Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage

From Sega Retro


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Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment, Acclaim Japan (JP)
Distributor: SF Interactive Media (SE rental)
Licensor: Marvel Entertainment Group
Sound driver: Sound Images v1.2
Genre: Action[1]

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,8007,800 T-81256-50
Sega Mega Drive
Videogame Rating Council: MA-13
Sega Mega Drive
(Box Set)
Videogame Rating Council: MA-13
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
£49.9949.99[4] T-81256-50
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
$119.95119.95[5] FMAX01SMC
Non-Sega versions

Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage, or simply Maximum Carnage (マキシマムカーネイジ) is a beat-'em-up game based on the Spider-Man universe. It was released for the Sega Mega Drive in 1994. Like the Super Nintendo version, this one also have copies that came in red cartridges.

Versions for the Sega Master System and Game Gear were planned, but no 8-bit versions of the game were ever released.[6]

The game received a sequel, Venom - Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety, in 1995.


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Cletus Kasidy, alter ego of insane supervillain Carnage, escapes from Ravencroft maximum security prison and teams up with equally bloodthristy villains Shriek, Carrion, Demogoblin, and Doppelganger. They immediately start killing and causing mayhem around New York City.

Spider-Man, after an encounter with Shriek and Demogoblin, is wounded, but he is saved by Cloak and Dagger. Meanwhile, vigilante Venom hears about the return of Carnage and returns to New York. He forms an uneasy alliance with Spider-Man in order to stop the monstrous Carnage and his partners-in-crime. Realizing that stopping Carnage and the rest of his cronies will not be easy, Spider-Man also recruits a group of superheroes to help them.


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Character select

The game is a single-player beat-'em-up played as the superheroes Spider-Man and Venom. The art style of the game is inspired by the comic books, and the story is narrated in between stages though comic book panels, many of which are taken directly from the comics. The player initially controls Spider-Man but can choose between the two characters at multiple points during the game. The two characters play very similarly, but Spider-Man is faster while Venom hits much harder. The characters walk with Left or Right and run with LeftLeft or RightRight. They move in and out of the plane with Up and Down. They jump with B. The characters can grab walls in the background with Up+B, which can then be climbed using the D-Pad. They can pick up certain objects in the stages, such as barrels or mailboxes, by pressing A when standing next to them, and then throw them by pressing A again.

The characters attack by punching and kicking with A. Pressing the button repeatedly performs a combo. The characters can perform a jumping kick by pressing B while jumping. They can perform a running tackle by pressing A while running. Quickly pressing back and B performs a back-flip attack, attacking the enemy in front of the character. They can perform a desperation attack with A+B, which attacks in all directions, useful when surrounded, but also costing a small amount of health.

Characters are rated on their fighting accuracy (percentage of hits successfully landed). If the player performs a series of accurate attacks, the character's health bar starts to blink. Hitting or grabbing and attacking an enemy while the health bar is flashing launches a "Power Hit," causing immense damage.

The characters automatically grab enemies when they walk into them. While grabbing, they can perform a combo attack by repeatedly pressing A. While doing the grab combo, pressing the opposite direction that the character is facing throws the enemy behind him. The characters can lift the enemy above their heads with Up. While lifting an enemy, they can throw the enemy with A. They can also spin the enemy around like a flail with A+B, damaging enemies all around the player but costing some health.

The characters can fire a web shot with C. This holds the enemy in place for a few seconds, though only one enemy can be stunned this way at a time. The characters can create a web shield by holding C that protects the player while standing still. They can fire a web line with Left+C or Right+C that pulls enemies towards them to grab them from distance. If there are two enemies on each side of the character, firing a web line pulls both enemies and damages them with a Double Smash. The characters can shoot a web line into the air for climbing with Up+C (or Y with a Six Button Control Pad). The web line can be shot diagonally for swinging.

Spider-Man and Venom are assisted on their journey by their superhero allies. They gain the ability to summon an ally by finding that ally's special icon in the stages. The player can select which ally to use by tapping  START  (or Z) to cycle through them. They can be called into battle with A+B+C (or X).

The characters have health bars that empty as they take damage from foes. They are defeated when they run out of health but revive if the player has extra lives remaining. The game ends if the player runs out of lives, but it can be continued if the player has continues.

Stages contain numerous secret items, and there are several secret rooms hidden within the stages.



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When frail college student Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, he soon realized that he gained the powers of a human-sized spider, such as immense strength and ability to climb surfaces. With his Spider-Senses, which alerts him of any danger, and web shooters, built thanks to his scientific genius, Peter Parker became Spider-Man. Though he initially used his new found powers for personal gain, a tragic incident that cost him his uncle made him change his ways, becoming one of the most popular and recognizable super heroes in the comic book universe.

In-game, Spider-Man is much faster than Venom. His Power Hit is a rolling kick that hits enemies both in front of and behind him.

Spider-Man can be called as an ally during the final stages of the game by Venom. He fires Reed Richards' sonic gun, which causes heavy damage to all enemies on the screen, including Carnage.

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A former journalist, Eddie Brock's career was ruined when Spider-Man uncovered the identity of a serial killer whom Brock mistakenly identified as a different person. Burning with hatred towards Spider-Man, whom he held responsible for ruining his life, Brock was molded with the living symbiote creature that Spider-Man unknowingly brought to Earth after the "Secret Wars" story line. One of the most relentless enemies of the Spider-Man, Venom eventually gave up on his vendetta and instead became a ruthless, super-powered vigilante to hunt down those who hurt innocents. Despite his dislike of Spider-Man, Venom considers Carnage his own personal responsibility and forms and uneasy alliance with the Wall-Crawler. Venom is capable of crawling walls and shooting organic webs as a result of symbiote's earlier partnership with the Spider-Man. Venom is also immensely strong thanks to his own muscular body and the physical power of the symbiote.

In-game, Venom is much stronger but slower than Spider-Man. His movements, especially his grabs, are slower than Spider-Man, which can put him in danger when surrounded. His Power Hit damages all enemies in a straight line.

Venom can be called as an ally during the final levels of the game by Spider-Man. He fires Reed Richards' sonic gun, which causes heavy damage to all enemies on the screen, including Carnage.


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Black Cat
Daughter of a famous cat-burglar, beautiful and flirtatious Felicia Hardy initially decided to follow in her father's footsteps. After being pursued by Spider-Man several times, their relationship eventually blossomed to love, but it was cut short due to Black Cat's reckless antics. Black Cat nevertheless gave up on her life of crime and started working as a vigilante in order to make a name for herself and leave her checkered past behind.

When called by Spider-Man, Black Cat cartwheels around the screen, damaging all enemies in the way.

When called by Venom, Black Cat pounds on a random enemy in the screen, causing damage. She then cartwheels out of the screen, damaging anyone in her way.

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Cloak and Dagger
Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were runaways when they met on the streets of New York. Joining up in order to survive, they were both kidnapped and then used as test subjects by a renegade pharmaceutical company. This experiment gave Tyrone the power to use darkness both a tool of teleportation and a weapon while it allowed Tandy to use light as a projectile weapon. They patrol the streets of New York as the vigilante duo "Cloak and Dagger" to protect the innocent from villains, especially drug dealers.

Cloak envelops the entire screen with his darkness powers and damages all enemies.

Dagger fires multiple light projectiles around the screen, damaging almost all enemies.

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Angelica Jones is a mutant who can generate microwave energy from her body. She can use this energy as a method of achieving flight and can fire concentrated bolts of microwave energy. After nearly losing her father and watching her boyfriend be arrested, Angelica became a much more hardened and vengeful person. Tracking down a remorseless monster like Carnage puts Angelica's personality to the ultimate test. Firestar is a member of the superhero team the New Warriors.

When called by Spider-Man, Firestar flies in, picks an enemy, and fires microwave blasts towards and around that enemy. Her blasts are more effective against Carnage.

When called by Venom, Firestar files across the screen firing microwave blasts across the screen.

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Captain America
A frail military recruit, Steve Rogers volunteered for the top secret Super Soldier program in service of his country during World War II. After receiving the Super Soldier serum and vita rays, Steve Rogers became Captain America and fought against Axis Powers, playing a crucial part in defeating them. After remaining in suspended animation for decades, Captain was revived and returned the fight against evil. Exceptionally fit, smart, and armed with an indestructible shield, he leads the superhero group the Avengers.

When called, Captain America swings his shield across the screen, damaging all enemies in both the ground and the air.

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Michael Collins underwent a cybernetic operation after a crippling accident. Rather than saving his life, the operation turned him into a cyborg and made his life even more difficult than before. As Deathlok, Collins works as a vigilante, proving that there is still a man inside his Frankenstein-esque body.

When called, Deathlok fires his weapons toward both sides of the screen. He is useful against annoying hard to hit enemies like Carrion.

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Iron Fist
When Danny Rand got lost in Himalayan Mountains, he was taken in by the monks of the secret city of K'un L'un and taught in the ways of the ancient order of warriors. After years of training, he returned to New York as Iron Fist, a peerless martial artist capable of breaking anything as long as he can concentrate his power to his fists. He worked years as vigilante with his close friend Luke Cage (also known as Power Man) in their firm Heroes for Hire.

When called by Spider-Man, Iron Fist uses his healing powers to completely fill the player's health.

When called by Venom, Iron Fist performs a flying kick across the screen, damaging all enemies on the ground.

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Dr. Michael Morbius decided to use an experimental serum after he realized that he was terminally ill. While the cure fixed his health, it also gave him a craving for blood and hypersensitivity to light and hideously disfigured him. Formerly a villain due to his condition, Morbius redeemed himself after meeting Spider-Man and other heroes multiple times. During day, he works feverishly to find a cure for his condition; at night, he becomes Morbius, the living vampire, and preys upon those who prey on innocent.

When called by Spider-Man, Morbius sucks the life out of all enemies on the ground, damaging them.

When called by Venom, Morbius flies across the screen. All enemies on the screen are stunned (except Carnage and his supervillain allies), allowing the players to attack without fear of reprisal.


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Cletus Kasidy was a serial killer who was arrested and sentenced to death for multiple murders. In Ravencroft Prison, Kasidy was the cellmate of Eddie Brock, the infamous Venom. When Brock's symbiote partner returned after being thought dead, the two united and escaped from the prison. Brock did not realize that his symbiote "gave birth" to an another one. Kasidy bonded with this newly born symbiote and became Carnage, a villain whose sole purpose is to cause death and misery.

Kasidy is an extremely dangerous individual. Because of the abusive life he experienced, he has a nihilistic and sociopathic personality. He does not think about the consequences of his actions and believes that murder is the ultimate form of freedom. He does not have a goal or ultimate motive; he only wants to kill people. As Carnage, Kasidy can transform his arms into sharp objects such as axes and sword, and unlike Venom, he can fire these as projectiles. Even though he cannot fire webs, he can use his symbiote as ropes to swing around like Venom. This, coupled with the fact that he is fused with an equally insane and powerful alien creature, makes him one of the most dangerous villains world has ever faced. His only weaknesses are the ones shared by Venom: fire and extremely loud noises.

Carnage is an extremely difficult opponent in the game. Whenever he appears, he randomly attacks across the screen, wildly flailing his arms. He also has a stomp attack. Both of these moves can take a large amount of health from the player. Since he is also very fast, that makes him almost impossible to hit. Attacking him from behind, using desperation attacks, or calling allies into combat is the only sure way to defeat him.

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Frances Barrison is an insane criminal who, like Cassidy, grew up in an abusive household. Starting her criminal career as a drug dealer, Barrison's sanity degenerated further due to her experiences as a criminal, such as being shot in the head and being swallowed by Cloak's darkness powers.

Now an insane supervillain obsessed with having a family of her own, Shriek witnessed Carnage's escape from Ravencroft and asked him to spring her out as well. Realizing that the unhinged young woman is as insane as him, Kasidy recruited her to his team. Shriek believes that the Maximum Carnage team is her family: she is the mother, Carnage is the father, and the others are their children. In addition to her psychic powers, which can cause insanity, Shriek can use her psychic powers as lethal projectiles. But her greatest power might be her warped mind.

In combat, Shriek uses long-range energy bolts as her weapons. She is quite hard to hit but she can be grabbed by web lines (she is the only member of the Maximum Carnage team to have this weakness). She can also fire her bolts to the ground and lift herself up, landing on top of the player. Quickly move out of the way when this happens.

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Doppelganger is a six-armed clone of Spider-Man with a hideous appearance. This horrifying, twisted copy of Spider-Man was created by the supervillain Magus during the Infinity War. Even though it was believed to be destroyed during the same story arc, Doppelganger was saved by Demogoblin and the two became partners. Just like Carrion, Doppelganger believes that he is surrogate son of Shriek. Only capable of rudimentary intelligence, it is usually goes berserk and attacks all around him if he is not guided by Shriek.

Doppelganger has multiple attacks that are hard to evade. While a punch combo can work, it does not cause much damage. He can randomly fire his web shooters from afar to grab characters and hit them multiple times if he gets too close. If he crouches down, get out of his way as he launches a flying attack.

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Demogoblin came to being after Jason Macendale, formerly known as Hobgoblin, traveled to hell and offered his soul to a powerful demon in return for the power to defeat his enemies. The demon lord agreed to give him power and possessed him. However, due to their differences, the demon eventually separated himself from Macendale and become a new supervillain called Demogoblin.

Demogoblin is a religious fanatic. He has no interest in wealth or personal power and is only interested in punishing sinners. Since his definition of "sin" is very broad, anyone can find themselves becoming a victim of his wrath. He joins forces with Carnage to cleanse the sinful city of New York, though he abhors Carnage's undisciplined personality.

Demogoblin is usually found flying around with a flaming demon, which looks like Hobgoblin's glider. He can be attacked and pushed out of his glider. On the ground, players should make sure to remain out of his attack reach as he is capable of breaking the punch combo, resulting in player and Demogoblin trading punches. He can also throw pumpkin bombs while flying around.

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The second person to wear the title Carrion, Malcolm McBride was a scientist in Empire State University. After being infected by a virus designed by Miles Warren, another insane and relentless enemy of Spider-Man, McBride became Carrion, believing himself to be a clone of Warren. Carrion was defeated multiple times by Spider-Man. This time, he returns after being drawn into the violence caused by Carnage and his group. Believing that he is the surrogate son of Shriek, Carrion happily joins the massacre.

Carrion is capable of flying and draining the life force of his victims thanks to his exposure to Warren's virus. In-game, Carrion usually accompanies the rest of the Maximum Carnage team, slowly gliding towards Spider-Man or Venom and grabbing their heads to drain their energy. While he has lower health than the other villains, he is very hard to hit and pulls back after each hit.


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Small Heart
Recovers a quarter of the character's health.
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Large Heart
Fully recovers the character's health.
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Extra Life
Gives the player an extra life.
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Extra Continue
Gives the player an extra continue.
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Black Cat Icon
Allows the player to summon Black Cat an additional 2 times.
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Cloak Icon
Allows the player to summon Cloak an additional 2 times.
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Dagger Icon
Allows the player to summon Dagger an additional 2 times.
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Firestar Icon
Allows the player to summon Firestar an additional 2 times.
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Captain America Icon
Allows the player to summon Captain America an additional 2 times.
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Deathlok Icon
Allows the player to summon Deathlok an additional 2 times.
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Iron Fist Icon
Allows the player to summon Iron Fist an additional 2 times.
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Morbius Icon
Allows the player to summon Morbius an additional 2 times.


The player can choose to play as Spider-Man or as Venom before the "Strange Bedfellows," "Black Cat Gets Practical," and "The Word from the Streets: Horror" sections.

The "Strange Bedfellows" and "The Word from the Streets: Horror" sections have different stages depending on which character is chosen. The "Black Cat Gets Practical" section is the same for both characters.


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New York Street

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The Rooftop

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The Hall

Strange Bedfellows

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Chase (Spider-Man)

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Times Square (Spider-Man)

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San Francisco (Venom)

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Central Park (Venom)

Black Cat Gets Practical

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New York Street 2

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The Deep

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Fantastic 4 HQ

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Fantastic 4 Lab
After completing this stage, Spider-Man and Venom acquire Reed Richards' sonic gun and can summon each other for assistance in the remaining stages.

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Rooftop 2

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Prospect Park

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Prospect Park 2

The Word from the Streets: Horror

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Police Station (Spider-Man)

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Manhattan Rooftop (Spider-Man)

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Manhattan Street 1 (Spider-Man)

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Statue of Liberty (Venom)
This is a hidden stage accessed by pressing B and C rapidly during the preceding cutscene.

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Manhattan Street 2 (Venom)


These final two fights with Carnage are played after a false ending. These stages are normally played as Spider-Man, but the player can switch to Venom by pressing X as the first stage is beginning.

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The End...

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Ruined Boys Home

Music and sound

The game's soundtrack was written and produced by American rock group Green Jellÿ.[7]



The Mega Drive version was the only version released in Japan. It is one of the rarest Mega Drive games in Japan, along with Acclaim's WWF Raw. Rather than roll out a line of exclusive Japanese packaging, Acclaim opted to use the European packaging with minor changes. As a result, this is the only game in the Mega Drive's official library to have the same product code across all regions (internally the game's code is T-81256-50 in Europe/Japan but the packaging says otherwise).

Strangely, while the game's packaging features the Acclaim name and logo, the game itself has the logo and name of LJN instead, who released the Super NES version. Until the release of Spirit of Speed 1937, this was the only game on a Sega platform to feature LJN.

Production credits

Software Creations Spidey Team
  • Original Code: Paul Murray
  • Sega Conversion: Andy Miah, Craig Mitchell, Paul Mashall, Mike Webb
  • Original Main Artist: John Tatlock
  • Sega Main Artist: Ste Pickford
  • Sega Artists: Gavin Eagleton, Martin Holland, Andrew Threllfall
  • Game Logic: Chun Wah Kong
  • Artists: Justin Eagleton, Haydn Dalton
  • Animators: Alan Moult, Clinton J Priest
  • Original Musician: Chris Jojo
  • Sound FX: Alistair Brimble
  • Genesis Musicians: Tony Williams, Paul Tonge
  • Additional Code: Kevin Edwards, Stephen Ruddy, John Buckley, Pete Andrew
  • Game Testers: Malcolm Daglish, Dan Curley, Paul Lee, Suddi Raval, Davelee Thornton, Bone
  • Associate Producers: Lorraine Broxton, Richard Kay
  • Music Director: Paul Tonge
  • Animation Directors: Steve Thomas, David MacLachlan
  • Art Director: Ste Pickford
  • Producer: John Pickford
Acclaim Development by The Black Team
  • Producer: Mark Flitman
  • Associate Producers: Tyrone Miller, Ken Kajikawa, Doug Yellin
  • Analysts: Joe Allocco, Michael Archer, J.J. Mazziotto
  • Special Thanks To: Linda Spelman, Dana Moreshead, Mike Thomas
In-game credits
Maximum Carnage MD credits.pdf

Magazine articles

Main article: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage/Promotional material.

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Aktueller Software Markt (DE)
Cool Gamer (RU)
Computer + Video Giochi (IT)
Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 3 (RU)
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
Games World: The Magazine (UK) PAL
Mega (UK) PAL
Mega Force (FR) PAL
Mega Fun (DE)
Megazin (SI)
Player One (FR) PAL
Play Time (DE) PAL
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
VideoGames (US) NTSC-U
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
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Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage

Mega Drive, JP
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Mega Drive, US (Black cart)
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Mega Drive, US (Red cart)
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Mega Drive, US (Box Set)
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Mega Drive, EU (Red Cart Version)
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Mega Drive, EU (Black Cart Version)

Mega Drive, AU
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Mega Drive, SE rental (SF)
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Technical information

Main article: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage/Technical information.


Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage

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Spider-Man games for Sega systems
Spider-Man: The Videogame (1991)
Sega Mega Drive
Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1991) | Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge (1993) | Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994) | Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1995) | Venom - Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (1995)
Sega Master System
Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1991) | Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six (1993)
Sega Game Gear
Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1992) | Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six (1993) | Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge (1994)
Sega Mega-CD
Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1993)
Sega 32X
Spider-Man: Web of Fire (1996)
Sega Dreamcast
Spider-Man (2001)