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General Questions and Information Thread

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

  1. Ted909

    Ted909

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    1998's popped up on Mercari recently, and the Kids Amuse stuff is still there, albeit bunched together with kiddy rides. Tomokazu Honma of Joypolis fame posted a glimpse of the guide from 2000 alongside a bunch of flyers for different games the other week as well, though it's harder to tell with this one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2023
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I made a thing: Category:Unknown year games

    This is (maybe) every game (or port of a game) on Sega Retro that doesn't have a date (i.e. they're all 198x/199x/200x/whatever-x). Sifting through Game Machine let me put numbers to many of the arcade machines (based on when they were advertised, so there might be a few mistakes), but there's a load left.

    And to be honest, that's fair enough - it's mostly a mixture of unlicensed MSX conversions, extremely rare SC-3000 software and low-key compilations. Realistically there's no chance of getting the page count down to 0, but the arcade games should be doable. And now the challenge:


    The Mega-Tech System, a.k.a. that time they put a Mega Drive in an arcade machine. Or I guess we ought to say the Japanese Mega 6, because that appears to have come first, but good luck finding info on that.

    (btw it looks like the Mega-Tech was meant to be called the "Mega 8" at one point)

    [​IMG]

    Mega-Tech is the one that puts time limits on games, rather than alter the software (that was Mega Play). I suspect Japan got theirs in the first half of 1989, with the rest of the world in late 1989 (which means, yes, nearly a year before the Mega Drive console in Europe). My understanding is it wasn't the strongest seller at launch, but it became a big hit as time went on... at least in Europe, which is where the majority of cabinets can be found today.


    I couldn't tell you what happened in Japan (my guess: not much), but in the US... Sega didn't sell it directly. One of their distributors, "R.H. Belam" got exclusive rights and took it to trade shows - I wouldn't say it was a non-event, but in Europe these were pushed through the regular channels, so you'd expect more success over here. It must have sold reasonably well because three years later they brought Sonic 2 to this thing. In fact there were (at least) 47 cartridges in total - yes they're all Mega Drive and Master System conversions, but it still costs to care.

    Judging from the promotional material, I'd guess eight games were made available at launch:

    - After Burner (SMS)
    - Alien Syndrome (SMS)
    - Altered Beast (MD)
    - Great Golf (SMS)
    - OutRun (SMS)
    - Shinobi (SMS)
    - Space Harrier II (MD)
    - Super Thunder Blade (MD)

    and then maybe other packs of eight later?

    BONUS IMAGE

    [​IMG]
    Cabinets were usually made locally - this is a Spanish one by distributor Unidesa. We're not good at regional variants - we probably should be.
     
  3. Chimes

    Chimes

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    A Spanish Mega-Tech cab?
    Son, once you start there's no going back.
    This means total commitment.
    Once you begin the path, there's no leaving the path.
    Are you sure you're ready for that?
    Meming aside, I do mean it. You better get some coffee when going down that Spain regional variants hole. There is a knee-buckling amount of homemade cabs and official cabs (sometimes both, with vintage cabs being modified with bolted buttons/coin slots as time went on) throughout the 80s and 90s. For example, despite selling like hotcakes, one Comecocos/Pac-Man cab won't necessarily look the same in another location.

    Search if you dare! But also kinda don't, you'll have a panic attack if you delve too deep like I did.
     
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Accidental find of the day

    There was a set of short-lived video game supplements in The Sun newspaper, Mega Guide. Well great news

    [​IMG]

    https://picclick.co.uk/Power-Up-Sega-Newspaper-Supplement-Very-HTF-Retro-256094605206.html
    https://picclick.co.uk/Power-Up-Plus-Sega-Newspaper-Supplement-Very-HTF-256094606331.html

    The Mirror also had one: Power Up!. Although I can't tell if it was a regular feature or just glorified advertising from Sega. I've only found evidence of three issues, but there's probably more - newspaper history tends to be locked off behind paywalls, because what better to keep tied up than 30 year old bits of paper sold for pence.

    Then again maybe there are limits to how many Princess Diana front pages archive.org can take. idk.
     
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  5. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Power Up ran weekly for many years from 1992 (although usually just a column in the paper rather than a seperate pull-out), they're scanned on newspaper sites, I'll get around to uploading them at some point.
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Question I forgot to ask the other day:

    [​IMG]

    I read that "Crash" by Shoei was a licensed version of Head On.

    In fact... I have read that many games were licensed versions of Head On. Irem, Sammy, Nihon Bussan, Nintendo - all apparently licensed Head On.

    is there actually any proof at all? I can believe it's a Sega invention (or rather, Gremlin, which was owned by Sega) but it seems weird to have this many official clones out in the wild.
     
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  7. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    I don't know about this specific game, but that was fairly common practice back in the early days. If you had a hit, but didn't have the capacity to manufacture enough to meet demand then it would just get licensed out to other manufacturers on a non-exclusive basis. If that happened then it's probably in Game Machine, but I don't think they had the overseas English language pages back then. Unfortunately Segaretro is playing up and timing out on that page right now, even though others are loading fine ...

    I remember these well, they were pretty ubiquitous in UK family oriented pub/restaurant chains (Harvesters, Beefeaters etc) back in the early 90s. You didn't really see them in actual arcades.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2023
  8. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    Head On was huge in 1979 - it released at the perfect time when the Space Invaders hype was starting to die down and people were looking for something different, but before Pac-Man took its audience. It had a lot of unofficial clones, it wouldn't surprise me to find a lot of official clones too.
     
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  9. I made a screenshot viewer user script for Sega Retro since the standard MediaWiki image viewer is puny and uglee. You can install it on any browser that supports GreaseMonkey, TamperMonkey, or ViolentMonkey (though I've only tested it in ViolentMonkey on Firefox and Chrome, and not much). It also works for NEC Retro and sort of for Sonic Retro (for images that use a template that ensures the right aspect ratio for screenshots, which is basically only the title screens and Game Gear screenshots on the Sonic Retro wiki).

    It enlarges screenshots that you click so they take up most of the window. It also shows a gallery view of all the screenshots on the page, which you can navigate by clicking a thumbnail or you can go through them all in order using the left and right arrow keys. Clicking on the enlarged screenshot (or hitting Esc) closes the overlay. You can bypass it by holding any modifier key or just opening the screenshot in a new tab or window (or click the link that appears on the bottom of the viewer to open the file page for that image).

    Screen Shot 2023-08-20 at 3.52.42 AM copy.png
     
  10. Sanqui

    Sanqui

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    Hey @Black Squirrel, I bet you'll be overjoyed to learn about this copy of The Lion King, which is unlicensed, but was nevertheless sold by an official Sega distributor in Czechia, Datart.


    DSC_0027.jpg DSC_0028.jpg DSC_0029.jpg DSC_0031.jpg DSC_0034.jpg DSC_0035.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2023
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  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I thought that might happen - I've seen dodgy consoles being sold by official distributors, so I figured there'd be some games out there.


    I think this might mean we have to class this specific copy of the game as a licensed product... which means if the ROM was modified, it will need to be treated as a genuine variant rather than a crappy bootleg. Even though it absolutely is a crappy bootleg.

    What a mess.
     
  12. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Okay compsci majors, I need something cleared up because this has been haunting me ever since I first read about this all the way back in 2018.

    So I've been reading up on general computer science to help me make memes (...yes), and while I've been retracing my steps and reexamining retro games, I came across this... dissertation.

    This is the Dreamcastify article on Sonic Adventure (and by extension, SADX) and its lighting system. It goes into depth on the lighting model it uses, and how the Gamecube system uses a less intensive system.

    When I first read the article when the blog gradually was promoted back in 2018, I didn't fully grasp what was going on other than "oh they're shinier now".

    But looking at this now... is this a Gouraud system with Phong-based shading? Obviously Sonic Adventure doesn't seem to use Phong model interpolation — it seems to be per-vertex lighting and not per-pixel, but many 1998 games have never used dual-faceted systems like Sonic Adventure did and often opted for baking colors onto the model.

    I've been cross referencing what I've found regarding lighting shaders and model interpolating, and I've come to the conclusion it's some form of Phong inspired lighting. I can't find the words on what this system is formally called.

    Any compsci major know what this is?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2023
  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Check ebay for Sega things on any given day and you'll always find something odd:


    [​IMG]

    https://picclick.co.uk/Rare-Sega-Ascot-5-Shillings-In-Trade-Token-354990461320.html

    it took a while for my brain to turn on. Ascot is a Sega game we know very little about - the one promtional picture we have shows a machine that takes 1d coins (one (old) British pence), and as a gambling machine, you'd expect coins to come out. And it looks like it was the style at the time to dispense fake coins, which you then can only exchange for "merchandise" (prizes; not dissimilar to redemption tickets).

    [​IMG]
    But this is really weird to me, and presumably unfamiliar with the pre-decimal system for British currency. This fake money has its value printed on - 5 shillings, or 60 pence (or a crown). You'd think they'd just do decimal for tokens, if not just so they only had to mint one type of coin, but no, here's the pre-1971 monetry system being mimicked by Sega specifically for prizes. And maybe tailored for specific games.

    And if you look online, it appears other amusement companies were doing something similar. Real money in, fake money out. It's sensible, yet unsensible at the same time.
     
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  14. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Possibly related to value? There were rules related to how much could be paid out as cash (I remember £6+ getting paid out as "tokens" back in the late 80s/Early 90s), something I particularly remember from a far older mechanical horse racing game they had at Butlins Minehead (which was already massively outdated at that time). When the rank outsider won (20p stake) you would win £6, but in tokens. I don't know if all machines did this, or if this one had an issue, but once that outsider won, it would always win 3 times in a row, so as kids we would just hang around there and when someone won the jackpot put our 20ps in for a guaranteed £12 in tokens. I don't remember what that machine was, or whether it was a Sega machine or not, but I do remember that one of the horses was called "Gaylord", which was a playground slur at the time, but probably not when the machine was originally manufactured.
     
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  15. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    I can't speak for pre-decimal era, but yeah, UK tokens weren't really like in Japan, you couldn't buy "prizes" with them (well maybe at some tourist areas, but not at normal arcades). All gambling machines accepted both coins and tokens, but were only allowed to pay out a certain amount in cash. So tokens were the solution, either waste your winnings back in the machine, or sell them to another player. I think it's similar to the Japanese situation, but very different in other ways.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    A thing.
    [​IMG]
    https://archive.org/details/game-machine-magazine-19861201p/page/n2/mode/1up

    OutRun Challenge Cup was a thing that happened. I don't actually know if there was a "cup" involved (OCR-ing vertical text is awkward), but hey, OutRun.

    https://archive.org/details/login-january-1987/page/n282/mode/1up

    This issue of Login even has a comic about it in colour. One of those photos has a "Studio Alta" building in the background, which still exists today... and that means:
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@35.6...YQlFmFXzKdWlfGyG!2e10!7i5792!8i2896?entry=ttu

    I was able to work out roughly where it occurred. Much has changed since 1986, but I guess I can get a job at BBC Verify now.

    [​IMG]
    It also looks like they gave out keyrings. There's a few subtly different variants online, so I have no idea if the above came from this event, but it'll be close.
     
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  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I thought I'd solved this years ago but apparently not:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Spot the difference.

    "Williams Electronics, Inc.", of Defender and Joust fame, set up a subsidiary in around 1985 called "Williams Electronics Games, Inc.". Same logo, same address, same everything, but it wasn't strictly the same company. Except there's no reporting on this change, and everyone's still calling it "Williams".

    "Williams Electronics" became "WMS Industries" around 1987. That's the company that bought Bally Midway from Bally but parts still traded as Bally and it made sense to someone

    https://archive.org/details/coin-cascade-ltd-magazine-feb-1993/page/14/mode/1up



    Williams lore is deep.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Arcade games get location tests, so I've invented a system to keep track of them. It's only taken me years... and it's still not that good of a system.

    I suspect many of the big Sega arcade games put their location testing dates up in lights. This one for Hori A Tale took place more than a year in advance of its nationwide rollout (which probably means loads of changes were made). You also get games tested in multiple locations, hence the table.

    I can probably do some wiki magic at a later date to automatically incorporate this information into development timelines and whatever.
     
  19. Ted909

    Ted909

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    Should the fact that the test was either 'public' or 'private' be noted in the comments - or could it justifiably get its own column?

    To give some recent Sega-related examples... Japanese people are saying that the yet-to-be-released Bingo Theater first appeared on a brief private test in September 2022, before re-emerging with public ones (and looking different) during March and May this year. This seems to be how the main bulk of titles get tested over there.

    Conversely, in the West, most tests are still unannounced - Mission: Impossible Arcade, for instance, specifically credits Superbowl UK Merthyr, because it only got quietly tested at the Sega Prize Zone there. Helpfully this is one of those games that gives a location in the credits, although dates will be much harder to discern on these.

    Ultimately the thing with this split is that excepting a few tests being mentioned in Gamest etc. during the 1990s, it only really came into existence with the dawn of the internet, and the wonders of it enabling arcade companies to specifically let many people know a game would be available for a limited time. But I'm not sure what the first arcade game to have its test publicised in that way actually is - this is something that could do with more research being done.
     
  20. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Depends how common it is I suppose - I'd have thought that majority of location tests would occur without fanfare, so you can judge whether it's able to attract customers.

    This might be different with medal games - perhaps the test isn't about if it stands out (I mean some of these are huge - they're difficult to avoid) but whether it physically works under strain (i.e. does it still function properly after 3240982834923 medals have been inserted, something I guess is tricky to test internally).