NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993

From Sega Retro


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NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993
System(s): Sega Mega-CD
Publisher: Sega
Licensor: National Football League, National Football League Players Association, Team NFL, NFL Films
Genre: Miscellaneous

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega-CD
Videogame Rating Council: GA
Sega Mega-CD

NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993 is a Sega Mega-CD American football game. It uses full-motion video extensively.


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NFL's Greatest San Francisco vs Dallas, Plays.png


NFL's Greatest San Francisco vs Dallas, Video Clip.png

Video clip

The game is an NFL football game. Only two teams are available, the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. Rather than controlling the action directly, the player assumes the role of "coach" and chooses the next play, then watches a clip of the play taken from an actual game. Clips are taken from archive footage going back to the late 1970s of games between the two teams. The footage covers fifteen years of games, with teams including names such as Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, and Jerry Rice for the 49ers, and Emmitt Smith, Tony Dorsett, and Roger Staubach for the Cowboys. There is spoken commentary on each play.

The game can be played by one or two players, or players can watch two computer-controlled teams play each other. Players can choose the length of each quarter (between 1 and 15 minutes) and full-screen or inset video (though the source video is the same size either way, only scaled larger for full-screen playback).

At the beginning of the game, there is a coin toss, and the winner can choose whether to kick or receive. After the kick-off, both teams select a play from the playbook. This is done by first choosing a formation (the positions of the players on the field) using A to select the leftmost, B to select the middle, or C to select the rightmost. There are six formations, shown three at a time, with Left or Right switching between the two pages. The top row shows the offensive formations, and the bottom row shows the defensive formations, with the 49ers in red and the Cowboys in blue. After choosing a formation, the playbook shows all of the plays for that formation. There are six plays per formation (for a total of 36 plays in the game), which are selected in the same way as the formations. Players have 40 seconds to make a choice (or else be penalized five yards for delay of the game).

After choosing a play, the game shows a video clip of the play in action. The game contains multiple clips showing every play, with one of them chosen randomly each time. Because of this, the outcome of the play (including yards gained or lost, points scored, or which team has possession of the ball) is also randomly determined depending on the clip chosen. A scoreboard appears beneath the video inset showing the score for each team across all four quarters and the current quarter and time remaining. At the bottom is a representation of the field with a line indicating the line of scrimmage (which scrolls as necessary to show the result of each play).

Coaching menu

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Hall of Fame

When selecting a play, players can pause the game with  START  to bring up a menu:

  • Time Out: Calls a time-out. Each team can call three time-outs per half.
  • Sub QB: Substitutes the quarterback (which affects the clips shown). The quarterback choices available are Joe Montana and Steve Young for the 49ers and Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach for the Cowboys.
  • Coaching Decision: Shows a submenu with additional choices.
  • Instant Replay: Replays the last clip.

The Coaching Decision option contains the following choices:

  • Game Options: Brings up options menu from the start of the game again.
  • Stats: Shows statistics for the game in progress, such as total yards gained, number of rushing attempts, number of passing attempts, number of interceptions, and so forth. This screen is also shown at the end of each half.
  • Scenarios: Loads one of ten "scenarios," which are games in progress. For example, the first scenario has the 49ers down three points to the Cowboys with three minutes left in the last quarter, with the 49ers having possession of the ball on their own 1st yard line.
  • Save / Restore: Saves the game to the Mega-CD's internal memory or loads an existing game. Up to two games can be saved at a time.
  • Hall of Fame: Shows profiles for each of the players represented in the game.

Magazine articles

Main article: NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993/Magazine articles.

Production credits

In-game credits
NFL's Greatest San Francisco vs Dallas MCD credits.pdf

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
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Publication Version Score
Computer & Video Games (UK) NTSC-U
Mean Machines Sega (UK) NTSC-U
Sega Pro (UK) NTSC-U
Video Games (DE) NTSC-U
Sega Mega-CD
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NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993

Mega-CD, US
NFLsGreatest MCD US Box Back.jpgNFLsGreatest MCD US Box Front.jpg
NFLsGreatest MCD US Disc.jpg
Nflsgreatest mcd us manual.pdf
Mega-CD, BR
NFLsGreatest MCD BR Box Back.jpgNospine.pngNFLsGreatest MCD BR Box Front.jpg

Technical information

Main article: NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993/Technical information.

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega-CD
632,577,456 CD-ROM (US) 4202


NFL's Greatest: San Francisco vs. Dallas 1978-1993

NFLsGreatest title.png

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