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Game Genie (Game Gear)

From Sega Retro

GameGenieGG.jpg
Fast facts on the Game Genie
Manufacturer: Codemasters
Made for: Sega Game Gear
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Game Gear
US
$39.99[1] 7358
Sega Game Gear
UK
£24.99[2] 7358
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F 7358
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ? 7358
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas 7358


The Sega Game Gear version of the Game Genie is a specialised "cheat cartridge" (or "video game enhancer") developed by Codemasters which allows the user to manipulate video games.

Though developed by Codemasters, distribution was handled by Camerica in Canada and Galoob in the United States (and Europe, with the help of third-party distributors). Following the controversy of a Nintendo Entertainment System version of the device - of which Nintendo unsuccessfully tried to block, the Game Gear (and Mega Drive enhancer) were adopted by Sega as officially licensed products.

The Game Genie brand has since been discontinued, however the idea lived on through Action Replay and GameShark hacking devices on newer consoles in the years which followed. Game Genie codes have since become a supported feature in most emulators.

Operation

The Game Genie attaches to the end of a cartridge and is then inserted into the cartridge port of the console for which it was designed.

Upon starting the console, the player may enter a series of characters referred to as a "code" or several such series that reference addresses in the ROM of the cartridge. Each code contains an integer value that is read by the system in place of the data actually present on the cartridge. The Game Genie cannot manipulate RAM, though it can make the console read different values from SRAM.

Because they patch the program code of a game, Game Genie codes are sometimes referred to as patch codes. These codes can have a variety of effects. The most popular codes give the player some form of invulnerability, infinite ammunition, level skipping, or other modifications that allow the player to be more powerful than intended by the developers. In rare cases, codes even unlock hidden game features that developers had scrapped and rendered unreachable in normal play.

The Sega Game Gear's Game Genie has a more complicated design than those for other systems. When inserted into the cartridge slot, another slot will pop-up to insert the Game Gear cartridge. It also has a compartment which contained a book of codes.

The codes were printed on sticky labels to put on the back of the Game Gear cartridge. When entering codes, the player could easily see what to type in rather than looking through the book. Many of these codes can now be found online as well.

On the screen in which a code is entered for the Game Gear Game Genie, a player typing the word "DEAD" will cause the screen to move up and down, possibly as an Easter egg.

Promotional material

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SegaVisions US 16.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #16: "December/January 1993/1994" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #54: "January 1994" (199x-xx-xx)[3]
{{|}}}}

GamePro US 057.pdf

PDF
Print advert in
GamePro (US) #57: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)

Physical scans

Game Gear, US
Game Genie US GG boxfront .jpg
Cover
GameGenieGG.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, UK
GameGenie GG UK Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngGameGenie GG UK Box Front.jpg
Cover

References

  1. File:GamePro US 054.pdf, page 216
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:CVG UK 150.pdf, page 123
  3. File:GamePro US 054.pdf, page 289
Sega Game Gear Hardware
Game Gear Variations Sega Game Gear (Japan | North America | Europe | Other Regions) | Wide Gear
Add-ons Action Replay | Game Genie | Master Gear Converter (Gear Master | Nuby Converter) | Stereo FM Tuner | TV Tuner
Cases Carry-All | Deluxe Carry-All Case | Gear Bag | Holster Case | Standard Carrying Case | Soft Case | Third Party (Play & Carry Case)
Accessories Car Adaptor | Car Antenna | Battery Pack | Cleaning Gear | Gear-to-Gear Cable | PowerBack (Third Party) | Screen Magnifier (Wide Gear | Super Wide Gear | Third-Party)

Handy Gear | Master Link Cable