Another Sega PC thread

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

  1. 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:

    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.
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  2. Bobblen


    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


    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

    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

    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

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

    Outrun 2006 - Coast 2 Coast

    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

    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

    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.
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  4. MainMemory


    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
    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.
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  5. Bobblen


    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


    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
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  7. Bobblen


    Sega GT

    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
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  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!

    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


    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
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