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View topic - Teddy Boy Blues EP-MyCard cartridge

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Teddy Boy Blues EP-MyCard cartridge
Post Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:26 pm
I got this from Yujiro today.

It is a prototype/test cartridge of Teddy Boy Blues (the original is a card, not a cartridge) that would I guess have been used as a source for duplication of EP-MyCard.

EP-MyCard was a service that was announced where users would buy a special rewriteable Sega card, that they could bring to shops or to a special machine which would get new games written on for a certain fee. The information in this cartridge suggest that the price for Teddy Boy Blues would have been 1800 yens (a little less than half the full card price).

The service was cancelled which is unfortunate because it was a great step toward digital distribution. Famicom in Japan had floppy disks which at some point had similar services, and some later consoles attempted it in Japan but never with great success as far as I know.

The cartridge should either be an internal prototype, or maybe one that made it into a writing machine/shop for a test of the system. I can't confirm that the system has been tested publicly tho.

The cartridge board has three 16-KB EPROM slots. The last 16-KB EPROM contains some meta information I suppose used by the machine who would have used this cartridge as a source for writing the game to EP-MyCards?

# m 8000
8000-8007 | C3 C3 DE A8 CE DE B0 B2 | ........
8008-800F | 20 CC DE D9 B0 BD 20 20 |  ..... 
8010-8017 | 20 20 20 20 43 B0 20 35 |     C. 5
8018-801F | 30 31 B0 33 20 20 20 31 | 01.3   1
8020-8027 | 38 30 30 59 45 4E 20 20 | 800YEN 
8028-802F | F9 83 FF FF FF FF FF FF | ........

I haven't identified what the first 16-bytes are.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:48 pm
Great find!
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:34 pm
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The service was cancelled which is unfortunate because it was a great step toward digital distribution. Famicom in Japan had floppy disks which at some point had similar services, and some later consoles attempted it in Japan but never with great success as far as I know.


I always wondered what kind of memory they used for the EP-MyCard. Assuming they would rewrite the same card you turned in, it can't be EPROM (unless you were limited to a fixed number of writes, say 2 or 3 before buying a new card) and EEPROM technology was in its infancy back then. Even 2K to 8K of EEPROM was expensive up through the early 90s.

Quote
The cartridge board has three 16-KB EPROM slots. The last 16-KB EPROM contains some meta information I suppose used by the machine who would have used this cartridge as a source for writing the game to EP-MyCards?


So these 48 bytes are the only data and the rest is all $FF?

This is really amazing stuff, quite a rare item.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:50 am
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So these 48 bytes are the only data and the rest is all $FF?

Yes.
The first 32-KB are almost the same apart from:

Comparing files Teddy Boy Blues (JP).sms and Teddy Boy Blues [EP-MyCard] (JP).sms
00007E22: 54 00
00007E23: 41 00
00007E24: 54 FF
00007E25: 41 FF
00007E26: 01 00
00007E27: 05 00
00007E28: 00 FF
00007E29: 3C FF
00007F0A: FF 00


To clarify, this cartridge was already dumped and released here. I just managed to get hold of the original cartridge now.
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