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Ecco the Dolphin

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Ecco Title.png
Ecco the Dolphin
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega-CD, Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, PC, Steam, iOS
Genre: Action































Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥6,800 G-4106
Sega Mega Drive
US
$59.99[1] 1042
Sega Mega Drive
EU (limited package; according to Sega of Japan this exists)
€? ?
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£39.99[2] 1042
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F 1042
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ? 1042
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas 1042
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
AU (Gold)
$? FDOL00SMC
Sega Mega Drive
BR
R$? 044360
Sega Mega Drive
AS
? 1042-40
Sega Mega Drive
KR
₩? GM8091JG



Sega Mega-CD
US
$49.95[3] 4408
Sega Mega-CD
UK
£44.99[4] 4408
Sega Mega-CD
FR
?F 4408
Sega Mega-CD
DE
DM 99,-[6] 4408
Sega Mega-CD
ES
?Ptas 4408
Sega Mega-CD
BR
R$? ?



Sega Game Gear
JP
¥3,800 G-3344
Sega Game Gear
US
$39.99[8] 2516
Sega Game Gear
UK
£29.99[9][10] 2516
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F 2516
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ? 2516
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas 2516
Sega Game Gear
BR
R$? ?



Sega Master System
UK
£? 9029
Sega Master System
FR
?F 9029
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 9029
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 9029
Sega Master System
AU
$? FECC00SEC
Sega Master System
BR
R$? 028270



Windows PC
JP
¥7,800 (8,190) HCJ-0114
Windows PC
US
$39.95[11] ?
Windows PC
EU
€29.99[12] ? MK 85013-50
Steam
US
$2.99 ?
Steam
EU
€1.99 ? ?



Wii Virtual Console
JP
¥600 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
US
$800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
EU
€800 points ?
Wii Virtual Console
AU
$800 points ?



Xbox 360
JP (Download)
¥400pts ? ?
Xbox 360
US (Download)
$400pts ? ?
Xbox 360
EU (Download)
€400pts ? ? ?
Xbox 360
AU (Download)
$?pts ? ?
Xbox 360
KR (Download)
₩?pts ? ?



iOS
JP
¥? ?
iOS
US
$? ?
iOS
EU
€? ? ?



Ecco the Dolphin (エコー・ザ・ドルフィン), frequently referred to simply as Ecco is a successful video game developed by Novotrade International and published by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear and later Sega Mega-CD. It is one of the Mega Drive's most well-known titles, and spawned numerous sequels. The game features a bottlenosed dolphin named Ecco on a sidescrolling underwater adventure.

Gameplay

The game is noted for its high difficulty level, and though appears to appeal to a younger audience, has a much deeper and darker story than anticipated. Ecco on the Mega-CD features a full redbook audio soundtrack composed by Spencer Nilsen and has re-designed levels.

History

Development

Ecco the Dolphin was inspired by the works of American scientist John C. Lilly, particularly his attempts to communicate with dolphins. During the 1970s, Lilly became addicted to ketamine and began to believe in a hierarchical group of cosmic entities, the lowest known as the Earth Coincidence Control Office (ECCO). These events helped build the world of Ecco the Dolphin, with producer Ed Annunziata creating an adventure wherein an intelligent dolphin comes into contact with extra terrestrial lifeforms.

The moving background in the dialogue screens of the Mega Drive (and Mega-CD) versions was originally the result of a glitch, kept in because the designers thought it looked cool[14].

The Mega-CD release of Ecco was the first game on the platform to sport a QSound soundtrack[15].

Release

Ecco the Dolphin was the fourth best selling game in the United Kingdom in 1993[16].

Legacy

Ecco was has been re-released for several formats over the years, usually as an emulated Mega Drive game. It was included in Sega Mega Drive Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable, and was released as a downloadable title through the RealOne Arcade service (also in the form of a one hour trial version). In 2006 it was released on the Wii's Virtual Console service, and in 2007 became a downloadable title through the Xbox Live Arcade service. Ecco was also included in Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection. In 2010 it was released on Steam and iOS devices. The iOS version was removed from sale on iTunes in 2015.[17]

In 2013, the game was converted to 3D and released for the Nintendo 3DS as 3D Ecco the Dolphin. It was later included in the compilation Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives.

Ecco the Dolphin was followed by Ecco: The Tides of Time.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

Source: In-game credits

Mega-CD version

Source: In-game credits
  • Producer: E. Ettore Annunziata
  • Design: E. Annunziata, L. Szenttornyai
  • CD version: Tassonyi Kadocsa
  • Great Art: Zsolt Balogh -Talent‑
  • Programmers: József Molnár, Mihály Brudnyák, Fox
  • Music Composed and Produced by: Spencer Nilsen
  • Wind Synthesizer Performed by: Mitch Manker
  • Whale Voices Courtesy of: Madacy Music Group
  • Digital Sound Effects: Brian Coburn
  • Digichrome™ Video Processing by: Digital Pictures, Inc.
  • Narrator: Alan Bruce
  • Marketing: Al Nilsen
  • Testing: Dianna Boundy, David Forster, Dermot Lyons, Christine Watson, Mike Gilmartin, Sá Mezei
  • Special Thanks: Clyde Grossman, Stephen Friedman, Andras Csaszar, Imi, Cassandra, Ildi, Timea

Master System and Game Gear versions

  • Producer: Jerry Markota
  • Marketing: Ami Blaire
  • Creator of Ecco: Ed Annunziata
  • Developer: Novotrade
  • Technical Director: László Mérõ
  • Main Programmer: Attila Bús
  • Programmer: Balázs Pápai
  • Artist: Eszter Páris
  • Music: Csaba Gigor, Gábor Foltán
  • Hardware Support: Lajos Szabó
  • Special Thanks: Andrea Eszterhai, László Szenttornyai, József Molnár
  • Lead Testers: Dianna Boundy, Conan Tigard, Christine Watson
  • Testers: Ray Alferez, Mike Bench, Blair Bullock, Shrinivasan Chandrasekara, Harry Chavez, Janine Cook, Aron Drayer, Ivan Foong, David Forster, Jason Friedman, Mike Gilmartin, Richie Hideshima, Keith Higashihara, Lawrence Jeung, Tracy Johnson, Wing Kwan, Vasily Lewis, Jeff Loney, Simon Lu, Tony Lynch, Julio Martinez, Pete McNab, Mike Madden, Heather Meigs, Lance Nelson, Andrew Podesta, Kirk Rogers, Bruno Sarret, Maria Tuzzo, Katherine Weathers

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Ecco the Dolphin/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advertisements

SegaVisions US 11.pdfSegaVisions US 11.pdf

Mega Drive print advert in














Sega Visions (US) #11: "February/March 1993" (199x-xx-xx)
also published in:













  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #43: "February 1993" (199x-xx-xx)[18]

SegaVisions US 15.pdfSegaVisions US 15.pdf

Game Gear print advert in














Sega Visions (US) #15: "October/November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:













  • Sega Visions (US) #16: "December/January 1993/1994" (1993-xx-xx)[19]













  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #52: "November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)[20]

SegaVisions US 15.pdf

Mega-CD print advert in














Sega Visions (US) #15: "October/November 1993" (1993-xx-xx)

NextGeneration US 11.pdf

PC print advert in














Next Generation (US) #11: "November 1995" (1995-10-24)

CVG UK 174.pdf

PC print advert in














Computer & Video Games (UK) #174: "May 1996" (1996-04-12)

SegaForce SE 1993 04.pdf

Mega Drive print advert in














Sega Force (SE) #4/93 (1993-07-08)

Television advertisements

Artwork

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
67
94 №136, p24/25[2]
100 №43, p38/39[21]
95 №3, p60/61
92
91
96 №16, p64/65/66
93 №34, p234
95 №7, p38/39
93 №6, p42/43/44[22]
94 №12, p20/21/22/23
97 №3, p24-28[23]
90 №26, p96/97
92
92 №40, p44/45/46
94 №16, p34/35
94 №18, p65
93 №4, p24/25
91 №13, p96/97[24]
Sega Mega Drive
92
Based on
19 reviews

Mega Drive, US
EccoTheDolphin md us cover.jpg
Cover
EccoTheDolphin md us cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco The Dolphin MD US Manual.pdf
Manual
Ecco MD US Cart Alt.jpg
Cart (alt)
Mega Drive, EU
EccoTheDolphin md eu cover.jpg
Cover
EccoTheDolphin md eu cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco the Dolphin MD EU Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU (Limited Edition Set)

EccoTheDolphin md eu cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, JP
EccoTheDolphin md jp cover.jpg
Cover
EccotheDolphin MD JP CartTop.jpg
Ecco MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco The Dolphin Megadrive JP Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, AU

Ecco MD AU Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, AU (Gold Collection)
EccoTheDolphin md au cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco MD AU Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, BR
Ecco md br cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco MD BR Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, KR
Ecco MD KR Box.jpg
Cover
Ecco MD KR carttop.jpg
Ecco MD KR cartback.jpgEccotheDolphin MD KR cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, Asia
Ecco MD AS Box.jpg
Cover
Ecco MD AS Cart back.jpgEcco MD Asia Cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco MD AS Manual.jpg
Manual
MD AS EpilepsyWarning.pdf
Epilepsy Warning
Mega Drive, FR

Ecco the Dolphin MD FR Manual.pdf
Manual

Mega-CD version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
94 №143, p42/43[4]
80 №1, p85[25]
90 №1, p100
92
95 №49, p80[3]
90 №11, p84
96 №24, p140
97 №13, p46/47/48/49
83 №12, p57
88 №4, p27
92 №21, p56/57
96 №11, p86-88[26]
95 №37, p148
90
87 №47, p50/51
78 №23, p42
90 №15, p11
Sega Mega-CD
90
Based on
17 reviews

Mega-CD, US
Ecco scd us backcover.jpgEccoTheDolphin scd us cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco scd us disc.jpg
Disc
Ecco mcd us manual.pdf
Manual
EccoTheDolphin MCD US RegCard.pdf
Reg Card
Mega-CD, EU
EccoTheDolphin scd eu backcover.jpgEccoTheDolphin scd eu cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco MCD EU spinecard alt.jpg
Spinecard
Ecco1 mcd eu disc.jpg
Disc
Mega-CD, EU (Later Print)
Ecco MCD EU Box Back Alt.jpgEcco MCD EU Box Front Alt.jpg
Cover
Ecco MCD EU spinecard.jpg
Spinecard
Mega-CD, BR

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
90 №24, p168
93 №142 (Go!), p6/7[10]
85 №53, p212[8]
85 №24, p83
82
88 №13, p96[27]
96 №37, p148
92
93 №1, p126[9]
82 №47, p42
93 №25, p75
90 №15, p79
85 №9, p10
Sega Game Gear
89
Based on
13 reviews

Game Gear, US
Ecco GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngEccoTheDolphin gg us cover.jpg
Cover
EccoTheDolphin gg us cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco gg us manual.pdf
Manual
Game Gear, EU
Ecco the Dolphin GG EU Box Top.png
Ecco the Dolphin GG EU Box Back.jpgEcco the Dolphin GG EU Box Spine.jpgEccoTheDolphin gg eu cover.jpgEcco the Dolphin GG EU Box Spine2.jpg
Ecco the Dolphin GG EU Box Bottom.jpg
Cover
EccoTheDolphin gg eu cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco the Dolphin GG EU Manual.pdf
Manual
Game Gear, JP
Ecco GG JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngEccoTheDolphin gg jp cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco GG JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Game Gear, BR

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
88 №34, p169
94 №152, p99[28]
92 №21, p79[29]
94 №44, p116
86 №57, p62
91 №34, p56/57
Sega Master System
91
Based on
6 reviews

Master System, EU
EccoTheDolphin sms eu cover.jpg
Cover
EccoTheDolphin sms eu cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, AU
Ecco the Dolphin SMS AU Cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco the Dolphin SMS AU Cart Top.jpg
Ecco the Dolphin SMS AU Cart Back.jpgEcco the Dolphin SMS AU Cart Front.jpg
Cart
Ecco the Dolphin SMS AU Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, AU (silver)
Ecco the Dolphin SMS AU Cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco MS AU Cart.jpg
Cart
Ecco the Dolphin SMS AU Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR
EccoTheDolphin SMS BR cover.jpg
Cover
Ecco sms br cart.jpg
Cart

PC version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
75 №7, p24[30]
76 №173, p59[31]
80 №42, p88[32]
94 №88, p11
Windows PC
81
Based on
4 reviews

PC, US
Ecco PC US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngEcco PC US Box Front.jpg
Cover
Ecco PC US Box Back JewelCase.jpgEcco PC US Box Front JewelCase.jpg
Jewel Case
PC, US (Jack in the Box)
Ecco PC US Box Front JitB.jpg
Cover
PC, EU
Ecco PC EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngEcco PC EU Box Front.jpg
Cover
Ecco PC EU Box Back JewelCase.jpgEcco PC EU Box Front JewelCase.jpg
Jewel Case
PC, JP
Ecco PC JP Box Back.jpgNospine.pngEcco PC JP cover.png
Cover

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 45547390
MD5 18b49fe6ad55975b6021b40b193035f5
SHA-1 2cad130f3118c189d39fd1d46c5c31a5060ce894
1MB 1992-10 Cartridge (US/EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 6520304d
MD5 fdfc181b6f949788f336662dbabf5929
SHA-1 1440fb5821ebb08048f73a0a71ac22e0cdbcf394
1MB 1993-05 Cartridge (JP)

External links

References


Ecco the Dolphin series
Ecco the Dolphin (3D) (1992) | Ecco: The Tides of Time (1994) | Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future (2000)
Spin-offs and others
Ecco the Dolphin (LCD) (1994) | Ecco Jr. and the Great Ocean Treasure Hunt! (1994) | Ecco Jr. (1995) | Ecco the Dolphin CD (1995)
Unreleased
Ecco the Dolphin (32X) | Ecco II: Sentinels of the Universe‎
Ecco the Dolphin related media
Music
Ecco: Songs of Time (1996)
Book
Ecco: The Tides of Time Official Strategy Guide (199x) | Official Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future Perfect Guide (2000)