The Pagemaster

From Sega Retro


Pagemaster title.png

The Pagemaster
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Fox Interactive
Distributor: FoxVideo (US)
Licensor: Twentieth Century Fox
Sound driver: GEMS
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
$64.9864.98[2] T-161016
Videogame Rating Council: GA
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
£39.9939.99[4] 1180-50
Sega Mega Drive
$109.95109.95[5] FPAG00SMC
Non-Sega versions

The Pagemaster is a Sega Mega Drive action platform game developed by Probe Software and published by Fox Interactive. Based on the titular 1994 fantasy film The Pagemaster, it was first released in the United States and Europe in November 1994.[2][3]


After taking shelter in a magical library, ten-year-old Richard Tyler finds himself caught in the worlds of classic literature.


The game is a platformer. Players control Richard Tyler through a selection of literature genre-themed levels. Enemies include bats, flying books, giant hands, ghosts, and pirates. Richard moves with Left and Right and crouches with Down. He jumps with A or C. Most enemies can be defeated by jumping on top of them. He can pick up some objects with Down when standing in front of them. While holding an object, he can throw it with B or set it down with A or C. Objects can be used as steps to reach higher areas but do not harm enemies.

Each world has a map, depicted as a large open book, from which the player can select a level. Completing a level unlocks the next level down the line. The maps have branching paths. It is not necessary to complete every level to proceed to the next world or complete the game. The goal of each level is to reach the exit book at the end, though some levels are special objectives, such as defeating a boss or collecting items, that must be completed before the exit is open. Several library cards are hidden in each world; collecting all of them unlocks the good ending. Some levels have multiple exits, one of which unlocks a hidden level.

Richard can collect items throughout the levels that enhance his abilities. Some of the items give him a special attack, which is performed with B. Projectile attacks have unlimited supply. These items also act as hit points; when he is injured by an enemy or hazard, he loses the item. He can only have one weapon item at a time. It grows legs and runs away, but Richard can chase it and reacquire it if he is fast enough. If Richard is hurt and does not have an item, he loses a life and returns to the map screen.


Pagemaster, Items.png
Keys, Coins, and Eggs
Collect 100 to earn an extra life.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Magic Shoes
Gives Richard a higher jump and the ability to jump off walls, which can be used reach hidden areas.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Sticky Hands
Gives Richard the ability to climb across ceilings by sticking to them.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Bag of Eyeballs
Gives Richard a projectile attack with B. Eyeballs bounce off floors. Found in Horror World.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Pirate Sword
Gives Richard a sword that he can slash with B. Found in Adventure World.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Magic Dust
Gives Richard a projectile attack with B. It can be charged up to a larger attack by holding B. Found in Fantasy World.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Makes Richard temporarily invulnerable.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Bonus Token
Plays a bonus level after the current level is completed.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Library Card
Collect all of the library cards for the good ending.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Pagemaster Hat
Checkpoint where Richard restarts the level after losing a life.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Extra Life
Gives the player an extra life.
Pagemaster, Items.png
Exit Book
Touch to complete the level.


Pagemaster, Stage 1 Map.png

Pagemaster, Stage 1-1.png

Pagemaster, Stage 1-2.png

Pagemaster, Stage 1-3.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 1 Map.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 1-1.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 1-2.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 1-3.png

Horror World
This world contains 13 levels (plus 1 hidden level) and 3 library cards.

Pagemaster, Stage 2 Map.png

Pagemaster, Stage 2-1.png

Pagemaster, Stage 2-2.png

Pagemaster, Stage 2-3.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 2 Map.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 2-1.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 2-2.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 2-3.png

Adventure World
This world contains 11 levels (plus 1 hidden level) and 5 library cards.

Pagemaster, Stage 3 Map.png

Pagemaster, Stage 3-1.png

Pagemaster, Stage 3-2.png

Pagemaster, Stage 3-3.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 3 Map.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 3-1.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 3-2.png

  • Pagemaster, Stage 3-3.png

Fantasy World
This world contains 12 levels (plus 1 hidden level) and 3 library cards.

Bonus Level

The player plays a bonus level after finding a bonus token item in a level. Richard flies through the level on a book from a 3D perspective. The player can move him with the D-pad. He can fold the book that he is riding with B to squeeze through narrow passages. He has a magic dust meter that goes down over time; collecting items replenishes the meter. Colliding with a pillar or running out of magic dust causes Richard to fall off the book and restart the level. The player has three chances to complete the level. The player receives extra lives for successfully completing the level.

Pagemaster, Bonus Stage 1.png

Horror bonus level
Pagemaster, Bonus Stage 1.png

Pagemaster, Bonus Stage 2.png

Adventure bonus level
Pagemaster, Bonus Stage 2.png

Pagemaster, Bonus Stage 3.png

Fantasy bonus level
Pagemaster, Bonus Stage 3.png

Production credits

  • Software: Paul Carruthers
  • Bonus Game: Christoffer Nilsson
  • Producer: Tony Beckwith
  • Graphic Artists: Phil Hip Williams, Mark Knowles, Jason Green, Lloyd Baker, Terry Ford, Mark Frazer, Hayon Dalton, Blizzard
  • Animators: Darren Goodacre, Emil Sergiev, Jason McDonald, Dimitri Baralov
  • Mapping: Nick Baynes
  • Additional Maps: Mark Viccary, Mark Hill, Tony Beckwith, Andy McCarthy
  • Music and Sound Effects: Steve Collett, Nick Stroud
  • QA Manager: Tim Bradstock
  • QA Dept: James Stewart, Nick McGee, Ben Oreilly, Mark Viccary
  • Compression: Rob Northern, Nick Pelling
  • Fox Interactive Liason: Scott Marcus
In-game credits
Pagemaster MD credits.pdf


The Pagemaster was released simultaneously on the Mega Drive and Super NES in late 1994 (with a simplified version appearing on the Game Boy). By and large, both console versions are the same, however while the Super NES uses more colours, the Mega Drive version runs with a 320x224 screen resolution (versus 256x224). As the art was not optimised for the Super NES, this means graphics are "fatter" than perhaps originally intended, and less of the play area is visible at any one time.

The Mega Drive version features more animations, while the SNES uses an extra background layer (which is drawn in front of regular play, and can in some respects be seen as a disadvantage as is more likely to obscure the player's view. Bonus stages use the SNES' "mode 7" graphics mode, which offer a smoother gameplay experience than on the Mega Drive, which uses pre-scaled sprites, similar to early Mega Drive titles such as Space Harrier II and Super Thunder Blade.

There are also subtle changes in presentation. The Mega Drive is a fraction quicker to enter levels and shows the words "Game On" at the start of every stage, while the Super NES announces the levels' names.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) The Pagemaster The Pagemaster
Spanish El Guardián de las Palabras The Guardian of Words

Magazine articles

Main article: The Pagemaster/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advert in EGM² (US) #5: "November 1994" (1994-1x-xx)
also published in:
Print advert in Sega Visions (US) #22: "December/January 1994/1995" (1994-xx-xx)
Print advert in Super Juegos (ES) #33: "Enero 1995" (199x-xx-xx)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
Alaab Alcomputtar (SA)
Consoles + (FR)
Cool Gamer (RU)
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1 (RU)
GamePro (US) NTSC-U
Mega (UK) PAL
Mega Force (FR) PAL
Mega Fun (DE) PAL
Mean Machines Sega (UK) PAL
Player One (FR)
Play Time (DE) PAL
Power Up! (UK)
Power Unlimited (NL)
Sega Magazine (UK) PAL
Sega Power (UK) PAL
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
Todo Sega (ES)
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
Video Games (DE) PAL
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
22 reviews

The Pagemaster

Mega Drive, US
Pagemaster MD US Box Back.jpgPagemaster MD US Box.jpg
Pagemaster MD US Cart.jpg
Pagemaster MD US manual.pdf
Pagemaster MD US pcb.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
Pagemaster MD EU Box.jpg
Pagemaster MD EU Cart.jpg
Pagemaster MD EU Manual.jpg
Pagemaster MD EU pcb.jpg
Mega Drive, ES
Pagemaster MD ES Box.jpg
Mega Drive, FR

The Pagemaster MD FR Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, PT
Pagemaster MD PT cover.jpg
Mega Drive, AU
Pagemaster MD AU Box.jpg
Pagemaster MD AU Cart.jpg
Pagemaster MD AU Manual.jpg

Technical information

Main article: The Pagemaster/Technical information.


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Press release: 1994-11-15: YOU'VE NEVER CHECKED OUT A LIBRARY LIKE THIS: 'THE PAGEMASTER'
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Mean Machines Sega, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-11-30), page 80
  4. Mega, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-30), page 50
  5. Sega Megazone, "March 1995" (AU; 1995-0x-xx), page 25
  6. File:Pagemaster MD credits.pdf
  7. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "December 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 13
  8. GamePro, "January 1995" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 238
  9. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 172
  10. Alaab Alcomputtar, "" (SA; 1995-08-xx), page 17
  11. Consoles +, "Janvier 1995" (FR; 199x-xx-xx), page 108
  12. Cool Gamer, "9" (RU; 2002-10-13), page 151
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "December 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 42
  14. Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1, "" (RU; 1999-xx-xx), page 346
  15. GamePro, "January 1995" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 60
  16. MAN!AC, "01/95" (DE; 1994-12-07), page 72
  17. Mega, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-30), page 22
  18. Mega Force, "Décembre 1994" (FR; 1994-12-02), page 90
  19. Mega Fun, "01/95" (DE; 1994-12-21), page 40
  20. Player One, "Décembre 1994" (FR; 1994-1x-xx), page 130
  21. Play Time, "1/95" (DE; 1994-12-07), page 102
  22. Power Up!, "Saturday, December 17, 1994" (UK; 1994-12-17), page 1
  23. Power Unlimited, "Jaargang 3, Februari 1995" (NL; 1995-01-25), page 36
  24. Sega Magazine, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-15), page 96
  25. Sega Power, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-11-17), page 75
  26. Sega Pro, "January 1995" (UK; 1994-12-01), page 42
  27. Todo Sega, "Abril 1995" (ES; 1995-0x-xx), page 48
  28. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 20
  29. Video Games, "2/95" (DE; 1995-01-18), page 99

The Pagemaster

Pagemaster title.png

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Sega Mega Drive
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