More Sega Channel prototypes dumped.

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Kiddo Cabbusses, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

    Researcher
    1,296
    2
    18
    HPZ is going to write an article on this soon. We are still researching all that was in there, but we identified all the playable ROMs at least.


    --------------------------------------------------
    A couple of unique Primal Rage ROMs:
    [​IMG]
    Primal Rage (Test Drive)
    Primal Rage Showdown
    Primal Rage (Rental Version)

    The first is a series of ROMs that were used in an event to showcase the upcoming release of Primal Rage. An event was held starting August 1st to August 25th to allow subscribers to play a “Test Drive” version of Primal Rage in preparation for Primal Rage Showdown, an event that challenged players with a very tough fight for a chance to a win a Primal Rage arcade machine, along with 150 other prizes as well. The event was held on August 25th, and was followed by a rental version of Primal Rage with certain features cut that was only available for 24 hours. This version would also be used in subsequent months on Sega Channel as the main Primal Rage ROM.

    [​IMG]
    Planet Message Quiz
    Included in the archive is a folder of ROMs used for the Japanese release of the service. The service in Japan would sometimes offer unique games that have not been released or seen since. One of these is a game called “Planet Message Quiz”, a quiz game created to educate players on the solar system. This is the first time this game has been offered since the service went live years ago and would've been lost since.

    [​IMG]
    Nyuushi Chokuzen Check Nanmon Kimon Kiki Kaikai
    Another special exclusive Japan-only game released in the service. This quiz game seems to have been created to test cram school students in Japan to help them pass their exams. This is another game that has also never been offered since the service was live.


    [​IMG]
    Kyuukai Douchuuki (Prototype)
    A possible prototype or second revision of Kyuukai Douchuuki was included in the archive for some reason. Out of all the games included in the archive (save for Primal Rage and the Sega Channel test ROMs), this was the only ROM that did not match the final released ROM. It only contains code differences, so we're not sure if it could be a prototype in disguise or just another revision (the header hasn't been changed to reflect this if it is).

    [​IMG]
    Sega Channel Test ROMs
    Included in the archive were many test ROMs that tested various menus throughout 1995. Aside from having access to the games, each ROM is essentially a time capsule as to what the service offered that month to its subscribers.
    -------------------------------------------------- ​

    All the other ROMs included either match the final or are non working (there were some game help test roms that didn't work, save for one). We're also working on documenting all of the game guides as well. We've been working on this for several days so please stay tuned.
     
  2. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Researcher
    1,634
    0
    0
    Any chance you can get the three sound folders to playable music? I'm mainly interested in the Howard Drossin ones.

    And any trace you can find of Garfield Lost Levels. The ROM is not there, and I only seen references to it in directory listings. It is probably not there...
     
  3. evilhamwizard

    evilhamwizard

    Researcher
    1,296
    2
    18
    It's definitely all GEMS music. There's only one song in the HOWARD folder, and comparing the bytes from the sequencing data (SBANK1.ASM) to my ROM set, it matches a song exclusively in Comix Zone (Beta). The kicker is that the main snare sample data (in DBANK1.ASM) matches the sample data in Sonic Spinball. It's definitely something from Howard Drossin.

    Garfield's not there, but we know the file name and that you could only play three levels. If the file name is a build date (1220) it was built after the actual retail release, interestingly enough (since it was assumed it was just a prototype version of the original, but this seems to imply that this was built specifically for Sega Channel). In fact many "test drive" games are usually just final ROMs with time limits set on them, so not every ROM had to be recompiled to be a test drive game. There were some really interesting ones that we saw, like Ecco Jr. which predated the retail release by at least 7 months. There were also some special Earthworm Jim (1) ROMs that were actually real time demos showing how to play the game, which only two were made. The other ROMs that were used for the service aren't in the archive, they all used to be compressed in a directory called "xsccomp". But maybe a backup was made somewhere...
     
  4. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Oldbie
    974
    10
    18
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    The samples in the SDK containing Tank Girl and Star Wars are pretty awesome... This stuff is a treasure trove!

    The CMP file format as far as I can figure out:
    Offset - Description
    0x00000000 - Pointer to the beginning of compressed data (2 bytes)
    0x00000002 - Total size of compressed data (4 bytes)
    0x00000006 - Total size of decompressed file (4 bytes)

    The next 8 bytes could possibly be some sort of checksum. I hope we find these lost CMP files some day.
     
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    Fifty paces towards the sun, cooking beets. Wiki Sysop
    5,006
    3
    18
    Northumberland, England
    The soil knows all.
    There's some really weird stuff in that RAR file. Those look like graphics programs for Commander Keen - are we sure all these disks are from Sega?
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    Fifty paces towards the sun, cooking beets. Wiki Sysop
    5,006
    3
    18
    Northumberland, England
    The soil knows all.
    "Garfield: The Lost Levels" is listed as one of the Sega Channel releases lost to time, and judging by its name, yeah, it would have been released after the full game.

    Incidentally the game has a really strange history. We were meant to get a 32X version at some stage, and the PC release is a bit unusual too from what I gather. They even seem to have struggled to decide on a final name - "Garfield: Caught in the Act", "Garfield in TV Land" and plain old "Garfield" were all used to describe all three versions, and obvious prototypes were sent out as review copies. It seems like the sort of game that had a turbulent history to say the least.


    By the way I know people get giddy about what the ROMs say, but we do have a (partially) completed list of the actual Sega Channel US schedule from the consumer side, which will fill in some blanks. I'm hoping those many menus in this pack will shed some light on the rest of the schedule.
     
  7. ValleyBell

    ValleyBell

    Tech Member
    236
    0
    0
    researching SMPS sound drivers
    ctr from vgmrips has been so kind to compile all the music into binaries and pack them with GEMSPlay.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yyrn4l579kglbby/schannel.7z?dl=1

    Use the .bat files to run GEMSPlay with the proper parameters.
     
  8. Rika Chou

    Rika Chou

    Tech Member
    5,215
    3
    18
    Wow, all these menu graphics and music are amazing to see and hear again.
     
  9. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Oldbie
    974
    10
    18
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    oh GOD this is good. Support for this Foobar2000 extension needs to be extended now!

    EDIT: Bank2 song 08 is incredible. Been listening to it as background noise for hours!
     
  10. ValleyBell

    ValleyBell

    Tech Member
    236
    0
    0
    researching SMPS sound drivers
    Bank2 matches exactly with the sound data that's in the Sega Channel Demo #4 ROM. I made a VGM pack use this link of that a while ago. Song 08 is "Wings N Wheels", btw.

    EDIT: Uploaded the original VGM pack I made. Someone broke the version on P2612.
     
  11. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Researcher
    1,634
    0
    0
    That VGM pack doesn't work for me, it plays only PSG and DAC, at best.
     
  12. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Oldbie
    974
    10
    18
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    I WISH THIS BOARD HAD AN EMOTICON THAT LOOKED HAPPY ENOUGH TO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE FOR THIS!

    edit: Hit return a bit too early, oops.

    But seriously, great work you've done over the years, thank you for your contributions!

    EDIT2: howard #5 is fucking "Boss Opera" from Virtual Sonic.

    Did we just come across source files for Virtual Sonic?
     
  13. ValleyBell

    ValleyBell

    Tech Member
    236
    0
    0
    researching SMPS sound drivers
    It looks like someone broke the pack. :/ It probably happened when the composer tags were added. (The file header is corrupted and so the YM2612 doesn't work.)
    Here is a link to the original pack I did.
     
  14. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Researcher
    1,634
    0
    0
    Boss Opera was found in the Comix Zone prototype many many years ago. Sound code #22 on the Comix Zone Beta is also a damn catchy tune, check it out.
     
  15. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Oldbie
    974
    10
    18
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    Soooo.... was the entire Virtual Sega composition just converted GEMS files?
     
  16. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Researcher
    1,634
    0
    0
    At least four of the songs was! Boss Opera, Spinball theme, Toxic caves, and the Sonic & Knuckles theme.
     
  17. celebi23

    celebi23

    Member
    96
    0
    6
    Love the Primal Rage stuff :D I never had a Sega Channel growing up so seeing stuff like this is awesome :D Any idea why "12HELP94.BIN" is the only help rom to work? I've compared that one with the others in Hex Fiend can't figure out if the others are corrupt or not. Maybe since the data for each games' help section looks to be formatted the same way, "12HELP94.BIN" could be used as a base to hack in the help section info for the games in the other non-working roms?
     
  18. Cooljerk

    Cooljerk

    NotEqual Tech, Inc - VR & Game Dev Oldbie
    4,275
    1
    18
    Going through those demo dumps was such a huge nostalgia trip. Wow.
     
  19. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    So are those test ROMs some nerfed builds with certain functionalities taken out or the actual data that was transferred to the SEGA Channel devices?

    I mean, are they actually trying to load the ROMs when the loading bar appears or is it just for show?

    EDIT:
    I suspect that these disks may have deleted files that can only be retrieved with programs that can read previously burnt sessions.

    Maybe that's why Garfield: The Lost Levels doesn't seem to be there. Probably not, but we won't know for sure until he checks it out.
     
  20. Some things about the ROMs make me suspect the data is pre-baked. Namely, in some of the ROMs when you go to "Express games", some games show up as being rented/bought for no real particular reason.