Columns III: Revenge of Columns

From Sega Retro


ColumnsIII Title.png
Columns III: Revenge of Columns
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, Steam
Sega (JP), VIC Tokai (US), Samsung (KR)
Sound driver: SMPS Z80
Peripherals supported:
Sega Mega Drive
Team Player
Genre: Puzzle

Number of players: 1-5
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥4,800 G-4108
Sega Mega Drive
$? T-23056
Sega Mega Drive
? ?
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM93046JG

Arcade (Mega Play)
¥? ?

Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
$2.99[8] 34317
€2.49[8] 34317
£1.99[8] 34317
$3.49[8] 34317

Columns III: Revenge of Columns, known as Columns III: Taiketsu! Columns World (コラムスIII 対決!コラムスワールド) in Japan, is an entry in the Columns series of puzzle games developed by Sega in 1993 for the Sega Mega Drive. The game was only released in Japan and the US, with VIC Tokai publishing it in the US (consequently, the incorrect myth that VIC Tokai also developed the game is very widespread). The game has been brought to the Wii's Virtual Console service.

The 5-players multiplayer is supported with Team Player peripheral that has to be inserted into Port 2 of the Sega Mega Drive. Game will not recognise controllers if it's inserted into Port 1.

A Game Gear version was shown at Winter CES 1994, but was never released.More...[10]


Columns III adds several new gameplay features, including new puzzle modes and up to five simultaneous players. It re-introduces the "Crush Bar" from Columns II, a competitive-play gambit which is now a staple feature of the Columns series appearing in every game since (each time with a different name). But this time around the players are able to do "Crush Bar" attack anytime they want and able to instead of having the game do that immediately.

Columns III removes the single-player solo mode and brings the focus to competitive gaming. It's the first Columns game where you can play competively against CPU in a single-player campaign. Like with Columns, the D-pad moves blocks and B cycles the jewels. Each character now has a meter under the "next block" bar that counts up from 0 to 30 each time a player removes jewels. Once it goes over 10, the player can hit A or C to "crush" whichever jewels are currently falling from the opponent's board, removing them and adding a row of bricks to the bottom of his field called the "Crush Bar." This will also lower your own Crush Bar. In multiplayer games with 3 or more players, A and C decide which opponent to crush (to the left or to the right, respectively).

After doing several chains in a row you will get a block containing a glowing jewel, called a Flashing Stone. It must be removed before it stops glowing to do one a random effect on the competitor for a short period of time, such as making his jewels black and white (impairing visibility), flipping the game board upside down, or making him unable to cycle jewels. Most of these are ineffective against CPU player.

A special type of block appears after every 20 removed lines of jewels called a Magic Stone which takes the form of two triangular jewels with a square jewel in between. If you place the block with the upward pointing triangle touching the jewels on the board, your opponent will be crushed. If you place with the downward pointing triangle touching, your Crush Bar will go down. If you place with the square touching, all jewels on your board of the color of the jewel that is touched will be removed from the board (though no crush points will be awarded for consequential clears).

Outside of single-player campaign, once the field gets filled with considerable amount of jewel the game sometimes turn one of bottom rows jewels into a Super Flashing Stone, such situation being somewhat similar to Flash Columns. Removing it gives a powerful effect, such as removing all jewels on player's field or disabling Magic and Flashing Stones for opponent for the rest of the match.

The Japanese version of Columns III also includes a 2-on-2 multiplayer mode. It's similar to 1-on-1 with the third and the fourth players playing the supportive role, doing Rock-Paper-Scrissor matches to get the prizes onto their side.


Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Columns III: Revenge of Columns Columns III: Revenge of Columns
Japanese Columns III: Taiketsu! Columns World (コラムスIII 対決!コラムスワールド) Columns III: Confrontation! Columns World

Production credits

  • Game Design: Marsh, Kyamura
  • Programming: Moveq Tab
  • Graphic Design: Kayamame
  • Sound Production: Ker Akiyan
  • Assistant Design: Locky P
  • Data Entry: Dance End, Ojyamamusi
  • Manual Script: Yoikotachi, Winds
  • Production: XYZ
  • Special Thanks: Koz, Ogy, Yumeko. H, K.M., Sunset, Saru Man
  • Presented by: Sega

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Columns III: Revenge of Columns/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 057.pdf

Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #57: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #57: "April 1994" (1994-xx-xx)More...[11]
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #58: "May 1994" (1994-xx-xx)More...[12]

EGM2 US 02.pdf

Print advert in EGM² (US) #2: "August 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #62: "September 1994" (1994-xx-xx)More...[13]

BeepMD JP 1993-11.pdfBeepMD JP 1993-11.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1993-11: "November 1993" (1993-10-08)

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
73 More...[14]
75 More...[15]
85 More...[16]
74 More...[17]
87 More...[18]
50 №1993-11, p42
80 №17, p39
85 More...[19]
80 №56, p61
70 More...[20]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
10 reviews

Mega Drive, US
ColumnsIII MD US Box.jpg
ColumnsIII MD US Cart.jpg
Columns III MD US Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, JP
ColumnsIII MD JP Box.jpg
Columns3 MD JP CartTop.jpg
Columns3 md jp cart.jpg
Mega Drive, KR
ColumnsIII MD KR Box.jpg
Columns3 MD KR cartback.jpgColumns3 MD KR cart.jpg
Mega Drive, AS
ColumnsIII MD JP Box.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 dc678f6d
MD5 441b7e9c9811e22458660eb73975569c
SHA-1 8e52a5d0adbff3b2a15f32e9299b4ffdf35f5541
512kB 1993-12 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 cd07462f
MD5 eeb557cd38ad00d6b4df48585098269a
SHA-1 2e850c2b737098b9926ac0fc9b8b2116fc5aa48a
512kB 1993-06 Cartridge (JP)

External links


Columns III: Revenge of Columns
ColumnsIII Title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Magazine articles | Region coding | Technical information

Games in the Columns Series
Columns (1990) | Columns II: The Voyage Through Time (1990) | Columns III: Revenge of Columns (1993) | Stack Columns (1994) | Super Columns (1995) | Columns '97 (1996) | Hanagumi Taisen Columns (1997) | Columns Arcade Collection (1997) | Columns GB: Tezuka Osamu Characters (1999) | Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2 (2000) | Columns Crown (2001) | Columns Deluxe (2008) | Columns Jewel (2011)
Columns (Mame Game) (1997) | Columns (Pocket Boy) (1997)
Columns Related Media
Columns・Columns II (1991)
Hanagumi Taisen Columns Official Guide (1997) | Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2 Perfect Guide (2000)