General Questions and Information Thread

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

  1. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    Yet, each of Sonic "stages" (the zones), are divided in acts, like a play would have in a theater stage.
     
  2. Xilla

    Xilla

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    It's an often overlooked thing in comparison to the many many changes between the Japanese and Western versions, but for whatever reason, Bare Knuckle 3 calls them "Rounds" yet Streets of Rage 3 calls them "Stages".
     
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  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    If you ever want something to do, we're always keen for comparisons between Sega and non-Sega versions of video games. I've only ever scratched the very top of the surface here - there's obviously a lot of Mega Drive/SNES comparisons out there, but when you add in all the home computers, it's a job for life.

    Prince of Persia/Comparisons
    Lemmings/Comparisons

    There are 17 different versions of Prince of Persia, and 27 different versions of Lemmings. I think that's about as extreme as it gets.


    Incidentally I won't personally be filling in all the gaps - I'd much rather target systems I understand than attempt to do everything, and some of these systems are really awkward to emulate (hi classic Mac). It would be great if someone became the Amiga CD32 or FM Towns master.

    I'm more than happy to take the IBM PC and its many flavours of graphics cards though. I'll even let you do the NES and SNES which are shockingly easy in comparison to wrestling WinUAE for Amiga screenshots.
     
  4. Mr. Ksoft

    Mr. Ksoft

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    Sounds like a good opportunity for me to start contributing to the wiki. I'll trawl through the missing comparison images list and give it a try. Once I get in the groove I should be able to hammer out a ton of these.

    (And no kidding about Classic Mac emulation, it just sucks. Luckily I have real hardware I can use for screenshots. Also regarding the Mac, I will probably split out screenshots between B&W/Color modes, because usually the B&W assets are considerably different and aimed at 512x342 resolution vs 640x480 for color. I know Lemmings in particular uses a totally different sized UI when run in B&W)
     
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    Absolutely - there could be a bazillion different graphics modes and ports we've missed. And the idea will be we'd want to compare as many screenshots of... "things" as possible, so it's not just title screens, it'll be levels, bosses, menus, all sorts. The scope is massively huge, and if the wiki gets overloaded with 324980329845230985203954 screenshots that's totally fine, because it'll force people like me to come up with answers.
     
  6. Gryson

    Gryson

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    Putting this here since it doesn't really belong in this thread. The question is: How much was Sega of America advertising Japanese-developed games in magazines in comparison to U.S.-developed games?

    This is neat, thanks. I'm not sure how complete the ad listings are for each game's wiki page, but assuming they are, I'll arbitrarily start at the beginning of 1993 and see what kind of advertising the Japanese-developed, Sega-published (in the US) games were getting in US magazines.

    Chiki Chiki Boys: 0
    Ranger-X: 0
    Out Run 2019: 0
    World of Illusion: 0
    Shining Force: 2
    Shinobi III: 1
    Gunstar Heroes: 0
    Wimbledon Championship Tennis: 0
    Landstalker: 0
    McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure: 0
    Virtua Racing: 2
    Streets of Rage 3: 2
    Dynamite Headdy: 2
    Art of Fighting: 0
    Shining Force II: 3
    Light Crusader: 0
    Phantasy Star IV: 4
    Beyond Oasis: 2
    Mega Bomberman: 0

    I might be missing a few. That roughly covers from 1/1993 to 3/1995. In that period, SOA published only ~19 Japanese-developed games. Of those, only 8 received magazine ads (at least, according to the wiki).

    I don't have time to go through all of the U.S.-developed games now, but let me go through 1993:

    Stimpy's Invention: 2
    Cyborg Justice: 2
    X-Men: 3
    Dinosaurs for Hire: 2
    Barney's Hide and Seek: 0
    Jurassic Park: 4
    NFL 94: 3
    Aladdin: 3
    Instruments of Chaos: 0
    Sonic Spinball: 4
    Greatest Heavyweights: 3
    Home Alone 2: 0
    ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron: 2
    Eternal Champions: 5

    Again, apologies if I miss some. So in 1993, SOA published ~14 U.S.-developed games. Of those, 11 received magazine ads.

    This is just a rough comparison, but it at least suggests that Japanese-developed games were not receiving much marketing in the U.S. At least two of the Japan-developed games, Shinobi III and Streets of Rage 3, were developed at the request of SOA, so I'm not sure if they should count here.
     
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  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    There will be missing adverts - I stopped hunting when PDF thumbnails were turned off :)

    So

    Doraemon: Yume Dorobou to 7 Nin no Gozans
    J.League Pro Striker
    Golden Axe III
    Aa Harimanada
    Janou Touryuumon
    Party Quiz Mega Q
    Dyna Brothers 2
    J.League Pro Striker Kanzenban
    New 3D Golf Simulation: Devil's Course
    Yuu Yuu Hakusho Gaiden
    New 3D Golf Simulation: Waialae no Kiseki
    Monster World IV
    Puzzle & Action: Tant-R
    Phantasy Star
    Lord Monarch: Tokoton Sentou Densetsu
    J.League Pro Striker 2
    The Hybrid Front
    Pulseman
    Dragon Slayer: Eiyuu Densetsu
    Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen
    Puzzle & Action: Ichidant-R
    Dragon Slayer: Eiyuu Densetsu II
    Alien Soldier
    Surging Aura
    Game no Kanzume Otokuyou
    Chou Kyuukai Miracle Nine
    Pro Striker Final Stage
    Pepenga Pengo

    Here's all the Sega-published games in Japan, post-1992, which weren't released in the US. It's... not terrible news for US Sega fans - it's a mixture of "clearly too Japanese" and "lots of translations" that kept most of them back.


    Golden Axe III was close to a US release but for whatever reason it didn't happen. Alien Soldier made it to Europe. There has since been an official English translation of Monster World IV. So while they may not have prioritised Japanese produce, a good chunk of it was at least put on sale.
     
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  8. Gryson

    Gryson

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    I suspect the list is actually longer--the small Japanese third party publishers that didn't have overseas publishing operations could pitch their games to Sega's overseas branches (as well as other publishers). TechnoSoft is an example of a company that did this. Sega Europe seemed far more willing to publish such games. Masaya is a company that often published through Sega Europe but had to work with smaller publishers in the U.S. (if at all). The problem is we have no way of knowing which companies might have unsuccessfully pitched games to SOA (and I suspect later on SOA had a blanket rejection for these games). But let's set that aside...

    There's another complicating factor in looking at the list above and saying most of these games weren't a good fit for the U.S. market anyway. It's a chicken or egg situation. Sega developed more American-targeted games in Japan early on (the Disney games, Ghostbusters, Moonwalker, Sonic, Streets of Rage, Shinobi, Golden Axe, and its other arcade ports). Once SOA began depending more on its own games, Japan shifted more towards its home market. I mean, Japan told Treasure to use the Yu Yu Hakusho license knowing full well that it would never be localized in the U.S. I suspect there was also some frustration in Japan that SOA chose not to publish games like Golden Axe III (which was probably developed with the overseas market in mind).

    But OK--it's easy to see why SOA chose not to publish most of these games. They were clearly prioritizing a particular image for a particular market--sports, licensed titles, violent action, etc. Anything cute or overly complicated was clearly out.

    However, I do think the U.S. fans missed out.

    It would have been incredible to get games like Dyna Brothers and Lord Monarch. Both of these are brilliant real-time strategy games. And there's also Hybrid Front for the turn-based audience.

    Then there are the action games: Monster World IV, Pulseman, Alien Soldier. Some of the best action games on the platform.

    The party games make for a fun what-if. Nintendo was able to pull it off with Mario Party and WarioWare. Could Sega have pushed 4-player games more and made something of Tant-R and Ichidant-R?

    Of the games in that list, seven appear in the Top 20 Mega Drive games as voted by users in Beep! MD's Reader Race. This was Sega at its peak in the generation, and in my opinion, aside from a few exceptions, Sega's American-developed games couldn't come close to its Japanese games in terms of quality.

    A closer collaboration between American and Japan could have helped refine the styles of the Japanese games for the American market, but I think SOA saw this as unnecessary since their games were selling so well. It's the legacy that I see as suffering, though.
     
  9. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Obscure CD-ROM formats playable on Sega systems part 2;

    [​IMG]

    "Hyper Audio System" / "MiDiworld" developed by NEC and Rittor Music in 1989. As far as I can tell the only player released for this was NEC's CDR-M10. The eagle eyed might notice that the detachable CD-ROM drive is the same one as used by the Turbografx-CD;

    [​IMG]

    I'm guessing that there were also software solutions for computers.

    A prototype of Wonder Midi shown in Famitsu.

    [​IMG]

    They talk about how it's compatible with MIDI World amongst other things. December 1992 issue of Beep MD mentions that there's ~100 titles.

    [​IMG]

    Incidentally, the January 1993 edition shows what appears to be a music visualiser "BGV" (background video or visualiser?), predating Flux and Atari Jaguar CD's Virtual Light Machine by nearly three years.

    [​IMG]

    I guess that this is only compatible with the original Wondermega, I think that they dropped the MIDI port on the M2/X'Eye?

    There is very little information about this format on the internet, much less than Electronic Book reader formats. I did manage to find two examples;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I guess that this format died out around the launch of Wonder MIDI ...

    But one more thing, they made a CD specifically for Wonder MIDI. It's unclear whether this was bundled with it, or sold separately. Presumably it's also compatible with other MiDiworld hardware/software.

    Wonder MIDI Collection!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  10. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    I think that I've read in UK magazines that Golden Axe III wasn't getting a European release because it was below standard. I'm trying hard to remember where I saw that, possibly a Sega Power article on why some games don't end up getting released, but more than likely somewhere else entirely.
     
  11. Ted618

    Ted618

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    From Sega Pro #23:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    That's the one, great find seeing as I had the magazine wrong.
     
  13. Ted618

    Ted618

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    Notable that they mean the Game Gear version of Greendog, as the MD original did see a PAL release several months before, and interestingly a few PAL copies of Surf Ninjas seem to have made it into production (though their existence was only discovered a few years ago). Quite how, I'm not sure - there must be a story behind those.

    I don't ever remember the Seal of Quality actually being used much besides a few unusual places for PAL stuff as well. Odd that they'd make a point of talking about it when SoE didn't actually need to put it on their products much, but still obviously had their 'quality' standards (albeit ones better than SoA - we got Alien Soldier, Wily Wars, etc)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  14. Overlord

    Overlord

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    I was going to say - Greendog definitely got a MD release, I have a PAL copy.
     
  15. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    For most of Game Gear's life Asia just got PAL versions of games, which worked fine as Game Gear was region free. Mega Drive had similar from 1992-3, with PAL box & instructions, but with Asian style cartridge for compatibility with Asian hardware. European distributors would have gone through Sega Europe, where as Asian distributors would have gone straight through Sega Japan. Which seems to be why PAL Surf Ninjas exists, whilst Sega Europe declined (along with Ozisoft) Asian distributors never. When that happened with Mega Drive (ie Golden Axe III) they usually just used Japanese box & manual instead, but this game didn't get a Japanese release either.
     
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    Magazines of the era often use photographs or scans of anything that's lying around to illustrate a point - I wouldn't read too much into that Sega seal being there.


    Anyway cheats part 3:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Both Madden NFL '95 and NFL Quarterback Club have codes for unlocking the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars. But aren't these legitmate NFL teams? Yes.

    But these games represent the 1994 NFL season, and these two teams were added in the following season. The plans were in place for "expansion" (and had been since 1993?), but game developers jumped the gun, meaning these two Mega Drive sports games let you play as the teams before either of them had officially competed. In fact they're probably not based on final designs and have entirely fictional stats and lineups, so proto-American football.

    Now all you have to do is care about NFL.


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Supposedly Space Harrier actually featured an actual harrier once upon a time, before they changed it to a man. The Master System and Famicom versions let you play as a ship (the latter even uses the same code because lazy I guess), although it only has one frame of animation.


    [​IMG]

    NBA Jam is famous for its cameo players (although this original only has a few). On the Mega Drive, most are Midway or Acclaim developers (plus a handful of celebrities), but "Air Dog" was unknown for years. Apparently this is Eric Samulski, the then-nine-year-old son of Acclaim's vice president of product development, Paul Samulski.


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    When SorachiJirachi uploaded this I was confused, and I still don't know why it's a thing, but in The Jungle Book you can get it to only render specific colour channels. I'm not sure how useful it would be in debugging but there is potentially a trick here - if you were editing a magazine and only had a monochrome TV, you could take three photographs, layer them on top of each other with additive blending and... get a probably wonky colour image. Easy as all hell with emulators and modern image editors, but I can't help but feel if you had access to this technology in 1994... you probably had a colour TV.

    It does single RGB channels, two channels and obviously all three channels.

    [​IMG]

    You can argue with the referee during a serve in Pete Sampras Tennis. There is no point in doing so - the crowd cheers, nothing happens, and it's not like modern tennis where you can actually challenge calls. Heck you can argue before anyone's even hit the ball.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I kinda suspect the sort of people into NCAA Football won't have much of an interest in Bronze Age Greece, but it's no other college American football team has a giant wooden horse.

    [​IMG]

    Mega Lo Mania has a hidden game in it which I think is meant to play like the 1983 arcade game Sinistar. Hard to tell - enemies fly about a bit and then a head comes after you, whereas in Sinistar you had a chance to... stop that. But I suck at both so I can't say.


    Other points:

    - There are a surprsing amount of Mega Drive games that expect you to access their options menus by holding a button, then pressing start on the title screen. GameFAQs lists many of these as "cheats", but nope - they're right there documented in the manual as a thing. And there's too many companies implementing this for it to be a coincidence.

    - The internet once told me the Konami code was widespread in gaming. And maybe it is now, but on the Mega Drive... I've come across it twice(?). Not even all Konami games have it, so it obviously wasn't much of a thing in the early 1990s. Late 90s maybe. Or maybe it's a Konami-Nintendo thing.
     
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  17. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    For future reference if anyone wants to add this to NECretro. It seems that MIDIworld software was bundled with early NEC CD-ROM drives with their CD-ROM software pack on a 3.5" floppy disk along with a MIDIworld CD. Looks like it's compatible with MS-DOS, Windows and certain PC-98 computers.

    Also, there's a video of Wonder MIDI in action on Youtube.
     
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  18. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    So in a little bit of a rabbithole trip, I was on the AM2 SegaRetro page and saw the homepage external link was broken, and quickly learned google nor archive.org had a copy. In the discussion page, it's asked if the page ever existed (the question needs to be shifted tho under contents tho, and I don't know how do do that) and that was back in 2011. So, I decided to google the url and see if I could find at least references to the site, and lo and behold, a Virtua Fighter 4 homepage. Nothing too exciting. But this one's interesting: A Windows 95 PC release of Yumimi. We have some Yumimi on the wiki, but I don't think this has ever been brought up.

    u306362969.1.jpg
     
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    this is what KLF is about Wiki Sysop
    In the latest episode of "ehhhhhhh"

    Sega Retro:Todo/Passwords

    Sega Retro will need to document every password in every game, but how many games have passwords? Quite a lot, and I don't think for a minute this is all of them.

    It's another indication of whether certain developers gave a damn. For example, there's not much reason why Sega Saturn games should have passwords, as the system has internal storage, but you might not have had a memory card for your PlayStation, and lazy ports etc. And I'm fairly sure there are Dreamcast games with passwords because I remember it being strange at the time.
     
  20. Pirate Dragon

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    That's a bit of a coincidence, I was just reading the HG101 article on Yumimi Mix the other day, there's also an FM Towns port BTW. The Saturn port Yumimi Mix Remix added a side-game called Yumimi Puzzle which for some reason uses a password system, despite both the Mega CD and Saturn versions using saves for the main game.