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Alternate versions of classic games in new releases Virtual Console, Giga Drive, compilations, extras, etc.

#1 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:18 PM

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Just found out about Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistance including localized versions of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the MSX 2, and about the Japanese Wii Virtual Console having it for sale.

These versions come with an updated character portait set that replaces any real-life likenesses, and some name changes. Surprisingly and despite the big following this series has, I haven't been able to find any dumps of them.

Are the games in Subsistance ports rather than ROMs running on an emulator, or did nobody care enough to bother extracting them? The Japanese version should be a real MSX ROM at least, due to Nintendo's policies on their VC service, but I can't seem to find the WAD for it anywhere, either... Does anybody know if any of these are already available as usable ROMs?
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 28 September 2014 - 05:30 AM

#2 User is offline Andlabs 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:35 AM

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If it's dumped I could try to download Subsistance an try to find out...

EDIT - which disc do you have to have inserted to play?
This post has been edited by Andlabs: 05 May 2013 - 03:05 AM

#3 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:59 AM

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The Subsistance versions I believe are emulated... but I think there's some clever stuff going on (the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection versions for example look as if they've been given higher resolution text). I haven't played the original MSX2 versions so I may be wrong about that.

Metal Gear 2 (and the original Metal Gear) I believe may have been re-translated (and the MG2 Snake portrait was changed for consistency/legal reasons). Both were originally released in PAL regions back in the late 80s/early 90s but I have a feeling some of the translations weren't up to scratch.

#4 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:12 AM

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View PostBlack Squirrel, on 05 May 2013 - 04:59 AM, said:

Metal Gear 2 (and the original Metal Gear) I believe may have been re-translated (and the MG2 Snake portrait was changed for consistency/legal reasons). Both were originally released in PAL regions back in the late 80s/early 90s but I have a feeling some of the translations weren't up to scratch.
The only translations that existed for MGS2SS up until MGS3 were fan-made, as far as I know. It seems that there was no PAL release for the MSX 2 version.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 05 May 2013 - 07:12 AM

#5 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

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You're right - disregard what I said (although the original Metal Gear which also appears in Subsistance was certainly altered).

#6 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 12:50 PM

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View PostBlack Squirrel, on 05 May 2013 - 04:59 AM, said:

The Subsistance versions I believe are emulated... but I think there's some clever stuff going on (the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection versions for example look as if they've been given higher resolution text). I haven't played the original MSX2 versions so I may be wrong about that.

I think the translation is a feature of the emulator itself; it's clearly higher-resolution, has a variable-width font, stuff that simply isn't possible through pure emulation, but the rest of the game quite clearly is identical to the original MSX release.

#7 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

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Still, even if the text is being shown through special means, it could still be working from a real localized ROM. I remember Megaman Collection used real NES ROMs even when you were actually getting improved graphics and sound.

Something similar also happened with Phantasy Star Collection for the GBA (it accessed real ROMs but didn't display strictly emulated stuff), although I'm not sure if it actually improved anything.

I really have no idea on the state of PS2 emulators nowadays, but perhaps it would be possible to find the ROMs loaded inside the system's RAM while these versions are being played? I mean, somebody did similar stuff to get the patched Virtual Console games in Dolphin.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 05 May 2013 - 01:40 PM

#8 User is offline sonicblur 

Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:06 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 05 May 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

Something similar also happened with Phantasy Star Collection for the GBA (it accessed real ROMs but didn't display strictly emulated stuff), although I'm not sure if it actually improved anything.

Slightly off topic, but only Phantasy Star 1 worked like that. I can't find it anymore, but there was a really interesting interview with one of the developers on that somewhere. Phantasy Star 2 and 3 were actual ports of the original 68000 assembly code, that was converted over to C preprocessor macros. I found this page that confirms 2 and 3 were ports, but I can't locate the interview anymore that discusses how they pulled it off:
http://www.vavasour....s.html#phantasy

#9 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 27 September 2014 - 11:41 AM

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So the 3DS Virtual Console games can be extracted now, as well as the "Giga Drive" titles. Not all have been dumped yet, but here's the noteworthy stuff for now:

3D Shinobi 3
-Includes just 2 ROMs: one Japanese, one overseas. No "one ROM for each eye" or anything like that.
-The added 6-button mode and level select are mentioned in the header but disabled by default. No idea on which RAM addresses to change in order to activate these.
-Works on emulators, but hangs up when starting a game on real hardware.

Sonic 2 GG
-Just has two instances of "E80E" changed to "5205" at 0x7AFF6 and 0x7B030, no idea what those could be.


General stuff
-Most games come with a config (".patch") file that can apply bug fixes to the ROM when the game is loaded (like on the Wii VC), activate and deactivate screen blurring on the fly for potential epilepsy-inducing flashes (see Earthbound on Wii U) and also seems to handle the amount of blur in the Game Boy's "green mode" (even on NES games, hinting that their inclusion might not have been planned at all when the service was launched).
-European games that didn't have significant differences like title screens or copyright text seem to be just using the USA versions (why can't this be done on the Wii U for Balloon Fight, we'll never know).


I hope the European versions of more games will be eventually dumped, so we can check if they really converted certain PAL ROMs like "Mario & Yoshi" into proper 60Hz games or just did some emulator cheating through the .patch files.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 27 September 2014 - 11:47 AM

#10 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 13 October 2014 - 05:02 PM

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I've just found something that's related to this topic, even though the re-release was made just a few years after the original.

dead_screem said:

the goodgen ROM Gemu no Kanzume O Tokuyou (J) [!] contains some of teh Sega Channel/Sega NET games. But they seemed to be compressed (similar if not the same, to the way the sub68k BIOS is compressed inside teh normal SCD BIOS) Including an alt Labyrynth of death. The one in this cart contains a different header than the gamehompo one.

However I know nothing about this cart. Its impossible to find any information on it. So I don't know how it was supposed to work. Does it require the Mega Modem or Sega channel adapter attached? or can it work on its own? does it have extra RAM or decoding/decompressing logic on the cart?. On emulators it hangs when selecting a game. teh same things happen on my flashcart on my genesis.
The list of games it contains is
16t
Flicky (same as cart ver I think)
Putter Golf
Hyper Marbles
Labyrynth of Death (alt header)
Medal City
Paddle Fighter
DokiDoki Penguin Land MD
Pyramid Magic
Robot Battler
Teddy Boy Blues
Aworg

dead_screem said:

Also, the game seems to have 15 compressed games while only 12 are selectable from the menu.


Did anything come from this? I don't remember reading about any progress being made, but I also don't know where the alternate dumps of the Phantasy Star text adventures came from, and this might be the source.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 13 October 2014 - 06:10 PM

#11 User is offline trykaar 

Posted 14 October 2014 - 12:47 PM

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There were two Game no Kanzume volumes released at retail for the Sega CD as well, Game no Kanzume Vol. 1 and Game no Kanzume Vol. 2. The Labyrinth of Death/Fatal Labyrinth version included in that release in Vol. 2 appears from a gameplay standpoint to be the same as the version released overseas as Fatal Labyrinth (which I believe will play in Japanese in a Japan-region console)- it is significantly enhanced over the Sega Game Toshokan version. The Game no Kanzume Vol. 2 version of Labyrinth of Death, however, has CD audio for the open and ending themes and no music in-game. The CD seems to contain ROMs for the individual games as well, but I don't believe they're full ROMs- I have plans to look into these for my Fatal Labyrinth research, but I haven't had a chance to look into it much.

There was some brief discussion of Sonic Eraser over in the Supreme Topic of Other Knowledge; ValleyBell noted there that all of the Seganet ROMs he's checked have the same sound driver and ROM header, and possibly more:

View PostValleyBell, on 07 October 2014 - 03:42 PM, said:

In all Seganet ROMs I checked the first 128 KB matched exactly (except for the checksum). It's probably some sort of generic Seganet ROM loader. (That has its own SMPS Z80 driver + data.)


I suspect that the Sega Game Toshokan cartridge was something of a loader or shell for the Seganet game data, which would include a standard sound driver, and all of the Seganet games shared it. I would suspect that both Game no Kanzumes act as a loader that provides this same expected data- the CD versions of Game no Kanzume would have a CD audio player (but potentially no other sound capabilities- Labyrinth of Death in Vol. 2 does not have sound during gameplay) and the Sega Channel "economy" version would probably have something like the original sound driver and data? It may be possible to look for SMPS since it's a known quantity, and see if there is one version included or one per each game, to figure out how this works.

For what it's worth, I found while reading the Japanese Wikipedia article (Google Translate) on the Game no Kanzume series that these Seganet games were also included as extras in Segagaga for the Dreamcast.

#12 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 14 October 2014 - 01:33 PM

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View Posttrykaar, on 14 October 2014 - 12:47 PM, said:

There were two Game no Kanzume volumes released at retail for the Sega CD as well, Game no Kanzume Vol. 1 and Game no Kanzume Vol. 2. The Labyrinth of Death/Fatal Labyrinth version included in that release in Vol. 2 appears from a gameplay standpoint to be the same as the version released overseas as Fatal Labyrinth (which I believe will play in Japanese in a Japan-region console)- it is significantly enhanced over the Sega Game Toshokan version. The Game no Kanzume Vol. 2 version of Labyrinth of Death, however, has CD audio for the open and ending themes and no music in-game. The CD seems to contain ROMs for the individual games as well, but I don't believe they're full ROMs- I have plans to look into these for my Fatal Labyrinth research, but I haven't had a chance to look into it much.

There was some brief discussion of Sonic Eraser over in the Supreme Topic of Other Knowledge; ValleyBell noted there that all of the Seganet ROMs he's checked have the same sound driver and ROM header, and possibly more:

View PostValleyBell, on 07 October 2014 - 03:42 PM, said:

In all Seganet ROMs I checked the first 128 KB matched exactly (except for the checksum). It's probably some sort of generic Seganet ROM loader. (That has its own SMPS Z80 driver + data.)

That makes sense. I remember easily swapping the music between those games by just copy-pasting a certain area in RAM.

Quote

I suspect that the Sega Game Toshokan cartridge was something of a loader or shell for the Seganet game data, which would include a standard sound driver, and all of the Seganet games shared it.
I don't really know if the header and sound engine were provided by the cartridge itself rather than being downloaded, but I guess it would make sense in order to minimize the download times, and would explain the "default" build dates in every one of them.


Regarding the Mega-CD compilations, I'm willing to bet that they were actual ports rather than actual Mega Drive ROMs, something that sometimes led to surprising omissions such as the 2-player mode in Golden Axe (which also added CD music).

Quote

For what it's worth, I found while reading the Japanese Wikipedia article (Google Translate) on the Game no Kanzume series that these Seganet games were also included as extras in Segagaga for the Dreamcast.
That's interesting, specially since those shouldn't be too difficult to extract from the ISO... I think.



EDIT: Just found something else, regarding Sonic Adventure DX:

Quote

As a side note, the rest of the GG games in SADX have been released at the forums as well, and Sonic 1 and Tails' Adventures are sligthly different than the known releases.
Are these differences documented anywhere?
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 14 October 2014 - 01:45 PM

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