Exploring ‘Mega Drive Mountain’

by on Sep.15, 2020, under Gaming

Anyone that’s made their way to my house (which hasn’t been for a while for obvious reasons) would have noticed among the die cast model V8 Supercars and wrestling figures that are proudly on show in my living room there is also an abundance of SEGA consoles – and far too many SEGA MegaDrives for one man!

There’s a plethora of childhood memories in what I’ve dubbed ‘MegaDrive Mountain’ so now seems like a good enough time to have a looksee at the storied history of how I own every single mainstream SEGA console.

Let’s start off with the imposing monolith that is MegaDrive Mountain – my little collection of SEGA consoles that live in my humble abode.

We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up to the top when it comes to the inhabitants of MegaDrive Mountain

SEGA Master System (Purchased 1990)
This is the OG console that started it all for me. With Alex Kidd In Miracle World built in this was the console that my folks got for me to replace our incredibly obsolete Atari 2600 (which is sadly lost in the sands of time) and for a good amount of my childhood was spent playing this console. It was this console and a handful of games that taught me the harsh economics of the second hand video game market. Out of my library of games that I had (World Grand Prix, Ghost House, Super Tennis, Global Defense, Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic Chaos, Mortal Kombat, and Asterix) I sold all of those games bar the Sonic ones and Asterix at Cash Converters in 1997 and got back… $7 – a harsh lesson! Thankfully I still own the games that matter, but I can’t find the shoddy port of MK anywhere!

SEGA Saturn (Purchased 1997)
Oh dear, my poor poor Saturn. In 2020 and these days it’s a hidden gem but my oh my was it a colossal failure commercially as a console for SEGA. I got one of these in 1997 rather than doing what everyone else on the planet was doing and getting a Sony PlayStation or Nintendo 64 and boy were these some tough times. Demo discs from the official SEGA Saturn Magazine were the main thing played by me before I finally picked up Sonic Jam via mail order, and Fighters Megamix at a Myer store. Notable mentions must go to my old buddy from Brighton, Jason D’Souza for lending me Panzer Dragoon Saga (what was arguably the most critically acclaimed game for the Saturn) and more importantly, introduced me to Manx TT Superbike! I didn’t want to admit that the Saturn was irrelevant back in the day but it was, and sadly if you want to get in to it now better bring your wallet. Prices have skyrocketed, but if you can afford it – go for your life… just where were you all in 1997!?

And in 2017, I did a little YouTube video going through my collection which you can see here:

SEGA Dreamcast (Purchased 2007)
Never bought a SEGA Dreamcast during the initial wave when it came out in 2000. Firstly I had crossed over to the other side and bought a Sony PlayStation in 1999 and secondly I was a bit gun-shy to buy one after what happened to the SEGA Saturn. The Dreamcast just came out at the wrong time, and was crushed by the PlayStation 2 release a year later and eventually led to SEGA pulling out of the hardware market. What a groundbreaking console though, first one with online gaming capabilities with a 56k modem and SEGAnet out of the box and powered by Microsoft Windows CE… the Dreamcast never got it’s time in the sun, however still has a new games coming out for it in 2020 so there you go!

SEGA MegaDrive 32X (Purchased 2017)
Oh dear… where to start with the 32X. So aside from Knuckles Chaotix there’s really no need to hunt down a 32X unless you really want to complete your SEGA console series. What a disaster this stupid console was! For those that don’t know what a SEGA 32X is (and lets face it that’s a good chunk of the general population) this was SEGA’s last ditch attempt to revive the 16-bit Mega Drive and bump it up to a 32-bit console… months before they released the SEGA Saturn – their 32-bit follow up to the Mega Drive. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! These days, a 32X goes for a fair price so if you really really want to get one bring your chequebook!

SEGA CD – Model 1 (SEGA Mega CD in PAL regions) (Purchased 2004)
So here’s a fun one. This one is purely a novelty purchase for me. When I picked this up back in 2004 I’d already owned a SEGA Mega CD but I just wanted the old school Mega CD Model 1 so I picked it up on eBay… and thank heavens I did when I did because these days these are breaking the bank. Notice a theme here with all these old consoles?

SEGA CDX (or MultiMega in PAL regions) (Purchased 2012)
SEGA Genesis Nomad (Purchased 2004)
SEGA Game Gear (Purchased 1998)
This one’s basically the miscellaneous of the collection. The Game Gear I picked up second hand at a Cash Converters in Parkdale for dirt cheap because, as video game companies realised quickly in the 90s, unless you’re Nintendo you’re SOL in the handheld market. I think I’ve only sat down to play the Game Gear a handful of times because it went through six AA batteries like no-one’s business, and it was the size of a house brick too! The Genesis Nomad is basically another one of those weird SEGA anomalies. It was only released in the United States, and is a hand held Genesis (Mega Drive to us Aussies and PAL regions) and I remember seeing it in old EGM and Mean Machines magazines about this magical SEGA that could play Mega Drive games. So in the great “Get a credit card and buy all the stuff I want” spending spree of 2004, naturally I picked up a Nomad and if you thought the Game Gear goes through batteries – the Nomad does it in a fraction of the time. Last but not least is my CDX which still works like a dream. It’s a Mega CD and Mega Drive rolled into one, and it also can be a Discman as well… providing you want one that you can’t fit into your pockets due to the chunkiness! The CDX purchase is a bit special for me because I bought it when I was living in Bunbury WA so it’s the only SEGA console I purchased outside of Victoria.

Sega Mega Drive/Mega CD – Model 2 (Purchased 1994 & 1997)
Ah the memories. So this is my actual childhood SEGA Mega Drive from back in the day. So many good times, although the memories of it for most of my cousins would probably be watching me play Sonic 2… I’m sure they look back on that fondly. ANYWAY, man I remember in Grade 4 saving up every dollar and cent to try and buy the Mega Drive II which was $149 at the time, and finally managed to get my hands on it and a copy of Sonic 2 and man did I love this console! Played it night and day, to the point that Mum and Dad only limited my playing time to Friday’s and weekends only. I only had five games to my name (remember it’s my folks picking up the games for me here – and at $70 a pop it’s not like picking up a packet of Twisties at the shops) which I still own to this day in mint condition.

Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were the next purchases and both those game combined as Sonic 3 & Knuckles was what got the most use out of my system. My love for cricket saw me get Shane Warne Cricket, and Christmas 1996 saw me get Asterix and The Power Of The Gods as my final game. Just looking at those game boxes gets me all nostalgic.

I haven’t even mentioned my Mega CD II! That was picked up in 1997 when the system was dying out and Mum was told by a family friend that there was SEGA’s at Big W for $88 with four games, and wouldn’t you know it she piled me into the car, we drove to Southland and bought me my brand new Mega CD II with Road Avenger, Batman Returns, Mortal Kombat, and Yumemi Mystery Mansion. Sadly aside from MK, and on occasion Batman and Road Avenger, the games didn’t really get too much of a workout with YMM being a complete snooze fest (I should actually revisit it and see if the game was any good now that I’m no longer 13)

Enter Sonic CD. By 1998 SEGA was done and dusted in Australia but the luster of the Sonic game on the Mega CD was a “wouldn’t it be cool to play that game?” obsession that back in the day of no eBay or internet was something that was a holy grail item for me. My buddy at BSC Jason D’Souza, who had played Sonic CD, just built the hype up more and more for me and after aimlessly scouring department stores and video games shops it looked like the PC version of Sonic CD was the best I was going to get.

Fast forward to the end, and Mum (seriously if my mother doesn’t win ‘Best Mother Of All Time’ for all her contributions to my 16 bit gaming obsession then I dunno what gets that accolade!) found Sonic CD in a Cash Converters in Clayton and the rest is history. I own every version of Sonic CD (PAL, US and Japanese version) just for the hell of it, and they sit proudly next to my childhood Mega Drive II and Mega CD II combo atop ‘MegaDrive Mountain’

So there you have it – an extended look at my SEGA obsession that started with Alex Kidd In Miracle World, and grew into a huge fondness for the company that proved to the world that you don’t need to be Nintendo to make it in the video game industry!

Comments are closed.