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Missing Sega Game Library titles (MD Modem Game Downloads)

#1 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 23 November 2017 - 11:25 AM

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Sega JP have new(?) webpages for their catalogues where they now list Sega Game Toshokan titles that were available to download on Mega Drive in Japan. It was previously thought that these were all later included on the Mega CD compilations Game no Kanzume Vol.1 & Vol.2, Game no Kanzume Otokuyou on Sega Channel, and various download services on Dreamcast and PC.

Anyway, there's quite a few roms listed in their catalogue which haven't been seen since;

Kinetic Connection ① Nei Second (きねちっく★こねくしょん①ネイ・セカンド) [Puzzle] , 1991
Kinetic Connection ② O hanaba take (きねちっく★こねくしょん②お花ばたけ) [Puzzle], 1991
Kinetic Connection ③ Shirogane wa warau yo (きねちっく★こねくしょん③白銀は笑うよ) [Puzzle] , 1991
Kinetic Connection ④ Mogura no o asobi (きねちっく★こねくしょん④モグラのお遊び) [Puzzle], 1991
Kinetic Connection ⑤ Lightning Nei (きねちっく★こねくしょん⑤ライトニング・ネイ) [Puzzle], 1991

Pyramid Magic Yokokuhen (Trailer) (ピラミッドマジック予告編) [Puzzle], 1990
Pyramid Magic Editor (ピラミッドマジック・エディタ) [Puzzle], 1991
Pyramid Magic Sōshūhen (Summary) (ピラミッドマジック総集編) [Puzzle], 1992

Sega Music Collection Phantasy Star Ⅲ (セガ・ミュージックコレクション ファンタシースターⅢ) [Other], 1991
Sega Music Collection Bonanza Brothers (セガ・ミュージックコレクション ボナンザブラザーズ) [Other], 1991
Sega Music Collection Sonic the Hedgehog (セガ・ミュージックコレクション ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) [Other], 1991

Taiketsu! Columns (対決!こらむす) [Puzzle], 1991

Kinetic Connection was a licensed port of a 1986 MSX title which also released on Game Gear in March 1991. The Sega Game Library version was covered in Beep MD. Presumably these were never re-released due to licensing issues. The Nei ones may have been Phantasy Star related.

Four different versions of Pyramid Magic were re-released, presumably the rest weren't considered significant enough to be worth releasing. Trailer was also covered in Beep MD. It was a launch title along with Putter Golf. It might just be a demo of the later Pyramid Magic going by the title.

Sega Music Collection; I guess that these were just music players perhaps with background graphics. The Sonic one might interest a few here.

Taiketsu! Columns; Probably a variant of Columns (Columns III would later also include Taiketsu! in the Japanese title)
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 23 November 2017 - 04:48 PM

#2 User is offline Black Squirrel 

Posted 23 November 2017 - 12:19 PM

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This is quite fascinating - I had always assumed Sega were more likely to stop hosting those lists rather than maintain and expand on them.

I feel like I've read something about official Mega Drive music players somewhere before. Can't for the life of me think where, though.

#3 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 23 November 2017 - 04:42 PM

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Yes, I was surprised too. GG, 32X, Saturn, and Dreamcast are listed as "coming soon", so I guess this must be quite recent. After seeing Pyramid Magic Trailer in the Beep scan I googled it (in Japanese) and that page was the only hit on the internet ... I may have missed it if I had searched a couple of months ago.

As it seems that neither Sega (or anyone else) have ever listed those titles on the internet before, then someone at Sega must be doing a bit of research whilst compiling the new catalogue pages. Shadowrun (MCD) was incorrectly listed as 1995 on the old catalogue pages, but it's now correctly listed as 1996 on the new pages. It might be worth checking for other differences across the catalogues.

Edit: I see on the main page that MD & MCD were added 2017.10.27.
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 23 November 2017 - 05:06 PM

#4 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 27 November 2017 - 08:43 PM

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Some emulators work with Game Toshokan until you enter the phone number to call "Game Toshokan", then they crash. Other emulators just display the "turn off and connect Mega Modem" screen. I think that there are two/three reasons for this. Firstly, it checks for Mega Modem, if it doesn't recognise it, then it refuses to play (a few emulators emulate this). Secondly, when you attempt to connect, it attempts to read the cartridge's (very small) EEPROM to see if the phone number / personal ID has already been saved, if it doesn't get a blank EEPROM, or previously saved data, then it crashes. Some emulators get that far, but crash after entering the phone number to call.

I messed around with the rom a little bit and managed to get a little bit further. My guess is that after entering personal details the software attempts to write that data to it's EEPROM, which isn't supported by emulators. With this hack (only works in fusion) you can get to the next menu. Options are; Call (only allowed after filling out details), phone number registration, and name & ID registration. After filling those out it allows you to "call", but presumably crashes as it doesn't receive the data that it's expecting from the Mega Modem. It's probably beyond my abilities to get further, but thought I would share this (simple) hack anyway. The last screen displayed before crashing says "夕"イ ヤル中です", or "I'm in the evening" (according to google translate).

Edit: acceptable phone number format in "Game Toshokan"; (0x) xxxx+.

https://ufile.io/lmbtv
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 27 November 2017 - 09:32 PM

#5 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 10 December 2017 - 08:37 AM

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Video of Game Toshokan version of Columns. 1991 copyright and blue instructions screen, looks like it might be a cut down version.
Sega Music Collection. Confirms it was for playing BGMs, no screenshots, so possibly no graphics. Interestingly it released in June 1991, 6 weeks before Sonic's JP release date.
Kinetic Connection 2.
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 10 December 2017 - 08:39 AM

#6 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 10 December 2017 - 09:07 AM

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View PostPirate Dragon, on 10 December 2017 - 08:37 AM, said:

Video of Game Toshokan version of Columns. 1991 copyright and blue instructions screen, looks like it might be a cut down version.

I think the voiceover is saying that it's just a timed "score attack" mode.

#7 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:09 AM

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View PostICEknight, on 10 December 2017 - 09:07 AM, said:

View PostPirate Dragon, on 10 December 2017 - 08:37 AM, said:

Video of Game Toshokan version of Columns. 1991 copyright and blue instructions screen, looks like it might be a cut down version.

I think the voiceover is saying that it's just a timed "score attack" mode.


And it looks like it's 1 player only (from the instruction screen). Maybe that explains Taiketsu! Columns (Columns Showdown!), which sounds like it might include a two player versus mode.
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 10 December 2017 - 10:10 AM

#8 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:15 AM

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Looking at the SegaNet roms which are 256KB, the first 128KB is basically a modified version of the Game Toshokan software, whilst the second 128KB is the actual game data. You can cut and paste the second half of the rom between titles and they still work. Of the 128KB game data, over half is padding, so actual game data would have been well under 64KB (typically ~48KB). Most likely games were downloaded directly to main RAM, some of which would have also been reserved for the Game Toshokan software. Looking at the retail titles which got released, Flicky only comes in at ~50KB after padding is removed, so should have been fine. Retail Fatal Labyrinth rom is far bigger than the SegaNet rom, with extra title screen graphics and intros which probably couldn't fit into less than 64KB, there are probably lots of other changes if someone takes the time to detail them. Columns retail is still 123KB after padding is removed, so lots of stuff would have to be cut to make it fit. It makes sense that two versions with limited gameplay were released, a bit like how Street Fighter had to be cut down for Sega Channel.
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 16 December 2017 - 08:15 AM

#9 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:31 AM

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View PostPirate Dragon, on 16 December 2017 - 08:15 AM, said:

Looking at the SegaNet roms which are 256KB, the first 128KB is basically a modified version of the Game Toshokan software, whilst the second 128KB is the actual game data. You can cut and paste the second half of the rom between titles and they still work.

Also, if I remember correctly from some experiments I did a while ago, these games also have a reserved area for music, which you can just copy and paste between games to swap soundtracks.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 16 December 2017 - 09:35 AM

#10 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 17 December 2017 - 12:37 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 16 December 2017 - 09:31 AM, said:

View PostPirate Dragon, on 16 December 2017 - 08:15 AM, said:

Looking at the SegaNet roms which are 256KB, the first 128KB is basically a modified version of the Game Toshokan software, whilst the second 128KB is the actual game data. You can cut and paste the second half of the rom between titles and they still work.

Also, if I remember correctly from some experiments I did a while ago, these games also have a reserved area for music, which you can just copy and paste between games to swap soundtracks.


Interesting. I notice that the games all seem to share the same font (even the Columns instructions screen), so I'm wondering if the games use some assets from the Game Toshokan rom in order to save on size. Maybe the text tiles and sound driver from Game Toshokan are used by games. That should be relatively easy to test.

This Famitsu article from over a month before release shows the downloading screen, and "Sega Net News", which could apparently be downloaded without a subscription, along with one game;

Quote

On November 3, 1990, information and game supply system for home use for the first time, which was started more than half a year behind schedule. When using this system, you first purchase 12,800 yen "game library set" at the shop and connect megamodem and "game library cartridge" to MD. Furthermore, by paying monthly fee of 800 yen monthly, you can download and read the software and news stocked in the game library (read). Even without paying membership fee, only "SegaNet News" and one game can be downloaded. New games and news were supplied on Wednesday of the last week of each month.


Posted Image

Posted Image

Also shows Pyramid Magic Yokokuhen, which has a different HUD to the later versions.
This post has been edited by Pirate Dragon: 17 December 2017 - 12:41 PM

#11 User is offline Pirate Dragon 

Posted 04 October 2018 - 03:14 PM

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Sega Music Collection title screen! It looks like it was just one rom with the ability to select the specific game BGM. Also more about Columns.

Posted Image

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