Editorial: Gaming in 1992

In yet another week Lusipurr.com has travelled a full 365 days into the magical year of 1992. What surprises lie inside the year whose numbers add up to the legal drinking age in the United States? Only one way to tell: continuous reading and emotional support.

Or just one of the greatest games in general!
One of the greatest FMV games ever created.

The games in 1992 were as fun as they are old because this faithful year blessed us with not one but two games in the “Mega Man” franchise. That is correct, Mega Man 4 was released in North America in early January while Mega Man 5 was released on December 31st in North America. Back then, the action platformers starting blue androids were wholesome and entertaining, now all gamers have is Mighty No. 9 which is underwhelming at best. However, the Blue Bomber was not alone in notable releases from 1992 as it also gave gamers the gift of the one and only Night Trap! Yes, the very same game that helped shape the ESRB and is being re-released this year for a modern audience with retro tastes. In addition to Night Trap, Mortal Kombat was also released this year which had parents in a tizzy thanks to gruesome gameplay. Along with gruesome, id Software took a sharp turn in content when compared to Commander Keen as Wolfenstein 3D was also released in 1992 drawing inspiration from the original Castle Wolfenstein created by the then defunct Muse Software. On the other side of the violence spectrum, Kirby’s Dream Land came out in 1992, the very first game to star the pink puff ball and his journey through Dream Land to stop King Dedede. To close out the games in 1992 is none other than the first game in a long and lauded series known as Super Mario Kart. The start of a cartoon racing series that captured the hearts of gamers worldwide then, and has continued to do so with future entries such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The Sega CD was undoubtedly streets ahead of other consoles in its inception.
Just look at that volume slider!

Onto hardware, as mentioned in last week’s post the Mega-CD released in Japan in 1991 but it was not until 1992 that it released in North America as the Sega-CD. The add-on to the Sega Genesis was able to play CD-based games which allowed for much larger games to be released onto the Genesis including controversial titles like Night Trap and critically acclaimed titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog CD, and Lunar: Eternal Blue. The Sega CD also greatly helped the FMV genre take shape in the home console market thanks to this disc-based advancement. These titles helped sell the Sega CD, but ultimately the add-on lost steam due to its price and the fact that it quickly became outdated in comparison to other consoles through its lifetime. Also released in North America in 1992 was the TurboDuo, (aka the PC Engine Duo in other regions), which supported both CD-Roms and the proprietary TurboChip. Although the system was powerful, the marketing campaign for it was less than stellar with the mean-spirited character of Johnny Turbo who has to be seen to be believed. This system was also short-lived however as it was discontinued in 1995 and followed up by the PC-FX which failed to find a market as well (more on that in 1994!).

The joke is that Aladdin also came out in 1992. Please laugh.
Just be glad Disney did not try to copyright genies.

Last up for this editorial is not a grouping of new businesses for the time, but instead an event which occurred in 1992 that is equally educational. Back in 1990, the Game Genie came out to the delight of video game players, and the horror of Nintendo who subsequently took the device’s creator, Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc, to court claiming that the device was infringing on their copyright by creating a derivative work each time the device was used. After a little over a year of battling it out in court, Galoob ended up victorious and was allowed to continue selling Game Genies. However, as they were not able to sell them during the trial, Nintendo had to recuperate the company’s losses which totaled to $15 million and on top of this Nintendo also had to pay the legal fees of the toy company as well (something Nintendo failed to appeal in court afterwards). The case was officially decided on May 21, 1992, as judges felt that the device was the same thing as fast-forwarding through a movie or speed-reading a book, which does affect how the consumer enjoys the product but does not create a derivative work, which was Nintendo’s position on the matter.

Just like that, the wrap-up on gaming in 1992 is over with a victory for cheaters everywhere. Did you learn something new? Or were you already knowledgeable in all the court cases Nintendo has been part of? Whatever the case may be, make sure to let us know by leaving a comment below!


  1. I remember Mega Man 4 and 5 both coming out in 1992. It seemed like an embarassment of riches, but really it was just an embarassment, with neither title really doing a good job for the franchise.

    Actually, I think I will play through all of the classic Mega Man games on my upcoming streams.

    Also, I remember the legal fight about Game Genie. I was very glad when Nintendo lost. And, in retrospect, I am even more glad. They are and have always been a bunch of anti-consumer arseholes.

  2. I didn’t have a Super Nintendo yet, so I’m pretty sure I spent the year renting games from Blockbuster. That was fun, though.

  3. @Lusipurr: Mega Man 4 was the first drop in quality for sure, because as far as I remember 3 still holds up. And yes, this case is just one of the first examples of Nintendo being ridiculously anti-consumer, and I’m glad they had to pay for their defeat.

    @Dancing Matt: Never in my life did I rent a game from Blockbuster. Not because they weren’t there, but I just never experienced that side of the store. I honestly couldn’t tell you why.

  4. 1992 was another excellent year for video games. Here’s a couple of my favorites from that year.

    -Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (GEN): Largely regarded as the best Sonic game, and one of my personal favorites. Very fast paced and a much more refined game than the first, as well as including some of the first Sonic cliches: first sidekick, casino level, and Death Egg… DAMN the Death Egg in this game was done perfectly! No rings and you have to beat both bosses in the level in less than 10 mins and no ring safety net. Easily one of my faves from ’92.
    -Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (SNES): I used to play this game a lot at my neighbors house. It still remains one of my favorite Super Nintendo games of all time. Awesome tight beat em up controls and an excellent soundtrack, both required for a great beat em up experience. I would love to have an online version of this game now with up to 4 players instead of 2. This game did get ported to Genesis, but the SNES version is vastly superior to the Genesis port.
    -Rolling Thunder 2 (GEN): Think Revenge of Shinobi but with two players instead of one and instead of ninjas in Feudal Japan, two secret agents in the near future with guns. One of my favorite arcade games, and also a Genesis exclusive. Played this game for hours on end back in 1992.

    Speaking of Sega CD, I remember the first time I saw one. It was back when Sega did those really awesome mall tours in the early 90s, showing off their hardware and games before the days of wide-spread Internet and conferences like E3. I remember seeing the unit and it was playing a freaking abysmal game called Make My Video: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (that’s a sign of how long ago this was). I wasn’t interested in that system in the slightest bit until Sonic CD got announced (but that’s a story for 1993…). It’s funny how even back then, the industry was chasing fads like no other (back then it was FMV).

    Once again Adeki, great article, looking forward to more next week when we discuss 1993…

  5. 1992 in Genesis sports titles: Andre Agassi Tennis, Cal Ripken, Jr. Baseball, David Crane’s Amazing Tennis, David Robinson’s Supreme Court Basketball, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Field Hockey, Ecco The Dolphin Water Polo, Evander Holyfield’s “Real Deal” Boxing, George Foreman’s “K.O.” Boxing, Jennifer Capriati Tennis, Jerry Glanville’s Pigskin Footbrawl, John Madden Footbal ’93 (sic), Jordan v.s. Bird: One-on-One, Krusty the Clown Kickball Challenge, Muhammad Ali Heavyweight Boxing, Mutant League Cricket, Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball-bu, NFL Sports Talk Football ’93 (sic), Premier Softball Manager, Psycho Pentathalon, R.B.I. Baseball 4 (note: this series actually labelled the correct year in ’93 and ’94), Roger Clemens MVP Baseball, Super High Impact Table Tennis, Tecmo World Cup Handball, Tim Curry’s Snooker, Tiny Toon Adventures: Barcelona Olympics ’92, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Outdoor Bass Fishing Tournament, Tom & Jerry: Frantic Bandy!, Top Pro Rowing, Victor Valcarce Jai-Alai, Winter Olympics: Lillehammer ’94 (sic), World Class Leaderboard Badminton, WWF Super Wrestle Man, Yogi Bear: Croquet Capers.

    The point being there were lots of ’em.

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