SEGA Master System
Psycho Fox

Psycho Fox is one of the Master System's least known yet most fondly remembered titles. It comes from the age where many platform games were simply variations to the Mario Bros formula (whoever they are) which was highly successful at the time. This however, was a game that easily matched that at least.

Though the game often received high review scores thanks to good platform gameplay and longevity, the difficulty level was enough to cause frustration for some due to quirky controls.

Despite the affection for the title, there have been no updates or sequels though a spiritual sequel was released on the Mega Drive which has had more exposure.

It is possible to obtain a boxed copy of the game for around £10 through Ebay.

Psycho Fox European Case
Psycho Fox European Case

Case Quote

"Psycho Fox is an adventure game centering around the entertaining and thrilling escapades of a very special fox. Psycho Fox ventures into many strange worlds to conquer the strange beasts and boss monsters he encounters."


An evil God named Madfox Daimyoijin has corrupted the land with an army of minions. In order to get shot of him the people send in Psycho Fox.


Psycho Fox is a side scrolling platformer in a similar vein to Wonder Boy. You control the little yellow guy tasked with reaching the goal in each level, generally progressing from left to right. As you scroll you can not go back on yourself. The levels are fairly large with 2 possible routes to take; ground based or sky, and plenty of secrets to find such as warp zones.

At the end of each level will be a Bonus Game to win special items and extra lives.

Each area will consist of 3 rounds with a boss fight which are (usually) easily defeated. Some boss fights will be accompanied by a tool onscreen such as a cannon which must be used in order to defeat it.

alt : Cannot see the video?

Video is shamelessly embedded from Youtube. All credit to the video owner. No infringement intended.

Graphically the game is typical of the time where the colours are extremely bright thanks to the systems superior colour palette. Landscapes and sprites are pretty basic and the scrolling is very smooth. It is much harder than it looks.

The sound effects are nothing special for an 8-Bit game and the various tunes are pleasant enough to listen to whilst playing but probably will not have you bopping along.

It offers more of a challenge to the likes of Alex Kidd or even Wonder Boy in places (thanks to the control system of the character) and gives the game a lastability especially since there is plenty of secrets to be found. Unfortunately there are no options for tweaking gameplay.

The controls for the game are fixed. They are:

The D-Pad LEFT and RIGHT are for running. Hold a direction to accelerate. As Psycho is running he gains an inertia which takes him a while to slow down. This can be irritating at times often leading to your demise. You will have to be cunning with your timing. Additionally, if being on the very edge of a platform or running off it and reversing will make him run in the air for a second or two before falling a bit like a cartoon character. Depending on how far and how fast you made be able to prevent falling.

DOWN is for crouch. You can still jump whilst crouching.

Button 1 is attack in the form of a punch.

Button 2 is jump. You can also attack during a jump.

PAUSE shows you Psycho's inventory. To use an item press Button 2.

Psycho has the ability to transform into 3 other forms. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. They are:

Tiger - Can run the fastest.

Monkey - Can jump the highest.

Hippo - Is slow with a small jump height but is strongest and can smash through blocks.

There will be certain points where changing form is necessary to pass.

Psycho also has a sidekick called Bird Fly, a black crow who resides on his shoulder and is found inside eggs naturally. He can be launched at enemies (Button 1) and returned like a boomerang. He effectively acts as armour because if Psycho takes a hit Bird Fly flies off yet you do not die. He is usually found again shortly afterwards.

You take a hit when an enemy touches you. They take on numerous forms such as snails, plungers and skulls. They can be killed by punch, jumping on them or use of Bird Fly. Beware some enemies can not be killed by a jump or may need several jumps to kill them.

You can also die by falling into water (annoyingly even in the shallowest of sections) but you can run fast enough to simply glide across the top.

In each round there are a number of devices and traps. These are:

Spring Boxes - simply bounce you higher. Combine with jump for some extra height.

Whiplash Poles - These will give a snap of speed across the rounds via vaulting. Jumping closer to the red point at the top will increase the amount of speed and distance.

Warps Zone - There are Warp Zones hidden throughout the route. You can look for them by sending out Bird Fly into space. When he appears to bump into something when seemingly there is nothing there, this means that there is a Warp Zone. In order to break through, repeatedly send out Bird Fly to that same location.

There are a few Special items located inside eggs scattered about each round. A punch will crack it open. Enemies can sometimes hide inside eggs so beware when cracking one. Others may simply be empty. Special items are:

Bird Fly - Psycho's sidekick.

Psycho Sticks (Shinto Sticks) - used to transform into the other animal forms.

Straw Effigy - used to destroy all enemies currently on the screen.

Magic Medicine - will make Psycho invincible for a short period of time.

Psycho Fox - an extra life. You will have to chase it in order to collect.

Money Bags - These are used for playing the Bonus Game. You encounter a king of lottery called "Amida". If you did not acquire any money bags during the previous round, "No Bonus" will be displayed on the screen and the Bonus Game will not be played.

A Bonus Game has 5 pathways in which to start from. As Psycho Fox walks along he will have to turn left or right at each junction until he reaches the end of the path. One will lead to a hole and others will lead to special items. Another will lead to a fruit machine to play for extra lives.

The more money bags you have, the more routes you can bet on or increase the bet on a single route. The higher the bet the more prizes rewarded. Press Button 2 to increase and Button 1 to decrease bets. Select additional routes using the D-Pad and Button 2.

Bonus Round
Bonus Round Bonus Round


You begin the game with 3 lives. Upon Game Over you have the option to continue. When restarting a round it will be in your last form.

There are 7 areas in total each having 3 levels or routes in which progress through ranging from a grassy field to an underground base.

Psycho Fox Screenshots
Round 1-1 Round 1-2 Round 1-3

Area 1: Mystical Mountains, Boss: Mad Tumbler

Round 2-1 Round 2-2 Round 2-3

Area 2: Skull Land, Boss: Robo Fly

Round 3-1 Round 3-2 Round 3-3

Area 3: Diabolical Desert, Boss: Doramary

Round 4-1 Round 4-2 Round 4-3

Area 4: Wind Zone, Boss: Robo Fly

Round 5-1 Round 5-2 Round 5-3

Area 5: Underground Passageway, Boss: Mad Tumble

Round 6-1 Round 6-2 Round 6-3

Area 6: Ice Zone, Boss: Doramary

Round 7-1 Round 7-2 Round 7-3

Area 7: Underground Cavern, Boss: Madfox Daimyojin

Cheats and Tips

Small Control Improvement

If playing the game on an emulator it maybe worth setting the system to NTSC (60hz) and this makes the controls feel more responsive.

Prevent Taking Hit

The moment Psycho is hit pause the game and choose the straw doll. If done correctly this should prevent him from being hit or worse dying.


Locate the jumping/spring platforms near the end of Round 1-3. These will be above a steep hill. Jump to the top of the screen. Near the top are three jumping platforms in a triangular layout. Jump off the lower right platform and punch the air or throw Birdfly. A wisp will appear. Throw/punch again the sky will begin to open till a black hole appears. Jump into the hole to enter the Warp Area. Slide down the steel ramp until two pipes appear.

Round 1-3 Warp Zone Round 1-3 Warp Zone

The first pipe leads to Round 5-1 and the second pipe leads to Round 4-1.

Massive Shortcut

This is the ultimate shortcut in the game. In Round 1-1, find the floating island with a lake in the middle. This will be quite high off the ground. Skip across the lake and jump onto the platform to the right. Stand on the right edge of the platform and you should see some white wisps. Throw Birdfly at it two times. A black hole will open. Jump into the hole and you will be taken to the Warp Area.

Round 1-1 Warp Zone Round 1-1 Warp Zone Round 1-1 Warp Zone

The first pipe will take you to Round 7-1, and the second pipe will take you to Round 2-1.

Less Risk

When confronted with many small gaps, simply run across them at full speed rather than trying more precise jumping.


Perfect! Play it with Dega or KEGA Fusion Emulators. You can download these from the Master System Emulators Page.

Misc Info


Review at Mean Machines Archive

Review at Emucamp

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