Wheel of Fortune (Mega-CD)

From Sega Retro

For the Sega Mega Drive and Sega Game Gear versions handled by GameTek, see Wheel of Fortune (GameTek).


WheelofFortune MCD title.png

Wheel of Fortune
System(s): Sega Mega-CD
Publisher: Sony Imagesoft
Licensor: Columbia TriStar Television
Peripherals supported: Team Player
Genre: Table

Number of players: 1-3 (alternating)
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega-CD
$59.9559.95[1] T-93085
ESRB: Kids to Adults
Non-Sega versions

The Sega Mega-CD version of Wheel of Fortune was handled by rightsholders Sony themselves through Sony Imagesoft and Absolute Entertainment rather than through GameTek, in a similar fashion to Jeopardy!, their other game show Mega-CD game. Whilst only released in North America, a European version was planned.[2]

As with Jeopardy!, this game has a flashier presentation, featuring a full-screen spinning Wheel, animated videos, animated sprites, and voice samples of Vanna White (who serves as hostess in the absence of Pat Sajak) and the model contestants. However, it also cuts back in other places; most noticeably, Vanna is not animated turning the letters, only walking by as the letters change themselves.


Wheel of Fortune CD, Host.png

Wheel of Fortune CD, Contestants.png

Hostess and contestants

Wheel of Fortune CD, Board.png

Wheel of Fortune CD, Wheel.png

Letter board and the Wheel

The game is an adaptation of the long-running American game show Wheel of Fortune that can be played by up to three contestants (which can be any combination of human- or computer-controlled). Multiplayer games can be played with separate control pads (using a Team Player for three-player games) or sharing one or two control pads. Players can choose from eight different actors to represent them in short video clips. A player can be set to computer-controlled by pressing Up when setting up the contestant. The game saves the progress of up to three different games to the console's internal memory so they can be continued later.

The objective of the game is similar to hangman. In each round, three players compete to be the first to guess all of the unknown words in a word puzzle, which is displayed visually on a board. At the start of each round, the host reveals the category (for example, "Title," "Place," "Person," "Phrase," or "Thing"). The category, along with the arrangement of blank letters, spaces, and potentially punctuation (such as apostrophes) are the only hints initially given to the players about the answer. There are four regular rounds, plus a bonus round played by the player with the most winnings at the end of the four regular rounds. Each round has a different word puzzle to solve. Contestant one starts round one, and subsequent rounds are started by the next contestant from the previous round.

A contestant starts his or her turn by spinning the titular Wheel of Fortune, a roulette-style wheel with 24 wedges. Most wedges are labeled with dollar amounts (with the top value increasing in each successive round), but there are also Bankrupt, Lose a Turn, Free Spin, and Surprise wedges. The contestant in control spins the Wheel to determine a dollar value, then has 15 seconds to guess a letter, which must be a consonant. The player spins the Wheel by holding A to increase the power meter (which has red, yellow, and green zones) and then releasing it at the desired power level. If the Wheel is not spun into the green zone of the power meter, it must be spun again until it has completed at least one full revolution. When choosing a letter, the D-Pad highlights a letter and A, B, or C chooses it. Landing on a dollar amount and calling a correct consonant results in the hostess revealing every instance of that letter, also awarding the value of the spin multiplied by the number of times the letter appears in the puzzle. Calling a correct consonant allows the contestant to spin the Wheel again, buy a vowel for a flat rate of $250 (until no more remain in the puzzle), or attempt to solve the puzzle (there is an invisible 30 second timer for the player to decide which choice to make before forfeiting the turn). Correctly guessing a vowel does not reward any money but helps solve the puzzle. Control passes to the next contestant if the player lands on Lose a Turn or Bankrupt, calls a letter not in the puzzle, or attempts unsuccessfully to solve the puzzle.

Landing on Bankrupt also eliminates any cash the contestant has accumulated within the round. Landing on Free Spin gives the player a chance to earn a free spin by correctly guessing a letter in the puzzle, which can be used at any point in the round to keep the player's turn after otherwise losing it. Landing on Surprise or another prize wedge gives the player a chance to "win" a prize such as jewelry or a trip by correctly guesses a letter. The cash value of these prizes is added to the player's winnings at the end of the round. Higher value wedges are added to the Wheel in each round.

The round ends when a contestant successfully solves a puzzle. Only the player who solves the puzzle keeps any winnings acquired during that round (though each contestant starts each round with $0, their total winnings are accumulated for the final bonus round). Solving the puzzle with $0 awards $200.

Sometime during the fourth round, Vanna announces the "Speed-Up Round." When this happens, she gives the Wheel a final spin to determine the value of all remaining consonants (vowels are worth nothing). Each player then takes a turn selecting one letter, which can be a vowel or a consonant. If the letter appears in the puzzle, the contestant gets 50 seconds to try to solve the puzzle or the turn passes to the next player until the puzzle is solved.

The bonus round is played by the contestant who has won the most money at the end of four regular rounds. At the start of the bonus round, the player selects one of five puzzles, represented by the letters in "WHEEL." Vanna reveals the R, S, T, L, N, and E letters in the puzzle (the most common consonants in the most common 1,000 words in the English language and the most common vowel) and then asks the player to select three more consonants and one more vowel. Then the player is given 60 seconds to solve the puzzle. Successfully solving the puzzle awards the player a special prize (and its cash value is added to the player's total winnings).

Production credits

  • Executive Producer: Rich Robinson
  • Senior Producer: Mary Ann Norris
  • Associate Producer: David Poe
  • Testing Team: Steve Ceragioli, Bruce Cochrane, C.J. Connoy, Jose Cruz, Jody Kelsey, Andre Leighton, Seth Luisi, Tobin Russell, Kurt Schwengel, Andrew Stein
  • : Olaf Olafsson, Lester Greenman, Peter Dille
  • Creative Director: Carol Albert
  • Technical Director: Roger Booth
  • Programming by: Dennis Benson, Keith Rupp
  • Support Programming: Shen Jian Long, Chi Y. Chan
  • Director of System Software: Rick Booth
  • System Programming: Dennis Benson, David Minogue, Keith Rupp
  • Audio Director: Mark Van Hecke
  • Audio Assistants: Jim Wallace, Steve Melillo
  • Multi-Media: Mike Sullivan
  • Artists: Ross Harris, Dan Peters, Damon Redmond
  • Quality Control Manager: Robert Prescott
  • Testers: Ezra Blau, Keith Blumenstock, Bayani Caes, Alan de Loach, Andre Garcia, Arvee Garde, Jon Ross, Aaron Townley
©1994 Sony Electronic Publishing Company
©1993 Sony Electronic Publishing Company
In-game credits
Wheel of Fortune MCD credits.pdf

Magazine articles

Main article: Wheel of Fortune (Mega-CD)/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in GamePro (US) #64: "November 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:

Physical scans

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Wheel of Fortune (Mega-CD)

Mega-CD, US
WheelofFortune MCD US Box Back.jpgWheelofFortune MCD US Box Front.jpg
Wheeloffortune mcd us disc.jpg
Wheeloffortune mcd us manual.pdf

Technical information

Main article: Wheel of Fortune (Mega-CD)/Technical information.

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega-CD
144,756,192 CD-ROM (US) T-93085


Wheel of Fortune (Mega-CD)

WheelofFortune MCD title.png

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