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Demo discs

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Aug 31, 2021.

  1. Perhaps it's fair game to be covering demo discs for non-Sega systems so long as they have at least one demo for a Sega game? After all, the North American Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc has a page on Sega Retro on the basis that it has demos for Sonic Adventure DX and Billy Hatcher, and Sonic Retro has pages covering demos of Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Heroes that were included on demo discs.

    I query because there are instances where there are discs only available for kiosks in game stores, such as a Japanese GameCube kiosk disc known as "Gekkan Nintendo Tentou Demo 2002.12.1", which was created solely for kiosk use and was meant to be returned to Nintendo after it was used, however two copies of the disc leaked into the public, and one of them was preserved and released by Forest of Illusion back in October 2019. Of the three playable demos on the disc (the other two being The Wind Waker and Mario Party 4), one of them was...

    SonicMegaCollectionTaikenban_GC_Title.png
    Sonic Mega Collection Taikenban, a demo version of Sonic Mega Collection which only allowed users to play Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic 3D, with the demo halting after 5 minutes of play. There isn't really anything else to it, but I would love to make a page for this on Sonic Retro solely on the basis that "it exists".

    There's also another Japanese GameCube demo disc I would like to bring attention to, that is being the Summer 2003 edition of the Nintendo GameCube Soft eCatalog, which I actually do own a copy of as I was able to buy one from a Japanese eBay seller for a reasonable price about a year ago.

    20230103_234450.jpg
    D55J01_2023-01-03_23-58-40.png
    This one not only has a demo of Sonic Adventure DX that is different from the one on the American Preview Disc, but also has something called the "Sonic Team Joy Carry Collection", which is a collection of downloadable Game Boy Advance mini-games. Two of the mini-games are demos of Puyo Pop and ChuChu Rocket that would later be included as unlockables in Billy Hatcher, and the third being a version of the Tiny Chao Garden that's based on the version in Sonic Advance 2 and comes pre-loaded with a Tails, Amy or Knuckles Chao that can be sent to Japanese versions of SA2B or SADX. Being a special app made for a demo disc for the purpose of distributing Sonic Team-developed demos and Chao, it's worth documenting at least.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2023
  2. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    If I remember correctly there are at least two (if not more) demo discs that can get you the exclusive chao for Gamecube (in one of them the function is hidden away but can be activated somehow).
     
  3. I wish I kept more of my Mega CD demos. Here's the one I still have. I never forget the Mega CD demo of Sensible wiping all my saved data on the main unit :(

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Might as well post this somewhere:

    Sega Retro:Todo/ScreenshotCheck

    Here's every demo disc we know about, with title screens. If a title screen is missing, chances are nobody has checked the demo (or at the very least, hasn't taken a screenshot). I've filled in a few gaps in the last 48 hours - the rest are up to you.

    Especially on the Dreamcast - I haven't got a nice emulation set up for that.


    There are still a handful of games that have yet to be touched. It's a mixture of "I don't know what this is" and "I can't prove this exists".



    And yes I would like to have separate pages for all the Mega Power and Sega Pro magazine cover discs, I just don't know what to call them.
     
  5. What will we do when it comes to demos distributed via other means? Specifically:
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    To be honest, I don't know... although there will be an issue with "digital" demos - every Xbox 360 game had to have a downloadable, playable demo (is this still a thing on Xbox? I'm out of the loop). We could always just drop the "disc" from "demo disc" at a later date I guess.

    Compilations where the majority is non-Sega is already an issue. We don't have a good solution - I'm not sure it's responsible to just document part of a compilation because the rest is not in scope, but I also wouldn't want to flood the wiki with non-Sega content. It's been kicked into the long grass for yeeeaaaarrrss
     
  7. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    I'm not really seeing the problem with that.

    We just need to document everything on the disc, be it demos, videos, etc. because it's not like we'd be making pages for any non-Sega stuff, and any title screens if it simply opens to a list of demos, should be of something Sega.

    EDIT: Like the Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc for instance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
  8. The only OG Xbox SEGA demo I still have is the Orta one.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Another issue that'll come up:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    We're building our knowledge based on what has come before. The problem there, is that you have databases for "collectors", which show pictures of discs, and databases for "people who actually want to play the games" which show screenshots.

    And that means you get mismatches in the naming scheme. We were calling this "Rabbit Mihonhin" (羅媚斗 見本品) based on what the disc says, but after emulating it, I discovered the demo calls itself "Rabbit Taikenban" (羅媚斗 体験版).


    Which is correct? Both, kinda. Usually we prefer what the game calls itself, but a) some demos don't have special title screens and b) some games LIE - just ask Acclaim and their Marvel games.
     
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  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    [​IMG]
    So here's a thing, Vampire Hunter: Darkstalkers' Revenge Sample, which is clearly based on non-final code, uses the English title of Night Warriors, despite the disc label saying otherwise. I don't know the full story behind Darkstalkers and its sequels - was it envisioned as a game for the West first? It's clearly influenced by classic Western horror, but it also has Hsien-ko, who is one of the few characters playable in this demo. A quirk in development?

    There can't be many 1996 Japanese-developed fighting games making the same mistake...

    [​IMG]
    ... unless you're Samurai Spirits Amakusa Kourin Hibaihin.

    Now, both the demo and final version of Samurai Spirits have an option to change the language (to English, Spanish or Portuguese) which swaps out the title screen, but again... a little odd it defaults to English, when it's a Japanese demo for the Japanese. I don't think the final game does this (and it's not an emulation issue, unless both Mednafen and SSF are making the same mistake).

    I had thought it might be driven by the language set in the BIOS, but that doesn't seem to be the case (in fact I'm not sure this setting carries through to any Saturn games, unless someone knows differently). It just defaults to English for whatever reason.

    (it's an oddity that the English translation is included at all. This game needs an extended RAM cartridge to boot, which is a peripheral that never (officially) left Japan. So not only would it need a cartridge, it's Samurai Shodown IV, the fourth game in a (quite Japanese-y) fighting game series that has only ever had modest success. And it's 2D, which was a problem in 1996).

    As an aside, Samurai Spirits Amakusa Kourin Hibaihin looks like it's the full game, but time limited. So with an Action Replay... you could probably disable the timer and effectively get the game for free. Ooops.
     
  11. That One Guy Josh

    That One Guy Josh

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    I dunno... Hsien-Ko was more of a design choice than a quirk, to be honest.
     
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    [​IMG]

    This one is widely(?) mislabeled. Capcom Taisen Fan Disc was distributed as a pre-order bonus for Capcom vs. SNK 2, but is commonly mistaken as a CvS2 demo disc.

    I mean okay in a weird way it technically is - it has replays from the game performed by experts... but you need the final game to see them. So it's "demos on a disc", but the disc doesn't demonstrate the demos on its own.

    No, as you might have guessed from the title screen and the many logos in the background, it actually covers 19(?) other Capcom titles as well. The disc contains VMU saves, with, for example, secret characters or special content unlocked. There are lists online reporting what it apparently does, but it still needs looking at (e.g. do any of these saves work with non-Japanese versions?). Reportedly some of this content can't be unlocked legitimately, as it was distributed exclusively at special events or as part of discontinued online services, so absolutely for Capcom fans.



    Oh yes and if you're still fighting old console wars, Capcom vs. SNK 2 was also released for the PlayStation 2 on the same date (it's got online cross play). Presumably PS2 pre-orders went live around the same time as the Dreamcast, but no fan discs for you!
     
  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I've gone through a bunch of Saturn demos over the last few days, because... idk masochism? I drew the line on some of the more... awkward games in the console's library, but at least 75% of Saturn demos will have title screens on Sega Retro now.

    A good number of demo discs either haven't been dumped yet or are mislabled (or only started circulating in ROM sets during the last year or two):

    D-Xhird Sample
    Desire Hibaihin Taikenban
    From TV Animation Slam Dunk: I Love Basketball Sample
    Gaia Breeder Taikenban
    Gekitotsu Koushien Taikenban ROM - this might be a bad dump - the version I found doesn't seem to work
    Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Sample
    Gunbird Sample
    Hideo Nomo World Series Baseball Hibaihin Mihonban
    K-1 Fighting Illusion Shou Demo-CD Hibaihin
    Moon Cradle Taikenban
    Pocket Fighter Taikenban
    Radiant Silvergun Sample
    Real Sound: Kaze no Regret Taikenban
    Tetris Plus Mihonban
    The Hyper Golf: Devil's Course Sample Ban
    The King of Boxing Tentouyou Auto Demo
    The King of Fighters '97 Sample Hibaihin
    Vampire Savior: The Lord of Vampire Taikenban
    Victory Goal Demo Mihonban Hibaihin
    Wangan Dead Heat Mihonhin


    Of the demos I've played, I'd say it's a 50:50 split between demos based on obviously prototype code, and those derived from the final (or near final) release. There's also a fair few which are just non-interactive videos that play on a loop.

    I also want to single out the "Mogitate Sega Saturn" series, because these can be pretty hardcore. As in, Shoichiro Irimajiri sitting in front of a camera for 5 minutes explaining Sega's Dreamcast plans, "hardcore". I'm sure there's some juicy information here, but there's a language barrier and no subtitles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2023
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Another mislabled by the masses:

    [​IMG]
    Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Extra Dungeon is often treated as a "demo disc". But the clue's in the name - it's an "extra dungeon".

    Brief history: Soul Hackers was a Sega Saturn game that was ported to the PlayStation, then remade and localised many years later. It was a Saturn exclusive for a couple of years, and during that time, Atlus released this special disc with an extra dungeon - apparently you had to send off coupons/tickets/forms and then you were put into a lottery to receive one of 1,000 copies? The internet's a bit vague as to where these coupons came from and how it all worked - supposedly this thing is involved but who knows.

    So it's an "append disc" or pseudo-"expansion pack" or "more Soul Hackers" - if you have a Soul Hackers save file that's met some criteria, you can play through this extra dungeon. The 1999 PlayStation version had this content included as standard... although apparently it's slightly different and you actually have to finish the main game first. The 2013 3DS version also has it in some form, apparently.

    I know little more about Soul Hackers than "it exists", so details will have to come from an Atlus expert.
     
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I appreciate that Saturn emulation isn't as easy as the Mega Drive - downloads aren't near-instantaneous and emulators aren't as mature, but... there are Panzer Dragoon communities out there who collect this software. Did nobody think to play it?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Two Japanese Panzer Dragoon "demo discs" are known to exist. On the left we have "Panzer Dragoon Demo-you Hibaihin" (パンツァードラグーン デモ用 非売品) ("PD DEMO" from this point on), and on the right "Panzer Dragoon Taikenban Hibaihin" (パンツァードラグーン 体験版 非売品) ("Taikenban"). Both names are terrible - we can only go by what's printed on the disc as the software itself just says "Panzer Dragoon".

    But there are worse names! Redump, which seems to be the go-to site for listing CD-ROM dumps, thought to label them like this:

    Panzer Dragoon (Japan) (Demo 1)
    Panzer Dragoon (Japan) (Demo 2)

    Which is "demo 1" and which is "demo 2"? Who knows.

    Except me, because I did the research. There is a perfectly valid reason why the two discs might confuse: they share the same contents. Except not quite - they're two different builds of the same content - it's only when you do side-by-side comparisons that it begins to make sense.


    "Demo 1" is "PD DEMO". It looks like this:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    "Demo 2" is "Taikenban". It looks like this:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (marvel at how I got the frames to match - first try!)

    Both demos feature a playable Episode 2, though stop before the dragon fight at the end to tell you the game will be available in March 1995 (which it was). Episode 1 features in the rolling demo but cannot be played legitimately.

    The differences? PD DEMO is an earlier build. There's few clues as to how early, but throw them into a hex editor and you'll get:

    V0.100 19950105 for PD DEMO
    and
    V0.511 19950131 for Taikenban

    So if you can believe these dates, about three weeks between the two, both originating from January 1995. Those screenshots pretty much sum up the differences - different title screen text positioning, a more polished option menu in Taikenban, and different life bar colours. Although I think the one in PD DEMO is for show - you seem to be invincible. I'm sure the experts can document the changes in more detail.

    Taikenban is bookended by FMVs plugging other Saturn games, and is generally the more polished product (no surprise if it's newer). I think the extra ads are there because it was actually intended to be given to the general public:

    [​IMG]

    It came in its own pretty cardboard sleeve with instruction manual, though details surrounding this release are thin on the ground.

    Likewise, little is known about PD DEMO other than discs were printed. There's talk about it being used for magazine coverage - I think it's more likely for kiosk use since they bothered to design a label, but it's not obvious (and it could be both... though the contents are a bit dull if we're honest - Episode 1 would have been a much better choice).



    Two other Panzer Dragoon demos exist, this time for Western markets (which were bundled with consoles). And they're the same as Taikenban - Episode 2, just final versions and without the Japanese ads.

    Anyway the lesson is don't call your dumps "demo 1" and "demo 2" because it meant I had to look at all this stuff in detail when I just wanted to add screenshots.
     
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  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Today on "let's shout at archivists making shit up":

    [​IMG]

    I'm splitting up the Mega-CD demo lists, and this presents a problem, because most of these discs don't have official names. This is the second demo disc from Mega Power's January 1994 issue, and it's one of their better ones, containing three demos (and a low quality video of Sunscreem, a band nobody remembers, and their #13 hit "Broken English").

    Question: What is the disc called?

    Psygnosis seems to have tasked Traveller's Tales to put this disc together, and obviously multiple games means you need a bespoke front-end.

    [​IMG]

    "The Megapower Demo". I mean sure, the magazine's called "Mega Power" and this is their second demo, but whatever, it's a name, fine.

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:MegaPower_UK_06.pdf&page=5

    Mega Power themselves use the much snappier name, "Psygnosis Big Three CD". It was advertised as such in the previous issue - the disc was dumped before there were scans, so the name isn't in widespread use, but I'm probably going to go with that, because this is clearly what Mega Power wanted to call it.


    Do you know what it isn't called?

    "Psygnosis Christmas Sampler"

    But that's what the ROM sets say!


    So let's say, hypothetically, you're looking for Mega-CD demos for documentation purposes, you get a big list of image dumps, and seek out anything labeled "demo", thinking that there's a naming standard. You'll miss this disc, because it's not labeled properly... but the fact that it's listed under a fictional title means the lies spread and I have to do second and third takes.

    Is it super damaging to modern society? Not really - it's easily fixed (and sometimes entertaining in a weird way), but yeah, if you're setting up a database, double check what you put in it. "Sonic and Crackers" is a more egregious case of mislabeled ROM dumps - people care about that game because it's weird and bizarre, but the less fortunate travel around the internet for 20+ years misinforming people.
     
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  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Six posts in a row!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In August 1994, Core Design released two demo discs of BC Racers. The yellow disc went to Mega Power, the green one to Sega Pro CD, each with different content - now you'll have to buy both magazines, or something.

    The only difference between the two is the track you can race on. Yellow nets you "Desert Drive", the desert track, green has "Blizzard Blitz", the ice track.

    [​IMG]

    Problem: the game isn't finished, so these tracks aren't named (and even in the final, this information is only listed in the manual). As such, the magazines call them "desert track" and "ice track"... which has since spilt onto the internet.


    So there's a choice:

    1) "BC Racers (desert track demo)" and "BC Racers (ice track demo)"
    2) "BC Racers (Desert Drive demo)" and "BC Racers (Blizzard Blitz demo)"
    3) "BC Racers (Mega Power demo)" and "BC Racers (Sega Pro CD demo)"


    1) uses names pertinent to the game as it probably stood in August 1994
    2) uses the final names, which might not have been invented yet (but would be by December 1994)
    3) assumes these discs were never distributed away from these two publications. With I'm 99% is the case... but you can never be 100%, and thus, might not be accurate.


    I might need to sleep on this.
     
  18. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    If not #3 (which I personally like), then #1 with the magazine refs linking to what they called them.
     
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I went with #3, which means every known Mega-CD demo disc is now represented on Sega Retro!

    ...except a demo of Space Ace which we have a dump of, but no photographic evidence of its existence. But as soon as I can prove it's a genuine thing, it'll get a page.


    Any hightlights? Well, nothing "new", but:

    [​IMG]
    Timecop (demo) is the closest people got to Timecop, an unreleased Mega-CD game which, if anything like this demo, would be pretty crappy.

    [​IMG]
    Flashback (demo) is the closest PAL Mega-CD owners can get to Flashback (on Mega-CD). The final game was only released in the states for some reason - I'm not sure the CD soundtrack really improves the experience, but hey, it's a thing. Perhaps Action Replay can get you around the demo's time limit too.

    The Mega Drive version is one of the least fussy ways of playing the game. The only real sacrifice you make is Conrad's red shirt.

    [​IMG]
    With Keio Flying Squadron (demo) you don't even need an Action Replay to unlock the full game, just the standard level select code. I do wonder how common this is - some of these discs are well over 300-400MB, which seems a lot for a demo.


    And the worst?

    [​IMG]
    The exceedingly rare Dragon's Lair Demo CD with one "playable" scene.

    Yes the disc label does offer the solution, but the input lag is so horrendous that even with savestates it took me 5-10 minutes to win. And it doesn't even have the decency to thank you when it's done.


    [​IMG]
    Special mention to What is X'Eye, which seems like a completely redundant piece of software, if, as the internet claims, it really was a pack-in disc with the X'Eye Mega Drive/Mega-CD hybrid unit. I'm thinking if you bought an X'Eye, it's a bit late to tell us what it does.

    A Sega CD played on an X'Eye to tell us the X'Eye plays Sega CDs.
     
  20. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Clearing the backlog. Many of the remaining demos aren't dumped so there'll still be a list at the end of this exercise, but it'll be a smaller one.

    [​IMG]

    (I have to assume that one day someone will give a damn about Sakura Taisen, but it's a series that revels in its alternative 1920s timeline and classic-but-not-Japanese-ness - it's very hard to penetrate and of very little interest to me personally)

    Sakura Taisen Teikokukagekidan Taiin Meibo (サクラ大戦 帝国華撃団隊員名簿)

    This is quite a sought after thing now - a Saturn CD-ROM (and accompanying paperwork) that was distributed at the very first Sakura Taisen press event - the one that announced that Sakura Taisen was a product you might be able to buy one day. The internet can't seem to decide who received copies of this, but it's very rare, and significant because it pre-dates the game's release by almost(?) a year.

    It's an introductory press release, with early screenshots, game details, and interviews with the developers. A (very) brief look into the history suggests the voice cast was announced (and performed on stage(?)) prior to this event, so for once, the emphasis is more on the gameplay and giant robots than the singing and dancing. It's easy to forget this series has giant robots - they have guns and swords and everything.

    It's also super early in development, so lots of rough concept art. If this had been for a Sonic the Hedgehog game, we'd be all over it.