It's been a while since I was very interested in the video game market South Korean. It all started a few years ago when I moved to Hong Kong for a job with a large sign of the online sales of video games. I remember I bought some Korean games on Playstation 2, then on Game Cube because they offered the advantage of having a beautiful packaging, similar to the Japanese versions, but with a game while English. All was well until one day I discovered the existence of a retro-gaming market South Korean. As a collector of Japanese games primarily, I found particularly interesting the fact that South Korea has had a market exists for itself and do not party at all “Asia”. Of course, as a fan of the first hour of the Sega Megadrive, I was speechless when I saw the first photos of consoles and games Sega Koreans distributed by Samsung. I had already presented the Super Comboy Hyundai here and is and my small collection of games for this console, it's time for me now present to you the wonderful Super Gam * Boy from Samsung !
A little history.
“After the end of World War II, South Korea banned the import of Japanese cultural products such as music, films, manga and literature. The ban was partially lifted by the administration of Kim Dae-jung 1998. In January 2004, ban on imports of Japanese CDs and DVDs was finally lifted in South Korea.” (source : Wikipedia).
After reading this short excerpt, some people have asserted that the above reasons have prompted Sega to entrust his Mark III and Megadrive to Samsung (and later its Saturn, Nintendo and turning to Hyundai). The current theory is that at that time it was simply out of question for a Japanese company to sell its products in the Korean market under his own name. The only trick then be considered by these companies to circumvent the embargo was to ask the major brands of South Korean electronics to handle the production and distribution of their products. These relationships postwar relatively tense are also almost certainly the most likely reason is that the games sold in South Korea are in English rather than Japanese.
However nothing has been proven and it is only a theory (indeed perhaps any foreign company, Japanese or not, had to settle through a Joint Venture, or then maybe Sega just did not want to take risks for such a small market…).
Quick preview of the period Master System / Mark III
To understand the different names given to Sega in South Korea, I think it's important to start with the Master System. Initially, some Sega Mark III reconditioned were put on the market by a South Korean company called OACS but the Master System was rapidly commercialized by Samsung under the name of Gam*boy – Gem * Boy (and the Nintendo Game Boy as the Mini-Comboy… This story is not as simple ?). Traits for traits she resumed the appearance of Master System 1 well known in the West and had at least one cosmetic change during the period of distribution. The one with his name written in Hangul, the other in the Latin alphabet.
This console, Moreover, as the following, only read format cartridges Japanese Sega Mark III Sega and maps “My Card”. It is little loan equivalent of the unusual and excellent Japanese Master System. Although sold 119 000₩ at its output (100 €) and more expensive than the popular console Zemmix (MSX “consolisé”) or any other Famiclone, Gam * Boy is pretty well sold in South Korea. Based on these sales figures from a magazine published in Korean 1994 (Game World), the console will be passed to 130 000 units during its first year on the market, in 1989 (there or NES / Comboy have barely reached the 20 000 units sold in the same year, with piracy certainly very rependu Famicom).
(thank you to derboo @smspower.org for figures.)
Among the nicest features of this model are found Korean undoubtedly format games exclusive Mark III cartridge (as Sonic 1 & 2 ou Streets of Rage 1 & 2…) then joypads. As you can see from the pictures, they are completely rounded and has a D-pad true (supposed to be an exclusive patent filed by Nintendo).
Later, the early 90, Samsung released the equivalent of Master System 2 under the name of Samsung Gam*Boy II – Samsung gemboyi II . This model was, at home, supplied with the game Alex Kidd in Miracle World built into the console, except that it was fully translated into Korean for the occasion. When the output of this model, Samsung had previously marketed its future replacement. The Megadrive was then sold under the name Super Gam*Boy – Super * gemboyi.
But all does not end there for the Master System. Fourth and fifth revision of the console will then day under the name of’Aladdin Boy – Aladdin Boy. This model of Master System 2 First marketed in a classic black dress was then sold in a box with colors more than doubtful (turquoise and yellow) and with a joypad Megadrive… (To believe that the production of the previous round was stopped joypads, otherwise why would we need a third button?). However, the box model (pictured below) throws rather not?
Super Gam*Boy, the beautiful.
What name would suit best to the successor of the Gam * Boy that Super Gam*Boy – Super * gemboyi ? After all we've also had the right with the NES and Super NES does not it? As I said, I'm a fan of the Megadrive and it lasts for the early 90 when I had this console for Christmas. It was also my first game console to myself and the first not to cross the doorstep of my home to go back in a few hours later. I still think it offers one of the best design that can offer a game console : not too big, not too small, not too classy kid and especially, I speak of course of the first model. South Korea to find this version has not been a cakewalk, I searched for a few years, from false false plans and plans so, unless exceptional stroke of luck, you must expect some difficulties to obtain it if it came to be interested (just like all consoles Korean 8-16-32 This bit says). In between all, Genesis Korean this is one of my favorite consoles (just behind the Sega Wondermega) and although I have only succeeded in digging up the loose, it is in perfect condition and without any big scratches.
Super Gam * Boy meet with a success far more mixed than its big sister the Gam * Boy. A bit like the rest of the world, 16bit console Nintendo quickly became popular and when Hyundai released the Super Comboy in 1992, sales exceed that of the Super Gam * Boy in just one year :
Let's start with a comparison with a Japanese Megadrive.
Both consoles are quite similar, they both have a purple area around the LED power-, the text “AV Intelligent Terminal High Grade Multipurpose Use” written in purple on his ring and letters “16-BIT” written in large capitals golden. Both consoles are old models with the expansion port on the rear panel and are both format NTSC-JP. Apart from the logo Samsung & Super gemboyi So they seem identical. However the most knowledgeable of you may have noticed that the button “Reset” is a slightly lighter blue on the Korean model. Initially I thought it was a discoloration of the button but when I removed the console to clean it and take pictures, I realized that the button was entirely of this color, even the unexposed portions in the light. After some research on the Korean web, I only found that console with a button of that color. I deduce that this is not a sunfade (otherwise the button would be darker inside) but a specificity of this model of Samsung Megadrive.
Returning console, immediately notice other differences. The most obvious of them are the stickers. The first, located in the center, indicates the name and serial number of the console, Reference Product (SPC-200 for Super Gam * Boy, for info, the Gam * Boy / Master System was number SPC-100), the voltage and found it all over the old logo written in Korean Samsung Electronics instead of the usual Sega logo. On one side, there is a second large sticker that lists “Samsung Service Centers” (Samsung Service Center) with their telephone numbers, all sorted by geographical area. Finally, on the right is a third and final quality control sticker on (Quality Certification), shots with buffer. But there is another less obvious difference below the. Correct me if I'm wrong but I have 3 Japanese Megadrive and 1 megadrive Asian and none of it has non-slip feet square shaped below. I have noticed this detail on the Megadrive Samsung. That's all the differences I've noted between these two models, and there may be other…
Under the hood
Well, Now that we admired the dress of the Super Gam * Boy from all angles, I propose that we look what's inside. I also opened the Japanese model to perform again a comparison.
It is interesting to note the presence of a chip Goldstar in South Korean model. Goldstar is the former name of the Korean electronics manufacturer now known as the “LG”. Apart from this chip, all other components are named after the Japanese brands like Sega, Toshiba, Sony, Yamaha ou encore NEC. One thing I also noticed, and it is quite ironic if we look carefully, is that this chip in the console and Samsung Japan is stamped Made In Korea, whereas the same chip in the console Korean is produced by NEC in Japan… bizarre. It could also dwell on the general arrangement of components that differ but I have unfortunately not all Japanese or Korean revisions of the console to analyze this in more depth. Indeed, the 2 motherboards visible above are just two revisions of existing motherboards. We now know with certainty that Japan, the United States and Europe have been several revisions of the motherboard for the first model Genesis and it would seem that South Korea have not escaped this treatment. For example here is the photo of another motherboard hosted by segagagadomain.com.
This picture shows a later revision of the console (Super Aladdin Boy – Super Aladdin Boy) recognizable by the absence of EXT on the back. As you will notice the component Goldstar is still present but this time the motherboard carries the brand Samsung (SPC-200R / 201R REV A) and the small component is near “finally” Samsung as a component on my older model Super Gam * Boy it was produced by Nippon Electronic Computer…
Names & Variations of the design
We have already seen that the Master System had different names and variations cosmetics in South Korea : Gam * Boy for the first model, Samsung Gam*Boy II & Aladdin Boy for the second. That's the same thing ready for 16bit. Now for the different packaging.
You have just seen pictures of the Super Gam*boy and Super Aladdin Boy but be aware that there 2 models under this last name : Super Aladdin Boy – Super Aladdin Boy for later revisions of the first model (SPC-200R & SPC-201R) & Super Aladdin Boy II – Super Aladdin Boy II for the second model of the Megadrive (SPC-201N & SPC-1600R). These last two models each suffered at least a cosmetic change in marketing, mainly due to the change in design of the logo of the brand Samsung. It is the same for accessories, as shown in the photo shown below joypads.
Regarding the name change suddenly Gam * Boy boy Aladdin for the full range of products in Korea Sega, some people have asserted that the reason is related to the popularity of the movie Aladdin Disney released in November 1992 in the U.S.. Samsung would have thought it would be good for his business strategy to change the name of its products with the word in Aladdin. This information is unlikely Samsung already used as the name of Aladdin a year earlier, the PC “Aladdin Magic Computer“. Moreover, if we look a little on the dates we find the following :
To finish on the hardware of this file, Here are more photos of comparative Super Aladdin Boy II with European and Japanese Megadrive. Notice how the Power and Reset buttons of the Super Aladdin Boy II have the same shape as the European model, while the colors of the assembly closer to the Japanese model.
For a market as small, we can say that South Korea was relatively spoiled in terms of titles and some of them were not even released in Japan as Sonic 3D, Toe Jam & Earl 2 ou encore Tiny Toons, while others were totally exclusive to this country as the vertical Shoot'em Up Space Turtle Battleship – Space Turtle Ship. Just as for consoles, There are lots of variations in both games in their bracket, their jacket or their label. They were distributed by two companies : Mainly Samsung and Hi-Com (a distributor of Samsung). There are 5 major types of variations in the games Samsung.
A first series of ten titles were sold in packaging bearing the logo very specific Super Gam * Boy in black on the edge and sometimes coming in small boxes like VHS.
You will also see later in this article that some games Master System Megadrive cartridge were published during the Super Gam * Boy, likely to accompany the transition between systems 8 and 16-bit (more or less legitimate).
Then comes the series of jackets “white, silver and gold”, that of “full pages” and that of “funds bricks”. And finally, late a series sold under the name “Samsung Home Console Games” - Samsung Home game consoles with a blue band, red and yellow equivalent to our blue boxes in the European series of games blue headband and yellow Japanese.
Note that the logo Samsung Home Console Games – 삼성 홈게임기 can also be found on the box of the Super Aladdin Boy II, the SPC-201N pack and the pack SPC-1600R (son without a pad).
Below are some titles I have met in recent years. In passing, see if you sell or the sale of games that are not shown here, do not hesitate to contact me !
Now look at a small batch of cartridges loose. The first series of pictures to discover in pictures the 10 very first titles released for the Super Gam * Boy. These statements are identified by a blue semicircle with the old logo written in Hangul Samsung Electronics. On these 10 securities, Golden Axe and Shinobi The Super were reissued later in the series “white, silver and gold”. Finally, note that no Tatsujin apparently never been sold in box (provided with the console), some cartridge labels, Space harrier a Thunder Force II, were made from scans records Japanese (we find the holes that were present on the last) and Samsung does not seem to have obtained the license for Rambo III, The cartridge was then covered with a semi-circle bearing the SEGA logo orange. Do not hesitate to click on the name of each game to go to his “plug” discover more pictures, comparatives and a variety of information.
Tatsujin – Tasujin – GM4001JG
Altered Beast – Wed Royal Standard – GM4002JG
Space Harrier II – Space Harrier II – GM4003JG
The Super Shinobi – Detroit Super City – GM4004JG
Golden Axe – Golden Axe – GM4005JG
Super Thunder Blade – Super Thunder Blade – GM4006JG
Rambo – 람보 III – GM4007JG
Daemagyecheon – One magyechon – GM5008JG
Zoom – Zoom! – GM4009JG
Thunder Force II – Thunder Force II – GM4010JG
Other cartridges loose, in order of appearance we find : Mystic Defender – Ondal General, Power Monger – Power monggeo, Chiki Chiki Boys – Naughty Adventures, Fatal Fury – Page two days Fury, Landstalker – Land Stalker, Last Battle – The Last Battle, Mutant League Football – That mutbol myutan tree, Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball-bu Soccer-hen MD – Adoring high school - football, Rampart – Rampart, Sonic 3D Blast – Sonic 3D Blast, Streets of Rage 2 – Bare Knuckle 2, Streets of Rage 3 – Bare Knuckle 3, Super Street Figthers II – Super Street Fighter 2, Toe Jam & Earl – Pat holyiwa, Toe Jam & Earl in : Panic on Funkotron – Patrick Hall this, World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck – Mickey and Donald (click on a game name for more pictures and info).
It is interesting to consider 3 securities above especially since they have characteristics unique to South Korea. First of all, Mystic Defender alias “Ondal Janggun” which has been fully localized by Samsung, in addition to having been translated, graphical changes were made to match the medieval culture Korean rather than Japanese. Then Super Street Fighter II, that contains the names of the last four Western reversed boss (Balrog / M. Bison, Vega / Balrog, M. Bison / Vega) but the cartridge will not run on anything other than NTSC console-J (it is not just the U.S. rom). And finally, Toe Jam & Earl 2, which was never released in Japan, but the cartridge is yet zoned NTSC-J.
Games “white, silver and gold” :
(do not forget, you can click on game titles for more information and pictures about them).
Crying – Crying
Dahna – Is Ana
Darwin 4081 – Da-won 4081
Decap Attack – Dikaep Attack
Doraemon – Doraemon
Ecco The Dolphin – Dolphin
Ghostbusters – Sisters Ghost Bar
Kid Chameleon – Kid Chameleon
Phantasy Star II – Fantasy Star 2
Phantasy Star III – Fantasy Star 3
Power Athlete – Power approached LIT
Quackshot Starring Donald Duck – Donaldeudeok, 2 variations, corners with silver or gold.
Sasin Draxos (Risky Woods) – Reaper deuraksoseu (Wireless Key Woods)
The Kick Boxing – More kickboxing
The New Zealand Story – New Zealand Story
Sonic The Hedgehog – Sonic baramdolyi, First version of the game published by Samsung. The Rom is a Rev 01 Japanese, with graphical enhancements and bugs within.
Splatterhouse Part 3 – House soup printer response to three
Thunder Force III – Thunder Force III
Thunder Force IV – Thunder Force IV
Wonderboy V: Monster World III – Monseuta World 3
Games in the series “full screen” :
(click on a game name for more info).
Dr. Robotnik Mean Bean Machine / Puyo Puyo – Combat operations dongle (PuyoPuyo)
Eternal Champion – Eternal Champion
Rocket Knight Adventure – Rocket Knight Adventure
Sonic The Hedgehog – Sonic baramdolyi, second version of the game by Samsung, one of the few games to have had the honor of a full color leaflet. ROM also contains a Rev 01 Japanese.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – Sonic baramdolyi 2
Sonic The Hedgehog 3 – Sonic baramdolyi 3, 2 variations exist for this game, click on the title for more.
The Super Shinobi II – Detroit Super City 2
TMNT – Tournament Fighters – TMNT Tournament Fighters(*Photos coming soon)
Games in the series “full screen” with the Japanese logo “MD” on the wafer :
Contra Hard Corps – Contra Hard Core. The cartridge actually contains the ROM U.S..
Mega Bomberman – Mega beumbeomaen
Tiny Toon Adventures : ACME All-Stars – Tiny Tune Adventures 2
Games “Samsung Home” :
Ragnacenty – Shinchang century Ragnar centimeters
Sonic The Hedgehog – Sonic baramdolyi, third and final version of Sonic The Hedgehog by Samsung, astonishment rom is a Rev 00.
The Story of Thor – Story of doors
Hi-Com Games :
Sonic Collection – Sonic Classic
Monster World III – Monseuta World 3
Some really nice cartridges !
Any retro-gamer who respects himself has got wind of complications around the Wonderboy series / Monster World / Adventure Island but here is add water to the mill :
- 1) “Super Wonderboy In Monster World” was also marketed in South Korea, delivered in a box of golden Sega Mark III and using the same artwork as seen on the box and the cartridge from the video above (it is normal you will tell me his). By cons, This version shows a cartridge 1MB while the Japanese version is 2MB (see photo below, but I think it's just a mistake on the box).
- 2) The oldie “Super Wonderboy” was also marketed by Hi-Com on the Korean Master System, also comes in a box of golden Sega Mark III but beware “Trap con” : l’artwork ressemble à Adventure Island de Hudson soft…
- 3) As you can see in the video and the photos above, the good old “Super Wonder Boy” to have the right to marketing on the Megadrive but the artwork used for the latter is neither that the Adventure Island Hudson Soft nor one we had in Europe for Master System or even Game Gear, but that of the first Monster Word in Japan…
Just like Super Wonderboy presented above, it seems that these cartridges have been officially distributed in South Korea, although I doubt they were in agreement with Sega Japan. They were either frabriquées Hi-Com and / or Samsung at the beginning of the era Super Gam * Boy, look at this photo :
The following is definitely original pirate, cartridges contain a bunch of Sega Master System. Among these games, some are exclusive to Korea as directed there by OPEN or Hi-COM. The original versions of the Mark III cartridge format of these exclusive titles are sometimes sold at very high prices when they appear on ebay.
Although in reality the cartridge does not contain actual 270 games, He is a South Korean pirate compilations among the most sympathetic. It contains very good songs like Super Wonderboy Master System or Fantasy Zone, but also and especially 6 Koreans exclusive titles + a pirated version of Tetris.
Extras (listing, images & pubs)
Some of the finest collections South Korea :
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A grand goods a Guardiana.net for all the valuable information and for being one of the best website ever built around the Megadrive. Thank you to Cyberguile for his amazing discoveries in recent years son, thank you to the community smspower.org and hardcoregaming101.net for their valuable information. Thanks to molotovwars for his input regarding the Super Gam*Boy games variations in general, to Taksangs for his pictures, to Hongseok for his Gam*Boy Master List and for helping me filling the blanks here and there and to all the people in South Korea collecting and posting images of their retro-gaming collection on the internet at Naver, Ruliweb & Egloos.
Ah, and of course thank you to you dear readers, I hope this article has rained