don't click here

Another Sega PC thread

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

  1. Elratauru

    Elratauru

    Little Shiny Emurralds Member
    Epic job with all the descriptions and research on each of these ports!

    Regarding HOTD2... as you all know, there were at least...5 versions that "forked" from it, the most known was The Typing of the Dead 1, which also was on PC, first released in Japan, and then globally.

    Now, TOTD, in Japan at least, had more sequels with different stuff around: 2003, 2004, v2, and Typing Lariat.

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]

    I did wrote a few Sega Retro articles about them with basic information, and then tried to get these and see the working for real for a while but then I just lost interest, there are some nice screenshots here:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20080205130152/http://sega.jp/pc/tod2004/
    https://web.archive.org/web/20071013215839/http://sega.jp/pc/todtl/

    It would be nice if we could get them in a working state, and throughfully looked upon.

    That aside some other interesting things from Japanese (some not) Sega PC Ports:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    - Dayona Usa Deluxe is Evolution in Japan.
    - Virtual On, Sakura Wars (from 1 to 4) were also ported.
    - Crazy Taxi 3 is a known port too, runs kinda like crap.
    - Also, Typing Space Harrier. Yes, that's a thing.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  2. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    Always a pleasure to see more screenshots in this thread! I do have EU copies of Typing (the original one) and Crazy Taxi 3 in my pile of Empire Interactive games, and have lots of notes on Typing already. I'll get to them eventually I'm sure :D But the Japanese exclusives are indeed a curiosity, so much stuff just never made it over here.

    My main piece of advice for 90s/early 2000s compatibility is that DxWnd is an incredible piece of software. It just gives you so much control, to the point where I rarely had to resort to shenanigans with compatibility shims. Even just forcing these games to run in a window seems to work around a lot of issues that plague these games running normally (and I'm not going to lose sleep over a 640x480 game not being full screen). After about 2002, I found support to be a bit flaky and DgVoodoo seems to be more reliable, but then you're hitting a new problem. Mid 2000s games had a notorious disc protection scheme called safedisc (or possibly securom, one of those two) which was so obnoxious that Microsoft ended up blocking it from modern windows versions. Quite rightly, but it does mean that if you can't source an alternative version with the protection removed, then you're stuffed. Of course you can resort to more dubious measures, but a big part of what I've been trying to do here is test the games 'as they were' and once you start screwing around with 'backups' you lose that (for example, have a look at my posts around Virtua Fighter PC for an example of this).

    Still if there's any particular game you'd like a bit of help with compatibility wise, I'm happy to suggest things. No guarantees of course, but you never know! Typing Space Harrier looks glorious, please Sega can you create a typing version of every rail shooter you've got! pretty please! :D
     
  3. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    The above post got me curious about the dreaded safedisc protected games and how many of them actually have solutions for working around it without resorting to dodginess. PCGamingWiki is really good at documenting copy protection, so all this info is basically from there, but I've verified that it's true. If you wondered how I took the title screenshots for Sega Retro wiki, I have an ancient PC with a vanilla copy of Windows 7 installed (not connected to the internet so it can't update), pretty useless for playing the games properly but to test and take a few screenshots it's fine.

    Sonic Adventure DX - Director's Cut
    upload_2022-4-21_8-29-57.png

    Workaround? yes, the version on 'Sonic PC Collection' is unprotected. I have the Spanish version of this collection (the game is still in English)
    There's also the steam version which is actually a completely different port (and inferior in many ways).

    Sonic Heroes/Sonic Riders/Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    Workaround? yes, the versions on 'Sonic PC Collection' are unprotected. I have the Spanish version of this collection (the game is still in English)

    Crazy Taxi 3 - High Roller
    upload_2022-4-21_8-25-5.png

    Workaround? apparently yes, the Xplosiv budget rerelease is unprotected. Haven't tested this yet but I have no reason to doubt it!

    House of the Dead III
    upload_2022-4-21_8-33-34.png

    Workaround? no :-( I have the original and xplosiv rerelease but they all have safedisc. Boo!

    Outrun 2006 - Coast 2 Coast
    upload_2022-4-21_8-37-17.png

    Workaround? Sort of, there used to be a steam version that was delisted long ago, if you have that version or can convince someone to gift it to you, it'll work.

    Sega Rally Revo
    upload_2022-4-21_8-39-3.png

    Workaround? Again, sort of, there used to be a steam version that was delisted long ago, if you have that version or can convince someone to gift it to you, it'll work. Online mode has long since been deactivated.

    Virtua Tennis 3
    upload_2022-4-21_8-40-40.png

    Workaround? No :-( no rereleases, no digital version

    Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
    Workaround? No :-( no rereleases, no digital version

    Phantasy Star Universe/Ambitions of Illuminous Expansion
    Workaround? Definitely no. Needs to be always online and the servers are shut down :-(

    And for @Elratauru

    Sakura Taisen 1,2,3,4

    PCGamingWiki tells me the DVD 'Windows XP update' versions all use safedisc, but the older original ports may well not given their age. I'd have to have a look at them.

    There's no info at all on the many Typing of the Deads.


    So that was a depressing piece of research, just shows you the damage that aggressive copy protection does in the long run. Basically forcing you to seek alternatives as soon as the publisher doesn't fancy maintaining it anymore.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  4. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
    4,625
    206
    43
    SonLVL
    The US release is also unprotected. Only the JP release uses Safedisc, the EU release uses SecuROM (which also doesn't work on Win10+). The SADX Mod Installer will convert any version of the game into the US version, which is what the mod loader targets.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  5. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    Thanks @MainMemory, I knew it provided its own EXE but wasn't sure of the source, interesting that they just didn't bother in the US, though I'm glad they made that decision because it meant all the amazing Sonic Adventure mods had a baseline EXE to work from.

    The Outrun 2006 mod 'Outrun 2 FXT' does something similar by providing its own EXE. And amusingly, the Crazy Taxi 3 mod 'CT3 Tweak' flat out tells you it only works on an unofficial EXE!
     
  6. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    An old thread finally returned to, remember long ago when I was looking at Touring Car and couldn't find an unlock code nor was I a good enough driver to actually unlock all the content fairly? Well I returned to it having discovered a youtuber who had created a great Cheat Engine table to give me a gigantic speed boost. I feel no shame in cheating at this point, I'm never going to be good enough at this time to beat it properly and I wanted to document all the content.

    Still exceptionally tedious training up the AI car to win the championship as it only improves incrementally even if you demolish the competition over and over again, but I finally managed it and can confirm the Sega Rally cars are in! To be honest the YouTuber had already confirmed it and was driving the Lancia in the video, but I'm still pleased to finally be able to definitely say they're there and have a save with them unlocked.

    To get them, it's not enough to do the AI car thing, you have to basically win at least once in every mode.
    In PC Mode:
    -Win the championship
    -Win the exhibition race
    -Train the AI car to win the championship by driving it well over and over again, then letting the computer drive it.

    Manage all that and you get the 'Master of PC side' trophy

    In Arcade mode:
    -Win the championship
    -Win a grand prix in grand prix mode (it's 20 laps, luckily you only have to win one and not win on all 4 tracks)
    -Win the championship in Expert mode.

    Then you get the 'Master of Arcade side' trophy. You need both trophies to unlock the Sega Rally cars. You hold Shift on the car select screen on either the Toyota or the Alfa to choose them.
    upload_2022-5-9_15-50-22.png upload_2022-5-9_15-50-55.png

    upload_2022-5-9_15-51-4.png upload_2022-5-9_15-51-11.png
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • List
  7. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    Sega GT
    upload_2022-5-16_13-36-37.png

    Having felt like I hadn't punished myself enough by playing a 'realistic' racer with a keyboard, I'm back looking at the Gran Turismo... erm... 'inspired' shall we say, Sega GT. This is another Dreamcast conversion, but unlike Sega Rally 2 where genuine effort was made with the port, it's a real disappointment. There are no resolution options at all, once again we're stuck with 640x480, and even worse, the frame rate is poor, even on a modern PC like mine. Having a look at PCGamingWiki there are hacks to upscale and boost the FPS but I'm just reviewing the game 'as it was' so that would be cheating! The shadows/lighting model from the Dreamcast version has been completely removed leaving the game looking quite sterile. I also noticed some z-fighting and the odd transparency issue as well. It doesn't help that in my opinion, the game is not nice to play. The handling model is very strange, the steering is incredibly sensitive and there's always a really awkward delay before your turn is registered which combined with no damage/bouncing off the side of the road like a pinball gives the feeling of driving on ice rather than the road.

    Which is a pity because there's a good game in there somewhere, 140 odd cars, loads of tracks and a really cool 'build a car' mode called the 'Carrozzeria' which genuinely gives you a lot of flexibility in the design. It's just a shame that the negatives far outweigh the positives. Apparently the x-box only sequel sorts out alot of these issues and is well regarded, but alas, no PC port for that one.

    Getting it working
    As you'd expect with a port this janky, there was some shenanigans getting it working. Much like Sega Rally 2, the cd audio clashes badly with the sound often causing the sound to flat out stop working during a race. Once again it's DxWnd and its 'virtual cd drive' feature to the rescue. I followed the tutorial in the DxWnd help file to get it going. I ripped the cd 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' and 'Hide MUTE Controls'. Without 'Emulate CD Mixer' and 'Hide MUTE Controls' there were some moments where the CD audio would play and kill the sound effects. As usual I set window width and height to zero in order to get screenshots at the original resolution.

    Hidden Content
    This is gonna be an on-going thing, as much like our old friend Sega Touring Car, there appears to be no unlock codes, and 140 odd cars to earn enough in-game money to unlock. Thus until I find a suitable way to get that money in a sensible time-frame, this remains blank! The other problem with a 'Gran Turismo' style game like this is figuring out what even counts as hidden. Winning races to unlock things is the entire premise of the game, but we'll see how it goes once I actually start unlocking things.

    EDIT Looks like this rather dedicated wiki contributor has done the work, if I can get all of that lot that would be a good start!
    Sega GT Cars Guide | @LeopardYiu's Storage Wiki | Fandom

    EDIT 2 - Well my efforts to heroically cheat my way to a completed save are going fairly well, I've figured out cheat engine cheats to set the cash to whatever value I want and freeze the timer, which takes care of buying all the cars that are for sale and passing the crazy strict license tests. And I'm a good enough driver to to win the Extra class and B class races. Kind of hit a wall with A class though, I just cannot control the faster cars well enough to win. Need to find a way to increase top speed to something ridiculous to even the odds :D

    EDIT 3 - Two different saves now and I've had hidden cars just not be added to my car list despite doing the thing needed to unlock them. Gonna have to assume the saving is a bit buggy and stop spending time on this. If a save editor or unlock cheat code is ever found, I'll come back to it, but it's not worth putting in the time to win on the harder levels if there's a chance things won't even unlock anyway.

    Missing Content

    Similar to Sega Rally 2, the car line up is different depending on region (and who knows, probably format as well), so once I've got all the cars in my save, we'll have a look at whether I have more or less than US/Japan/Dreamcast players.

    To be continued!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
    • Informative Informative x 4
    • List
  8. President Zippy

    President Zippy

    Zombies rule Belgium! Member
    This thread is a great argument to shell out for a Soundblaster-adjacent WeeCee that can run Windows 98 SE. The Dreamcast-era (and newer) games will mostly run on Windows 7, but the Saturn-era (and older) games are begging for a true DOS-based environment. Gotta love when Microsoft makes undocumented changes to error return codes in the Win32 API and fixes bugs in a way that breaks user workarounds!

    https://tinkerdifferent.com/threads/weecee-custom-vortex86dx-computer.194/

    I always felt recordings of the S&K Collection soundtrack posted to youtube sound way crappier than I remember, and I would swear this is not the rose-colored lenses of nostalgia. Surely, my old WinTel box came preinstalled with a good sound card despite being a budget PC.
     
  9. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    VirtualMidiSynth does a nice job of improving things in software, but yes, it's never gonna sound as crisp or as clear as a proper sound card of the era. Be sure to try Comix Zone and Baku Baku as well, it's not just S&KC that gets to have all the midi fun!

    edit - typos
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  10. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    When I originally wrote this, I skipped the actual Sonic games because more than enough fantastic research has been done on them by this website already. There are solutions to play most of them comfortably on modern PCs and hidden content is well documented. Well almost! :-) I recently did a pass on the hidden content pages for the older games to add in a few small details that seemingly weren't mentioned anywhere (with thanks to @BSonirachi for cleaning up some of the dodgier grammar choices)

    Sonic CD (1996)
    How to play it: Use @Korama's excellent Sega PC Reloaded compatibility tool. This is mandatory for this game as Korama explained in the much older (and now obsolete) 'Sonic CD XP Patch'. The game decompresses files using a mechanism so ancient that modern windows doesn't support it at all. The only way to try it 'natively' is to emulate a Windows 95 machine using PCEm or similar.

    Hidden Content: I didn't find anything not already documented on the site, there's an excellent debug menu to mess around with which can be enabled using an INI file. Sega PC Reloaded lets you enable it from the pre-game config menu.

    Sonic & Knuckles Collection
    How to play it: Use @Korama's excellent Sega PC Reloaded compatibility tool. The game works natively as well, with no additional steps required to get it to run (at least in a window), although the frame rate isn't as smooth (something fixed by Sega PC Reloaded). VirtualMidiSynth and a good sound font is recommended if you use general MIDI for the music. There are also loads of replacements for the default music including the terrific SMPS player which restores the original megadrive tracks. You can also use @MainMemory 's mod loader to mess around with the game further.

    Hidden Content: I noticed a couple of small things and added them to the page. If you start Sonic & Knuckles in debug mode, the game loads the Sonic 3 & Knuckles stage select instead (I've confirmed this running in PCEm, it definitely isn't a Sega PC Reloaded bug). Soft resetting with ALT+R will restore Sonic & Knuckles. You can use this quirk to enable S3&K cheats in S&K by inputting the Angel Island code, getting a game over by dying (you have to fall into a pit as you're invulnerable in debug mode otherwise), then inputting the Mushroom Hill code. If you then reset you have all levels for all characters & special stage select in Sonic & Knuckles alone.

    Also, you start with 500 rings in Doomsday Zone if debug mode is enabled!
    Sonic & Knuckles Collection/Hidden content - Sonic Retro

    Sonic 3D - Flickies Island
    How to play it: You guessed it, use @Korama's excellent Sega PC Reloaded compatibility tool. Various direct draw wrappers will let you play the 'vanilla' version, I got it working with DxWnd easily enough with default settings.

    Hidden Content: Curiously, the site covered hacking to get to the cheat menu, but not a few posts down in the original thread, where @Korama documented the actual cheat code. I tidied the page up a bit and added the proper code, though once again Sega PC Reloaded lets you enable the menu in pre-game config.
    Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island/Hidden content - Sonic Retro

    Sonic R
    How to play it: There's a fascinating read in the original Sega PC Reloaded thread, and then subsequently TCRF about the mysterious '2004 release' of Sonic R. Unlike literally every other game Xplosiv have ever rereleased, Sonic R was ported to Direct 3D 9 with much improved compatibility on modern systems. Then released without any publicity whatsoever! The original I think is DX6 or something like that. I have a copy of the 2004 version (the UK Sonic 3D / Sonic R double pack includes it, my copy has Sonic R on the CD with Sonic 3D printed on it and vice versa!).

    Most people will not be bothered to do that, so grab the 1998 version then use @CheatFreak 's Sonic R Updater, which patches to the 2004 version, and also includes the work of @InvisibleUp, @MainMemory and others, unlocking all resolutions, adding widescreen, fixing a frame pacing problem, higher quality music and even mods to restore the lighting of the Saturn original! Wonderful.

    If you're a purist like me, you can get the 1998 version working with a bit of work, there's a startup crash which requires a small hex edit / fixed EXE to work around (see PCGamingWiki), then you need to use DxWnd otherwise the controls don't work. The latest bleeding edge version worked fine for me (although PCGamingWiki insists you need to use an old version for some reason). The game uses red book CD audio and is locked to 640x480. The updater is recommended, but you can mess around with the direct draw version (which includes Saturn lighting without mods) and the network patch by running it this way.

    Hidden Content: Not much to say here really, except the site didn't have a PC section for this game. Understandable because the codes are identical to the Saturn (messing with the title screen etc), except for the 2004 version which adds a few command line parameters to mess around with. I've added everything I'm aware of.
    Sonic R/Hidden content - Sonic Retro
     
    • Informative Informative x 5
    • List
  11. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
    4,625
    206
    43
    SonLVL
    Worth noting that the S&KC Mod Loader includes an SMPS music player (the original MD soundtrack will be used by default), a soundfont-powered MIDI player, and the capabilities of the old HQ music mod, enabling you to play the game with whatever form of music you choose.
     
  12. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    Clearly I'm behind the times, still pointing sega pc reloaded at smpsout.dll to get megadrive music :-) I'll give the mod loader another go, I used it in the past to try the special stage smoothing mod but not much else!
     
  13. EDGE did a nice interview with the old SEGA PC division before they went on to become Simlebit, here you go Trip :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Trippled

    Trippled

    Member
    33
    10
    8
    Thx. This particular issue Edge October 1997 is on Sega Retro btw...
     
  15. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    Does anyone know if there's there a wrapper for the PowerVR instruction set? Would love to try the Virtual On version with hardware acceleration mentioned in the article. I skipped it when I was writing all the reviews because it appeared not to have a UK release (although my copy of Worldwide Soccer came with an advertising booklet that at least suggests it was planned).

    Between that and the NV1 versions of Virtua Cop, Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA and Panzer Dragoon, most of the early 3d games where I complain about direct draw actually did have a hardware accelerated version. It's a pity the only way I could ever try those would be to build a period Windows 95 pentium PC and somehow get hold of a Diamond Edge 3d card. That sounds like an expensive endeavour!

    EDIT - the answer is no, as ever for old 3d apis, VOGONS is the place to look. This guy got closest and even posted some WIP videos, but never released anything.
    Is this the possibility of a Power VR SGL Wrapper? \ VOGONS
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022 at 10:10 AM
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  16. Did anyone also get the Empire SEGA collection?. It's rather nice, here's whats little I had for a SEGA PC collection.
    I sold my soul to SEGA consoles and the more so the Sega Saturn, but some of SEGA old PC range was nice .

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    I have the original releases (IE not the budget reprints with the xplosiv branding), I am missing 100 swords though! See here
    https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?threads/another-sega-pc-thread.40544/page-2#post-998611

    I've also got a selection of 'post empire interactive' games, it gets a bit tricky after that because Sega moved away from original IP and became a 3rd party publisher. So I pick and choose. No pictures, but I have

    Sonic Heroes/Riders/Mega Collection Plus/Adventure DX (as separate releases and all together in the DRM free 'Sonic PC Collection)
    Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast
    Sega Rally (The newer one, called Sega Rally Revo in the states)
    Virtua Tennis 3
    House of the Dead 3
    Sonic & Sega Allstar Racing / Sonic & Allstar Racing Transformed
    Sonic Generations

    I'm also missing Enemy Zero (which isn't an empire game, it's a Sega PC game. I haven't caught it at a reasonable price on ebay yet), wouldn't mind getting hold of Billy Hatcher as well which fits my made up criteria of being an 'original Sega IP', whatever that means!
     
  18. I mainly game on consoles and only got Hundred Swords on the PC because it was it was in English (also have the Japanese DC version)
    My local GAME was selling the Empire collection and Enemy Zero dirt cheap (think it was £10 for both) and so picked then up I was so impressed with Outrun 2006 and Sonic Gen on the XBox and 360 just really wanted to play them at the best screen res possible (at the time)
     
  19. Bobblen

    Bobblen

    Member
    125
    67
    28
    Well by squinting at the box in your screenshot, I can see that all the Sega games in that xplosiv collection are covered in this thread, so I hope you find something interesting in here. It mostly documents how I got them working plus any cheat codes I found.
     
  20. Cheers mate :)