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Taz in Escape from Mars

From Sega Retro

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TEfM Title.png
Taz in Escape from Mars
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Sound driver:
Sega Mega Drive
GEMS
Genre: Action































Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
US
$59.99[1] 1546
Sega Mega Drive
US (Mega Hit Series)
$19.99
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£? 1546-50
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F 1546-50
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ? 1546-50
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas 1546-50
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?



Sega Game Gear
US
$? 2538
Sega Game Gear
UK
£? 2538-50
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F 2538-50
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ? 2538-50
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas 2538-50
Sega Game Gear
BR
R$? 077170



Sega Master System
BR
R$? 028620



Taz in Escape from Mars, also known as Escape from Mars Starring Taz, is a platform game developed by HeadGames and published by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear. The Master System version of the game was ported from the Game Gear version by TecToy, and was released in March 1997, exclusively to Brazil. It is a sequel to Taz-Mania that follows Taz escaping from Mars, and his captor: Marvin the Martian.

During development it adopted the longer title of Tasmanian Devil in Escape from Mars.

Story

Marvin the Martian visits his Martian zoo and finds an empty cage. He looks in his book for Earth creatures and finds Taz, the Tasmanian devil. Marvin gets the idea of capturing Taz for his zoo and heads to Earth to capture him. Meanwhile, Taz is minding his own business, when suddenly, Marvin beams Taz up into his flying saucer and takes Taz to his Martian zoo, where subsequently Taz escapes.

Gameplay

Controls

The control scheme is identical to Taz-Mania. By default, A makes Taz perform various actions when applicable, B makes Taz spin, and C makes Taz jump. The controls can be changed by going into the options at the Title Screen, and pressing either A, B or C to rotate the controls around.

Taz plays almost exactly the way he did in his previous game. By jumping while holding Down, Taz can jump straight down through certain platforms. Jumping and spinning in mid-air can allow for a somewhat further jump, and doing so in between two close walls bounces Taz back and forth, sending him upwards in a sort-of "wall jump" type of maneuver. Spinning into slopes while holding a directional button allows Taz to move in an almost Sonic-like fashion, spinning along walls and even ceilings! Taz can also dig into certain patches of soft ground by spinning while holding up or down.

The other various actions performed by pressing A include: flipping a switch, spitting a rock, breathing out a flame, or picking up something. Unlike Taz-Mania, pressing A does NOT animate Taz.

Enemies

Most enemies take one hit, others take two. Most bosses take 6 to 8 hits. Only one nonboss enemy takes more than two hits to destroy. Taz takes one point of damage by touching an enemy while not spinning, or being hit by an enemy attack. Taz can sustain 12 hit points. Some boss enemies take two hit points and Marvin's dog, K-9, takes four hit points. Some enemies, like the fly or armored soldier (in the haunted castle world) cannot be defeated by the spin, but only by rocks or the flame. Others, like Yosemite Sam, cannot be defeated at all.

Completing Levels

Taz can complete a level in one of two ways. In levels without a boss, Taz will reach an EXIT sign. When approached, Taz eats the EXIT sign, thus ending the level. In the final level of each world, Taz fights a boss. After defeating the boss, Taz finds an ACME crate. Entering the ACME crate will end the level and the current world. This is almost similar in some respects to how acts and zones end in Sonic the Hedgehog, with a signpost and a capsule, respectively.

Power-ups/downs

The most common type of power-up is food. Food replenishes Taz's health. By spinning into the food, the food is destroyed. Food items include burgers, bread, fruit, ham, and cakes. The medical pack is a special power-up which replenishes 6 hit points if eaten, half of Taz's health. Other power-ups include boxes of rocks, and gas containers. By eating the box of rocks, Taz can spit out rocks at his enemies. By eating the gas container, Taz can breathe fire. Each gives ten shots. Extra lives and continues are scattered around in the levels. Also, there are various power-downs that take away health. The most common of which are small black bombs. Others include a time bomb, and a cake with dynamite. When eaten, the object explodes making Taz lose one hit point and become black momentarily. Other objects include shrink and grow potions. While enlarged, Taz can destroy any enemy by simply touching it and enemy attacks do not damage Taz. While shrunk, Taz cannot destroy anything, but can get through narrow passageways. By contacting these items in a spin, they are destroyed, useful on the explosives, but bad on the healing items.

Levels

There are 6 worlds, each with 2 or 3 levels, followed by a boss at the end. Each world has a set of unique challenges, many of which closely related. The enemies, though with different shapes and appearances, commonly have the same action for the same type (such as a space ship shooting light rays). There are numerous enemies and powerups.

Notavailable.svg Mars
Taz begins on Mars in the Martian zoo Marvin brought him to. The first level sees Taz navigating through zoo cages and busting through walls. Scattered around are teleporters to teleport Taz to different parts of the level. The second level sees Taz navigating a multitude of obstacles, including moving platforms hovering above spikes, and metal pipes that Taz can spin along, allowing him to move across walls and ceilings in a style similar to Sonic the Hedgehog. The boss is an alien resembling an elephant. The alien swings its long spines around in circles, then shoots exploding mines that bounce around. Dodge the first attack by spinning along the walls and ceiling in a circle. Then avoid the mines. The alien will then open his eyes. Spin into him to defeat him.
Notavailable.svg Moleworld
Moleworld has hunters in the form of moles. There is also dirt that Taz can dig into, often littered with spiky mines. The second level involves a underground mine with a mole hunter driving a large tunnel boring machine that constantly moves forward and takes Taz's life away instantly. The boss is one of the mole hunters in a large spaceship in an area where Taz constantly falls with rocks along the way.
Notavailable.svg Planet X
Planet X involves some flying, and a little water. The first half of the first level involves land exploration with sliding along waterfalls and fast-moving rivers at the last half. The second level is entirely extensive waterfalls with many octopus and its tentacles. The third level is entirely flying. The boss is a large green centipede-like creature with spikes covering its body making several curves and zigzags each time it comes out of the ground.
Notavailable.svg Mexico
Having arrived back on Earth, Taz is placed on a long, fast-moving wagon train pulled by mules with occasional cows and bulls along the pathway. Falling off this causes Taz to lose health and get dragged back slowly. Yosemite Sam sometimes appears here as well with a bird flying along that drops sticks of dynamite from the air, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner also appear. The second level involves Taz exploring a Mexican town. Yosemite Sam fires his guns wildly in two places and it is the first level that introduces going indoors. The boss is a bull fight with Toro the bull, of which Taz needs to trick Toro into slamming into the walls of the stadium.
Notavailable.svg Haunted Castle
The haunted castle is the last world visited while Taz is on Earth. The first level is outdoors. The last two levels are both indoors. The last indoor level is in a laboratory. The boss is an evil scientist with Gossamer.
Notavailable.svg Marvin's House
Taz visits Marvin's house to confront him. The first level is outside where the level is drifting along the stars. The dog, K-9, is seen in two occasions as is even twice as powerful than any boss. The second level is a laser maze where Taz must shut off four lasers in order to access Marvin. Touching the lasers causes Taz to take damage. Gravity in the laser maze level is also varies on any of four basic directions: the usual straight down, but also up, left, and right. The final boss is Marvin himself.

After defeating Marvin, Taz jacks a space ship and pilots it back to Earth. The game ends when the animal eats a pile of fruit on the way home and went away spinning all the way.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

  • Developed for Sega of America by HeadGames, Inc.
  • Producer: Bert Schroeder
  • Director: Jonathan Miller
  • Design: Joshua Singer, Steven Ross, Doug Nishimura, Jonathan Miller
  • Art: Doug Nishimura, Steven Ross, Yongki Yoon
  • Lead Programmer: Joshua Singer
  • Programming: David Eader, Meilin Wong, Alex Tyrer, Jonathan Miller
  • Music and SFX: Neuromantic Productions, Mark Steven Miller, Jim Hedges
  • Lead Tester: Ben Szymkowiak
  • Assistant Lead Testers: Joe Cain, Tony Lynch
  • Testers: Tim Spengler, Jeff Junio, Matt McKnight, Chris Lucich, Fernando Valderrama, Rachel Bristol, Jason Kuo, John Amirkhan, Gregg Vogt, Aaron Hommes, Renato Alferez, Maria Tuzzo, John Melchior, Derek Carmichael, Siegie Stangenberg, Alex Fairchild, Christine Watson, Mike Baldwin, Ilya Reeves, Arnold Galano, Ben Cureton, Bob Lee, Xen Lang, Alex Villagran, Mike Williams, John Jansen, Dave Martin, Marc Dawson, Mark Griffin, Darin Johnston, Greg Fleming
  • Additional Design Support By: Keith Higashihara, Mark Lindstrom

Magazine articles

Main article: Taz in Escape from Mars/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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EGM² (US) #2: "August 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #62: "September 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Game Gear print advert in
Hobby Consolas (ES) #38: "Noviembre 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
</div>

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
88 №35, p122-123[6]
68 №155, p102[7]
70 №62, p36[8]
85 №0710, p104[1]
69 №22, p66[9]
77 №5, p14
80 №34, p112[10]
70 №24, p92-93[11]
74 №25, p54-55
79 №45, p84-85
90 №59, p44-46
83 №37, p64-65
70 №35, p10-11
Sega Mega Drive
77
Based on
13 reviews

Mega Drive, US
TazEscapefromMars MD US cover.jpg
Cover
TiEfM MD US Cart Alt.jpg
Cart
Taz Escape From Mars MD US Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, US (newer)
TiEfM MD US Box Alt.jpg
Cover
TiEfM MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, US (Mega Hit Series)
TEfM MD US Box Back MHS.jpgNospine.pngTEfM MD US Box Front MHS.jpg
Cover
TiEfM MD US Cart MegaHit.jpg
Cart
Taz in Escape from Mars MD US Manual (Mega Hit Series).pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, US
(Mega Hit Series) (Alt)

TiEfM MD US Cart MegaHit Alt.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, EU
TiEfM MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
TiEfM MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart
TiEfM MD EU Manual.jpg
Manual
Mega Drive, BR
Tazescape md br cover.jpg
Cover
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Mega Drive, AU
TiEfM MD AU Box.jpg
Cover
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Mega Drive, FR

Taz in Escape from Mars MD FR Manual.pdf
Manual

Master System version

Master System, BR
TiEfM SMS BR Box.jpg
Cover
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Master System, BR (newer)
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Cover
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Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
84 №39, p157[12]
78 №8, p23
59 №2/95, p102[13]
67 №49, p114[14]
62 №12, p96
61 №63, p77
63 №41, p56
Sega Game Gear
68
Based on
7 reviews

Game Gear, US
TiEfM GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngTiEfM GG US Box Front.jpg
Cover
TazEscapefromMars GG US cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, EU
TiEFM GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngTazEscapefromMars GG EU cover.jpg
Cover
TazEscapefromMars GG EU cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, BR
TazEscapefromMars GG BR Box.jpg
Cover

References


Looney Tunes games for Sega systems
Sega Mega Drive
Taz-Mania (1992) | Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure (1993) | Tiny Toon Adventures: ACME All-Stars (1994) | Taz in Escape from Mars (1994) | Sylvester and Tweety in Cagey Capers (1994) | Daffy Duck in Hollywood (1995) | Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (1995) | Cheese Cat-Astrophe Starring Speedy Gonzales (1995) | Bugs Bunny in Double Trouble (1996)
Sega Master System
Taz-Mania (1992) | Desert Speedtrap Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (1993) | Daffy Duck in Hollywood (1994) | Cheese Cat-Astrophe Starring Speedy Gonzales (1995) | Taz in Escape from Mars (1996)
Sega Game Gear
Taz-Mania (1992) | Desert Speedtrap Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (1993) | Taz in Escape from Mars (1994) | Daffy Duck in Hollywood (1994) | Cheese Cat-Astrophe Starring Speedy Gonzales (1995) | Bugs Bunny in Double Trouble (1996)
Sega Saturn
Space Jam (1996)
Sega Dreamcast
Looney Tunes: Space Race (2000)