Sega Mega Modem / Tele-Genesis Information
Below I’ve written a small write up containing the history of the unit and hopefully clearing the air of
any misconceptions. However if I have any information here that is incorrect please let me know.
I stumbled upon a mega modem on ebay one day and became intrigued with the idea of playing genesis games
over the phone lines with another player. After much research and translating I decided to order two
modems and figured id see if I could get them to work and link up for a game. After enough playing around with
cyberball and a few other games i was able to get the all to link up or use the modem, thus the reason for me
writing this article to inform others how to use it.
In 1990, Sega Released the Mega Modem and Sega game library service in Japan. The modem speeds
has been stated as 1200 bps in the manual that comes with the modem. However it's unsure if the unit
can function at 2400 bps which has been rumored to also be possible with this unit. The modem hooked up
to the 9 pin EXT port on the back of a Sega Mega-drive model 1. The modem allowed the user to play modem to modem
games or use the Toshokan cartridge (Sega game library) which i believe downloaded the game to flash memory in the cartridge.
This service would allow the user to download small games and play them for a small yearly subscription fee. Plans for a
North American release were already under way, and even some advertisements in magazines and pack in flyers with
games were floating around. The modem was to be released as the Tele-Genesis Modem in the USA.
In addition to the Mega modem, another accessory was released that took advantage of the modem’s capabilities.
The packaged included a numeric keypad, and printer and was called the ‘Mega Anser’ system in japan. The unit
allowed users to check bank accounts and print statements. The unit from what i understand was VERY limited
in production, and did not sell very well. Not much is really known about this unit. Another program released that
used the same software as Mega Answer but with different title screen and artwork was called ‘Nagoya home banking’.
While the software was almost the same with the graphical exceptions, it was indeed a totally different bank than
the one that Mega Anser used.
The Sega mega modem and game library service was not very successful in japan probably due to cost of
calling, software support, and probably advertising. Sega shut down the the Sega game library around 1992 and never
really came forward with an official cancelation of the mega modem hardware later on. Sadly this piece of hardware
was probably one of the greatest to ever hit the Mega-drive and could have taken it very far had it been advertised
correctly and had more software support.
The modem supported only a few game titles that had been programmed mostly by SunSoft. Sunsoft had the contract
with sega to produce the first few modem games. The following list below is a complete list of all of the KNOWN titles
released that have modem support.
Advanced Daisenryaku - GAME Released March 1991
Shi-Kin-Joh - GAME Released February 1991
Cyberball - GAME Released June 1990
Tel-Tel Stadium - GAME Released October 1990
Tel-Tel Mahjong - GAME Released February 1990
Nikkan sports pro Yakyuu Van - SOFTWARE Released April 1991
San-San - GAME
Go-Net! - GAME
Sumisei Home Tanmatsu - SOFTWARE
Nagoya Home Banking - SOFTWARE
Mega Anser - SOFTWARE Released November 1989
Game Toshokan - Sega Game Library Software.
Nikkan Sports Pro Yakyuu Van
Not much is known about this title. From what ive gathered all the people i've talked to ive found that it was
a program used to check the stats and scores of baseball games in japan back in the early 90s. Today its
mostly useless as it required a server to connect to in order to retrieve the data. However i still have not
roughly translated any of the text to see exactly what it is, but by navigating the menus ive found that it
has only a dialing feature with what seems to be an input for login information.
[Sega Game Library Games]
This is a list of all the games that were downloadable THROUGH the sega game toshokan cartridge that used the mega modem.
Despite the fact that most of these games are small and quite simple, they're actually really fun. All of the rom files for these
games can be found online in places i wont mention. As for the list of games, the most complete list I’ve found thus far and ive
yet to see any additional games found that were offered on the network.
Doki Doki Penguin Land
Aworg: Hero In The Sky
Labyrinth of dead
Phantasy Star II Adventures (8 different character adventures)
Pyramid Magic II
Pyramid Magic III
Pyramid Magic Special
Teddy Boy Blues
[Did the USA/Europe get and modem titles?]
One interesting title is Cyberball. Games usually back then contained all languages within the cartridge so
that only one version of the cartridge had to be made (to save costs). The way the languages were
selected was by which console the game was played on. If you played the game a Japanese system it
would show all text in japanese, If play on a USA or European console it would show in english using the
same cartridge. The hardware esentially determined which text was shown.
If you take a USA or European copy of cyberball and plug it into a Japanese system, the modem menu appears at
the bottom of the main menu and is greyed out unless you have a mega modem plugged in. Pretty interesting huh?
This confirms that the rom image on the cartridge is indeed the exact same as the Japanese counter part and that
they never bothered to make a USA/European version with the modem code stripped out. Rather than waste money
to make diffrent versions without the modem code for the USA and Europe, they just changed the code so that the
modem option was not accessabile or visable unless it was played on a japanese console.
Now, why is this important? Well, the USA/Europe basically received a modem ready game without the hardware!....
This game is cheap, in abundance and easy to pick up and actually kinda fun.
[Where can i get a Mega Modem]
As for the Modem itself, it can be picked up on E-Bay fairly often for about $50-90 USD including shipping on
E-Bay or other sites. Sometimes you can find the ocassional good deal of $30 dollars. While not extremely
abundant, they don’t seem to be extremely rare either. I managed to pick up two of them for $100 USD
shipped and saw there were at least 8-10 of them still on E-Bay at the time.
[Aren’t the Sega servers shut-down?]
Yes they are. However, the only software that needed a server to connect to were the banking titles and
the Toshokan software (Sega game library), San San, Go Net!, and Nikkan sports pro Yakyuu Van. The
most common misconception is that the games needed to connect to a server to play. The truth is, Most
of the mega modem compatible games were peer to peer (Modem to Modem) thus they do not require a server to play. If they did in-fact connect to a server on the internet or a BBS, it would require a faster modem. With speeds as low as 1200 baud and as fast as 2400 baud the modem would absolutely require a direct modem to modem connection for games. Routing the signal through the internet to a server and
then an opponent would have caused HORRIBLE lag and made the games un-playable. Bottom line is, as
long as you have the modem and a phone line, you can play the games over the phone line still with friends and it actually plays quite smooth.
[How to play Modem games]
Please note that ALL modem games (except the usa/pal copy of cyberball) will require the
use of an ever-drive or other flash cartridge if you want to play in english. The reason for this
is beacuse translation patches need to be applied to game rom files.
!!!REQUIRES A GAME GENIE + CYBERBALL CARTRIDGE -OR- EVER-DRIVE/FLASH CARTRIDGE WITH ROM FILE FOR PLAYING IN
Cyberball actually plays VERY well for the speed of the modem. the only noticeable lag it seems like is when your picking
your next pay. It seems the controller input lags SLIGHTLY behind and then the transitions from the actual game to the Play
menu take about 2-3 seconds longer that just playing it in single player mode. Other than that, the actual gameplay of
running the ball down the field or moving your character is quite fast and lag free.
There are two methods to gaining access to the modem menu on Cyberball. The modem MUST be hooked up
to the console to actually enter the modem menu. There is no way around this.
This method only requires that you have a mod Switch to switch to Japanese region and the usa/pal/jap
cyberball cartridge. The only problem with this method is that the text for the modem menus are all
in Japanese if you set the region to Jap. The in-game text however remains mostly in English.This
method is for those who do not have an ever-drive nor game genie. It does work, but translation
wise it’s a pain in the butt some what, because you’ll have to know how to read japanese or consult
this post to translate the modem menus as you navigate them. See below 2nd method for image
[Method 2] - Hack created by Tony H. of Sega-16
This option is the newest one available as of 1/15/11 and does not require you to have a region switch to flip between USA and JAP regions to enable the modem option. This method is simple, as it allows you to use a cyberball game cartridge and a game genie OR ever-drive with rom file to enable the modem option on the main menu while in USA Region. This will keep the text for the modem menus and the rest of the game all in English.
Game Genie Code
Master Code (Must be used)
After entering the code and starting the game with your modem plugged in MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CONTROLLER PLUGGED
INTO THE 2ND CONTROLLER PORT. You will notice that the modem option still does not appear on the main menu. Don't
worry, its' there. Move the football icon to the options menu and then press down one more time and you will be on the
modem menu. If your football cursor does not move down past The options menu, then you don’t have your modem
plugged in to the console or you need to make sure you have a controller plugged into the 2nd controller port WHEN
entering the main menu for the first time. if you plug the controller in while on the main menu you'll have to reset your
After each Quarter in the game the game will display the score and allow you to chat with your opponent by pressing
the B button. pressing the button will temporarily drop the data connection and leave the modems on the line together
in voice mode like a normal phone call. Just hold down the B button and speak into the modem speaker to talk.
USA CONSOLE SET TO JAPANESE WITH JUST A CYBERBALL CART INSTALLED AND MODEM PLUGGED INTO BACK OF CONSOLE.
USA CONSOLE WITH GAME GENIE AND CYBERBALL AND MODEM PLUGGED IN WITH GAME GENIE HACK RUNNING
IF YOU USE METHOD 1 TO PLAY CYBERBALL, HERE IS A PICTURE TO HELP YOU TRANSLATE THE MENU. THIS IS
TECHNICALLY THE ONLY MENU YOU REALLY NEED TO WORRY ABOUT. AFTER CONNECTING IT WILL DUMP BOTH
PLAYERS TO THE SELECT SCREEN INSTANTLY.
2.) [Advanced Diasenryaku]
!!!TO PLAY THIS GAME YOU MUST HAVE THE ORIGINAL CARTRIDGE OR A FLASH CARTRIDGE/EVER-DRIVE!!!
IF YOU WANT TO PLAY THIS GAME IN ENGLISH PLEASE VISIT THIS WEBSITE
AND DOWNLOAD THE JAPANESE TO ENGLISH TRANSLATION PATCH AND APPLY IT TO THE ROM FILE.
THIS WILL TRANSLATE 95 PERCENT OF THE GAME INTO ENGLISH FOR EASY PLAYING. YOU WILL ONLY
BE ABLE TO PLAY THIS GAME IN ENGLISH IF YOU HAVE A FLASH-CARTRIDGE OR EVERDRIVE.
Plug the modem into the console and turn the system on with the flash cart inserted by itself
and the rom loaded to Upon starting the game you should see a modem option at the bottom, however
this is not the option to choose. Goto "Standard" on the main menu and selct this. then select the map
option. You should have about 43 maps to choose from for multiplayer. Pick the one you want to play with your
friend, and then select start. Upon entering the game, play it like you normally would and then when your done
with your turn, press start and it should bring up the End turn menu. the only option it gives you is to select modem.
Select modem and then it should pull up a save slot menu. Select the entry in the list. it should match the map your
currently play. After selecting it, it will take you to the modem dialing screen where you can enter your opponents
phone number. The other player should select the modem option from the main menu and wait for the call. Once
connected it will prompt you to SEND or recieve. the person that dialed should select send and the person who
waited for the call should select receive. After the dialing person selects send it should then prompt you to select
a save game which SHOULD show the save spot from when you did your last turn and selected the modem option
on the end turn menu earlier. select this and it should send your move to the other players console and update
their map in which you've made your move on and allow them to make the next turn. After the player has recieved
it and made their move and ended their turn, the role flips and they will call and send to the other player.
This method of game play minimizes the actual time your tying up the phone line which is actually very smart and gives
you alot of time to make a strategic move. You can stretch a game out over a few days or weeks even if desired.
HOWEVER, IF YOUR USING AN EVER-DRIVE FLASH CARTRIDGE FOR THIS GAME YOU NEED THE
OS VERSION 22 FOR YOUR EVERDRIVE. THE GAME SAVE FILE TAKES MORE THAN 8KB SRAM TO
SAVE AND THE EARLIER EVER-DRIVE OS VERSIONS ONLY SUPPORT 8KB SRAM SAVE PER SLOT.
DOWNLOAD UPDATE HERE
IT IS UN-KNOWN IF ANY OTHER FLASH CARTRIDGES LIKE THE TOTOTEK MODEL WILL SUPPORT
MORE THAN 8KB SRAM SAVES. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS NEW OS VERSION MAY TAKE UP 2
SAVE SLOTS AND MAY OVER WRITE ANY SAVE GAMES YOU HAD IN THAT OTHER SLOT. PLEASE
SAVE YOUR SRAM SAVES TO THE SD CARD TO AVOID ISSUES.
YOU DO NOT NEED A REGION SWITCH MOD FOR THIS GAME. USA/PAL users can leave the system in their region
and play just fine.
3.) [Shi Kin Joh]
VERY intresting, addicting, and challenging puzzle game. Allows for tile set, character and background to be changed to other
themes along with the music to your liking. Game also features a built in level editor. You basically push or move matching tiles
together to make them dissapear and find your way to the level exit. While it sounds very simple, they creators have put
many tricks and traps that will be sure to make you think and plan your route to the level exit.
This game does not feature modem to modem multiplayer, but rather a level transfer feature. You can create levels with the
built in level editor for the game and then send them to your friend and talk over the modem via the conversation mode as
well. After transfering the level or levels (up to 10 levels) you can then play them obviously. The built in level editor also
allows you to set the Theme for the level along with music so that this data is transfered to the player as well.
THIS GAME REQUIRES you to have a Jap/USA or PAL/JAP region switch to use the modem feature.
ever-drive auto region patch feature DOES NOT work on this game and im fairly sure manually patching the rom file
will not work either. The reason you need a region switch for this game is because the modem REFUSES to dial out
to your opponent unless it is in the JAP region (Hardware wise). However, a USA/PAL console can receive calls from a
console with the region mod switch. Remember to flip your region switch to JAP before booting the console.
After navigating through the main modem menu and entering a friends phone number, the modem will call and the other
end will pick up but NOT initiate a data transfer right away. You wont hear the usual modem noise. The reason is that the
modem is in communication mode much like a normal telephone call. Once connected you will see a transfer icon on the
far left bottom, a conversation button to the right of that, a speaker volume button to the right of that and then an EXIT
The far left icon is used to transfer files. Upon selecting this icon, the modems will then send their connect sequence and
you'll hear the modem do its thing. Which ever player presses the transfer icon button FIRST will be the one that sends
the file(s) to the other player from their console. My advice is to use the conversation icon first and talk about who is
going to send who the file(s)
ENGLISH PATCH/TRANSLATION 65% Done
4.) [TEL-TEL Stadium]
There has been a rumor of this going around that it plays in "text mode" only. Its not true at all. the game plays just like the single
PATCH/TRANSLATION 15% Done
5.) [TEL-TEL Mahjong]
If you can play Gin/Rummy, then you know 95% of Mahjong already.
PATCH/TRANSLATION 0% DONE.... NEED ADVANCED ROM HACKER TO HELP WITH THIS PATCH. NEEDS GRAPHICS INSERTED TO BE ABLE TO TRANSLATE TO ENGLISH.