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The needles in the haystack have been found.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by egel, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. LocalH

    LocalH

    roxoring your soxors Tech Member
    Very nice, for many of us oldbies this may be sort of a "full circle" for our time in the Sonic scene. I know that the old SoStH was one of the first sites I ever visited that covered the Wai prototype, even before Simon found the ROM image.

    For me, the only thing that would really be better to discover regarding this particular build would be the original, authentic cartridge that it was originally dumped from. Then we could finally know, 100% factually, whether the lack of a SEGA screen was the work of pirates, or merely a byproduct of development as they were transitioning between the Sonic 1-style SEGA screen and the one found in Sonic 2. We know that neither of the two alphas contain the final SEGA screen (understandable, as they're the earliest work on Sonic 2 that we have access to) and I'm pretty sure (having not loaded them in a while) that all of the drx betas have the final SEGA screen, so it would make sense that somewhere in-between the early alpha and Beta 4 would have been the point where they would have been developing the SEGA screen, and it would also make sense for them to have disabled it in the Wai build in preparation for modifying it.

    Off-topic Edit: After re-reading that Crackers page again (I'd seen it before but not since the Dec 2012 update), I'm starting to think that my Sonic 3 EPROM board may have been a "Dyer" cart. The only thing that doesn't really match up with the description of the typical Dyer cart in the article is the fact that my board contains a final binary. Mine is the same "8MEGA 4EP-ROM M5" board, modified to accept 4Mbit EPROMs. As it says at the bottom of the page, however, I consider the value in the cart to be the fact that it's an authentic Sega EPROM board, regardless of the binary (especially after I dumped it). egel, out of curiousity, would you be willing to take that Crackers cart apart to inspect it? They're not exactly rare in terms of proto carts and I'd almost be willing to bet money that it's the same 171-5694-01 board.

    Also, if you can afford it, I would almost just suggest getting a Retrode and dumping the carts that way. There shouldn't be any hardware that would interfere with dumping it via Retrode, and it's one of the few (if not the only) plug-and-play cart dumper that works over USB instead of the parallel port connection or floppy disk method that older copiers used.
     
  2. Lanzer

    Lanzer

    The saber calls for its master... Member
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    Well egel if thats the case, go check in with one of the admins and explain that situation and they will help get your old account back hopefully or just close off that one and keep this one. technically your not supposed to have 2 accounts here.
     
  3. FollOw

    FollOw

    The sun sets forever over Black Water Park Oldbie
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    I might be taking crazy pills but at some point weren't there lots of reproduced s2beta carts floating around in Asian being sold as a final version?
     
  4. LockOnRommy11

    LockOnRommy11

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    There were, although we have no idea how many.

    That's kinda what confused me initially- I thought one of the betas found was a genuine one, but I suppose after all these years and the distance and size of Asia, how likely is it that we're really going to find any more pirates, let alone the original copy?
     
  5. Ashura2k

    Ashura2k

    Thants. Oldbie
    TWIST: It was you all along. Your memory was altered to protect teh ROMZ.
     
  6. egel

    egel

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    Here's the video, you'll have to excuse my skills.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfCLU2EWFHo&feature=youtu.be

    LocalH, my Crackers is also a Dyer cart, same board type. The first EPROM has a sticker with "sonic" written on it. Just had a look on the official Retrode website, and looking at the suggested price, that thing is really expensive (also their webshop isn't even working lol).

    The admins/mods can check I'm only using my egel account. Old account name is PhatFish and can be deleted from the DB if it isn't already.

    Lol, I think Sega would have put their logo on the label, like the NA cart, in case of that genuine beta stolen from the Toy show in NY.

    My theory is that the beta pirate carts (SW beta rom) I own now, originated not from that stolen beta, but from a magazine employee who dumped it using a SMD and tried to make an extra buck. Their ogirins might be in Hongkong, and later sold in Japan, and made their way to Europe. Back in 1998, at my local flea market, I'm pretty sure I saw the beta with that very same pink background artwork. At that time though (already owning the original S2) no copycat could fool me - not knowing it's value, I didn't bother to buy it.
     
  7. TmEE

    TmEE

    Master of OPL3-SA2/3 Tech Member
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    T-04YBSC-A !
    The source cartridge would look like this :
    [​IMG]

    As far as those pirate beta carts go, I have owned like 3 of them, and I know there are tens of thousands of more of them out there... such pirate carts are as common here as real originals in your countries... Originals are as rare here as pirate in the "western" world.
     
  8. Arique

    Arique

    SHUWATCH! Member
    I second a rom dump, even if both of the carts have already been posted online. :specialed:
     
  9. Orengefox

    Orengefox

    Snooping as usual... Researcher
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    Some artwork, a ZZT game, and a hack.
    I wouldn't mind investing on a Retrode at some point. Looks pretty snazzy. I've still got two old parallel port adapters kicking about from when I bought a couple of Tototek MD-pro flash carts years ago.

    I suppose it was for safety measures in case u wod still lick a sonic 2 ROMZ [​IMG]
     
  10. Shoemanbundy

    Shoemanbundy

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    I have a Retrode, though I dunno how much anyone would want to send those things all the way over here to the US from the Netherlands.

    There's no way to know the origins of the Simon Wai dump, but I remember there being an incredibly old 1992 newsgroup post someone found showing the game was leaked all the way back then. Forget if it was before the games official release or not.

    It's not so important, but I wonder what came first: the carts, or the SMD dump? Since games were distributed on floppies for the SMD back then it's possible that came first.
     
  11. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    With that Sega screen either way is a possibility. The Sega screen is slightly higher pitched than that of Sonic 1 and of course has the animation of Sonic running across the screen. It is possible that they removed it first because they didn't know how big the game was going to be and inserted this modified version of the screen later, or they remade the Sega screen first and its removal was the work of pirates. There is a good reason for either scenario.
     
  12. egel

    egel

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    I wonder how rare that makes "original pirates", if you get my point?

    You never know with postal services, even with tracking, and I wouldn't feel exactly comfortable doing that. Sonic Boom wouldn't be an option either, although it would be nice if I could showcase these on such a convention.

    I'll scan and upload the box cover artwork these days, and probably make another video if I have time :)
     
  13. TmEE

    TmEE

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    There are no original pirates, only pirate-pirates. Originals you can only find in deepest reaches of China...

    I got many means to dump cartridges and Netherlands is not far from me. Just food for thought.
     
  14. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

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    Open up the carts and post front/back pictures of the pcb inside, then we can talk about whether they are THE original prototypes or chinese repros.

    Depends on how you stretch the definition. Dream Theater released tons of "official bootleg"s.
     
  15. egel

    egel

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    Pirate/copycat heaven yes, but that would not necessarily mean they originated in the suburbs of Hongkong, could be other parts of Asia too.

    They are "chinese repros" as you call them, I think that is very obvious even without removing the shells. I dare not take them apart for the sake of devalueing/damaging them. Especially with the SW beta since it has no screws, so only brute force would reveal the pcb.
     
  16. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

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    Bootlegs usually don't have screws, you can just snap them apart. And if they are bootlegs, they are not worth much, I could make some myself if I wanted a sonic 2 prototype.
     
  17. TmEE

    TmEE

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    I more meant I only ever got to see "chinese repros" of such games.
     
  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
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    I find when it comes to video games, the manufacturing of physical cartridges usually takes place in Taiwan, not mainland China (etc.). People often mistake the two.


    But these sorts of pirate copies of games aren't uncommon. None deserve a high price attached to them.
     
  19. Orengefox

    Orengefox

    Snooping as usual... Researcher
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    Right in front of my computer.
    Some artwork, a ZZT game, and a hack.
    To answer this question you asked earlier; yes, there is a way of sacrificing a controller in order to dump MD carts. Or you can use a simple (DB-9) RS-232 serial cable to do just that. Here's some information about making one:

    Sega CD Transfer Cable Information

    If you've not got the time to solder one yourself, you can buy one dirt cheap (in fact, it's one of the cheapest ways of dumping MD carts) here for $18 including shipping:

    Sega CD Transfer Cable Product

    All this is just for future reference should you ever want to go down this route.
     
  20. LockOnRommy11

    LockOnRommy11

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    Is there anyone who actually sells ripped copies on cartridge of this beta? I would love to own a copy and I would be willing to pay £15 - £20 for one.

    It's not really harmful piracy if it's an old game and it's a beta version of the game- a game I already have twice on Mega Drive, once on iPod and on Gamecube too :P