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Marble Madness

From Sega Retro

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Marble Madness
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Publisher:
Sega Mega Drive
Electronic Arts, Tengen (JP),
Sega Master System
Virgin Games,
Sega Game Gear
Tengen
Developer:
Distributor:
Sega Game Gear
Domark (EU)
Original system(s): Arcade boards
Publisher(s) of original games: Atari Games
Developer(s) of original games: Atari Games
Peripherals supported:
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mouse
Genre: Puzzle































Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥6,800 T-48113
Sega Mega Drive
US
$? 708901
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£34.99[2] E004SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F E004SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ? E004SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas E004SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?



Sega Master System
UK
£32.99[3] 27024-50
Sega Master System
FR
?F 27024-50
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 27024-50
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 27024-50
Sega Master System
AU
$? ?



Sega Game Gear
US
$? 301033-0161
Sega Game Gear
UK
£27.99 T-48058-50
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F T-48058-50
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ? T-48058-50
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas T-48058-50
Sega Game Gear
IT
T-48058-50
Sega Game Gear
PT
?PTE$ GGJ48058



Marble Madness (マーブルマッドネス) is an arcade game developed by Atari Games and released in 1984. Its popularity saw numerous ports to home platforms, including the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear.

Gameplay

The object of the game is to move a marble down an isometric field from one point to another, making sure not to fall of ledges or be damaged in other ways. The original arcade release relied heavily on a trackball controller, but the console ports rely on directional pad, meaning the control is less accurate. On the Mega Drive, the D-pad moves the ball in the on-screen direction of the button press. For example, Up will move the marble vertically up on the screen, with the respective effect in the arena.

History

The rights to the game were passed across a multitude of developers and publishers. In 1991 Electronic Arts had publishing rights, and produced a copy of the game for the Mega Drive in North America and Europe. While this version is complete, music porting and text drawing is somewhat sloppy, some of the graphics were recreated, colors were changed (most notably, the marble is now red), and the marble's motion restrictions were somewhat relaxed (allowing for jumps and drops not possible in other versions of the game).

Atari Games' home console division Tengen produced their own Mega Drive copy for the Japanese market in 1993, which is different to the Electronic Arts version. This is similar to the situation regarding the Mega Drive port of Klax, in which Namco produced their own copy for Japan. This Japanese version, which appears to have been produced internally by Tengen of Japan, is much more faithful to the original game (but whether or not it is a direct port is unknown), and features trackball support through the Sega Mouse.

Virgin Games published a Master System version the following year.

Tengen would also publish the Game Gear version. Both the Master System and Game Gear ports were created by Steve Lamb.

Production credits

Mega Drive version (US/EU)

  • Genesis version By: Michael Schwartz
  • Music and Sound By: Steve Hayes
©1991 Atari Games Corporation and Electronic Arts


Mega Drive version (JP)

As with Gauntlet IV, there are two screens of credits. The first screen, the original arcade version's credits, shows after three demo loops.

  • Designer/Graphics Programmer: Mark Cerny
  • Game Programmer: Bob Flanagan
  • Animator: Sam Comstock
  • Sound Design: Hal Canon, Brad Fuller
  • Hardware Design: S Ly, J Margolin, D Paauw, D Snyder
  • System Support: C Downend, M Hoff, J Ritter
  • Software Support: M Albaugh, M Mahar, R Moore
  • Hardware Support: J Castillo, E Durfey, P McCarthy, N Minh


The second screen, the porting credits, comes 12 loops later; just sit back.

  • Project Leader/Programmer: Jun Amanai
  • Programmer: Takayuki Muraoka
  • Graphics Conversion: Ken-ichi Nemoto
  • Audio Conversion: Kenji Yokoyama
  • Customer Service: Naomi Takahashi, Mizuho Yoshioka
  • Special Thanks: Bill Hindorff


Master System version

TM Atari Games Corporation.
Licensed to Tengen.
©1992 Tengen All Rights Reserved


Game Gear version

TM Atari Games Corporation.
Licensed to Tengen.
©1992 Tengen All Rights Reserved.
  • Code By: Steve Lamb.


Magazine articles

Main article: Marble Madness/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Marble Madness/Promotional material.

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
70 №1993-09, p19[6]
82 №, p83[7]
82 №10, p86/87[8]
63 №245, p38
80 №4, p24
70 №1993-09, p49
79 №23, p140[9]
69 №5, p63
73 №2, p44-46[10]
88 №16, p82-84[11]
75 №19, p90[12]
85 №28, p34/35
81 №3, p68[13]
82 №18, p66
82 №4, p66/67[14]
76 №1/92, p14[15]
89 №1, p10[16]
Sega Mega Drive
78
Based on
17 reviews

Mega Drive, US
MarbleMadness MD US Box.jpg
Cover
MarbleMadness MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Marblemadness md us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU
MarbleMadness MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
MarbleMadness MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, JP
MarbleMadness MD JP Box.jpg
Cover
Mega Drive, AU

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60 №11, p132/133[17]
88 №11, p66/67
88 №29, p205[18]
70 №21, p72/73[19]
40 №22, p135[20]
69 №33, p27
88 №8, p38/39[21]
70 №2/92, p24[22]
76 №7, p66[3]
Sega Master System
72
Based on
9 reviews

Master System, EU
MarbleMadness SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
MarbleMadness SMS EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU

MarbleMadness SMS AU Cart.jpg
Cart

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
92 №12, p119[23]
84 №11, p63
85 №12, p100
89 №30, p165[24]
75 №23, p116[25]
74 №34, p39
79 №10, p48
77 №9, p56/57[26]
Sega Game Gear
82
Based on
8 reviews

Game Gear, US
MarbleMadness GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMarbleMadness GG US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Marble Madness GG EU cart.jpg
Cart
Marble Madness GG US Manual.pdf
Manual
Game Gear, EU
MarbleMadness GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMarbleMadness GG EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Marble Madness GG EU cart.jpg
Cart

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 79eba28a
MD5 ab99c73cffd808ddd93c43e2f52cc92d
SHA-1 059e99fde8726a45a584007186913eb9a01f738e
512kB 1992-02 Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Master System
 ?
CRC32 BF6F3E5F
MD5 97832999DD6D2BA467B5625006B018A0
SHA-1 F5EFE0635E283A08F98272A9FF1BC7D37C35692C
256kB Cartridge (EU)
Sega Game Gear
 ?
CRC32 9559E339
MD5 B83F36FD113A8F75F1A29652ACB641FC
SHA-1 42C5CD5AFEBBF860A8AD80EA684F9B216762109E
256kB Cartridge (US/EU)

References

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NEC Retro has more information related to Marble Madness.