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NEC Retro returns

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Black Squirrel, Dec 27, 2021.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Hey remember NEC Retro, that wiki set up a few years ago to handle NEC video game-related topics? Remember how it stopped working, and then disappeared entirely? Well great news,

    It got fixed.


    NEC Retro is the weird stepchild of the Retro family, conceived almost as a personal challenge to a small handful of people, because the Western world doesn't understand NEC's gaming hardware. Chances are you didn't grow up with a PC Engine or TurboGrafx-16, the PC-FX is a historical footnote and NEC's lines of home computers are a well-shrouded mystery, if you even know they exist. And this is why I was keen to see this wiki happen, because it's uncharted territory and you might find something genuinely interesting.

    Like XZR, the 2D platformer/RPG combo where you play as a time-travelling, drug taking Islamic assassin who has to murder the both leaders of the USA and Soviet Union to win.


    Anyway because NEC Retro hasn't been editable since September 2019, and was already missing dozens of features on Sega (and even Sonic) Retro, I don't know exactly what state it's in. I might be able to fix some of the bugs and make the wiki more presentable, or migrate some features from Sega Retro. And of course, if you're sick of Sega and want to help make this wiki better, the list of things to do is long.

    And spoilers: nobody knows anything about this subject - that's the point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
  2. MathUser

    MathUser

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    I kinda thought it was set up to store scans or something.
     
  3. MykonosFan

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    As one of the many people that know nothing about anything to do with this, this is very exciting!
     
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  4. nineko

    nineko

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    Not meaning to overstep, but, shouldn't this be more appropriate in the "Announcements" section since it's, well, an announcement? And a pretty important one at that, too.
     
  5. MykonosFan

    MykonosFan

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    I can get behind that.
     
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It's basically "undocumented games: the wiki".

    My world vierw is, if you grew up with Nintendo or a PlayStation or an Xbox, you might find yourself locked into a closed ecosphere where all you're doing is chasing the next Mario or Halo or whatever. If you grew up with Sega though, you were forced to diversify after the Dreamcast - you try a bit of everything, find everybody is "wrong" and end up with an appreciation (or distaste) for gaming as a whole. So even though very few of us have any NEC gaming experience, we're more likely to care, because PC Engine fans, like Sega fans, have no console rallying point anymore.

    Also the PC Engine turns up everywhere and 1980s Japanese home computers are still influencing game design to this day. Which is probably why I got behind it - I was sick of finding dead ends.


    I'm not sure I could ever get too excited about a "Nintendo Retro" - people would just gravitate around the Marios and Zeldas and it would be a bit of a boring read. I was in that world for a bit - a place where Donkey Kong Country 3 is "obscure" because it sold only a couple of million units, as opposed to tens or hundreds of millions (I genuinely saw someone claim this once). But I'm also British and we like an underdog - I like the idea of upsetting the balance of power by documenting an unpopular system better than the super mainstream guff the internet has worshiped for 20+ years.


    Anyway two days in and it's already bearing some fruit - there's a Japanese Mega-CD game, Cosmic Fantasy Stories that we knew nothing about - turns out it's a compilation of this and this. I probably wouldn't have learnt that any time soon of NEC Retro hadn't existed.
     
  7. Asagoth

    Asagoth

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    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
    We would probably have a nervous breakdown and die of exhaustion... :)
     
  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Yes a few pages/templates/files have unexpectedly disappeared - the histories remain so you might be able to restore some, but I've seen the software get confused.

    I've reported the bug.
     
  9. upload_2021-12-30_16-23-38.png

    It also looks like CAPTCHAs aren't set up correctly.
     
  10. nineko

    nineko

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    Speaking of captchas, can they be disabled (on Sonic Retro I mean) at least for trusted members (e.g. techies and oldbies)? Creating the page about that Lego set was a pain.
     
  11. MykonosFan

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    I had this same issue trying to create an account.
     
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I've got a partial solution to this, though whether it will break restoration efforts later I don't know.

    Delete the page, then re-create it. You lose the history but most of these things didn't really have one.

    I don't know how to get files back though. Most of this category is lying but if, as expected, there are hundreds of missing files, we'll have to delete and re-upload things unless a better solution is found. I'm not super keen on that much work.
     
  13. I've made a start at listing the missing pages here. It's not complete yet, but it should contain all missing templates and most missing files.

    Would it be possible to delete the broken template pages? I'm willing to recreate these myself, but I don't have the relevant permissions to delete them. (Restoring the missing files can wait for someone else for now)
     
  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Missing files.

    There's an awkwardness to how Mediawiki deals with files - when you upload it does two things:

    - it physically creates a file on disk
    - it creates a page as a "description" of the file

    e.g.
    https://segaretro.org/images/b/be/Flashback_MD_PlanetTitan.png
    vs.
    https://segaretro.org/File:Flashback_MD_PlanetTitan.png


    The errors we're seeing on NEC Retro are missing file pages (or more specifically, the original versions (revision #0) of those pages). Sometimes the file itself still exists... but sometimes it doesn't.

    Expecting that there wasn't going to be an admin for days/weeks/months/years I answered the software's call and uploaded a replacement image:
    https://necretro.org/File:Bomberman_PCE_JP_Box_Front.jpg
    and look - the old image has popped up in the history. But the page doesn't exist and complains in a similar manner to what we've seen elsewhere.

    https://necretro.org/File:Bomberman_PCE_JP_Card_Back.jpg
    but this one had no history nor a page.


    Unless someone pokes GerbilSoft or we hire more technical admins which I've been talking about for years, it's probably going to be quicker just to delete everything, rather than dick around trying to find old revisions of files that may or may not exist.
     
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  15. Since its return about a year and a third ago, NEC Retro's still been catching up with the other wikis and now has some of Sega Retro's features - hidden content pages, bug pages, comparison pages, anniversaries, omnis with (mostly) automated sub-page links, non-NEC fields, and a bunch of other stuff. It also has its own type of sub-pages, the Compatibility pages. So far these only cover how Super/Arcade CD-ROM² games react to older system cards and are a means of showing off screenshots of the various error screens, but the plan to cover PC-8800 compatibility is there.

    On top of that, almost every CD-based PC Engine/TurboGrafx game now has a page with a title screenshot. There's still a teeny handful of stragglers left out there, one of which is this disc that has been bugging me for a while:

    3_Games_in_1_-_Gate_of_Thunder_+_Bonks_Adventure_+_Bonks_Revenge_(USA)_(Rev_1)-0000.png

    This compilation disc, which was a pack-in with the TurboDuo in North America. The internet has been constantly throwing around misinformation on what the disc's name is - some sites call it the 4-in-1 Super CD on the basis that it includes Bomberman as a hidden game if you input a code on the game select screen, though from what I can tell from photos of the TurboDuo bundle and a scan of the disc itself it doesn't seem to have its own official title, instead just listing the three main games on the disc. I really want to make a page and sub-pages for it, but the inconsistencies on what this disc should be called is bugging me to no end. I'm open to suggestions on what we should call it for the sake of thoroughly documenting it.
     
  16. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Why not give it a name like "TurboDuo pack-in disc", lowercase and all and clarify in the intro that there's no proper name for the disc? E.g. "The TurboDuo pack-in game is a compilation of [...]"
     
  17. Cooljerk

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    It wasn't the only pack-in disc or game for the Turbo Duo, however, which makes that name confusing. The Turbo Duo was packed in with two different compliation CDs (the affore mentioned 4-in-1, plus Ys Book I & II) plus either a hu-card of either Dungeon Explorer or Ninja Spirit if you were a super early adopter.It's not the pack-in disc, but rather a pack-in disc, of many. Calling it "the pack-in disc" is incorrect, because there are two different pack-in discs, and calling it "the pack-in compilation" is incorrect, because there are two pack-in compliations, and calling it "the pack-in game" is incorrect, because there are 7 different games that were packed-in.

    What it should be called is the TTI Compilation. That removes all ambiguity all together. TTI is the one who made that disc, it's the only compilation they made. It was the first game published by TTI exclusively. The entire reason that disc exists, is because TTI bought the Turbo rights in the US from NEC at the launch of the Duo.

    Also worth noting there are two different versions of this disc floating around. The released copy is the one with the "Uga bonk" intro. The version that only played in Kiosks in shops was different, and had Zonk doing the talking, with a different Turbo Duo logo, and different game-select effect (the screen would zoom in instead of fading out).

    Another way to refer to it would be to simply call it the USA release of Gate of Thunder, because that's really what it is. You couldn't buy Gate of Thunder sedately in the USA, it was always in that 4-in-1 compilation. Just note that the USA release of the game has Bonk 1 & 2 and Bomberman bundled onto the disc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2023
  18. Okay, so I eventually caved in with this, and went with the name "TurboDuo 3-in-1 CD", as well as putting in a paragraph about the disc's dubious name:

    https://necretro.org/TurboDuo_3-in-1_CD

    While the suggested names were fine, I feel this is the best I can describe it.
     
  19. In today's sitrep of NEC Retro, we now have pages for a few unreleased PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 games, most of which nobody (at least in the Western world) knows about:
    • Angelus 2: Holy Night (Super CD-ROM²) - Appears to have been a sequel to the PC-8801 mkII SR/PC-9801 M game Angelus: Akuma no Fukuin. There's a prototype with only visual scenes that has been preserved (featuring a decomposing man; nasty stuff), though places that acknowledge its existence (like Hidden Palace and the PC Engine Software Bible) seem to mistranslate its title as "Angels 2: Holy Night". I found what is probably the intended title in an issue of PC Engine Fan.
    • Branders (Super CD-ROM²) - A cyberpunk RPG to have been published by IGS. Appears to be mistranslated as "Blunders" by sites like the PC Engine Software Bible. I assume "Branders" is how it's supposed to be translated, but I could be wrong.
    • Dansou Toshi Stray Road (Super CD-ROM²) - Another unreleased RPG from IGS.
    • Imperial Force (Super CD-ROM²) - A port of a 1990 SystemSoft simuation game originally released for the PC-9801 VM (at least, I think it was for that model, given its specifications from the box).
    • Meikyuu Jima Special (HuCard) - An enhanced version of Irem's 1988 arcade game Meikyuu Jima, also known on the NES as Kickle Cubicle. Gekkan PC Engine reported that this game would have had nearly double the levels of the arcade game.
    • Meiyaku no Teigi (CD-ROM²/HuCard) - A 4-player RPG by Human Entertainment. It seems to have been a CD-ROM² game as far back as February/March 1991 before being listed as a HuCard game about a year later.
    • Peter Pack Rat (HuCard) - A port of a 1985 Atari System 1 arcade game, which would have been published by Tengen. The small article from PC Engine Fan that reports its existence also suggests there was a PC Engine version of Magical Puzzle Popils in the works.
    • RPC Genjin (HuCard) - RPG spinoff of the Bonk/PC Genjin series. Okay, this one was actually known for some time as there was a red link for it in the Bonk series template, but it had the incorrect name of "RPG Genjin" - that's been fixed now.
    • Scary Poems for Rotten Kids (CD-ROM²) - Storyware originally made for the Commodore CDTV and Tandy VIS by Discis Knowledge Research, based on the 1989 book by Sean O'Huigin. It was reported to have been announced for the TurboGrafx-CD in Game Players and Gekkan PC Engine's coverage of Winter CES 1991, but did not have an appearance at the event. There were other announced story games, like Cinderella and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, that were not shown.
    There's surely a few more out there that still need a page. I know at least two prototypes of a Super CD-ROM² version of Mahou no Shoujo: Silky Lip apparently exist out there as the PC Engine Software Bible has clean (albeit watermarked) screenshots of these builds, so I'll need to hunt that one down.

    There's plenty more scans of PC Engine Fan we have that should be checked through to perhaps find more information on unreleased games, and should also gather more scans of other magazines like Gekkan PC Engine while we're at it. It would also be a good idea to recheck American magazines like EGM and GamePro for unreleased games, too.

    Also the UnreleasedBob template currently has a bug where unreleased Super CD-ROM² games are incorrectly being categorised as CD-ROM² games. That'll need fixing.
     
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