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

A Sega Dream

Sega Master System with Hang On Card

June 14, 2017 – Recording Hang On before selling

I had a funny dream the other day. In the dream, I was getting ready to play a game on my Sega Master System, but when I was about to plug in the controller I remembered that I had already sold my Rapid Fire Unit and wouldn’t be able to use auto-fire in the game. The funny thing is how I remembered in the dream that in real life I had already sold the Rapid Fire Unit, but not the console itself.

Sega Rapid Fire Unit

Sega Rapid Fire Unit – bought prior to 1989, sold on July 16, 2017

At this point I don’t think I have anything related to the Sega, not even a memento, or a trinket. It’s hard to keep track of it all. It would have been nice to keep a single item, maybe something like my first game, Hang On, but it seems I was too obsessed with moving forward. 2017 really was a whirlwind of life-resetting, but now I’m learning that it doesn’t happen instantly like pressing reset on the Sega.

I effectively had my Sega for over three quarters of my life. As I’ve mentioned before, there was a transition from PAL to NTSC, but otherwise in my mind it was the same system. Damn, it’s hard getting over losing something you had for that long, even though for a long time now you haven’t actually used that thing. It’s the same story for a lot of the other things I sold, donated, or trashed in 2017. Why is it so hard? Was there anything I could have done, last year or in the past, that would make it easier?

I don’t know the answer, though perhaps part of it is that maybe it’s not supposed to be easy. I do know that putting up these museum posts helps, so I will try to keep doing them. I’m also glad for the manual scans I made last year, and also the random videos and sounds I’ve recorded over the years. Little bits and pieces of the Sega are still with me. It’s the best I can do given my life’s circumstances, and I don’t think anyone could ask for more than that.

As always, I hope you enjoy this museum post.


Box - The Sega Base System

The Sega Base System (NTSC) – bought 1989, sold on August 2, 2017

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Box - The Sega Base System

Inner Box - The Sega Base System

Inner Box - The Sega Base System

The Sega Base System with built-in Hang On game

July 25, 2017 – Prior to listing, testing the Sega with its built-in Hang On game

Set - The Sega Base System

Goodbye old friend

Set - The Sega Base System

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)

Sega Embossed Envelope, 1988

In this previous post about a game list that Sega sent to me in Hong Kong, I mentioned an envelope with a blue Sega logo that I thought I had misplaced. Well, it turns out that I kept all my Sega envelopes in the blue shoulder bag. So now, here it is, the first ever piece of correspondence I received from Sega, postmarked September 1, 1988.

What’s really special about this envelope is that the Sega logo on the upper left is embossed. Later envelopes, even as early as November 29, 1988 (postmark of the second envelope I received), had a flat logo. After a while, even the flat logo was replaced with an ink stamp. In total, there were 21 Sega envelopes in the blue bag (and not including Sega Visions envelopes), which gives you an idea of how much I used to bug Sega with my requests!

The embossing is visible in the full-envelope scan, but I’ve included a 600 DPI scan of just the logo as well. Enjoy!

Sega Embossed Envelope 1988

Postmarked September 1, 1988

Embossed Sega Logo 1988

Embossed logo scanned at 600 DPI

Wong’s Kong King Hong Kong Market Sega Master System Brochure (~1986)

Tonight’s first scan is a Chinese-language Sega Master System brochure from around 1986, printed by Wong’s Kong King, the Sega distributor in Hong Kong at that time. As can be seen from the tape and staple holes, I also had this on my wall, but like everything else from the blue shoulder bag, it’s just been in there for the past 20 years.

In terms of historical value, this one’s must be pretty high. I’m reluctant to throw it out because like all anachronistic things, it survived a long period of time and made it to the present, something that’s neither easily done, nor repeatable.

When I was putting the other blue shoulder bag items in the recycling bag, it occurred to me that every single moment of our lives is also unique and also won’t come back once gone. So, you get to make a choice. You could either fixate on what’s gone by, filling your present moments with them, or you can focus on the present moments, truly feeling and experiencing them. Of course, if you have enough time (not sure if pun is intended or not), you can try to do both, but picking from the three choices is extremely difficult, and we probably have different desires at different stages of life. For me, right now, a big reason to bid the past goodbye is that I no longer want to be shackled by childhood, and all the unhealthy things that go along with it. JC and I were free, living our own lives, and two years ago we decided to come back “home” and have lived with our parents ever since. It’s possible that we never were truly free, since our parents’ places was like home base, and we left a lot of our stuff here. I grow increasingly tired with this situation and am maneuvering to finally break free, with nothing left behind, and nothing to come back to. We want to make our own home and experience our own moments.

The grind continues…

Sega Master System Hong Kong Brochure from Wong's Kong King, 1986

Sega Master System Hong Kong Brochure from Wong's Kong King, 1986

After Burner – A Ride You’ll Never Forget (1988)

First scan of the day is this After Burner poster and game lineup from Sega, circa 1988. I actually posted a version of this back in 2013, but that was before I learned how to use the panorama feature in Photoshop to stitch the scanned pieces together. For a manually compiled poster, that one looked alright, but this one is just a little bit cleaner. Enjoy!

Poster - After Burner - A Ride You'll Never Forget - 1988

Game Lineup - After Burner - A Ride You'll Never Forget - 1988

Take Hold of the Sega Adventure (1987)

Here’s another poster straight off the wall of my childhood room, a Sega 1987 poster and game lineup, “Take Hold Of The Sega Adventure” and “Get In Touch With Sega Software”.

I really like this one. Looking at it now, I am reminded of many nights before bed looking at all the games that I already had for my Sega Master System, and all the games that I wanted to get. Since this poster came out in 1987, a lot of the games were from around the time when I first got the system as a kid in Hong Kong. Some of the games would remind me of my time in Hong Kong, playing them at my friends’ houses. Now that I think about it, it seemed like all the kids in my little circle of international-school friends had Sega, and I wonder why we never got into Nintendo.

There was one game that I remember playing, Great Football, that I had no idea how to play. I had not yet moved to America and learned the game. Great Soccer was another game that I played at a friend’s place, but of course we knew how to play that, being in British Hong Kong. It was always interesting going to your friends’ homes as a kid. It seemed like each place had its own smell, and different parents had different levels of hospitality. Actually (and speaking of hospitality), I do remember one Japanese kid who had a Famicom at his house. I think he had the floppy drive, too.

Looking at the poster now, I also wonder why it took me twenty years to take it out of the blue bag, unfold it, and actually look at it like I used to (it really is a cool poster). Did I just not have time? Or did I think I had all the time in the world? I think it must have been the latter. At the time we moved out of my childhood home, I was starting my second year of college. Studying happened, girls happened, then graduation, then vacation. Next was first job out of college, unrealistic expectations, get fired, then 3 years of not working. Then, it was start over, find a new job, do well, move out, get a car, get married, get promoted, get burned out, and go on Adventure 2012, and then the last 4 years: move to Hong Kong, live free for one year, work for one year, come back to the USA, live with parents, work 3 months out of the next 24. In a nutshell, the past 20 years of my life. It was a long time, and in between all those things happening, adding up year after year, I never took the time to look in my closet, look inside the blue bag, and take a look at this poster. I must have figured it would always be there.

What’s next? I don’t know. In these past months, I’ve been taking all these pieces from my life up to this point, scanning or photographing them, and then bidding them goodbye. What am I getting ready for? In the past I’ve mentioned getting light, so that when the time comes, we’ll be able to move. But where? Maybe a new life where I enjoy everything in front of me, where nothing is in the closet. Kind of like when we were kids, when things were simple, and all we had was our Sega, when it was so much easier to focus on one thing because that was all we had. It’s a frequently and incorrectly used word, but I do believe it is ironic that I’m trying to get back to the past by letting go of it. It’s very difficult, and sometimes I want to just keep hanging on, like saving this poster after 20 years of not looking at it. But I think maybe, if I’m not careful, my life will become like this poster, stuck in a closet, stuck in time, and another 20 years will have passed.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post, with extra and nostalgic commentary.

Poster - Take Hold of the Sega Adventure - 1987

Game Lineup - Get in Touch with Sega Software - 1987

Sega Master System II 1990 Catalog/Poster

This Sunday afternoon museum post features a colorful Sega Master System II poster and game lineup from 1990. Chances are that this poster came inside a game, but I don’t think I can say which one with any accuracy. Somehow, I want to say Alex Kidd in Shinobi World since that was one of the later games I acquired for the SMS.

There were a number of mistakes and/or liberties taken with the screenshots appearing on this poster. Both Columns and Mickey Mouse appear to be showing the Genesis versions of the game (perhaps a miscommunication between the marketing department and the truth department?), Wonder Boy III appears to be showing a reversed photo of the original Wonder Boy, both Alex Kidd in Shinobi World and Cyber Shinobi show the same screenshot (which appears to be an earlier version of the former), and Fantasy Zone shows a screenshot of Fantasy Zone II (upon closer inspection of the game description, however, this one is actually a typo in the title which should read Fantasy Zone II).

This was another poster that came off the wall of my childhood apartment, and tape and staple holes are probably visible in the scan. Perhaps due to the white color of the poster, it was a lot harder putting together the various scanned sections in Photoshop (this black Genesis one was a lot easier, for example). The silver gridlines were especially problematic, and the final product shows some slight misalignments which I apologize for. Believe me, I really tried.

Despite the issues, I quite like this one. I hope you do too.

Sega Master System II Poster 1990

Sega Master System II Game Lineup 1990

The Sega Video Game System (~1987-1988)

Can’t have a Nintendo post without having a Sega one, so here’s the second Blue Shoulder Bag post for tonight, a brochure and catalog for the Sega Master System from around 1987/1988 (based on the release dates of the “Coming Soon!” games). These little brochures came folded with many games, fitting perfectly behind the instruction manual. Did this one come with a game? I don’t know, but it is the right size, so it probably did, and I don’t know why I removed it from its box. Even so, because they were so prevalent, there are probably still some that I never looked at, still in original condition behind its game’s instruction manual. I’ll probably get around to scanning more manuals in the near future, so they may finally see the light of day.

Printed in Japan, this catalog is exactly two A4 sheets wide. The colors of the screenshots are also especially vibrant. Like my other scans, I was thinking of disposing of this afterwards, but it’s small and nice enough that I just might keep it.

Will there be any other scans tonight? I don’t know, but the night is young. We shall see…

The Sega Video Game System Catalog and Brochure

The Sega Video Game System Catalog and Brochure

The Sega Video Game System Catalog and Brochure