of the best, being instead one of those that I would receive and groan upon opening the envelope, because it didn’t really provide any new information. This particular sheet provided mostly gameplay tips and no real easter eggs. Anyone who had actually spent time with the game would have discovered most of the “helpful hints” already (i.e. hitting the dragons in the nose). Interestingly, the one easter egg that I know of for this game is displayed in plain sight in the manual.

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 1

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 2

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 3

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 4

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet - Wonder Boy III - Page 5

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet – Herzog Zwei

Tonight’s museum post features the helpful hints sheet for Herzog Zwei, a game for the Sega Genesis.

Before the internet, before 900 numbers, and before guide books, the way to get help for Sega games was via their helpline, 1-800-USA-SEGA. I called that number so much that I still remember the tune of the telephone touch-tones. Apparently, the phone reps that helped with the games used these helpful hints sheets as a resource. Once I found out that you could actually ask to have a copy mailed to you, I called all the time: “Hi, can I get the helpful hints sheet for Herzog Zwei?” I wonder if the phone reps eventually recognized the little kid who called all the time.

For many years, I kept this helpful hints sheet in a floppy black binder (as opposed to a rigid, cardboard binder). As part of my continuing mid-life-crisis cleanup, I finally scanned the contents of the binder and then disposed of it. At the last second, I decided to keep these helpful hints sheets, because they’re a relic from Sega; and because I didn’t want to just chuck them in the recycle bin. I have a fantasy that if I do end up getting rid of them, I’ll give them to another Sega fan who will treasure them as much as I did. At the end of the day, though, they’re just photocopies, so maybe they’re not really worth much to anyone.

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.