Action Replay (Mega Drive)
From Sega Retro
|Made for: Sega Mega Drive|
|Type: Cheat tool|
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Action Replay is a cheat device created for the Sega Mega Drive. It was originally released by Datel in the United Kingdom in late 1991, and was the latest in a line of cheat devices which continue to this day.
The Mega Drive Action Replay was the first cheat device to be released for the console, pre-dating the Game Genie by the best part of a year. Unlike the Game Genie, however, no Action Replay cartridges were ever licensed or endorsed by Sega, though unlike rivals Nintendo, the company did not actively seek to prevent such devices from being sold.
All Mega Drive Action Replays are cheat cartridges that act as a passthrough between the Mega Drive console and game cartridge, and when activated, can permanently set memory addresses to specified values, thus potentially altering gameplay. As a side-effect of this design, Action Replays also act as region converters, allowing Japanese games to be played on Western systems (likely a key part of its success in Europe).
Unlike the Game Genie which converts memory addresses and values into more human-readable codes, Action Replay codes are just memory addresses (represented in hexadecimal) followed by a value, albeit formatted in such a way to make it less obvious. For example, the Action Replay code FFFFE 00001 (which enables the level select in Sonic the Hedgehog) sets the value at memory address $FFFFE0 to 1. Some emulators which support Action Replay codes expect a format that more easily reflects this, e.g. FFFFE0:0001 or even just FFFFE0:1.
A few different models of the Action Replay were released during the early 1990s:
The original Action Replay cartridge was released in late 1991, and allowed for up to four codes to be enabled at a time.
Pro Version Action Replay/Pro Action Replay
Early 1992 saw an enhanced version of the cartridge be released, which ups the code limit to twenty and includes a "trainer", which can be used monitor changes in RAM and to "find" compatible Action Replay codes. This change means the switch on the side now has three positions; codes on (top), codes off (middle) and trainer (bottom).
Datel also also provided a cheat book containing game codes with this version.
Pro Action Replay 2
The last revision in 1994 sets the code limit to 100, and has a selection of cheat codes built-in to the cartridge, negating the need to input them every time. It is also able to trick the game into thinking it is running on a specific region of Mega Drive console, thus acting as a fully-fledged region converter (though only for those with PAL consoles, as the device was only sold in Europe).
Code list scans
- Main article: Action Replay (Mega Drive)/Magazine articles.
- Main article: Action Replay (Mega Drive)/Promotional material.
|Sega Retro Average|
- GamePro, "June 1992" (US; 1992-xx-xx), page 16
- Sega Power, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-10-04), page 18
- Mean Machines, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-27), page 12
- Sega Power, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-05), page 65
- MegaTech, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-20), page 15
- Sega Magazin, "November/Dezember 1993" (DE; 1993-11-03), page 73
|Sega Mega Drive cheat code devices|
|(Pro) Action Replay | Game Genie | Game Wizard | Genipak | Magicard | Vzlomshchik Kodov|