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General Questions and Information Thread

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Andlabs, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Thanks for the reply so soon! Maybe my long hours led to a good time?

    I'm definitely torn on whether, with the new direction, to stick mainly to what's printed and then figure out later how to represent other credits, or to figure as much as can be thought of now. How did the development of Template:Track go in that regard?

    I actually hadn't noticed when it changed, but NiGHTS into Dreams used to named Nights into Dreams, wasn't it? If not, I must have assumed it was mimicking other page templates, but otherwise I imagine it took quite a while to change a lot of links. Something like That's Paradice would probably fit with being THAT'S PARADiCE instead. I was gonna say "any page that goes out of its way to mention a stylised title seems ripe for a change", but I noticed I'm the one who wrote that page to begin with. I'd be sourcing myself! (trust me, bro)

    I'll try to find more threads to ask questions in whenever I feel guilty about my edits. Confidence builders are being contracted.

    EDIT: Sorry, I've fretted too much about the unaddressed things. A big problem with writing so much is a lot gets forgotten. Hopefully I can just bring up small things in the future.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2022
  2. RyogaMasaki

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  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Recently bought (and finished) Sega GT 2002 (thoughts in that other topic, whenever).

    I've been filling in blanks on the wiki (a.k.a. the whole page), and I have a fun question:
    We're claiming this, probably because Wikipedia is claiming this. Neither wiki has a source. Searching '"Sega GT 2002" Dreamcast' just brings up sites copy-pasting Wikipedia's assertion.

    Is there any proof it was Dreamcast-bound at all?


    My current guess is "probably not". It's not the prettiest Xbox game and does look quite "Dreamcasty" at times, but I'm not convinced on the timeframe:

    - The Dreamcast was cut loose in January 2001. I can't see Sega commissioning any "big" first-party games for the system after that date, so that suggest a starting date of late 2000.

    - Sega GT 2002 is heavily inspired by Gran Turismo 3, which initially launched in April 2001. It lacks much of the content, but you can tell where the inspiration came from.

    - The game (for the Xbox) was first(?) demonstrated at the Autumn 2001 Tokyo Game Show (mid-October 2001)



    (fun facts: different presentation, different HUD elements and a track that doesn't appear in the final game!)

    - the game launched in September 2002, i.e. more than 18 months after Sega pulled the plug on the Dreamcast. This may not mean much - ToeJam & Earl III launched in October 2002 (and we have Dreamcast screenshots of that one), but ehhh, it's a while, and there's not vast amounts of content in this game.


    You have x hours before I remove the sentence.
     
  4. doc eggfan

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  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Just went off to double check something quickly - I saw Sakura Taisen GB2: Thunderbolt Sakusen being listed as a "Game Boy" game at an event, when it's a Game Boy Color game. Was it ever due for the original Game Boy?... no. Does it work in an original Game Boy?

    [​IMG]

    Also no.

    Although here's an interesting thing for Nintendo fans - every GBC-only game had to implement a warning screen for regular GB owners, and they're all unique. However, this game came so late (December 2001) that it mentions the Game Boy Advance as an option! Won't be many of those.
     
  6. Pirate Dragon

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Game_Boy_Color_games

    Sort by date, several hundred GBC games released after GBA released in Japan (March 2001). I don't know when they started mentioning GBA in the warning screen though, but so much GBA dev stuff was leaked prior to launch that an emulator was released in September 2000! So presumably GBC devs would've had been able to take GBA into account quite early.
     
  7. Pirate Dragon

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    Black Squirrel's post in "The internet lies: cheat code edition" thread about Pelé II reminded me about something that I recently came across. The original Pelé! released Dec. 93/Feb. 94 for US/UK according to the sources on the wiki, and looking through UK newspaper archives the UK date seems about right. Looking at the Reception it got pretty panned in Europe, for example, from 10 reviews in the UK it averaged 47%, whilst there were less reviews in France and Germany the average score was similar. In the US however it averaged 74% from 5 reviews, possibly related to the fact that it was advertised in most of those different US mags, whereas it wasn't advertised in the UK mags.

    Still in the UK's Virgin Games Centre charts from early Feb. 94 it was the #1 selling game. I suspect in reality that chart was completely fabricated in order to promote unsold stock as another UK retailer was forced to admit that their "sales chart" was actually based on what they "thought" was going to sell. In the official ELSPA charts which tracked actual retail sales across most major UK retailers (including Virgin) Pelé! failed to make the top 10 Mega Drive chart, let alone the all formats chart.

    Which brings me to this "Future Zone" ad from Mar. 94. For those that don't know "Future Zone" is today known as "Game". They claim Pelé! was an exclusive, at £19.99, but without any discount as mention for other discounted titles. Actual reviews from the time have the price all over the place, from £29.99 - £44.99, but all significantly higher than £19.99. As this game was previously listed in the Virgin chart I suspect that this "exclusive" was really only exclusive at that price, with Accolade dumping their unsold stock of this huge turd (which incidentally released just after the massive hit that was FIFA) to Future Zone at a massive discount.

    Enough rambling, and on to my main point ...

    Whilst the original Pelé! had 17 European reviews, the sequel had .... none. In fact, it only had one contemporary review ... from EGM in the US, despite the fact that it released only 9 months later in the UK; ~Nov. 94. I guess they had a 1 year licensing deal and had to get the sequel out ASAP. Clearly they knew the sequel was a turd too, so didn't bother to send out review copies so as not to suffer the same fate as the original game.

    Which gets to the main point of this thread, Future Zone used to write a weekly games column for many regional UK newspapers, it was so widely carried that it could be considered semi-national in coverage. For some reason they decided to pimp this crap sequel to a turd of a game over several columns. Well, I guess the reason isn't too mysterious, as they clearly state, the game was only available at Future Zone stores, which was confirmed by their adverts. So yeah, Pelé! II was a retailer exclusive in the UK, and I wonder if it even got released anywhere else in Europe.

    RIP Pelé!, you never deserved this shovelware ...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I noticed Pelé was getting a warmer reception in the US - Sega Visions even interviewed the man... for some reason.

    They're both very strange games. As mentioned, Pelé II (by default) only features the 1994 World Cup teams, so not ideal for British (or French) consumers, but the first game just has names of (almost random) cities. Norwich is an option. I don't know why.



    In other news:

    There's the concept of "sample" covers in Japan, i.e. "the game's not out yet, here's a placeholder you can stick on the shelf"... or something. I'm not overly sure why they exist - you'd think retailers would want to stock shelves with products that could actually be bought, but whatever, they do.

    Obviously we want scans of these, but as most of them are unremarkable, they've not been high up the priority list. Most sample covers usually share the same designs as final versions, just with SAMPLE placed somewhere. But you do get the occasional interesting one:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    https://aucview.aucfan.com/yahoo/k1033593809/

    "Tetris K" (テトリスK)


    This is Tetris 4D before it found an extra dimension. It's a very early Dreamcast release (the sort that's so simple it should have been given away for free), so this cover probably pre-dates the console's launch.

    Other than managing to look even more bland than the final game, it may hold the distinction as the only Dreamcast game to reference the console's code name, "Katana". Assuming Bullet-Proof Software didn't just pick the K at random.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2022
  9. Pirate Dragon

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    This used to be a thing in the US too, albeit without a sample cover AFAIK. Whilst researching release dates from Usenet posts I came across a few posts claiming a game was out far earlier than it was supposed to have been released because they had seen the game on the shelf (I think the earliest I saw was Sonic 2). Other posters pointed out that these were for pre-orders. I guess it made it simpler to pre-order the correct game as they could just scan the barcodes, but that's just speculation on my part. It did make documenting release dates a lot harder though, as I had to take store sightings with a pinch of salt and rely on actual purchasers as much as possible.

    Edit: Sonic 2 example
     
  10. Overlord

    Overlord

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    You do occasionally see it in the UK too, but only for the biggest hitters and usually to get people to buy preorders...
     
  11. RyogaMasaki

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    Well... this was unexpected...

    I was perusing SPEC issues again after the TTS era Sonic pose I noticed over in the Sonic subforum, when I noticed something else:

    https://twitter.com/suddendesu/status/1609925140237942789

    It's part of a Phantasy Star manga in SPEC #7.5, drawn by Judy Totoya. There are other little easter eggs on the monitors in the manga, including Darth Vader and Sonic, so I wondered who/what this little guy was. It's Sonic-y in design, especially with the shoes, so I ventured a question to Totoya himself on twitter if it was a Tails prototype. (Not so much in the sense of an actual early version of Tails the character since the date of the issue is a bit too early for Sonic 2, but rather a character that may have later been re-used into Tails' design.)

    I was much surprised to get a response from him saying it was a character from an unfinished project, one that was cancelled as he was traveling to America to begin work on Sonic 2. It was apparently canned early as the character didn't yet have a name. It's late here in Japan, but tomorrow I'll make one more tweet asking if there's any other art or any other information about the project he'd be willing to talk about.

    edit: And I forgot to mention, he apparently used the character as a placeholder for Sonic 2's 2P mode before Tails was designed!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2023
  12. Ted909

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  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Update, thanks to wiki contributor, Goodolvic:

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:InstrumentsofChaos_MD_US_Manual.pdf&page=14

    Peru isn't listed in the manual of Instruments of Chaos, so was almost certainly removed from the final game. So there you go, not only does it have a Sonic-like debug mode, it has a Sonic-like Hidden Palace Zone. Except it's a temple.

    Another point of note: the manual credits are slightly shorter than their in-game counterparts, with Michael Latham getting the blame credit as "designer and producer" instead of "Waterman Design, Inc.". This may lend credence to the idea that the game was outsourced, ran into issues, and Sega of America were forced to step in.

    Half the testers are missing too - I only raise this because at this point in time, manual credits were usually longer than in-game versions. Perhaps SoA drew a line between the old development process and the new one. Or nobody cared enough.
     
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  14. Right as I start going through my Sega Retro Todo list for linking interviews in magazine articles, I come across net@ which I'd never heard of. Thought for a bit net@ was some other name for Dreamcast's online network, but it's arguably more interesting. The interview is with Mirai R&D's Tokinori Kaneyasu (Management) and Naoto Ishizu (Concept Design Section).
    https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:DCM_JP_20000728_2000-25.pdf&page=30
    https://segaretro.org/Entertainment_STAGE_net@

    EDIT: Oops, looks I still had a file attached from when I was writing in the wrong thread. Learned how to delete those with more options.
     
  15. RyogaMasaki

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  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  17. Black Squirrel

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    I've been reluctant to bother with Dreamcast emulation - the priority among developers seems to be pretty interfaces and a bazillion scaling or anti-aliasing options to make games look "better" for modern screens. If you want the raw pixels, like the wiki does, sucks to be you.

    (that and last time I checked the top Dreamcast emulators couldn't even render the menu system properly, which didn't bode well. They all had different views on the semi-transparent bits, but that was a a few years ago, maybe we've moved on)

    To test things, I picked a small dump that hasn't been documented properly: San Francisco Rush 2049 Demo CD. The "Flycast" emulator was a write-off - it doesn't agree with Windows scaling and doesn't have a screenshot button, so I went with Redream (which even found the demo's box art) and... immediately ran into an issue I don't think I've ever seen discussed:


    [​IMG]
    Redream can run in a 640x480 window. Alt+Print screen nets you an image like this: 640x480. Other shots look clean, but to make absolutely sure it wasn't filtering the image, I compared the pixels to Sega Retro's screenshot of the final version.

    [​IMG]

    The meaninfgul graphics are a match, but the vertical position is different and... uh... grey borders. Did Midway mess up before development had finished? I went looking on YouTube for real footage and nope, no grey borders there. Fair enough, our shot was taken in 2011, so it must be an old emulation issue... except the footage seemingly shows no borders at all.

    Redream has a dedicated screenshot button though. So let's use that instead:
    [​IMG]
    Oh. That's 640x440... which if I stretch to 4:3:

    [​IMG]
    ...corrects the circular bit of the logo.

    [​IMG]
    it's closer to the box art at least.


    The assumption I (and others) made is that all Dreamcast software runs natively at 640x480, and that seems to be the case with the vast majority of software(?). But San Francisco Rush 2049 isn't the only Dreamcast game to have funky-looking borders - do screenshots need retaking, or am I coming to the wrong conclusions?

    I also noticed the game isn't listed as being compatible with VGA boxes. Is there a connection?
     
  18. Bobblen

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    I did the MK Gold cheats by running Demul through dxwnd (basically for dxwnd's screenshot functionality). I did not think too hard about this, maybe I should have done!
     
  19. Black Squirrel

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    Okay we've got problems.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Spot the difference, other than the obvious ones. The first is a screenshot of the US retail version of Capcom vs. SNK, which as been on the wiki since 2010. The second is the demo version which I took a few minutes ago in Redream.

    (I'd have loved to match the geometry but Redream doesn't have a pause emulation button(?))

    There are transparency issues in the old screenshot. You can see the background through the Capcom and SNK logos - it's almost certainly an old emulation bug, which means ideally... that screenshot needs to be taken again. Unfortunately Redream doesn't fully support the game either - it can't render the introduction (the best bit!) so I don't know how much to trust it. Both of these shots could be wrong.

    Is dodgy transparency a common thing with Sega Retro's Dreamcast screenshots?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    maybe.


    Trawling through the Dreamcast library to get title screen screenshots was an inevitability anyway, since for the most part, we don't have localised versions, but yeah, turns out even the ones we do have are probably wrong. This bug may also explain why some of our screenshots look unusually dark.


    I won't be going through the full library any time soon to fill in the blanks (like I did with the Sega Saturn a few months ago). My current limits are demos and weird things nobody cares about, so absolutely feel free to jump in and become an expert.
     
  20. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Given how rare hardware-level support for order-independent transparency is, I would be pretty willing to believe this, though I admittedly lack a copy of the game to test for myself. Shuffle is the only one I could reasonably get a capture of to verify.