Another Sega PC thread

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Bobblen, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Sega Worldwide Soccer PC
    upload_2022-1-4_11-4-4.png

    The first and only Sega football game to make it to the UK (and thus make it into my giant pile of old CDs), this is a port of the Saturn game Sega Worldwide Soccer 97. It's actually a decent game for its time, it doesn't try to be realistic and instead uses a fast paced arcade style with lots of trick moves and quickfire passing. Only international teams and made up players are available (EA were already churning out FIFA games at this point), but it has all the play modes you'd expect, plus you can edit the player names to your heart's content and save as many goal replays to disk as you want. Not bad for 1997.

    The settings are on a windows menu bar you access by pressing F3 to pause the game. Graphics options are the usual fare, 320x240 or 640x480 8 or 16 bit. You can also set the pitch textures to high, medium or low quality. The only sound option is whether to turn the commentary & crowd noises on or off. I recommend turning commentary off and using the cheesy cd audio instead, it matches the feel of the game much better! This is a direct draw only game, there is a direct 3d patch floating around on the net but a) it doesn't work on modern systems, and b) appears to look worse than the direct draw version somehow!

    Getting it Working
    My goodness, this was a real pain. The game is very fragile on modern systems, there is no single solution which gives you a perfect experience. Installing the game is easy enough, the installer needs to be set to Win95 Compatibility mode to work, but then it'll install fine. The game itself is another story.

    The easy option is to set the game EXE to Win95 compatibility mode. This'll let you play in the usual stretched fullscreen mode, the videos work and you can press F3 to pause the game and mess with settings. Trouble is, the wrappers don't like compatibility modes so no aspect ratio correction and no running in a window.

    Running the game without Win95 Compat causes it to throw 100s of 'Global Unlock' errors. To work around this we need to create a 'compatibility shim', basically a set of instructions to tell windows which compatibility modes to use. I'm not gonna go into too much detail otherwise I'll be here all day, but you need to get hold of Microsoft Compatibility Administrator (the 32 bit version), create a new 'database', point it at WWS.EXE and apply the following compatibility patch
    -EmulateHeap
    -VirtualRegistry
    EmulateHeap stops the 'global unlock' errors, VirtualRegistry stops a crash related to intro video playback.

    You can play the game natively with just those 2 options without having to bother with Win95 mode if you want, but the real bonus is that the wrappers now work.

    DxWnd works nicely in a 640x480 window. Only downside is that the video playback is broken. I found that setting the 'stretch activemovie window' option in the 'Libs' tab guaranteed that the intro movie wouldn't crash the game anymore. Even weirder, if I press F3 to pause when the intro video is about to start, then F3 again to resume at the title screen, the in-game 'scoreboard' videos actually play! There's definitely something very strange going on with that intro video.

    DgVoodoo also works nicely to force 4:3 fullscreen but also has broken videos and doesn't allow access to the F3 menu bar to change settings. I found that it actually was more reliable without the 'VirtualRegistry' shim (definitely need 'EmulateHeap' though).

    As mentioned above, the direct 3d patch is a no go, no combination of wrappers and compatibility modes did anything with it. The menus are always black (though if you blindly click through and manage to start an actual match, you can see how it looks).

    So pick your poison! I personally find the 640x480 window of DxWnd to be the most pleasant to use.

    Cheats & Secrets
    As far as I can tell, this game has nothing to hide. No wacky joke teams, bizarre rule changes or overpowered players (there's a player editor accessible from the main menu anyway). Where's the fun in that?

    EDIT - added additional info on compatibility options related to intro movie crash
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
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  2. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Baku Baku Animal
    upload_2022-1-4_16-12-22.png

    We're going back in time to one of the earliest Sega PC releases, the cute animal themed puzzle game, Baku Baku. This one is similar to Comix Zone in that it runs in a 320x224 window and uses general MIDI to do the music. it at least uses very early direct draw for the graphics rather than WinG. The Saturn main menu as usual has been completely removed in favour of the Win95 menu bar, though options there are limited as well. The only graphics option is that you can switch backgrounds (which also changes the music). You can also tweak the difficulty by messing with the ratios of good vs bad blocks as well as the usual AI skill level. Any play mode can be started at any time from the menu. It's as bare bones as it gets!

    Getting it Working
    This seemed to be impossible until I discovered the linked thread. The game is so old that it does a lot of naughty things like grab its palette directly using GDI which even compatibility modes can't touch. Luckily, the DxWnd developer took a specific interest in the game and was able to add support. Grab the Baku Baku rar archive from the linked thread as we'll use the DxWnd settings file to help set things up.
    DxWnd / Discussion / General Discussion: Baku Baku (sourceforge.net)

    The game can be installed from CD by running SSP.EXE in Win95 compatibility mode. Some error messages will display throughout the process but can be ignored.

    Copy the following extra files from the rar archive into the Baku Baku folder on the hard drive:
    dino2d.dll
    dmix.dll
    the Windows folder (and BAKU.INI file within)
    Baku Baku.dxw (this is the DxWnd settings file)

    Now open DxWnd, create a new target and import the Baku Baku.dxw settings. I had to make the following additional changes
    -In the video tab set colour to 8BPP (the game only works in 256 colour mode), set initial resolution & max resolution to 320x224 (tick custom resolution as well to use these values)
    -In the main tab, update the target to your installed EXE (it defaults to c:\games which is unlikely to be correct!), I also set win width/height to 0 as I like original resolution screenshots :-)
    -And finally, open the BAKU.INI file you copied over from the rar archive and update CD_DRIVE to the correct number (3 = D:/, 4 = E:/ etc)

    And finally, I recommend VirtualMidiSynth with a nice sound font to make the MIDI music sound better!

    Phew, all that for a funny little puzzle game

    Cheats & Secrets
    Like Worldwide Soccer, no luck here either. The Saturn has a hidden league mode that wasn't even translated from Japanese, but there's no main menu (and no button mappings for that matter) so the original code isn't going to work. I also see no strings in the EXE to suggest it exists at all.

    An interesting area of research is that the INI is alot like the one used by Sonic CD (another game that uses dino2d.dll ancient direct draw!), which raises the possibility of a [Secret] section unlocking some debug menus. Haven't found anything yet though. Honestly, I'm just happy that it works at all!



     
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  3. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    The House of the Dead
    upload_2022-1-5_10-11-25.png

    We finally reach one of my favourites and our first light gun game since Virtua Cop. The PC port as usual is based on the Saturn version, but it's another one like Virtua Fighter 2 where a bit more effort appears to have been put into it. It's the first game on our list with direct 3d hardware acceleration built in instead of hastily added later in a patch. The models are the lower poly Saturn versions but the combination of the usual boost to 640x480x16 and direct 3d smooth framerate means it's nice to play. Also, no stupid 'pause to get the windows menu bar', at last we have an in-game menu that operates using the mouse, true luxury! There's also a direct draw version which lets you drop the resolution to 320x240 but there's no reason to use this.

    All the Saturn extra game modes are present ('PC Mode' with extra characters and different gun properties and a boss rush mode as well as the usual standard arcade experience). Apparently it did support the light guns of the time but I'm testing it using the mouse. You can change the blood colour from the menu (as well as a nice autoreload option). There's also some cool secrets as you'll see below.

    Getting it Working
    This was surprisingly fiddly due to inexplicably using a 16 bit installer despite being a game from 1998. There's also some strangeness with the CD check which needs to be worked around. Whilst it's possible that WineVDM could run the installer directly, this time I elected to use a different approach, using a third party replacement installer I got from PCGamingWiki here.
    InstallShield 3 32-bit Generic Installer - General - PCGamingWiki PCGW Community

    -Copy the entire contents of the cd to a folder on the hard drive
    -Copy setup32.exe you grabbed from PCGamingWiki into that same folder
    -Copy the contents of the 'install/english' subfolder into the folder on the hard drive
    -Run setup32.exe in Win95 compatibility mode.

    This should install the game, but I still found that the game had trouble detecting the CD. A closer look revealed the CD is passing in command line arguments to start the game.

    Create a shortcut to THoTD.EXE with the following command line arguments
    For direct 3d THoTD.EXE -cd_nocheck -d3d
    For direct draw THoTD.EXE -cd_nocheck -ddraw

    Once again I'm using DxWnd to force a 4:3 aspect ratio. You'll also want to set 'Mouse Clipper' to ON in the 'Mouse' tab to make sure the mouse stays within the game window.

    Cheats & Secrets

    Cheat Mode

    upload_2022-1-5_10-30-45.png
    At the title screen, hold down CTRL and type SKIDMARX. This enables cheat mode, which activates a number of new features in game. When you start a game in any mode you'll be invulnerable, and have unlimited shots (never having to reload).

    Some useful information will also appear at the bottom of the screen whilst in game. On the left hand side the current FPS, as well as the current chapter and scene (using the same numeric codes as in the cheat menu below) will be displayed. On the right hand side, the score for both players will be displayed.

    Undocumented Debug Keys
    These don't appear to be mentioned anywhere online, worth trying rapid-fire mode for sure!

    Holding down CTRL and pressing R enables a cool automatic rapid-fire mode, continuously covering the entire screen with shots.
    Holding down CTRL and pressing 1 or 2 enables or disables invulnerability/no reload for player 1 or 2 respectively.
    Holding down CTRL and pressing 3 or 4 forces death for player 1 or 2 respectively.

    To disable Cheat mode, simple once again hold down CTRL and type SKIDMARX on the title screen.

    Cheat mode also reveals 2 new menus on the title screen:

    CHEAT
    upload_2022-1-5_10-32-33.png
    Stage: Choose which chapter to start on. As well as the standard 4 playable chapters, you can also choose 'tt' which is the tutorial video, 'adv' which is the opening cut scene, and 'end' which is the ending cut scene.
    Scene: Each chapter above is split into individual scenes, you can start the game at any point in any chapter.
    Free Play: Infinite continues
    Start: Starts a new game using the settings above

    EDIT CHAR STATS
    upload_2022-1-5_10-33-5.png
    Alter the character stats of all the characters available in PC mode (G & Rogan's stats affect arcade mode as well).

    Note that any changes will be overridden by the unlimited health/no reloads enabled by the cheat mode, so it must be disabled again in order for these stat changes to be used.

    CREATURE TEST
    upload_2022-1-5_10-33-34.png
    There is a third cheat menu which is enabled by holding down CTRL and typing CREATURE. The SKIDMARX cheat mode must already be enabled for this menu to be selectable (although the cheat to enable it still works if you type it in first, it just won't be visible). This enables you to view all character models in the game.

    Left and Right rotate the model, Last BO/Next BO cycles through the available models and Last MO/Next MO cycles through all animations for each model.

    Hidden Room
    upload_2022-1-5_10-35-11.png

    Save every scientist you encounter in the game (the route taken or number of scientists doesn't matter) to access an extra room just before the final boss. The room contains extra lives and lots of points items.

    Ending Content
    upload_2022-1-5_10-37-28.png

    As well as the standard ending where you leave the house, there are two hidden endings that are triggered based on your performance.

    Good Ending (Sophie lives): Finish the game with a score of 62,000 points or higher and earn the no.1 ranking.
    Bad Ending (zombie Sophie): Finish the game using a number of continues where the last digit is zero (0, 10, etc) and without triggering the good ending. For two players it's the combined total of continues that is used.
     
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  4. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    So it's been bothering me that the 'unofficial fix' version of Virtua Fighter PC has broken background pictures and I've been working on getting it going properly from CD. The problem is that even though the installer appears to work, the CD check fails, so presumably the installer is missing something.
    upload_2022-1-6_9-9-53.png VS upload_2022-1-6_9-10-2.png
    The texture is badly misaligned in the unofficial version, there's meant to be a shoreline! Other stages look even worse.

    If I install from CD, do the same install in PCEm emulating a windows 95 PC then replace the folder on the hard drive with the PCEm version, then the CD check works. And no background issues in the official version installed from CD. So something must be going on with the files it's copying over. It'd be nice to find an easier way to fix it than install the whole damn thing in an emulator then copy it over! I can now also retest all the secret stuff in a clean version :-)

    EDIT - Got it!, it's a funny way of doing a disk check, there's a 1kb file called Texture2.bin with all bytes set to 3. The installer should modify it to be all zeroes except a single byte to say which disk drive you want (in my case 05 for E:\). Presumably hacking the EXE to avoid the disk check and not updating that texture file breaks the backgrounds. Primitive copy protection perhaps? Anyway, no need for the unofficial version now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
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  5. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Bug Too!
    upload_2022-1-6_15-1-6.png

    The little known sequel to Bug! and the even less known PC port of said sequel. This port is as lazy as it gets, 320x240 resolution with no graphics options at all! Even the original let you mess around with draw distance and full screen resolution. The game itself is very much more of the same, movie parody themed levels with 2 new characters with slightly different abilities. It could have been released as an expansion pack for the original rather than a new game.

    Getting it Working
    This is really tough as the installer is completely broken on modern windows (it attempts to install direct x 2, can't do it and dies a death). The game can be installed manually, by following these steps
    Bug! (Sega) works, Bug Too! doesn't - how to install guides for both \ VOGONS
    but this does involve manually creating entries in the registry so I don't recommend it unless you REALLY know what your doing! Interestingly, my version name is 'Chill!' which is different to VirtuaIceMan's version. Maybe an EU VS USA difference? Also, I had to add an additional registry entry to enable the FMV movies. Anyway, because of the difficulty level, and because I don't want to encourage people to mess with their registry, I'm going to leave it at that.

    Cheats & Secrets
    I'm very pleased to have found another undocumented cheat mode by rooting around in the EXE. At any time during play, pause the game by pressing 'P' and type ENIGMA. This will enable quite a few debug keys which can be used at any time. These are the ones I've found so far.

    X = immediately load the cheat screen
    upload_2022-1-6_15-9-54.png
    It looks prettier than the Saturn version. It has a stage select, character select, and sound test. No fly cheat in the menu but it's still in the game

    N = skip current level. Returns to title screen if used on Hub world.
    I = invincibility, you pass through enemies and can't die in pits.
    K = instantly kill the player
    Hold C = fly mode. Hold C and use the arrow keys to move around.
    B = zoom the camera in close (press again to restore)
    H = character immediately takes a hit and gets knocked back.
    A = debug info
    upload_2022-1-6_15-12-30.png
    S = more debug info
    upload_2022-1-6_15-12-37.png

    There may well be less obvious features still to be found!
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
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  6. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Last Bronx
    upload_2022-1-7_16-43-8.png

    An underrated fighting game that superficially can be described as 'virtua fighter 2 with weapons' (though it has a fair bit more depth than that). This version is based on the Saturn port, so includes the anime style videos but with considerably enhanced video options including the usual 640x480 resolution bump and options to boost the model and background quality to high detail. It does look pretty with all settings maxed out. Options are handled via function key menus from within the game which is always nice. The big negative of the PC version is that it's notoriously fiddly to get working, as you'll see below.

    Getting it Working
    This has been one of the stranger rabbit holes I've jumped down to get a game working on a modern system. There are two big problems with running the game on a modern PC. The framerate limiter is completely broken so the game runs at 100 miles an hour, and move devastatingly as soon as any video attempts to play, the game crashes.

    There's a patch on VOGONS by 'gaffa2002' which works based on a surprising discovery. The game appears to have an alternate code path to play WMV videos instead of AVI videos, and this doesn't immediately break! The patch (an EXE hack) doesn't work with my copy of the game (presumably because mine is EU whereas he hacked the US release). The patch also requires you to convert the cd tracks to mp3 and use win 98 compatibility mode. I don't need to do that with my physical cd and I want to use DxWnd so can't use the compat mode. Instead I've come up with a more manual method which does the same thing.

    -Install the game to the hard drive (full install, we want those movies)
    -In the 'MOVIES' subfolder, modify the file extension of each movie file to WMV (don't change the file name, just all AVI file extensions become WMV)
    -Now we need to do the same thing in the EXE itself, which unfortunately means hex editor, I use the free one, Frhed. Open LB.EXE in your hex editor of choice and search for the text 'AVI'. You will see all the movies listed as text. Rename each extension from AVI to WMV just like we did before, then save the changes.
    -Finally (yep there's more) use compatibility administrator to enable the 'EmulateHeap' compatibility shim (have a look at the Worldwide Soccer Post above for a bit more on that)

    Phew, now to set the game up in DxWnd

    -The only extra setting you need to enable is 'VSync' to ON and 'WaitForVerticalBlank' selected in the 'DirectX(2)' tab. We need this to fix framerate issue.
    -Finally, when you start the game, immediately hit F4 and set 'Frame Control' to 'None' which should fix the framerate. Might as well bump all graphics settings up to full whilst your there.
    -One last point, when the intro movie does play. The game will lose focus. It'll actually crash if you leave it like this! Minimize then maximize to regain focus before the movie ends and it'll be fine.

    Hooray!
    upload_2022-1-7_17-3-38.png

    Cheats & Secrets
    Interestingly, the cheats are taken directly from the arcade version rather than the Saturn port. Might also explain why it looks so good, they started with the arcade version then added the Saturn features rather than the other way around?

    Play As Red Eye
    upload_2022-1-11_8-32-30.png

    No shortcuts I'm afraid, to play as the boss character Red Eye you need to first win PC mode (on any difficulty) at least once as each of the 8 selectable characters. The game doesn't let you mess with your health when playing single player so I shamelessly did this using cheat engine. It's a hard old game! Once this is accomplished, on the character select screen (in any play mode) press Right (D), Right (D), Left (A), Left (A), Up (W), Down (S), Up (W), Down (S), Up (W), Down (S). A 'cackling laugh' sound will play if done correctly, and you can now press Guard (V) to select him. The character's portrait will briefly change to Red Eye before the game starts. He even has his own video to unlock in PC mode.

    Bonus Fight
    upload_2022-1-11_8-38-32.png upload_2022-1-11_8-38-37.png

    You may have noticed in the Options menu there's an option called 'Bonus Enemy' which you can set to 'Gray' or 'Metal'. To access this fight, win Arcade mode with the fastest total time for your character. After you defeat Red Eye you will immediately move onto a bonus fight with a gleaming metal copy of your character (or if you chose 'Gray', a gray shaded copy). The fight takes place in a special bonus stage, the 'Brilliant Room'. Not sure on the exact criteria for the fight, I tested this on 'Normal' and didn't lose a round (because I cheated again). I believe the best time is the only requirement.

    Alternate Joke Weapons
    upload_2022-1-11_8-46-1.png

    Each character has an alternative silly weapon they can use. It's just a model swap, it has no effect on their fighting ability. On the character select screen, press Start (Space) x 13 then select your character with Guard (V) to access the weapon. Yes that is a fork and spoon in the screenshot!

    Alternate Outfit
    upload_2022-1-11_10-41-42.png

    On the character select screen, hold Start (Space) and select your character with Guard (V) to use their alternate costume.

    Unlockable Content
    upload_2022-1-11_10-41-50.png

    Any character ending videos you've seen by winning PC mode can be viewed by going to the 'Game Settings' menu and selecting 'Movies'. There are 9 to unlock (including the secret character's ending movie) plus the intro movie to view.

    EDIT 11/01/22 - added cheats & secrets section
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
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  7. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    So I finally made it through the pile of CDs, they were fun to write and there were a bunch of less fashionable games that I'd have probably never picked up if it weren't for doing these posts. Particular thanks to the dedicated 2 or 3 people who liked every single post, that's nice!

    If anyone has any ideas on games to have a look at next, chuck them in here. I have a bunch of Empire Interactive games from the 2000s that I could try. Trouble is that's when games were starting to move away from crazy cheat codes and debug menus and replace them with 'play every mode for 500 hours to unlock this bonus picture of a hat', it's just not quite as fun.

    I still have Virtua Cop 2 to write up, it's a nice easy one that 'just works' and there's cheats all over the internet, so probably no surprises, but I have to finish the set!
     
  8. Yuzu

    Yuzu

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    Would you be interested in trying out Sega Rally 2? I’ve been really interested in playing the PC port as I’ve only ever played the worse performing Dreamcast version.
     
  9. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    So I've been on a spree of editing the Sega Retro wiki recently including getting all of these findings in there (PC versions are now well represented in the various 'hidden content' pages). I certainly could take a look at Sega Rally 2 as it is one of the empire interactive games I have. It's also old enough that it'll probably still work with DxWnd which is just so good for taking decent screenshots. We'll see how it goes :-)
     
  10. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Sega Rally 2
    upload_2022-1-28_9-19-53.png

    The first game in my list to be based on a Dreamcast version, rather than a Saturn version, and also the first of many that had the PC version farmed out to budget game publisher Empire Interactive (though the game itself appears to have been developed internally alongside the Dreamcast version). All the extra features of the Dreamcast version are present, the extra tracks, bonus cars and 10 year championship mode are all there. The graphics are the somewhat simplified Dreamcast style graphics rather than model 3, so no fancy dynamic reflections, the mud decals suddenly pop up on your car rather than slowly build up and the particle effects of mud being kicked up aren't quite as good.

    On the plus side you can bump the resolution up to 800x600 (or higher if you don't mind hacking the EXE or messing around with wrappers) and most importantly, at least on my modern PC, you can set the target framerate to 60fps and hit it without any slowdowns. Graphics settings are the usual fare, draw distance, model detail etc. Another negative as you'll see in the section below is that the PC port is a bit flaky, particularly with the sound. But once you get everything just right, it's a nice experience.
    upload_2022-1-28_9-28-57.png

    Getting it working

    I once again used DxWnd to get the game working properly with the correct aspect ratio, still no widescreen in 1999! The big issue is that even with an original CD release, the game refused to play the CD audio tracks whatever I did. Luckily DxWnd has CD audio emulation to work around this.

    Installing the game was no problem, full installation worked without issue. As usual, I set the window width and height to zero in DxWnd to let the game run in an 800x600 window for screenshot purposes (though there's nothing stopping you running it fullscreen).

    For the CD audio, I followed the tutorial in the DxWnd help file. I ripped the sound track in OGG format using Fre:AC, an open source audio converter, ensured all the tracks were name Track02, Track03 etc and were in a folder called 'Music' in the game installation folder. Then in the 'Sound' section in DxWnd I enabled 'Virtual CD Emulation' and importantly also enabled 'Emulate CD Mixer'. Without 'Emulate CD Mixer' there were some moments where the CD audio would play but other sound effects wouldn't! I had to drop the volume of sound effects down to balance better with the CD audio after I did this, it was a bit quiet.

    Even with all that I noticed a few issues. Very occasionally I had a crash right after the Empire Interactive logo screen. Just starting the game again was fine, and I never had a crash like that during play. Bit of a weird one. Also, there's a really nasty bug with the sound where if the game does crash during play for whatever reason (for me it only happened when I was screwing around with compatibility settings running natively), occasionally the sound will just stop working and won't work until you delete a registry key as described here. I never had this happen when running through DxWnd, so maybe that helps with stability?
    Sega Rally 2 vs _inmm.dll \ VOGONS

    Hidden Content

    Unlock all hidden content

    On the title screen, type ILOVESEGARALLY2ANDSEGA. You will hear the 'option selected' sound effect play if done correctly. Now all of the content which you'd normally unlock by winning races will be unlocked. Which is the following:

    Bonus Cars
    upload_2022-1-28_9-44-35.png

    There are more bonus cars than there are regular cars in this game! The 10 year championship has (unsurprisingly) 10 championships for you to race, coming first in each championship unlocks a new bonus car and the next championship. Plus there's a bonus car for driving well in arcade mode, making a total of 11 hidden cars. All 10 of the championships and all bonus cars are unlocked with the code. The car names are as follows:

    Celica GT-Four ST185
    Impreza 555
    Lancer Evolution IV
    Lancer Evolution III
    Lancia Delta Integrale 16v
    Lancia 037 Rally
    Fiat 131 Abarth Rally
    Renault Maxi Megane
    Alpine Renault
    Peugeot 106 Maxi
    Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

    Secret Track
    upload_2022-1-28_9-46-52.png

    If you come first in all 10 championships you also unlock the secret 'Super S.S.' track in all non arcade modes. The unlock all code unlocks this track as well.

    Bonus Mini Game
    upload_2022-1-28_9-48-30.png

    Start a race on the 'Riviera' track in either Arcade Championship or Practice mode. Near the end of the final turn before the long straight to end the lap, you will notice two red cones on the left hand side. Knock over both of these cones and a sound effect will play. Now turn around and start driving backwards and you'll notice a tunnel has now opened on the right hand side. Drive through this tunnel to start a mini-game where you need to knock over as many cones as possible within a time limit. Once the time limit expires you get a score and the regular race timer will continue.

    Alternate Model/Colour Schemes
    upload_2022-1-28_9-55-4.png

    Some of the cars have an alternate colour scheme which can be accessed on the car select screen by holding PGUP and selecting the car. Unless my eyes are deceiving me, the following five cars have alternative colour schemes. If anyone is aware of any more, do point them out. I'm not a big car guy, they all look quite similar to me! :-P

    Corolla WRC
    Impreza WRC
    Lancer Evolution
    Lancia Stratos
    Celica GT-Four ST185 (this is also a bonus car and needs to be unlocked)

    Missing Content
    Sega Rally 2 is a bit of a nightmare when it comes to content as each region (US, PAL and JP) has a slightly different set of cars and also Dreamcast VS PC has differences too. I'm basing this entirely on bits of information on the internet, so take it with a pinch of salt.

    Note I have the PAL PC version.

    The Ford Escort WRC is completely missing from the PAL PC version

    It's replaced by a joke car, the Kerolla WRC in the JP PC version, it does not appear to be possible to access this car in the PAL PC version using normal in-game means. However, the car is still in the game, and using a modified save file, or modifying it yourself using a 3rd party tool can force the car to be enabled. I used the save/tool here. As ever, use at your own risk!
    Resources - Sega Rally 2 - speedrun.com

    upload_2022-1-28_13-28-43.png upload_2022-1-28_13-28-49.png

    The US/PAL Dreamcast version also has a Fiat Siecento and Peugeot 206 WRC. This is not in the PAL PC version at all, I don't see any files for those 2 either. Interestingly there's a few youtube videos from someone trying to mod them back into the game, but it doesn't look like they ever finished and released the work.


    EDIT - the Impreza also has an alternate model that looks very close to the original!

    EDIT 2 - Added a missing content section.

    EDIT 3 - added method to get Kerolla and screenshots
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
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  11. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    The House of the Dead 2
    upload_2022-2-3_9-47-56.png

    Continuing through the Empire Interactive back catalogue we have another Naomi/Dreamcast port, and another light gun game, House of the Dead 2. Like Sega Rally 2 it's a carbon copy of the Dreamcast version, so you get the extra console features, the original mode with all the extra hidden items to find, the boss rush mode and the training mode. Also, for the first time, no CDDA audio! It's a new era of music just being another asset that's installed rather than being streamed from the CD. Unbelievably for a game from 2000, there's not a single graphics setting to be found! 640x480 is what you get and you better be happy with it. The only config option is choosing keyboard or mouse (or technically light gun but that's not going to happen in 2022).

    Getting it working
    After seemingly every game requiring an essay it's nice to hit one that just works. Install the game, use DxWnd to force the correct 4:3 aspect ratio and you're done.

    Hidden content
    It's pretty clear that we're starting to move away from proper cheat codes and into the world of 'unlockable content'. I will happily admit that I fiddled about with some auto hotkey software to be able to hold down space to rapid fire my way through some of the more tedious tasks.

    Display Score
    upload_2022-2-3_9-55-9.png

    The only proper code in the game, on the title screen press Left, Left, Right, Right, Right, Left, Right then press Enter to go to the main menu. Now start an arcade or original game and the players' scores will be displayed in the top left/top right of the screen. This is useful if you're going for one of the alternative endings (see below).

    Unlockable Content
    No shortcuts I'm afraid. You've got to play all the game modes to get all the stuff.

    Training Mode Content
    upload_2022-2-3_9-58-4.png

    The training modes are a serious of mini games to sharpen your shooting skills. You start with only Training_1 unlocked, but there are 10 in total. You can unlock the others by doing the following:
    -Training_2 through 8: just beat each previous challenge at least once
    -Training_9: Beat 1 through 8 at least twice each
    -Training_10: Beat 1 through 9 at least three times each
    To get a reward, beat all 10 five times each to get some extra goodies in 'original mode'. 'Bullet Blow', 'Chamber Infinite' and 'First Aid Kit' are added to your inventory. Yes it is very tedious.

    Boss Mode Content
    upload_2022-2-3_10-2-15.png

    Fight each of the bosses individually. Some bosses have multiple variants making a total of 8 plus two more to unlock.
    -Emperor: beat all available bosses (including variants) at least once
    -Fight All: beat all available bosses (including variants) at least once
    To get a reward, beat all individual bosses five times including 'Fight All' where you have to beat them all in a single run. Five times. Yes that's 90 boss fights in total. Have fun. The reward is another 'Bullet Blow', 'Credits infinite' and 'Life 1/4' items in 'original mode'

    Free Play
    upload_2022-2-3_10-6-40.png

    The cheat sites get very confused by this because finishing boss mode gives you an 'infinite credits' ITEM. This is a single use item for original mode only, not free play. Proper free play is selected in the 'options' menu and can be used in any game mode.

    To unlock free play I did the following in order: 5 stars on all training modes, 5 stars in all boss modes, finished arcade mode once, finished original mode once. Not sure if all of those are required but it only unlocked after I finished original mode.

    Original Mode Items
    upload_2022-2-3_10-9-44.png

    What's the difference between original mode and arcade mode I hear you ask? It's this meta game where a tonne of extra items have been hidden in the game (mostly found by shooting parts of the background). Items you find, you keep if you finish the game. Each time you play you can take two with you, but they're single use so choose wisely. No reward for finding them all, it just means you can customize your game each time.

    I'm not going to try and list all the locations because there's far too many.
    Here's a list of each item type available
    Original Mode | The Wiki of the Dead | Fandom
    And between this guy and the comments underneath, most have been found
    THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD 2 All 39 Secret Items (Original mode) - YouTube

    Hidden Room
    upload_2022-2-3_10-13-57.png

    Like the original game, if you save every hostage in the game, you access a bonus room just before the final boss filled with extra lives and points items

    Additionally in 'original mode', if you do this and have over 1,000,000 points, there's an additional hidden room just before the boss containing some rare items.

    Ending Content
    upload_2022-2-3_10-15-11.png

    Again, just like the original game, there are two hidden endings that are triggered based on your performance.

    Good Ending (Thomas Rogan meets you in the building lobby): Finish arcade mode with 80,000 points or higher and earn the no.1 ranking. Or finish original mode with 1,000,000 points or higher.
    Bad Ending (zombie Goldman): Finish the game using a number of continues where the last digit is zero (0, 10, etc) and without triggering the good ending. For two players it's the combined total of continues that is used.

    Unused content
    Despite the text existing in the EXE, there appears to be no way to enable red blood in the PC version of the game. At least in game. PC Gaming Wiki has a method to do it by swapping around a couple of file names. Worth it to play the game 'properly'.
     
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  12. Kob

    Kob

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    Got access to a copy of Virtua Tennis? I'd be interested to see how that one fares.
     
  13. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Presenting the Empire Interactive collection (which it turns out are all super cheap on ebay, probably because they're a bit rubbish). @Kob Virtua Tennis is in there, I'll get to it eventually. Maybe after a spot of fishing.
    empire.jpg
     
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
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    hey wiki you're so fine
    The re-releases were always cheap - I remember Sonic 3D being priced at £4.99 for yeeaars. In fact I think I own two or three copies of the game.
     
  15. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Knuckles - Chaotix
    upload_2022-4-1_14-43-30.png

    This is the rare PC port of Chaotix, released shortly after Sonic CD. The game is a faithful port of the 32X original, except that as usual, setup options have been moved to the menu bar and the in-game music has been converted to redbook CD audio. Like it's Mega CD based cousin, it runs in a 320x224 8 bit colour window with a similar set of options for tweaking the graphics (the usual 'fast' or 'smooth' to set 30fps or 60fps which in practice appears to make very little difference). Other than that, the port is as bare bones as it gets.

    Getting It Working
    This one wasn't too bad at all. Run SSP.EXE from the disc in Win95 compatibility mode to install, then, like Baku Baku aboive, manually copy dino2d.dll and dmix.dll into the game folder. In DxWnd, force the game to run in 8 bit colour and set initial resolution to 320x224. Finally, locate CHAOTIX.INI in your windows folder and ensure it's pointing to the correct CD drive letter.

    Hidden Content
    The sound test based cheats of the 32X version have been removed from this one, but I did manage to find something better...

    Debug Menu
    upload_2022-4-1_14-55-25.png upload_2022-4-1_14-55-53.png

    Open CHAOTIX.INI and add the following lines to the file
    [Secret]
    User=Debugger

    This enables a stage select (same stages as the 32X version of the in-game level select) and stripped down version of Sonic CD's debug FUNC menu.





















    ...sorry couldn't resist even if I am a bit late! :D :D :D :D :D April Fools!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Ch1pper

    Ch1pper

    Fighting the Battle of Who Could Care Less Member
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    Life.
    Goddammit for a split second I was like "wha...?" and realized the date. Well done! :V
     
  17. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    Chaotix WAS on GameTap, so yes, there IS a PC version.
     
  18. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    That's interesting, I'd never heard of GameTap. But 32X and Dreamcast emulation in 2005, and a bigger list of megadrive games than Steam classics. Do we know what emulator they were using? Something proprietary I assume, but It'd be cool to see how capable it was.
     
  19. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    We don't have a lot of info on GameTap, with the standouts being Chaotix and the EXCLUSIVE TO GAMETAP, Sega Swirl 2.

    No one has come forward with anything GameTap after all this time.
     
  20. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Thanks for the info, so no official review/tech support/hidden content for that one then! To be honest, the emulation collections never really stood out to me as worth any time. The Smash Packs & Puzzle Pack never made it to the UK, neither did the Memorial Collection (which I only know exists thanks to Sega Retro). I do have Sonic Mega Collection and Steam Classics but there's nothing there that improves the experience over just using your emulator of choice. Besides the fun gimmick of the 'virtual 90s bedroom' in the Steam version. It gets old quickly.