Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Ted909, Apr 27, 2022.
Welp, here's another issue to chew on:
Sega Harmony #123 (Nov. 1993)
There's a timeline, and some points contradict what we've got on the wiki.
For example, Harmony says Periscope came out in 1965. We're saying 1966... but our references are much newer than Harmony. I'm inclined to think the more modern books are wrong - are the more modern books wrong?
Also a 1977 Breakout clone called "Rainbow Block" (レインボー ・ブロック) - there's no evidence online of this ever having existed.
That timeline seems to be making the big claim that Rodeo was the industry's first pinball machine to use solid state microprocessors. It wasn't, as one or two do predate it - but it certainly was among the earliest ones.
We are, however, looking at what is the first ever UFO Catcher patent here, filed by Tomoji Miyamoto:
The first generation machines aren't often seen now, with their design not truly perfected yet. I did read somewhere that they apparently even caused some injuries, though I'm yet to take that with more than a grain of salt (people also claim that an R360 outright killed someone).
Always nice to see more high-quality photos from Ikebukuro GiGO's earlier days surface too - one of the much wilder initial exterior facade from a Shotenkenchiku book turned up before, but this is all far better than those previously seen in the Game Machine coverage. Said coverage also gives out a different opening date to Sega's, further investigation may be needed there.
On the subject of arcades, it also lists
Koutou Tsutomu Tenchi Game Ba (江東務天地ゲーム場)
Hibiya Gun Corner (日比谷ガンコーナー)
as venues Sega opened in June 1960. Which is very early.
Hibiya Gun Corner actually turns up some results on Google so may be possible to find.
As far as I'm currently aware those were both opened by Rosen Enterprises, but since the Nihon Goraku Bussan merger Sega has historically treated them as theirs on some occasions. In recent years they've stopped doing that to instead say 1965 was the start of their operations business, which seems more accurate, however seeing as those locations were indeed under them after that point in time, Retro still probably needs pages.
Other things we didn't know about, just for completion's sake:
- New Skill Diga (ニュースキル・ディガ), a crane game from 1980. We knew of the earlier Skill Diga, Super Skill Diga and Group Skill Diga machines, but not one this late.
- The DP-11 from April 1982. It's a change machine (or dispenser) - we have other change machines but not that one.
- Super Derby (スーパーダービー) from December 1984. Though we could probably guess that existed since we have a Super Derby II page.
Oh hey thanks for reminding me about change machines, I posted some pictures of a DP-24000 that I came across some months back, as well as a Baby UFO I forgot I found.
Presented for your approval:
Harmont Vol. 122 (1993-09/10)
Looks like an arcade version of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. I'm not sure if this was released(?)
From Amusement Machine Show 1993, alongside early Daytona, early "Virtua Fighters" (with Shiba!) and, new to me, Star Wars Arcade before it got a cabinet.
It's not obvious from the photos available, but those early versions of "Virtua Fighters" had readers that let players buff their chosen characters with random product barcodes. Apparently a Gogo no Kocha was the barcode to beat.
Star Wars Arcade did have a cabinet at that point - although it never made any other appearances, as far as I know. Namco must have been taking some notes, as the later Star Wars Battle Pod bears more than a faint resemblance.
And we've been over this on here already, but Sega World Yamanakako is notable for being a stone's throw away from Sega's old company resort, which unsurprisingly seems to have some coverage alongside the "Around the AM" page.
Another nyuushashiki issue, but there's some nice shots of the Lock On at least.
Sega Harmony #119
I actually thought the previous issue like this was a bit better - because all of the new hires were profiled with photos and brief nuggets of info, you would get fun stuff e.g. this one with Shinichi Ogasawara. (He's dressed in what looks like some sort of low rent Game Center Arashi cosplay, for some reason, and cites a 1993 feature from long-gone British music paper Melody Maker about "video games killing rock n' roll" - yes, really)
The back page "Around the AM" is of particular interest once again, as it's about Sega World Shizuoka this time - well over a year after first opening in September 1991, as Japan's largest game centre up to that point. What had changed since?
It seems to have acquired a Cyber Dome some time after that opening, as all of the initial press about it available in the likes of Game Machine doesn't seem to note its existence. This likely took the place of the venue's CCD Cart, another very early attraction made just as Sega was ramping up research and development teams like AM5 for the advent of Joypolis.
Neither are well documented, but at least Cyber Dome has some footage.
It's one of those cases where it's probably super interesting, but it needs translating first
Here's a bit. The lad between "Sonic with a neck" and "lucha libre with microphone" is apparently Yoshiyasu Furukawa, Japan's best Sonic 2 player, as decided at the "Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Zenkoku Senshuken Taikai" (ソニック・サ・ヘッジホッグ2 全国選手権大会), or "national championships" for us gaijins.
Guess you got a coin for taking part.
Of course, the true master of Sonic 2 would know... it's not really geared up for tournament play. I mean yes, there's a two player mode, but...
Tails spawns behind Sonic, so is always at a disadvantage.
That and it's a subset of the full game and the layouts were altered for (what we presume are) performance reasons. I guess you could do a score attack for single player but that's frought with issues.
Those coins are always up for sale on YAJ/Mercari, I've been meaning to pick one up eventually.
Lucha libre there is wearing the Sonic 2 "超音速アクションキャンペーン" (Supersonic Action Campaign) hoodie, one of which I ave in my collection:
i have to stop drinking tea while reading the forums
To mark Virtual On's recent anniversary, Juro Watari shared a couple of photos from the 1996 edition of Harmony where it was the cover star:
In more "old Sega personnel casually tweet out issues of Harmony whenever they're somewhat relevant" news:
Yosuke Okunari just posted this. Which completely messes up the current understanding of how long the magazine lasted, as it was previously thought that it ended in 1999 with this edition. Together, they do seem to suggest that issues definitely shifted to being published seasonally - which they may well have already been earlier in its history.
(Shame on Okunari though, for carelessly obscuring part of the cover with the Samba maraca snacks that Sega have done as one of several themed foods in their canteen to celebrate their 'anniversary' this year. Does he really not realise there's someone out there adding dodgy croppings of others to an unofficial wiki????)
Has no one ever asked how issues of Harmony there were?
The real question is who to ask
I finally, after noticing some resources GDRI had spotted about it the past few years, made a Sega CS5 page off of the 1994 5-6 Harmony issue, for the short-lived department that focused on Game Gear in an attempt to organize Mega Drive/32X/Game Gear/Saturn development between early 1994 and late 1995.
Its twin Sega CS4 is a bit of a tougher thing to deal with, because while producer Koichi Nagata being involved automatically makes it in some way CS4-related, and the arcade ports of Virtua games follow a clear direction (plus Nagata's the only producer on those and Metal Head), CS3's Hiroshi Aso would produce some games that Nagata's games' programmers/artists/designers would have worked on. Chaotix is the big one, but that's already got enough of a development story and I can't take the time now to see how it's all progressed over the years.
I'm personally more interested in J.League Pro Striker 2 for its simple issue, because while Koichi Nagata finished the production, it will have been in development before CS4 started existing 3 months before release, and it's clearly originally developed by CS3, as first producer Makoto Oshitani and first director Junichi Tsuchiya were both in that department at the time (second director Hiroyasu Lee is AWOL for a bit, but could have been in CS4). I don't know of any games where it lists as developers both the department that began the project and the department that finished it (although SEGA taking over Dragon Force's development from J-Force springs to mind).
This obviously happens all the time for games with long development cycles, or just ones that release shortly after their fiscal year starts in April and the changes get made. Torarete Tamaruka!? was being produced by Hiroshi Aso before the department changes put Motoshige Hokoyama in charge of producing pretty much all of SEGA's Game Gear content and Aso was to work on MD/32X. So, Torarete Tamaruka!? is developed by both CS5 and the earlier CS2.
Also, those 1991~1995 iterations of CS1/2/3 definitely need their own pages at some point. They can't be connected directly to their late 90's counterparts since there was a gap between their existences, one of the resources I saw (Hideki Kawabata's history) listing Planning Design Production Dept. (企画デザイン制作部) as the developer behind GREATEST NINE '96 and World Series Baseball II. I'd imagine all the 90's ones get renamed to (1996-1999), or since they're so entrenched on Sega Retro, do the older departments get named (1991-1995)? (assuming they started in 1991)
If renaming the existing ones, it's going to be difficult to deal with for people pages though, because the divisions listed under their employment don't have date sorting like companies and mostly aren't referenced. Ones I have added sources for from Harmony will be on the easier side to work with, but otherwise I guess the only quick way to check is to know which games in the histories are matched to which department.
I wanted to list out games as they seem to correlate to the department's based on the given lead developers, both during that year and afterwards for what they likely would have started (checking when the games started to get reported on, which ended up taking very long), so I hope it can be helpful to reference (even just for me)
1992~1993 (CS2 spreads)
CS1 - Advanced Daisenryaku: Deutsch Dengeki Sakusen (in development before 1992-04), Tougi Ou King Colossus (in development before 1992-04), Devi & Pii, Bio-Hazard Battle, J.League Pro Striker, post-1993-04 Golden Axe III, Sonic the Hedgehog CD (produced by Minori Kanari), Ristar (Minoru Kanari) / lead developers: manager Minoru Kanari, designer Junichi Tsuchiya, programmer Hiroyasu Lee, artist Yukio Sato
CS2 - S1: 16-bit Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II (?), Panic!, post-1993-04 Seima Densetsu 3x3 Eyes (some leads get thanked). S2: 8-bit Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II, Defenders of Oasis, 8-bit Batman Returns, 8-bit Sonic the Hedgehog 2, SMS Taz-Mania (helping Technical Wave), Kuni Chan no Game Tengoku Part 2 / lead developers: designers S1 Noriyoshi Ohba 7 Tomohiro Kondo, programmer S1 Keiichi Yamamoto, artist S1 Hiroyuki Kawaguchi, designers S2 Hiroshi Aso & Katsuhiro Hasegawa, artist S2 Eiro Nagata [NOTE: Section 2 developers worked on Game Gear. Section 1 has very few known works, so might have worked on Mega Drive or done something else]
CS3 - Teddy Boy Blues (?), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (?), Panic! (?) / lead developers: designer S2 Koichi Nagata, programmer S1 Toshinori Asai, programmer S2 Takashi Shoji. programmer S3 Shuichi Katagi, artist Masayuki Hasegawa [NOTE: Section 1 developers might have been working on Mega CD? And Section 2 might have been working on Game Gear? And Section 3 might have been working on Mega Drive, but I don't know any of Katagi's works in this period. The other 3 are all limited as well. It might not be console-based like CS2's obviously is]
1993~1994 (CS3 takes over)
CS1 - Dark Wizard (associated with RPG Production on Wikipedia), Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine / lead developers: Yoji Ishii, artist Yukio Sato, Shuichi Katagi, designer S1 Noriyoshi Ohba, designer S2 Hirotsugu Kobayashi, artist S2 Masayuki Hasegawa, programmer S2 Takashi Shoji
CS2 - Astérix and the Secret Mission, Jurassic Park, Taisen Mahjong HaoPai 2, Sonic Drift, post-1994-04 Torarete Tamaruka!? (finished by CS5) / lead developers: software developer Hiroshi Aso, designers Junichi Tsuchiya & Katsuhiro Hasegawa, artist Eiro Nagata
CS3 - Panic! (probably finished before 1993 dept. changes), Sonic the Hedgehog CD (in dev pre 1993, maybe took over from Minoru Kanari?), Dark Wizard (associated with RPG Production on Wikipedia), Streets of Rage 3, Formula One World Championship: Beyond the Limit, MD OutRunners (started by 1993 CS1?), post-1994-04 J.League Pro Striker 2 (finished by CS4) / lead developers: producer Makoto Oshitani system developer Toshinori Asai, programmer Keiichi Yamamoto, designer Tomohiro Kondo, artist Hiroyuki Kawaguchi
1994~1995 (CS5 was thrivin')
CS1 - The Mansion of Hidden Souls, Gale Racer, Clockwork Knight (but much more CS2, early production by CS1?), Victory Goal, Ristar (earlier Ishii dept.? dev hell), Panzer Dragoon, post-1995-04 Kanzen Chuukei Pro Yakyuu Greatest Nine (with CS2?) lead developers: producer Yoji Ishii, technical chief Shuichi Katagi
CS2 - Clockwork Knight, Ristar (earlier Oshitani dept.? dev hell), Chaotix (?), Astal, post-1995-04 Shinobi Legions, Mystaria: The Realms of Lore (with Microcabin), Clockwork Knight 2, Magic Knight Rayearth (associated with RPG Production on Wikipedia), Iron Storm / lead developers: producer Makoto Oshitani, technical chief Toshinori Asai, production chief Noriyoshi Ohba
CS3 - Dynamite Headdy (maybe? with Treasure), Ristar (earlier Aso/Sato dept.? dev hell), Tempo, Stellar Assault, Gakkou no Kaidan (Sega Saturn? with Japan Media Programming), Ninku (a Game Gear game not by CS5?), Pro Striker Final Stage (with CS5) / lead developers: producer Hiroshi Aso, art chief Yukio Sato
CS4 and CS5 already covered
The producers Yoji Ishii, Makoto Oshitani and Koichi Nagata tend to just show up all together on Saturn games for a bit like Sega International Victory Goal and Sega Rally Championship, so it's clear by that point they had switched to a unified SEGA CS (before breaking them apart again in 1996 with different reasons to be separated.) Meanwhile Hiroshi Aso and Motoshige Hokoyama show up together on F1 Challenge, so could be a different team which mostly worked with second-parties.
Obviously there's still loads more to unpack just from those departmental changes lists, but this was all stuff about the CS1~5 dilemma.
Separate names with a comma.