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Unreleased Tiertex game? (Sonic Edusoft)
Post Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:39 am
I have been looking around a few websites until I happen to find information on a unreleased game for the Master System.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic%27s_Edusoft

So is this unreleased SMS game by Tiertex real or just a hoax? Which is why I have coming asking the "professionals". I have a good feeling why it was cancelled if it was true (either the SMS can't cope or just not that good of a Sonic game).
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:57 am
The screenshot looks technically legit. Meaning either it's real, either it is a very elaborate fake. Knowing about the state of the so-called "Sonic scene", I would tend to think that the screenshots was built up by some fan. But I'd love to be proven wrong.

I've contacted the editor.
*EDIT* Judging by his trackrecord he seems like a knowledgable legit person. Interesting.
Sonicsedusoft.gif (9.98 KB)
Sonicsedusoft.gif

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Post Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:22 am
Really weird, why would US Gold ask for something like that?
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:31 pm
Apologies for the thread necromancy, seemed to make more sense than starting a new one.

Just wondering what, if anything, had been established about this title.
 
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:59 pm
I think it's fake.

- Line 120 is missing, which is not possible to do on the SMS.
- The Sonic sprite is clearly a crappy copy+paste from a 16-bit version - it uses a purple colour that would not be accepted by any artist worth their salt.
- The helicopter and Sonic sprites would exceed the 8 sprite limit if placed side-by-side.
- The 17-pixel-wide barrier seems very unlikely.
- The 8x8 grid alignment on the lower-right edge seems not to match the rest of the picture.
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:29 am
PrOfUnD Darkness wrote
Really weird, why would US Gold ask for something like that?

Sega trusted them enough to let them do awful ports of Outrun for every imaginable system. And they trusted them enough after that, to let them make an Outrun game of their own (Outrun Europa, which isn't so bad).
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Post Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:15 am
If it is genuine then that perfect screenshot must have come from an emulator playing a dumped rom of the game, or compiled code that still exsists. In which case why is there only one screenshot when dozens could have been taken to proove its authenticity?

Faking one screenshot by just copy and pasting a few sprites from different sonic games isnt so hard - if i see some more screenshots of the game i might believe it, but i still wont be totally convinvced untill im playing it myself!
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:55 am
Hello Folks

This is no hoax, but it is not a very interesting title. Basically it was an experiment from 1991 aimed at a much younger audience than even the Genesis sonic fan back then, hence why it was put onto Master System.

It was really aimed at five year old kids hence why the gameplay is so simplistic.
 
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Post Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:08 am
Would you care to share anything more substantial? Maybe some more screenshots, or even some of the code? How far did development get?
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some details...
Post Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:24 am
Maxim wrote
Would you care to share anything more substantial? Maybe some more screenshots, or even some of the code? How far did development get?



Yes, I can provide a few more details but I don't want to go into too much detail due to a conflict of interest. I do want to see this title recorded amongst the history of Sonic though, so sooner or later I will tell all.

Yes, I have a ROM. No, I don't (think) I have the source code. I can take some more screenshots at some point. In fact, if I can find them I know I have a number of screenshots already...somewhere.

The game was developed at Tiertex. When I started there Sonic was all the rage. As I recall it, it had been released earlier the same year. I am not sure where the concept of it came from, it was either one of two people but Sega knew of the existance of the title there was no doubt about that. They were interested in the title but I can't be sure what their motives were. It may have been related to the pico machine that came out.

The title is likely to have been the third title using Sonic to have been in development, not the second as people have claimed. Why do I say this? I do not know this for certain but it is very likely that Sega were working on Sonic 2 almost as soon as finishing the first, given the property they had on their hands. Development of this title would have started after that. It is possibly also very interesting that this was the first Sonic title developed outside of the Sonic team and Japan. That speaks volumes about the relationship between Sega and US Gold and US Gold and Tiertex which was very strong

The title is...an educational game aimed at five year olds. It is of absolutely no interest to anyone older than that in fact if you looked at it and didn't understand the target audience you would quite rightly question it. It is simple. The isometric level is almost like a frontend and other than telling Sonic where you want him to run by pressing a direction he moves automatically. The mini-games were single button press affairs...really designed for kids. In fact, the game was focus tested at a primary school in Didsbury, Manchester. It was quite well recieved, but then again if I was five years old I'd probably enjoy playing with Sonic more than anything else.

I say it is of no interest but of course it does have its place in the history of Sonic. It is an unofficial or unlicensed game? It's hard to say. It's not a fan game definately but it was officially allowed to be developed just not approved for publishing. The usage of Sonic was never licensed, not that it may have needed to be if Sega published it. As far as being a licensed Master System game goes...if it wasn't approved, it was never a licensed ROM. You could say it was the first unnofficially, unlicensed game.

It is largely considered a hoax it seems. I actually sent a small amount of information to a Japanese Sonic fan site about 10 years ago but they ignored it, probably because they thought it was a hoax. I understand that. To some extent it is amusing to read the various opinions on why it might be a hoax and possibly to respond to them. Well, this is the first time I have written anything about the game so you pretty much have an excluside.

- Yes the sprites between the helicopter and Sonic did flicker. We got around this by positioning the helicopter in places where horizontally there would be less going on at once. We shrunk Sonic a little bit too. I don't think these solutions solved it in 100% of cases, so as I recall it I actually baked the helicopter into the map when it was static so it wasn't a sprite. When Sonic flew in the chopper the whole thing was one sprite.

- Accusations about the sprite being ripped and that being a reason it was a hoax. The sprite was ripped, in fact most of the graphics were ripped and then modified in some way. Of course, this shouldn't certify it as a hoax.

Alternative frames for him, including movement that was not horizontal was drawn and animated by hand however.

The colors being off (the comment about the purple)...in the conversion from Genesis to MS you would lose colour accuracy of course. Given that the game was never approved by Sega it is not possible to determine whether they would have accepted the palette...but it did look okay on the real hardware. We might have been able to do better but it didn't look like it needed it at the time. I would put it down to the way the screenshot you are looking at was taken.

In the near future I will likely put up a web page about this title, giving the full story but presently I cannot do it for reasons I cannot explain.
 
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:43 pm
Well i would certainly like to see the other screenshots, you cant blame people for being sceptical when they only have one screenshot for evidence.
Even if it is a game for young kids, as its for master system id love to see more about it, and the chance to play it would be awesome.
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:28 pm
Anybody could have written that, it's a load of waffle and all this secrecy stuff is a load of old tosh. Why can't you take photos to proof the existance or dump the rom? This "conflict of interest" stuff is a little bit convieniant in my opinion.

Still no real proof. I'm sorry The Programmer if you are legit, why can't you talk about something 15 years ago? Will we have to wait 5 years, 10 years, some of us are old now, we might be dead soon

Thanks
Sonic The Hedgehog.
 
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:52 pm
The Programmer wrote
Anybody could have written that, it's a load of waffle and all this secrecy stuff is a load of old tosh. Why can't you take photos to proof the existance or dump the rom? This "conflict of interest" stuff is a little bit convieniant at my opinion.

Still no real proof. I'm sorry The Programmer if you are legit, why can't you talk about something 15 years ago? Will we have to wait 5 years, 10 years, some of us are old now, we might be dead soon

Thanks
Sonic The Hedgehog.


Unfortunately, for the meantime at least things will have to remain 'unproven' and to re-iterate...I cannot go into the reasons why I do not wish to go into every detail about this. Certainly avoiding my 'conflict of interest' is convenient to me. I am sorry if it is not convenient to others. I am trying to tell you what I can but maybe it is not a good idea. Your response isn't productive but I am sure it is out of frustration. I certainly didn't want to antagonize people about it.
 
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:58 pm
playgeneration wrote
Well i would certainly like to see the other screenshots, you cant blame people for being sceptical when they only have one screenshot for evidence.

Even if it is a game for young kids, as its for master system id love to see more about it, and the chance to play it would be awesome.[/quote]

Oh I'm certainly not blaming anyone for scepticism. In some ways it is fun to read what is put about it and I will do my best to clarify to people why their theory about it being a hoax isn't valid. People may accuse me of playing with them if I do that so hopefully they would at least offer the benefit of the doubt that I am trying to convince them this isn't a hoax. I recognize there are 100% valid ways of doing that, but it can't happen now.

playgeneration wrote
Even if it is a game for young kids, as its for master system id love to see more about it, and the chance to play it would be awesome.


You will get to play the game in time I can assure you, but to be honest there isn't much gameplay in it. I don't think people will be disappointed to see the ROM out there though.
 
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:09 pm
I don't think we'll be disappointed with a new Sonic game even if it's aimed at kids. I'll only be disappointed if it's an hoax.......
 
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:28 pm
I dont think you could possibly get in any trouble for sharing the rom of the game, after all its been 16 years. There have been several other unreleased Master System games found and their rom image dumped for people to play. It's a shame for any game, that people worked hard on, to be left unplayed when fans of the system could be enjoying them.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:05 am
In cases where it's possible for the original company to tell who released it, even if it appears "anonymously" (maybe only one person worked on the code), and the person doing so has no rights to give it away (they are not the copyright holder), the company may get litigious. Better safe than sorry, especially when it's a potential employer you might be annoying.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:31 am
Release the rom already
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:41 pm
Tom wrote
Release the rom already

^ please.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:11 pm
Still tho, a few new pictures would be nice even if we have to wait for the game. It would help a little bit with curiousity, and also skepticism.
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:56 pm
Stop demanding his damn rom already. Programmer, it sounds like there are obstacles you must overcome before you can reveal more, and that is understandable. On a scale of 1-10, how difficult are these obstacles to overcome, and would you measure (guess) in years, months, weeks, or days when you might be able to reveal more?

-Rob
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:33 am
Being realistic, the rom looks to be very hard to release but screenshots should not be a problem, especially if they're already taken and waiting to be shared. I don't see that a gameplay video would be out of the question either.

I'd be happy to sign some kind of confidentiality agreement to get a closer look at it, it's actually quite common for certain people to have ROM images that they agree not to distribute.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:24 pm
rbudrick wrote
Stop demanding his damn rom already.

-Rob


lol, Maxim defies you.
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:46 am
So... Where is the ROM?


Huauahauhauah... Sorry, I can't resist :-P
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:42 am
Bit of a bump, but whatever happened to this? Did a ROM ever get released, either privately or publicly?
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:34 am
Some screenshots just got posted here: http://www.smspower.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10045

Since all the existing screenshots look emulated, there must be a private dump, but as far as I know, it's not in circulation.
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:39 pm
Hey programmer, being that you were at Tiertex at the time, did you happen to work on the Die Hard 2 port for the Master System?
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:57 am
Sonic Retro has released the ROM for Sonic's Edusoft! You will need a copy of the SMS bios to run it. I guess because of how Meka's set up, it won't work in there. But if you have "US-European SMS BIOS v1.3 (UE) [f1]" configured as the "US Bios" in Kega Fusion, it will work fine.

Not the worst Tiertex game I've seen. Not the worst educational game I've seen.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic's_Edusoft
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:50 am
Hmmm, seems really sensitive with what startup values it tolerates, it doesn't work with the Sonic Bios either (works in SMSAdvance without a bios though).
Thanks alot for the link!
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:56 am
I've just been playing it on my Hangon/Safarihunt console with no problems. Its a really good looking game, sounds great too, its a shame that talent was used on an educational game rather than a platform one, but it does make a pretty good educational game.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:00 am
Last edited by Bock on Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:27 am; edited 1 time in total
The game breaks because it expects the vertical interruption bit to be set by default on the VDP, and wait for an interruption before writing any registers to the VDP.
It can be fixed in MEKA by opening the MEMORY EDITOR, clicking on VREG and changing the second value from 80 to A0.
Then the game will boot.

We'll have to verify how different BIOS leave that vertical interruption bit before starting a game.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:16 am
Just uploading some screenshots (so I can link to them in a newspost).
SonicEdusoft-01.png (8.18 KB)
SonicEdusoft-01.png
SonicEdusoft-05.png (8.31 KB)
SonicEdusoft-05.png
SonicEdusoft-14.png (4.84 KB)
SonicEdusoft-14.png

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:23 pm
I wonder if the fellow could sell it to Tec Toy to use in there next Master System 3 collection 'xxx' Super Jogos.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:42 pm
He has no legal right to do that.

Anyway, it's not like TecToy cares: they even put prototypes that we released at SmsPower in some of their consoles.
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:47 pm
I asked on Wikipedia to restore Sonic's Edusoft's page, but it seems that they're not accepting my request. They realised that the game exists, but they are questioning its notability.

Is there anyone with an account on the English Wikipedia who is willing to post something here?

I didn't want to make such a request on the forum, but it seems that I have no other choice...

Remember: don't post "omg I liek this game", try to explain why that page should exist, writing in proper English.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:58 am
Tom wrote
I asked on Wikipedia to restore Sonic's Edusoft's page, but it seems that they're not accepting my request. They realised that the game exists, but they are questioning its notability.

Rightly so.
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:47 am
A hacked version has been released.

http://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic%27s_Edusoft
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:29 pm
I'm not sure that it's valid to say the game is not "notable" - it's a prototype for a Sonic game in an unexpected genre, although its history is somewhat unusual - given the friction when SoA started getting access to the Sonic franchise, the idea of farming it out to a third party seems hard to believe. The nature of the game suggests to me that it is indeed "legit", though. I think it's more notable than half of the crap on Wikipedia, albeit not deserving a huge amount of content.

In order to get around the arcane bureaucracies of Wikipedia, anything that's there must be sourced from somewhere reputable, but not a forum. So it'd be good to get the programmer who posted above involved and put together something more concrete - maybe a page in GDRI or just on this site - to act as a source for Wikipedia. I could just take my question to him earlier in this thread, and his response, and call that an "interview", or if he's around I could make a proper "interview" out of it.

If I'm too evil and anti-Wikipedia (I read The Register too much) then one of the GDRI people could do it.
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:22 am
I just don't see the point in writing an article about everything (even an unreleased game known by one person until know) on Wikipedia. As far as I'm concerned, Maxim or Bock are more deserving of an article than Sonic Edusoft.

That doesn't mean that it can't be mentioned in Wikipedia (in the main Sonic article, for example), it just means that it isn't notable enough for an article of its own. There's a whole web out there for that kind of thing.
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:56 pm
idrougge wrote
I just don't see the point in writing an article about everything (even an unreleased game known by one person until know) on Wikipedia.

It won't harm anybody.
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Post Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 2:35 am
ICEknight wrote
idrougge wrote
I just don't see the point in writing an article about everything (even an unreleased game known by one person until know) on Wikipedia.

It won't harm anybody.

Except for the creation of countless fork pages and waste of server space, no. On the other hand, Ni****do material on SMSpower wouldn't hurt anyone either.
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Post Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 7:56 am
Or to put it another way: Wikipedia is cracking down on unnecessary pages, within its political structure (so favourite subjects of high-ranking Wikipedians are safer than others). This game has very little notable to say about it. The only thing of great relevance is the backstory to the development, which is (1) mostly unknown anyway and (2) rather too specialised for a general-purpose encyclopaedia. It would be ideal to have that information on the internet - perhaps on this site, or one of the million Sonic fansites if they can stop flaming each other for long enough to put it together - and have it linked from Wikipedia from the main Sonic page.
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Post Posted: Thu May 01, 2008 5:05 pm
Maxim wrote
It would be ideal to have that information on the internet - perhaps on this site, or one of the million Sonic fansites if they can stop flaming each other for long enough to put it together - and have it linked from Wikipedia from the main Sonic page.

Already done.
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Post Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:18 am
Glad to see this released (even if it isn't the best of Sonic games) but I noticed something unusual in the ROM while looking at unused sprites (possibly a bad dump?).

There is a date of 16/3/93 (two years after Edusoft?) and I can see what appears to be skiier sprites and a hammer (like in the olympics). Does anyone know what game that is or the mystery behind it?
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Post Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:28 am
Can you attach a picture? It's common for games to not blank out unused memory and be left with something random in there.
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Post Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 10:39 am
Sorry about that, but here there are taken from YY-CHR (a sprite ripping tool) pallete is incorrect:
edusofthammer.png (28.6 KB)
Edusoft hammer
edusofthammer.png
edusoftskiier1.png (28.86 KB)
Edusoft Skiier 1
edusoftskiier1.png
edusoftskiier2.png (31.04 KB)
Edusoft Skiier 2
edusoftskiier2.png
edusoftunknown.png (27.69 KB)
Edusoft Unknown
edusoftunknown.png

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Post Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 12:06 pm
Last edited by Maxim on Thu May 08, 2008 11:39 am; edited 1 time in total
I'd guess there's artwork in there for an unfinished (or just not found) skiing-based minigame, or it's a leftover from some other game. Winter Olympics was developed by Tiertex, released in '94, and I'm sure nobody's played it enough to recognise those sprites :) but have a quick go at constructing one of them and see if there's a matching one in Winter Olympics.

That might also be the source for the 1993 text graphics. Let me digress:

In at least one (secret) game that we have the original sources for, the ROM image is never built in the host computer. Instead, it is built in the memory of a ROM emulator built in to the hardware debugging system. The code is built, graphics encoded, and the chunks are sent to the device. They can then be read back to produce a binary dump. If I send a 10KB chunk to a 16KB bank, then read back the full 16KB, the contents of the last 6KB are entirely likely to be bits of something that was programmed to the device previously.

Let's say the programmer wanted to take a ROM image of Sonic's Edusoft, developed in 1991, but now it's late 1993. He starts up the ROM production process some time after using the same system to work on Winter Olympics. By the process described above, the result is likely to be the 1991 contents of the game, with pieces of 1993 content embedded into the unused areas.

An alternative way to check would be to do a binary search for some of the skier data in the Winter Olympics ROM. The "hammer" isn't recognisable to me, I think it might be something else...
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Post Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 10:43 am
It's Winter Olympics. Load that ROM into YY and go to offset 26A00. It lines right up with that second screenshot.
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Post Posted: Thu May 08, 2008 5:12 pm
DMEnduro wrote
It's Winter Olympics. Load that ROM into YY and go to offset 26A00. It lines right up with that second screenshot.


You're right, just as I played this awful game that chances are that I won't play again just to check. A comparison just in case most people would like to know and are curious.

Thanks again for the explaination Maxim.

(Wonders if Sonic Retro would find it interesting like the Chiki Chiki Boys data found in one of the Sonic 2 prototypes)
edusoftskijump.png (4.68 KB)
Ski Jumper Comparison (Edusoft)
edusoftskijump.png
winterolympicsskijump.png (4.41 KB)
Ski Jumper Comparison (Winter Olympics)
winterolympicsskijump.png

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:19 pm
Hey guys!

After playing Sonic Edusoft for a while, I´ve noticed that there is technically no ending? A look at the world map also shows that there is no "goal" to reach.

So when can I say that I finished the game?
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