Golvellius – Valley of Doom

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Something reminded me of this game recently, so here it is. Just some things I want to remember the next time it comes up.

I don’t remember where or when I got this game. Looking at the date and the box spine, it looks like I got it in Hong Kong (American games didn’t have the catalog number on the spine), but I don’t really remember playing this game there. It may have been a gift, a game I did not pick myself. In my head there are some images of my bedroom and the shelf where I kept my Sega stuff, in the last place where we lived in in Hong Kong before moving to the USA (as with Kung Fu Kid), and that’s it. The deepest and only memories of actually playing the game are in that little SF apartment I grew up in, the one with the blue carpet. I spent a lot of time playing it, so much so that even my mother noticed the game. She thought that it had really good music, particularly the title screen and opening sequence. My personal favorite was the password-input screen. After I learned of the sound test, I recorded the entire soundtrack on cassette and listened to it before bed. I think that gold-colored Fisher radio is still in my mother’s house.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Catalog number 7017

There were many screens to explore, and a sense of adventure and accomplishment (i.e. “wow! cool!”) when I finally made it to a new locale and the scenery changed. The enemies changed color depending on how strong they were. There was a healer named “Randar”, who is apparently a mascot for Compile, the company that made this game. Later, when I saw Randar in Space Megaforce, I got a pretty big kick out of it. I don’t see any images on Google, so maybe next time I play it I’ll do a screen-cap.

The game had a password feature so you could pick up where you left off, but it was a pain writing down the password. There were a lot of letters, and sometimes I confused one letter for another. Looking at it now, I don’t see how I could have, but I definitely wrote down some passwords that ended up not working (see very bottom of post).

Golvellius - Sega Master System

One time, I encountered a bug that corrupted how my gold displayed on the screen. Instead of a number, it showed a bunch of random symbols. It seemed that I had accidentally stumbled upon infinite gold! I went on a purchasing spree, buying up all the different boots and armor that I couldn’t afford before. That made the game a lot easier. The infinite money even lasted after a password save. In combination with the Helpful Hints sheet linked at the bottom of this post, it was no longer a question of if I would beat the game.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Before saying goodbye to all my childhood treasures, I tried to digitize as much as I could, which is why I can post photos now. Among those treasures were some of the papers on which I wrote down Golvellius passwords. I think I’ll try out some of these passwords to see if I can’t find the infinite gold password.

The rapid-fire unit worked pretty good in this game. Before I got rich, I would stand in a safe corner somewhere, use something to physically hold down the controller button, and then go do something else while enemies continuously respawned and ran into my sword. It still took a long time to make money this way, though. The rapid-fire unit was more effective during regular fighting, shortening the time it took to kill enemies.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

The last time I ran my copy of Golvellius – July 12, 2017

In July 2017, Golvellius sold for the measly sum of $3.25. I guess no one values your childhood memories more than yourself. That summer, I pretty much sold the entire collection in preparation for moving back to Hong Kong. On one hand, it doesn’t seem to make sense to have so many childhood things around at age 40. On the other, there’s no rule that says you can’t. In recent years, there’s been an increase in the popularity of retro gaming. I sometimes look at Instagram or Twitter feeds of Sega collections and yell out loud in anguish. But could I have kept my games? I don’t have a house, I haven’t had a job longer than a year in seven years, and I keep moving back and forth between Hong Kong and the USA. It’s hard. When I did have the games, I never looked at them. It’s only after they’ve been gone have I really immersed myself in them, reading the manuals, admiring the box scans, and actually playing the games. Bottom line: if I really wanted, I could have traded pride in exchange for storage at my mother’s house.

So this is it for now, a nice little collection of photos and thoughts around Golvellius, Valley of Doom. I’ll post the rest of the photo gallery below, including an original recording of the final dungeon and ending (with the corrupted gold), and will update if I think of anything else. As always, thanks for being along for the ride.

Golvellius Manual (PDF, 39.5 MB)
Golvellius Helpful Hints (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Text from eBay listing (TXT, 1.6 KB)

Further reading:
Golvellius at Sega Retro
Golvellius at SMS Power!
Golvellius Shrine at RPGClassics


Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

I was a paranoid kid.

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

In addition to the blue bag, I used a couple of binders to store my game materials – one of them was a Trapper Keeper:

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

Golvellius - Sega Master System

And the passwords featured in the above photos, all of them tested while writing this post, the first time in decades I entered a password into the game:

4FGU 2CTP X83B ZATD MPHO JT4D REWW S6FE
NSH7 C2CP EZHK 3GCP 4QW6 KZW4 BU8S KNZE
8ZV2 OAX8 V7OZ 7YR8 CZAD 4A38 V2YB 4P78
G6BZ YA6Z ZUSV 37SZ X4C4 WP4A 7ERA V8FM
NC6S NVPA K6YM CS4D EA78 UYFE FZJR 6DVE - gold glitch!
RDYT EH38 R7E4 YN5W P2ZH 4BX8 R2VQ DNTH
CCBC OA7W B3OQ GHRU L2CD PPSA HDSZ DWG7 - doesn't work - handwriting 😅
V8JY KYWG LE83 SHAF XUL5 CPLL GWFV 583X
8655 YB4A MU57 YM63 UP62 BK2Q UQKP TZRQ
PCTK OCZW N7QU WMEH TBVX DTCH MBZJ 4G7W
RE53 BQY3 GB2F UJK3 KE62 JOY3 GP62 EAJR

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.