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rec.games.video.* Frequently Asked Questions (part 1 of 3)

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Archive-name: games/video-games/faq/part1

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
I'm getting a little tired of maintaining this (especially because I don't
have any next generation systems and don't pay close attention to information
about them).  Anyone want to take over the FAQ?

Information needed:
-- Video game company phone numbers.  The information I have is so old it
can't possibly be right, not to mention it doesn't include Sony or 3DO.
-- Current prices for Saturn, and what the packins are.
-- Price for 32X.
-- Information about the Nomad (price, incompatibilities)
-- Information on Doom, Star Wars codes for 32X (since they are now pack-ins).
-- Information on Mortal Kombat 3 future home versions.
-- Rest of the Donkey Kong Country codes.
-- Pointers to classic video game material.
-- SSF2 home version codes.
-- Bibliographical references for historical videogame-related books.
-- System specifications for the 3DO and for all the new 32/64 bit systems
(Saturn, Sony Playstation, Nec PC-FX, Playdia)
-- Information on Nintendo/Atari lawsuits.
-- Need SNES Pro Action Replay format.
-- Can you make a language switch in the redesigned Genesis?  How?
-- Someone tell me how to make that SNES 50/60 hertz switch.  Please.
Likewise, how do you get the SNES to bypass the PAL/NTSC country check?
-- The TurboExpress and TG-16 information are inconsistent in CPU and Mhz.
-- Other pack-in game secret codes.
-- Language switch/lockout Genesis/Mega Drive examples.
-- What is the Supergrafx mode?  And how can a Turbo Express play games at a
higher resolution than the TE supports?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Changes since last time:
Not much.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Last modified 12/15/95, posted 12/15/95]

Section 0: Introduction:
=======================
This is the general home video games FAQ list.  It doesn't have cheats for
most games except for pack-ins and obvious hits like Street Fighter II.  It
does have just about everything else, and will probably continue to do so at
least until we get full FAQs for each system (which as far as I know, the
Genesis and SNES don't have).  If anyone wants to do regular FAQs for these
systems, tell me, and send me a copy of your FAQ, and I'll remove the
information from the general FAQ.

I don't crosspost this list to the CD-I, CD^32, or Sony groups because there
happens to be little information about the respective systems or their games
in here.  If there is a call for wider posting of the FAQ, I'll consider
changing it.  I've also deliberately left out most information about ``clas-
sic'' systems, though I do list classic information sources in sections 11-12.

Prices close to round numbers have been rounded (you won't see a $99 anywhere
here except this sentence).  All references to "megs" and "M" refer to mega-
bytes (I hate 'megabits').

If you think something is wrong or missing, _email_me_corrections_.  Please.
I'm not a mind reader.  Oh, and if you got the information from an American
game magazine, particularly a magazine other than Next Generation, it's pretty
likely the magazine made the mistake.  (Gamepro had an article with a whole
_list_ of errors, which got me several "corrections" of correct information.)

    Section 0: Introduction
    Section 1: Newsgroups List
    Section 2: Basic Questions
    Section 3: When is a ... coming out?/Give me information on ...
    Section 4: Can I use a...?
    Section 5: What is a...?
    Section 6: Game-Specific Questions (including spoilers for pack-in games)
    Section 7: System Capabilities
    Section 8: Connecter/Controller Pinouts
    Section 9: Compatibility
    Section 10: Game Magazines
    Section 11: Historical References
    Section 12: Other FAQ's/regular postings/mailing lists


Section 1: Newsgroups List:
==========================

World-wide newsgroups that deal with video games are as follows:

rec.games.video.3do      \
rec.games.video.atari     \
rec.games.video.cd-i       \
rec.games.video.cd32        \
rec.games.video.classic      >--------- Home video games.  Obvious.
rec.games.video.misc        /
rec.games.video.nintendo   /
rec.games.video.sega      /
rec.games.video.sony     /

comp.sys.amiga.cd32  (For discussion on computer aspects of the CD^32.)

rec.games.video.advocacy  (For arguments such as "my system is better".)

rec.games.video.marketplace  (For buying and selling.)

rec.games.vectrex  (This is an inet group.  Inet groups are for most practical
  purposes part of Usenet.  I will not get into the details here.)

rec.games.video.arcade            \___ Arcade games.
rec.games.video.arcade.collecting /

Obsolete groups are alt.super.nes, alt.sega.genesis, and
alt.games.video.classic.  Use the groups above instead.

alt.2600 discusses 2600 Magazine, not the Atari 2600.  alt.atari.2600 and
alt.atari.2600vcs were created to divert the misposts out of alt.2600; these
groups aren't "obsolete" in the sense that they were created after
rec.games.video.classic, but you're better off using r.g.v.classic (which has
better propagation anyway) instead.

I've heard of alt.games.final-fantasy, and alt.atari-jaguar.discussion,
which I don't get at my site.  I doubt either group is propagated much.


Section 2: Basic Questions:
==========================

``Some people have complained about questionable business practices of
Nintendo.  What are they?''

People are soured on Nintendo business practices because of:
1) NES cartridges had a ``lockout chip'' with availability controlled by
Nintendo, which must be there to run the game.  (One common excuse is "to
preserve quality".  Many NES games came from Japan, where lockout chips weren't
used, but the quality was the same.  Also, most people agree that Tengen Tetris
is higher quality than the Nintendo one.)
2) Price-fixing.  Nintendo lost in federal court, and had to give away $5
coupons good towards cartridges; they did not actually admit guilt.  (Not
much of a punishment.)
3) There is a rumor that Nintendo wouldn't let stores have popular cartridges
unless they also were willing to sell the Game Boy.  [Information anyone?]
4) The Game Genie: This product fits between a cartridge and machine and
changes certain bytes on the fly.  Nintendo sued, alleging copyright violation,
and delayed the Game Genie for a year.  (Nintendo lost.)
5) Nintendo has sued stores for renting Nintendo games.  (Actually, suing
for copying the copyrighted instructions.)
6) Nintendo would for a while not let licensees make the same game for other
systems (which delayed Genesis Batman for some time).
7) Nintendo's censorship policy on games (no blood, cannot fight females) in
games such as Final Fight, where all the female-appearing enemies were changed
to male, Final Fantasy 2, which had praying changed to "wishing", naming hell
hounds "heck hounds" in Secret of Mana, or the best-known example, Mortal Kom-
bat (no blood or violent fatalities).  SF2 doesn't have much censorship, but
Nintendo _was_ planning to censor it and only relented after a _lot_ of pro-
tests.  [This may be changing with a new ratings system; Mortal Kombat II keeps
the blood and fatalities.]


``Please tell me about those 100 games in 1 cartridges.''

Most of them are bootlegs, made in Hong Kong or South Korea.  I've heard of
some for Nintendo, Gameboy, and Game Gear, as well as Mega Drive/Genesis ones
with 4-8 games.  There might be such things for PC Engine.  (If you have one,
I may be interested in buying it. :-))  They often have some early, lower-
quality games and some games which vary only by small details like background
color.  They also tend to be expensive (though people often try selling
used ones at prices which are out of hand, even considering this).  If you
really want one, you will probably have to go to Asia or buy one used.
Copiers seem to have replaced multicarts for newer console systems.

There are a number of legal 4-in-1 Nintendo cartridges, and there is at least
one (legal) 52 games in 1 cartridge for Nintendo advertised in a US magazine.
There is supposedly a Genesis cartridge with many games, about which I know
little; advertisements for it show some questionable "games" added just to in-
crease the count, like the 15-puzzle.  There's also the 4-game Super Mario
All-Stars.

On classic systems, there are various versions of multiple-game Atari 2600s
and Atari 2600 cartridges; because the games are so small, a hundred games can
actually fit in.  These also come from outside the USA, and I have _no_ idea
how or where to get one.  Old Vectrex games are public domain now, and various
people have made Vectrex multi-carts; see the Vectrex FAQ.


``What is the relationship between Tengen and Atari?''

Atari, long ago, split into Atari Corporation, who makes home computers and
games, and Atari Games, which makes arcade games.  Atari Games was not allowed
to make home games under the Atari name, so uses the name Tengen.  Tengen
and Atari Games (now renamed Time-Warner Interactive) are branches of the same
company, but separate from Atari Corp., which makes the Lynx and Jaguar.


``Where is a good source for Japanese games?''

Check the ads in an American video game magazine.  (Unless you know someone who
is going to Japan, or Taiwan or Hong Kong, or has contacts there.)  Also,
Stephen Pearl posts a partial list of sources regularly (see below).

Watch out for pirate game carts.  They generally lack copyright notices and
references to "Sega" or "Mega Drive", have no manuals, and are in odd boxes.


``What happened to that version of Tetris they're not making any more?''

It was the Tengen Tetris for NES.  Tengen didn't have the proper US rights, and
was forced in court by Nintendo to stop making and to recall it.  (See _Game
Over_, for details.  This was separate from lawsuit threats over Tengen's at-
tempt to work around the lockout chip.)  A Tetris for the Mega Drive in Japan
was never legal to begin with.


``What are the differences between a "new" and "old" Genesis or Mega Drive?''

Machines made after about October 1991 are "new" machines.  They won't play
certain old third party US games: Ishido, Budokan, Populous, Onslaught, Zany
Golf, or certain pirated Asian cartridges.  You can usually get around this
problem with a Game Genie or Action Replay.  (No codes, just plug it in, but
not everyone has been able to get this to work, so your mileage may vary.)  It
doesn't matter whether the new machine is a Mega Drive or a Genesis, and the
change has no effect on the ability to play Japanese games.  (If the machine
says "produced by or under license to Sega" when turned on, it's a "new"
machine.  You can also (supposedly) identify "new" machines by the absence of
the message "High Resolution Graphics" near the cartridge slot.)

The specific cause of the difference is that the new machines scan the ROM for
the text "SEGA" in locations $100-103, and won't run if it's absent.

There are similar "new" Game Gear machines.  I'm not sure if they have
lockout.

The change between "old" and "new" came around the same time that the pack-in
game was changed from Altered Beast to Sonic the Hedgehog.  This isn't a
reliable way to tell the difference, but every so often you still hear people
refer to the "Altered Beast" and "Sonic" versions, which isn't quite right.

Some people also refer to the redesigned Genesis as "new".  It's a new shape,
and has no volume control or headphone jack.  Stereo jacks have been added.
There's no difference in what games it can play.


Sega/Accolade lawsuit.

The lawsuit started with Sega suing Accolade, an unlicensed maker of Genesis
cartridges who reverse-engineered Genesis games to discover how to write them.
Sega also claimed that Accolade was "misleading consumers" because playing
its games still gives the "produced by or under license to Sega" message.
(Of course, the Genesis, not the cartridge, puts up the message.)  The result
of the suit is that Accolade will become an official developer for the Genesis
and Game Gear; nobody knows who has to pay how much to whom ....


Atari/Nintendo lawsuit.

A recent lawsuit over the "114 Patent", which seems to be connected to
horizontal scrolling in video games, was settled by March 25, 1994.  I have no
idea about the details of this suit, but I do know that several contradictory
pieces of information were floating around at the time.


Atari/Sega lawsuit.

This lawsuit, over Atari's claims that Sega infringes its patents, was
settled out of court on 9/28/94.  Sega got to use Atari's patents.  Sega
had to pay Atari, immediately, a total of $50 million covering the remaining 7
years of patents.  Sega also had to buy 4.7 million shares of Atari stock for
$40 million.  Sega and Atari get to cross-license 5 games a year, excluding
Sonic games.


Game copiers.

Yes, it is true that customs is (or was) stopping deliveries of them.
Yes, it is legal to copy games for your own private use.
No, it is not legal to give away or sell the copies.
No, it is not legal to give away or sell the original and keep the copy.
Yes, CD-ROMs can be copied, but it takes expensive equipment and blanks
costing over $10.  The Playstation and Saturn have various forms of copy
protection so their discs cannot be copied on a normal CD copier.
Yes, they have legal uses: to copy your own games for backup, to try developing
your own games, and to directly modify the game code without a Game Genie-type
device.  It's questionable how many copier owners actually use them mostly for
this.


Zenith TV's.

Certain older Zenith TV's have a problem working with video game systems.
The following information is for the SF5749W model.  To access the service
menus, press and hold the menu button, then the volume and channel, so all
three are held at the same time.  The regular controls search through the
menus, and select and adjust change them, with enter to confirm a change.  On
menu 1 is a "vforced" option which might be necessary to get VCR menus--or
games--to work....


``Does 'Sega' really mean 'masturbate' in some European language, like I've
heard?''

It's slang for "masturbate" in Italian when pronounced as in America.


``What happens when I play a PAL game on an NTSC console and vice versa?''

NTSC is about 60 (actually 59.94) fields per second, 525 lines per frame
(each frame is 2 fields).  PAL is 50 fields per second and 625 lines per
frame.

If you play a NTSC game on a PAL console and the game is not programmed to
notice what kind of console you're on, there are two effects: first, the
game's screen is squashed because the 525 lines fit on a narrower portion of
the screen, and second, the game runs about 17 percent slower _if_ the game's
timing depends on events that happen at a specified rate compared to the
frame.  (Or if its timing depends on the current, but it probably won't,
because part of Japan is 50 hertz but 60 fields per second.)

The opposite happens in reverse: the screen is stretched out (and probably
rolls badly) and the game is too fast.


What is the first game to...?''

(The KLOV is a list of arcade games that can be ftp'ed from wiretap.spies.com.)

The 'firsts' tend to be mostly arcade games, but I'm listing them here anyway.
Most of these listings are a bit uncertain.  (By the way, anyone got month
dates for these games?)

First arcade game: Computer Space (Nutting Associates, 1972)  (_Not_ Pong.)
First arcade vector game: Space Wars (Cinematronics, 1978)
First arcade color vector game: Tempest (Atari, 1981)*
First trackball game: Football (Atari, 1978)
First game with speech: Stratovox (Taito, 1980)
First move-horizontally-and-shoot game: Space Invaders (Taito/Midway, 1978)
First game with intermissions: Deluxe Space Invaders (Taito/Midway, 1979)
First maze/chase/dots-eating game: Dodgem (Atari, 1978)
First platform game: Space Panic (Universal, 1980)
First platform jumping game: Donkey Kong (Nintendo, 1981)
First game with multiple screens with different gameplay: Gorf (Midway, 1981)
   (Donkey Kong was 1981 also.  I'm not sure of the exact date.)
First first-person driving game: Night Driver (Atari, 1976)
First first-person flying/shooting game: Red Baron (Atari, 1980)
First one-on-one fighting game (Street Fighter-like): Karate Champ (Data East,
   1984).  (Swashbuckler, 1982, for the Apple II came first, but had no
   player versus player combat.)
First beat-em-up scrolling game: Kung-Fu Master (Data East, 1985)  (Double
   Dragon was 1986)
First X-axis tourism scrolling shooting game: Cosmic Avenger (Universal, 1981)
   (Scramble was 1981 too, but according to the KLOV came later).
First Y-axis tourism scrolling shooting game: Sky Raider (Atari, 1979) [Bet
   _you_ thought it was Xevious too.]
First X-axis tourism jumping game: Pitfall! (a home game; Activision, 1982)
   (This game did _not_ scroll.)
First "Super-Mario-like" game: This depends on what qualifies as "Super-
   Mario-like".  Pitfall II (Activision) is a contender.
First side-scrolling jumping/attacking game: Jungle King/Hunt (Taito, 1982)
   (which scrolled left, not right)
First laserdisk game: Dragon's Lair (Cinematronics, 1983)

* The KLOV says Tempest is 1980, but the Tempest game itself, Microsoft
Arcade, and Tempest 2000 all claim 1981.  Tempest apparently still did come
before Space Fury (Sega, 1981), or at least Atari claimed so.

Some I have yet to find out:
First arcade game not requiring a second player.  (I first thought 'Breakout',
   but the KLOV lists several racing games that came earlier.)
First game that ended.
First game with an ending (special graphics, not just 'game over').


Phone numbers for video game companies:

Nintendo: 1-800-255-3700 0400-2400 PT Mon-Sat; 0600-1900 PT Sun
Sega: 1-800-USA-SEGA 0900-1800 PT
Atari: 1-800-GO-ATARI.
SNK: 1-310-371-1965 (the earlier toll-free number is gone)


Section 3: When is a ... coming out?/Give me information on ...
===============================================================

... Genesis modem?

The 1200 baud modem released in Japan never came out in America.  Newer
Genesis machines don't even have a modem port.  Other planned modems which
never came out include a 2400 baud Teleplay System by Baton Technologies for
the Genesis and SNES, and a 4800 baud modem Edge 16 by AT&T.

There's a service named "Catapult" which is meant to allow Genesis and SNES
modem downloading and playing.  It apparently exists, but in limited areas.

The X-Band modem is available and in stores for the Genesis, at $20.


... Sega Saturn?

The Saturn was released in Japan in November 1994, for a price of 44800 yen,
and it got a surprise release on 5/11/95 at $400 in the US, with Virtua
Fighter as the pack-in.  (The date for the national release was originally
supposed to be 9/2/95.)  The original release was limited to
Babbage's/Software Etc. (both owned by the same company), Toys 'R' Us, and
Electronics Boutique.


... Greater than 16 bit SNES system?

The system from Nintendo, formerly named Project Reality, is now known as the
Ultra 64.  It supposedly does greater than 100000 polygons per second and has
a 64 bit RISC processor.  I have little idea about it, except that it doesn't
actually exist yet.  It is due in December 1995 in Japan as the Ultra Famicom,
and August 1996 in America (missing the 1995 Christmas season by a mile.)


... Neo-Geo CD (formerly the Neo Star)

It's out.  At least in Japan.  The system is separate from the cartridge
machine, not an add-on, and won't run Neo-Geo cartridges.  Some importers have
machines, but I have no idea if or when there will be a real US release.


... Atari Jaguar?

The price for the Jaguar is now $190 with Cybermorph, and $150 with no games;
officially it is $160, but _everyone_ sells them at $150.  The CD is now out
at $150 and comes with Blue Lightning, Vid Grid, the Tempest 2000 soundtrack,
and a Myst demo.


... Jaguar 2?

There is a next generation Jaguar system planned.  There was to be a combined
Jaguar and CD (also sometimes referred to as the Jaguar 2), but reports are
that this has been cancelled.


... 3DO system?

The Panasonic version is $300, with GEX as pack-in.  The Goldstar 3DO is $200
and comes with FIFA International Soccer and Shock Wave.


... 3DO M2 system?

Supposedly a unit which costs $270-400 or a $100 upgrade to existing 3DO
systems.  It does 100,000,000 pixels per second, 250,000 textured polygons
per second, or 150,000 triangles per second.  It has hardware texture mapping,
and built-in MPEG-1.  It will supposedly be available early 1996.


... Sony Playstation?

This system (formerly named the PSX) is a 32-bit double-speed CD system based
around the R3000A processor.  The price is 29800 yen in Japan and $300 in the
US, with no pack-in game, and $350 with Ridge Racer.  Some retailers bundled
the no pack-in version with a game for $50 extra.


... Virtual Boy

It is out now for $170.  This is all I know.


The dead systems:
----------------
Bandai BA-X:

This system was announced at 29800 yen and it came out fall 1994 in Japan.  It
supposedly emphasizes full motion video rather than normal games.  (I feel
like buying one now.  Not.)

Judging from the general characteristics of the system, and the fact that
nobody ever discusses it and I never hear of new games for it, I am going to
assume it is dead.


CD-I:

Old system which uses CDs and displays primitive graphics on top of the
graphics displayed off of the CDs.  It seems remarkably persistent in the
software stores, occasionally appearing alongside the 3DO and confusing custo-
mers who don't know any better.

(I've gotten angry replies from CD-I fans who dispute this.  If you really
mean to do so, I would like to know the resolution, colors, sprites, and
memory for the CD-I not counting anything spooled off the CD.)


CD^32:

Released in Europe and Canada, this system was to be made available in the
US on March 1, 1994, at a suggested retail price of $400.  The pack-in games
were Pinball Fantasies, Wing Commander, and Oscar, and the system was basical-
ly an Commodore Amiga 1200 with a CD system and no keyboard.  Commodore
International is now dead, along with the system.

Clearance prices have been for the equivalents of $140-190.

Update: The Amiga has been bought by a company named ESCOM.  What this means
for the CD^32 is unknown, though I wouldn't get my hopes up considering how
outdated it is (no polygon graphics).


NEC PC-FX:

The PC-FX came out November 1994 at 50000 yen; it was never released outside
Japan.  There are no current plans to release the system outside Japan.  The
PC-FX is already nearly dead due to lack of support (and I don't know what its
capabilities are, compared to the other systems, anyway); there are six games
available as of July 1995.  I think it has polygon graphics, but have also
heard that it's Playdia- or CD-I-like and mostly spools information off the CD.


TG-16, TG-16 CD, and Turbo Duo:

The Duo was the last gasp of the Turbografx-16 system, known as the PC Engine
in Asia.  The PCE dates back to 1987 in Japan, being the first 16-bit system
there (barring arguments about whether it's 'really' 16 bit), had a popular CD
expansion, and generally did very well.  It never really took off in the US.

The TG-16 had a CD add-on, and a separate Super CD card introduced later to
add more memory (the CD had 64K memory, and the SCD had 256K).  The SCD card
was available in the USA through a toll-free number (1-800-366-0136), but not
in stores.  The toll-free number 1-800-995-9203 is for "Turbo Zone", more or
less the retail outlet of TTI, who had the SCD card.  I have no idea if either
still sells them.

The Duo combined the TG-16, the CD, and the SCD card together.  It originally
sold for $300, and the clearance price was usually $100.

The final expansion was the Arcade Card, which replaced the CD or Super
CD card and had 2M memory; there were different versions of it for the Duo and
the separate CD player.  It was never released in the USA, though a Japanese
version works with an adapter.  Most of its games were Neo-Geo fighting game
ports.

There is a FAQ and a mailing list for the TG-16/Duo.


Pioneer LaserActive:

This system played both laser discs and CD's, and cost $720 (and $480 each
for add-on modules allowing Sega CD and TG-16 CD compatibility, more than the
cost of a complete separate Sega or TG-16 CD system).  It seems to be lower-
priced now (I was told $400 for the system plus the Sega CD module), though
I'm not sure if it's really on clearance yet.  Aside from playing the usual
Sega and TG-16 CDs, the add-on modules only allowed the overlaying of graphics
on laser discs; the discs were used only for backgrounds.  You can see why the
system never took off, I hope.


Sega CD:

The Sega CD was a plug-in CD addition to your Genesis.  The pack-in for the
early model was an arcade classics disk (Golden Axe, Revenge of Shinobi,
Streets of Rage, Columns, plus Super Monaco GP in Europe), Sol Feace, and
Sherlock Holmes (Cobra Command in Europe); the classics were mostly unchanged
except that they have CD music/sound, and the two-player mode on Golden Axe
was removed.  This model was $250.

The newer model came with Sewer Shark or John Madden Football, and was $230.

I've seen it for $150 or less, post-Saturn.

A combined Genesis/CD/Karaoke player was sold in Japan as the Wondermega, and
in the US as the X-Eye.  The CDX (not to be confused with the Pro-CDX, which
is an adapter to run foreign CD games) was another combined system which sold
for $400.

Although the Sega CD is not quite dead, its days are numbered, now that the
Saturn is out.  Expect heavy discount prices; the Sega CD and X-Eye have both
been spotted for $100.


Sega 32X:

The 32X cost $150 and plugged into the Genesis, giving capabilites somewhere
between the Genesis and Saturn.  Contrary to popular belief, it does exist
in Japan.  Sega had announced a $200 "Neptune" combining a Genesis and 32X;
it has been delayed for early 1996, and I wouldn't stake my life on it coming
out.

Doom or Star Wars are pack-ins with some 32X's, priced at $160 (the 32X alone
is $100 now).

The 32X was widely seen as a stopgap measure for Sega to have something to
sell before the Saturn came out in America.  Curiously enough, this didn't
stop people from buying them, and not so curiously, this turned out to be
quite true.  I suspect it will finish dying even faster than the Sega CD.


Section 4: Can I use a...?
=========================

... monitor?

The Genesis can connect to an analog RGB monitor with a similar scan rate;
this means an analog RGB monitor for use with an Amiga, Atari ST, or Apple
//gs.  An analog RGB multisync monitor _may_ work; a digital monitor (CGA or
EGA only for PC's) will not.

The SNES will work with an S-video or RGB monitor provided you have the right
cable; the right scan rate us 15.75 horizontal.

The Neo-Geo works with the same monitors the Genesis works with.

Basically, I know very little about monitors and have tried my best to
summarize some usenet information here....


... store-bought battery with my battery-backup game cart?

Yes, but you'll lose all the saved data (which happens when the battery dies
anyway).


... CD player with my computer?

There was going to be an SCSI adapter for the Duo.  It never came out; it
would have been uneconomical because of the price of CD-ROM drives.

A PC CARD will allow use of a 3DO as a CD-ROM drive on a PC, with a Macintosh
version possibly following.  (I have no idea if this one came out, either.)


... Duo/TG-16 controller on a TG-16/Duo?

There are, or should be, adapters both ways.  (Different people who called up
TTI got different answers on this one.)  One person who wrote to me actually
saw an example of such; it's labelled HES-DIN-01, and is sold through
Radio Shack in Canada, catalog number 58-1623.  It lets you use TG-16
controllers on the Duo (I don't know about the reverse).

The Duo controllers are the same as PC Engine controllers, so the adapter is
good for Japanese games that need special controllers (Forgotten Worlds,
Street Fighter II).

The 6 button controller for PCE/Duo and the TG-16 controller have an internal
plug of the same size.  You can therefore open the controllers up and combine
them to have a 6 button controller usable on the TG-16.


...  Lynx AC adapter on a Turbo Express?

No!  The voltage is too high.  It will work for a while, and likely burn out
the machine some time after you pause the game.


Section 5: What is a...?
=======================

``What is "Blast Processing"?''

Sega hype.  The phrase means exactly nothing.  Sega later tried to explain it
by claiming it describes the methods used by Sega to get characters like Sonic
moving on the screen very fast.  (Which still means nothing, of course.)  Sega
_again_ explained that this is because characters can be drawn on the screen
while a different screen is being displayed (which is known as page flipping
and isn't new) and that background processing is ignored so sprites can be
moved really fast (which isn't new either).


``What is anime?''

Anime refers to Japanese animation.  It's often better done, less censored,
and aimed towards an older audience than, American animation.  (Cautionary
note: some American fans go overboard in thinking anime adult; a lot of series
popular in America _are_ aimed at children or teenagers.)  In the past, lots of
anime was hacked up and changed for the US market (Speed Racer, Star Blazers,
Robotech), but in the last few years new companies have released unedited anime
with better translations.  The connection with video games is that many
Japanese video games are anime-based or have anime-style art, and moreover
such games are often either not ported or drastically changed for American
release because of supposed lack of interest in anime.  Also, much anime is
made _from_ video games; the Fatal Fury, Samurai Spirits (Samurai Shodown),
and Street Fighter II anime are available in America.  (The US TV series,
however, of SF2 is not anime.)


``What is a Tera Drive?''

It's a Japan-only system combining a PC and a Mega Drive (Japanese version
of the Genesis); it's not available in the US.  There are similar systems in
Europe and Australia, though.  The connection between the Mega Drive and PC
parts is minimal.


``What is a Wonder Mega?''

It's a system combining a Mega Drive  (Japanese version of the Genesis) and
Mega CD with a JVC CD system.  The US version is the "X-Eye".


``What is a Super Gun or a Mach 4?''

These are "home" systems which play a JAMMA arcade board at home.  This plays
the same as the arcade game, of course, but the board costs about as much as
the arcade game.

The systems are legal, but at least the Super Gun is often sold with illegal,
pirated, arcade boards.  They are not 32-bit (nor can they meaningfully be
called any-bit) and you could build one yourself with $100 or so in parts.


``What is Valis I/II/III/IV?''

The original Valis game was a MSX game (early Japanese home computer), later
released for the Famicom.  Valis II was released for the TG-16 CD, then Valis
III for the Genesis and TG-16 CD.  Valis IV was released for the PC Engine CD,
but only in Japan, and then later for the SNES.  Valis I came out for the PC
Engine SCD (also only in Japan) and the Genesis, long after Valis III.  At
around this time, SD Valis came out in Japan for the Mega Drive ("Syd Valis"
for the Genesis).  So no one system has all the games (though the PCE has all
except the SD one, which is mostly a reprise of Valis II).


``What is Thunderforce I?''

It is a game produced by Technosoft for Japanese personal computers.  It
resembles the "overhead" stages of Thunderforce II.


``What is Phantasy Star I?''

It's a Sega Master System (8 bit) game.  There was a limited edition Japanese
Mega Drive version, reportedly only available through a contest.


``What is Cosmic Fantasy I?''

It's a Japanese PC Engine CD game, with no US release.  Cosmic Fantasy
Stories for the Mega CD includes both I and II.  The PC Engine also had CD
releases of III, IV part 1, and IV part 2.


``What is Street Fighter I?''

This old game only let you use Ryu (player 1) and Ken (player 2); versus mode
was always Ryu versus Ken.  The hurricane kick, fireball, and dragon punch
existed and were done the same way as in SF2; there were no throws.  The only
other character that also appeared in SF2 was Sagat, who was the final boss for
SF1.  There is a game named Street Fighter Legends (called Street Fighter Zero
in Japan) which brings back more characters from SF1.

There seem to have been two versions of this game, one with six buttons and
one with two buttons where the move depended on how hard you push them.

The game was adapted for PC clones, for the Atari ST, for the Commodore 64,
and for the TG-16 CD (the latter under the name Fighting Street).


``What does 3DO stand for?''

It is allegedly from the sequence "audio, video, 3DO" and isn't an acronym.
Early information did say that it stood for "three dimensional object" or
"three dimensional optics".  Probably, they changed their minds.


``What does "Atari" mean?''

The word is from the Japanese game Go.  It's used when making a threat, like
"check" in chess.


``What does "Sega" actually mean?''

It is supposed to stand for "Service Games".
--
Ken Arromdee (arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu, karromde@nyx.cs.du.edu;
    http://www.cs.jhu.edu/~arromdee)

"Any creature who would disguise itself as a bone, obviously has no sense of
fair play!"  -- Superboy Annual #1

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM