Sega Master System Angels

One of the first games I owned for the Sega Genesis was Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, a solid but unremarkable platformer that I nevertheless completed many, many times over, as it was one of only a handful of games I owned for the system for several years.

For me, Enchanted Castle is particularly memorable because of what happens when Alex collides with a deadly enemy or object. Instead of keeling over, exploding, or shrugging his shoulders before dropping out of sight — as I was used to seeing in NES games — Alex instead turns into an angel and floats skyward, eventually disappearing off the top of the screen.

The effect was jarring. The idea that a character I was controlling in a video game could actually die and proceed to the eternal hereafter because of my poor motor skills was more than a little concerning.

It wasn’t until years later that I picked up a Sega Master System and discovered that Alex did the same thing in Enchanted Castle‘s 8-bit predecessor, Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Soon I found out that this wasn’t just a peculiar trait unique to the Alex Kidd series — it was an honest-to-god theme carried across multiple Sega-developed games in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

What follows is a complete list of every Sega Master System title in which, upon death, an in-game character’s soul escapes from his or her body in the form of an angel.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World

Alf (yes, really)

Gangster Town

[Notable not only because the gangsters turn into angels when you shoot them (maybe they’re not such bad guys after all?), but also…

…you can then shoot and kill the angels as they fly toward heaven, robbing them of their one shot at eternal salvation. Hardcore.]

Maze Hunter 3-D

The Ninja

Pit Pot

Rescue Mission

Spy vs. Spy

Teddy Boy Blues

Wonder Boy in Monster Land

Wonder Boy in Monster World

Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap

5 Responses to “Sega Master System Angels”

  1. Tweets that mention Dream and Friends» Blog Archive » Sega Master System Angels -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Danny Cowan, Brian Anderson. Brian Anderson said: Always good stuff… RT: @sardoose: Dream and Friends: Sega Master System Angels […]

  2. ArnoldRimmer83 Says:

    I’m not sure if the Ninja really counts as the enemies don’t look like angels when they’re killed, and they don’t float up. I’m not sure what the hell is happening to them really.

  3. Daniel Rehn Says:

    Great research—great post. I’d be interested in the player’s neurological reaction to the various kill screens. For instance, what angels engage.

  4. Mitchell Lane Says:

    Goddamn this is brilliant.

  5. Leticia Says:

    ZAXXON!!!!! YEAAAAH!Fuck these 3d csoenlosMaster system had the REAL 3D!!!Don’t forget to review the 3d glasses

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