The Mega-Tech system was an arcade cabinet released by Sega in 1989. It was similar to Nintendo’s PlayChoice-10 in that it was esentially home based hardware converted to an arcade machine. It allowed players to choose Mega Drive / Genesis games (eventually a few Master System games were ported too) from a menu of eight titles, with credits buying more play time (usually 1 minute per credit) rather than extra lives or continues. If you dies or finished a game you could start over or choose a different game as long as there was some play time remaining. The Mega-Tech was not released in North America, though ir did see use in Asia and the PAL regions.
The unit features eight internal cartridge slots and was tweaked to disallow cheaper retail Mega Drive games to be used. Likewise, Mega-Tech games will not run properly on a home console (and as the cartridges use the Japanese Mega Drive mould, they will not physically fit into western systems). The cabinet uses two monitors, one for the game on bottom and the top screen displays information including gameplay time remaining, the list of games available, gameplay instructions, and a short synopsis of each game.
The Mega-Tech launched with some of the best titles available at the time, including Thunder Force II, Altered Beast, Tetris, Last Battle, Space Harrier II, Golden Axe and The Revenge of Shinobi. Other popular Mega Drive games became available as time passed, such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Apart from providing additional data for the top screen the games were unchanged from the original releases, so cheats still worked and extra lives or continues could be collected during play.
After the Mega-Tech came the Mega Play, which reduced the game menu from eight to four titles and changed to a more standard system of credits buying lives/continues rather than time. Mega Play games were heavily modified due to this, with cheats and extra lives no longer being available. The Mega Play cabinet shares many features with the Mega-Tech one but the cartridges are not interchangable.
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