don't click here

Teradrive hunting

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Apr 21, 2024.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • List
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    I have faffed - there's nothing Teradrive-specific in here. All the files are dated 1989 or 1990, but the game is copy protected and there's no scan of the code sheet or manual or whatever.

    The story goes that when Wibarm was localised for the North American market, quite a bit was changed to the game itself, essentially making a "Wibarm 2" in all but name. "Wibarm U.S.A." is the Japanese release of those American changes, and is apparently exactly the same as the American version (except it isn't, because it's copy protected).

    [​IMG]
    The best it can offer is EGA graphics and the PC speaker. But there's modes for CGA, Hercules and the PC Jr. too.

    Might be a decent fit for the IBM JX, aka the previous attempt at bringing the IBM PC range to Japan.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  3. Asagoth

    Asagoth

    Behold! The mighty, the flawless, salted cod eater Member
    514
    107
    43
    Portugal
    wiki stuff... and a beer... or two... or more...
    Some info about ADO:

    ADO Electronics Industry Co. Ltd. (株式会社亜土電子工業, Kabushiki Gaisha ADO Denshi Kogyo) was founded on August 26, 1975... They ran an hardware store chain called T-ZONE... The first T-ZONE shop was opened in Akihabara in May 1987 in collaboration with TOYOMURA Electronics Co., Ltd. a company that sold electronic components and amateur radio equipment founded on April 25, 1956 (at the time T-ZONE was a trademark of TOYOMURA Electronics Co., Ltd... hence the "T" on "T-ZONE"). The Teradrive was sold exclusively in T-Zone stores (there were 24 T-Zone stores in Japan)... Japanese wikipedia says the following:

    Aug 1975 - Established as ADO Electronics Industry Co Ltd in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
    1977 Mar - Head office relocated to Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. ADO Parts Shop is established.
    June 1981 - The ADO Microcomputer Shop is established.
    November 1985 - ADO Technical Centre opens.
    March 1986 - AMERICA ADO, Inc. established in the USA.
    1987
    January - Shares registered on the over-the-counter market (now JASDAQ market).
    May - The first T-ZONE shop was opened in Akihabara in collaboration with TOYOMURA Co (at the time T-ZONE was a trademark of TOYOMURA Co).
    1988 Oct - China Ado Electronics Manufacturing Ltd. established in Hong Kong.
    June 1990 - Capital tie-up with SEGA Enterprises Inc.
    1991 Oct - T-ZONE Osaka branch opened.
    Feb 1992 - T-ZONE Ageo branch opened.
    June 1994 - T-ZONE Minami branch opened.
    1995 Mar - Capital tie-up with CSK Corporation.
    1996
    February - Formed business alliance with Kato Denki Hanbai K.K. (K's Denki).
    November - Opened T-ZONE, a multimedia centre in the Ueno Department Store.
    March 1997 - T-ZONE Sunnyvale branch opened.
    August 1999 - Company name changed to CSK Electronics Co.
    September 2000 - The T-ZONE trademark is taken over from Toyomura Co. [1].
    2002.
    March - CSK Corporation accepts the takeover bid of Venus Fund Holdings Inc. and becomes a subsidiary of Venus Fund Holdings Inc (82.8% stake) (management rights acquired by Venus Fund Investment Business Partnership).
    May - The head office in Akihabara was closed.
    June - Company name changed to T-Zone Co.
    August 2003 - The company is split up and the main body becomes a holding company. The PC-related product sales business was transferred to the newly established subsidiary T. Zone DIY Co.
    October 2004 - T-ZONE DIY Ltd. and Strategy Ltd. merge to form T-ZONE Strategy Ltd.
    2010.
    29 November - The Board of Directors of T-ZONE Strategy Inc. passed a resolution approving the discontinuation of the entire business. The T-Zone DIY Shop ceased operations and went out of business.
    31 December - T-ZONE Strategy Inc. ceased operations.
    1 April 2013 - Merged into MAG Net Holdings Inc.
    Shops closed.

    Interesting!...
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2024
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    [​IMG]
    https://jp.mercari.com/en/item/m23506263562

    Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge (ウィザードリィ・ベイン・オブ・ザ・コズミック・フォージ) mentions Teradrive support. It was localised for Japan (or at least "a version" was) - I think this is the PC-9800 series box with added stickers.

    This is another one that stops at 16-colour EGA graphics.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  5. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    573
    122
    43
    I went through Tera Communication in Beep MD from when it started (1991-10) to when it ended (1992-10), although it continued as " PC Collection" until 1993-04 but wasn't really Teradrive specific then. There really weren't all that many games covered, maybe a couple of dozen, and all the ones found so far were covered. I'm guessing that pretty much all games released 1991-1992 probably mention Teradrive support, and there probably isn't all that many to find either.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  6. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    [​IMG]
    I think Stunt Driver (スタント・ドライバー) mentions the Teradrive. This is pretty much the only picture that exists online but the label looks similar to Tank.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Flight of the Intruder (フライト・オブ・ジ・イントルーダー)

    Spectrum Holobyte was one of those publishers that announced a bazillion things for Sega systems but cancelled half its projects. Good to see they're making up for it in a roundabout way.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • List
  8. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    573
    122
    43
    Nice finds! They gave that one away as a prize in Tera Communication.

    Shogi (将棋)

    [​IMG]

    List of games covered in Beep Mega Drive's Tera Communication section (with issue date). Some of these might just be the US versions;

     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2024
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    I think there's a fair bit of speculation on Beep MegaDrive's part (or "hey here's some interesting PC games that might come out"). There's an event briefly mentioned called Tera Summit '91 where PC games were demonstrated running on the Teradrive - I think games covered before then were probably US versions. Then there's perhaps about 6 months of Japanese releases before everyone gets bored of the Teradrive.

    There's a few on that list that might exist. Imagineer lists their back catalogue but I can't find their early DOS/V games. I'd be amazed if a DOS/V version of Mahjong Gokuu didn't exist - that thing was released on pretty much every machine in existence at the time, including computers I'd never head of:

    [​IMG]
    Computer, monitor, phone and printer... but still looks like a microwave - the Canon Navi.

    Sierra supposedly released a bunch of games during this period in Japan - King's Quest V was even advertised with Teradrive support, but I can't find photos.


    It's broadened my understanding of the Japanese computer market though. The general consensus with the Teradrive has been that by launching with a 286, it was instantly outdated as a PC, and thus didn't sell. But I think that's a better description of the Amstrad Mega PC - all IBMs were obscure as gaming machines at the time, and while DOS/V "won" in the end, it wasn't until 486s and Pentiums became the norm, around 1993/1994.

    The Teradrive shipped at a time where there were plenty of 286-compatible games still coming out, partly because IBM software was trailing behind the US. It wasn't very forward thinking, but if the only local competition in 1991/1992 was more expensive machines by IBM, fair play. When I've been looking for software, I'm constantly being presented with the PC-9800 series and FM Towns versions - they say DOS/V games were only available in the big cities at inflated prices, some of which were just imported from the US - even if you had a 386, life probably sucked from a gaming point of view. At least the Mega Drive half meant you could play Sonic.

    It was probably better for IBM in the business market, though much like Europe I'd place a lot of that on Windows 3.1 and 95. Technically the later PC-98s had that too but you could tell where Microsoft's priorities were.


    It would be interesting to see what the numbers were - being vaguely relevant for less than 18 months doesn't strike me as a success, but there are always plenty Teradrives available on auction sites, which is more than can be said for the games made for it.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • List
  10. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    573
    122
    43
    Good summary. I collated serial numbers before, highest I've seen is 8092 (rare PAL version). 19 serials for Model 3, 5 serials for Model 2, and 3 serials for Model 1. Assuming they are just sequential regardless of model then maybe only ~8k manufactured. If each model has it's own batch of serial numbers then maybe double that, but I think the former is more likely (need more serials to be sure though).

    Edit: And all manufactured in 1991
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2024
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    There is a book

    [​IMG]

    The imaginatively titled "PC GAME BOOK" (PCゲームブック), printed in 1991-ish. Mostly it's just descriptions of IBM PC software released in the US, but there are some mentions of the Teradrive and the thrills and spills of graphics and audio settings.

    [​IMG]
    The games it claims to cover are those (I imagine were) likely to imported at the time, or indeed localised for a Japanese audience. I've seen a few of these turn up in other lists, anyway.

    "King's Quest" will be King's Quest V, and "Space Quest" will be Space Quest IV.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    ding ding ding
    [​IMG]
    https://jp.mercari.com/en/item/m15060966001
    Chuck Yeager's Air Combat (チャックイェーガーズ エアーコンバット) - US box, Japanese manual, Teradrive gets a special mention.

    By the way that's $111 USD in today's money, so they weren't lying about the "it's expensive" thing.
     
    • Informative Informative x 4
    • List
  13. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    573
    122
    43
    Oh nice, I was starting to think it would only be Japanese releases which mentioned Teradrive, but now we need to find the Western releases with Japanese manuals ...

    Anyway, I made a small checklist of Japanese releases;

    Confirmed Teradrive specified;
    Flight of the Intruder (Ascii)
    Janou Touryuumon II (Sega / Game Arts)
    The Manhole (Ado Electronics)
    Princess Maker (Gainax)
    Shogi (Ascii)
    Stunt Driver (Ascii)
    Super Daisenraikyu DOS/V (System Soft)
    Tank (Ascii)
    Wizardy: Bane of the Cosmic Forge (Ascii)

    Confirmed Teradrive not specified;
    Wing Commander (Ascii)

    Unconfirmed;
    BestPlay Baseball (Ascii)
    Drakkhen (Sega)
    Mahjong Goku (Ascii)
    Life & Death (Arrow Microtex)
    Nobunaga's Ambition: Bushou Fuunroku (Koei)

    Life & Death does mention Teradrive in an ad (or was that the sequel? I can't find it now)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2024
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  14. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    573
    122
    43
    No Teradrive compatibility listed on box of Wing Commander, probably as it requires a HDD and only Model 3 had one as standard. Edit: And probably doesn't perform well on Teradrive specs either.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  15. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    It would be nice of Yahoo auctions didn't ban everyone that wasn't Japanese

    [​IMG]

    These 14 games were advertised with the Teradrive. I've had a look for a few of these but DOS/V releases are elusive, so nothing conclusive (yet).

    Also advertised elsewhere was Lotus 1-2-3. I was really hoping a version might mention the Teradrive but... nope. There were Japanese-specific versions: 2.3J is dated 1991 and 2.4J, 1993, but they were both probably released outside the boundaries of the Teradrive's relevance. BORING.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • List
  17. Pirate Dragon

    Pirate Dragon

    Member
    573
    122
    43
    Wolfenstein (model 3 only) in this handily numbered series by Imagineer. Unsurprisingly it can't handle Doom, but it's probably on a few others.

    [​IMG]

    Just noticed, this one seems to say that it's not compatible with Teradrive, which is a first.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2024
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  18. I'm sure you probably knew this already, but I wanted to pop in on this just in case: if you find an auction link for Yahoo and can't access it, you can take the auction ID and feed it to a proxy service like Neokyo, ZenJapan or Sendico (assuming the auction itself is ongoing).

    As an example, we'll take this Sega Ages 2500 Virtua Fighter 2 auction that's currently live (https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/n1133557528), use these proxy services to find a random auction page, then replace the ID with this one for Virtua Fighter one, and...

    https://neokyo.com/en/product/yahoo/n1133557528

    https://zenmarket.jp/en/auction.aspx?itemCode=n1133557528

    https://sendico.com/shop/ayahoo/catalog/n1133557528

    Tah dah!

    And ofc, you can do the same for Aucfree and Aucfan, both which are used to track sold listings.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List
  19. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    I think I've reached a limit - there's not enough out there online to work with, although as I've found with other topics, this might change in 6 or 12 months time once the auction sites have been resupplied.

    Until more things are scanned, there's only one more lead I can think of - virtually every DOS/V game has a PC-9800 series counterpart, and we have lists of PC-98 games:

    https://necretro.org/NEC_Retro:Todo/PC-9801
    https://necretro.org/NEC_Retro:Todo/PC-9801_2
    (I had genuinely forgotten there was so much left to do. I didn't even fully translate the lists)

    There is a chance some of these games, particularly those from 1991-1993, had DOS/V versions that mention the Teradrive. I'll do some cleaning after I post this.
     
  20. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    8,686
    2,571
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    [​IMG]

    Arrow Micro-Techs supposedly published a bunch of Accolade titles in Japan from around this period, so that might be a lead.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • List