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Sega Saturn News (Archive) - Page 25

 
Lost & Found vol. 3 story 

Sega Saturn - Author - MadromsToday, it's time for the story about the 3rd volume of Lost & Found, released by Oldergames.
If you remembered the stoy of L&F Vol.2 (http://www.satakore.com/news92,,Lost-and-Found-vol.-2-story.html), you are waiting for this one.

Lost & Found 3 consists of 3 CDR discs (which is a good news), packed into one DVD case, complete with printed covers and CD labels - but no manual (same as the other volumes). According to the labels on the discs, the first 2 CDs are the unreleased US version of Deep Fear. The third disc is what they call "Duck Video Tools".

Let's begin with the Deep Fear discs.

To answer my previous question: "is it a region-patched copy of the PAL version ?"
My answer is: NO! Great.
This copy is really the US prototype of the game. Its internal date is 07/15/1998 while the one from the PAL game is 07/13/1998, so 2 days later. The internal version is also different: v1.001 for the PAL game and v1.000 for the US game. Great.
So now, let's look deeply. The discs have the same structure as the PAL ones. But all the files have different date and time. Great.
What about data ? Let me compare both of the discs with the PAL discs. Here is the result of my test:
- CD1: only 3 files are different: 1ST.BIN (the boot file), ITEM.TXT (list of items, this file is not found on the PAL disc) and NBG3.SPR (in the \SOUND subdir, 320 bytes added and 64 bytes replaced at the end of the file). No other difference! Sounds and movies are all identical to the PAL release!
- CD2: only 3 files are different: The same as for the CD1. No other difference! Sounds and movies are all identical to the PAL release!

So, this is a real prototype, which has its value for collectors, but which has nothing new for gamers. Nevertheless, it's better than Lost & Found 2 ;)

UPDATE:
--------------
After more testing, it appears that the US version is 60 Hz "optimized" compared to the PAL 50 Hz version:
- PAL games on NTSC 60 Hz Saturn: videos are not centered, they are a little more on the bottom part of the screen (but all the areas are visible) and the ingame part has some lines missing at the bottom of the screen.
- US proto on NTSC 60 Hz Saturn: all works fine, videos are centered and no line is missing on screen in the ingame part.
=> all of this "optimization" is due to the boot file 1ST.BIN
So this version is interesting if you want to have an optimized game for 60 Hz hardware without any loss on screen.
--------------

Now, let me test the third disc, the "Duck Video Tools".
What a surprise! It's a really interesting disc. Just after the saturn boot sequence, what do you see on screen ?... the same video as Rebellion... Wtf ?! Let me compare it to the Rebellion disc... And what do you expect ? It IS the same disc. Oldergames probably made a mistake (another one, some people will think) when burning it.
So this disc is not interesting if you already have one of the previous Lost & Found title.

To tell you the truth, here is what I think: Oldergames planned to put a disc called "Duck Video Tools" which seems to be, according to its title, the same disc as the 2nd disc of Lost & Found 1. Do you understand ?
- L&F1 = Rebellion + Duck TrueMotion disc
- L&F2 = Three Dirty Dwarves prototype (as they think) + CD1 of L&F1 (Rebellion)
- L&F3 = Deep Fear US prototype + CD2 of L&F1 (Duck TrueMotion disc)
==> So, you don't need to buy L&F1 if you buy L&F2 and L&F3. This is great for people who didn't have a chance to get L&F1 and don't want to put a lot of $$ into buying it nowadays. BUT for people who have L&F1, they see its value decreased.

As Oldergames made a mistake for the 3rd disc, L&F1 doesn't loose more value than it already lose after the release of L&F2, but if Oldergames will replace the 3rd disc...
What do you prefer ?

Or maybe I am completely wrong and the planned "Duck Video Tools" disc is not the same as the 2nd disc of L&F1. Maybe another mystery that will never be resolved.


So L&F3 is really interesting for collectors only or American people that can't buy the European version of Deep Fear and want to have an optimized English game running on their 60 Hz Saturn without any missing part.
 Author: Madroms Thu Oct 11, 2007 - 12:08 pm
Project completed: Game Basic Database 

Sega Saturn - Author - MadromsAfter more than 2 months of offline work, I really happy to announce that our project is completed: our Game Basic for Sega Saturn Database is now online!
==>Game Basic Database

This database consists of all Game Basic programs that we were able to find. I want to thank vbt for his help on this task. He helped me finding some rare programs on the Internet.

Here are some statisctics about this database:
- 477 entries, all tested
- 372 different programs (Demos, Tools, Games, Music,...)
- 1802 screenshots made from real hardware
- 459 videos for more than 13 hours of watching
- more than 2 months of work

Programs will be available for download soon, as I need to write some pieces of code before.

I hope you will enjoy all of this!



P.S.: I am already working on another project (and I hope vbt could help me again on it) (^^;)
 Author: Madroms Sun Oct 07, 2007 - 05:40 am
Update of the database 

Sega Saturn - Author - MadromsOuf, the update is done! So what's new:
1) 2 new french reviews:
- Gran Chaser / Cyber Speedway from Asta
- Master of Monsters ~Neo Generations~ from Murazame
2) some new photos from Murazame, gilles_sat and Orochi Kyo
3) some screenshots from Murazame:
- Hissatsu! JPN
- Real Bout Garou Densetsu JPN
- Eve the Lost One JPN
- Dragon Master Silk JPN
- Seireki 1999 ~Pharaoh no Fukkatsu~ JPN
- Master of Monsters ~Neo Generations~ JPN
- Soukyuu Gurentai Otokuyou JPN
- Shippuu Mahou Daisakusen JPN
- Impact Racing JPN
- Gekirindan ~Time Travel Shooting~ JPN
- Strikers 1945 II JPN
4) some screenshots and one entry filled by myself:
- Dezaemon 2 JPN
5) One new game added: The Crow - City of Angels German version. Thanks to Borisz for the info.

More photos for the next update.
See you!

P.S.: 30 -> 400+...
 Author: Madroms Sun Sep 09, 2007 - 12:32 pm
Lost & Found vol. 2 story 

Sega Saturn - Author - MadromsToday, I will post a story about the 2nd volume of Lost & Found, released by Oldergames.
I've preordered the disc myself at June, and recieved it at the beginning of August. After not getting much feedback from Bivins, I've decided that it is about time I let people know what's wrong with this release.

Lost & Found 2 consists of 2 CDR discs, packed into one DVD case, complete with printed covers and CD labels - but no manual. The first disc is an early version of an FMV game titled "Rebellion", but this is the very same disc they released in Lost & Found 1, back in 2004. It isn't really playable, unfortunately.
The second disc is what they call "early development stages of Three Dirty Dwarves".

After testing this latter game, I have noticed that it really doesn't feel like an early, incomplete game. I didn't notice any missing features, or any differences that could imply that this is an early version of the game. So, I took the USA release of the game, which I own, and began comparing the two discs. I've done comparisons of the files on the discs, as well as ripping both discs to cd images and comparing the two in a hexadecimal editor. Do you want to guess the results? The two discs are completely identical! The Lost & Found release of Three Dirty Dwarves is most definitely NOT an "early developemen version of Three Dirty Dwarves".

I contacted RW Bivins from Oldergames.com to let him know of my findings. I only got a few short answers, and some of my questions were completely ignored. But, I thought I'd give him a few day/weeks so he can test this for himself. Some time later he contacted me, saying that they decided to offer the games Weird World 1 and 2 for download, to anybody who purchased L&F2. What is Weird World you ask? Games for the Commodore 64. At the time I'm writing this, Oldergames did not mention their mistake, nor did they contacted the buyers of L&F2 about it (which wouldn't be hard, as there are only about 50 people, and they have their email addresses for sure since they used it to ask the buyers wether they want their purchase shipped before, or after the CGE2K7 event).

So, what did you get if you bought Lost & Found 2?
- Rebellion, but the same copy they released with L&F1 => no big deal
- a CD-R backup of the NTSC USA Three Dirty Dwarves, which you can't even use without a modchip, therefore, it has 0 value
- 2 Commodore 64 games, free for download, for people who expected to buy a Sega Saturn product => no big deal
(furthermore, a friend of mine who also purchased L&F2 contacted Oldergames.com for these games, and 3 weeks later he still did not recieve a reply)

Lost & Found 2 costs 30 USD, and offers absolutely nothing interesting, unless you didn't already have Lost & Found 1. Talk about ripoff!

Interestingly, L&F2 came with a sheet, which mentioned "How piracy affects our company, and how it affects future publishing...". Ironic, isn't it? ;)

With that in mind, there are 2 possibilities:
1) Oldergames knew that they are selling a retail copy labeled as a prototype, and hoped that nobody would find out about it,
2) Oldergames knew nothing about this before I told them, they have been shafted with a pirate copy marked as a prototype.
I'll let you pick the more likely one, hopefully Oldergames will be kind enough to share more information on this.

Now, Oldergames had put up pre-orders for Lost & Found 3. It contains a 30-minute video disc and "the complete but never released full NTSC American region english-version of Deep Fear". You probably know that Deep Fear has been released in Europe, fully translated to English. So, how can we be sure that it really is a prototype, and not a region-patched copy of the PAL version? There are many ways to verify that:
- On how many discs do their copy of Deep Fear come on? The retail game takes 2 discs, if their release is one disc only, you will not get the complete game.
- Oldergames may use my SRP utility (found here: http://madroms.free.fr/#SRP) to scan their Deep Fear disc(s), make a full export, and send it to me so I can compare it with the European release.
- They can also make some sfv/par2/md5 of the game files so I can compare them to the contents of the European discs.
I can provide help for everything they may need to prove that their copy of Deep Fear is not the European release of the game. (RW Bivins, you know how to contact me)

I hope Oldergames just made a mistake without knowing the truth about Three Dirty Dwarves, and that they will continue to provide good Saturn releases in the future. But for now, they probably need to regain the confidence of their costumers.
 Author: Madroms Sat Sep 01, 2007 - 08:42 am
Dev week 

Sega Saturn - Author - MadromsA lot of codes have been made this week:
- I split the database to 3 pages (see on the left): Games Database, Demos Database and Special Search
- I made some new Special Searches:

- I updated some piece of codes of every pages on the site.

++
 Author: Madroms Sun Aug 12, 2007 - 02:55 am



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