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)

Hang On

Hang On - The Sega Card - Sega Master System (1986)
Hang On – The Sega Card – Sega Master System (1986)

As mentioned in the previous post, I am preparing the game Hang On for a potential sale. Here is its museum post.

This is the oldest Master System game that I have (I talked about it a little bit in my Sega nostalgia post from a few years back). Interestingly, it’s also probably my least-played game, at least physically. When we moved to the US, the PAL Sega that I brought with me didn’t work with the NTSC standard here, so we got a local NTSC system. This system had Hang On built-in, which made it unnecessary to insert the card into the system to play.

Gameplay-wise, I’d say this game has aged pretty well. The graphics and sound obviously don’t compare with the ultra-realistic games of today, but I find that this is now where the game’s appeal is. The graphics are simple and fire the imagination, with an example being the first photo on the back of the box of the nighttime city scene: the background, just a bunch of black rectangles with yellow and red dots on them, evoke images of a city bustling with activity (in all these years I never tried to identify which, but looking at it now could it be that the Tokyo Tower appears fifth from the left?!). The engine sound, especially at top speed, is hypnotic, and there’s a rhythmic effect from passing other motorcycles. As a 31-year old game in 2017, Hang On’s value is no longer in being “realistic” or “3-D”, but in being a simple diversion, something to zone out in every so often.

Hang On - The Sega Card - Sega Master System (1986)
Could that be the Tokyo Tower in the screenshot?

For this museum post, I scanned the manual from the original game (printed in Japan), the manual from the built-in game (printed in Hong Kong), and the 1986 Game Catalog that I think came with the game (the catalog looks to be a USA version while the game itself appears to be a UK version, but I have no memory of this catalog showing up anywhere else). It’s interesting to see the differences between the manual versions: the original has a blank page behind the cover, the built-in has actual content; the original is black and blue, the built-in is only blue; the original has glossy paper, the built-in has matte.

Lastly, the video at the bottom was made with Kega Fusion. I tried to use original hardware, but my video capture device stopped working, and just as well; plugging the card into the SMS, I would have had no way of knowing whether the system read it or failed to read it and loaded the built-in game instead. 🙂 As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

Hang On Manual, printed in Japan (PDF, 18.7 MB)
Hang On Manual, printed in Hong Kong (PDF, 13.9 MB)
Sega 1986 Game Catalog, printed in Taiwan (PDF, 33.0 MB)


Hang On - The Sega Card - Sega Master System (1986)

Hang On - The Sega Card - Sega Master System (1986)

Hang On - The Sega Card - Sega Master System (1986)

Hang On - The Sega Card - Sega Master System (1986)

Marui Hyper Jr. Racer No. 3 Instructions

Here’s the first museum post in a few days, an instruction sheet for a mini-4WD model kit from Marui, the Turbo Optima Hyper Jr. Racer. The model kit was probably available from the mid to late 80s.

I don’t recall ever owning the Turbo Optima. Even the photo from Google doesn’t ring any bells. The only Marui 4WD that I remember having was the Alien Mid 4, which I kept until 2010. Perhaps this instruction sheet was a gift from a friend. It was folded into quarters and fit perfectly in the instructions slot of one of my Sega games, Hang On. In the past I’ve mentioned never letting go of my Sega games, but this has finally changed, hence the removal of the instructions from the game.

As a result, there may be more Sega museum posts in the coming days. For now, please enjoy this one.

Marui Hyper Jr. Racer No. 3 - Instruction Sheet - Mid to Late 1980s

Marui Hyper Jr. Racer No. 3 - Instruction Sheet - Mid to Late 1980s

Alien Mid 4 - September 12, 2010
Alien Mid 4 before disposal – September 12, 2010

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling – Sega Master System

For today’s Sega Master System museum post we have Pro Wrestling. This was one of three games my mother bought to appease me after I went through my first surgery (something I wasn’t very happy about). It’s a foggy memory now, but I believe one of the other games was Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Sadly, I can’t remember what the third game was.

If memory serves, the clinic was near or on Connaught Road Central in Hong Kong. Interestingly, I passed through the area quite often while I was working there, taking many meals at Cafe de Coral and Yoshinoya. There are no longer any places that sell video games in that area.

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post!

Pro Wrestling Manual (PDF, 31.4 MB)

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling
Sega game #5056

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling

Further reading:
Pro Wrestling at Sega Retro
Pro Wrestling at SMS Power!
Pro Wrestling on Wikipedia

Rocky

When we were kids, my parents would try to keep it fair when it came time for gifts. I’d get to pick something I liked, and my sister would pick something she liked. Most of the time, she would pick a Barbie or a My Little Pony, but on certain occasions she would pick a Sega game. Rocky is one of those games.

Rocky - Sega Master System
Twice the Mega Power!

Like Kung Fu Kid, I remember getting this while we lived in Kowloon Tong. There was a time when I could tell you how I acquired each and every one of our (well, mostly my) Sega games, but that time is long gone now. I know that I picked a game for myself, but now I can’t remember which one. Was it Zillion II? Did we get this game from Lok Fu? There’s no way to know now.

Rocky - Sega Master System
Made in Japan
Rocky - Sega Master System
Rocky – 7002

If memory serves, it was initially physically impossible for us to beat this game due to the stringent training required in the game. In the first fight against Apollo Creed, you needed 90+ connects on the bag, which was physically possible but taxing. In the second fight against Clubber Lang, you needed something like 7 punches per second in order to get good enough to beat Ivan Drago later on. It’s pretty much impossible to sustain that rate for the minute or so requirement.

Rocky - Sega Master System
Please excuse the drawing… remember, this was my sister’s cartridge

Rocky - Sega Master System

Rocky - Sega Master System

Rocky - Sega Master System

Later on, I chanced upon a Rapid Fire Unit (which will have its own museum post one of these days) which finally enabled us to beat the game. I was able to use this unit tonight to do a complete playthrough of the game:

For reference, I hooked up my Sega Master System to an old GeForce Ti4400 with VIVO and recorded on the highest quality setting (640×480). Since the recording was in stereo and the SMS is mono, I then re-encoded with Handbrake and set the audio to mono in order to get sound coming out of both speakers. Normally I would use Kega Fusion to save time, but since there’s no rapid-fire setting in that emulator, it would not have been possible to beat the game.

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

Rocky manual (PDF, 59.8 MB)

Further reading:
Rocky on Sega Retro
Rocky on Wikipedia
Rocky on SMS Power!