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Region codes

From Sega Retro

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Starting with the release of PAL models of the Sega Master System in 1986, Sega labelled the consoles with a product code which also included a region code in order to reflect specific hardware requirements for each region. The main differences between countries were generally related to the RF modulator, specifically the colour encoding and broadcast system (PAL-I / PAL-G / NTSC etc) along with the RF output channel, which had to be on an unused frequency which often varied between countries. Some countries also had stricter requirements on RF shielding which resulted in extra shielding in German models for example. The region codes were later also extended to software. It is an extension of the system which first started in Japan, and applies to most regions of the world not directly covered by Sega of Japan or Sega of America. Neither was it used by other manufacturers such as Tec Toy or Samsung who had the exclusive distribution rights to their respective regions.

This article describes the most common form of product region codes when dealing with Sega products. Others exist but were not as widely practised. This particular form has never been used by Sega of Japan or Sega of America (although it was used in Canada whilst Irwin Electronics had the distribution rights). However, with the region codes "01" and "02" remaining unused, it would seem likely that these were reserved internally for Sega of Japan and Sega of America respectively. Whilst region codes weren't used prior to the Sega Master System, the SC-3000 Service Manual notesMedia:SC-3000ServiceManual.pdf[1] the various differences between models for different countries which have direct equivalences with the region codes used with later hardware releases.

Regions are identified by the last three digits of Sega product codes. Most common format is the following:

First-Party:

MK-XXXYYY-ZZ

Third-Party:

T-XXXYYY-ZZ

in which green symbolises the First-Party MK-Series Code or Third-Party T-Series Code, and purple dictates the region. The amount of numbers may vary, and some codes lack the "MK-" or "T-". Often European country codes only apply to packaging - the cartridges or discs may be identical to other European releases. In some cases European product codes are identical to those used in North America.

Identifying region codes is vital for documenting Sega game releases. Games can vary between regions of the world for language, marketing or censorship purposes. Many databases fail to take these attributes into account.

Pre-Dreamcast

Code Region Notes Examples
03 Australia Some software releases. Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-B(VV)", Lord of the Sword, Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord, Ys: Ancient Ys Vanished Omen
04 New Zealand Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-B(VE)"
05 United Kingdom Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-I"
06 Spain Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-G"
07 South East Asia Master System / Mega Drive Hardware "PAL-B(VE)"
08 South Korea Came into use with the Sega Saturn
09 France Master System / Mega Drive hardware "RGB FR."
10 Unknown Possibly Austria or Denmark Master System hardware "PAL-G"
11 Hong Kong Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-I"
13 Italy Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-G"
15 China Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-D"
16 Taiwan 32X / Sega Pico Hardware
18 Germany Previously West Germany Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-G"
19 Soviet Union Master System hardware "SECAM"
20 The Netherlands Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-G"
21 United Arab Emirates / Gulf Master System hardware "PAL-G"
22 Canada Label says "CANADA" Master System / Genesis hardware "NTSC"
24 Nordic Master System / Mega Drive hardware "PAL-G"
25 Switzerland PAL-G cantons of Switzerland. Master System hardware "PAL-G"
26 Switzerland (Romandy) French speaking cantons Master System hardware "RGB SW."
27 South Africa Master System hardware "PAL-I"
33 Turkey Master System hardware "PAL-G"
39 Saudi Arabia Master System hardware "NTSC"
40 Asia Not including Japan and South Korea
50 Europe Used for non-localised European content.

Dreamcast

Code Region Notes Examples
27 France/Spain
29 Germany Alternative to -18 Worms Armageddon
45 Brazil
50 Europe Used for non-localised European content.
51 Germany/France/The Netherlands Gauntlet Legends, Marvel vs. Capcom
53 United Kingdom/France/Germany Alternative to -50 Time Stalkers
55 The Netherlands
56 United Kingdom/Italy Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
58 Germany/France/The Netherlands Monaco Grand Prix: Racing Simulation 2, Pen Pen
59 France/The Netherlands Fur Fighters, V-Rally 2: Expert Edition
60 Italy/Spain Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
61 United Kingdom/Spain/Italy Gauntlet Legends, Pen Pen
64 United Kingdom/France/Germany Wetrix Plus, Wild Metal
71 United Kingdom/France/Germany/Spain Alternative to -50 Conflict Zone
72 France/Spain Sometimes alternative to -50 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Conflict Zone
74 United Kingdom/Germany/Italy/The Netherlands Stupid Invaders
75 France/Spain/Italy Disney's Donald Duck Quack Attack
76 United Kingdom/Spain/The Netherlands Deadly Skies, ESPN International Track & Field
77 Germany/France/Italy Deadly Skies
78 Scandinavia
79 France/The Netherlands/Italy/Spain Worms Armageddon
80 France (with English language) Evil Dead: Hail to the King
81 Spain/Portugal/Italy V-Rally 2: Expert Edition
82 Germany/The Netherlands Looney Tunes: Space Race
83 France/Germany Dragon's Blood
87 Germany/France/Italy ESPN International Track & Field
88 United Kingdom/Spain Evil Dead: Hail to the King
89 United Kingdom/France/Germany/Sweden/Finland NHL 2K
91 United Kingdom/The Netherlands Le Mans 24 Hours
92 France/Italy Silver
97 United Kingdom/Spain/Italy/Portugal/The Netherlands Record of Lodoss War

Other consoles have different methods. For example, Nintendo currently employs a coloured triangle system.

References

  1. File:SC-3000ServiceManual.pdf, page 9