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Lemmings 2 (SMS/GG)
Post Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 12:26 pm
Quoting Matt Taylor, who wrote (unreleased) Lemming 2 for SMS and GG.

After doing Andre Agassi on the GameBoy, I went on to write Lemmings 2 on the Game Gear and Master System. The code was written using a single codebase for both MS/GG versions as well as the Game Boy version, and was developed in around 8 months. Although I had access to the original source code, it was x86 real-mode code and not much use. So, as with Hook, I spent many hours studying and cataloging how the PC version worked, how many pixels per frame of animation, how the skills worked, etc, and then coded it from scratch in Z80. The levels were designed in such a way that no more than 128 characters could be modified on any level to ensure that the game did not run out of spare background characters when modified by exploding Lemmings or built bridges and the like. This was achieved by designing the levels using non-modifyable blocks (“steel” blocks, water) and limiting how many modifying skills were used on each level. As there were only 8 lemmings per level (to stay within sprites-on-a-line limits) this was pretty easy to achieve. In fact, out of the original levels only about 20% had to be redesigned.
 
In the code I wrote a unified single bitplane collision detection system and character modification system so that arbritary areas of the level could be modified on any pixel boundary. All collision detection for the lemmings was done a single pixel basis and several collision tests had to be done per frame for some of the more complex lemming skills such as the Magnobooter. Out of all the lemmings skills the Magnobooter is my favourite and was by far the most fun to code and play with.

The game was completed in 1994, but Psygnosis decided that it was not commercially viable to release it on the Sega 8-bit platforms. A lot of publishers were pulling out of Sega 8-bit cartridge production in Europe due to the high cost of production runs. This was very disappointing, especially as the Game Gear version is the best version out of the 8-bit console versions of Lemmings 2, even including sampled sound playback. The only 8-bit console version to be released was the Game Boy version which received 95% in GB Action magazine. This score was only surpassed in the same issue by Monster Max which received 96%. Ironically Monster Max was written by Jon Ritman (who wrote Match Day and Head Over Heels on the Sinclair Spectrum) who I would later end up working for at his start-up company Cranberry Source after I left Spidersoft.

The Game Gear and Master System versions of Lemmings 2 were reviewed in Sega Power magazine and I will scan in these reviews for you if you wish to include them on your site. Lemmings 2 is an 8-bit title I am particularly proud to have written as I think a good job was done of faithfully reproducing the original without compromising on features or levels and it really showed off what the Sega 8-bit machines were capable of. It is just a shame they never got released due to Sega’s cartridge production pricing.
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Post Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 7:11 pm
I assume you are applying the usual pressure to get hold of some ROM images...
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Post Posted: Sun May 07, 2006 8:34 pm
Of course, this is implied by the post ;)
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Post Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:55 am
Matt Taylor wrote
The only 8-bit console version to be released was the Game Boy version which received 95% in GB Action magazine...

The Game Gear and Master System versions of Lemmings 2 were reviewed in Sega Power magazine and I will scan in these reviews for you if you wish to include them on your site.


I played through the GB version and it was a great conversion.

I remember the Sega Power reviews - they totally slated it, but then they slated every 8-bit release at that time, barely discussed the game and ranted about how the 8-bit systems should be discontinued.

It's interesting that they chose a different approach from Lemmings 1 by using sprites for the lemmings - thus limiting the game to 8 instead of the 20 achieved previously (presumably the most achievable without worse slowdown).
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Post Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 9:27 am
I remeber reading about the game at the time, god i hope you get a rom
of this as id love to not only play Lemmings 2 for the sake of one more sms game
but
Id love to see the game run just for the tech side of things as it sounds very
interesting indeed.



========================================================
To Be this good takes AGES
to be this good takes SEGA
========================================================
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:11 pm
Resurrection this old thread. I dug up the old mail from Matt Tailor.
Not sure why I haven't posted it entirely before but it's interesting:

Hi Omar

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you but I have been working out in San Francisco for a few weeks and only got back into the UK on Monday. I was surprised to hear from James McKay as it was a long time since I gave him my e-mail address and provided information for use on his excellent Massage emulator.

I can provide you with as much information as you need on my work on Sega 8-bit platforms and lots of other background information from that era. My work on Sega 8-bit machines was carried out between 1992 and 1997 when I worked for a company called Spidersoft (now called Tarantula Studios and now part of the Take 2/Rockstar group) who were based in Lincoln in North-East England. Spidersoft was 60% owned by 21st Century Entertainment (publishers of Pinball Dreams on the Commodore Amiga). This meant that Spidersoft were responsible for 8-bit and 16-bit console ports of existing 21st Century Entertainment titles such as their pinball games in addition to titles for other publishers.

Before getting into games I was heavily into the Commodore Amiga demo scene, and was one of the co-founders of LSD on the Amiga who were responsible for public domain titles such as Jesus on Es and Grapevine Magazine. My nick back then was (and still is on the net) MaXimaN and I worked on many intros, Grapevine Headlines dentros, and later took over coding and maintenance of Grapevine Magazine.

My role at Spidersoft was programmer and external project manager. This meant in addition to programming titles I was also responsible for overseeing projects that were for publishers other than 21st Century Entertainment, many of which were 8-bit Sega titles.

Spidersoft designed and built its own development system called ESYS. This was a ROM emulator box about the size of house brick containing 512Kb of RAM connected to a PC via a parallel cable. Several were in use at Spidersoft at any one time and they were also sold to other developers. The beauty of the system was that different cartridge interface cards were produced for different consoles, meaning that the same ESYS box could be used for Game Boy, Game Gear, Master System, Megadrive, SNES, NES, and even Jaguar. The ESYS box also had battery backup meaning that ROM images downloaded to it could be retained even when removed from a PC, making demonstrating work to publishers very easy. Spidersoft also produced a modified Game Gear and interface board that allowed video output from a Game Gear to be put onto a monitor or television, which was useful during development. The development compilers and debugging software, called KASM, was written by Krisalis Software and allowed for real-time debugging and breakpointing of code running on any device attached to the ESYS box.

I joined Spidersoft in 1992 and my first commercial game project was Hook on the Game Gear and Master System which was commissioned by Sony Imagesoft. Sony Imagesoft was a new publisher at that time and was Sony’s real first attempt to break into games publishing. The Sega 8-bit version of Hook was based on the Megadrive/Genesis version which had been developed in Japan. No original source code was available, so the game was written from the ground up by observing the 16-bit version and recreating the moves and general level design on the 8-bit version. The game was completed in five months in 1992 and was due to be released in the US market only. As far as I am aware it was released, but it may have been the case that only a limited production run of cartridges was made.

My next title was Andre Agassi Tennis on the Game Gear. This was a quick conversion (six weeks!) of the Master System title which had been developed and published by Tekmagik in the US. This cartridge was released in Europe and the US, and despite poor reviews it did pretty well commercially in Europe.

After doing Andre Agassi on the GameBoy, I went on to write Lemmings 2 on the Game Gear and Master System. The code was written using a single codebase for both MS/GG versions as well as the Game Boy version, and was developed in around 8 months. Although I had access to the original source code, it was x86 real-mode code and not much use. So, as with Hook, I spent many hours studying and cataloging how the PC version worked, how many pixels per frame of animation, how the skills worked, etc, and then coded it from scratch in Z80. The levels were designed in such a way that no more than 128 characters could be modified on any level to ensure that the game did not run out of spare background characters when modified by exploding Lemmings or built bridges and the like. This was achieved by designing the levels using non-modifyable blocks (“steel” blocks, water) and limiting how many modifying skills were used on each level. As there were only 8 lemmings per level (to stay within sprites-on-a-line limits) this was pretty easy to achieve. In fact, out of the original levels only about 20% had to be redesigned.

In the code I wrote a unified single bitplane collision detection system and character modification system so that arbritary areas of the level could be modified on any pixel boundary. All collision detection for the lemmings was done a single pixel basis and several collision tests had to be done per frame for some of the more complex lemming skills such as the Magnobooter. Out of all the lemmings skills the Magnobooter is my favourite and was by far the most fun to code and play with.

The game was completed in 1994, but Psygnosis decided that it was not commercially viable to release it on the Sega 8-bit platforms. A lot of publishers were pulling out of Sega 8-bit cartridge production in Europe due to the high cost of production runs. This was very disappointing, especially as the Game Gear version is the best version out of the 8-bit console versions of Lemmings 2, even including sampled sound playback. The only 8-bit console version to be released was the Game Boy version which received 95% in GB Action magazine. This score was only surpassed in the same issue by Monster Max which received 96%. Ironically Monster Max was written by Jon Ritman (who wrote Match Day and Head Over Heels on the Sinclair Spectrum) who I would later end up working for at his start-up company Cranberry Source after I left Spidersoft.

The Game Gear and Master System versions of Lemmings 2 were reviewed in Sega Power magazine and I will scan in these reviews for you if you wish to include them on your site. Lemmings 2 is an 8-bit title I am particularly proud to have written as I think a good job was done of faithfully reproducing the original without compromising on features or levels and it really showed off what the Sega 8-bit machines were capable of. It is just a shame they never got released due to Sega’s cartridge production pricing.

While at Spidersoft I also worked on other 8-bit Sega titles such as Cliffhanger which used Spidersoft’s platform game engine developed during Hook. Cliffhanger was one of those extremely poor movie tie-ins that was an excuse to churn out yet another platform game, and these types of game helped kill off the 8-bit (and 16-bit) consoles. Other titles I worked on were Poker Face Paul’s Blackjack (http://www.vgmuseum.com/pics/pokerfaceblackjack.html), Solitaire, and Cribbage which were developed by Spidersoft for a company called Western Technologies (also known as Adrenalin Games) who were based in Los Angeles. The company was run by Jay Smith who designed the Vectrex gaming system. Blackjack and Solitaire proved to be very popular titles for Sega who featured them on their stand at the 1994 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and actually had people queuing to play it! As far as I know the Cribbage title was not released, but I may be mistaken.

The only other Sega 8-bit games that were developed at Spidersoft were versions of the 21st Century Entertainment pinball games, namely: Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies, and Pinball Mania. As far as I know Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies were released, but I don’t think Pinball Mania was as this came late on in the life of Master System and Game Gear. These games were developed by Dave Cooke and used Spidersoft’s proprietary pinball game engine. These games were ideal for handheld machines and were fun to play.

 I hope you have found this information useful. Feel free to use any or all of it on your web site. If I remember anything else from those days (a decade ago, so my memory is a little hazy ;-) I’ll pass it on to you. If you have any questions or require further details feel free to e-mail me.

Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 Matt.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:54 am
and is it not possible to get the rom of Lemmings 2???
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:10 am
Interesting read. Pity he didn't say whether or not he has the actual roms or prototypes of these two games. So Hook was officially released in very small quantities? Interesting.
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:54 am
No Hook wasn't released it's a mistake.
I assume that Matt doesn't have the ROM of Lemmings 2 but he didn't really give me an answer to that last time I asked. He had Hook and shared it so I assume if he had Lemmings he would have done the same. I'm mailing him to clarify.
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:36 am
Bock wrote
No Hook wasn't released it's a mistake.
I assume that Matt doesn't have the ROM of Lemmings 2 but he didn't really give me an answer to that last time I asked. He had Hook and shared it so I assume if he had Lemmings he would have done the same. I'm mailing him to clarify.


Don't forget to thank him for his incredible effort on writing the whole game from zero! =)
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:06 pm
It is still amazing we have what little we do (from all developers), the Sega community is unique in that despite a smaller fanbase than THAT other company we have an amazing amount of resources through pure persistance and enthusiasm.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:41 am
Ron_Stard wrote
Don't forget to thank him for his incredible effort on writing the whole game from zero! =)


Thank you. You're welcome! And, lo, a long-forgotten thread rises from the ashes...

I was certain that the Lemmings 2 ROMs were already out there and was actually surprised to learn that they were not. The GameBoy ROM has been available for some time now.

So, seeing as it is twenty years since this game was written, you can now play these ROMs to your heart's content. I've attached the Game Gear version to this message and the Master System version to the one below this.

Feel free to ask me anything about this game (or others I wrote) and I'll see if those particular neurons still fire...
L2gg3801.rar (308.7 KB)
Lemmings 2 - Game Gear

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:42 am
...and the Master System version.
L2ma3701.rar (313.6 KB)
Lemmings 2 - Master System

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:38 am
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:18 pm
(Past my initial reaction)

Matt,
This is absolutely fantastic and a great gift to the community. Thank you so much. I have setup some pages for the game and will post a little news blurb. A lot of people will be pleased.

http://www.smspower.org/Games/Lemmings2-SMS
http://www.smspower.org/Games/Lemmings2-GG

What a hard game!
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:08 pm
Excellent! This brightens my holidays all so much more!

I didn't think we'd ever see it. I'm quite thankful :). It's a great feeling to see great gems unearthed for such a wonderful console.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:11 pm
No problem. Like I said, I thought they were already out there - so hopefully they are worth the wait. :-)

The game has a bit of a steep learning curve at first, but here are a few tips:

  • Quick instructions: The 1 button assigns a skill to a Lemming. Holding down 2 and moving left and right chooses a skill and releasing 2 selects that skill. Start can be used to pause and un-pause the game.
  • Use can use the Nuke option when you have saved enough lemmings to complete the level - but you will get a higher rank the more you save.
  • Use the Restart option rather than Nuke when you want to try again, as this restarts the level rather than quits the level, saving you time.
  • When the game is paused you can still move your cursor around the screen and level, and you can still choose skills. This is useful where you need to give a Lemming a skill on one part of the level and quickly give a skill to another Lemming somewhere else. It also helps in situations where you need to be pixel perfect (of which there are a few) but the controls are pretty responsive in this regard.
  • You can un-pause by assigning a skill to a lemming while the game is paused. This means that you don't need to hit Start and 1 in quick succession.
  • The level codes should be the same as the Game Boy version. Which may not help you, as I haven't found those listed anywhere... :-)
  • When you have a cluster of Lemmings together and you need to get them out using a Pyramider or similar building skill, align the edge of the cursor with the place where you want it to be built, wait for the cluster to go out of range and then keep hitting the 1 button to assign the skill. You will be more likely to get it build in the position you want it that way.
  • The "Pause Trick" is especially important if you want to use wind to blow a flying skill around. You can pause, quickly select the Wind icon, and then un-pause to use it. Then you can pause again when you want to flick over to the next skill.
  • Pausing is also a good thing to do at the start of a new level. Pause the game and look at where you need to get them to, look at the skills you have, and then have a go. Or just get stuck in and have a laugh. :-)
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:41 pm
Hi Matt, thank you soooo much for that present!
This makes many people happy, you´re a great guy.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:55 pm
Gordman wrote
Hi Matt, thank you soooo much for that present!
This makes many people happy, you´re a great guy.


My pleasure. Better late than never. :-)

Some of you might be wondering if I have any other unreleased games or prototypes kicking about. Hook, Agassi, and Lemmings 2 were the only 8-bit games I led at Spidersoft, although I did lend a hand with Cliffhanger and the Poker-Face Paul series. One of the PFP series, Cribbage, doesn't appear to have been released anywhere, so I will dig through my files to see if I have a copy of that.

I'm also fairly sure that Pinball Dreams was developed for the Master System (the Game Gear ROM is already available), as that was pretty standard for us - doing the GB, SMS, and GG versions simultaneously. SMS and GG were straightforward to produce if you were doing one of those platforms. Pinball Fantasies and Pinball Mania were Game Boy only by that point, though, as the bottom had dropped out of the SMS and GG markets.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:00 pm
thank you!
here it is running on the real hardware (mark iii), flawlessly!
http://instagram.com/p/mvTpLAwc3M/
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:18 pm
Wow, that's quite amazing actually. Looking forward to giving these a go, thanks! :D
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:25 pm
Thanks for the release.

As to the pinball games, it looks like Pinball Mania didn't even make it out on the Game Boy.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:41 pm
This is the game I've been hoping to uncover the most over the years and I'd pretty much given up hope... so I'm super excited to see this!
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:01 pm
Awesome double release! Thanks MattTaylor!

Was there a Master System version of Cliffhanger ever developed? The game was released for the Game Gear but not for the Master System.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:31 pm
Thanks Matt!

Great work!
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:20 pm
I'm guessing the Game Gear version is best because of the colour depth. Do you have enough source to produce a version at Master System resolution using the Game Gear palette? That would be even better and playable on many emulators.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:28 pm
Maxim wrote
I'm guessing the Game Gear version is best because of the colour depth. Do you have enough source to produce a version at Master System resolution using the Game Gear palette? That would be even better and playable on many emulators.


As he said, there's also some voice playback in the Game Gear version which is missing in the Master System version, for example before starting the levels (Let's go!).
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:39 pm
I don't see why that had to be cut... Maybe the Game Gear one has stereo sound too, I didn't check yet.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:54 pm
Maxim wrote
I don't see why that had to be cut... Maybe the Game Gear one has stereo sound too, I didn't check yet.


The sampled speech was a last minute addition to the Game Gear version. As far supplying a full palette range in the SMS version, I'm not sure how emulators would handle that. Either way, although I still have the source code for the game and a couple of the tools, I don't have the data compression tool or the level editor. So making these kind of mods would be very challenging.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:19 pm
Sounds like a challenge to me :) If you feel safe to do so, we would love to see the source too.

A few Game Gear emulators have an option to show the full screen rather than the cropped central area, although there's no real hardware equivalent without sneaky manipulation of one of the cartridge pins.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:33 pm
How about adding the sampled speech from the Game Gear version to the Master System version? Maybe that would be a little easier.

Matt, can you recall about Cliffhanger having a Master System version developed? I suppose this one had a similar fate to other Sony Imagesoft games like Hook and Last Action Hero which also had a released Game Gear version and a cancelled Master System version because of Sony Imagesoft focusing on North America and dismissing Europe.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:47 pm
Just popping by to thank Matt Taylor for releasing these.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:00 am
In theory that's possible, but I have no tools to compile the code or build the data files.

Cliffhanger was definitely developed on the Master System (there was some idiotic discussion with a Sony Imagesoft producer about the mountains being "the wrong shade of purple") but I'm certain I don't have a copy of that either. :-(

Wesker wrote
How about adding the sampled speech from the Game Gear version to the Master System version? Maybe that would be a little easier.

Matt, can you recall about Cliffhanger having a Master System version developed? I suppose this one had a similar fate to other Sony Imagesoft games like Hook and Last Action Hero which also had a released Game Gear version and a cancelled Master System version because of Sony Imagesoft focusing on North America and dismissing Europe.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:19 am
Thank you very much, Matt!
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:54 am
And a little bonus for you in the Development forum... :-)

http://www.smspower.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=78968#78968
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:14 am
Thanks Matt,

This is a huge gift. Thanks so much.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:50 am
It seems that Matt found some fun to get back into the good old world of Sega ^,^
Lemmings 2 was supposed to be released 20 years ago. But now, it feels like a brand new release in 2014. And by the way, the graphics are VERY impressive!

It would be cool to see a pinball game on the Master System. Many other consoles had pinball games, but like so often, the Master System hadn´t =P
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:57 am
Last edited by Wesker on Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
MattTaylor wrote
In theory that's possible, but I have no tools to compile the code or build the data files.

Cliffhanger was definitely developed on the Master System (there was some idiotic discussion with a Sony Imagesoft producer about the mountains being "the wrong shade of purple") but I'm certain I don't have a copy of that either. :-(


That's bad, but at least we know now for sure. Maybe the game is still in hands of some of the programmers. According to the Game Gear version credits, they are Dave De Pauw, Steve Marsden and Dave Cooke, while you are listed as "Project Manager".

This was very similar to what happened with Sony Imagesoft's Last Action Hero: no European release for the Sega 8-bit versions resulted in the Master System versions of both games being left unreleased, while the Game Gear versions were exclusively released in North America. Sony Imagesoft's Hook was released for the European Game Gear on the other hand, but it still skipped a Master System release (in this case, the ROM was eventually dumped).
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:59 am
Wesker wrote
Hook was released for the European Game Gear on the other hand, but it still skipped a Master System release (in this case, the ROM was eventually dumped).

That one was provided by Matt as well - a long time ago, in Massage / SMS Preservation Society days :)
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:06 pm
Bock wrote
Wesker wrote
Hook was released for the European Game Gear on the other hand, but it still skipped a Master System release (in this case, the ROM was eventually dumped).

That one was provided by Matt as well - a long time ago, in Massage / SMS Preservation Society days :)


Yeah, I know.

The 8-bit versions of Last Action Hero were developed by Bits themselves (same people who developed the 16-bit versions) rather than Spidersoft, so the Master System version of this one is even more far outside Matt's hands. :/
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:24 pm
In addition to being a developer, I was also Project Manager for all non-21st Century Entertainment projects but as a small team we all ended up working on each other's projects. Dave also wrote the Level Editor for L2 and editors for several other projects, and led the development of the Sega 8-bit versions of Cliffhanger. I'll reach out to him on the off-chance he still has copies of those ROMs. It was a long time ago, but it's worth a shot.

With respect to Last Action Hero, have you tried asking on the Bits Facebook page? :-) https://www.facebook.com/groups/2378688281/?fref=ts
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:29 pm
Passwords:

http://www.smspower.org/Cheats/Lemmings2-SMS
http://www.smspower.org/Cheats/Lemmings2-GG

As far as I can tell, there's no cheat-type passwords in there.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:59 pm
The ending has fuller credits:

http://www.smspower.org/Credits/Lemmings2-SMS
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:01 pm
Great job! That's right - no cheats in L2 SMS/GG. It would have been nice to add a few quirky ones with more time, but as you can Restart any level you get unlimited tries anyway.

Maxim wrote
Passwords:

http://www.smspower.org/Cheats/Lemmings2-SMS
http://www.smspower.org/Cheats/Lemmings2-GG

As far as I can tell, there's no cheat-type passwords in there.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:07 pm
MattTaylor wrote
In addition to being a developer, I was also Project Manager for all non-21st Century Entertainment projects but as a small team we all ended up working on each other's projects. Dave also wrote the Level Editor for L2 and editors for several other projects, and led the development of the Sega 8-bit versions of Cliffhanger. I'll reach out to him on the off-chance he still has copies of those ROMs. It was a long time ago, but it's worth a shot.


That would be great! :)

MattTaylor wrote
With respect to Last Action Hero, have you tried asking on the Bits Facebook page? :-) https://www.facebook.com/groups/2378688281/?fref=ts


Not sure, but I think this has been attempted since long ago without luck. :(
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:36 pm
Just stopping by to say thank you!
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:54 pm
Thanks Matt, it's a cracking game...I'm hopeless on it though, can't even complete level 3 on the beach stage...ah well!

If Pinball Dreams does exist on Master System, I hope the rom surfaces very soon too!
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:54 pm
Level 3 requires use of Wind Control. At the start, make one lemming jump right onto the metal block, then let it fall into the water. It's a good idea to hit pause here, and then select the Kayaker and press 1 on the drowning lemming. This will get it across the water. Allow it to walk up the ramp and have the Hang Glider skill selected. When it reaches the end of the ramp, click on it and it will glide across and fall down.

Now comes the tricky part. When the lemming starts walking left, give it the Hang Glider skill again and once it is in the air hit pause. Select the Wind Control option and scroll left a bit until you can see the single-character thick metal block ledge. Unpause and hold down 1 while pressing the d-pad to steer the lemming onto that ledge. Once over it just let go of 1 and it should drop down and start walking left again.

Pause if you need to to select the next skill, which is the Bomber. When the lemming is just about to reach the sand wall, click on it to make it explode. Then when it gets up, let it walk into the space the blast created and do it again. Now hit pause and select the Laser Blaster, and click on the lemming to make it blast a path upwards to the other lemmings. You're nearly done now. Now just have Magic Bridge selected and when the front lemming reaches the thin notch on the ledge below, just roll the Magic Bridge across both gaps - but do this with some space to spare, otherwise the lemmings immediatley behind might fall in. If they do, use Pyramider to get them out. Now sit back and watch all of your lemmings be saved. :-)

Getting the Pinball Dreams SMS ROM is highly unlikely, as this was programmed by Dave Cooke and he pretty much worked solo.:-(

Phil wrote
Thanks Matt, it's a cracking game...I'm hopeless on it though, can't even complete level 3 on the beach stage...ah well!

If Pinball Dreams does exist on Master System, I hope the rom surfaces very soon too!
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:22 pm
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Matt very much for these two releases (and for developing the games in the first place). They are indeed a fantastic gift to the community. I very much enjoyed the original Lemmings on the SMS and look forward to playing through the sequel.


MattTaylor wrote
Some of you might be wondering if I have any other unreleased games or prototypes kicking about. [...] One of the PFP series, Cribbage, doesn't appear to have been released anywhere, so I will dig through my files to see if I have a copy of that.

I am sure many people would appreciate it if you could share any of your other files from the 8-bit (or 16-bit) era (source code? tools?) - however it is understandable that you may not be able to do so.


MattTaylor wrote
I'm also fairly sure that Pinball Dreams was developed for the Master System (the Game Gear ROM is already available), as that was pretty standard for us - doing the GB, SMS, and GG versions simultaneously.

I assume that the two released versions of Pinball Dreams (GB and GG) were developed using a single codebase? They do seem very similar. Are there any other games you know of for which GB and GG versions share significant amounts of code?


KingMike wrote
As to the pinball games, it looks like Pinball Mania didn't even make it out on the Game Boy.

There seem to be conflicting reports about this, but there is some evidence that it was released: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181187544855.
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:27 pm
Paul Baker wrote
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Matt very much for these two releases (and for developing the games in the first place). They are indeed a fantastic gift to the community. I very much enjoyed the original Lemmings on the SMS and look forward to playing through the sequel.


You're welcome. :-) Naturally Lemmings 2 is better than its predecessor... ;-)

Paul Baker wrote
I am sure many people would appreciate it if you could share any of your other files from the 8-bit (or 16-bit) era (source code? tools?) - however it is understandable that you may not be able to do so.


I'm pretty busy at the moment, but I'll see what I have. It would be nice to give the community the opportunity to create levels of their own for L2, so that wouldn't be a bad aim.

Paul Baker wrote
I assume that the two released versions of Pinball Dreams (GB and GG) were developed using a single codebase? They do seem very similar. Are there any other games you know of for which GB and GG versions share significant amounts of code?


All 8-bit games produced at Spidersoft could be made to run on GB, GG, and SMS, through shared tools (mainly geared towards platform games), a core set of routines for things unpacking data, and macros. The macros were mainly for GB which lacked some of the Z80 instructions, but had other instructions that we created macros for on the Sega machines. This made producing a game for all three platforms pretty straightforward - although these were not always produced, e.g. Hook GB.

For L2 all of the stock platform game related code and tools could not be used - unless you wanted a game where lemmings could only modify the landscape on character boundaries and had detection that didn't track at the pixel level. So while some of the core code was retained, the graphics, collision, detection, animation, and game code had to be written from scratch in order to produce something that was more authentic to the original.

KingMike wrote
As to the pinball games, it looks like Pinball Mania didn't even make it out on the Game Boy.


The clue here is Gametek. Gametek was Take 2 Interactive's US arm, so I vaguely remember that Pinball Mania was a US-only release on GB.
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