Missing Sega Game Library titles (MD Modem Game Downloads)

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Pirate Dragon, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    Sega JP have new(?) webpages for their catalogues where they now list Sega Game Toshokan titles that were available to download on Mega Drive in Japan. It was previously thought that these were all later included on the Mega CD compilations Game no Kanzume Vol.1 & Vol.2, Game no Kanzume Otokuyou on Sega Channel, and various download services on Dreamcast and PC.

    Anyway, there's quite a few roms listed in their catalogue which haven't been seen since;

    Kinetic Connection ① Nei Second (きねちっく★こねくしょん①ネイ・セカンド) [Puzzle] , 1991
    Kinetic Connection ② O hanaba take (きねちっく★こねくしょん②お花ばたけ) [Puzzle], 1991
    Kinetic Connection ③ Shirogane wa warau yo (きねちっく★こねくしょん③白銀は笑うよ) [Puzzle] , 1991
    Kinetic Connection ④ Mogura no o asobi (きねちっく★こねくしょん④モグラのお遊び) [Puzzle], 1991
    Kinetic Connection ⑤ Lightning Nei (きねちっく★こねくしょん⑤ライトニング・ネイ) [Puzzle], 1991

    Pyramid Magic Yokokuhen (Trailer) (ピラミッドマジック予告編) [Puzzle], 1990
    Pyramid Magic Editor (ピラミッドマジック・エディタ) [Puzzle], 1991
    Pyramid Magic Sōshūhen (Summary) (ピラミッドマジック総集編) [Puzzle], 1992

    Sega Music Collection Phantasy Star Ⅲ (セガ・ミュージックコレクション ファンタシースターⅢ) [Other], 1991
    Sega Music Collection Bonanza Brothers (セガ・ミュージックコレクション ボナンザブラザーズ) [Other], 1991
    Sega Music Collection Sonic the Hedgehog (セガ・ミュージックコレクション ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグ) [Other], 1991

    Taiketsu! Columns (対決!こらむす) [Puzzle], 1991

    Kinetic Connection was a licensed port of a 1986 MSX title which also released on Game Gear in March 1991. The Sega Game Library version was covered in Beep MD. Presumably these were never re-released due to licensing issues. The Nei ones may have been Phantasy Star related.

    Four different versions of Pyramid Magic were re-released, presumably the rest weren't considered significant enough to be worth releasing. Trailer was also covered in Beep MD. It was a launch title along with Putter Golf. It might just be a demo of the later Pyramid Magic going by the title.

    Sega Music Collection; I guess that these were just music players perhaps with background graphics. The Sonic one might interest a few here.

    Taiketsu! Columns; Probably a variant of Columns (Columns III would later also include Taiketsu! in the Japanese title)

    Edit: Added links to other undumped Game Toshokan footage;

    Columns (Sega Game Grand Prix 2)
    Riddle Wired (92.06 Vol. 1)
    Sega Net News (92.03.17)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    This is quite fascinating - I had always assumed Sega were more likely to stop hosting those lists rather than maintain and expand on them.

    I feel like I've read something about official Mega Drive music players somewhere before. Can't for the life of me think where, though.
     
  3. Pirate Dragon

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    Yes, I was surprised too. GG, 32X, Saturn, and Dreamcast are listed as "coming soon", so I guess this must be quite recent. After seeing Pyramid Magic Trailer in the Beep scan I googled it (in Japanese) and that page was the only hit on the internet ... I may have missed it if I had searched a couple of months ago.

    As it seems that neither Sega (or anyone else) have ever listed those titles on the internet before, then someone at Sega must be doing a bit of research whilst compiling the new catalogue pages. Shadowrun (MCD) was incorrectly listed as 1995 on the old catalogue pages, but it's now correctly listed as 1996 on the new pages. It might be worth checking for other differences across the catalogues.

    Edit: I see on the main page that MD & MCD were added 2017.10.27.
     
  4. Pirate Dragon

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    Some emulators work with Game Toshokan until you enter the phone number to call "Game Toshokan", then they crash. Other emulators just display the "turn off and connect Mega Modem" screen. I think that there are two/three reasons for this. Firstly, it checks for Mega Modem, if it doesn't recognise it, then it refuses to play (a few emulators emulate this). Secondly, when you attempt to connect, it attempts to read the cartridge's (very small) EEPROM to see if the phone number / personal ID has already been saved, if it doesn't get a blank EEPROM, or previously saved data, then it crashes. Some emulators get that far, but crash after entering the phone number to call.

    I messed around with the rom a little bit and managed to get a little bit further. My guess is that after entering personal details the software attempts to write that data to it's EEPROM, which isn't supported by emulators. With this hack (only works in fusion) you can get to the next menu. Options are; Call (only allowed after filling out details), phone number registration, and name & ID registration. After filling those out it allows you to "call", but presumably crashes as it doesn't receive the data that it's expecting from the Mega Modem. It's probably beyond my abilities to get further, but thought I would share this (simple) hack anyway. The last screen displayed before crashing says "夕"イ ヤル中です", or "I'm in the evening" (according to google translate).

    Edit: acceptable phone number format in "Game Toshokan"; (0x) xxxx+.

    https://ufile.io/lmbtv
     
  5. Pirate Dragon

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    Video of Game Toshokan version of Columns. 1991 copyright and blue instructions screen, looks like it might be a cut down version.
    Sega Music Collection. Confirms it was for playing BGMs, no screenshots, so possibly no graphics. Interestingly it released in June 1991, 6 weeks before Sonic's JP release date.
    Kinetic Connection 2.
     
  6. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    I think the voiceover is saying that it's just a timed "score attack" mode.
     
  7. Pirate Dragon

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    And it looks like it's 1 player only (from the instruction screen). Maybe that explains Taiketsu! Columns (Columns Showdown!), which sounds like it might include a two player versus mode.
     
  8. Pirate Dragon

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    Looking at the SegaNet roms which are 256KB, the first 128KB is basically a modified version of the Game Toshokan software, whilst the second 128KB is the actual game data. You can cut and paste the second half of the rom between titles and they still work. Of the 128KB game data, over half is padding, so actual game data would have been well under 64KB (typically ~48KB). Most likely games were downloaded directly to main RAM, some of which would have also been reserved for the Game Toshokan software. Looking at the retail titles which got released, Flicky only comes in at ~50KB after padding is removed, so should have been fine. Retail Fatal Labyrinth rom is far bigger than the SegaNet rom, with extra title screen graphics and intros which probably couldn't fit into less than 64KB, there are probably lots of other changes if someone takes the time to detail them. Columns retail is still 123KB after padding is removed, so lots of stuff would have to be cut to make it fit. It makes sense that two versions with limited gameplay were released, a bit like how Street Fighter had to be cut down for Sega Channel.
     
  9. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    Also, if I remember correctly from some experiments I did a while ago, these games also have a reserved area for music, which you can just copy and paste between games to swap soundtracks.
     
  10. Pirate Dragon

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    Interesting. I notice that the games all seem to share the same font (even the Columns instructions screen), so I'm wondering if the games use some assets from the Game Toshokan rom in order to save on size. Maybe the text tiles and sound driver from Game Toshokan are used by games. That should be relatively easy to test.

    This Famitsu article from over a month before release shows the downloading screen, and "Sega Net News", which could apparently be downloaded without a subscription, along with one game;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also shows Pyramid Magic Yokokuhen, which has a different HUD to the later versions.
     
  11. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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  12. Pirate Dragon

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    I've linked the titles in the OP to videos of those titles that were uploaded some time back.

    The videos seem to have been made in 1992, when logging in there's a message about dates and times when something (maintenance?) is happening throughout October. So it looks like it's from the end of the service when it had already been announced to be closing down, and had possibly been made free.

    All menus are shown except for some dates for Riddle Wired. It's curious that three known titles aren't available on the service at this time;

    Columns; I presume that this was simply replaced with the more feature rich Taiketsu! Columns.

    Kiss Shot; This is strange as it doesn't appear in Game no Kanzume Vol.1 or Vol.2. Curiously it's a hidden game (A+B+C+Start on game select) in Game no Kanzume Otokuyou, which was only recently revealed with the Mega Drive mini release. I wonder if this ever did release on Sega Game Toshokan, if it did then it was a pretty late release. We'll probably never know for sure.

    Pyramid Magic Sōshūhen; This is actually the Pyramid Magic release on Wondermega Collection and Game no Kanzume Vol.1. It makes you play Pyramid Magic I, II, III, and Special consecutively (ie when you beat PMI it leads straight to PMII). It has better presentation, intros etc, CD soundtrack, and saves instead of passwords. It also has Pyramid Magic Editor as one of the options. I also wonder if this ever released on Sega Game Toshokan (it would have to be without CD soundtrack, backup ram cartridge support, and probably without the extra intros for size reasons).

    Pyramid Magic menu (Pyramid Magic Editor bottom right);
    [​IMG]
    Pyramid Magic Sōshūhen (Wondermega Collection);
    [​IMG]
    Pyramid Magic Editor (Wondermega Collection);
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Pirate Dragon

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    Riddle Wired; This was episodic, supposed to be every two weeks. It ran from 91.07.31 until 92.06 We only have a rom of the first episode (August Vol. 1). Unfortunately the video doesn't go into all of the folders, so we can't see exactly how many there were, but if it did go out every two weeks without fail then there could be up to 24 in total. It's possibly less, the menu goes from 92.01~92.02 to 92.04~92.06, implying that there wasn't a release in March, but it could just be a typo where the 2 was meant to be a 3. Unfortunately we don't get to see inside that period. The only period we do see was 92.04~92.06, where there was two releases each month.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I've spent way too much time playing Riddle Wired and Quiz Scramble Special with save states and not understanding 99% of the questions. Like Pyramid Magic Summary, Quiz Scramble is featured on Wondermega Collection. Quiz Scramble is essentially just a reskin of Riddle Wired (previously undocumented?), but with improved presentation (CD audio, FMV etc), and a couple of mini games. It gives more time to answer the questions.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    In the credits for Riddle Wired (8 Vol.1) "REW" is credited with design. In Quiz Scramble they're credited with "original joke", I guess that's maybe something lost in translation (possibly should be "original riddles"). Wondermega Collection released 92.01.04, with Quiz Scramble Special releasing 92.05.29. Quiz Scramble Special is a different revision to the one on Wondermega Collection, so may or may not have different / more questions. It's possible that these games just used the same questions as Riddle Wired, which would explain why those were never re-released. Ideally someone would extract the scripts to compare as I'm about done with these now. Incidentally, I don't think I've seen the "good ending" in Quiz Scramble. There's a polar bear which refused to play me on both play throughs, even after beating both mini games on my second try. I couldn't find any FAQ in English or Japanese which explains what you need to do.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

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    So, initially this was a 60 minute Time Trial for "Sega Game Grand Prix 2", with hiscores getting uploaded to a leaderboard on Sega Net News. It started at level 10, but with no bonus.

    [​IMG]

    Cartridge game has a Time Trial mode which is limited to 3 minutes, in the options maximum start level is 9, also with a choice of difficulties. The background palette is different, and the current game stats are displayed on the left hand side, whereas the Sega Game Grand Prix 2 version is displayed on the right, with an additional "Best" score displayed on the left. In the cartridge version the "Best" score is available in the options menu.

    [​IMG]

    The cartridge arcade mode allows a choice of difficulties, which changes the starting level. Hard mode starts on level 10, like the Sega Game Grand Prix 2 version, but with a 50,000 point bonus. This mode has the same palette as the Grand Prix 2 version, but with the second player board also displayed.

    [​IMG]

    Dream Library was Dreamcast's download service for PC Engine and Mega Drive games in Japan. This required Dream Passport 3. There was three options available, a free trial download, 50 credit (yen?) / week option, and 150 credit / 2 days option. The 150 credit service consisted of many full sized games, most of which were actually on the disc, with just an authorisation getting downloaded.

    Columns was available on the 150 credit option, it seems to just be the full cartridge game;

    [​IMG]

    The 50 credit option is more interesting, consisting of Sega Game Toshokan games, one of which is the Sega Game Toshokan version of Columns.

    [​IMG]

    There's a slight difference than the Sega Game Grand Prix 2 version though, the timer is missing. Presumably this version replaced the Grand Prix version after the competition ended. I guess that the the Time Trial became an "endless game" like in the arcade mode instead.

    Unfortunately it seems that these Game Toshokan versions weren't included on the disc (presumably because they were small enough to download quickly), and were just stored in RAM, so these Columns variants have never been dumped. Incidentally, the Game Toshokan versions have a 1991 copyright on the title screen, as opposed to 1990 on the cartridge version, they also only have the BMG "Clotho".

    In 2015 Sega released Yakuza 0 companion app for the Vita, which included mini games from Yakuza 0. In addition they released a dlc pack for it containing a remixed version of the Mega Drive Columns;

    [​IMG]

    This is a one player endless mode which is far closer to the Sega Game Toshokan version. It also got ported to Switch as a bonus on the Columns II: The Voyage Through Time Sega Ages release.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2020