Master System: Hang-on

A few months ago I’d decided to put together a list of the Sega Master System games I remember playing as a kid. This would form the basis of a collection I could work on. To that end I’ve added two new titles recently. The first is Hang-On which is a motorbike racing game. Apart from Alex The Kid and Sonic, Hang-On is the other game I remember as the first few Master System games I ever played. One key reason I remember it is that it’s the only game (on that System) that I can remember dad playing, at least more than once anyway.

The mechanics are pretty simple; your bike has three gears, breaks, and can move left and right. Get to the waypoint before the clock hits zero to earn additional time. I distinctly remember the behaviour of the audio in this game: when a competing bike zooms past yours, the engine noise of your bike goes quiet and you only hear the “zoom!” Of the passing racer. As a kid I thought this was a clever way of emphasising the speed and power of the racers zooming past you but I recently learned that this sound “effect” happens because the Master System has audio channels limited to the point where there can be only one engine sound playing at one time.

Being patient and taking corners at reasonable speeds is critical for success. As a kid I remember getting as far as the night themed track and always getting quite excited when it dawn track that follows was a rarer experience.

The box, manual and cart are in good/very good condition. The eBay price including shipping came to about $20