Master System

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The North American Master System.

The Master System, originally released in Japan as the マークIII [Maku III], Mark III, is a video game console developed by Sega and first released in Japan on 1985-10-20, and, after a slight redesign, sold in the USA in September of 1986. Although the system didn't do well in Japan or the USA, it sold very well in Europe and Brazil.

I never owned a Master System, and I only played it once around 1988, after going over to a friend's house after school. My family owned an NES, but he had a Master System. The only game I remember playing was Wonder Boy. Later, a different friend who owned a Genesis had a collection of Master System games, but didn't have the adapter to play them, so I only got to look at the box and cartridge art. I didn't play a game on the console again until about 15 years later when Master System emulation became popular.


See all Master System Games.

I didn't play the Master System enough to develop strong feelings for any of the games.



  • This was the first platform to release games for the Phantasy Star and Alex Kidd series.
  • The console was backward-compatible with the SG-1000. Although, this wasn't much, as the console had few games, and even fewer good games.


  • Sega couldn't attract very many third party developers, so the platform never really developed a large catalog of games. This was primarily due to Nintendo's anti-competition policy at the time.
  • Despite being released two years after the NES, and being technically superior, NES games released around the game time looked better on the NES.
  • Pause is not on the controller, but on the console itself, which is really annoying, especially if you're playing a game that requires fast reflexes.


  • Nothing.




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