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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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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!!!

Not-for-sale "Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen" from 1987!

Posted Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:54 pm by Bock
Game page:
https://www.smspower.org/Games/GameDeCheckKoutsuuAnzen-SMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2020
MIRACLE WORLD - Not-for-sale Traffic Safety Sega Master System game from 1987 resurfaces!

Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen for the Sega Master System / Mark III
Original: ゲームでチェック!交通安全 [gēmu de chekku! kōtsū anzen]
Literally: “Let’s check with a game! Traffic Safety”

The SMS Power! community is happy to celebrate its 23rd anniversary today by unearthing and preserving yet another extremely rare game title for the Sega Master System! We are also releasing a complete Japanese to English translation patch for the game.

Active since 1997, people behind SMS Power! have been meticulously documenting and preserving Sega 8-bit history. About one thousand titles, including many obscure ones, are catalogued and have been digitally preserved. Hardware has been researched, documented, hacked, augmented. Games have been reverse engineered, secrets found, soundtracks extracted, long lost staff credits made public, countless prototypes have been found. Every year the site hosts a competition for people making games, demos or music on Sega 8-bit systems.

This release has been made possible with help from NPO Game Preservation Society (NPO法人ゲーム保存協会) in Japan.






What is it?

Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen is an educational Sega Master System/Sega Mark III cartridge commissioned by The Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Ltd and developed by Sega in 1987.

A lengthy research article by SukaSega (in Japanese) has a list of known appearances of this long lost game over the years, mostly from non-game publications. In January 1988, both the Hoken Mainichi Shimbun and Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspapers wrote about it.


(images from SukaSega)

Below machine-translated extracts from for the Hoken Mainichi Shimbun article:

Quote:
Production of video games for traffic safety education Co-development with SEGA Co., Ltd. for lending to residents’ associations, kindergartens, etc.

Tokio Marine has been planning and producing a video game software for traffic safety education through joint development with SEGA Enterprises (President Hayao Nakayama) to promote traffic safety education and traffic safety education. The video game software "Check by Game! Traffic Safety" is designed so that children and adults can enjoy the game naturally, deepen their understanding of traffic safety, and learn basic traffic safety rules. The three games are packaged together in one software cassette. [...]


Quote:
The project has received a prize from the Japan Traffic Safety Education Promotion Association (Chairman Hideki Okazaki).

Tokio Marine is a company aiming to become a comprehensive security service industry, while providing peace of mind to the general public through the spread of property and casualty insurance, while preventing accidents themselves is an important social mission, and various services related to safety and disaster prevention.


Quote:
As part of this service for customers, the company hopes to prevent traffic accidents, which have become a major social issue today [...] the company hopes that as many people as possible will enjoy the video game, which will help raise public awareness of traffic safety.


Quote:
This project was created mainly for the purpose of being widely used in traffic safety campaigns at kindergartens and nurseries, as well as for community-wide traffic safety campaigns such as residents' associations, neighborhood associations, and children's associations. Will be rented out for free with a game console (SEGA Master System).


Quote:
Contact the nearest Tokio Marine Co., Ltd. or its agent. Software cassettes are not for sale. [...] Tokio Marine has prepared 200 sets of the video game software for traffic safety education, and installed them at its branches nationwide along with game consoles (a total of 1100 units). They will also consider increasing the amount of software and hardware lent to the public depending on future reactions. [...]


On January 21, 1988, a similar article in “Insurance” states:

Quote:
For video game software, 200 games are prepared, and for game machines (SEGA / master system), 100 machines are prepared and prepared for application. (Software cassette not for sale)
The contents of the game are packaged in a single software cassette with three games that match each age.


On August 30, 1988, another article in Zaigai (~Business World) gives a higher production number::

Quote:
Tokio Marine has prepared 300 traffic safety education televised games and installed them at branch offices nationwide together with 200 game consoles. It can be borrowed free of charge for groups wishing to use it.


The game briefly appeared in a Japanese TV show in 1988:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9xxphpOfPo

All those findings are courtesy of research done by SukaSega.

It’s not clear today what happened to those 200 or 300 cartridges. Were they actively rented by many schools and associations? We have no evidence of Sega fans saying that they were exposed to this game in 1988. The game seemingly wasn’t promoted to gamers, and the Master System was not particularly popular in Japan either. Likely many of those cartridges were unused, lost or destroyed.

Auctions



On December 29, 2009, a loose cartridge surfaced and was auctioned on Yahoo Auctions, with an initial price of 3 million yens (about US$33,000 at the time). No bids were placed on the auction, but it appears that the cartridge was eventually sold outside of the auction, to a private collector, for an unspecified amount of money. We were aware of the auction at the time but unable to reasonably bid such an amount, we opted out of it. The collector who purchased the cartridge at the start of 2010 did not intend to share its contents, but posted one screenshot of the title screen on their website.



In October 2019, another copy of the game resurfaced on Yahoo Auctions. This time, the game came with extra previously unseen contents: a briefcase, a Master System console and two large manuals. Initial price was 3.5 million yens. No bids were placed over a two month period and eventually the seller decided in mid December to turn it into a regular open auction, starting at 1 yen. We decided to bid, gathered funds and we won the auction for 521,000 yens (see purchase thanks/credits below). The NPO Game Preservation Society (NPO法人ゲーム保存協会) in Tokyo helped us with handling of the auction and transporting the briefcase to France. We also decided to have them dump the cartridge and fully scan manuals while in Japan, in order to avoid any risk that the game may be lost or damaged while transporting.

We got it !!!



We at SMS Power! have preserved and shared almost a thousand games over the years and we are happy to share this one as well.

See the Game de check! Koutsuu Anzen page for details.

Screenshots

More screenshots at https://www.smspower.org/Screenshots/GameDeCheckKoutsuuAnzen-SMS























Manuals

All scans at https://www.smspower.org/Scans/GameDeCheckKoutsuuAnzen-SMS



Soundtrack

The game supports both PSG and FM audio (the FM chip was only available in Japan).
It is as yet unknown who composed this soundtrack.

Maxim extracted both PSG and FM and created standalone VGM packages with them. See the Game de check! Koutsuu Anzen page for VGM packages details.

Youtube playlist (PSG version):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLbT4EUcBngqAjCkUBgIw5dWGFDrN4-TQ1&v=ooMhDqLyXGs&feature=emb_title

Unofficial English Translation

Because of the significance and rarity of this game, we decided that we’d try creating a translation patch for non-Japanese reading audiences so they could enjoy it. Maxim (SMS Power!) reverse engineered the game code, extracted the script and created custom tooling to reinject code along with translated text, new fonts and translated graphics into the game. Damian Rogers (Sudden-Desu.net and member of NPO Game Preservation Society) helped translate the game script to English.

A full english version of the game is available today:
https://www.smspower.org/Translations/GameDeCheckKoutsuuAnzen-SMS-EN
Full source code and tooling for the translation will be made available on GitHub shortly after.







Enjoy!!!

Credits

The game was purchased thanks to generous donations from:
- Carnivol
- Jair
- Wiggy2k
- Hubz
- RetroRumper (http://www.gamingalexandria.com http://preservegames.org)
- Kusfo
- SavagePencil
- Badsector
Which accounted for about 30% of the total auction price.
The rest was paid by Omar C (Bock) / SMS Power!

*EDIT* The original post accidentally omitted Wiggy2k from that list, apologies to Wiggy2k!

NPO Game Preservation Society (NPO法人ゲーム保存協会)
Auction handling, dumping, scanning & cleaning, transport, translation

Maxim (SMS Power!)
English translation patch, reverse engineering, hacking, soundtrack extraction

Damian Rogers / RyogaMasaki (NPO Game Preservation Society)
Japanese>English text translation

marklincadet
Translation logo graphics

Calindro, Paul Jansen
Additional hacking and translation help

Cyrus C
Photos

Omar C / Bock (SMS Power!)
Purchase, coordination, additional hacking, screenshots

Unreleased '3D Gunner' for Master System

Posted Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:14 pm by Bock
After our release of a Missile Defense 3-D Prototype last year, we stumbled on more good stuff...

The February 1987 issue of "Computer Entertainer" a trade publication made available to retailers and purchasers in the US introduced the 3-D Glasses:



"Games in 3D
Another new peripheral, the 3D Imager with glasses, was shown in a darkened room with WALLBALL-3D (a racquetball game) and 3D GUNNER (a space shooting game for the use with the Light Phaser). The futuristic, goggle-like glasses come with an interface unit with plugs into the Master System Power Base. (A $65 package, 3D Imager with Glasses and WALLBALL-3D, was announced at CES. Two weeks later, however, WALLBALL-3D was scraped due to lukewarm response from show-goers. As of presstime, the 3D Imager witrh Glasses as to be sold by itself for $50, with 3D games set to retail at $40 each.). The 3D glasses employ liquid crystal technology which can make either lens instantly opaque. Using special game software which alternately displays slightly different pictures for the left and the right eyes, the glasses block out one eye at a time in synchrony with the software. The picture on the TV screen appears to vibrate when viewed without the glasses (an easy way to make yourself quite dizzy), but snaps into an illusion of 3D reality when the glasses allow each each to see only its special image. Viewed in a completely darkened room, the way Sega showed the glasses and games, the effect is quite good and suffers only the barest minimum of flicker."


This has been discussed in https://www.smspower.org/forums/15531 and other places however we generally discussed WALLBALL-3D mostly, and assumed 3D GUNNER was an early name for Missile Defense 3-D... we were wrong!



Introducing 3D Gunner for the Master System, an unreleased early prototype we managed to acquired recently.

The game is a 32 kilobyte ROM so as you can imagine it is a very simple piece of software and predate the more full fledged Missile Defense 3-D. Althought we couldn't get confirmation of it, we can imagine this was maybe programmed by Mark Cerny who also programmed Shooting Gallery and Missile Defense 3-D (and worked on things such as Marble Madness and the PS4 console).

The games requires both 3-D Glasses and Light Phaser and may be usable in all setups. What more, there was a bug in recent Meka build which prevented 32 KB from accessing 3-D Glasses registers...

For an ideal experience, you can use MEKA 2019-12-13 which is released today. Otherwise if you use an older version of MEKA you will need to this line in your meka.nam file:
SMS 56dcb2d4 9FA930C396F93600 3D Gunner [Proto]/EMU_MAPPER=0/EMU_INPUTS=LIGHTPHASER/EMU_3D

Please note that MEKA 2019-12-13 will give you a largely more confortable Light Phaser emulation experience for the game.

It may or not work in other emulators, and of course should work on a real system should you be equipped with a Light Phaser, a pair of 3-D Glasses and a CRT screen :)

Enjoy!





Bonus midly related beautiful scan of early 3-D Glasses prototypes:

22nd anniversary: 6 prototypes & competition entries!

Posted Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:56 am by Bock

Hello all,

To celebrate SmsPower 22nd anniversary we are happy to release 6 recently found prototypes and introduce a bunch of cool coding/music/hacks homebrew submitted by the community.

Chapter 1: The Dumps releases!





(1) We have a dump from the elusive "Red" Hang On card for the Master System. The exact whereabout of this card is unknown but this appears to be an very early European release. As with some of the early Italian/German releases, this version of the game contains a early prototype build of the Western version of Hang On, while it was being ported from the Japanese version.

This version of the game appears to have one minor glitch that won't affect most players. It doesn't fully clear the RAM and while western Master System BIOSes are clearing most of the RAM, Japanese Master System doesn't. This creates a few glitches when running on a Japanese Master System, some can be visible when letting the game play through its demo. If you have more information you may post on this forum thread.



(2) We have an Early March 1995 build of Empire Syndicate (Chicago Syndicate) for the Game Gear at a time in development when it carried the title "Empire Syndicate" (unknown until now). A long while ago Hidden Palace released an impressive stash of prototypes source from old Sega of America backups, which included a whooping 24 builds of Chicago Syndicate made during May and July 1995 during its QA sessions, all sporting the final title. Our build today is dated March 1995 and has the earlier title.

The original file ("EMPS2003.ROM") for this includes in its 3 first bytes a Z80 call to code held in RAM, which presumably with the development system they used was carrying a little bit of debugging/testing related code (probably code to download code from the development computer to the storage used by the console?). Those 3 bytes makes the game incompatible with real machines and emulators, so we are releasing a patched version as well.



(3) We have a Prototype version of Andre Agassi Tennis for the Game Gear, which appears to be a close to final build.





(4) We have a A prototype of Alex Kidd: High-Tech World for the Master System. Housed on an elegant 171-5587 test board with both Western and Japanese style connector, the build doesn't exhibit obvious differences early in the game but it needs to be studied and compared in more details. Anyone? This good old classic adventure/action game is a rebranded version of the Japanese original Anmitsu Hime and is a pretty fun game to play too!

*EDIT* Supper said: "High-Tech World fascinates me for being such a bizarre localization, so I took a look at the prototype. The difference is in the Phantasy Star-compressed graphic at 0x15265, which is for the "Sega is No. 1" room. In the prototype, it hasn't been translated and is still using the graphics from Anmitsu Hime: "







(5) and (6) Finally we have two Codemasters prototypes here!

A Prototype of Micro Machines for the Game Gear. According to the Codemasters header this build is dated 1993-10-22 (compare to final build being 1993-11-24... ready in time for Christmas).

A Prototype of CJ Elephant Fugitive for the Game Gear. According to the Codemasters header this build is dated 1993-10-22 (compare to final being 1993-12-20.. this one missed Christmas as cartridge production and distribution time would probably have added a month on top of the final build date!).

The photo above also shows a blue sample cartridge for Cosmic Spacehead, which was confirmed as being the same dump as the final version (CRC 6caa625b).


Chapter 2: The Competitions Entries!

The community delivered again this year! Check out the forum for details on all the entries!







[Coding competition 2019] Gotris by Kusfo, ManuTrigger, Davidian

[Coding competition 2019] Platform Explorer by SteveProXNA

[Coding competition 2019] SC3D Demo By Geranium by SKuRGe911

[Music competition 2019] Town - Wonder Boy in Monster Land by gregglesaurus

[Music competition 2019] Castillo de Arena by Iced

[Music competition 2019] Mockstar (Cover) by tibone

[Music competition 2019] Meganiemi 88 by TomyS

[Music competition 2019] The Coastal Town of Baraboro by Immo

[Music competition 2019] Midnight Resistance - Flood of Power by otobo






[Hacks competition 2019] Bubble Dragon in Paradise Island by Kilkakon

[Hacks competition 2019] Sonic in Miracle World by law81

[Hacks competition 2019] Azled in Fantasy World by ian, Calindro, Nicole Marie T

[Hacks competition 2019] Great Ice Hockey Pad Version by BcnAbel76

[Hacks competition 2019] Mario Kidd in Retro World by Jano

[Hacks competition 2019] Ze Legende of Oliv by Yeti Bomar

[Hacks competition 2019] Mr Robot by Revo, tibone, Calindro

Please cast your votes!

ENJOY!!!

Competitions 2019

Posted Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:32 am by Maxim

As usual, we will be having the yearly competition to celebrate SMS Power anniversary! The deadline is 27th March!

Coding competition
Write something that runs on a Sega 8-bit home system which isn't a hack. A game, a demo, a tool!

Hacks competition
Make a hack of a game for a Sega 8-bit home system.

Music competition
Make some music that either uses the sound chip(s) from an Sega 8-bit home system, or is an arrangement of music from commercial software for that system.

You can read more and find out how to enter here:
Competitions 2019 discussion thread.

Also see our previous competitions.

Virgin games prototypes & internal dev feedback letter

Posted Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:57 pm by Bock

Hello all and happy new year!
Entering our 22nd year and we are still finding new things to release :)

Today we have some cool stuff originating from Virgin Europe. They were unearthed and dumped/scanned by Radar who kindly submitted them here for release.

1)



To start off on something unusual, we have an internal fax/letter dated December 1992, where Sega are providing feedback to Virgin Games releasing the Master System version of the Mick & Mack Global Gladiators (codenamed McKids):

2)





We've got a Prototype of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story for the Game Gear. Three test cartridge boards were found, two of them contained the final build of the game and the third one had seemingly an early version of it. It's not known exactly what the differences are yet, though on the surface from the first few levels it looks similar. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story plays like something between traditional Kung Fu games and Shinobi, worth a try if you haven't played through it yet (and if you find differences with the final build let us know!).

3)





Two Master System cartridges were also found: Cool Spot, holding a build identical to the final game, and a Prototype of Super Off Road. Interestingly, this build of Super Off Road shows the staff credits on the title screen, while they were removed from the final build (someone maybe sent a fax requesting them to be removed!). It is also unclear what the other differences are!

Thanks Radar!

Missile Defense 3-D (SMS) & Bubble Bobble (GG) Prototypes & more

Posted Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:47 pm by Bock

Four releases today!







I found a Prototype of Missile Defense 3-D for the Master System. Among noticeable changes, this version uses a different music track on the title screen, which isn't part of the final version (incoming VGM pack update!)

As the game uses both Light Phaser and 3-D Glasses you'll need to enable them in your emulator of choice. Meka has menu options for it, you may also download and update your copy of the meka.nam database file if you want those settings to be applied automatically.





Also obtained a Prototype of Bubble Bobble for the Game Gear. Adapted from the Master System version (which itself was an extension of the Arcade game, and an unusually polished and improved port hence the "Final Bubble Bobble" title used in Japan). This prototype seems to exhibit a few differences: the menu flow is not the same as final build (see screenshots), the prototype starts you with 2 lives and infinite continues instead of 5 lives and 5 continues, missing Trademark mark on title screen and some difference in texts. They are probably more gameplay difference to be investigated further.Thanks Paul W!

This cartridge was was apparently a sample cart sent to EGM for review in 1994. According to the auction, "The review of this game can be seen in Electronic Gaming Monthly #63 October 1994, pages 42 and 226 (see pics 11 and 12)".



We also have the dump of USA version of Kawasaki Superbike Challenge for the Game Gear, which curiously was released until now (only the European dump was released and both cartridges are different).



Finally, we have a Correct dump of Sports Illustrated: Championship Football & Baseball for the Game Gear. The dump previously available on the internet (not an SmsPower dump) has 16 incorrect bytes following a pattern that suggest a hardware/software error interfered at the time of the original dumping. They likely didn't affect gameplay much, but they are now fixed. Thanks omonim2007 for the nudge regarding this long awaited dump (I actually made a mistake in my listing and had flagged it as "already dumped", omonim2007 noticed that!).


Finally I would like to thank everyone who has been helping me obtaining and purchasing cartridges and rare games. Most recently, Niloct, yaz0r, Joseph have been very helpful with obtaining things in variety of countries. Thank you.


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