Happy 25th Birthday, Sega Master System!

It's been sadly overlooked by all the hoopla surrounding the 25th anniversary of the NES and Super Mario Bros., but this week was also the 25th anniversary of another classic gaming console: the Sega Master System.

The machine that began life as the Sega Mark III before assuming its more famous moniker was first released in Japan on October 20, 1985. It would hit American markets a year later, while Europe and Australia would have to wait until 1987 to get their hands on one.

The Master System may not be home to as many all-time icons as the NES, but it was still a great console; indeed, many in the PAL market will identify more with Sega's offerings of the 1980s than with Nintendo's, so well did the Master System perform in Europe and Australia.

Case in point: as an Australian, I had a Master System II (the console's cheaper, second version), as did many of my friends. It wasn't until I began working here that I ran into substantial numbers of people who grew up with the NES.

Some of its more noteworthy games include Alex Kidd, Space Harrier, Outrun, After Burner, Phantasy Star and even Sonic, whose 8-bit debut pushed the hardware to its absolute limits. All great titles, but perhaps even more memorable was the uniform box art adopted by Master System games.

Happy birthday, Sega Master System!

[image credit: palm z, thanks Kalem!


    Hey the SMS is the same age as me!!! *squee*

    Ok i'm a few months older, but still..


    Sega Master System was actually the first console I ever owned. I don't know how I came into possession of it either, probably a hand me down from my cousin as I remember playing his Mega Drive at their shack, probably upgraded. I remember that I LOVED the built in Alex the Kidd in Miracle World and liked The Ninja despite how brutally hard it was. Sadly I never experienced excellent games such as Sonic the Hedgehog or Afterburner on it as I couldn't afford them and some how my stupid kid mind overlooked them somehow. If I did manage to ever get games it was only generic things like "Volleyball" for $5 at Cash Converters which were HORRIBLY boring. It was still a great system.

    Oh how I did love my Sega Master System. So, SO many good memories. *sigh* Alex Kidd, I'll never forget you...

    I've still got mine (the original SMS rather than the second version). It didn't play too well when I tried it a few months back: I think I need to open up the controllers and clean the corrosion off the contacts.

    It was interesting to see that Wonder Boy 3 seemed to be in letter boxed wide screen. Picking the zoom option made it look right at home on a modern TV :)

      Wonderboy 3 was absolutely brilliant. Neighbours had a master system and I'd play it whenever they let me. That game had serious scope for its time.

    The entire internet was unable to provide a piccie of the original SMS?

    (not that I'm complaining too hard, the SMS2 was my first console...ah, memories.)

    Sun Wave Moon Star, Sun Moon Wave, Fish, Star, Fish.

    Wonder Boy III, The Dragon's trap was one of the best games on it, along with the original Michael Jackson's Moonwalker.

    Still in my opinion, best game ever!

    i have reason to believe i played my first game on the master system.

    Still my favorite ever console. :D
    Some of the games where just amazing. Wonderboy III is one THE best games of era, anyone who hasn't played it should be ashamed.

    Did anybody have the original SMS with 3D glasses?

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