Forums

Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
SG-1000 / SC-3000 / SF-7000 / OMV
Home - Forums - Games - Scans - Maps - Cheats - Credits
Music - Videos - Development - Hacks - Translations - Homebrew

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

Reply to topic
Author Message
  • Site Admin
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2001
  • Posts: 8637
  • Location: Paris, France
Reply with quote
Happy new year with 2 prototypes, 3 korean games, 5 taiwanese variants.
Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 11:57 am
Last edited by Bock on Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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.
Enjoy!
The Circut (TW).jpg (297.04 KB)
The Circut (TW).jpg
4 HTH games.jpg (428.03 KB)
4 HTH games.jpg

  View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
  • Site Admin
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2001
  • Posts: 8637
  • Location: Paris, France
Reply with quote
Attachments
Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 12:02 pm
This message might auto destruct itself someday.
con_dori-sms-kr.zip (16.55 KB)
eswat-v1-gg-tw-hth.zip (137.51 KB)

  View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
  • Joined: 01 May 2011
  • Posts: 466
Reply with quote
Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:10 pm
Great stuff, thanks Bock and others involved!

Bock wrote
Happy new year 2023!


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?


Scramble Spirits was first announced and shown at the 1989 Summer CES held in June 1989. It was due out November 1989, but the last game released by Tonka was in October 1989, after which Sega of America took back distribution of SMS and either delayed or cancelled all the games already announced. They eventually started releasing some of them with the release of the SMS II in June 1990, but Scramble Spirits ended up getting cancelled. It did get released in Canada though (where Irwin had remained the distributor), the earliest Canadian newspaper advert I can find featuring it is from April 1990.

In Europe it started getting reviewed late 1989 - early 1990, with the first Sega adverts featuring it getting published in February 1990. During the Tonka era the US would generally get SMS games a month or two ahead of Europe (presumably due to shipping times from Japan), although there were occasional exceptions.

The box also has a 1989 copyright, so it looks like the final game was manufactured late 1989 and ended up getting released early 1990 in Europe. I think the title screen 1988 copyright must have been an error, maybe just something as simple as a typo.

Incidentally Scramble Spirits was also shown at the 1990 Winter CES (January 1990), so this could be from either or both of those, although maybe they would have had the final release to show by then.
  View user's profile Send private message
  • Joined: 14 Oct 2008
  • Posts: 505
Reply with quote
Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 5:31 pm
I can only recall one other game copyright date oddity, Undercover Cops for the SNES. EGM previewed a build of the unreleased licensed USA version late in 1993, including a screenshot of the title screen giving a copyright date of 1993. It was canceled but another publisher picked up the game to release in 1995 with the date rolled back to 1992, the year of the arcade original.

As to the games in this article, I see Condor and immediately think of the Konami arcade game Pooyan. Is it a port of that game?
  View user's profile Send private message
  • Joined: 06 Apr 2015
  • Posts: 89
Reply with quote
Post Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:44 pm
These are really interesting - thank you!

I have some questions regarding the MSX conversions, and the graphics mode/color palette used in those games. What is the name of the graphics mode? And why would a later release (something late enough to be influenced by SMB3 in the case of Super Penguin) use this older mode? I guess because MSX was the lead platform, and it just wasn't in the budget to customize the artwork for SMS? It's always a little surprising to me to see this relatively limited color palette with more muted colors running on the SMS.
  View user's profile Send private message
  • Joined: 20 Dec 2004
  • Posts: 738
  • Location: Lyon, France
Reply with quote
Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2023 6:10 pm
Is this the first time we see a game with a phone number being displayed on the title screen ?
  View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
  • Joined: 22 Apr 2018
  • Posts: 530
Reply with quote
Post Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 6:15 am
This Hwaseong / Hwasung Computer company apparently liked to write their name partly in Hanja on some of their printed materials. They wrote it (株)和星컴퓨터 which in plain Hangul would be (주)화성컴퓨터, meaning something like Hwaseong Computer Co., Ltd. I hope more information can be found on these early-1990's Korean game developers, as they made some truly unique contributions in software, mapper hardware, and packaging - for instance, cartridge shells molded to resemble floppy disks, and very colorful and eye-catching images on boxes and labels

I don't know how reliable or useful it is to analyze the characters, but here goes my doesn't-know-Korean attempt:

(株) ju, i.e. "stock" as in "stock company" 주식회사(株式會社)

和 hwa, i.e. "harmony" - not sure whether this is pure coincidence, but in Japanese this character is sometimes used in compound words meaning "Japanese", referring to Yamato/Wa written sometimes with this same character

星 seong/sung, i.e. "star" or (sometimes) "planet"

컴퓨터 Computer

This hanja sequence is not the same one used for the "Hwaseong"/"Hwasung" entities I have found mentioned in Wikipedia articles
  View user's profile Send private message
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2010
  • Posts: 195
Reply with quote
Post Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2023 6:21 pm
Does anyone know from which movie comes the cover art of Aztec Adventure?

  View user's profile Send private message
Reply to topic



Back to the top of this page

Back to SMS Power!