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Mission Statement

Active since 1997, we are an international force of enthusiasts interested in the following gaming/computer systems:

And their regional variants (Samsung Gam*Boy, Aaronix consoles, etc.). All generally referred to as "Sega 8-bit" systems, being 8-bit Z80 CPU based Sega systems.

Our project:

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News

SMS BIOS 2.0, Jang Pung II (SMS/KR), Sky Jaguar [Clover] (SMS/KR)

Posted Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:18 pm by Bock

Hello and welcome to the month of March, host of the world renewed SMS Power! coding & music competition! We will be celebrating our 18th anniversary at the end of the month and looking forward to your entries!

Today we've got 3 new dumps.



A few months ago we have discovered an uncommon variation of the classic v1.3 Master System Boot ROM that said "v2.0". Surprisingly it wasn't dumped until now. It is just very rare or just uncommon and no-one has been paying attention to the number in their instruction screen?

Thanks to Rudi the owner who let me borrow the console we now have a dump of the SMS (v2.0) System ROM. Its content has been analysed and discussed here. The main and notable difference between other versions is that this ROM doesn't check the game cartridge nor the presence of the TMR SEGA header. As such, it behave like a Japanese SMS and allows booting cartridges that don't read properly (they would crashes) or Japanese titles (via a custom made adapter for cartridge, or cards). So this is a cool side-effect. There is also a little display glitch with the snail game that's visible on the screen and may or may not appear with emulators.



We've got a dump of Jang Pung II (장풍 II) for the Master System. Until now, until the Game Gear version - often known as "Street Blaster" was available. The Master System oddly uses a 512 KB ROM instead of the original 256 KB, only to use 16 KB of this extra space.

Also note how the characters differ, the Game Gear version looks more like Street Fighter II.

Left: Master System, Right: Game Gear


Characters names also have been changed:
- Can (Ken) became James.
- Tile (Guile) became Eric.
- Chun Ja (Chun Li) became Alang.
- Tison (Bison) became Chales.
- Mega (Vega) became V.King.
and
- Lee (Ryu) stayed the same.

More technical discussions here.



And finally we've got an alternate Clover release of Sky Zet / Sky Jaguar (스카이쟈가) for the Samsung Gam*Boy / Master System. Cartridge loan courtesy of BKK. Thanks :)

SMS Power! 18th anniversary competitions

Posted Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:04 pm by Maxim

As usual, we will be having competitions this year to celebrate 18 years since SMS Power! was started (as SMS Camp) in 1997.

Coding competition

Write something that runs on a Sega 8-bit system. It has to be something reasonably new, no game hacks or small updates to old releases. If you're thinking of getting into SMS coding, now's the time!

Music competition

Make some music, either that uses Sega 8-bit hardware (YM2413, SN76489) or is an arrangement of music from a Sega 8-bit game.

The prizes

Nothing less than a place in history as the winner of an SMS Power! anniversary competition.

The deadline

27th March 2015.

More details will follow.

Hi-Com The Best Game Collection dumps

Posted Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:05 pm by Bock


Today is the first time we formally release dumps from unlicensed xx-in-1 cartridges! Not that their existence are lacking, but they typically comes with dumping and emulation issues and tend to stay at the end of priority list. I have recently stumbled on a stash of 5 Korean Master System compilations and decided to put some work on them. Adding that to another 4 of the same series I could access in Hokkaido in 2011, we've got a total of 9 cartridges from the same series!

Hi-Com The Best Game Collection series for the Samsung Gam*Boy / Sega Master System.

Those cartridges were released in Korea by Hi-Com in 1990. As it is often the case with unlicensed Korean products, their packaging are rather bland and inconsistent, making it hard to guess how many variants were released.

3-in-1 menus


8-in-1 menus


Curiously, the 8-in-1 ROMs are built in such manner that they can be split in half and function as two standalone 4-in-1 ROMs with their own menu. I haven't however spotted those released as cartridge in the wild yet, but they might exists.

Here's a full list of the games contained in each cartridge:

Hi-Com 3-in-1 The Best Game Collection A
- Hang On
- Pit Pot
- Spy vs Spy

Hi-Com 3-in-1 The Best Game Collection B
- Great Baseball
- Great Soccer
- Super Tennis

Hi-Com 3-in-1 The Best Game Collection C
- Teddy Boy Blues
- Pit-Pot
- Astro Flash

Hi-Com 3-in-1 The Best Game Collection D
- Teddy Boy Blues
- Great Soccer
- Comical Machine Gun Joe

Hi-Com 3-in-1 The Best Game Collection E
- Ghost House
- Teddy Boy Blues
- Seishun Scandal

Hi-Com 3-in-1 The Best Game Collection F
- Satellite-7
- Great Baseball
- Seishun Scandal

Hi-Com 8-in-1 The Best Game Collection A
- Hyper Sports 2
- Champion Boxing
- Safari Race
- Astro Flash
- Monkey Academy
- Star Force
- Bank Panic
- Teddy Boy

Hi-Com 8-in-1 The Best Game Collection B
- King's Valley
- Ghost House
- Sega-Galaga
- Monaco GP
- Magical Tree
- Ninja Princess
- Satellite-7
- Hang-On

Hi-Com 8-in-1 The Best Game Collection C
- Athletic Land
- Super Tank
- Bomb Jack
- Hyper Sports
- Circus Charlie
- Exerion
- Great Baseball
- Yie Ar Kung-Fu


The dumps are currently emulated by Meka 2014-12-15 and by the latest version of Emulicious. More emulators will probably come in support shortly. Technical information about their mapping system can be found in this discussion thread.

Unreleased Sega Graphic Board v2.0 !

Posted Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:50 pm by Bock

A few years ago someone in Canada showed up with evidence of a prototype of the rumored Sega Graphic Board, developed by Sega Japan, that was mentioned in early magazine publications circa 1987. The hardware that appeared apparently passed hand to hands in a typical impossible-to-verify cross-country flea market story. Eventually the owner decided to sell it and the tablet was recently auctioned on eBay. I am happy to announce that I got hold of the hardware and software :)



Sega Graphic Board v2.0 Prototype for Master System, now available! The hardware prototype appears to be dated May 1987, the software prototype Ausugt 1987, that is, 27 years old. The tablet plug into regular controller port, has 3 buttons and an input resolution of about the Master System 256x192 resolution. According to a signature left in the ROM data, the software was created by Kazuo Wakihara also responsible for handful of early Sega classics including later hit Columns.

The Sega Graphic Board may have been apparently planned to be supporting hardware for the Megadrive, as pictured in early prototype pamphlet showcasing the Megadrive along with an unreleased floppy disk drive and the graphic board:



The software attempts to reproduce a fully editable 16 colors bitmap using the Master System character-based video mode. The drawing area is restricted to 176x144 pixels which is close to the maximum unique drawing surface given the Kilobytes of video memory. The software offers variety of drawing tools, including useful "copy" and "magnify" tool. Unfortunately no "line" or "undo".







More pictures of the hardware,



Picture from the original owner (the board is upside down!)


As of today the hardware is emulated by Meka Wip 2014-10-04 and will be shortly be supported by MESS and Emulicious among other emulators. The reverse engineering thread provides enough information if you want to implement support for the Sega Graphic Board in your emulator.

Thanks to kusfo, hang-on, Maraakate and SF for their donation toward acquiring the lot! Thanks to Maxim and jdg for help reverse engineering the hardware. Enjoy!

Sega8bit & SMS Power! 2014 Event - 2nd August

Posted Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:31 pm by Maxim

In recent years, our friends over at the Sega8bit Forum have been organising meetups in Manchester (UK), where people play (mostly) Master System games, trade, chat and generally have a bit of retro fun. There's also a competition - with a real trophy - to add a frisson of additional excitement to the proceedings. Oh, and it's in a pub, so there's food and drinks if you like those sorts of things. We cross-promote it here on SMS Power! for the few people who don't frequent both sites.

Many of the regulars there are also regulars here, and I've been a few times myself. If you can make it to Manchester for a Saturday afternoon this August 2nd, you are welcome to join in.

The best place to discuss it is over at the official thread at the Sega8bit Forum, where you can post to say you're coming.

Gangcheol RoboCop, Mopiranger, Road Fighter

Posted Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:22 pm by Bock

Received a nudge which got me to start digging the through unreleased left-overs from my 2010-2011 Asian tour. Korean dumps are typically tricky, with subtle variations that are hard to identify. We are getting there! Three new dumps today.



Gangcheol RoboCop (강철 로보캅) for the Master System / Samsung Gam*Boy is an original game developed by SIECO Ltd. for the Korean market. Bearing the dodgy controls and platform physics that is the lot of many unlicensed titles, the game is rather hard to progress through but the challenge makes it interesting. Remember to grab the bullet on the left of the screen to get started, and avoid those speed-up items!



Mopiranger (포피레인저) for the Master System / Samsung Gam*Boy. An charming little Konami game ported from the MSX. Think Pac-man+Pengo where getting rid of enemies create blocks. As the game drift more toward its puzzle side as you progress, blocks become increasingly a problem toward solving levels.



Finally we've got a Korean release for Road Fighter (로드화이터) for the Master System / Samsung Gam*Boy. We previously released a Taiwanese SG-1000 II release relying on the Jumbo RAM extension adapter. This Korean version only works on the Master System.

Enjoy!

Unreleased Lemmings 2: The Tribes for the Master System and Game Gear

Posted Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:56 pm by Bock

We had an unexpected surprise this morning! Programmer Matt Taylor who we contacted years ago popped up on our forums to drop final builds of the unreleased Lemmings 2 both in their Master System and Game Gear incarnation. This less-known sequel puts Lemmings on steroids with about fifty abilities ranging from "flame thrower" to "icarus wing" over twelve different worlds, requiring time to adjust and understand the different tools at your disposal.

The game conversion was then completed on SMS, GG and Game Boy within Spidersoft. but only the later version was released. By the word of Matt the Game Gear version was the best of all three. You can read more about it and other work directly from Matt Taylor on the Lemmings 2 (SMS/GG) forum thread.

Lemmings 2: The Tribes for the Master System




Lemmings 2: The Tribes for the Game Gear




Merely twenty years after its development, the game is available for all to enjoy. Enjoy!

Also remember to check out our development & music competition entries this year :)


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