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General Questions and Information Thread

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

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    RE: ROM revisions. There's quite a few, and I'm conscious that at some point Sega Retro is going to have to explain why they exist.

    I think many of these are actually localisations - slight tweaks for different markets, rather than fixing bugs and making the games better. They've been picked up as revisions because the headers mislead - plenty of games are marked as JUE despite not releasing in J, U or E, and if you're not keeping track of where the ROMs came from, you get four releases of Super Monaco GP that originate from "cartridge". Which cartridge? The one with pins, who knows.

    Some games were genuinely re-released because of game breaking bugs. The first version of Jordan vs Bird can't cope with left and right being pressed at the same time, which is a doable thing with crappy controllers. EA set up a phone line and Sega issued a technical bulletin to third-parties, and a fixed version was put on sale. I would expect other games to have similar (if not quite as extreme) stories to tell.


    Anyway, games I don't trust™:

    Columns/Technical information
    Forgotten Worlds (Mega Drive)/Technical information
    Ghostbusters (Mega Drive)/Technical information
    Golden Axe/Technical information
    Granada/Technical information
    Joe Montana II Sports Talk Football/Technical information
    Krusty's Fun House/Technical information
    Lemmings/Technical information
    Mortal Kombat/Technical information
    NHLPA Hockey '93/Technical information
    QuackShot Starring Donald Duck/Technical information
    Super Hang-On/Technical information
    ToeJam & Earl/Technical information

    Plus a few others like Space Harrier II and Super Thunder Blade, which I trust so little that I haven't made sub-pages yet.

    At the very least I'd like to think newer revisions can be spotted by changes in packaging or manuals.
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I was vaguely in the mood to fix things, and I noticed this issue on the TODO page:


    I'd like to get more people comfortable with the funky side of Sega Retro, so here's "why this is a thing and why I'm probably not going to 'fix' it".

    Template:GameList is a template. Its purpose is to generate lists of games, like List of Mega Drive games in Japan. Its usage is straightfoward:
    Code (Text):
    1. {{GameList
    2. | format=MD
    3. | region=JP
    4. }}

    Give it a console, give it a region, and makes a table and does all the heavy lifting for you. How does it do that?

    Code (Text):
    1. {{#vardefine:formatlong|{{#replace:{{Code2Format|{{{format}}}}}|i-mode|I-mode}}}}{{#vardefine:norrp|{{{norrp|}}}}}{{#vardefine:nocatalog|{{{nocatalog|}}}}}{{#vardefine:norating|{{{norating|}}}}}{{#vardefine:formatoverride|{{{format2|}}}}}
    2. {{GameListTable|
    3. {{#dpl:
    4. |categorymatch={{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes||{{#if:{{{ignoreregion|}}}||{{{region}}}}}}} {{#var:formatlong}} {{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes|demo discs|games}}
    5. |categorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}|Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games|}}
    6. |notcategorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}||Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games}}
    7. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} accessories
    8. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} hardware
    9. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} aftermarket games
    10. |ordermethod=title
    11. |title<=M
    12. |noresultsheader=\n
    13. |include={{GameListTable/Include|system={{{format}}}|region={{lc:{{{region}}}{{#if:{{{download|}}}{{{disk|}}}|_d|{{#if:{{{cassette|}}}{{{card|}}}|_c|}}}}}}|region2={{lc:{{{region2}}}{{#if:{{{download|}}}{{{disk|}}}|_d|{{#if:{{{cassette|}}}{{{card|}}}|_c|}}}}}}}}
    14. |mode=userformat
    15. |secseparators={{GameListTable/Secseparators}}
    16. }}<!-- we query twice because of DPL count limits -->
    17. {{#dpl:
    18. |categorymatch={{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes||{{#if:{{{ignoreregion|}}}||{{{region}}}}}}} {{#var:formatlong}} {{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes|demo discs|games}}
    19. |categorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}|Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games|}}
    20. |notcategorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}||Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games}}
    21. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} accessories
    22. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} hardware
    23. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} aftermarket games
    24. |ordermethod=title
    25. |title>=M0
    26. |noresultsheader=\n
    27. |include={{GameListTable/Include|system={{{format}}}|region={{lc:{{{region}}}{{#if:{{{download|}}}{{{disk|}}}|_d|{{#if:{{{cassette|}}}|_c|}}}}}}|region2={{lc:{{{region2}}}{{#if:{{{download|}}}{{{disk|}}}|_d|{{#if:{{{cassette|}}}|_c|}}}}}}}}
    28. |mode=userformat
    29. |secseparators={{GameListTable/Secseparators}}
    30. }}
    31. }}

    With this god-damned mess. And this is why there's only a couple of people who maintain this stuff.


    What this secretly is, is a "DPL" (dynamic page list) call. DPL lets us treat wiki pages and categories like a pseudo-database - we're basically saying "give us Japanese Mega Drive games", then when we've got the results, we're formatting to make pretty tables. DPL is really powerful - you can do all sorts with it but not many wikis have it installed.

    Now, there's actually two DPL calls here because MediaWiki has a hard limit on how many results you can receive (it's about 1000 and we have 1100+ Saturn games). So the first call looks for page names starting the first half of the alphabet (|title<=M) and the other in the second half (|title>=M0). It's a crappy workaround, but when you ignore the bloat, you're left with:

    Code (Text):
    1. {{#dpl:
    2. |categorymatch={{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes||{{#if:{{{ignoreregion|}}}||{{{region}}}}}}} {{#var:formatlong}} {{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes|demo discs|games}}
    3. |categorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}|Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games|}}
    4. |notcategorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}||Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games}}
    5. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} accessories
    6. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} hardware
    7. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} aftermarket games
    8. |ordermethod=title
    9. |title<=M
    10. |noresultsheader=\n
    11. |include={{GameListTable/Include|system={{{format}}}|region={{lc:{{{region}}}{{#if:{{{download|}}}{{{disk|}}}|_d|{{#if:{{{cassette|}}}{{{card|}}}|_c|}}}}}}|region2={{lc:{{{region2}}}{{#if:{{{download|}}}{{{disk|}}}|_d|{{#if:{{{cassette|}}}{{{card|}}}|_c|}}}}}}}}
    12. |mode=userformat
    13. |secseparators={{GameListTable/Secseparators}}
    14. }}
    So you're left with a DPL call with 12 arguments... but half of those can be discounted because they're just dealing with formatting (or more specifically, grabbing release details and making sure they're printed in separate columns in the table). So it's really just:

    Code (Text):
    1. |categorymatch={{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes||{{#if:{{{ignoreregion|}}}||{{{region}}}}}}} {{#var:formatlong}} {{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes|demo discs|games}}
    2. |categorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}|Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games|}}
    3. |notcategorymatch={{#if:{{{download|}}}||Download-only {{#var:formatlong}} games}}
    4. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} accessories
    5. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} hardware
    6. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} aftermarket games
    Usually we list downloadable games separately which is why lines 2 and 3 exist. Lines 4 and 5 guarantee we're just picking up "games" and not consoles/accessories (although are probably redundant these days tbh), which leaves lines 1 and 6:

    Code (Text):
    1. |categorymatch={{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes||{{#if:{{{ignoreregion|}}}||{{{region}}}}}}} {{#var:formatlong}} {{#ifeq:{{{demo|}}}|yes|demo discs|games}}
    2. |notcategorymatch={{#var:formatlong}} aftermarket games
    The syntax is messy because there are conditional statements and variables, but once the MediaWiki parser has had its way, you'll get
    Code (Text):
    1. |categorymatch=JP Mega Drive games
    2. |notcategorymatch=Mega Drive aftermarket games
    aka get everything in this category that isn't also in this category.

    And herein lies the issue - Zero Wing was originally released in 1991, but was re-released in 2020 by Retro-bit. To keep the distinction between Mega Drive games that actually came out when it mattered, and novelty print runs made 30 years later, we class the novelties as "aftermarket" games.

    Problem is, I wrote that before Retro-bit started re-releasing games on cartridge, so the aftermarket release of Zero Wing is listed alongside the original release, and so ends up being treated as both an "original" Japanese Mega Drive game, and an aftermarket one. This means it isn't picked up by the GameList template because the page exists in both categories.


    How do we fix this? Well there are almost certainly wacky things we can do with DPL, but that isn't going to help much with the "make this code maintainable" issue. We're probably better off treating the 2020 re-release as a separate game entirely - that's sort-of what's happened on Sonic Retro with various iterations of Sonic 1 and 2. It's not a great solution, but it would fix the described bug, and if Zero Wing keeps getting print runs for whatever reason, we're not polluting the original game's page with more modern noise.


    Anyway none of these templates are super complicated, they're just borderline unreadable because of MediaWiki syntax.
     
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  4. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Said GameSack episode didn't show or mention Sega Retro so I'm not sure what that has to do with us.
     
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  5. One idea I had was to manually add an additional category for every game with an aftermarket re-release, but I don't know if the querying syntax lets you only skip rows with a category unless another category is present.
    My assumption is that he was going by Sega Retro's list of U.S. Sega CD releases since it seems unlikely that he was using another list that coincidentally omitted the same two officially released games (and no others). Joe's a Sega guy, so he'd probably prefer to use Sega Retro over some pleb resource like Wikipedia. But I'm speculating; for all I know, he just doesn't like monkeys or LucasArts.
     
  6. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Free advertisement.
     
  7. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    This is the part I don't understand. The video was about every Sega CD game, so he he still listed them in the video. Mot sure why he would care if they were re-released on the Sega CD again.

    Plus there are tons of "Sega guys" who just use Wikipedia anyway. I've seen various YouTubers who will cite Sonic Retro for something about Sonic and in that same video use Wikipedia for whatever non-Sonic Sega game.

    It's actually very rare for anyone to talk about Sega Retro on the internet as a whole.
     
  8. BlueSkiesAM2

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    Now I’m confused.

    My understanding is that both SegaRetro’s list and Joe’s (GameSack) video leave out those two games. It would be an extreme coincidence for the only two games (out of ~200) he’s missing out to randomly be the same ones as SegaRetro’s list. That, plus the fact that he’s clearly a huge Sega fanboy and puts a higher degree of effort into his production than most YouTubers, makes it likely he was using SegaRetro as a resource.

    The guy is pretty active over on Sega-16, so I’m sure he’s familiar with Retro. I’d honestly be shocked if it weren’t the reason the games were left out.
     
  9. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    The video in question for those wondering:
     
  10. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Mega Drive ROM headers are in your hands now - I'm onto the next best thing, the Pico.

    https://segaretro.org/index.php?tit...r_by_options[0]=ASC&limit=500&offset=&format=

    Pico hardware is derived from the Mega Drive, and all its ROM headers use the same format, up to and including the games released as late as 2005 (after brand new formats had been introduced for the Saturn and Dreamcast). That being said, Pico development seems to have been more straightfoward, because the headers have less stuff in them, and they didn't have to worry about TMSS compliance.

    Japanese Pico game names are typically represented by (poorly translated) ASCII rather than Shift-JIS characters. The majority also claim to be "region 5", which is curious, as this means "NTSC-J and NTSC-U", despite clearly not having a US release. Pico games aren't region locked, but you're not going to sell Japanese-speaking Doraemon or Anpanman games to a US audience.


    This exercise also highlighted one (of probably a bazillion) mistakes with Unou Kaihatsu Series 8 Dolucky no Oekaki House. I just thought this game was generic educational tat but it's a tiny bit more interesting - "Dolucky" is a company mascot of Zoom, the company behind...

    [​IMG]
    ... Phalanx on the SNES. You know, that shoot-'em-up where they put an old man with a banjo on the box for no good reason. They also made other things.

    Dolucky had quite a life, originating in manuals before becoming his own video game star:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    He also cameos in a Zero Divide cheat on the Saturn where you can hit him with a hammer.
     
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  11. I thought they were both missing from the video. I scrubbed the video again and found Rebel Assault but not Monkey Island. Maybe it's in there and I'm mistaken, I dunno.
     
  12. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Yeah, just keep the aftermarket stuff separate.
     
  13. Some love to bash SEGA Retro, but it's one of the best resources out there.
     
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Presenting: the most localised video game on Sega Retro:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    And fair play, they even translated the honey pot. That's more effort for this kids game than most Mega Drive titles of the day.

    God damn what is my life.
     
  15. Chimes

    Chimes

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    the one digitizer artist being brought to redraw the same logo over and over:
    cover2.jpg
     
  16. Pirate Dragon

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    There's possibly also undumped Dutch and Portuguese (non-Brazilian) versions. Those Dutch & Portuguese releases are complicated by the box showing a picture of a native language cartridge front, but the actual cartridge front is just plain English. This game seems to have been only available bundled unboxed in Europe (all PAL boxed versions seem to come from Asia), so they could easily go undumped as they look like the standard UK version from the front.

    Examples;

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Portuguese ones at least have a Portuguese sticker on the back, I haven't seen a picture of the back of a Dutch cart though.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Okay we need Dutch Tails
     
  18. Pirate Dragon

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    I don't think there was a Dutch Tails, only Magic Crayons, Lion King, and Pooh are listed on the boxes. I don't think the Portuguese version has been dumped though (unless it's the same as the Brazilian release).
     
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I also suspect there might be more Swedish Pico games out there.

    There's also a strange gap with The Berenstain Bears' A School Day - no UK, French or German dumps. I suppose it's a modern miracle any Pico game is dumped at all, but it's odd that the Korean version found its way online first.


    Speaking of dumps:
    Stuff gets onto archive.org quicker than I expected

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Retro-Bit's versions aren't fundamentally different games, but they have been modified, mainly to reflect copyright changes. The Toaplan ones are particularly weird because they've had the introductory Sega logo removed... except the screen is still there, so you get to look at nothingness for a few seconds before you can start playing.

    No 2020 Truxton yet. Mark Bussler would be turning in his grave... if he were dead.
     
  20. Overlord

    Overlord

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    The irony of the Winnie the Pooh game getting a Chinese localisation is hilarious in a modern context.
     
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