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JoeK

What was going on with the Megadrive? Regional differences in games...

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So, back in the day I had a Japanese Megadrive, and quite honestly it was the most awesome thing ever at the time. Coming from an Atari ST, the graphics really did feel like they were arcade perfect!

 

I picked up Sonic the Hedgehog on it's release, and whilst I never loved it as much as some of the games I had, I distinctly remembered the visuals - there was parallax on both the ground and the sky! It was amazing.

 

And then a few years later I was playing the game again on a UK machine, and there was no parallax on the sky at all? 

 

And there are loads of these weird things that happen on games - Super Shinobi was another one I vividly remember - there was more stuff being...erm...parallaxed

 

And no-one ever seemed to mention it at the time?

 

Now, I thought it might have been because of the 50/60hrz stuff, but the changes were the same on the US Genesis too.

 

So, anyone know why this might be? I know it's a completely pointless question, but it bugs me that I don't know the answer, and obviously I trust RLLMUK to get to the bottom of it much quicker than if I were to type in a search on google ;) 

 

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For Sonic, a later version included the parallax. Simple as that. For Super Shinobi, I'd guess the same thing.

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2 minutes ago, deKay said:

For Sonic, a later version included the parallax. Simple as that. For Super Shinobi, I'd guess the same thing.

 

I don't think it can be that though - both those games came out first in Japan and had all the parallax, whilst the US/EU releases later didn't!

 

There's got to have been some odd technical reason why it was on them, surely?

 

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2 minutes ago, JoeK said:

I don't think it can be that though - both those games came out first in Japan and had all the parallax,

 

A tweaked version came out in Japan a month after the UK/US release.

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UK/US original release: June 1991

JP original release: July 1991

 

"Shortly after the original release of the game (known as REV00), Sega reissued the game (REV01) with various enhancements, bug-fixes and general tweaks. REV01 added extra layers of scrolling to most parallax backgrounds where many had been flat before, added moving clouds (Green Hill Zone), rippling water (Labyrinth Zone), corrected the level select screen's arrangement, among other minor changes. REV01 is most commonly found on Japanese cartridges, where the game was released slightly later than in Europe and North America, and was also made available in later production runs internationally." link 

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Can't find anything about parallax differences on Revenge of Shinobi, but there were versions where they had to remove Batman, Spiderman, Rambo and Godzilla from the game.

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You've blown my theories out the water, curse you :p 

 

I never knew they effectively did the cartridge equivalent of patches on these things though - very interesting!

 

 

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One thing I find interesting is do collectors go for this stuff and are there/should there be mega expensive versions of games that are early revisions?

 

Sorry, not to thread highjack...

 

People buy junk games for crazy money because they were released in limited numbers but what about something like a REV00 of Sonic?

 

Surely this is rare and collectible too as there would be a small amount released before moving to REV01?

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, JoeK said:

You've blown my theories out the water, curse you :p 

 

I never knew they effectively did the cartridge equivalent of patches on these things though - very interesting!

 

 

It was done up to the PS2 era. Games would get "rolling replacements" - the first version wouldn't get removed from sale, the new version would get distributed as normal, gradually replacing stock on shelves.

 

V1.0 of WipEout on PS1

hqdefault.jpg

 

V1.1, also PS1

hqdefault.jpg

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3 hours ago, Goemon said:

One thing I find interesting is do collectors go for this stuff and are there/should there be mega expensive versions of games that are early revisions?

 

Sorry, not to thread highjack...

 

People buy junk games for crazy money because they were released in limited numbers but what about something like a REV00 of Sonic?

 

Surely this is rare and collectible too as there would be a small amount released before moving to REV01?

 

 

 

 

Colectors do go for this, some MegaDrive games have a half dozen revisions 

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16 hours ago, JoeK said:

So, back in the day I had a Japanese Megadrive, and quite honestly it was the most awesome thing ever at the time. Coming from an Atari ST, the graphics really did feel like they were arcade perfect!

 

I picked up Sonic the Hedgehog on it's release, and whilst I never loved it as much as some of the games I had, I distinctly remembered the visuals - there was parallax on both the ground and the sky! It was amazing.

 

And then a few years later I was playing the game again on a UK machine, and there was no parallax on the sky at all? 

 

And there are loads of these weird things that happen on games - Super Shinobi was another one I vividly remember - there was more stuff being...erm...parallaxed

 

And no-one ever seemed to mention it at the time?

 

Now, I thought it might have been because of the 50/60hrz stuff, but the changes were the same on the US Genesis too.

 

So, anyone know why this might be? I know it's a completely pointless question, but it bugs me that I don't know the answer, and obviously I trust RLLMUK to get to the bottom of it much quicker than if I were to type in a search on google ;) 

 

 

Sonic Team had an extra month to work on the Japanese Sonic 1 release compared to the rest of the world is the quick answer, so Yuji Naka made use of them. The sky is not the only difference, Labyrinth Zone has water ripples compared to the rest as well, and instant spike death is gone.

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Revenge of Shinobi had 4-6 versions overall. Yes the bosses changed, but they changed one by one. The Marvel liscense stayed around till version 2 or 3 for example, and so on.

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Some games had specific Japanese content and English content on the same cartridge, displaying the appropriate stuff based on the region on the console.  Mystic Defender has a long flowing white cloak if you put the UK cart in a Japanese console.  Streets of Rage displays as Bare Knuckle and has Japanese text if you put the UK cart in a Japanese console.

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There are hundreds of classic console games with different revision, some to fix some truly awful bugs. I covered region and version changes quite heavily on the Saturn, due to how the product code was written on the disc it is easy to tell what revision a game was. Something like the SNES the only way to tell is to bug in the cartridge and look for a known fixed issue with the patch releases. Unless you have kit to read checksums.

 

Starfox in the USA had a version fixed and it's quite easy to tell due to the title screen logo change and shown on The Cutting Room Floor site:

https://tcrf.net/Star_Fox

 

Some of the crazy regional changes include Pepsiman appearance in Fighting Vipers on Sega Saturn in Japan only:

 

While my field of expertisem is on the Sega Saturn, I did right a feature on some of the many changes per version:

http://randomisedgaming.tumblr.com/post/163253020547/sega-saturn-games-with-major-region-and-version

 

Take for example the fact that 3D Lemmings on Saturn adds in mouse support for the Japanese version and fixed a number of bugs that were in the PAL version.

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Speaking of regional differences, I love the super castlevania IV jap version title screen as it scrolls the wall. That one is the one I played originally and I distinctly remember there was blood dripping onto the floor. As it pans up I’m sure it’s coming from the Japanese title font or something along those lines, however the pal version didn’t include the blood. 

 

Im basing this off memory so I think I’m right there. 

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That Mystic Defender clothing difference based on region also applies to Spellcaster on the Master System. The Japanese releases were both licensed games from a manga called Kujaku-Ou or something. Weirdly, there were two Kujaku-Ou games released on the Famicom that look a lot like the adventure parts of Spellcaster without the side-scrolling.

 

I think Golden Axe is another game that has a few revisions. Sega were quite good at cocking up and using the wrong versions on their multi-carts.

 

Not quite on topic, but a couple of interesting region/version related quirks:

 

- Outrun on Mega Drive uses the Japanese track layout, even in the West. I think it's the only localised version that doesn't change it.

- New Zealand Story on the Mega Drive is based on a prototype version of the arcade game for some reason, and has all sorts of weirdness as a result.

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One of my friends had a Japanese Mega Drive while I had a plebby PAL version. We used to notice that the Strider music ran a lot faster on PAL for some reason. And Sega games at least had the Japanese/English text swap on PAL (and presumably NTSC) carts. Also, the difficulty changed in some games.

 

I'm pretty sure his NTSC machine was converted to run at 50hz so that might explain the music thing, assuming they sped the PAL music up to the correct speed.

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On 03/02/2019 at 12:27, NEG said:

Revenge of Shinobi had 4-6 versions overall. Yes the bosses changed, but they changed one by one. The Marvel liscense stayed around till version 2 or 3 for example, and so on.

 

And it got yet another revision when it came out on the Virtual Console and later collections:

 

https://tcrf.net/The_Revenge_of_Shinobi_(Genesis)#REV03_.E2.86.92_Virtual_Console

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