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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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    You never have to go far to find an error.

    "Dragons of the Square Table" was the working title for Blazing Dragons, aka the Saturn/PlayStation adventure game that only people like me remember. Terry Jones was involved, which means you can't go five seconds without the marketing mentioning Monty Python.

    Of course me just saying "this was the working title" isn't good enough for a wiki, so I took a quick trip across the internet to gather proof. And yep:

    [​IMG]

    ...that definitely looks like Blazing Dragons to me. Lots of minor differences with the final game if you're keen, but it's clearly the same product. Not quite sure if it got its 15 hours of voiceovers (TCRF claims there's some unused placeholders in the PS1 version, does that count?) and I'm not sure I'd be promoting the animation quality here, but whatever.

    (and yes 3D Baseball is literally just a bunch of crappy renders. That was enough to sell a game in 1995.)

    Wikipedia has some odd things to say though:
    Uh yeah no, not quite. The game was renamed and finished, and there was cartoon show, but...

    [​IMG]
    ...I'll let you decide if it influenced the video game. Spoilers: the characters have half as many feet. And were voiced by different people. And some were redesigned again for the second series.

    I don't know which project came first (I would guess the game, but I don't know how long cartoons took to make in the mid-90s) - neither were amazingly popular, though both fared better in the UK than the US, if that means something.
     
  2. EGM wasn't great, but I loved GameFan and found that to be better than even Mean Machines and I would say even the likes of CVG or Mean Machines typed a bit of nonsense for a paycheque and a so-called exclusive review. I did always find it crazy how many SEGA mags and well gaming mags the UK had back in the day

    For me, the best ever was Maximum magazine, such a shame it was short-lived, but I put a lot of that down to the mag not pandering to the PlayStation fanbase and looking to praise the Saturn and its games. I also did like Total Control shame that didn't last long either...
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Just so you know this isn't hyperbole - I've been trawling the wayback machine for magazine release dates, and here's a press release for Xbox Nation when it moved from quarterly publication to bimonthly:

    https://web.archive.org/web/2003041...ess/index.asp?page=releasearchive&id=021202.0

    Compared to some of the UK press releases for similar magazines, which go along the lines of "we're excited for the Xbox console"... yeah.
     
  4. Black Squirrel

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    They're out to get me

    [​IMG]

    Is it any wonder these magazines are shrouded in mystery - Super Power (Sweden) and Super Power (Finland) started life as Nintendo magazines, before going multi-platform in 1995. Then in 1996, the Swedish one changed its name to Super Play (Sweden), a name it would stick with until at least 2009. I thought Finnish Super Power and Swedish Super Play were original magazines, but turns out one is probably a translation of the other.

    There's also a French Super Power and a British Super Play, which were also Nintendo-only magazines. I assume there's no relation, but who even knows anymore.
     
  5. Black Squirrel

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    In some ways it's good the Dreamcast wasn't as popular as the PlayStation 2

    [​IMG]

    There were already like, 15 different "official" PlayStation 2 magazines around the world, but turns out Italy had two. At issue #19 of the first run, the publishers changed and the numbering system was reset, so the two magazines above are both issue #17. And because of how dates work, 17 was "year 3" of Future Media Italy's tenure but only "year 2" of Press Play Publishing.

    I'd like to think they both had local editorial teams, but if not, there's the potential of foreign articles being translated twice. What a mess.
     
  6. Black Squirrel

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    At the time of writing we're up to 29 "official" PlayStation magazines within the scope of Sega Retro, but there's one obvious omission: Japan.

    I wasn't really sure what the situation is there - there are plenty of "unofficial" mags, so maybe it wasn't worth spending time making one signed off by Sony HQ? Sega got by with just newsletters - I guess it's different in the home country where publishers might be within driving distance.

    Turns out that's not entirely true - there was a pseudo-official PlayStation magazine, but it's not obvious to English speakers:
    [​IMG]
    "Hyper PlayStation" was published by a (now dead) branch of the empire, Sony Magazines. There aren't any scans so I don't know the full story, but you'd think they'd put the official connection up in lights, so as to differentiate it from the bazillion other publications vying for your attention.

    But that isn't the weird bit. Sony Magazines also published this at the same time:

    [​IMG]
    Hyper Saturn, which we also don't have scans for, is apparently a spin-off of Hyper PlayStation. I hadn't clocked this - a branch of Sony was publishing a magazine for a company that competed with another branch of Sony.


    For the record, I don't think there's a Nintendo magazine.
     
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  7. Hyper Saturn and Saturn V were also magazines I only recently learned about, and them being published by Sony Magazines. Can't recall in the slightest how I stumbled into them when there's not much pointing in their direction.

    It took nearly a year of not knowing what was wrong, and then some waiting, but I finally fixed the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis credits page so that it populates the Production history sections for all the linked developers.
    Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis/Production credits

    The lesson, I assume, is to never call these sub-pages "Credits" ever again, always "Production credits". The way it was before, the "game" value ended up being Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis/Credits, which isn't a game that exists, instead of Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, which is a game that exists.
     
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  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    There was talk not too long ago about Street Racer. Well, a scan of Consoles + has turned up recently and oh, the unreleased 32X version:
    [​IMG]
    https://retrocdn.net/File:ConsolesPlus_FR_043.pdf
    https://www.abandonware-magazines.org/affiche_mag.php?mag=&num=13867&album=oui

    It's extremely similar to the SNES version, but with a non-working HUD.

    I was almost going to complement the 3-player split screen... until I realised the SNES version supported 4 players, and the 32-bit ports had 8 (yes 8-player split screen).
     
  9. Pirate Dragon

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    Obscure CD-ROM formats playable on Sega systems part 4;

    CD+G, or CD Graphics. I didn't go into this before as it's the least obscure of the CD formats supported by Sega systems outside of audio CDs. In the 80s/early 90s there was a few mainstream albums which included this format, Wikipedia lists a dozen, I guess there weren't many more. Recently someone uploaded a few; Fleetwood Mac - Behind the Mask, Information Society, and Jimi Hendrix Experience - Smash Hits. The uploader recommended using the ares emulator for Mega CD. I can confirm it works, but did notice some minor corruption which is in a slightly different place each time, so not sure if that is an emulation or dumping issue. Whilst CD+G was only used in a dozen or so albums it did find it's niche in Karaoke discs, it was a perfect fit for displaying the lyrics which changed colour in time to the singing. These were still being manufactured until fairly recently for dedicated karaoke machines.

    Looking to see if anything else had been uploaded since I last checked I noticed this; Megamind Volume Three (CD+G) [Errors], which got uploaded back in 2022.

    [​IMG]

    Wait, what, a CD+G game (or series of games going by Volume three)? Unfortunately the errors seem to stop the CD+G from working in Ares, although I could listen to the audio (mostly a 10 second timer ticking down). Fortunately the uploader made a video, but without audio. I think they could have done a lot better with this instead of "write down the answers and check your score after". CD supports 99 tracks, and CD+G supports 15 graphics channels per track for a total of 1,485 possible "sections". Designed well you could have had a branching multiple choice quiz which kept score. Still, this is the only non-native game (or series of games) that I'm aware of that works with Mega CD or Saturn out of the box (the others require additional software to run E-books or Photo CDs).

    I did a search to see if I could find a copy of this or any of the previous volumes, which I couldn't, unsurprisingly it must be quite rare. I did however find something even more bizarre, a compilation for LaserDisc ...

    [​IMG]

    This is listed in LaserDisc community lists, and listed as from the UK, which is where I saw this one, and is where the CD+G disc was manufactured. I really wanted a LaserDisc player in the UK in the early 90s, I would often browse high-end hifi stores, but as a 16 year old apprentice could never afford one (they were quite expensive). As the European market was fairly small compared to US and Japan most models supported NTSC and many NTSC discs were sold in the UK, which explains why a UK disc would be NTSC (potential to export). I wonder which came first, my guess is the CD+G version due to the LaserDisc being a compilation.

    As I lack discipline I bought the LaserDisc version, despite not owning a LaserActive, or any other LaserDisc player, I probably should have bought a LaserActive 10 years ago when they were still reasonably priced, if not exactly cheap. Even standard LaserDisc players aren't that cheap now, but I'll be looking to buy one to try out what must be the worst LaserDisc game ever.
     
  10. Black Squirrel

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    CD+G was something I was going to test, but never did... so I tested it just now and hey you're right, most emulators can't cope (I wasn't getting much luck with Ares either).

    My very limited understanding of this is that, for CD+G, the tracks need to be identified in the cue file as CDG

    i.e. instead of
    Code (Text):
    1. FILE "dump_220707_162448_Z (Track 01).bin" BINARY
    2.   TRACK 01 AUDIO
    3.     INDEX 00 00:00:00
    4.     INDEX 01 00:00:30
    it's
    Code (Text):
    1. FILE "dump_220707_162448_Z (Track 01).bin" BINARY
    2.   TRACK 01 CDG
    3.     INDEX 00 00:00:00
    4.     INDEX 01 00:00:30

    That Megamind cue file isn't listing it properly(?), which might be why you're not seeing graphics. Or I might be incredibly wrong - I've not got anything to work as intended so far.

    Mednafen doesn't like the CDG type... even though its PC Engine core explicitly says CD+G works. The emulator refuses the cue before it loads up anything (which means neither Mega-CD, Saturn, PC Engine or PC-FX will take it). You can create an "m3u" file to load multiple discs - I figured if I loaded a Saturn disc first, then swap, it might force the Saturn emulation to try and read the CD+G disc, but again, Mednafen won't let me get that far.

    Kega Fusion gets some points for not completely falling over - it'll load the disc, let you play it, and even let you turn on CD+G mode... but won't show any "graphics". Others refuse to accept the cue as valid and will either do nothing or crash. There's still some other options - converting to a different file format might trick some emulators... I'll play about a bit.


    Either way it's clever that for all these consoles with CD+G support built-in, very few emulators implement the feature. I think I've said this before somewhere - the Sega CD came with CD+G discs in the US, so no the fact Mega-CD emulators can't run some of the first pieces of software a user might try is a little crazy. Not that anyone really cares outside of this forum, but still.
     
  11. Black Squirrel

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I win

    Mednafen's PC Engine and PC-FX cores can do CD+G but not as a bin/cue. It has to be a ccd/img/sub combo. If you can convert, you might be in luck.
     
  12. Pirate Dragon

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    Yeah, the CD+G data is in the subcode channels, which I guess is what the sub file is.
     
  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    This is my running joke now: how many Sega games would Ocean Software cancel in the 1990s?

    Currently:
    10 Mega Drive games
    2 32X games
    12 Saturn games

    Today I (re)discovered another:

    Zoiks!, a planned adventure game with Hanna-Barbera characters.


    I was thinking the other day how (un)lucky I was growing up in the 90s. On weekday mornings, rather than make anything new, the BBC would air all sorts of tat they'd collected over the preceeding 30-40 years, which meant I was exposed to loads of Hanna-Barbera's old content at a young age. I know your Oggy Doggie and Doggie Daddys, your Jabberjaws and your Magilla Gorillas - if Snagglepuss cameoed in a video game today, how much of the audience would even know who he was?
     
  14. Pirate Dragon

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    Cool, the uploader recently uploaded a higher quality version;

     
  15. Black Squirrel

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    Between about 1994-1996, third-party games pubilshers just made stuff up as they went along. When it came to announcing games, you could just say "we're targeting next generation systems" without specifying which one - could be 32X, Saturn, PlayStation, 3DO, Jaguar, CD-i or N64 - something 32 or 64-bit that was a step up above the Mega Drive and SNES, and that'll be good enough.

    In practise this means "announce games for everything, only ship the PlayStation version". E3 1995 and 1996 were really bad at this, but I think I've found the worst one: ECTS Spring 1996. We don't have a definitive list because very few bothered to report on ECTS (neither Sega nor Nintendo showed up for this one), but as I type, there's 50 Saturn games listed there - literally half (as in, 25/50) did not release in the UK, where ECTS took place. Of those, 4 released in other territories, but 21 projects were completely shelved.

    E3 doesn't fare much better if you take Sega out of the equation, but this ECTS was a video game exposition where 50% of the Saturn products you might see you'll never be able to buy. That's slightly insane.
     
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  16. Well... Jellystone! is a thing.
     
  17. I don't think it was just the publishers. I would see the press make up stuff sometimes too back then, saying the game was coming to a system without no confirmation from the Publisher
    It was like every game was coming to the Mega-CD at one stage and I doubt most of it was coming directly from the Publisher.

    Speaking of Ocean mind it was such a shame WaterWorld was dropped for the Saturn, even thought it was finished. It was said to be one of the best looking Saturn games around.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

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    For the record, apparently this footage (and other things on that channel) are from Cybernet, a television show I... don't remember at all. Perhaps they had access to more.

    However that show was commissioned by Yorkshire Television, which means nobody is safe from me going into ECTS/ITV region hyper nerd mode and pointing this out

    [​IMG]
    https://segaretro.org/File:ECTS1997_Inside.jpg
    This is ECTS 1997. That pyramid was erected by a different ITV franchise holder:

    ...it's Anglia! There's probably some exciting story as to why the franchise holder for the East was covering an event in London, but I just wanted people to know I can spot old television network logos in video game conventions.

    And no I didn't grow up there - I'm in Tyne Tees and our idents were completely forgettable. This post is not suitable for anyone not British and/or under the age of 30.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2024
  19. Pirate Dragon

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    Cybernet was a spin-off from Movies, Games, and Videos. They also had another spin-off for cable TV which I can't remember the name of right now. I think all three ran at the same time for a while.

    Edit: The easy to search for "Interactive";

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2024
  20. Xilla

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    Cybernet was common middle-of-the-night fodder on ITV for years, aired in the early hours of Monday mornings usually and repeated mid-week. You'd probably find more unreleased titles showcased on there if you did a deep dive.

    I remember one episode showing a brief clip of an arcade version of F1 97.