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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:

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News

Unreleased 'BreakThru!' for the Game Gear

Posted Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:21 pm by Bock

Hello,

Happy to announce we have uncovered another unreleased game: BreakThru! prototype for the Game Gear !

(Those prototypes are part of a collection of loose EPROMs recovered by the Video Game History Foundation on behalf of an anonymous collector. This lot contained prototypes from various systems. The prototypes for Sega 8-bit systems will be released on SMS Power!, the prototypes other systems will be released on other sites, such as Hidden Palace and SNES Central)



In development in 1994 at Realtime Associates, the Game Gear port of BreakThru! went unreleased.
According to the BreakThru! Wikipedia page:
"The game is commonly attributed to being designed by Alexey Pajitnov, who also originally designed Tetris, and published by Spectrum HoloByte, the company who first published Tetris outside of Soviet Union, Pajitnov's home country. However, despite Pajitnov's name and face being on the game's title screen and box art, the PC version of the game clearly states that he only "endorses" and his only actual credits for the game is a "Special Thanks"."

The build we obtain appears final or near-final, tho admittedly the game is not particularly polished nor great, and was probably pulled out from release from that reason.

Note the dual control scheme, you'll have to hold a button and press a direction to move the top row of blocks.




The version we obtained has a bug preventing is to run on more systems, so we are also provided a patched version (thanks to Calindro for reverse engineering the timing bug and making that patch).

Graphics Assets



Additionally, we obtained through another person a Package of Graphics Source Assets. This is essentially a backup of some folders that some of the team used. We provided a unmodified folder and one with some of data converted to modern file formats. The package seemingly contains assets for both Game Gear and Game Boy version.

Enjoy!

3 prototypes: Heroes of the Lance, Dynamite Headdy, Mortal Kombat

Posted Sun May 23, 2021 9:18 pm by Bock

(Those prototypes are part of a collection of loose EPROMs recovered by the Video Game History Foundation on behalf of an anonymous collector. This lot contained prototypes from various systems. The prototypes for other systems will be released on other sites, such as Hidden Palace and SNES Central)

We have a first batch today with three new prototypes:

Heroes of the Lance prototype for the Master System





Heroes of the Lance is a pretty unique title for the Master System (aside from Ultima IV, it is the only Western role playing game on the system). It borrows the AD&D universe and personal computer games, coming up with an unusually elaborate sets of rules and features for what you'd usually find on a 8-bit console at the time. Not a game you can breeze through very easily.

We don't exactly know what is different in this prototype but it appears to contains less data than the final version so may have missing environments or artwork, and possibly multiple gameplay differences.

Dynamite Headdy Prototype for the Game Gear




Treasure were always known for their inventive and polished action games, and this port of Dynamite Headdy (originating on the Megadrive and ported to the Game Gear by Minato Giken) is one of three Treasure title that graced the Game Gear, just before Gunstar Heroes landed (that later game also marks the birth of M2, for which porting Gunstar Heroes to the Game Gear the founding job, before they came back to the Game Gear in 2020 with the surprising release of GG Aleste 3).

This prototype version is based on the Japanese version of the game (which appears to lack some story cut-scene compared the western release) and include a level selector in the title screen, as well as an option (むてき) to make the player invincible, making it easy to explore the contents available in this prototype.

Our third prototype today is a Prototype of Mortal Kombat for the Game Gear.




A cursory check didn't reveal obviously visible differences so this may be a late prototype but the code is sufficiently different there are definitively things to investigate there.

Enjoy!
And thank you Video game History Foundation for helping recover those.

24th anniversary: 5 prototypes & competition entries!

Posted Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:39 pm by Bock

Today is SMS Power! 24th Anniversary!
(Unfamiliar with this site? Check our previous releases in the News Forums and of course the many sections linked above. Last year for our 23rd anniversary we released Not-for-sale "Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen" from 1987 complete with a full English translation.)

Today we have 5 prototypes to share!
Today is also the day all entries for the Coding, Hacks and Music competitions are made available in the Competitions Forums (read below)

Prototype releases

Release wise, we first have a Zillion II: Tri Formation prototype for the Master System!
The sequel to Zillion (赤い光弾 ジリオン) may have left players surprised, perhaps underwhelmed at first, as Zillion was a long and labyrinthic adventure, while Zillion II turned to be more classic action game combining fast-scrolling shooting/racing and platforming sequences. If we forgive the comparison to its predecessor, Zillion II is actually quite a fine game which lends itself to quick replays. The fast-paced shooting sequences sometimes may almost feel like a rhythm game, and the on-foot sequence have their share of exploration.

The most visible difference in this version is the earlier title screen:


(Left: prototype, Right: retail version)



Actual game appears to be mostly the same, can you find any difference?

Our second release is A prototype of Basketball Nightmare for the Master System. This basketball game developed by Aicom is best known for its highly detailed shots of performing a dunk:




This prototype version appears nearly complete. Among other things, we noticed that the Credits Sequences bears a different title for the programming role:


(Left: prototype, Right: retail)

Our third release is A prototype of Rastan for the Master System.
This appears to be a much earlier build than we typically find prototypes of. Among other things, this build of Rastan
- is missing title screens
- has different enemies and palette (e.g medusa on stage 1)
- trap sprites are visible above the wall (incorrect sprite vs bg priority)
- water is black white and its palette not animated
- lava are not animated
- life automatically refill, and there's no game over screen
- bosses are differently
- level 2 has no enemies
- level 4 missing sky color
- there's no pause/inventory screen
etc.




See more screenshots for Rastan.

Our fourth release is A prototype of Taito Chase H.Q. for the Master System.
Some of the differences spotted (courtesy of Maxim):
- High score is 2972900 at startup - much higher than 50000 in final version
- Different pitch music on title screen
- Steering "quick" option, no BGM option
- Options screen select with 2, start with 1 reversed in final version
- Radio screen shows "TAITO MONITALING SYSTEM SP-OIA" - Engrish mistake
- Road seems to glitch out a lot

In the code:
- Proto hard-codes the port $3E controls to the cartridge slot, retail version correctly reads from $c000
- Retail version adds a delay in the VBlank, for an unknown reason (immediately before reading player controls)
- Prototype has some code removed (replaced with return) relating to clearing state when you reset




Our fifth and final release for today is A prototype of Tengen World Cup Soccer for the Game Gear.




Competitions

Entries are being posted in the Competitions Forum, with a few more expected later today. We will start voting on entries from tomorrow.

A peak at some of the entries... Check the forums for more!




 



Photos

Some photos of the sample/prototypes cartridges:





24 Taiwanese Hung Tao Hsin (HTH) releases.

Posted Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:28 pm by Bock

(Reminder: we are holding the yearly coding, music, hacking competition to celebrate SMS Power! 24th Anniversary on March 27!)

About ten years ago we released an odd Alex Kidd in Miracle World dump extracted from a Game Gear Taiwanese cartridge. After more years of research and collecting of bootleg titles I was able to uncover a lots more.

A company called "Hung Tao Hsin", also referred to as "HTH", released a quantity of Master System games in Taiwan in the form of Game Gear cartridges. For those not acquainted with the hardware, the Game Gear is hardware compatible with the Master System and therefore those games are "regular" Master System roms.



Plenty of bootlegs were released in Asia in the nineties, often in the form of compilation X-in-1 cartridges. The Hung Tao Hsin releases from Taiwan are notable as they were single title, with box and manual, frequently borrowing quality art from Japanese releases.

Unlike some other boxes series (such as the "nameless" ones with GGxxxx product numbers), the HTH releases (with HG xxx-xx product numbers) were generally scrubbed of references to Sega, sometimes replacing them with their own name:







As with Taiwanese Aaronix release, I'm not 100% ruling out the possibility that those games were actually legit licensed from Japan, but in tradition with Asian releases they sometimes use dubious naming and the name inside the program do not always match the one on the box. The worst offender in term of inconsistency is "Action Boy" which uses artwork from "Maze Hunter", has a manual mixing up info for "Maze Hunter" and "Bubble Bobble" and the game is actually "Seishun Scandal (My Hero)".
Below we will be listing games by including the english name on the box, the chinese or japanese name on the box, and the name of the actual title contained within.

Another thing HTH did with their release is that they commonly made the games easier by patching the number of lives initially available. The following games (may not be an exhaustive list) have been patched in this way: Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Aerial Assault, Black Belt, Doki Doki Penguin Land, Double Dragon, Final Bubble Bobble, Hokuto No Ken, Paperboy, Quartet, R-Type, Scramble Spirits, Shadow Dancer, Strider, Submarine Attack. See:



So those dumps are essentially Taiwanese hacks from the nineties.

So far we've gathered 25 dumps and releasing 24 new ones today:

HG 201-11: Aerial Assault / Kōng zhòng chūjí (空中出擊) = Aerial Assault
HG 101-10: Alex Kido / Tiānkōng mó chéng (天空魔城) = Alex Kidd in Miracle World (already released)
HG 101-02: Alocos / Shízì jiàn (十字剣) = Argos no Juujiken ("Rygar" in the west)
HG 101-07: Shàngwèi mìnglìng (上尉命令) = Secret Command (English name yet unconfirmed)
HG 101-19: Black Belt / Sa! Rèxuè gāoshǒu (サ!熱血高手) = Black Belt
HG 201-01: Bubble Dragon / Chāojí pào pào lóng (超級泡泡龍) = Final Bubble Bobble (Bubble Bobble)
HG 201-33: The Cyber Shinobi / Space no Ninja (スーペースの忍者) = The Cyber Shinobi
HG 201-02: Double Dragon / ???? = Double Dragon (missing chinese reading)
HG 201-46: Forgotten Worlds / Shìjièno mòrì (世界の末日) = Forgotten Worlds
HG 101-17: Great Basketball / 94-Nen Super Basketball (’94年スパーバスケットボール) = Great Basketball
HG 201-04: Northen Ken / Běidǒuno quán (北斗の拳) = Hokuto No Ken
HG 401-21: Kung Fu Kid / Mójiè lièzhuàn (魔界列傳) = Makai Retsuden (Kung Fu Kid)
HG 201-05: Lord of Sword / Yuè fēngmó chuán (月風魔傳) = Lord of Sword (Lord of The Sword)
HG 256-06: Action Boy / Kuài dǎ xiǎozi (快打小子) = Seishun Scandal (My Hero)
HG 101-23: Paper Boy / Yínsè xiānfēng (銀色先鋒) = Paperboy
HG 101-03: Astro Adventure / Yǔzhòu dà màoxiǎn (宇宙大冒險) = Doki Doki Penguin Land
HG 201-15: Prince of Persia / Alipapa Densetsu (アリパパ伝説) = Prince of Persia
HG 101-28: Quartet / Cí xióng shuāng xiá (䧳雄雙俠) = Quartet
HG 401-01: R-Type / Yìxíng (異形) = R-Type
HG 201-09: Scramble Spirits / Hǔ dǎn miào suàn (虎胆妙算) = Scramble Spirits
HG 401-06: Shadow Dancer / Yǐng wǔ zhě (影舞者) = Shadow Dancer - The Secret of Shinobi
HG 201-47: Shadow of the Beast / Guǐ yǐng shòuno wáng (鬼影獸の王) = Shadow of the Beast
HG 401-02: The Strider / Tūjī fēilóng (突撃飛龍) = Strider
HG 201-31: Submarine Attack / Hóngsè shí yuè dà fǎnjí (紅色十月大反擊) = Submarine Attack
HG 201-03: Thunder Blade / ???? = Thunder Blade (missing Chinese reading)

If you have access to more Taiwanese bootlegs please get in touch!

(Thanks to Billy Lin for proofreading the Chinese inputs)







Competitions 2021 announcement!

Posted Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:02 pm by Bock

As with every year, we are running a fun Sega 8-bit Coding, Music and Hacking competition. Deadline is March 27th, 2021.

Please read details:
https://www.smspower.org/forums/18310

Homebrew has been striving recently:

1997

First recorded homebrew SMS software of the emulation era.

2021

Bara Burū - winning SMS Power 2016 competition entry, designed and programmed by Kagesan, turned into a physical product by Ichigobankai (2minds), photo courtesy of @segacomics.

We look forward to your entries :)
Details: https://www.smspower.org/forums/18310

Game Gear "X-Terminator" cheat device

Posted Sat Dec 26, 2020 10:31 pm by Maxim

Today we release a rather unusual ROM dump from an unlicenced cheat device for the Game Gear which seems to be quite rare: X-Terminator for the Game Gear.



There seems to have been a range of X-Terminator devices for Nintendo (Super Famicom, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance), Sega (Game Gear, Saturn, Dreamcast) and Sony (PlayStation, PlayStation 2) consoles. Most included both the ability to both apply cheats and to search for cheats.

Similar to the other cartridge-based systems, the X-Terminator fits into the cartridge slot, and the game cartridge connects into the X-Terminator. It shows a menu on startup to let you enter cheats before starting the game, and the ability to return to this menu in order to search for cheats, resetting the game each time.

Thanks to the relative ease to dump and disassemble the ROM, and the efforts of Calindro, you can emulate this in Emulicious immediately: just look in the menus for Options › Emulation › Game Gear › X-Terminator.



You can also adapt Pro Action Replay codes which are much more well-known. For example, this PAR code for Sonic The Hedgehog: 00D24009 can be entered in the X-Terminator by reversing the order of the last three pairs of characters: 000940D2. Reversing the procedure turns an X-Terminator code back into a Pro Action Replay code.

Let us know if you find any cool cheats, and if any other emulators add support for this!

Battle Wings, Out Run 3-D, Cyborg Hunter prototypes (happy anniversary Sega Mark III)

Posted Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:05 pm by Bock

Today is the Sega Mark III's 35th anniversary. The console - essentially our Sega Master System - was released on October 20th, 1985.

To celebrate we're uncovering a couple of recently obtained prototypes:

Battle Wings (Bomber Raid) prototype for the Sega Master System.

The working title for Bomber Raid was Battle Wings. In fact, the retail version of Bomber Raid contains a hidden cheat to activate the old title screen. We uncovered a build of the game, sent to Sega of Europe for evaluation, which appears to predate the original Japanese/US release. Among other things, this version of the game lacks the Bomber Raid title screen, lacks the introduction animation and has amusing typos in the text. *EDIT* As found by Nineko, the final boss is also partly glitchy and incomplete in this version (see comments below).




Out Run 3-D Prototype for the Master System.

Announced in Japan, Out Run 3-D eventually only made it to Europe and Brazil. This early prototype with a "1988" date on the title screen (vs "1989" for final version) notably includes a rendition of Passing Breeze which is absent in the final version.

If you compare Out Run 3-D screenshots and Out Run screenshots you'll also notice the Start section in this prototype is closer to the one in Out Run, as presumably Out Run 3-D was programmed as a derivation of Out Run and slowly evolved into its final form.




Cyborg Hunter Prototype for the Master System.

We already released a prototype of its Japanese counterpart Chouon Senshi Borgman (超音戦士ボーグマン) in 2009, and now uncovered a prototype of English Cyborg Hunter. I haven't played enough of this build yet, but the first thing apparent is that this build uses an earlier/placeholder localization. Whereas the final version refers to the hero as "Paladin" and the enemy "Voltron", this prototype refers to them respectively as... "Ralph" and "Brad Biddle". While the latter name is common enough, I wonder if it could be the name of a Sega employee involved in the localization?




Happy birthday Sega Mark III !

Unreleased 'Dinobasher - Starring Bignose the Caveman' for the Game Gear

Posted Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:24 pm by Bock

Hello all,

In 2006 we managed to obtain a copy of the (unreleased) Dinobasher for the Master System and released it here..

Only 14 years later, we finally got hold and excavated a copy of Dinobasher - Starring Bignose the Caveman for the Game Gear! The cartridge was kindly lent to us by Stanislas Marmion. THANK YOU.




Yes, that's a hand-printed label, made by teams at CodeMasters :)

The Master System prototype box art describe the game with: Join Bignose in a zany, prehistoric race to catch his dinner! Club your way through hoards of dinosaurs across four huge islands, collecting bones and rocks and trade with the natives. Fly between the islands using your club as helicopter rotors and become the first flying man! Great cartoon graphics, brilliant music and, most importantly, excellent fun!

The game is 2 megabits (256 kilobytes) and uses proprietary CodeMasters mapper so it might not work on all emulators or setups.



Phantasy Star retranslation 2.00 released

Posted Mon May 25, 2020 8:52 pm by Maxim

We are proud to announce the release of version 2.00 of our long-in-production translation patch for Phantasy Star. This patch retranslates the original Japanese game to give a whole host of improvements:

• More faithful to the original Japanese script
• Expanded script
• Expanded menus and item names
• Sound test and sound chip selection
• Built-in cheats to make the game a little less tough/slow
• Two custom fonts, with upper and lowercase letters
• Expanded save slot names and three additional save slots
• Fully compatible with old saves, the original cartridge (with ROM replacement) and of course for play on real hardware



This update also includes lots of script changes, faster scene changes, bug fixes, and a great deal of improvements to the translation helper programs which should help future translations to more languages. Like the previous releases, this is all open source.

Download the patch here:

https://www.smspower.org/Translations/PhantasyStar-SMS-EN

Happy birthday Alisa Landale!

Competitions 2020: Coding, Music, Hack entries!

Posted Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:33 am by Bock

As usual we are running Coding, Music and Hack competitions, all sixteen entries have been posted, you can browse them and vote for them!
https://www.smspower.org/forums/f9-Competitions

Music Competition features a new track by Polaria Poyon and one by TomyS.

Coding Competition features, e.g.



Hack Competition features many new hacks (mostly based on Alex Kidd in Miracle World engine, using KiddEd)


Voting ends in 13 days!
Enjoy!!!


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