General Questions and Information Thread

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

  1. Asagoth

    Asagoth

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    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
  2. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    I own a Japanese copy of Dynamite Deka 2 for the Sega Model2A arcade board. I even wrote the article on the password system. HOWEVER, my PCB has bad RAM and VRAM. And for some reason, it USES the password system. Something I could not do with an emulator!

    Typical Dynamite Deka 2 Game Over Screen:
    dynadeka2002.png

    My Dynamite Deka 2 Game Over Screen:
    Screenshot_20200729_200101.png

    "SUGOI NE" is the set password in the Game Assignments menu. It looks like this feature was used in the Ages 2500 copy of Dynamite Deka:
     
  3. Powpuck

    Powpuck

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    Do we still cover animation studios? Well I got another for the pile: "Silver Ant"



    SEGA All Star [sic] Racing is the only Sega game they currently claim credit for, but considering none of the Nintendo work they've done*--Metroid Prime Hunters, and Pokemon Sword and Shield--aren't, it's possible they've done more for Sega.

    *However, curiously, this cinematic of prohibition era cops and robbers fighting Matrix-style for "pachinko" has a Nintendo copyright.
     
  4. Level Zone Act

    Level Zone Act

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    The latest episode of Sonic the Comic the Podcast, on issue #32 (which is excellent and everyone interested in the minutiae of being a Sonic fan as a kid in the UK in the '90s should listen to it) includes discussion of that issue's advert for Marko's Magic Football. The advert mentions that you could get a free promotional Marko comic from branches of Boots.

    I realised: hey, I have that promo comic! (Though I'm not sure if Boots was where I got it from.)

    I dug it out and took photos of it:

    https://imgur.com/a/jWBy9qQ

    Unfortunately there are no credits on the comic at all. The strip is different from the Marko comic that Lew Stringer and Gary Andrews later did for STC - but I wonder if either of them had seen it?

    That comic, and the advert for it in STC #32, are not mentioned under promo material on the game's Sega Retro wiki page. Unfortunately my old scanner has never worked on anything more recent than 32-bit Windows XP, and I don't think my photos are good enough quality to upload to the wiki. (Also, this evening I'm getting lots of Cloudflare 524 timeout errors on the forum and wiki, so I'm reluctant to even try and upload them tonight.) I could try and take better photos of it tomorrow, if you think the quality would be acceptable?
     
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Presenting, the numbers:

    https://segaretro.org/Template:CriticalReception
    (showing Disney's Aladdin by default)

    Up until now we've only been offering average review scores. Now, a detailed breakdown by country and game version - which games are actually good, and are the French more positive than the British (spoilers: yes).


    Of course, this becomes more reliable as magazine scores are added. Aladdin has 34 because I went looking, but most games currently have far less.
     
  6. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    A strange finding:

    In both Sonic the Fighters and Fighting Vipers, there is a check for a string in memory. The string is: "RES NL SN ED QEU", in hex the values are: 52 45 53 20 4E 4C 20 53 4E 20 45 44 20 51 45 55....

    This check is to see if the game should display the "WARNING" screen on boot. If the check fails, it shows the warning screen. If it passes, it skips the warning screen. This is used as a boot-flag for the test menu, which when you exit does a soft reset of the game, but keeps this check in memory to let it know it should have only displayed the WARNING screen on it's first boot.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    The numbers, part deux:

    Power Drift/Reception

    I have invented a "reception" sub-page.


    The idea

    - To give general overviews of how a game was received (we have magazine articles sub-pages for specifics)
    - Breakdowns of every review score
    - Sales figures (still figuring this out)
    - Software chart positions (still figuring this out)

    Basically, "how did the public react when the game was released?".



    Most game pages aren't covering 3249872304 ports so they should look nicer than Power Drift here, but yeah - comments, thoughts, suggestions, improvements, etc.

    And yes there are several thousand video games, so several thousand reception sub-pages will be required. I've tried to make it as copy-pastable as possible.
     
  8. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Nice work, for software charts it should be pretty flexible, there were so many different charts in Japan and the UK. The main UK chart was (and still is) the "All Formats" chart which combined sales of all different formats of a game. This chart would be relevant for first party titles, and Sega platform exclusive third party titles, but not so much for multi-format third party releases. Fortunately they also had an "Individual Formats" chart which didn't combine the different formats. This is how most other countries multi-format charts worked, but whilst the UK had weekly charts, most other countries were monthly, although some Japanese charts such as Famitsu were bi-weekly at first, then later weekly. Then there's the platform specific charts which are relatively straight forward. Gallup/ELSPA in the UK really complicated things by also having Full priced and Budget priced charts, then 8-bit and 16-bit charts (also split full/budget price), and in the second half of 1991 splitting the charts between consoles/cartridge and computers/disk. At some point by early 1994 they also added CD-Rom charts. This would last until the end of 1996, before it got a bit more sensible in 1997. So yeah, flexibility in adding different charts will be essential.

    What data to put in there? I'd suggest debut position, weeks/months etc at #1, weeks/months etc in the top 10, and weeks/months etc in the full chart if longer than 10 positions (UK All formats was Top 40, Famitsu was Top 30).

    I've been working on the UK charts for years, there's still a lot of gaps, and this is also the case for other countries charts, so there might need to be use of "greater than" and "less than" for the number of weeks spent at certain positions.

    Cartridge (All Formats) Chart Week Ending - 1st October 1994
    Cartridge Individual Formats Chart Week Ending - 1st October 1994
    Mega Drive Chart Week Ending - 1st October 1994

    Here's an example for Urban Strike, it debuted at #1 in both the "Individual Format" and "Mega Drive" charts, but only at #2 in the "All Formats" chart behind the multi-format Mortal Kombat 2. It then rose to #1 in the All Formats chart for the next 2 weeks, before dropping out of the Top 10 after 8 weeks. Unfortunately I don't have the full Top 40s for much of this period.

    These can also be used for estimating release dates as games were supposed to release on a Friday (the day before the chart ended) in the UK.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Probably want those teletext "screenshots" on Retro CDN (unless they're already there). That could easily be our primary source, given the listings were able to be updated weekly rather than rely on monthly magazines.

    I'm thinking of having a system where we just store the top x game names (with formats) somewhere, and then have the wiki work out whether it's gone up or down or is a re-entry or whatever. On these reception pages, it would dig around and attempt to create a... table... of some description.

    It gets complicated because we're not just dealing with "official" charts. There are occasions where a magazine has partnered with a specific retailer, so we might have HMV-only charts or something of that nature. Also when different versions of a game are grouped together.
     
  10. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    I did start uploading them as magazines before the last major magazine change (along with other teletext services), I can no longer find the ones that I uploaded, so either deleted or lost ... they're probably somewhere. Still, that was just a PoC which was made redundant by the change. If might be more appropriate to have a teletext section to upload them to, rather than trying to shoehorn them into the magazine section ... I'm not entirely sure about that.

    That's probably the best way to do it. We already have a section that we could build off of.

    My personal opinion is that those retailer charts aren't really worth documenting. Certain retailers only stocked a small number of titles at any one time, never gave dates for the period the chart covered, and had massive incentives to "fix" the charts in order to shift unsold stock etc. If there isn't a publicly available methodology to a chart compiler's chart, then it doesn't really tell us anything beyond what that retailer wanted to portray.

    Just to complicate things, until the second half of 1994, in addition to the "proper" weekly charts, Gallup also compiled a weekly "four weeks ending" charts specifically for monthly magazines so that they could cover the whole period between magazines, so any Gallup/ELSPA charts in monthly magazines prior to the second half of 1994 are of limited use as they rarely dated them (see Mega Machines for copies of the actual faxes that Gallup sent out), although it might be theoretically possible to work out the week that they ended in, but unlikely to be possible for the majority IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I was considering having "video coverage" pages to complement "magazine articles". That would have all the GamesMasters and Bad Influences and the like, with similar review tables, which we can then do magic on.

    I was working on something similar but... I'm in two minds about it all. Do we document a TV programme in one go and timestamp all the relevant bits, or do we add the relevant clips to a big table much like we're doing with magazines? We run the risk of doing the same work twice.

    Because while we would want to document a Sega-published VHS in full, we might be less bothered if it's just a short clip from the local news or something.


    And I would be tempted to put teletext in there. Because it's... video information, kinda. More video than print, anyway. It's again something I don't know how best to handle - we have teletext pages as PDFs, PNGs and as regular text for when there aren't any screenshots.

    And secretly I'm hoping for real data so we can render teletext pages in-browser. Because I'm only slightly derranged.
     
  12. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    I like what you've done there, but the actual amount of video coverage is so much lower than magazine coverage that it might not be such an issue if work ends up getting duplicated, presumably the initial job of obtaining the timestamps would be the bulk of the effort.

    Just leaving this here before I forget it again. Swedish games show from 1989 with coverage of ECTS ... might have other Sega content, I don't recall.

    I'd say it's closer to magazine than video, but it's really no different than online viewdata services such as Forcefield Direct on Silicon Village (that's the only surviving example that I'm aware of, so no need to accomodate those). They just used different means of transmission to achieve the same goal, teletext adapters were also available for computers (why didn't anyone make a Mega Drive teletext cart!?!), so it wasn't just a TV thing.

    Yeah, that would be the ideal solution, but not many upload the full data, so it's unlikely that will ever be practical for the vast majority of recoveries. This seems to be the new home for where the community uploads recoveries, and it doesn't seem to include the data. Another issue is corruption, very few recoveries are perfect (VHS didn't have the resolution, which they get around by brute forcing ... very CPU intensive), although they do have checksums, so some perfect recoveries have been confirmed. The guy who was uploading a lot of the games related recoveries has deleted his Twitter account, and the Digitiser fansite hasn't updated with new recoveries for a while, so not sure what's happening about that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
  13. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    [​IMG]

    So over on the Arcade Project forms, they have a Model2/3 section and someone just received their Sonic the Fighters setup and THIS harness adapter was included! I am absolutely floored at the quality and wish to know more about it!
     
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Numbers 3

    Shenmue II/Reception

    Pulling data from Dreamcast French charts. I haven't formatted it or done anything clever yet, but it's a start.


    The charts themselves work out whether there's been any change since the last time, though they can't cope properly with re-entries yet.
     
  15. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Nice start!

    99% of sales numbers will be from charts (mostly Japanese), so maybe add columns for sales and total sales. They'll obviously be redundant for those French charts as we don't have the numbers. I've already translated a lot of the charts from Sega Saturn Magazine, so can start adding those when the format's finalised.
     
  16. Scarred Sun

    Scarred Sun

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    Welp, this.
    Since I never knew about this until now, I had to share:

    [​IMG]

    Death by being stun on the tongue by a wasp while eating ice cream is... uh, wow.
     
  17. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I actually posted this a few years back - that scan there from the wiki is one I made as a replacement scan for one I did like a decade ago =P

    Also, yes - hell of an awful way to go, for both him and his surrounding family.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    https://segaretro.org/Darius_II/Magazine_articles

    I've hacked in support for reprints and translations of magazine articles (see Mega Drive -> CVG). In the early 90s quite a few magazines didn't have an opinion, instead posting the views of others. And because the internet didn't exist, they could get away with it. I don't think it's particularly fair to list exactly the same review twice though. The results are already skewed from publications reviewing games multiple times, but we can at least avoid duplicate reviews.

    Some magazines did eventually hire their owns staff and become actual journalists, so this mechanism should only be used if you're absolutely sure it's the same thing.


    Known cases:
    - Consoles + borrowed from Mean Machines for the first few issues (look out for Mean Machines staff)
    - Computer + Video Giochi borrowed from Computer and Video Games. It was doing its own thing by the end.
    - Zzap! borrowed from Zzap!64
    - The Games Machine (Italy) borrowed from The Games Machine
    - Consolemania borrowed from Zero until Zero went out print
    - Supergame and SuperGamePower borrowed from GamePro (these are clearly labeled and use the GamePro review system)
    - GamePro en Español borrowed from GamePro
    - Sega Master Force and Sega Force Mega share the same "G-Force" section for Game Gear games
    - The 34th issue of Dreamcast Magazine (UK) is full of reprints

    and there's probably tons more.
     
  20. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    Got some pics of it. They, sadly, weren't willing to trade/sell it.

    lHj96qSl.jpg z8v94yhl.jpg vJ2wac0l.jpg VRyNevQl.jpg ermFy8Rl.jpg rgYf2fAl.jpg
     
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