Last update :- February 19th, 2012

Quick index:

Click on any images below for a larger picture.

Quick index:

Sega Megadrive (Genesis)

16-bit consoles heralded the demise of the 8-bit computers such as the Amstrad CPC and their console equivalents such as the Sega Master System (SMS) and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Of the two main choices, I preferred the Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US) released in 1989 ahead of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

The console had the following specifications:-

For more detailed information on the console see the Sega Megadrive article on Wikipedia.

Sega Megadrive/Genesis Sega Megadrive/Genesis II
Sega Megadrive/Genesis Sega Megadrive/Genesis II

Of some 900+ games available for the console, the Top 10 (according to GameFAQs from GameSpot) are:

  1. Shining Force
  2. Shining Force II
  3. Sonic The Hedgehog 3
  4. Phantasy Star IV
  5. Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  6. Phantasy Star II
  7. Sonic & Knuckles
  8. Sonic The Hedgehog (main promotional character for Sega and spawned a number of games)
  9. Shining in the Darkness
  10. Shadowrun

Those in bold above are amongst my own favourites and to them I can add:

Emulator

Until recently I used the older Gens emulator which was designed for Windows 9x and DirectX 7.0 but still runs fine on XP with DirectX 9.0c. I'd been using it for years and was more than happy with it but I had a look around the web and came across the top Megadrive/Genesis emulator now available - Kega Fusion by Steve Snake! There a a few more out there such as Xega, Ages, retroDrive, HazeMD and Regen but Kega Fusion is widely regarded as the best, offering the most support and compatibility.

The main reason for me now using Kega Fusion over Gens is that it allows you to run it in a 960 x 720 window - which I prefer to full-screen on a 1920 x 1080 resolution TFT. The screenshot below demonstrates this running Cool Spot. It also happily runs on Windows 7 64-bit.

Fusion running Cool Spot

"Fusion" running Cool Spot

Tutorial

I could now go ahead an give you a tutorial on how to use Kega Fusion to play a game but there's no need when an excellent one has already been written by FantasyAnime. Whilst you're there, if you want to emulate other consoles like the Game Gear, SNES, Playstation and arcade machines you'll find more tutorials available.

Controller

If you want to fully re-live the Sega Megadrive gaming experience, ideally you want a controller that mimics one of the original ones - see the photo below (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Original Megadrive/Genesis cotroller

Original Megadrive/Genesis controller

In particular, if you want to play fighting games like Street Fighter then ideally you want a controller with the buttons arranged like the 6-button version in the above photo. The problem is, a lot of modern game controllers follow the pattern of either the Sony Playstation series or the Xbox - with 4 buttons in place 6 and additional "shoulder buttons". You can find suitable ones though and if you can find one that has 10 buttons you can also use with Nintendo N64 emulators - as the N64 also has the same 6 button arrangement. Personally, I use the Saitek P2600 Rumble but you could try any of the following:

Saitek P2600 Dual Analog Saitek P990 Dual Analog Logitech Cordless RumblePad Logitech RumblePad
Saitek P2600 Dual Analog Saitek P990 Dual Analog Logitech Cordless RumblePad Logitech RumblePad

Game Genie

If you were struggling with a particular game or level then you could always buy a Game Genie - which was a piece of hardware you plugged the game into and then plugged the whole assembly into the console. This allowed you to modify the game data, allowing the player to cheat, manipulate various aspects of and sometimes view unused content and functions.

Of course, this is all done in software by the emulator now and Fusion supports this feature. Try the following two links for Game Genie codes you can use with the emulator:

Links

ROMs

If you want to play a Sega Megadrive game in an emulator you need an image of the game in question - also known as a ROM. If you still own the original cartridge you're legally entitled to own a copy of the ROM image for backup purposes. When it comes to games that you don't already own we enter a huge "grey area" as they are technically copyrighted but are not making anyone money and in many cases the developer no longer exists. For a better description of this complicated area I recommend you read more at ClassicGaming.

Possible sources of ROM images (whether you legally own the game or not) to use with your emulator are:

Be warned that sometimes when you visit ROM sites you will be flooded with pop-ups, have to click on top 10 lists, or be presented with adult content related material - it goes with the territory unfortunately. Don't ask me for any games as I won't reply!

Games

For a comprehensive (but not complete) list of Sega Megadrive games with their alternative titles, developers and release dates see the Wikipedia List of Sega Megadrive Games.

Screenshots from some of my favourites are shown below. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version and the name for an external review.

Addams Family Aladdin Batman Returns Beauty & The Beast - Roar Of The Beast Body Count Bubsy
Addams Family Aladdin Batman Returns Beauty & The Beast -
Roar Of The Beast
Body Count Bubsy
Cannon Fodder Castlevania Bloodlines Chaos Engine Cool Spot Desert Strike Duke Nukem 3D
Cannon Fodder Castlevania Bloodlines Chaos Engine Cool Spot Desert Strike Duke Nukem 3D
Earthworm Jim Ecco The Dolphin Fantastic Dizzy FIFA '96 Flashback Gaiares
Earthworm Jim Ecco The Dolphin Fantastic Dizzy FIFA '96 Flashback Gaiares
Gods Immortal Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade James Pond 2 - Robocod Jungle Book Jungle Strike
Gods Immortal Indiana Jones
& The Last Crusade
James Pond 2 -
Robocod
Jungle Book Jungle Strike
Landstalker Lemmings Lion King Marble Madness Mickey Mouse - Castle Of Illusion Micro Machines
Landstalker Lemmings Lion King Marble Madness Mickey Mouse -
Castle Of Illusion
Micro Machines
Mortal Kombat New Zealand Story PGA Tour Golf II Phantasy Star II Power Ranges - The Movie Quack Shot
Mortal Kombat New Zealand Story PGA Tour Golf II Phantasy Star II Power Rangers -
The Movie
Quack Shot
Rainbow Islands Road Rash 2 Robocop vs Terminator Sensible Soccer Street Figher II - The New Challengers Shining Force
Rainbow Islands Road Rash 2 Robocop vs Terminator Sensible Soccer Street Figher II -
The New Challengers
Shining Force
Slap Fight Sonic The Hedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Sonic The Hedgehog 3 Sonic 3D Blast Sonic & Knuckles
Slap Fight Sonic The Hedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Sonic The Hedgehog 3 Sonic 3D Blast Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic Spinball Spot Goes To Hollywood Stormlord Street Fighter II - Championship Edition Super Hang-On Super Monaco GP
Sonic Spinball Spot Goes To Hollywood Stormlord Street Fighter II -
Championship Edition
Super Hang-On Super Monaco GP
Taz-Mania Terminator Terminator 2: Judgement Day Thunder Force III TMHT: Hyperstone Heist ToeJam & Earl
Taz-Mania Terminator Terminator 2:
Judgement Day
Thunder Force III TMHT: Hyperstone Heist ToeJam & Earl
Turrican II Twin Cobra Urban Strike WWF - Super Wrestlemania X-Men Zool
Turrican II Twin Cobra Urban Strike WWF - Super Wrestlemania X-Men Zool

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