From Sega Retro


ALF title.png

System(s): Sega Master System
Publisher: Sega
Licensor: Alien Productions
Genre: Action[1]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Master System

This short article is in need of work. You can help Sega Retro by adding to it.

ALF is a Sega Master System adventure game developed by Nexa and published by Sega. Released exclusively in the United States in May 1989, it is one of the first games produced under supervision of Sega of America, and one of the system's first Western-developed games. Based on the titular 1986 American sitcom ALF, the game is infamous for its poor control, gameplay, and production values, and has gained a reputation as one of the worst games released for the Sega Master System.



ALF was one of the first Sega Master System games to be produced under supervision of Sega of America, with actual development being outsourced to Nexa. The company was in the process of being absorbed into Sphere, and while Nexa as a legal entity had ceased to exist at the time of publishing, development credit is given to Nexa regardless.

Production began shortly after development had ended on their previous Master System game, Monopoly. Much of the game's art was produced on a Commodore Amiga using Deluxe Paint, as an alternative to the apparently laborious mechanism for producing Monopoly's art, a process which required developers to use the Sega Digitizer System to burn data directly onto blank EPROMs. The in-game font is Topaz, the Amiga's default 8x8 font face.


ALF received overwhelmingly negative reviews upon release, and is often cited as one of the worst games released for the Sega Master System. Lead programmer Kevin Seghetti has, in good humor, agreed with this evaluation. Being only twenty years old at the time, and with only a single previous game as development experience (Monopoly), his inexperience compounded upon the fact that virtually all sections of the game were notably rushed to meet deadlines. Seghetti has suggested that, as he felt the ALF television series was just as bad, its Sega Master System counterpart is at least in line with its source material.


Alf sucked.

In my defense, I was only 20 at the time, and it was my second game. If you don't like the game design, John Emerson is the one to blame for that. (I didn't know what he did was called 'designing' back then, and he was also the producer). Of course, I am not sure one can design a GOOD Alf game. :-) As research, I actually started watching the TV series. It also sucked (so our game was faithful to the quality of the licence ;-)

Now the controls and playability was my doing, and I take full responsibility. I tried playing it a few years ago, and can't believe how difficult it is to control. Back then I was under the false impression that games should have proper physics, and you shouldn't be able to modify ones movement when in the air.


Trivia: Amiga users may recognize the font in the Alf credits screenshot. It is topaz, the Amiga fixed width system font (which I also used on my Genesis and SNES games).

All of the graphics were drawn in dpaint on the Amiga, and converted using a custom tool I wrote. It worked MUCH better than the graphics pipeline Sega provided for Monopoly, where there was this large 2 monitor box with a light pen, and the artist had to burn their graphics onto an eprom, which we would then read on the PC (and there was never a blank eprom around when you needed one).

Lead Programmer Kevin Seghetti[3]

Production credits

Programmed by Nexa. A division of Sphere
  • Musician: Randy Roseberry
  • Programmers: Kevin Seghetti, Jinda Pan
  • Producers: John Sauer, John Emerson
  • Artists: Jody Sather, George Kanalias


Magazine articles

Main article: ALF/Magazine articles.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Sega Power (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Master System
Based on
3 reviews


Master System, US
Alf SMS US Box.jpg
ALF SMS US Cart.jpg
Alf sms us manual.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Master System
CRC32 82038ad4
MD5 bc1360afa99cd89fbab4ea55bef08aae
SHA-1 7706485b735f5d7f7a59c7d626b13b23e8696087
128kB Cartridge (US)

External links



ALF title.png

Main page | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception

No results