General Questions and Information Thread

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

  1. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Does Sega have ANY Cero Z games on non-PS4/PS5 PlayStation systems?

    Sony is going to make those systems unable to buy games without anything but PlayStation cards at the end of the month, but the kicker is you can only buy CERO Z games on those systems WITH a credit card which means they are effectively unbuyable/unplayable.

    So any info on them, if they exist, needs to be gotten NOW.
     
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  3. Pirate Dragon

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    As far as I can see only HotD: OEC released on PS3 in Japan, and only physically. So there doesn't seem to be any games affected by this. It's worth noting for non-Sega games that Asian stores (Hong Kong etc) generally have both English and Japanese versions of games, so it might still be possible to get them from there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
  4. Pirate Dragon

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    Obscure CD-ROM formats playable on Sega systems part 3;

    Here's a strange one, PhotoCD games compatible with Saturn (requires Video CD card or Photo CD Operating System).

    Dark Chaser
    Inu-ou Chikyuu o Sukuu
    Mars Blade
    Steelwood: Private Eye


    Honoo no On'na Janshi Kyoko Makenai!! Jissen Mondai-shuu

    Randy's: Randy to Nakama-tachi

    True Heart: Pajo no Sutekina Ichinichi

    Seems to be mostly (if not entirely) visual novels. Going by the Idea Factory product codes there might be at least two more undumped. An explanation for how this worked on Mars Blade;

     
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I had no idea such things existed, but I'm kinda not surprised.

    The problem is it's not strictly a Sega format. And while that wouldn't usually stop us, PC-FX support means it would be just as valid to house this on NEC Retro (I have to believe one day it'll be fixed). So I guess Retro CDN? That's meant to be the place of shared knowledge, it's just "difficult" to share that knowledge sometimes.
     
  6. Pirate Dragon

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    Yeah, it's an unusual one, and they're also compatible with PC-98, although the Idea Factory ones don't state that, so maybe that's just the Mugei ones. As you suggest Retro CDN would probably be the best place for those.
     
  7. Asagoth

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    I'm trying to upload that one and Issue #10 1995 since 6 a.m., but to no avail ... all I get is this error, "Could not write to temporary file." ... :(
     
  8. Black Squirrel

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    So, not a single cheat code for Sega Saturn Worms works, and while certain words can get it to generate certain types of terrain, I think someone needs to dive into the code to make sure it's not just a coincidence.

    Anyway that's not the unusual bit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Saturn (and PlayStation?) versions have messed up transparency! Someone forgot to colour-key out the magenta. This amuses me because I caught the exact same thing in my real life world of work a few months ago. "You can't ship it like that"... well Ocean and Team 17 did.
     
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  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I could write essays about many Sega Saturn games.

    [​IMG]

    Thought Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 had a bazillion secret modes? In NBA Jam Extreme, you can trigger "something" on almost every screen, a lot of it pointless. Look! Beachball mode. There's seventeen hidden teams and I'm not even sure all its secrets are documented. It's... extreme.

    And...

    ... it's not very good (the clue: Acclaim). It was originally designed for ZN-1 arcade hardware, which is essentially a souped-up PS1 (and where the Street Fighter EX series comes from). It means when brought to the original PlayStation you get a near-60FPS arcade perfect port. On Saturn... you get half the resolution and half the frame rate, and it becomes a a muddy game that's difficult to parse. By contrast, the 2D, Midway-developed NBA Jam: Tournament Edition is reportedly better on Saturn than PS1.

    Also... it can't do girls. Unlike the older NBA Jams which replace the head graphic to your celebrity of choice, in Extreme everyone shares the same vaguely human-looking model. So ladies are burly men.


    Honestly the clue that this was too much should have been the little icons above the players. Can you tell which ones are computer controlled?
     
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  10. Pirate Dragon

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    There's also these undumped Idea Factory games;

    Steelwood 2: Private Eye
    Yuusha no Yabou

    And probably at least another one going by product codes. Along with visual novels there were also quiz games. The following probably fall into that genre, presuming that they're actually games.

    Photo-Q Vol. 1 (New Type Photo Quiz)
    Photo-Q Pro Vol. 1 (New Type Photo Quiz)

    Then we have Ebook games, which work in much the same way, albeit far more basic in presentation. These were compatible with Mega CD via Wonder Library and Saturn via Sega Saturn Denshi Book Operator.

    EB and EBG seem to both have had Text and basic black & white graphics, the difference being Japanese text. EBXA also had audio. These were definitely games;

    1991 EBG Adventure 101: Intro to Tourist Traps, Dwarfs, and Chivalry
    1993 EBXA CHALLENGER: Le Jeu Electronique Educatif
    1993 EBXA マジカル頭脳パワー!! 電子ブック版 (Magical Brain Power!! Ebook Version)

    Adventure 101 was a choose your own adventure with pictures, essentially a basic visual novel. The others all seem to be quizzes. These were most likely quiz games too, but I don't know how interactive they were;

    1992 EB アメリカ横断ウルトラクイズ 電子ブック版 (Ultra Quiz Ebook Edition)
    1992 EB 全国高校学校クイズ選手権 電子ブック版 (National High School Quiz Championship Ebook Version)
    1993 EBG 4000 Questions sur la Litterature
    1993 EBG 4000 Questions sur la Culture Generale

    There was also a series of quarterly horse racing Ebooks in Japan. These seem to include a quiz, but it's not the main content. A sequel to Adventure 101, called "Adventure 201" is also listed, but with few details, and there doesn't seem to be any other information about it elsewhere on the internet, so I suspect it was unreleased. These are pretty obscure though, so it might just be super rare.

    You can see Adventure 101 and Magical Brain Power!! in a Techmoan video, and here's Steelwood: Private Eye on Photo CD, apparently it has English voice acting, although that isn't shown in the video.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
  11. Black Squirrel

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    [​IMG]

    NBA Jam TE is indeed easier to parse. I'm not sure who wants to play as all these Acclaim and Iguana staff but it's got Will Smith in it - even Independence Day didn't manage that from what I recall.

    Cheat codes were mostly correct, though I suspect some players are PS1-only.

    [​IMG]

    "Magic Hair" is missing from a few lists.

    This is another thing I'm finding with some of these multi-platform games - there are undocumented features on Saturn that are documented on PlayStation and vice versa. I blindly assumed they'd be more organised, but it seems to be thorough (in the absense of proper disassemblies or whatever), you have to check all the non-Sega ports as well.

    I've done the Saturn so you don't have to, but there's 32X, Mega Drive and Game Gear versions still to deal with.
     
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  12. Asagoth

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    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
    Oh look, it's Steve Snake! :)

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Fun fact: the courses in Manx TT Super Bike... aren't real. They're vaguely based on the Isle of Man TT, but tweaks were made for the sake of gameplay. Most notably, there's two tracks with different difficulty levels.

    But once upon a time... it was a little bit closer.
    https://archive.org/details/saturn-fan-1995-no.-12-12-15/page/120/mode/1up

    [​IMG]

    It's still clearly not the real course, but fascinating to see that AM3 moved away from realism over time.


    Manx TT, that realistic racing simulation
     
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  14. Black Squirrel

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    I had almost given up on Saturn Quake. It may be the "wonder port", but it's a fight to get things done.

    Spawn into a level, input the codes as instructed and... nothing works. Or maybe it'll work once in a blue moon, but you'll not understand why. The internet suggests entering in the codes quickly, but I'm cheating with emulators, far exceeding the reaction time of the average joe on a Saturn control pad - speed clearly isn't the issue.

    So what's up? Well if the frame rate drops, it'll struggle to recognise button presses, and at the start of both the entrance and E1M1, there's too much geometry on the screen to maintain a high frame rate. Press yourself up against a wall and it'll be fine.

    [​IMG]
    (no idea what this does)

    There are also codes that only work if you're standing in specific places in specific levels, including the all important level select. I'm not going to verify these because frankly... Saturn Quake is really tedious to play on a keyboard. It was never a terrible port for its day - sub-optimal 320x200 software rendered Quake would have still been common in 1997, but you need faster reactions than the Saturn can give you, and it's ever so murky and dark.

    There was one code I was interested in though:

    [​IMG]

    Quake wrestling! You and the computer pick (dressed up) monsters and they fight each other in a ring. It's difficult to see and harder to screenshot, but it's a Saturn exclusive.


    Also in the opposite of Sega Rally, the PAL version... kinda sucks compared to the NTSC-U one.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Lobotomy had an extra month to put things in to the US version, so you get higher resolution menus and HUDs, some more graphical details, and a few more cheats.

    [​IMG]
    Apparently you can't make it rain in the PAL version. Though I'm not sure why you'd want to. A little less vertical screen real estate, but again levels were designed around 320x200 so you're not missing much.


    Incidentally Saturn Quake was my first experience with the game - it was years until I was exposed to hardware accelerated PC versions with proper mouse controls, so I'm more of a Doom guy than a Quake one.
     
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  15. Black Squirrel

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    I was thinking about Photo CDs. Technically a Sega Saturn can play any "red book" music CD and we're not obliged to make pages for everything, so it stands to reason that we don't need to care about the "beige book" either. Although I suppose I do like the idea of at least keeping a list of any that specifically say SEGA SATURN on them.


    Not having to think about templates or categories or how things will be shared across wikis is a huge weight off my shoulders. Ahh.


    [​IMG]
    https://archive.org/details/sakura-wars-the-imperial-secret-file-softbank-1997

    And then this Sakura Taisen book came with a Photo CD. Because of course it did.

    That means we've got Sega-related "software" explicitly advertised for the 3DO and PC-FX. Also this is artwork... and we collect artwork.

    My back hurts.
     
  16. Pirate Dragon

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    The funny things is that the PAL version released only 5 days before the US version (97.11.28 vs 97.12.03). The build dates are 97.10.24 vs 97.11.19. As the game was developed in the US you might expect it to take a few more days ... maybe a week tops to ship the discs to the UK, or they could have sent it overnight through the internet. They could have easily shipped the final US build in Europe in time for the holidays. I guess the differences are relatively minor anyway. Incidentally, there is a prototype from between the PAL and US versions dated 97.10.31. The differences haven't been documented on Hidden Palace, maybe they have elsewhere.
     
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  17. Pirate Dragon

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    From Sega Saturn Magazine, there was also a Vol. 2 with Langrisser. In France the Photo CD Operating System was bundled with "Nymphéas: La Musique des tableaux célèbres", I'm not sure if it got a standalone release. Looking at CDi magazine scans there were only 5 releases in the UK (of course, the main selling point was that you could get your own Photo CDs created). Maybe a dozen or so releases across the whole of Europe, and a few dozen releases in Japan. As there's not that many it probably wouldn't hurt to put a list of compatible titles on the Photo CD Operating System page. Obviously it would be impractical to do the same for VCD or audio CDs.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Sega Retro:Todo/Photo CD
    there's a very preliminary list to add to.


    I have good news and bad news.

    Good news:

    [​IMG]

    GAMERA GAMERA GAMERA

    GAMERA


    Bad news:

    There could be hundreds of discs, and a good chunk of that involves gawking at Japanese idols. Also porn.

    I wasn't expecting to find as many as I did. Sega pushed Photo CD in the early years of the Saturn, but before then it was marked as one of the selling points of the 3DO. I'm not sure I'd call it a "successful" format, but there's enough companies pushing it between 1993 and 1995 for it to get some traction. I guess that's why there was a Saturn Photo CD operator in the first place - the market had proven its worth.

    [​IMG]

    Mostly undocumented computer of the day: The "Panasonic Woody", which is name checked on a few of these discs.

    [​IMG]

    Also wasn't aware of this Japanese-only 3DO that also gets a mention, aptly named the "Sanyo TRY". Do or do not, there is no try.
     
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  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    So I had a look at this, because I've not touched a Photo CD before and I was interested to see what would happen.

    And it's a bit... weird. But at least the disc has a file structure:

    - a "CDI" folder with things in it
    - a "PHOTO_CD" with a bunch of PCD files
    - and "PLAYER" folder with viewers for Windows and Mac. By Kodak.

    There's a couple of readmes for the players:

    "Photo CD Portfolio disc"

    But then there was that bit on Wikipedia:

    Hang on...

    [​IMG]

    It definitely says "Photo CD" on the book. But yeah, there's a ~27MB file called "AUDIO04.PCD" (every file has a PCD extension, image or not), so it's... not a Photo CD at all? Except it kinda is?

    [​IMG]
    フォトCDポートフォリオ
    Photo CD Portfolio

    A separate thing?
    https://segaretro.org/File:PhotoCDOperator_JP_Box_Back_JewelCase.jpg
    The Saturn's Photo CD operator seems to think so (don't know if that ADPCM variant is important)

    The CDI bit though - what's that all about? Well my guess is that on a CD-i machine, you got an extra layer of polish. I could see some Photo CD players just showing the images, some "Photo CD Portfolio" players (Sega Saturn) playing some music as well, and the CD-i giving you a nice interface. So two layers of backwards compatibility.

    How common was this?

    [​IMG]

    Well AVGN covered one, so even though they weren't using the "Portfolio" term, it got state-side at least. Thanks Philips, thanks Kodak, you make life so simple.


    Anyway, that Sakura Taisen disc. There are indeed 106 images (although some are just headings, since this is a glorified slideshow at heart), but this pre-dates sensible compression, and each one is 768 KB each. That means...

    [​IMG]
    768x512

    Pretty high-res for 1992, but not exactly archival quality. I suspect there might be extra information that is lost between the conversion to PNG here - I don't know if it matters for this disc, but it might on others.
     
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  20. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    So it's on the record, since I just tried this too:

    No (decent) Saturn emulators appear to support the Video CD Card, to the point where I can boot Photo CDs. Or at least this specific Sakura Taisen CD that claims to be compatible. I got Mednafen to display a black screen when switching discs, while SSF wouldn't even load the software.

    But I have 3DO emulators too so I tried that. No 3DO (decent) emulators support the format either, even though the Photo logo happily dances around the 3DO BIOS, mocking me.

    No (decent) CD-i emulators exist.

    The best PC-FX emulator is apparently... Mednafen again. I tried forcing it to load the disc, but no dice.
     
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