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SMS Power!








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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:



SMS Power! Competitions 2023

Posted Fri Jan 13, 2023 5:42 pm by Maxim

As usual, we are running our annual Sega 8-bit coding, hack and music competitions. Deadline is our anniversary 27th March.

Happy new year with 2 prototypes, 3 korean games, 5 taiwanese variants.

Posted Mon Jan 09, 2023 11:57 am by Bock

Happy new year 2023!

Following last month's release of three prototypes, and a Phantasy Star 35th Anniversary Retranslation Update, we've got another pile of goodies :)

A Prototype of the great Scramble Spirits for the Master System. A rare and charming two-players vertical shooter developed in Japan. The sample cartridge was sourced from the UK but as per its EPROM it seems like it was displayed at CES.

It curiously bears a 1989 copyright (vs final game saying 1988). Looking at simple data statistics does contains noticeably less meaningful data than the final release however so it appears to be a definitively earlier build: one can assume they intently bumped the release date to 1989 expecting the game to release that year?

See attachment for a photo of the cartridge.

A Prototype of Fushigi no Oshiro Pit Pot (不思議のお城 ピットポット) for the Master System.

Based on analysis by super-reverse-engineer Calindro, the changes in this build relates to how the game EDIT mode converts edited level to in-game mode. In the prototype some treasure chests seems to disappear when starting a level. This prototype was dumped from a Japanese collection a few years ago.

Super Penguin (슈퍼팽귄, 수퍼펭귄) for the Samsung Gam*Boy / Master System, a rare Korean original developed by SIECO. This is a basic MSX1/SG-1000 era platformer. Although undated, it seems to draw inspiration from the level art of Super Mario Bros 3 so was probably developed after.

Box art and in-game title are inconsistent in spelling, and the product number SI-3131G appears to be the same as Gangcheol RoboCop (강철 로보캅), also by Sieco. A equally obscure MSX version also exist.

Then we have Con-Dori (콘돌이) for the Samsung Gam*Boy / Master System, and MSX Soccer / Chuggu (축구) for the Samsung Gam*Boy / Master System, both unlicensed MSX1 ports. Con-Dori has unusually terrible audio.

Con-Dori was provided and dumped by bsittler who has lately been of tremendous help and instrumental with on-going work dumping and reverse engineer Korean XX-in-1 cartridges (leading to our release of Game Mo-eumjip 188 Hap (게임모음집188합) and many upcoming ones.

MSX Soccer has a Hwaseong / Hwasung Bumper Screen injected into the MSX BIOS replacement.

We are not done!
We have the rare Taiwanese version of The Circuit / Fēichē zhēngbà zhàn (飛車爭霸戰) for the Taiwanese Mark III., for which the cartridge was kindly provided to us by Eric Kuo. Thank you!

To finish, we have 4 "SMS game in a Game Gear cartridge" releases by Hung Tao Hsin (HTH), to complement the 24 releases we made in 2021:

HG 101-13: The Ninja / Dàshén rěnzhě (大神忍者)
HG 101-15: Choplifter / Ā pà qì (阿帕契).
HG 101-26: Aztec Adventure / Nazca'88, with erroneous box labels: Aztel Adventure (Nazca'88) / Ganbare Goemon (がんばれゴエモン).
HG 201-12: E-SWAT / Pīlì zhàn jǐng (霹靂戰警), dumped from the variant with E-SWAT art label.

In the tradition of other HTH releases: original Sega copyrights have been scrubbed and/or replaced with HTH ones, and games were modified to increase amount of lives/bullets.

Attached to this post are photos of original cartridges.

Phantasy Star 35th Anniversary retranslation update

Posted Tue Dec 20, 2022 1:07 pm by Maxim

It is 20th December and that means it is the Phantasy Star anniversary!

To commemorate we are today officially releasing another update to the retranslation project. New since last year:

• New languages: Spanish and German, plus a new "literal" English version
• Script updates based on better understanding of where every line is used and under what conditions
• Script and name fixes for very old errors
• Script engine now supports pronouns, and more complicated German tenses
• Quality-of-life improvements: option to equip when you buy, speed up text drawing and screen fades
• Bug fixes for the original game

Downloads in the form of IPS and BPS patches, to apply to your copy of the Japanese game, are available here: (Catalan) (Brazilian Portuguese) (French) (English and Literal English) (Spanish) (German)

Enjoy while we wait to see what Bock has wrapped up under the Christmas tree...

3 SMS Prototypes: King's Quest, Monopoly, Super Monaco GP

Posted Fri Dec 09, 2022 10:19 pm by Bock

We've got three new prototypes today!
Those prototypes are part of the Ed Semrad collection, and were recovered by the Video Game History Foundation. This collection contained prototypes from various systems and SMS Power! are releasing the Sega 8-bit ones on behalf of VGHF and Ed Semrad. Thank you!

Read more about Ed Semrad's Roms at the Video Game History Foundation website.
Other prototypes have been shared at Hidden Palace and (5/9/22 update)

An early prototype for King's Quest - Quest for the Crown for the Master System. One of the earliest (1984) of adventures games pioneered by Roberta Williams's team at Sierra, it was converted to the Master System in 1989 by Microsmiths with a reworked interface. It feels a bit old and clunky today, but discovering and mapping exploration games like those is something I quite enjoy.

We released a later prototype for this in April 2006, so we labelled our new release "Proto 0" as opposed to the "Proto 1" released in April 2006. The cartridge from Ed's collection had a date marking saying "1989.2.3". Exact differences with Proto 1 and retail release are yet to be dissected.

Our second prototype today is a later prototype of Monopoly for the Master System. Also developed in the USA, like King's Quest, this computer-game-feeling adaptation of the classic board features battery-backed up and handful of options.

Our third prototype today is a very minor proto build of Super Monaco GP for the Master System. Its turns out this sample cartridge has only 3 header bytes unfilled compared to the retail US version. It was likely a release candidate before Sega requested the header bytes to be filled correctly before mastering the ROM. Therefore don't expect any noticeable change in this one but releasing for completeness.


Tensai Bakabon translation

Posted Fri May 06, 2022 9:16 am by Maxim

A talented group of ROM hackers have released a patch for what is (depending on your point of view) the last untranslated (to English) Master System game, Tensai Bakabon. This is also an outstanding effort, including translation of all in-game art containing text, text "hidden" in level layouts, a full manual translation, a variable-width font renderer, and some very careful translation of puns and double meanings in the original text.

RomHacking page:

Our page:

Thank you FCandChill, TheMajinZenki, cccmar!

25th Anniversary!!! 3 prototypes, 1 unreleased, 188-in-1 multicart, 2 Brasilian variants

Posted Sun Mar 27, 2022 7:55 pm by Bock

Today is SMS Power! 25th Anniversary!!
Perhaps at this point that we are the oldest independent internet website being still alive and kicking? Who knows!

Prototype releases

Let's get thing rolling!

"AIMO" Prototype of Psycho Fox for the Master System.
First spotted in early magazine previews and reviews, the infamous "AIMO Logo" version of Psycho Fox was finally found after 33 years!
Partly developed by Vic Tokai (see thread) much of the development story for this game is still unknown.

Amusingly, the cult credit roll of this version feature a different face for "The Rich Man". Perhaps this was the top person of AIMO (or Vic Tokai) later replaced by Sega's one?

An even earlier prototype of Basketball Nightmare for the Master System. Exactly last year we released a Basketball Nightmare prototype. Then in October we obtained a rare development board from Japan which hosted 3/4 of a final retail build of Basketball Nightmare. Then in December we found yet another prototype of the game, this time much earlier.

Something quite special about this version is how it gives an insight into the programmers experimental and having fun. The credits sequence of this version display names in 3d wireframe! Kudos to NKOICHI for this surprising feat!

Watch a recording of the ending sequence here:

Next we have a surprising "Rolling demo" cartridge of Golden Axe which was exhibited at CES. In the vein of the earlier demos we've uncovered (such as Super Basketball) this is a non-interactive looping demo designed to attract bypassers. Except this one goes *BAM*:

Watch a recording of the rolling demo here:

Unreleased Poker Face Paul's Cribbage for Game Gear. This was actually posted by programmer Matt Taylor earlier this year (along with sources) but we're putting it in the news to attract visibility. The game was seemingly fully developed but unlike the 4 other card games from the Poker Face Paul's series, this one was cancelled. Presumably because the rules of Cribbage appears to be insufferably complicated? :) Who knows.

Not done yet! For the first time ever we are releasing a bootleg multi-cart: [Game Mo-eumjip 188 Hap (게임모음집188합) for the Master System / Samsung Gam*Boy. Back around August Benjamin Sittler and I sat together to start identifying, reverse engineering and emulating several of the multi-carts that have been released in Korea. We are not done with the work yet but decided to release a first one today. This cartridge hold a whooping (PROBABLY NOT) 188 titles mostly based on MSX1 titles, with some Korean hacks and possible exclusives. Please help us build a listing and complete the huge Screenshots page (added screenshots for 40 games so far).

As of today this requires the latest WIP version of MEKA available here: Other emulators will probably add support for this soon.

(6) (7)
Finally we have two long-awaited Brazilian releases which unforgivably got stuck in a blind spot of our release queue for a long while. The Brazilian 3-in-1 Game Box Série Esportes containing Great Volleyball, Super Futebol II and Wimbledon actually carries 2 unique dumps that are different from the known existing one.

Super Futebol II for the Master System, translated version from Game Box Série Esportes cartridge. This is actually a DIFFERENT ROM than the one released standalone as "Super Futebol II" in Brazil. The standalone release of "Super Futebol II" actually carries a vanilla unmodified version of World Cup Italia '90, whereas the version in "Game Box Série Esportes" carries a localized version:

Wimbledon for the Master System, earlier version from Game Box Série Esportes cartridge. This is actually a DIFFERENT ROM than the one released as "Wimbledon" in Europe. This appears to be an EARLIER build of the game, so we dubbed it [v0].

Left side [v0] from Brazil, Right side [v1] from Europe:

Coding, Music and Hacking Competitions!

The 2022 Competitions Deadline is and the end of the day. Watch this space tomorrow for entries!

Happy holidays! 4 SMS prototypes: Astro Warrior / Pit Pot, Dynamite Dux, Rampage, Summer Games

Posted Tue Dec 28, 2021 10:47 am by Bock

Happy holidays to all our friends in the SMS Power community :)

We've been digging and sorting materials and we have four prototypes today. And more coming soon!

An early print of Astro Warrior / Pit Pit for the Master System. Similar to the infamous "Red Hang On" card this seems to be an early print. This one is marked in German, has the small ship artwork in red, an offseted label, a lack of picture on the back (see attachments for more photos). Thanks to Ddevilfingers for their help obtaining this one!

The actual ROM data is unfortunately a mere change in the SMS Header zone, with only 2 different bytes, so this will play exactly the same as the final game.

Next we have everyone's favorite blue duckling. A prototype of Dynamite Dux for the Master System.

This is a relatively easy game to get through - comfort food - quite charming in its overall design, catchy tunes, sometimes feels like a happy-go-lucky version of Double Dragon. According to my favorite new metrics for evaluating meaningful contents of a dump, the zipped version of this is 122 KB vs 132 KB for the final version, which suggest a fair amount of missing contents.

A prototype of Rampage for the Master System.

I remember my parents one time leaving for the night when I was 10 years old, leaving us with two older caretakers who brought SMS cartridges and we played this with them that evening. The game lets you get through by brute-forcing a bit but it makes sense to pay attention and maneuver your creature to optimize its path and get rid of danger early. It's a nice game but lack of graphics variety makes it feel repetitive.

The legal screen from the final release is missing from this one which instead has extra copyright information visible on the title screen.

Finally, we have a very early prototype of Summer Games for the Master System. We already released a prototype of Summer Games in 2007, but this one comes much earlier. Different title screen logo, and most Events are broken at this point of development and there's no audio. This was a cartridge to playtest the game early on. (zipped 52 KB vs 70 KB final game.)

If you get to play those prototypes and find other differences please post them in the thread! Youtube playthrough or other analysis welcome :)

Enjoy !!!

Phantasy Star 34th Anniversary retranslation update

Posted Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:30 pm by Maxim

It is 20th December and that means it is the Phantasy Star anniversary!

To commemorate we are today officially releasing another (small) update to the retranslation project. New since last year:

• New languages: French and Brazilian Portuguese versions were added in January 2021, and today we officially release the Catalan version
• Script and narrative text boxes now use the full (safe, readable) width of the screen
• Some script fixes in English
• Some cosmetic bug fixes

Downloads in the form of IPS and BPS patches, to apply to your copy of the Japanese game, are available here: (Catalan)

Enjoy while we wait to see what Bock has wrapped up under the Christmas tree...

3 prototypes: Streets of Rage 2 (GG), Dead Angle (SMS), Thunder Blade (SMS)

Posted Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:27 pm by Bock
We have three new prototypes for release today!

A prototype of Streets of Rage II for the Game Gear

This appears to be a fairly late prototype as Greenalink reviwed it and couldn't find many differences. A word from them:

Hello readers,
As a die-hard fan who played the game to not only 1 Credit Clear the game on Hard but also speedran it at European Speedrunner Assembly charity events a few years ago, I was really interested to see if I can spot anything different.

First, I had a look and checked if the cheats still work. The method for the final build is to set BGM at 14 and set SE at 21, then whilst highlighting SE, hold [1]+[2] then press up to refresh the option menu to unlock level select, invincibility and higher starting lives (originally 5 now can go up to 9). Doing the same method on the prototype build doesn't work which makes me wonder if this is a near 100% build as the main game itself is very identical.

From my playthrough as Axel, I didn't noticed anything different. The SoR2 GG quirks from final build are still in the prototype build including stamina differences (Skate dying to an explosion) and always facing left when walking upwards.

The only mode I couldn't test properly is multiplayer due to the lack of a good Game Gear emulator (from my knowledge) and lacking 2 Everdrive carts to test it on real hardware.

Fun facts about Game Gear SoR2 if you haven't played this entry.

* This is the first true appearance of Star Specials (27 years before Streets of Rage 4), the input method is to stand still and hold the attack button for a few seconds then release it when your character is in a charging pose, they are all very deadly moves and great against bosses. Axel is a direct hit fireball and is the strongest out of the three whereas Blaze and Skate star specials are full screen but deal slightly less damage than Axel's.

* This is the only version of Streets of Rage 2 to only have 1 type of aerial attack, just like all 3 versions of Streets of Rage 1.

* Axel's jumping attack sprite is using his knee to harm enemies which is identical to his Streets of Rage 1 counterpart.

* The stat stamina actually means something, Axel takes the least amount of damage whereas Skate takes more damage than Axel/Blaze to the point he can lose 100% of his life from an explosion caused by destroying a robot.

* HP bars from the enemies are only used for mid-bosses and major bosses. This rule isn't consistent as the boss refights in Round 6's elevator room do not reveal their HP bar.

* You don't lose HP at all for using either offensive or defensive specials, making the game notably easier than the Master System version.

* Big Ben (fat guys) have very little screen time, only appearing in 3 sections of Round 4.

* Because Star Specials are executed by holding the attack button, the "instant combo ender" attack doesn't work in this version.

* Moving up or down will always force the character to face left.

Thanks Greenalink for the details on Game Gear Streets of Rage 2. Check their Youtube channels
for various play-through of GG/SMS SOR1 and SOR2.

(This prototype is 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 and SMS Power! are releasing the Sega 8-bit ones on behalf of VGHF.

Our second prototype release today is A prototype of Dead Angle for the Master System.

Our third prototype release is A Japanese cart Prototype of Thunder Blade for the Master System, kindly dumped and shared to us by HoverEel in this thread. HoverEel kindly agreed for us to make a news post to increase visibility of this release.

This has 218 bytes of difference with the final export release.

We'll be posting more prototypes later!

Unreleased 'BreakThru!' for the Game Gear

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


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.


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