Popful Mail

Moby ID: 12664
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Description official description

The cute bounty hunter known as Popful Mail looks like she would have no trouble making a living slashing bad guys with her sword. In reality Mail is having a hard time making ends meet. One day, however, she learns about a magician who has gone rogue and has a hefty bounty on his head. Her adventure begins as Popful fights her way through a new adventure, and makes new friends along the way.

Popful Mail is a platform action game with very light RPG elements. As the heroine makes her way through the stages she collects money from slain foes. This money can be used in shops to buy weapons, armor, health, and so on. The game features interaction with many characters through both on-screen dialog and fully animated sequences. Some of these characters become playable as the player progresses through the game.

This release has the same story and general gameplay style as the earlier version, but otherwise was made from scratch, having entirely different graphics, locations, enemies, challenges, etc.


  • ぽっぷるメイル - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (SEGA CD version)

23 People · View all

Assistant Director
English Translation
Sound Engineers
Additional Music
Japan Team
  • Sega/Falcom
Popful Mail
Nuts Cracker
Sven T. Uncommon
[ full credits ]



Average score: 83% (based on 13 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings with 2 reviews)

A fun, RPG-light with well-done story elements

The Good
I had read that this was a great game that missed its chance due to being released during the sunset of the Sega CD platform. I had the chance to snag one for a decent price and am glad I did. The game is basically an action/adventure platform game (as mentioned previously) with multiple characters. The part that qualifies it as an RPG (of sorts) is the ability to upgrade the weapons and armor of the characters. Each character has their strengths and you can switch between them at any time in the game. This does add a nice touch to the adventure. Additionally, you build up money and items to use throughout the levels so you do have those RPG-type advantages. The control is easy to pick up and you'll be whacking raccoons with ease in about 5 minutes. No need for the six button pad, the standard Genesis pad works great (and I personally prefer the feel of the original Genesis pads). The graphics are actually pretty good given the limited palette of the Genesis/Sega CD. One of my favorite things about the game are the cut-scenes. I am not normally a cut-scene fan, but in this case I take the time to sit through them. Most of them are just static face pictures with voices, but what a great job with the voice acting and script! I should add that the scripts are slightly altered for each of the characters, so it's fun to go back and redo small portions with different characters to see the other scripts. Originally, I was playing through the Japanese release, but felt like I was missing some of the content so I'd highly recommend trying to find the game in your native language. A nice addition is that you can save pretty much anywhere. If you die, you go to the last door/screen change prior to when you saved the game.

The Bad
It is often called an RPG, but that's a little bit of stretch. If you come into this expecting a Lunar, Final Fantasy, or Phantasy Star you will be disappointed. Also, there are times you have to travel a ways to pick up or purchase an item and it is difficult to remember where the item was sold. The stores are placed somewhere within the levels, so you'll have to remember which area, which level within the area, and where within the level the store was located. The bosses aren't incredibly difficult, but often require a specific weapon, character, or tactic that may not be obvious. So, you can end up dying a few times before catching on. The saves come in very handy here!

The Bottom Line
Bottom Line: This is a really good game for someone that wants the character upgrade/money collecting/inventory of an RPG without the complexity. The control, graphics, sound, and voices are all well done. If you like action games and don't take yourself too seriously, this would be an enjoyable one to pick up and should be even higher given the lack of similar games on the Sega CD.

SEGA CD · by zemonn (174) · 2012

Easily one of the best games to ever hit the Sega CD.

The Good
Popful Mail was one of the last games to come out for the legendary (Night Trap, anyone?) Sega CD. You see this game talked about on RPG websites, but at heart, it's a simple platformer with some RPG sparkles mixed in, like being able to talk to people, buying power-ups and weapons from stores in villages, and meeting and rounding up group members as the game goes on. It's very similar to Zelda 2 for the NES in that you move around in an overworld view, but when you enter an area it becomes a side scrolling game. It's a good game to pick up and play when you're tired of the FMV schlock on the Sega CD, and when you finally finish Snatcher, this is a dandy game to turn to. The anime sequences are extremely well done. They look almost exactly like cartoons- kudos to the artists working on the game. I've heard people gripe about the music played throughout the game, but I had no problems with the BGM. The in-game graphics are colorful, but mostly average, but the voice acting is suprisingly well-done for its time, and almost every bit of dialogue is spoken. One of the game's major selling points was that it claimed to have almost 3 hours of voice-overs, and that figure is probably correct.

The Bad
The thing that turned me off right off the bat was the game's name. Shakespeare asked, "What's in a name?", but a main character called "Popful Mail" is just plain stupid. I'm sure that translates from something meaningful in Japanese, but in English it sounds silly. The thing I hated even more that was the fact you only have one life. As you may know, whenever you get hit by an enemy in a platform game, you get a short "invincibility period" where your character flickers and nothing can hurt you for a few seconds while you move away from whatever hit you. In Popful Mail, the invincibility period is very short, so you don't have enough time to move away from the enemy before it can inflict damage again. As a result, your health goes quickly, and when you die, that's it- game over. Luckily, you can save at any point in the game, but if you didn't, too bad. You can continue from a saved game, but if you didn't, you start right at the beginning again. So a warning to all who play this game- save often. Other than those two points, I don't have any problems with this game.

The Bottom Line
I think this is the perfect game to introduce non-RPG gamers to the role-playing genre, because it barely is one. A player like me who has always yearned for a light, creamy RPG found much to love here. If you own a Sega CD, definitely pick this one up. It's one of the best games you'll ever play on the system, and maybe even one of the games you'll ever play, period.

SEGA CD · by zoinknoise (81) · 2004


Cancelled MEGACD Version

Working Designs made some pretty significant changes to Popful Mail on the SEGACD when it came out in the USA, but that was nothing compared to what would have happened had SEGA gone through with their original plan for porting the original game to MEGACD.

The game would have been re-branded as a Sonic game titled Sister Sonic. All of the characters would be replaced with Sonic characters and Mail herself would have become Sonic's red haired sister. Angry fan letters to Falcom put an end to that and the characters and story came through mostly unchanged.


The game was named the Best Sega CD Action/RPG Game of the Year in GameFan's 1994 "Megawards" (Vol 3, Iss. 1).


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Big John WV, Lain Crowley.

Game added April 3, 2004. Last modified January 28, 2024.