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US/EU Serial Codes

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Don't want to clog up the other topic(s)

    I have done a quick check-through in an attempt to find patterns. It differs from Japan, but there is some logic here. In many cases, the US codes are "identical" to their EU counterparts, just with extra stuff added.

    For Europe, xxxx often becomes MK-xxxx-RR (MKxxxxRR) or xxxx-RR. The "RR" represents the Region Codes, in most cases it is 50.

    Japanese product code rules. No change.

    Master System
    US and EU codes are identical in most cases, mostly due to identical publishers.

    First Party:
    I believe every first party game has its own code, but they don't always print it on the spine. However, I am of the impression it was incorporated into the barcode like this.

    32kB ROM (Card) - 40xx
    32kB ROM (Cartridge) - 45xx
    128kB ROM - 50xx
    Combo cartridges - 60xx
    256kB ROM - 70xx
    3D - 80xx
    512kB ROM - 90xx
    512kB ROM + backup - 95xx

    Germany - 410xx - overrides everything for some reason

    Third Party:
    This applies to Europe only because there weren't really any third-parties in the US (Activision has its own rules).

    Sega doesn't adopt the T-series stuff straight away. It sticks with MK-whatever-50. But it starts dealing with five number patterns instead of four.

    256kB ROM - MK-27xxx-50
    512kB ROM - MK-29xxx-50

    note the "2".

    Vitally important point - Brazillian boxes also degrade into a similar system - "". I don't quite understand it though.

    Mega Drive

    new system adopted.

    At the beginning Sega don't bother to print codes on the spines at all, so this might be wrong. I think barcodes can offer clues.

    First Party:

    ROM sizes may affect the second digit. I can't see a clear pattern if I'm honest.

    Third Party:
    T-xxxx - T-series code, essentially. Sometimes they drop the "T-", sometimes the "-50" for Europe. I don't know why. And this applies to everything Game Gear and Mega CD-related too

    Game Gear
    First Party:

    Mega CD
    First Party:

    First Party:
    We jump for some reason to

    Third Party:
    Third party codes change slightly. Just slightly.
    In Japan, letters are added to the end, so for 32X it becomes

    in the US/EU it is
    T-xxxxB-50 being the European variant

    First Party:
    accessories at this stage are
    801xx (US) and 803xx (EU)

    Third Party:
    In Japan we've moved forward to

    in the US/EU it is

    "what happened to the other letters" you might ask

    First Party:

    Third Party:
    In Japan we've moved forward to

    so in the US it is

    BUT in Europe, it is

    these are initial findings, there may be anomalies. Presumably there is third-party software out there that is of the pattern T-xxxxC, T-xxxxE, T-xxxxF, T-xxxxI, T-xxxxJ and T-xxxxK
  2. Andlabs


    「いっきまーす」 Wiki Sysop
    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D
    I'm pretty sure the letter/number at the end identify the console and region

    0 - Pico JP?
    3 - Mega Drive JP
    4 - Mega CD JP
    6 - Mega Drive US(/EU?)
    7 - Game Gear JP
    A - 32X JP
    B - 32X US(/EU?)
    D - Dreamcast EU
    G - Saturn JP
    H - Saturn US(/EU?)
    M - Dreamcast JP
    N - Dreamcast US

    unless you figured that part out already
  3. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    First party games do indeed seem to have their serials in the barcode, for Megadrive and Master System games.

    Couldn't find a pattern for third party titles though, but it looks like that in the same position they have a numerical representation of the release #.
    Boogerman eu:
    5 026102 028105
    Boogerman US:
    0 40421 83018 3

    So megadrive release number 2810 and 3018.
    This is entirely speculation because not all barcodes seem to match this rule (Electronic Arts titles seem to have the game serial number in the barcodes, instead of a release counter). But, do note that Saturn titles DO have a numerical release counter like that on the cd inner rings, and those take into account EVERY release numerically - not making any difference between region, first or third party, retail or demo, etc.. They top around ~2500 or so.
    So it would make sense if Megadrive titles were counted that way too. If this list exists, it probably has tons of holes due to not all games having that number present in any form (Saturn discs often not have that part in the ringcode either).
  4. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    Electronic Arts made their own rules. The story goes that they reverse-engineered the Mega Drive and were ready to go without Sega's permission, but they struck a deal to keep things pleasant. Chances are they were manufacturing cartridges and boxes completely separate from Sega (though started to conform again by the 32X/Saturn)

    I'm under the impression that back in the day, publishers really did publish games, I.e. they had developers write games, then take the code to one of their privately owned factories and started manufacturing cartridges and boxes for distribution. So I would imagine that for third parties, the barcodes have a format specific to the factory that manufactured the box/game. These days there are proper security checks and the like, so you are pretty much forced to go through Microsoft or Sony or whatever, and they can dictate how the packaging should be designed.

    So the barcode trick probably only works with Sega-published games. That being said, I think it's only Sega-published games we lack product codes for (and unlicensed stuff... and EA).
  5. ReBirFh


    Brazilian releases follow this format:

    Barcode = xxxyyyyzzwkkd

    xxx - country - (789) - Brazil [This is a standard of barcodes]
    yyyy - Manufacturer - (1196) - Tec Toy [This is a standard of barcodes]
    zz - console/hardware
    w - series/random number/???
    kk - ??
    t - Verifier digit [This is a standard of barcodes]

    From the numbers above they create the model nº ("serial code") by taking the last 5 numbers and replacing the last digit with 0 or 6 (all cartridges are 0 and most cds are 6)

    Model Nº = zz.wkkm

    zz - console/hardware =
    w - series/random number/??? = !!See explanation below!!
    kk - ?? = serial
    m - media = 0 or 6 = "0" means its a cartridge and 6 means its a CD but there are a few CDs with a "0" instead of a "6".

    The "zz" digit = This is the console/hardware.

    01, 07 = Game Gear;
    02, 03 = Master System;
    04, 05 = Mega Drive;
    06 = Sega CD;
    15 = Mega 32X;
    19 = Saturn, Dreamcast;

    The "w" digit = In the first releases I noticed this number matches the letter that appears in most of the boxes then at a certain point I couldn't understand it anymore.


    --------------- Sample ------------

    Mega 32X Games

    Code (Text):
    2. Blackthorne 152130  7891196152139
    3. Cosmic Carnage  151020  7891196151026
    4. DOOM    152010  7891196152016
    5. Golf Magazine Apresenta: 36 Great Holes Estrelando Fred Couples 152100  7891196152108
    6. Knuckles' Chaotix   152090  7891196152092
    7. Kolibri 152150  7891196152153
    8. Metal Head  152060  7891196152061
    9. Mortal Kombat II    153010  7891196153013
    10. Motocross Championship  151010  7891196151019
    11. Star Trek Starfleet Academy: Starship Bridge Simulator  152140  7891196152146
    12. Star Wars Arcade    152080  7891196152085
    13. Tempo   152070  7891196152078
    14. Virtua Fighter  153020  7891196153020
    15. Virtua Racing Deluxe    152020  7891196152023
    17. Fahrenheit  32x ??????       ????????????
    18. Surgical Strike 32x 157036  7891196157035


    Code (Text):
    2. Airforce Delta  197136  7891196197130
    3. Blue Stinger    197116  7891196197116
    4. Crazy Taxi  197286  7891196197284
    5. Daytona USA ??????? ???????
    6. Dead or Alive 2 197126  7891196197123
    7. Flag to Flag Cart   197106  7891196197109
    8. House of the Dead 2, The    197066  7891196197062
    9. Hydro Thunder   197176  7891196197178
    10. Jet Grind Radio ??????? ???????
    11. King of Fighters, The - Dream Match 99  ??????? 7891196197154
    12. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 197256  7891196197253
    13. Monaco Grand Prix   197046  7891196197048
    14. Mortal Kombat Gold  197186  7891196197185
    15. NBA 2K  197206  7891196197208
    16. Phantasy Star Online    197306  7891196197307
    17. Quake III Arena 197296  7891196197291
    18. Rayman 2    197076  7891196197079
    19. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing   197196  7891196197192
    20. Resident Evil Code: Veronica    197036  7891196197031
    21. Sega Rally 2 - Sega Rally Championship  197056  7891196197055
    22. Shenmue ??????? ???????
    23. Sonic Adventure 197086  7891196197086
    24. Sonic Adventure 2   197316  7891196197314
    25. Speed Devils    ??????? ???????
    26. Tomb Raider The Last Revelation 197216  7891196197215
    27. Toy Story 2- Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue   197246  7891196197246
    28. Unreal Tournament   197336  7891196197338
    29. Vigilante 8 2nd Offense 197266  7891196197260
    30. Virtua Striker 2    197276  7891196197277
    31. Wacky Races 197346  7891196197345
    P.S¹ = If you order the Dreamcast releases by model nº you can see the "kk" digits is a sequential number going from 03 to 34 with four games missing barcodes and another four possible games released. As far as I know this list is complete but with only 30 releases this mean that or Tec Toy skipped four numbers in the sequence or there are unknown releases out there,. My theory is that internally they might have counted the Generator disc, Web Browser and Sonic Adventure 2 (Demo) as part of the sequence of the sequence and the lost game might be Crazy Taxi 2, it was announced but in all these years I have yet to see it.
  6. Scarred Sun

    Scarred Sun

    Be who you needed when you were younger Administrator
    Tower 8 ️
    Welp, this.
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait a minute.

    Is there a list of Tec Toy Dreamcast product codes somewhere I never knew about?

    Also, I've been really baffled by the lettering on Mega Drive covers, especially those with no product number (early releases)--what exactly do those signify?
  7. ReBirFh


    I maintain lists for all SEGA games and hardware released by Tec Toy.

    The lettering was used to dictate the price range of the game in the stores, e.g:

    LOJA GAME SCORE - Agosto de 1993 (Game Score Store - August, 1993)

    Prices in Cr$ (Cruzeiro Real <- not used anymore, replaced by Real in 1994)

    Cartuchos Master System (Master System cartridges)

    Carts 256K = 1.371,000
    Carts 1 MEGA
    Série B = 1.911,000
    Carts 2 MEGA
    Série A = 2.269,000
    Série B = 2.423,000
    Série C = 2.742,000
    Série D = 2.949,000
    Carts 4 MEGA = 3.240,000
    Carts 4 MEGA ESPECIAL = 4.064,000

    Cartuchos Mega Drive (Mega Drive cartridges)

    Série A = 2.485,000
    Série B = 3.280,000
    Série C = 3.536,000
    Série D = 4.397,000
    Série E = 4.779,000
    Série F = 5.832,000
  8. Yuzu


    now on steam deck Member
    You've yet to see Crazy Taxi 2? I have a European DC copy somewhere, amazing game.
  9. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Do you have actual hardware too? I want to take some looks inside the various Saturn models they released.
  10. Scarred Sun

    Scarred Sun

    Be who you needed when you were younger Administrator
    Tower 8 ️
    Welp, this.
    Oh, that makes sense—I assume all the crazy hyperinflation around that time would have made just issuing a range make more sense. That does sort of throw a kink in our plans of listing MSRP/RRP of games, though.
  11. ReBirFh


    I was organizing my bookmarks and found an interesting parallel to the letters in the japanese Master System releases, it seems SEGA of Japan used stars in the back of the box as a pricing code just like Tec Toy used the letters here. Seeing as how Tec Toy had a close relationship with Sega of Japan it wouldn't surprise me if the star were the source of inspiration.

  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    no reverse gear Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    steamboat wiki
    That star system would have completely passed me by had you not pointed that out
    On another side note, this book keeps popping up a lot in my travels
    Collectively they cover pretty much everything Sega-related which is Japanese (up until 2002). I was under the impression the consumer one was effectively Sega of Japan's site in book form, but I'm starting to think it might have a great deal more use.

    The arcade history book has tons of use because it specifies exact release dates of arcade games and the like, which I'm pretty sure Sega of Japan's site has never done. The occasional page scan exists, just a shame that both are in Japanese.
  13. Andlabs


    「いっきまーす」 Wiki Sysop
    Writing my own MD/Genesis sound driver :D they're still being resold and I really should get copies too =P
  14. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    That arcade one is really overpriced..... but the other.... hmmm.
  15. Sik


    Sik is pronounced as "seek", not as "sick". Tech Member
    being an asshole =P
    Considering how it has less pages? Yeah, overpriced. But holy shit, 432 arcade games? o_O;
  16. ReBirFh



    After a through analysys of my lists, I can say for sure the first 3 number of the Model Nº represents the letters and size of the game.

    Ps. This is 100% accurate in the Master System games.
    Ps².With Mega Drive games only the letters match and the size of the rom match in most but not all cases.

    Master System

    021. = - (256K)
    023. = B (1 MEGA)
    024. = A (2 MEGA)
    025. = B (2 MEGA)
    026. = C (2 MEGA)
    027. = D (2 MEGA)
    028. = - (4 MEGA)
    030. = - (8 MEGA)

    Mega Drive

    041. = A
    042. = B
    043. = C
    044. = D
    045. = E
    046. = F
    047. = G
    048. = D
    049. = H
    050. = I
    051. = F
    052. = G; J
    053. = B