Ecco the Dolphin is an adventure game released for the Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, and Sega Genesis involving the adventures of a young dolphin named Ecco the Dolphin. His characteristic feature is the stars on his head arranged in a unique pattern.


One day, Ecco was challenged by a pod member to see how high he could jump. Upon accomplishing this feat, a water spout occurred and blew his entire pod away. Ecco then set off to search for his pod.


Besides swimming and jumping, Ecco can eat by dashing at food in the form of fish. Food heals him after he is injured by enemies such as jellies. Being that he is a mammal, Ecco must occasionally surface to breathe. Not doing so will hurt him over time. He also can communicate through echolocation, from which he gets his name. His echolocation is also used to bring up a map.

CD version differences

  • Ecco CD features an animated intro, and an ending still frame of Ecco singing at you.
  • Ecco CD includes new levels not included in the Mega Drive version, these levels are: Open Ocean 2, Volcanic Reef, Ship Grave Sea, The Sea of Silence, Wreck Trap, Deep Gate
  • Ecco CD uses Redbook quality audio instead of the Mega Drive's sound processor for CD quality music.
  • Ecco CD uses higher quality sound samples than the Mega Drive.
  • Passwords for Ecco CD are not compatible with Mega Drive Ecco.
  • In the Library, two Glyphs feature short educational dolphin videos. In the Mega Drive version, Glyphs were repeated.
  • Trilobites and Sea Horses are easier to evade in Ecco CD than the Mega Drive game.
  • In Ecco CD, when Ecco dies he returns to the last Barrier Glyph he removed. In the original game you have to restart the entire level.
  • The 'A and Start' cheat for Ecco Mega Drive does not work on the Mega CD.
  • Various glitches and bugs from the Mega Drive game are not present in Ecco CD

Japanese version differences

There is an extra level named "The Stomach" which takes place after the final boss. It uses artwork not found elsewhere in the game, and the sonar does not display correctly. This level only appears in the Japanese Mega Drive version. It is speculated that this was an unfinished concept level that was accidentally left in the game. All data associated with this level was removed in all other versions.

After beating this stage, the ending plays as normal.


The game spawned a few sequels including Ecco Jr for little kids, Ecco II: The Tides of Time, and Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future for the Sega Dreamcast.