The U.S. Is Finally Getting a Physical Edition of Mega Man: The Wily Wars

The elusive 16-bit version of Mega Man's first three adventures will be released as a physical cartridge for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive.

Retro-Bit Gaming, suppliers of almost all things retro gaming these days, announced a physical edition of Mega Man: The Wily Wars during Gamescom. It is to be released at an unspecified time in the future.

This re-release will be a cartridge playable on the Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive.

On top of that, Retro-Bit Gaming promised that several other extras will release alongside the game. What those will be, and how much the entire package will cost, was not mentioned.

Wily Wars was unique in its day. It's to the first three Mega Man games what Super Mario All Stars is for the early Super Mario games. The catch was that the U.S. market didn't actually get a physical copy of it, which was rather unusual for the time, while Japan and Europe did. 

Instead, Wily Wars was confined to the Sega Channel service.

Sega Channel was an early form of subscription-based game streaming built on a model similar to the equally ill-fated Famicom Satellaview in Japan. For an extra fee on a monthly cable bill, players would get a special Sega box attached to their TV that allowed access to 50 games.

The problem was cost, access, and the fact that Sega was moving resources on to its new system anyway, making Wily Wars one of the Genesis' rarest games — that is, until recently.

The wave of retro rebirths and mini consoles, including the Genesis Mini, means fans can easily get hold of the game now as part of a bundle including plenty of other Sega classics.

Still, there's nothing quite like a physical copy of a classic game, especially when it (hopefully) won't cost thousands of dollars.


Josh Broadwell started gaming in the early '90s. But it wasn't until 2017 he started writing about them, after finishing two history degrees and deciding a career in academia just wasn't the best way forward. You'll usually find him playing RPGs, strategy games, or platformers, but he's up for almost anything that seems interesting.

Published Aug. 23rd 2019

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