Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board: More Sega Channel prototypes dumped. - Sonic and Sega Retro Message Board

Jump to content

Hey there, Guest!  (Log In · Register) Help
  • 18 Pages +
  • ◄ First
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • Last ►
    Locked
    Locked Forum

More Sega Channel prototypes dumped. Even earlier ones.

#121 User is online doc eggfan 

Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:14 AM

  • bona fide games journalist
  • Posts: 8870
  • Joined: 19-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ACT
  • Project:GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
  • Wiki edits:2
Had another go at trying to dump from my tototek flasher and no luck. Anyone willing to take these off my hands to do some dumping?

#122 User is offline Kiddo Cabbusses 

Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

  • Posts: 1662
  • Joined: 26-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Doylestown, PA
  • Wiki edits:100
Since it's safe to say there's data in the cart of some kind at least, I guess that begs the question "What causes the ROM dumping process to fail?"

Do you think it's anything troubleshoot-able?

#123 User is online doc eggfan 

Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:25 PM

  • bona fide games journalist
  • Posts: 8870
  • Joined: 19-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ACT
  • Project:GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
  • Wiki edits:2
It's more that my equipment is not designed for dumping, only specific for flashing the tototek cart. Either I need to get some proper dumping equipment, or just send it to someone who has the right equipment.

#124 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:23 PM

  • Posts: 10349
  • Joined: 11-January 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Wiki edits:18
Perhaps somebody at the MESS forums can properly dump it chip-by-chip?

I'm actually in talks with Sunbeam about chip-dumping a few Mega Drive cartridges of mine, so he may be able to do this one too.

#125 User is offline Kiddo Cabbusses 

Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:58 PM

  • Posts: 1662
  • Joined: 26-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Doylestown, PA
  • Wiki edits:100
I would hope we could dump it in a less-risky manner. I've suggested a retrode a few times before. Do we have anyone with one o them?

I suppose if push comes to shove, I can purchase one myself just for this.

#126 User is offline Meat Miracle 

Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:12 PM

  • Posts: 1634
  • Joined: 11-January 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Wiki edits:2

View Postdoc eggfan, on 22 September 2013 - 03:25 PM, said:

It's more that my equipment is not designed for dumping, only specific for flashing the tototek cart. Either I need to get some proper dumping equipment, or just send it to someone who has the right equipment.


Contact Retrojunkie. He has a Willem programmer, which can be used for roms, he already released a lot of stuff found in old PCs and some devkits and such. More importantly he lives in Australia so postage should be cheap and safe.

#127 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 23 September 2013 - 12:51 AM

  • Posts: 10349
  • Joined: 11-January 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Spain
  • Wiki edits:18

View PostKiddo Cabbusses, on 22 September 2013 - 06:58 PM, said:

I would hope we could dump it in a less-risky manner. I've suggested a retrode a few times before. Do we have anyone with one o them?
I do have one, but I don't think it will work for this device. The Retrode seems to have been designed for working with the cartdrige types that were already fully documented at the time, so it won't even work with an original Turrican cartridge for example.


Also, I've been assured by Sunbeam that his ways of dumping the chips one by one* are not risky, or else I wouldn't be sending my stuff when I get ahold of it. I believe he's already done many of the "split" games you can see in the MESS list without problems, and I'm sure they'd love to investigate the new ROMs.


*Then again, he's probably using the same device that Meat Miracle mentioned.
This post has been edited by ICEknight: 23 September 2013 - 11:31 AM

#128 User is offline Rika Chou 

Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:29 AM

  • Adopt
  • Posts: 5180
  • Joined: 11-January 03
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:CA US
  • Wiki edits:4
Just thought I would mention that the US sega channel is undumpable with the CD transfer cable and my "mega beckup" dumper, so the normal cart dumping methods might not work with this.

Anyway this looks very interesting, thanks for sharing. :)

#129 User is online doc eggfan 

Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:48 AM

  • bona fide games journalist
  • Posts: 8870
  • Joined: 19-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ACT
  • Project:GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
  • Wiki edits:2


Proper video capture this time. Captured every screen I've managed to see. Near the end, you can see where I've hit the menu button and reset, but the first 2 screens are bypassed and it remains on the sonic and tails loading animation.[/quote]

#130 User is offline Kiddo Cabbusses 

Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:38 PM

  • Posts: 1662
  • Joined: 26-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Doylestown, PA
  • Wiki edits:100
Now that we got the better video capture, I think it's kinda odd that Sonic's sprite in the Channel select menu has such a thick outline. It's almost like he's Sonic Shuffle cel-shaded.

Also geez WTF, cropped crouch sprite? I'm HOPING that's a ROM corruption issue of some kind and not Sega making a really dumb screwup.

EDIT: BTW, comparisons between that initial channel select and the strange menu shots that look like magazine scans show similarities, mostly in the fonts and background.

Posted Image

Posted Image

If the menus aren't already in the ROM it might be a trivial matter to reconstruct them with these references.

Although one notable difference is how the SEGA logo in the background is rendered... but it's tough to tell whether that'd be an actual change, or it's just a matter of magazine mockupery.

The Sega background is also very similar to the one in Game no Kanzume, btw.

EDIT AGAIN:

... By the way, the copyright is 1993/1994?

When exactly did Sega Channel get released in Japan?
This post has been edited by Kiddo Cabbusses: 24 September 2013 - 09:58 PM

#131 User is offline Moonlit 

Posted 26 September 2013 - 05:39 PM

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 25-September 13
Hello chaps and chapesses. I don't know if you guys specifically want to reproduce the service or are just looking for dumps, but I know a few people have expressed a wish for some sort of revival or emulation of Sega Channel. I've been considering potential methods of reproducing at least a facade of the Channel for a few days now, and while it's not within my ability (or necessarily even the realms of likelihood) to reproduce an RF signal which the original modem cart would accept and be able to make use of, I think it might be possible to construct something resembling a functioning example.

Here's my reasoning: we can't make the original Channel carts do anything because they lack the menu structure and game data, but we do have examples of that data in the demo cartridges, albeit pre-release versions in all the dumps I'm aware of. So what if we could patch this data on the fly? What if we took those demo carts, either intact or, in an extreme case where somebody is seriously badass at ROM hacking perhaps with bits of the Japanese variants (how come they get the cooler Sonic intro?), and when the cart pulls the menu data we replace it with something else? This does mean producing a custom cart (any possibility of some kind of passthrough/Lock-On which could use intro data from the official Channel cart?) but it's as good as any shot we've got, in my opinion, lacking anything else to work with.

I've done some brief experiments under emulation in Exodus, tweaking RAM and ROM values, and it is possible and indeed trivial to edit menu page titles, menu items and news scroller text. How far it's possible to modify these without jumping around to custom locations in memory I don't know, nor do I know whether the structures in the demos are of a fixed length, it may or may not be possible to create an arbitrary menu structure. I tried "patching" the ROM in Exodus' ROM editor to jump back to the start of the ROM, essentially causing a reset, but I was only able to trigger it when the menu data was read into RAM by setting a breakpoint at that point, then adding a JMP instead of letting it continue pulling the data to populate the menu. Now, this isn't to say it's not possible to jump back to the start of ROM - or SRAM, where a game might be downloaded to - after the fake loading screens, it's moreso that I'm barely a beginner when it comes to assembly and low level hacking like this. I don't know whether the demo sets anything up to say which game has been chosen, but if I had to guess I'd say they were likely quite lazy when hacking out these demos, so that may have to be added.

But that's my basic concept anyway, what do you guys think, doable? It probably wouldn't involve the stock Channel cart, and will probably require a repro cart, which I understand is likely to cause division of interest and enthusiasm, but given that we don't really have anything else to rely on in trying to preserve this service, it seems like a reasonable potential option. The idea could possibly be adapted to load games from flash carts like the Everdrive or possibly even genuine multi-game carts, I haven't investigated this yet, but it seems viable to me.

What say you? Good idea? Bad idea? Utterly unworkable? Too far from the genuine article?
This post has been edited by Moonlit: 26 September 2013 - 05:41 PM

#132 User is offline Kiddo Cabbusses 

Posted 26 September 2013 - 06:41 PM

  • Posts: 1662
  • Joined: 26-February 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Doylestown, PA
  • Wiki edits:100

View PostMoonlit, on 26 September 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:

What say you? Good idea? Bad idea? Utterly unworkable? Too far from the genuine article?


I want to wait until we learn all we can from a dump of the Japanese BIOs before I move on to something like that - it's possible we can unearth something in there that we couldn't from the US Sega Channel BIOs carts that'd be helpful.

Anyway, I'd imagine it'd be simple enough to replicate the Sega Channel in regard to being a service and looking superficially similar, although I bet it'd be a lot easier to use a Wifi setup than the ol' RFs. The menus from the demo cart are very similar to what I remember from my personal Sega Channel experience, so it'll certainly tickle the nostalgia bone - the major missing pieces are some specific Sega Channel exclusive versions of games.

#133 User is offline Moonlit 

Posted 26 September 2013 - 07:11 PM

  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 25-September 13

View PostKiddo Cabbusses, on 26 September 2013 - 06:41 PM, said:

View PostMoonlit, on 26 September 2013 - 05:39 PM, said:

What say you? Good idea? Bad idea? Utterly unworkable? Too far from the genuine article?


I want to wait until we learn all we can from a dump of the Japanese BIOs before I move on to something like that - it's possible we can unearth something in there that we couldn't from the US Sega Channel BIOs carts that'd be helpful.

Anyway, I'd imagine it'd be simple enough to replicate the Sega Channel in regard to being a service and looking superficially similar, although I bet it'd be a lot easier to use a Wifi setup than the ol' RFs. The menus from the demo cart are very similar to what I remember from my personal Sega Channel experience, so it'll certainly tickle the nostalgia bone - the major missing pieces are some specific Sega Channel exclusive versions of games.


Yeah, I hadn't specified what the intended method of actually loading games would be because that's really a minor detail in the scheme of things, whether it be wifi, ethernet, even bluetooth, perhaps SD cards, the important bit as I see it is making the menu system function.

I agree that there's a chance there might be something useful in the Japanese cart, and here's hoping there's something in there, but I don't think there's any harm in looking at potential options whatever the case. I do think that whatever happens though, the old RF system used on the proper carts is probably going to be forever redundant though, I can't see there being a very high chance of happening to stumble across the protocol, though it'd be nice if some docs happened to surface to make it possible.

As for the exclusive titles, there are a few which exist in modern compilations and on the Wii VC, no? That'd be a good start. Then again, if the main desire is to preserve the experience of using the service, not necessarily the exact contents, then just having the menu load more common games would be sufficient.

#134 User is online doc eggfan 

Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:35 AM

  • bona fide games journalist
  • Posts: 8870
  • Joined: 19-May 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ACT
  • Project:GreatMegaLD, GreatSC3k, Great SG1k
  • Wiki edits:2
Big Thanks to Retrojunkie!

Quote

Here's one dump of the Sega Channel with the serial BB40010501
I used the chip type as NEC D27C4000 in the GQ-4X programmer.
BIOS version is 2.11 (J)


Posted Image

BB40010501.bin (512 KB)
https://mega.co.nz/#...kZBnnw0Ge36gShE

Quote

Here's the BIOS dump for the older unit, seems to be about 20 weeks earlier. Says it is the same version of 2.11 (J) though.


Posted Image

BB40002456.bin (512 KB)
https://mega.co.nz/#...koB1feiG2tk44zE

Quote

What's more interesting is that there seem to be differences everytime I dump the chip...
I have no idea why this is, over my pay grade :D


Posted Image

Quote

Ahhh, just checked the SRAM backup batteries... both are completely flat... I guess that means no bonus data.
I'm trying to sign up to Sonic Retro but it needs to be validated or something along those lines
I'm sure the hackers out there could find their way around this code to make the nice menu appear :)


Posted Image

#135 User is offline Overlord 

Posted 12 October 2013 - 02:16 PM

  • Substitute Meerkovo IT Chief
  • Posts: 16294
  • Joined: 12-January 03
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berkshire, England
  • Project:VGDB
  • Wiki edits:3,204
I just Trial'd him, anyway =P Least I can do for getting us these dumps.

  • 18 Pages +
  • ◄ First
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • Last ►
    Locked
    Locked Forum

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users