General Questions and Information Thread

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

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    I'm still in a "wonky 32X prototype" mood, so I've started stockpiling for Sega Retro:

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

    I might push to get every 32X prototype a page. We'll see.

    Both Hidden Palace and TCRF have a head start on this, and while it becomes slightly questionable when the same corner of the internet documents the same thing three times, there's merit to at having something in our database, even if it's little more than "x is a thing that exists". And it's totlaly not just because I wanted to get the screenshots to line up.
     
  2. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    I thought I had posted this link when I posted this one here:
    But apparently not. If a need is needed for the old PlayStation Store layout (and thus links for archiving), this is where we need to go now: https://store.playstation.com/en-us/home/games?smcid=psapp
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    A couple of issues of Megacom(p) (later (Sega) Megazone)) found their way onto archive.org overnight, and with it, a project:

    https://retrocdn.net/index.php?title=File:Megacom_AU_01.pdf&page=12

    Viatel was Australia's Videotex service, and this frankenstein of a SC-3000 was being sold as late as 1988 as an "AutoCom", with the sole purpose of connecting to the network by Australian firm Compulink.

    "No computer needed"
     
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  4. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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  5. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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  6. Overlord

    Overlord

    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
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    Learning Cymraeg
    [​IMG]

    Spotted on an episode of Newsround from 1996. Took place in Earl's Court.
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    It's the forum post you've been waiting for - the evolution of Golf Magazine Presents 36 Great Holes Starring Fred Couples for the 32X!

    [​IMG]
    1994-07-06

    [​IMG]
    1994-10-11

    [​IMG]
    1994-10-17

    [​IMG]
    1994-10-24

    [​IMG]
    1994-10-26

    [​IMG]
    1994-11-01

    [​IMG]
    1994-11-03

    [​IMG]
    1994-11-05

    [​IMG]
    1994-11-08 - final

    Never before have so few damns been given.

    There's only two mildly interesting things about these early builds: The oldest one barely works because it pre-dates final 32X hardware (it might be the earliest 32X ROM ever dumped), and the first October build has other real-life golfers despite (presumably) no license to use them.




    Now they say the Simpsons version is a parody of Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf, but I'm not convinced. Here Fred Couples will tell you where your ball has landed, and it's monumentously dull, whereas Fighting Golf started its life as SNK arcade game, where dullness wasn't allowed.
     
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  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    I've settled for "every 32X prototype with a different title screen".

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Motocross Championship, the only 32X game to use JPEG technology. Because we wanted that.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Stellar Assault's tedious adventures with minor palette changes.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Some prototypes of Star Wars Arcade have a Mega Drive/32X rendition of the Star Wars theme, while the final uses a digitised recording.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    One Metal Head prototype forgets to shoot the title screen. Although they all forget to be good games.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    A few games drop "Sega Enterprises, Ltd." for "Sega". Not sure what that's about.
     
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Most prototypes in that 2008 haul were fairly late (as I guess you'd expect from QA builds) - there's only a few games where you can track a game's development over months. We have eight builds of Taz in Escape from Mars before it was even given a title screen, and one of them seems to only want to load a later level, so you can't actually "escape from Mars" in it.

    They also have ridiculously extensive in-game debugging tools.:

    [​IMG]

    I've never seen so many options in a Mega Drive game.... although granted, I haven't been looking.
     
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  10. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    Ouch. I quite enjoyed it back in the day. I felt like it was a better experience in Anime mode (probably due to raging weaboo tendencies) and there is a not very obvious option to upgrade your machine guns to lasers in the shop (you have to push the cursor off the side of the screen, and there is no obvious indication that you need to do this to get more options).
     
  11. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    PAL TeraDrive!

    Model number MK-52002-18

    This one's from UAE, another one sold recently in Germany from a collector, so could have originally come from anywhere. I've never seen these before, then come across two at once. Serial numbers seem to continue from Japanese model HTR-2002, the highest serial I've seen of that is 100007091.

    [​IMG]

    This email salvaged from the HDD of an internal Sega TeraDrive suggests that maybe these came from "ADO Electronics", maybe only 100 units? The 2 serials are <100 apart at least.

     
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  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    X-Men 2: Clone Wars is a game that had a shelf life of months. It's competent enough I guess, but nobody would play it out of choice in 2021. The only really notable thing it does plonk the player in a level which needs to be completed (or failed) before you get to see the title screen. It was in an AVGN episode years ago.

    We have a whole batch of prototypes and nobody has really touched them since they were originally dumped. I don't have plans to become an expert like I recently did with Chaotix, but between this and Taz in Escape from Mars (both produced by Headgames), I feel someone should care. What they have built under the hood is nothing short of astonishing.

    They're also really freaking weird protos.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The first two are dated the 6th and 10th May 1994. That's a full year before release date, which is crazy in prototype terms. Although we have nothing between these builds and October, which raises some questions - I'm not sure there's five months of work between the two, unless they were shockingly lazy.

    But is this shockingly lazy?

    [​IMG]
    This is the X-Men 2 in-game debug mode and a few of its features:

    [​IMG]
    There's an X/Y camera mode. Doesn't work fully in all builds but it lets you move freely around the map, pick objects up (they call them "actors" here) and put them down somewhere else.

    [​IMG]
    There are real-time readings of pretty much everything. What sprites are in the scene, what's happening in the background planes, palettes, sprites, a profiler which I don't think works here...

    [​IMG]
    ...what's in RAM, complete with tags telling you what things actually are, which is nuts

    [​IMG]
    Crazy details about every actor in the scene. You can create actors in-game - I don't know if it extends beyond just spawning pre-made ones but who knows.

    And later on...
    [​IMG]
    Real-time debugging information which completely crushes the frame rate.

    [​IMG]
    The ability to mess with the GEMS sound driver. Again, all in real time.

    [​IMG]
    And of course Dance Mode. Because obviously
    it doesn't work

    There are more things (e.g. you can record your own demos), but it looks like much of this was copied across from Taz and not everything has been adapted to the new game.


    These sorts of tools are commonplace in video game development today, and are typically taken out before release (as was the case here) but you don't see this stuff that often on the Mega Drive. Usually developers get by with just a level select and a few "give me all the things" codes - Sonic 1's edit mode is a luxury, but this is next level.
     
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  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    The internet is wrong: Puyo Puyo edition

    https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/gamegear/570358-puyo-puyo-tsuu/cheats

    "Inverts the Puyos' colors: 1+2+Start"

    [​IMG]

    Nope not really.

    [​IMG]
    This is what the game normally looks like - the code just makes the game use scaled down arcade graphics rather than versions optimised for the hardware. And god knows how you're meant to do that "different form for each opponent" code without crazy fingers or special tools.


    So cheat codes on the internet - they're kinda... meh. A good chunk aren't actually "cheat" codes (some are quite literally "play the game normally, and something will happen"), and as far as older Sega games go, most lists were compiled in the late 1990s or early 2000s, probably originating from games magazines in the old days of the internet. Thing is, many of these were never verified, and are still wrong 20 years down the line.

    Sega Retro does it better because we take screenshots. There's been a bit of a push in the last couple of days by your friendly neighbourhood sysops... though in my case I've been erratic, just tackling games I happened to have lying around that weren't going to take an age to complete (unlike say, NBA Jam). As such there's not a convenient way of determining what is missing - if you find something missing, do add it.

    As an incentive, here are some of the more fun codes added in the last couple of days:

    [​IMG]
    Republicans vs. Democrats in ESPN National Hockey Night

    [​IMG]
    Also Pong with an octopus. Which some sites have listed as "octo-pong" which I thought would be a fancy eight way thing.

    [​IMG]
    EA's re-releasing of Madden reaches a new low - Madden NFL 98 fails its own checksum routine because it was lazily copy-pasted from Madden 97.

    [​IMG]
    Red Zone has a decidedly "not red" Astroids mini-game where the numbers don't mean anything.

    [​IMG]
    Blue Sky Software managed to ship four different baseball games with the same "BS Zone"

    [​IMG]
    Lotus II: RECS has an entire second game hidden away - an update of the Commodore 16/64 shooter "POD".

    [​IMG]
    The PAL version of Ecco: The Tides of Time has a secret Hungarian language option (because Novotrade were based in Hungary). I bet there's a story there - it doesn't seem like the sort of thing you'd willingly hide.
     
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  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    In the interests of balance:

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

    Tengen/Time Warner Interactive also shipped what is essentially the same RBI Baseball game five times. Four of these require the same password to get to this animation viewer.

    We rip on EA for continuing the practise of annual sports updates for nearly 30 years, but I'd argue they did a better job disgusing it (at least in the early days). Tengen didn't even bother to change the menu font, and that last one, RBI Baseball 95, is on the 32X. Can't you tell??

    (EA shipped an entirely unique FIFA 96 on the 32X. Don't know if that makes it "good" but it's definitely a thing)
     
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  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    Not going to bump an unrelated topic for this, but

    https://forums.sonicretro.org/index.php?posts/946935/

    Kega Fusion and various flavours of Gens have an issue with replicating audio from what appears to be the GEMS sound driver. It's a horrible high pitched noise that's been spotted in a few places. I was just about to post Evander Holyfield's "Real Deal" Boxing as one of the worst I've heard, but then along came Spider-Man (Acclaim), based on the TV show.

    To ease you in, this is what the theme song should sound like:

    (the second best Spider-Man theme ever)

    And here's the best interpretation Acclaim could come up with on the Mega Drive:

    (it would be less harsh in real life. And for what it's worth, the SNES version isn't much better.)

    And... the emulated version:


    bingbingbingbingbingbingbingbingbingbingbingbing
     
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  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    None of this is "new" per se, but screw it - it might inspire someone:

    [​IMG]
    +1 games with extensive debugging features: Nightmare Circus, a game so good Sega of America wouldn't put it in a box and sell it.

    [​IMG]
    Psy-O-Blade has a hidden "shotting" game. It's an on-rails shooter that doesn't do much.

    [​IMG]
    Spot Goes to Hollywood has a secret screen with houses in it. The houses move around in circles. Because of course they do.

    [​IMG]
    It also has a slot machine where you can match developers heads and nothing happens.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    While Eurocom's Tim Rogers spent his free time making shoutouts to "Eve" (the second being in The Jungle Book). Presumably it was his favourite time of day.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    It was so clear Contra: Legacy of War was going to be the best thing ever, the developers had time to program in two hidden minigames.

    [​IMG]
    Yogi Bear: Cartoon Capers has a hidden Snake game. It runs in a higher resolution than the average bear.

    [​IMG]
    The last proper Mega Drive game, The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Mega Drive) is filled with secrets. There's a mode where you can watch the computer fight itself, another secret two-player deathmatch where "not-Sam Neill" can fight "not-Jeff Goldblum" to the death and...

    [​IMG]
    ... don't forget about the Sinclair ZX81.

    [​IMG]
    Meanwhile Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has some big orange dinosaurs, just like in the book.
     
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  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    To reaffirm my distaste for a "misconceptions" page.

    Sega games don't have levels.


    What? Well okay that's a lie, some of them do, but many do not, and I'm not just talking about certain genres of games which obviously don't have levels. In the late 1980s, the Sega terminology was "rounds". You can see this on Master System covers, but also in the code of many Japanese-produced titles. When Sega of America built up a presence in the early 1990s, they were more likely to talk in "stages", as was much of the industry at this point. Streets of Rage has used both "rounds" and "stages" in its lifetime, sometimes in the same game!

    That is to say, when GameFAQs and others have "level select" codes, these actually lead to "stage selects". Now obviously there are outliers (such as Sonic the Hedgehog) and none of this was enforced, but it's interesting to see. I could probably quantify it through Sega Retro - I'm not going to because it's a faff and nobody cares enough, but it's doable.


    So why did Sega drop its love for "rounds?". Well it probably didn't catch on as a concept, but I'd put money on it being Street Fighter II's fault. Street Fighter II firmly established that a "round" was fighting game terminology, as it is in sports such as boxing. Two or three "rounds" typically make up a "battle", and only when the battle is won or lost is there a change of environment. And there's no ambiguity - the cabinet told you, through speech, that it was a round, and it's difficult to argue against one of the most popular arcade games of all time.

    So Sega dropped back to stages like much of Japan, and... uh... probably still uses stages. Virtua Fighter 5 has stages - it's hard to tell for anything newer, because big budget first-party games aren't typically split up like they used to be.

    (incidentally while Virtua Fighter 5 shows "round 1" on screen, it says "fight 1" and the earlier games liked using "set 1")



    Also this isn't unusual, it's just a way of separating those who actually read what's on screen, versus those who make assumptions. For example, in Nintendo speak I don't believe "d-pad" exists - they like "plus control pad". The Mega Drive also preferred "triggers" for its "control pad", while the Dreamcast had "buttons" on its "controller". On Bally or Williams pinball tables, you have "jets" instead of "bumpers" - not everone converged on the same terms straight away.
     
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  18. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    Are there any active projects to sort this out? I'm trying to ween myself off a dependency on physical hardware to help declutter my life, but these kinds of things turn me off emulation.
     
  19. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    I feel like Nemesis might be the only one looking into it.
     
  20. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Think that's specifically an issue with SSG envelope stuff. Don't quote me on this just yet as I've not touched the instruments used in the song, but usually that's what happens when you use SSG to try to create a cymbal-ish percussion sound and it's not played bakc correctly (decay should be nearly instantaneous when done right in this case; Fusion is closest of the emulators I've touched)