Christmage Day 1: “Christmas Espionage”


SegaMage1 “The following is a contributor post by the Hopeful Sega Mage.”

When discussing ideas for a Christmas community blogging idea with my fellow mages, I suggested the idea of every mage discussing their favourite Christmas gaming memory. I always associate Christmas with video games – as a kid, I’d ask for a specific game for Christmas and patiently wait for a few months until Christmas came. Then on Christmas day, I’d  wait until everyone opened their presents then sneak upstairs for the day and get playing.

To this day, I still want a game to play on Christmas day as it’s one of my favourite ways to unwind in the night time. After a day of socializing, opening presents, tidying, eating and building kids’ toys made by companies who hate parents, there aren’t many better ways to chill out than grabbing some chocolate and a joypad.

Chocolate orange ice cream

I’ve got a lot of Christmas memories, from thinking WWF Warzone was the greatest wrestling game ever (it’s not even the greatest wrestling game on the PS1) to having a dinner of Chocolate Orange ice-cream before launching into another Pro Evolution Soccer 4 session. However, my favourite memory of Christmas is of Christmas 1994…

In 1994, I was a Master System owner who had grand plans… I wanted a Sega Mega Drive. People I knew had the Mega Drive and even though I was content with my Master System, I knew I had to make the move up. Other people had the Mega Drive and I was jealous. Back then, the jump from 8-bit to 16-bit seemed huge. When you compare some of the games available for the Master System to their Mega Drive equivalent, the gulf in looks and presentation was incredible. Compared to the overlapping console generations of today, the Mega Drive was a considerable upgrade.


So, I put a Mega Drive on my Christmas list and waited patiently. September, October, November… I tried to calmly wait until Christmas and ignore my worries. What if my parents couldn’t afford it? What if none were available? As the lead up to Christmas began, I was getting worried. As it was a Christmas present, I couldn’t ask someone, just to check. It wasn’t like my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles request a few years earlier, where I got given Donatello in September, probably as a measure to shut me up. I had to wait and hope.


Christmas Eve saw the presents brought out, waiting for the big day. All I could see was a big box. Now, in 2018 I know that this box was distinctly ‘Mega Drive-shaped’ but in 1994 I was still unsure. I knew what I had to do… use all my skills to work out if this mysterious box was a Mega Drive. I had to be subtle, clever and discreet.

Firstly, I went to stand next to the box. I figured a closer look would be enough confirmation. However, I had made a fundamental mistake… I can’t see through wrapping paper. So I took my plan a step further – I discreetly picked up the box and shook it a little. Nowadays, as a Sega Mage, I would be able to use my blast processing powers to tell that a Mega Drive was inside the present, but alas as a boy, my skills were not that advanced.

I knew there was only one option left and it was a risky one. I had to rip some of the wrapping paper off. I knew that this could get me into trouble if I got caught and there would be evidence. I didn’t care though… I had to know! Quietly, I tore a slight bit of the wrapping paper off and my heart skipped a beat as I saw the familiar black with white grid line design on the box. There was a Mega Drive in the box and I could relax.

European Club Soccer box art

The next day I got to open my present properly and even without the element of surprise, I was thrilled. I had a brilliant day setting up my Mega Drive and playing all my new games; from racing around in Sonic to trying to like Kid Chameleon. My abiding memory of the night was a big European Club Soccer session before bed. I’d been losing at the game all day, but finally, just before bed was able to get my first win. A great end to a great day…




The Hopeful Sega Mage is a Sega obsessive who shouldn’t be approached by members of the public. However, he can be found on Twitter at @carrythegary and here at The Well-Red Mage, if you wish to discuss Japanese Mega Drive artwork and the greatness of Altered Beast.


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Categories: Celebratory

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24 replies »

  1. Bold move tearing a bit of the paper! Haha I never had the guts for that but I have a terrible habit of wanting to try and figure out what’s in a gift before opening it, or figuring out people’s secrets. I call it detective mode even if some folks get somewhat peeved by it lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Detective mode like Arkham Asylum? 😀 I now have visions of you using Mage Gel to blow up wrapping paper….

      I’m never that bold usually and I’ve never done it since. I don’t mind waiting until Christmas Day usually – I just think the pressure got to me that year!


    • Nice! Christmas always makes you remember games more fondly, doesn’t it? My first game for PS4 was Call of Duty: Ghosts, so you did better than me!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great story! I remember the one time I peaked at my presents I had a really hard time faking my surprise and felt terrible about it. Your mention of Warzone reminds me of something I wrote about in my Christmage blog, there is just something about Christmas that makes even the crappiest games super fun. BTW I would have to go with WWF No Mercy as at least one of the best wrestling games of all time, followed by SmackDown: Here Comes The Pain. Would be interested to hear which ones you consider the GOATs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! I had the same worry about ruining the surprise, but luckily I had a blast with the Mega Drive 😀 I think I just needed my mind to be put at ease!

      Best wrestling games ever? Tough question…my favourites are Smackdown 1 (rough beta of 2, but great career mode) WCW Vs NWO Revenge, WWF Wrestlemania 2000 and the game Boy Advance Fire Pro wrestling game.

      Here Comes The Pain was great at the time, not sure I could go back to it now. WWF No Mercy is cool, but I hate it’s story mode…too many 2 on 1 matches for me!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Love all the games you mentioned, haven’t played fire pro wrestling but always here its really good. Yeah I didn’t have anything that year that I was really anticipating so I’m sure that was the difference, having to act surprised about stuff I didn’t really care much about, lol. WCW vs NWO Revenge was definitely the best WCW game, no story mode that I can remember though, always wished it had one. That was why I loved No Mercy so much, first real experience with a story mode in a wrestling game for me. Both of those are definitely very nostalgic for me so could be that I am letting that get the best of my opinion.

        Liked by 2 people

        • WCW Vs NWO Revenge was awesome, no story mode but did like it’s title challenge. You ever try and win the tag belts though? 40+ min matches made it a nightmare….

          I did like No Mercy but after a while the 2 on 1 matches ground me down. I’d say nostalgia isn’t blinding you, a good game is a good game regardless of age!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Yeah, I did hate that part of the story mode. They had a ton of handicap matches. Got super frustrating, that character creator was super fun though. Oh yeahhhh I forgot about the title challenge on Revenge! That was a blast.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Far too many – every match became a 2 on 1 match!

              The title challenge mode on Revenge was great, loved winning the WCW World Title with Sting! That tag title challenge mode was too much though, I could never get past the third match!

              Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a similar experience. I’d mvoed from the Atari 2600 to the Master System, and when Sonic 3 came out, my brother and I wanted to upgrade to the Mega Drive so we could play it. Much like with the Master System, as we shared a room, we got teh mega Drive and Sonic 3 as a joint present. The excitement was insane! Every time I saved enough for a enw game we’d take the trip to either Toys R Us or a local store called Software Plus, and pick something out. To this day, nothing has beaten that system for me for pure enjoyment.

    Liked by 2 people

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