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What have you been up to lately with your Genesis / Mega Drive?


newtmonkey
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I've been playing a lot of Mega Drive lately, so I thought I'd start this topic.  Feel free to post what you're playing, mods you've done, etc.

 

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I've got two MD systems: a model 1 (VA5) and model 2 (VA0).  The model 1 sounds better, but the model 2 has slightly cleaner composite video (though color is somewhat saturated in comparison).  I've heard horror stories of how poor the model 2s sound, but mine is not so bad... a bit flatter/muffled compared with my model 1, but not bad.  Both look great in RGB, but I'm on a bit of a composite kick lately, partly due to nostalgia, partly due to how good composite can look on the Retrotink 5X.

 

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Games I've been playing:

 

Phantasy Star II

This is the first time I've put any serious time into this game, and I'm really liking it.  It's quite a departure from PS1, almost like a pure dungeon crawler in a lot of ways.  The dungeons are really massive, I'm not really used to this in console RPGs.  I've been mapping them by hand, and had to try a few approaches until I found something that works (really rough maps seem to work best).

 

I'm playing the Japanese version, and the snare drum effect is so annoying lol.  It's no wonder they changed this in the US release.

 

The Super Shinobi II (aka Shinobi III)

This game is really excellent!  It looks and sounds great, and plays like a dream.  I'm using the default settings for difficulty, etc.  I was able to get to level 5 before running out of continues.  The next day, I was able to get halfway through level 2 without even dying, but had to stop playing there due to work.  I'll probably work on clearing this with the default settings, and then work on a no-continue run after that.

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I'm doing some programming and rom hacking, so no playing other than testing what I'm doing. I'm trying to make games, I have a lot of plans, but I decided I should start with a very basic space shooter with no continuos scroll (like Space Invaders, Galaga, etc). I'm trying to do the smallest game possible, so I will actually finish it, and hopefully, I will create tools to automate the process, and maybe some day release them as a sort of "game maker".

 

On the rom hacking side, I worked mostly on Dragon Ball Z. Currently, rushing to finish the translation project, so I can start doing some major stuff.

 

Other than translating, I have released some hacks with some interesting features, you can check them in my yt channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTaOaGXEWgCfD1M3UMbNHMw

 

Most notably new voices

 

And new sprite art for Android 18

 

 

 

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Recently has been an interesting ride.  Later last year I ended up getting a Nomad in a trade, basically free, which is a nice value. ;)  I made it a rule to more or less only get games if I can get them locally, and I've largely stuck to that outside of a couple instances, one was a friend talked me into buying a few games local to him for myself since he's unable to really buy into the madness anymore.  And then around a month ago that Nomad which neither old owner or myself at the time knew was modded failed, the old mod, not well done, killed the screen and the speaker was jacked so I had shipped it off and got it back a couple weeks ago.  In the time I've been getting more games as I find them just around here, plus when aliexpress started taking Paypal I decided to test drive 2 orders 1 game each, one for the Nomad as it was this amazing 218in1 with insanely good selection on it.  So I was doing that, then out of nowhere Analogue woke up their sales beyond Pocket, got the Sg in the mail last Friday. :D

 

It has been good, and the selection around here in the last couple of months has been oddly solid.  I've had some crazy finds so I've been using them.  The best one, value at least, personally was Trouble Shooter for $60 (it's a $130+ game now.)  There's been other nice things too, some loose like that and Streets of Rage 2, or complete like Viewpoint and Galaxy Force 2.  A friend of mine north east of here we did some back and forward trading and help, he sent me some solid stuff like TMNT in the box and Alisia Dragoon as he had a spare of all things for example.  Other than I think really Castlevania, Dragon's Fury (to replace the lost PCE game), and Gauntlet(to spite half price wanting more for a ripped up cart) I've done it local and trades.  This is my current mess of things (24 carts, 29 games due to the 6pak) I'm bouncing between:http://tanooki.byethost8.com/segagenesis.html

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The Super Shinobi II (aka Shinobi III)

I gave this a second attempt last night, and was able to make it to the boss of level 5 with no continues used (two or three lives lost).  Of course, I then went and used a ton of lives and continues on the boss.  This was followed by the horror of level 6; I was able to get to 6-2 but used up my last continue/life there without really figuring out the maze.

 

This is a really satisfying game to play.  There isn't really much trial-and-error or pure memorization, it's mostly getting used to how your character moves and the various techniques at your disposal.  The bosses have mostly simple patterns with just one or two variations, and the right use of ninja magic can make a huge difference.

 

I think I am pretty close to being able to clear this on the default settings (i.e. Normal, with continues).

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Well you know the main game I have been playing lately, Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom.  I also played through Mega Man: The Wily Wars recently and I am currently trying to get through Altered Beast without using a continue.  I have had a hankering to play Mortal Kombat lately too, but as of yet I have not pulled it out.

 

I made a trade with @jgkspsx that included me sending him a copy of Star Control.  I was testing it and playing around with the Melee part and having some fun.  It made me want to spend some more time with it, including trying out the full game.

 

Once I finish Phantasy Star III though, Phantasy Star IV will move to the front of the Genesis line.

 

As far as what I have been playing them on, I am playing on my original model 1 (without the High Definition Graphics, do not ask what VA number, I neither know nor care) hooked up to my original model 2 Sega CD and my picked up as an adult Genesis 32X sitting on top.  I am using composite into an old CRT.

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I have been on a Master System and SG-1000 kick for most of this year that has cut into my Genesis time. I had some really fun time with Star Control, although I kind of wish fuel was limited as in Space Wars for the Vectrex. I suck at it so far. I also have been working on Starflight, which is an incredible achievement and also makes me feel like a blithering idiot.

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1 hour ago, jeremiahjt said:

I have had a hankering to play Mortal Kombat lately too, but as of yet I have not pulled it out.

I don't recall if you have a rom cart or not, but if so you might want to give Mortal Kombat Arcade Edition a look:

http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/6446/

 

It's an absolutely amazing rom hack that adds more animation, arcade sound effects, added background details to match the arcade version, etc.  It still uses the original (awesome) soundtrack.

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I got a stack of Genesis games from a local shop I've gone to for a long time here, just spread out (very out of the way) so I have to some new ones to tinker with which should prove fun.  LHX Attack Chopper, Rastan Saga II, Sonic Spinball, Target Earth, and Mega Bomberman. :D

 

So far just tried them out as it got late, then I fell asleep.  LHX wasn't working, but i'm working on it at the moment a little this morning between work tasks and i got it thankfully to fire up, great game, at least I remember it being one. ;)

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7 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

I don't recall if you have a rom cart or not, but if so you might want to give Mortal Kombat Arcade Edition a look:

http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/6446/

 

It's an absolutely amazing rom hack that adds more animation, arcade sound effects, added background details to match the arcade version, etc.  It still uses the original (awesome) soundtrack.

Nope, no ROM cart for me, but the manager at the local game store bought a cartridge of it and said I could borrow it. That is the main reason I have been wanting to play it again. I figured I should at least play the original before I try the Arcade Edition.

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2 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I got a stack of Genesis games from a local shop I've gone to for a long time here, just spread out (very out of the way) so I have to some new ones to tinker with which should prove fun.  LHX Attack Chopper, Rastan Saga II, Sonic Spinball, Target Earth, and Mega Bomberman. :D

 

So far just tried them out as it got late, then I fell asleep.  LHX wasn't working, but i'm working on it at the moment a little this morning between work tasks and i got it thankfully to fire up, great game, at least I remember it being one. ;)

LHX Attack Chopper is a pretty cool game, at least in terms of showing off what the system can do without a helper chip. Being a 3D game on a 1988 home console without any sort of chips in the cart to help the system render is very impressive. Yeah, it runs super slowly and I don't think I'd call it or the similar F-22 Interceptor a whole lot of fun, but just the fact that the devs even got it working and playable is very impressive. I got F-22 Interceptor as a kid once and I didn't ever really like the game, but it was always really awesome to see the Genesis do real 3D polygons like that.

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After a stuck line failure on my ancient Nomad composite LCD mod, I replaced it with a LCDDRV set and for good measure put a new composite screen in the second (of three) Nomads.

 

This drew my ever wandering and easily distracted eye (ooh shiny!) to the Genesis so I've been on a kick there lately.  

 

Against many, many odds I'm actually finally playing Pier Solar now.  Also playing Demons of Asteborg, Desert Strike, revisiting some of the classic simulators (M1, F-22, F-117 Night Storm) and various other fun short games like Outrun (with arcade music) and some others.  Using a model 1 via RBG/Tink5X.

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Today I finally rotated the cartridge lock on my primary Mega Drive so I can play my very few import games without having to use the Super 32X. That thing messes with optimal timings when used with the VA4 motherboard, so I get a much better picture without it. 32X got added to MiSTer today, as well, so I don't really need it anymore, but the MiSTer 32X core's audio is still in development.

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2 minutes ago, newtmonkey said:

@Steven Pendleton

If you ever want to sell that 32X to a fellow Sega gamer in Japan, I'm looking to buy one!

lol no way am I getting rid of it. I won't have a complete Mega Drive tower if I do! There were a few of them in Akiba the last time I was there, so I might be able to go pick one up for you if you want. All were boxed, though, so they were in the ~30000 yen range. I forget how much I paid for mine in 2019, but it was around that price.

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3 minutes ago, newtmonkey said:

@Steven Pendleton

Thanks for the offer!  I don't really need one boxed, though, so I'll keep looking on yahoo auctions, etc. :)

In that case, you don't want mine anyway, as mine is nearly CIB! Missing the clips and the spacer, but everything else is there.

 

Now that I think about it, I have never seen one without at least the box. Japanese Super 32X hardware is rare, so they are hard to find as it is.

Edited by Steven Pendleton
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This week I got Warlock and a repro of Demolition Man. I've always been intrigued by these games and I love their animations. Plus licensed games are (almost) never rereleased anyway...

And thanks to the obscure games topic I've discovered there's a Frankenstein game too, but this one seems either very difficult to find or cost far too much for me.

Anyway, I don't have a lot of time to play these days, and especially not on Mega Drive. ?

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Phantasy Star II

I made a little bit of progress in this last night.  I got the jet scooter, explored around a bit, and upgraded some equipment.  It's a pretty chill game to play at night while listening to podcasts, etc.  I've settled on a method for mapping the mazes that works pretty well... I use the tried-and-true "pick one wall and follow it to the end" method to explore the overall shape of the maze, which I draw out on paper (very rough).  Then I go in and fill in the details: elevators, treasures, and interior walls.  It's ugly, but it works pretty well so far.

 

I've been sticking with Rudger, Nei, and Anne so far.  I know the twist the eventually happens, and I'll probably replace that character with Amia.  I have Anne equipped with two shields, so she is a dedicated healer at this point.  She becomes very resilient with two shields and placed at the last spot in the party.  I have Rudger and Nei equipped with two one-handed weapons each, and they do some crazy damage.  I barely use any techniques in battle, so I have plenty of TPs for healing, so no need to stock up on healing items yet.

 

It's not as difficult as I was expecting it to be, though granted I'm still early in.  I'm surprised so far at how few enemies have any special attacks.  The only ones I've seen so far are multi-character attacks, paralyze (rare), and poison (VERY rare).  The encounter rate is also very reasonable for a game of this vintage; for a game with such a brutal reputation, I've been pleasantly surprised by how well it's paced so far.

 

Tonight I might swap Nei out for Shilka, and leave her in the party until level 10 so she can steal the visiphone.

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4 minutes ago, newtmonkey said:

Phantasy Star II

I made a little bit of progress in this last night.  I got the jet scooter, explored around a bit, and upgraded some equipment.  It's a pretty chill game to play at night while listening to podcasts, etc.  I've settled on a method for mapping the mazes that works pretty well... I use the tried-and-true "pick one wall and follow it to the end" method to explore the overall shape of the maze, which I draw out on paper (very rough).  Then I go in and fill in the details: elevators, treasures, and interior walls.  It's ugly, but it works pretty well so far.

 

I've been sticking with Rudger, Nei, and Anne so far.  I know the twist the eventually happens, and I'll probably replace that character with Amia.  I have Anne equipped with two shields, so she is a dedicated healer at this point.  She becomes very resilient with two shields and placed at the last spot in the party.  I have Rudger and Nei equipped with two one-handed weapons each, and they do some crazy damage.  I barely use any techniques in battle, so I have plenty of TPs for healing, so no need to stock up on healing items yet.

 

It's not as difficult as I was expecting it to be, though granted I'm still early in.  I'm surprised so far at how few enemies have any special attacks.  The only ones I've seen so far are multi-character attacks, paralyze (rare), and poison (VERY rare).  The encounter rate is also very reasonable for a game of this vintage; for a game with such a brutal reputation, I've been pleasantly surprised by how well it's paced so far.

 

Tonight I might swap Nei out for Shilka, and leave her in the party until level 10 so she can steal the visiphone.

I would characterize poisoning as very, very, very rare.  Anne is Amy the Doctor in the US version, Rudger is Rudo the Hunter, Shilka is Shir the Thief.  Amia is Anna the Guardian?  Amy/Anne could use the Silent Shot which as I recall is actually pretty effective in battle.  Mapping those dungeons would be very difficult.  You are a better gamer than I.

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@jeremiahjt

Yeah, Amia is Anna in the US version.  Thanks for the advice on the Silent Shot, I'll have to pick one of those up.  Mapping is really not bad so far, the key is just to not worry about getting the map exact/accurate.  Most of my maps are just blobs with some lines here and there to remind me which way to go if I have to leave, heal up, and return later.

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I got out a bit while my kid had the weekly after school thing going on and I found World of Illusion and Ecco for Genesis, not very familiar with either but I do know at least the disney game to be of solid quality fun.  Any thoughts on those?  I know Ecco is very misunderstood and fairly love/hate depending but figured it was worth the attempt.

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2 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I got out a bit while my kid had the weekly after school thing going on and I found World of Illusion and Ecco for Genesis, not very familiar with either but I do know at least the disney game to be of solid quality fun.  Any thoughts on those?  I know Ecco is very misunderstood and fairly love/hate depending but figured it was worth the attempt.

 

World of Illusion is thought of very highly. I've played it briefly, and it is indeed a well done, solid scrolling platform game that happens to feature Mickey Mouse. For basically being Super Mario Bros. 862, it's a lot of fun, in my limited experience.

 

Ecco the Dolphin is a beautiful game with an original premise. It gets very hard, but the early levels have some pretty captivating design.

Good finds! Did you score those at an actual retail shop?

 

 

 

I've been getting re-obsessed with the highly original, fluidly programmed The Lost Vikings over the past couple of days, as well as Thunderforce II. I love the multi-scrolling first level with the bird's-eye view. It's kind of like Time Pilot '84, except with consistently laid-out terrain. I wish every level in the game were like that, rather than every 2nd, 4th, etc. being another tired, forced-scrolling wallpaper game.

 

But that's subjective stuff. I know that a lot of people dig that type of shoot-'em-up. It just seems that they finally had something different, at least in 16-Bit Land, but couldn't help but return to yet another take on Gradius. At least I can spend quite a long time trying to clear everything out in that first level!

 

 

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