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SMS Power!









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

Our project:



Hong Kil Dong (KR), Paperboy 2 [Proto] (GG)

Posted Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:29 am by Bock

Back with more dumps!

We've got a very rare Korean exclusive and original, Hong Kil Dong (홍길동) for the Master System / Samsung Gam*Boy!

Quoting Derboo who extensively researched Korean gaming:
An autoscrolling run 'n gun based on the traditional Korean story Hong Gildong-jeon. The titular hero has to fight ghosts and demons, on his way to the boss (which he fights after mounting a cloud) in each stage he can also open treasure chests, which contain several powerups.

This game offers a good opportunity to take a brief look at the original tale, as it's only the first of many games that are based off or reference it. Hong Gildong is the son of a Yangban, the Korean gentry during the Joseon era (1392 to 1910). Yet he finds himself at the lower end of the caste system because his mother was a mere concubine. So despite being extraordinarily gifted, he has no perspective of social advancement, and isn't even allowed to refer to his father as such. Because he is marked as cursed, his family attempts to have him killed, but he flees and becomes kind of a Korean Robin Hood. At the end of several adventures, he conquers the demon-infested island Yuldo and establishes a nation without social discrimination. The tale is popularly attributed to the 16./17. century scholar Heo Gyun, which is not entirely undisputed among historians of Korean literature.

The game has been originally advertised by a company called Saeron System, but at least the Master System version was published by Clover in the end. Who actually developed the game is not known. The game is extremely rare, despite it being a giveaway at magazine raffles for years.

Note: if you are using MEKA, the game only started functioning properly from MEKA 0.8x 2015-05-01 build. It uses the R register during boss fight, which was incorrectly emulated by MEKA up to this version. The game will probably function correctly on other emulators such as MESS or Emulicious or Dega Fusion. Thanks to segmtfault, Paul Baker and Calindro for helping me with getting the game running on Meka! (see discussion thread).

We've also got a prototype dump of Paperboy 2 for the Game gear.

Last but not least, make sure to have a look at the Music & Coding Competition entries for this year. Many of the entries receive an update since March 27, and awaiting for your votes!

WildSnake for Game Gear (Unreleased) & an amazing 18th year competition lineup!

Posted Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:02 pm by Bock

March 27 was our 18th birthday and we've got a bunch of gifts for you!

James (dyer60) contacted me a few weeks ago saying he may have stumbled on an unreleased game as part of buying an old lot. He was generous enough to allow me to borrow the board and dump its EPROM for a release here, coinciding with our anniversary week. Fast forward and by March 28th I received it from him and dumped the game: WildSnake! A new game for the Game Gear :)

Developed in 1993-1994 by Bullet-Proof Software, a company specialized in puzzle games (and namely all the Tetris spinoffs on the Super Famic*m), WildSnake eventually wasn't released on Sega systems. A Megadrive prototype surfaced at some point and we are pleased to release the Game Gear version today.

WildSnake is a "dropping-block" puzzle game featuring wiggling snakes that the player can controls. Snakes can eat each others when their color and pattern matches, and the player has to guide them as they fall into the board. The movement of snake creates a rather mesmerizing game.

The game has four modes: Easy, Normal, Hard and King-Cobra. The later "King-Cobra" mode provides challenges that you have to pass in order to beat the game. The game is unfortunately relatively easy and doesn't seem to offer a lot of challenge, which could have been a reason for it being pulled out before release. Regardless, it received the marketing treatment of being advertised by Alexey Pajitnov himself (according to the credits he didn't really work on the game). See the advertisement mentioning the Game Gear and Megadrive releases.

WildSnake (Unreleased) for the Game Gear.

dyer60 is selling his original WildSnake, please get in touch if interested!

That's not all !
We received an amazing amount of entries to the Coding and Music competitions this year from members. Please check them out and vote for them!

Coding Competition 2015
(see the forums to browse and discuss entries)
- Anguna the Prison Dungeon , by sverx
- Bread and Butter World, by dragonfeet
- Bloki, by tripledonkey & sherpa
- Christmas Tale, by pedro76
- Chappies Ears Simon Game by furrtek
- Flip Flap by BrambleG
- Gaudream by DanySnowman, Davidian & Kusfo
- Knights and Demons, by Baron Ashler & nitrofurano
- Lander 2 by jmimu
- Mega Man 2 by GVX32
- Move the Character by homsar47
- Sega Master System YM2413 FM Tool by ccovell
- Racer by Hang-on
- Ski Master by efry, Niloct & edwin diaz
- Simon the Snake by nitrofurano
- Zombi Terror by Baron Ashler & nitrofurano

Music Competition 2015
(see the forums to browse and discuss entries)
- Hang On, by tibone
- Sonic Bridge Base Metal, by db-electronics
- Phantasy Star Theme, by adzix
- Squarewaves in 2015!, by TmEE
- The Dancing Bat, by SegaMon

Thanks all !
(PS: dyer60 is selling his original WildSnake, please get in touch if interested)

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.
- 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.

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