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)

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!