One of the lovely little things about the Mega Drive that made me smile, was booting up a game and seeing different variations of the SEGA logo. Sure, some were relatively boring renditions of the company’s logo, but some developers went absolutely insane with this seconds-long intros and there are hundreds of variations. Here are some of the best SEGA logos, EVER!
For me to make a video of all of them would be a very time consuming and needless task, but I’d like to spend a few minutes celebrating some of the stranger SEGA logos out there. Here are ten SEGA logos that I think are pretty damn cool, and I hope you do as well.
Battle Mania/Trouble Shooter
To be honest, I know very little about Trouble Shooter, a scrolling shmup from Vic Tokai. Infact, the only thing I do know is that it has a unique SEGA logo. But it’s not this one.
The Japanese version of Trouble Shooter, titled Battle Mania has a secret SEGA logo that is only viewable when you hold C and Start on Player 2’s controller when you boot your Mega Drive console. In this secret screen, the standard unique logo appears, followed by a strange character stomping on what appears to be a Super Famicom console, or Super Nintendo to you and me.
Truly, SEGA does what Nintendon’t.
If you were a developer in the 90’s and didn’t try and make a one-on-one fighter to challenge Street Fighter, then you were no-one. Even SEGA tried to get in on the act with Eternal Champions, their quickly forgotten brawler. Featuring a roster of colourful characters taken from various time periods, and a decent attempt at a unique narrative where combatants who were doomed to a deadly fate take part in a tournament to win the chance to change their destiny.
And it’s this colourful cast that take part in this game’s SEGA logo, with a random character doing something to the logo every time you boot the game up. Very few games took the time to come up with multiple logos, but it’s very cool when they did.
If you’ve played any of the main Pokemon games, you know who Game Freak are. But the developers of one of the biggest Nintendo franchises once developed a game for the Japanese Mega Drive – Pulseman.
I haven’t played too much of this game, but it does have a pretty cool SEGA intro – If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be mentioning it right now, would I?
When turning the system on, you’re given a screen of white noise, as a SEGA logo slowly fades into view. Then the logo pulses with energy – Get it? ‘Cos the game is called Pulseman?
A simple logo, this one. I love Aladdin on the Mega Drive. It’s not the best platformer out there, but from a presentation standpoint, you’ll rarely find a Mega Drive game that looks and sounds this good. It was miles apart from any movie-license of the time, and the game’s use of real Disney animation is just incredible.
As for the logo, it’s just a silly appearance of the Genie. Oh, and Jago. What can I say, the Genie is one of my favourite Disney characters?
Everyone knows the SEGA chant at the beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog, and subsequent Sonic games, but did you know that in the original, this digitised audio sample took up an eighth of the game’s four-megabit cartridge size?
But personally, I love the intro for Sonic The Hedgehog 2, as I love the game itself (which you’d probably know if you saw my review video). With this sequel being an amped version of the original, the SEGA logo is no different, with it’s “blink and you’ll miss it” appearance of the blue hedgehog, and of course, that chant.
Ren & Stimpy
Ren & Stimpy is one of those cartoons that encapsules a time in the early to mid-90’s, and it’s influence on animation can certainly be felt in many modern animated series. It was wacky, surreal and very subversive at times, and was fun to watch no matter what your age.
Naturally, their animated antics found their way into video game form, with several games appearing on multiple consoles. Stimpy’s Invention is as offbeat as the series itself, a platformer where you play as both Stimpy and Ren, indulging in pastimes such as traversing through a freezer.
It’s logo animation was equally as silly, but made sense to fans of the show as a Log marches across the screen with the SEGA logo in tow, in a joke ripped from the very first episode of the series.
Coming in at the tail end of the SEGA Mega Drive’s life, Vectorman was a action-platformer with pre-rendered visuals in a bid to rival the Super Nintendo’s Donkey Kong. It has it’s fans, and admittedly I’m not one of them, but it’s an impressive-looking game nethertheless.
As for this SEGA logo, there’s way more depth to it than you realise. For a start, it’s one of the rare SEGA logos where you can actually interact with it in some way, as you can control Vectorman, running and shooting however you please. But this serves a greater purpose.
If you look at the top of the screen and slightly to the right, you’ll see one of the destructible televisions seen in the main game. Shoot it, and it’ll explode. Next, stand under the SEGA logo, aim upwards and shoot it exactly 24 times. Finally, while still standing under the SEGA logo, jump and headbutt it 12 times.
This initiates a minigame where 120 falling letters rain down from the sky, and you have to collect as many as you possibly can. But this unusual diversion has more significance, for if you catch between 90 and 110 letters, when you start the game you’ll be taken straight to Level Five. If you’re really good and catch 110 to 120 letters, you’ll warp to Level 10 when you begin the game.
Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition
OK, this one’s very short, but I kinda like it. Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition is the followup to SEGA’s own Jurassic Park game on the Mega Drive, developed as a response to the movie and previous game’s massive success. This time, players were given the chance to play as one of the dreaded Raptors, in addition to the previously playable Dr. Grant.
As mentioned, it has a very short SEGA logo sequence, but it’s pretty well animated as a T-Rex lets off a horrendous roar, before storming off in a huff, no doubt because he wasn’t given a starring role.
Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner
It’s easy to forget the the Mega Drive was capable of some superb visuals and animation, and Desert Demolition: Starring Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote as a worthy example of this, with sprite work that is an amazing representation of the Warner Brothers animation style.
As a platformer, it’s a little different as playing as ACME’s best customer, you must chase after the Road Runner, using every dirty trick and tool in ACME’s catalogue to hunt your prey.
And this so-called game of cat and mouse begins from the moment you switch on your Mega Drive, as Road Runner himself races on-screen, before promptly humiliating his rival.
Who remembers Disney’s Bonkers? No-one? Exactly. A Saturday morning cartoon that portrayed a former cartoon star turned cop, who solves crimes in the fictional location of Toontown – Yes, the very same Toontown as portrayed in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Like many other Disney ‘toons, Bonkers made his way into videogames, and it’s the Mega Drive game that we’re looking at, a minigame collection of sorts, wrapped in the premise of Bonkers taking on various criminals to rid Toontown of crime.
The game is notable, as it doesn’t just have one logo animation, but like Eternal Champions, it has several that are randomly displayed at bootup.
None of them are particularly jaw-dropping, but it’s rare for a game to have multiple animations, so I felt it was certainly worth mentioning.