Retro Stories: Mega Drive Boxes

End of physical part

Physical games are slowly but surely coming on the market and with each new generation of consoles, physical games are no longer so exciting. The most popular games consist only of a plastic box and a disc, and that’s it. Yes, there is a strange website still trying to produce titles with special instructions or additions like an art book or a soundtrack. Maybe it’s time to fully accept the digital future and accept the inevitable? But that doesn’t mean I can’t write an article that shows what a fantastic physical game looks like!

In this report I show Mega Drive games from my own collection, each with one or two fairy tales behind them. Technically, Mega Drive was the first system I started to assemble in my youth. I used to save money by doing housework, sending newspapers and trying to buy a used game in a shop or by trying to sell the trunk of a car. Because I didn’t have internet at that time, shopping was often determined by the fact that the art of boxing was cool or that my father had made a superficial remark that it looked cool. Sometimes it worked… …sometimes not so much. The only game I remember being popular with the children of Mega Drive was Sonic, and everything else seemed to be new territory. Definitely interesting moments to play.

Quick comparison

Specify the difference between the Genesis box and the Megas disk.

Let’s start with one of my favorite games, Mega Drive – Wonder Boy, in Monster World. This is the only game in my collection where I have both the Genesis and Mega Drive versions. The boxes are similar in most of the past years. Using the same design and the same background based on black mesh, which was kind of a standard for the first Genesis and Mega Drive boxes. The main difference, however, is when you return the crates.

It is interesting to see how the different screenshots are used

Since the release of Mega Drive throughout Europe, the game has been described in several languages. The description of the games is therefore very short compared to the Genesis version. What may surprise you is that it was actually a version of the Genesis game I owned when I was younger. Yes, Genesis cars work perfectly on European Mega Drive systems and vice versa. The carts only change shape if they switch to the Japanese version. Unfortunately I don’t have the Japanese Mega Drive games, so I can’t show this comparison here.

Always bring the fairy to a mushroom fight.

Monster World has always been special to me because it was the first adventure game that I played and some people say today that it follows the Metroidvania formula. You play, as a child, Sean, with the mission to correct the world of monsters by crashing into many dungeons and removing all kinds of monsters. Sometimes you had a boyfriend who helped you dig up money for you like a little midget. As a child, I designed games in notebooks, and they always followed the design of Monster World. I just wasn’t smart and handsome enough to turn that creativity into something real. Anyway, it was still a beautiful dream. The game is presented on the Mega Drive Classics collection on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, but strangely enough not on Switch, which is really boring.

Blue new design

Time went by and Mega Drive did a complete overhaul of the box art in the form of this beautiful blue drawing. The blue is much fresher than the red, which was the revision of Genesis. Another change is that the boxes are now often provided with a complete guide in English on the back, sometimes in colour.

Why use a sword when you can kick?

The Story of Thor is called Beyond Oasis on the Genesis – a name that makes more sense because it was staged there, but I prefer The Story of Thor out of nostalgia, and who doesn’t like Thor? For me, this game was mainly what would have happened if Zelda had injected some Rage Streets into the game. As with the use of various weapons such as swords, crossbows and bombs, if all else fails, you can always send your enemies into oblivion. It’s a very underestimated mega classic used in many Mega Drive formulations today. When I bought this game, there was a Knuckles Sonic sticker that told people to quit smoking. I don’t know what happened to the sticker, but I didn’t smoke at school, so maybe the message worked.


Not all games followed a black grid or a blue frame, many companies just decided to be different. The consultant is one of the most striking examples of such an approach. Not only the design of the box is different, also the carts carry this unique yellow plastic label. Some may remember those soft times, like when counsel was at the height of his art. Many high quality publications are often produced with a large number of guides in English and several European languages. When I saw the counselor as a kid, I always thought the game had to be good. This was undoubtedly an effective marketing of the product. When I learned French at school, I tried to improve my vocabulary by reading the French part of these textbooks. I’m not sure it helped.

It’s a soft environment

James Pond II is a beautiful platform truck assembled around Christmas. I liked that title when you walked around rescuing penguins. This game has been re-released for almost every system that has made progress, including the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately the penguins were replaced by elves, because they were penguin biscuits.

Basket J

The Codemasters also had their own unique design of boxes and trolleys. What set the Codemasters apart from the crowd was the famous J-Cartridge, which cleverly added two additional control ports so you can play many of their games with up to four players. It was a brilliant idea before some consoles expected you to buy a separate multi-recording. The small catch is a game that is often sold at a higher price.

Micro Adventure

Until I was the biggest fan of the toys I liked in the Micro Machines video games on Mega Drive. It was cool from top to bottom, as several vehicles competed on circuits in the local area, such as gardens, breakfast tables and bathrooms. It was a brilliant and effective design, and to this day I don’t think many riders have really captured the magic of this series. Fortunately, I still have these old names, which unfortunately have never been reissued on modern systems.


Another strange option is a full box and a unique Accolade cart. Of course, the hardest cardboard games tend to become very fragile over time.

Very different from the movie

Universal Soldier is actually a hurricane, a beautiful 2D-shooter, which has also been launched on Mega Drive and other systems. Universal Soldier plays as Turricans with his levels and bosses, with small formula changes. I couldn’t help but be interested in the action film it was based on when I was younger. In fact, I didn’t see this movie until many years later, as an adult, and I thought it was pretty funny how little the game and the movie had in common. Of course, there was no release for this game, but I’m happy to say that Turricane will return to Nintendo Switch in December of this year with a collection of games that I’m really excited about.

Something else

The last one before we let you enjoy the rest of the day. Sometimes, when some shops didn’t have an official music box, they made it themselves. Up here is my only game, Mega Drive, that came in a box from an electronics store. This company moved to the UK a long time ago, but the boy’s memories will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was only convinced of this game because of its name. As a boy who loved folk tales and reading books about werewolves and monsters, he couldn’t resist the chance to buy the game with the brilliant name Shadow of the Beast 2. When I opened the box and saw the instructions, I was happy, young man.

Then I brought it home, and I realised how difficult it was A two-dimensional adventure name with tough battles and puzzles that don’t really hold your hand. I loved the artistic style and the beautiful music, and although I didn’t finish this game until I was an adult, it has a special place in my collection because of the chic box it came in. It rises above the other boxes on Mega Drive and doesn’t even fit well on the shelves. It was a black sheep that was not welcome in the rest of Mega Drive. But since these kinds of things summarize my childhood, and I dare say my life so far, I think I’ve always had a weakness for things that don’t fit. To collectors it’s worthless, but to me it means a lot. Unfortunately, the Shadows of Beast 2 has never known a re-entry into future systems.

The game had a good dose of on-screen skill

Thank you for taking the time to play today’s tape. I don’t actually collect video games anymore, because it has become a hobby, but I’ve kept a lot of my favorites and hope to be able to tell more fun retro stories in the future.

Have a nice day!

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