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Whac A Critter

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Vangar, May 9, 2011.

  1. Vangar

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  2. ICEknight

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    Looks like a reproduction to me. That description sounds quite fishy.
     
  3. Shoemanbundy

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    Not unreleased, that's the original US distributed copy. I remember when these auctions went up, they also have Earth Defense and Funny World/Balloon Boy for sale too. They apparently found a back stock of these things that they received years ago but never opened or something if I remember the story right. No idea what they think that warrants calling them all unreleased, but at least their prices show they don't have any evil intentions. I have zero idea why they would have the bare pcbs and cartridge moldings only though..but again, the price alone shows this isn't any grand money making scheme =P

    Despite the price though, I regret spending the $1 on Funny World/Balloon Boy. Realtec sucks and none of their crap is worth it.
     
  4. ICEknight

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    Unless somebody compares the original EPROM with these, we won't know for sure if they're legit or not.
     
  5. Andlabs

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    Remember that Realtec games use a mapper that loads code at boot from the top of ROM that sets memory values for copy protection... These are probably worth dumping to see if they're different anywhere.
     
  6. GerbilSoft

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    The PCB photo shows a regular mask ROM, not an EPROM. (Note that there's no window for erasing the ROM.) [Then again, it could be EEPROM or flash ROM, but that's unlikely.]

    Also the epoxy blob is probably covering the mapper.
     
  7. Toasty

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    Welp, I got them in the mail today, Whac-a-Critter and the Balloon Boy game. The Whac-A-Critter game is in a Balloon boy cartridge with a white label and magic marker. Both games are obviously pirates, but cool nevertheless for a collector like me.

    The cartridges are REALLY weird. I don't even know how to get them apart...they don't have any screws in them but they're sealed shut like a regular Genesis game with screws in it...

    edit: so is this a pirate or the real thing? Mine came in a box sealed, but it looks like someone stepped on it. :(
     
  8. Black Squirrel

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    I don't like to throw around the term "pirate" these days because it's not technically software piracy as there are no unauthorised copies involved. There'll be some dubious code in there to bypass Sega's security features but that's a different issue entirely (and I'm not even sure if it was actually made illegal anywhere).

    Realtec among other companies simply didn't have an official license to make Mega Drive games. So they reverse engineered the console and made their own compatible carts. The stuff looks odd because they made up their own rules on packaging designs and set no boundaries for the content on said carts. But these are still from "proper" companies with money to spend on manufacturing things in bulk. If they'd put, say, Sonic 2 in one of those carts and then sold it without permission from Sega, that would be piracy.

    But as said I'm not sure if there was ever a law which dictates that permission had to be given from Sega to produce cartridges for Mega Drives or Genesises. It was a good idea to because Sega had all the knowledge, but not set in stone. It was discouraged in North America by Nintendo because it was one of the causes of the video game crash, but I think Realtec are a Chinese company so yeah.
     
  9. Andlabs

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    Realtec was a Chinese company, but three of their four known MD products were sold in the US. There's one more that was most likely for the Taiwanese market, but all that I know about it is this. Whether or not these being sold now are pirates of the Realtec games... IDK.
     
  10. Overlord

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    Well, there's always the result in Sega vs Accolade, where the court found pretty heavily in favour of "yeah, you don;t legally need permission".

    I have no doubt if this was tried again today though, Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo would crush whoever tried it though, bearing in mind how much more draconian and anti-consumer copyright law has got in the last decade.
     
  11. Rika Chou

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    Probably a snap together cart. You can pull those apart if you're careful.


    Too bad the special controller isn't included.
     
  12. Sik

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    It was tried again later and the result was different. I should look up which case was that.

    Bear into mind that current consoles have the advantage of encryption and such, which makes them fall under DMCA. Sega didn't have any proper protection in place (have "SEGA" at $000100 and write "SEGA" at $A14000...), in fact they tried to use trademark law for their protection scheme, so there's no way that would fall under DMCA.

    Nintendo had it safer with the NES/SNES/N64 as they used a custom chip and they could probably claim patent infringement (in fact, wasn't a company sued for reverse engineering the chip?).
     
  13. Shoemanbundy

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    I dunno why people title these things pirates either, they're no more pirates than say Color Dream's games on the NES. There are some games though that are a little more tricky, like Barver Battle Saga, which is original for the most part but does have a stolen sound engine from Data East, plus the box steals artwork from the Final Fantasy artist who's name escapes me =P So in that respect, some Taiwan/China originals can be called pirates. Then you've got games like Pocket Monsters 2 or Squirrel King which might steal some graphics from official games here or there, but aren't really "pirates" of anything except for stealing the IP that the developers are using unofficially. In that sense, they're not really any different from fan games or homebrews. Until you factor in the fact the companies sell them for profit. In any case, the term pirate mostly suits copies of official games, but it fits loosely with a lot of other of the Taiwan original games out there and at this point is pretty tough to disassociate from most of the games. Heck, a lot of people still call them HK originals, though usually not a single one was made in Hong kong.

    Games that aren't "pirates" as much as just unlicensed games on the Genesis are anything by Realtec and C&E(who made Beggar Prince). And ChuanPu, who made Barver battle but also did Shui Hu Zhuan and Feng Shen Ying Jie Zhuan, two original RPGs that don't steal from anything(edit: as far as I know anyway.. =P).
     
  14. ICEknight

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    These could be pirates of an unlicensed game, though.
     
  15. Toasty

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    That's what I meant, I know the definition and circumstances of piracy. :p I just find it strange that Whac-A-Critter is basically a Balloon Boy cartridge with a white label slapped on it. You can see through the white label pretty well.

    I haven't felt like dragging my Genesis out to test these yet, I might do it tomorrow. I wish the fabled controller was included...
     
  16. Andlabs

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    Balloon Boy and Whac-a-Critter were both published by Realtec...

    Also from what I've seen disassembling Whac-a-Critter (not much), I wouldn't be surprised if the magic controller is just a standard 3-button pad with the nine controller buttons translated into standard controller buttons with some IC...
     
  17. Sik

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    Considering how the game is actually playable with the standard controller, I wouldn't be surprised =P