Man Runs A Sonic 1 On AA Batteries... Results Are... Curious.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MrMechanic, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. MrMechanic


    *Video contains flickering/flashing lights*

    I think this is probably thread worthy just for the memes.

    So this guy ran an experiment a while ago trying to run a NES on batteries, and as the batteries started to die, the game became glitched and produced some unexpected errors and bugs. Well he's done the experiment again, this time with a Genesis and some AA batteries. Sonic 1 is the chosen game and things get wild when the voltage starts to get lower and lower.

    It starts with the colours, first of all, everything that's coloured white starts to transition to a rainbow like effect. My guess is that this is partially an optical effect as the game tries to output the correct colour but doesn't quite get there?

    Eventually things become very 'yellow'.

    The game continues for around an hour with this continued yellowing until it crashes.... Then... The fun REALLY begins!

    The screen flickers, the music goes wierd... eventually it crashes and actually outputs an error message to the screen!

    It gets even stranger, as the batteries get lower and hotter, the music and the colours go insane until the game totally crashes.

    Then for another experiment, he runs Sonic 3D blast and tried to play, sure enough the game crashes... But also brings up the secret crash level select!

    it's a really interesting experiment and he's planning on making a variable voltage so he can perform other experiments with other games to see what happens when the systems run at a lower than optimal power supply.
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  2. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

    Classic Eggman art Member
    I got this effect to some degree when playing my Mega Drive on a modern TV without the need of weird experiments like this one. I guess anything meddling with the signal could get this kind of effects, as I've got other results on different TVs of the same kind.
  3. raphael_fc


    Overthinking Sonic timelines. Member
    What a sexy voice.
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    It's nifty to see what breaks first, but ultimately not terribly interesting because presumably it's just timing errors, caused by clock frequencies dropping and chips not responding quick enough or whatever.

    Although it does raise an interesting point about the Nomad - presumably there's circuitry in there to detect when there's not enough power to run a game without problems, but if, as this experiment suggests, the first thing to go is the colour, maybe you could have secretly got a bit more battery life out of the console, if you were prepared to take the visual hit. Assuming the screen didn't die first... which to be honest probably would be the case so this sentence was pointless.
  5. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    In the thumbnail, the Genesis looks like a stranded mermaid. Mermaids live in the ocean, so does Ecco the Dolphin.

    Someone write a haiku about it.
  6. Metalwario64


    I love stuff like this, seeing games being corrupted and seeing the hardware being starved of power of resources to produce crazy results.
  7. Wildcat


    I actually got one of those errors using some RCA cables. I had always used an rf adapter because I had older tv but decided to get rca when I got rid of it and as soon as I jumped in Sonic 1 it displayed an error and froze.

    I ordered them online and I think I even matched them to the model 1 which is what I have. Does that even matter? No right? Very strange. Never used that cable again. Maybe it had a short or something.
  8. Sonic Warrior TJ

    Sonic Warrior TJ

    O'Doyle rules! Member
    Genesis stranded
    Like some kind of mermaid or
    Ecco the Dolphin
  9. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Great! Thanks!
  10. TheInvisibleSun


    Buffalo, NY, USA
    The Water
    That grayscaling at 8:08 is fascinating; not sure how exactly that would happen...
  11. Prototype


    Well, with my region-modded (SuperCIC) SNES, if set to the wrong region it often displays it in a broken greyscale. So I'd imagine it's something similar, something to do with voltages and hertz and whatnot, and how that signal is interpreted.

    But I'm not sure on the specifics, or whether it's affected at all by the technical differences of using a laptop monitor as a screen like in this video, or the native RF output to a CRT TV.

    Personally my SNES has a weird bizarre color effect on one cartridge and one cartridge alone, Super Mario Allstars, where it renders SMB1's blue gradient background as segmented rainbow striping. The JP Super Mario Collection works fine though, and SMAS doesn't seem to have that problem on a UK SNES. So I don't know if it's the cart itself or I just bought a slightly damaged region free SNES.

    I know that's generally out of the purview of a Sonic/SEGA forum, but it's potentially a similar issue of voltage and hertz differences and is my closest frame of reference.

    I suppose an interesting technical takeaway is that the brightness/contrast/greyscale graphical signal is handled separately to however the colour data is transmitted? I mean, I suppose that makes sense, a lot of people still had black and white TVs in the early 90s and it was a sort of legacy thing. Heck, I remember the big CRT I used to play my original SEGA Megadrive on actually had a panel with colour/brightness/contrast knobs.
  12. rata


    Trying to be useful somehow.
    I had similar issues with my Genesis and I tought the VDP was dying or somethign like that, I found out then that the power inlet plug was broken so it wasn't doing proper contact. I clamped it with a bread wire (the plastic wraped wires on bread bags) and ta-daa, as brand new.
  13. biggestsonicfan


    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    ALWAYS Sonic the Fighters
    This is absolutely terrible for the ICs inside the Genesis. Please do not copycat this.