Aaah Yes, the SEGA Master System. Released in the US in 1986, it was SEGAs answer to the popular Nintendo Entertainment System. Better graphics and specs still couldn’t take the lead, and the license agreements, the Nintendo powerhouse had in place. Still, once SEGA released the SEGA Genesis, they bought the distribution rights for the Master System back from Tonka (indeed), and began releasing many more games for the system, but it was to late.

I was still playing my Coleco/ADAM at the time, when my sisters boyfriend gave me his SEGA Master System. All he bought was RPG games. Phantasy Star, Golvellius & Miracle Warriors all landed in my house at the same time. And so began my unnatural love affair with SEGA.

The SEGA Master System Power Base - Model #3010

Released 1986

While there were no real cosmetic changes to the original SEGA Master System, there were many different pack-in configurations. I will list them out, but I have seen instances where the model number does not match the built-in game. The Master System plays two different cartridge types. Your standard game cart on the top of the machine and a credit card sized version that were cheaper, smaller games. This credit card port also allowed you to plug in the great 3D Glasses add-on!

If you look at the model number on the bottom you can (maybe) tell which game is installed in the unit.

MODEL: 3010 - Snail Maze game (Hold UP and press A & B when starting the unit without a game inserted)

MODEL: 3010-A - Hang-On & Safari Hunt (gun game)

MODEL: 3010-B - Hang-On & Astro Warrior

(I have found some B versions that only have Hang-On)

MODEL: 3010-C - Missile Defense 3D (requires 3D glasses)

Now SEGA did release a new smaller version called the Master System 2 - I however have not gotten one of these so I cant take photos (and I take all my own photos!). So as soon as I get one. I’ll put it up here.