Retronauts Episode 107: SEGA's arcade history, vol. 2

A deep dive into (most of) SEGA's arcade works from 1986 and 1987.

Back in March, our very second episode of Retronauts East explored the history of SEGA's arcade games. That episode was meant to be a survey of SEGA's entire body of work throughout the ’80s, but we ended up going into so much depth on the company's early games like Zaxxon and Hang On that we only made it through the first half of the decade. And that's OK, because it means we can downshift and continue our look at the history of SEGA games with even more in-depth episodes like this one.

With this follow-up piece, we spend two hours looking at two years' worth of SEGA's arcade output: 1986 and 1987. They were pretty amazing years, it should be said, as SEGA's design and tech finally came together flawlessly and helped propel the company to the forefront of arcade gaming. As SEGA explored the home market with the Master System and began work on the Mega Drive/Genesis, it leaned on unique experiences and cutting-edge visuals in order to help differentiate its coin-ops from its consoles. This here is the beginning of the SEGA that would become one of the most loyally beloved game makers of all time. I mean, just look at the lineup of games in that cover art!

The great news is that you can play a lot of these classics as beautiful, high-fidelity reproductions thanks to the excellent work M2 has done on the SEGA 3D Ages series for 3DS. You'll find several of them in the SEGA 3D Classics Collection cart, which runs for less than $20 — a heck of a deal. We don't get a commission on that link, by the way! We just want to spread the good word of great renditions of classic SEGA works.

MP3, 55.3 MB | 1:55:14

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Episode description: Jeremy, Ben, and Benj convene again to continue their discussion of SEGA's chronology of arcade classics. This time, we take aim at the years 1986 & 87, with greats like Out Run, After Burner, Quartet, Alien Syndrome, and more!

I've taken this episode's music from a couple of the games covered herein, most notably Quartet and Out Run. As you may be aware, it is all very good music. That's how SEGA rolled.