Marble Madness

From Sega Retro


  • Sega Mega Drive
  • Sega Mega Drive
  • Master System
  • Game Gear
MarbleMadness Title.png
MarbleMadness MDTitleScreen.png
MarbleMadness SMS Title.png
MarbleMadness GG Title.png
Marble Madness
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear
Sega Mega Drive
Electronic Arts (US/EU)
Sega Mega Drive
Tengen (JP)
Sega Master System
Virgin Games (JP)
Sega Game Gear
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[1], Action[2]

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,800 (7,004)6,800e[3] T-48113
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
£34.9934.99[5] E004SMXI
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Master System
Sega Game Gear
Sega Game Gear
Sega Game Gear
Sega Game Gear
£27.9927.99[10][11] T-48058-50

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.


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.


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 [12]
82 [13]
82 [14]
63 №245, p38
80 №4, p24
70 №1993-09, p49
79 [15]
69 №5, p63
73 [16]
88 [17]
75 [18]
85 [19]
81 [20]
82 №18, p66
82 [21]
76 [22]
89 [23]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
17 reviews

Mega Drive, JP
MarbleMadness MD JP Box.jpg
MarbleMadness MD JP CartTop.jpg
Marblemadness md jp cart.jpg
Marble Madness MD JP Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, US
MarbleMadness MD US Box.jpg
MarbleMadness MD US Cart.jpg
Marblemadness md us manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
MarbleMadness MD EU Box.jpg
MarbleMadness MD US Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, SE (Rental)
MarbleMadness MD SE rental cover.jpg
Mega Drive, AU

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60 [24]
88 №11, p66/67
88 [25]
70 [26]
40 [27]
69 №33, p27
88 [28]
70 [29]
76 [30]
Sega Master System
Based on
9 reviews

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

MarbleMadness SMS AU Cart.jpg

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review

<meta itemprop="ratingValue" content="Division by zero.">

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
Consoles + (FR)
Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide (UK)
Game Zone (UK) PAL
Hobby Consolas (ES)
Joypad (FR)
Joystick (FR)
Player One (FR)
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Sega Force (UK) PAL
Sega Game Gear
Based on
11 reviews
Game Gear, US
MarbleMadness GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMarbleMadness GG US Box Front.jpg
Marble Madness GG EU cart.jpg
Marble Madness GG US Manual.pdf
Game Gear, EU
MarbleMadness GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngMarbleMadness GG EU Box Front.jpg
Marble Madness GG EU cart.jpg

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)


  1. File:MarbleMadness GG EU Box Back.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-02 23:21)
  3. Beep! MegaDrive, "July 1993" (JP; 1993-06-08), page 146
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Sega Pro, "November 1991" (UK; 1991-xx-xx), page 9
  5. Sega Force, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 67
  6. Sega Pro, "June 1992" (UK; 1992-05-21), page 39
  7. Sega Power, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-05), page 11
  8. Sega Force, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-xx), page 68
  9. GamePro, "July 1992" (US; 1992-xx-xx), page 90
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Game Zone, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-19), page 63
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sega Power, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-06), page 39
  12. Beep! MegaDrive, "September 1993" (JP; 1993-08-07), page 19 (21)
  13. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 83 (85)
  14. Consoles +, "Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 86/87 (86)
  15. Joystick, "Janvier 1992" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 140
  16. MegaTech, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-20), page 44-46 (44)
  17. Mean Machines, "January 1992" (UK; 1991-12-27), page 82-84 (82)
  18. Player One, "Avril 1992" (FR; 1992-04-10), page 90
  19. Sega Power, "March 1992" (UK; 1992-02-06), page 34/35 (34)
  20. Sega Pro, "Christmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-12), page 68
  21. Sega Force, "April 1992" (UK; 1992-03-19), page 66/67 (66)
  22. Sega Force, "1/92" (SE; 1992-xx-xx), page 14
  23. Supersonic, "Mai/Juin 1992" (FR; 1992-xx-xx), page 10
  24. Consoles +, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 132/133 (132)
  25. Joystick, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 205
  26. Mean Machines, "June 1992" (UK; 1992-05-28), page 72/73 (72)
  27. Player One, "Juillet/Août 1992" (FR; 1992-07-10), page 135 (131)
  28. Sega Pro, "June 1992" (UK; 1992-05-21), page 38/39 (38)
  29. Sega Force, "2/92" (SE; 1992-11-19), page 24
  30. Sega Force, "July 1992" (UK; 1992-06-xx), page 66 (68)
  31. Consoles +, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 119
  32. Mean Machines: The Essential Sega Guide, "" (UK; 1993-11-18), page 167
  33. Hobby Consolas, "Septiembre 1992" (ES; 1992-xx-xx), page 62
  34. Joypad, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 100
  35. Joystick, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-0x-xx), page 165
  36. Player One, "Septembre 1992" (FR; 1992-09-10), page 116
  37. Sega Pro, "August 1992" (UK; 1992-07-16), page 48
  38. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 74
  39. Sega Force, "September 1992" (UK; 1992-08-13), page 56
NEC Retro has more information related to Marble Madness.

Marble Madness
MarbleMadness Title.png

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