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  • Joined: 22 Aug 2021
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Potential Mark III prototypes or demos?
Post Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 7:10 pm
Hey all,

I just got a couple Sega Mark III games in from Japan last week but I'm having trouble finding more information about them. Posted this over at Obscure Gamers and they told me to try here. Looking to see if I can find more info on these games and hopefully preserve the data if these haven't been done already. So all I really know so far is:

Both labels are the same - they just say to contact the Sega sales office for "inquiries or consultation about machines".
One game has "53" written in what was probably once white marker. This one loads on the Mark 3 and appears to be Thunder Blade
The other game has "54" written on the back and appears to be Golvellius.

I haven't tried to disassemble them yet. The labels and cases feel fairly brittle so I'm trying to avoid that at the moment, but I have a feeling it'll come to that eventually. I have played them a bit but nothing stood out as different from gameplay I saw online of these games.

Not sure if it means much, but if I put the "53" game in my SC-3000, it just makes a clicking noise on the TV and never loads the game. The "54" game never loads the picture on the SC-3000, but the music starts playing.
label.jpg (3 MB)
Front label
label.jpg
label_translated.png (738.52 KB)
Translated label
label_translated.png
backs.jpg (3.9 MB)
Back of carts
backs.jpg
Game53.jpg (4.98 MB)
Game 53
Game53.jpg
Game54.jpg (3.13 MB)
Game 54
Game54.jpg

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 10:10 pm
I believe Mark III games are not compatible with SC-3000.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 10:25 pm
KingMike wrote
I believe Mark III games are not compatible with SC-3000.


I think you're right. I popped a Yamato SG-1000/SC-3000 cart into the Mark III and it worked, so I had it in my head that the Mark III carts would work in the SC-3000, too.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 10:22 am
the mark 3 plays SC-3000 carts, but not viceversa
(Hi! I know you from reddit, I sent you the dumper schematic;))
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 4:25 pm
Nice finds!

I got a Lode Runner (SG-1000) with a similar (but not exact same) type of sticker, contents ended up being final. You can spot it on the left side on the photo with SMS prototypes: https://www.smspower.org/forums/13151-MySega8BitRoom?start=50#117284

The release dates of Maou Golvellius and Thunder Blade in Japan are pretty much next to each others so it makes some sense they were numbered this way.

You shouldn't have to open them. First try to compare them to retail version of the same or other Mark III games and see if they feel heavier. If they are heavier they are likely EPROM chips and then there is a chance that the data is an earlier build.

I can offer to dump them safely if any helpful, I'll pay full shipping back and forth. (I've dumped most prototypes available on this site. I would of course very much offer to buy them as well.)
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:13 pm
Bock wrote

I got a Lode Runner (SG-1000) with a similar (but not exact same) type of sticker, contents ended up being final. You can spot it on the left side on the photo with SMS prototypes:


I saw that post and didn't even see that. Guess I was focusing too much on the exact label and missed it. It looks like that one has the actual game label underneath the blue/silver/white label, too. These just appear to be the blue/silver/white label.

Bock wrote

You shouldn't have to open them. First try to compare them to retail version of the same or other Mark III games and see if they feel heavier. If they are heavier they are likely EPROM chips and then there is a chance that the data is an earlier build.


I may be imagining things since the weight differences are small, but these do feel considerably heavier than a Master System cart. These carts alone almost feel like the same weight as the MS cart in its case.

Bock wrote

I can offer to dump them safely if any helpful, I'll pay full shipping back and forth. (I've dumped most prototypes available on this site. I would of course very much offer to buy them as well.)


I may take you up on that. I'm probably going to grab a reader from raphnet since I've been keeping an eye out for odd stuff like this and it may come up again. I'll let you know what I decide to do in the end. Not sure I'd want to sell them, but I'm not even sure what to price something like these at, tbh. I bought a large lot of games because I saw these in there, but it's like trying to price my SKS-7300 speakers...never seen another set for sale to even guess a price.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:16 pm
kamillebidan wrote
the mark 3 plays SC-3000 carts, but not viceversa
(Hi! I know you from reddit, I sent you the dumper schematic;))


Hey again! I actually finally started trying to dump the ROM for the SP-400 today lol. I tried desoldering it from the board but the old solder is being a pain. I'll have to work at it a bit to get it all out of there to remove the chip.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:33 pm
I got the ROM dumper in from Raphnet today. Dumped the ROMs, and they do seem to be different from the ROMs I had already. For one, they're 512KB vs 256KB, and of course, the hashes are different. I'll post these below. Not sure which versions these are, but I imagine someone on here can reverse-engineer them to find out.

Edit: Thought I attached the files but apparently they can't be attached here. I uploaded them to Google Drive here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1iHtyBw6MGHWKd8xc7G2JWSRHw4uIzKeN?usp=sha...

Thunder Blade ROM (256kb):
MD5: 70DCEE3C77E95D83FCF6DF0DAE30A4A8
SHA1: C38F3EEA4E7224BC6042723E88B26C85B1A56DDC

My Thunder Blade ROM (512kb):
MD5: 24092FCAE5A66C9AF48D2412EE4E156F
SHA1: 270A52E73681363F7D9F04B054566DA8ACCAAD61

Golvellius ROM:
MD5: 2101295C258CB6B845BDB72BE617691D
SHA1: CB8C2DE9A8E91C0E4E60E5D4D9958E671D84DA4C


My Golvellius ROM (512kb):
MD5: F0F415EAA4757C93070AB5F563E7F1D9
SHA1: 8DF055FAAE691DF7F255B85DA6C3220C06FF6166
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:19 am
Thanks a lot!

The upper 256 KB are an artifact of either the dumping software, either the EPROM cartridge wiring leaving an open bus there, either unwritten EPROM. Either way they are not meaningful data (all 0xFF).

256 KB CRC32 checksums are
Maou Golvellius: 21A21352
Thunder Blade: BAB9533B

Golvellius (21A21352) is the same as the prototype we released in 2009:
https://www.smspower.org/forums/12086
https://www.smspower.org/db/maou_golvellius-proto-sms-jp.shtml

Thunder Blade (BAB9533B) is a new prototype!
Comparing It seems closer to the final version released in the west: only 218 bytes difference. 99 of the bytes are FF in the proto and varying data in the final version.
Someone would need to investigate the difference.

HoverEel: would you like it if we published a news with the dump (with full credits to you and link to here) tagging it as a smspower release?
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:26 pm
Bock wrote
Thanks a lot!

The upper 256 KB are an artifact of either the dumping software, either the EPROM cartridge wiring leaving an open bus there, either unwritten EPROM. Either way they are not meaningful data (all 0xFF).

256 KB CRC32 checksums are
Maou Golvellius: 21A21352
Thunder Blade: BAB9533B

Golvellius (21A21352) is the same as the prototype we released in 2009:
https://www.smspower.org/forums/12086
https://www.smspower.org/db/maou_golvellius-proto-sms-jp.shtml

Thunder Blade (BAB9533B) is a new prototype!
Comparing It seems closer to the final version released in the west: only 218 bytes difference. 99 of the bytes are FF in the proto and varying data in the final version.
Someone would need to investigate the difference.

HoverEel: would you like it if we published a news with the dump (with full credits to you and link to here) tagging it as a smspower release?


Awesome, glad one of them was new! Yeah, I'd be happy to have that tagged as a new release. One of the main reasons I grabbed the lot with these was that I wanted to make sure they got dumped and shared with the community if they weren't out there already.
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Post Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 1:54 pm
Wanted to display and protect the carts, so I put together a shadow box for them. Printed the Japanese covers on some thick card stock, then designed (in the loosest sense of the word...it took 3 minutes in SketchUp to draw a rectangle and make a cart-sized recess in it) and printed some cart holders so I wouldn't have to attach double-sided tape to the carts.

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2021 10:44 am
That looks neat!
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:04 am
Posted this under news along with other prototypes here:
https://www.smspower.org/forums/18745-3PrototypesStreetsOfRage2GGDeadAngleSMSThu...
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