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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:



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 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 :)


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!


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.


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):


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!).


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.

Solomon no Kagi (Solomon's Key) Prototype + San-Nin Mahjong variation

Posted Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:48 pm by Bock


Dump releases have been rare lately. But I still have a stash of things to sort and occasionally new dumps are being found!

I have recently acquired a Japanese prototype cartridge for Solomon no Kagi - Oujo Rihita no Namida / ソロモンの鍵 王女リヒタの涙 (Solomon's Key - The Tears of Princess Rihita) for the Mark III, the wonderful puzzle/action game by Tecmo. If you haven't had a chance to play the game (which was certainly more popular in the West due to its release on a certain Nintendo console), give yourself a favor today!

The cartridge held an earlier build of the game. It is unknown yet what the exact differences are between this build and the final version, but the code/data hold quite a fair amount of differences (a naive binary compare gives ~47k different bytes out of a 128k rom).

I also stumbled on a variation of the rare San-nin Mahjong (三人麻雀) for Othello Multivision / SG-1000, sporting a memory map layed over 40k (with 16k worth of actual data), similarly to other SG-1000 releases. Those variations were probably created in order to accommodate for different cartridge boards.

That's it for this time!

Sega Master System: a visual compendium (Kickstarter Book)

Posted Sat Jul 21, 2018 3:37 pm by Bock

Bitmap Books and Sam Dyer are working on a beautiful licensed Sega Master System book "Sega Master System: a visual compendium".

The project is currently being funded through Kickstarter, with only 10 days to go!. Additional pre-orders will allow the book to grow and add extra contents (it is currently aimed to be about 364 pages, maybe more add additional stretch goals are reached!). The final product should be available in February 2019 but remember it is will be more difficult to order it past the end of the crowdfunding round.

If you are interested, see the Kickstarter page for lots more details and pictures!

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