Game Gear & Master System versions

One for the hardcore fans...
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jimmimak
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Game Gear & Master System versions

Post by jimmimak » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:44 pm

Hi,
I just got the Game Gear out of my dad's loft yesterday, and tested Fantastic Dizzy. I said a while ago I thought the Game Gear version didn't have day/night cycles and can now confirm it doesn't have a night time. It is almost identical to the Master System version except the day/night cycle is non-existant. I also noticed the game flickers a lot on the Game Gear I used, compared to other games. My guess - this is the Master System game with slight modifications to make it run on the Game Gear. The resolution limitation can be seen on this version, and it looks like the sprites were not designed for the Game Gear screen; Dizzy's face and some text such as the damage meter on the rapids isn't very clear, for example. The game runs noticeably faster than my PAL MS version, so I assume all Game Gears including PAL work at 60Hz.

So, in all there isn't much point doing separate GG and MS long plays because they are almost identical. Another related thing - I tried to run Fantastic Dizzy on SMS Plus emulator on the PSP, and managed to get the PAL ".gg" version to work, but it cuts off the bottom 5 or so pixels, and the palette is wrong in a few places, although it runs at full speed. Other Fantastic Dizzy .sms roms don't work at all on any PSP emulators I tried. Dizzy Collection loads the main menu with the wrong palette, and you can hear the sound but pressing start to begin causes a crash.

Another Codemasters game I tried is CJ Elephant Fugitive, and I definitely want to do a longplay of this in the future, as hardly anyone seems to know about it. The sound effects are the same as Fantastic Dizzy in some places, and it is a good game. I'm planning to do a TV-out mod on my Game Gear to record video from it. This will take a while, but I'll post here when it happens. :dizzy_rolleyes:

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Post by Bag of Magic Food » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:12 am

Good plan, jimmimak!

I'm not surprised that all Game Gears would run at 60 Hz. A handheld game system has its own self-contained video display and power source, so there's no need for "PAL" conversions. Handhelds can run all their games just like the NTSC consoles they're based on, no matter where they're sold.

I noticed something cool in what I watched of your longplay so far. When I was making maps of the NES version, I decided to take the graphics of all the little Keldor Castle guards and place them in all the spots where I found a guard could appear. There were three unique guards used in the mini-game, but when I looked at their graphics in the emulator's PPU Viewer, I saw tiles for two other guards who never appeared. However, in the SMS version, I believe I spotted all five guards, including the funky-looking one with the big eyes!

jimmimak
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Post by jimmimak » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:13 pm

Wow, you pay much more attention to the detail than me, I never noticed! I was just trying to shoot them all as fast as I could :)

I noticed in your speed run you do that task very quickly, I'm not sure how you did that - is there a hit ratio or something (for missed shots)?

Also, relating to my first post, I have also got a feeling cosmic spacehead for the game gear is the same as the master system version rom, but will have to look into that later, as I don't have the games with me. CJ elephant seems to be exclusively for the game gear, no MS version was made as far as I know, and the graphics don't look scaled down.

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Post by Bag of Magic Food » Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:27 am

I think the whole game was just easier for me because it was slowed way down due to recording high-resolution video while playing, which makes everything easier to anticipate and react to. The downside, of course, was that it took longer to do, so a mistake bad enough to force me to start over wasted a lot more time.

I played through the Game Gear port of Cosmic Spacehead on an emulator once, and while it was naturally a lot like the Master System version, there were some important differences. Of course there's a lot of scrolling up and down, and there's only one line of inventory available at a time now. But then for some reason, the whole cloning puzzle in Formica City has been completely removed. The teleportation machine never copies Cosmic, and the first button is enough to keep the door open permanently. I guess controlling two Cosmics was too problematic to port over to a handheld, since it required both of them to be on-screen at all times, and the Game Gear screen might not be wide enough to allow the Cosmics to reach both buttons, and letting a Linus hide off-screen would get confusing.

I know there were a few other things they removed, besides the obvious stuff like two-player. I recall that the whole surfing stage had only one jumping fish in it. But the platforming stages are a bit harder overall, as you often can't see what you can land on when you need to fall a long way.

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Post by jimmimak » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:08 pm

I just recently finished Cosmic Spacehead on the SMS, I agree it is much easier than the Game Gear version. I totally forgot about the Formica city puzzle not being there on Game Gear. Also, I back tracked from Linoville to Linograd on foot, and somehow managed to leap over No Man's Causeway in reverse long after the teleport machine super powers should have worn off.

The game is much shorter than Fantastic Dizzy, and yet it has passwords... I wish they implemented passwords for Dizzy, but at least you have save states on emulators nowadays. I wonder if anyone has cracked the code for the passwords on Cosmic... I noticed there are only a few letters changing between each code, and the jump seems to be minus 9 characters alphabetically or something like that. You could modify it and start the game with all items and 9 lives maybe.

Edit:
Also, I think you can access the 2-player game on Game Gear if you have a link cable, and I think you only need one cartridge if I remember correctly. I can't find my link cable, so I can't test it.

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Post by Bag of Magic Food » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:55 pm

Heh, I must not have known enough about Game Gear emulation to try linking a second player.
jimmimak wrote:Also, I back tracked from Linoville to Linograd on foot, and somehow managed to leap over No Man's Causeway in reverse long after the teleport machine super powers should have worn off.
The long-jump upgrade is permanent. I suppose it was easier to allow that than to have a possibility of getting stuck. I once tried wandering around the world for a while and using other teleporters after first stepping out of the Linograd teleporter, and Linus still managed to make the jump when I got back there, even with the glow power on!
jimmimak wrote:The game is much shorter than Fantastic Dizzy, and yet it has passwords... I wish they implemented passwords for Dizzy, but at least you have save states on emulators nowadays. I wonder if anyone has cracked the code for the passwords on Cosmic... I noticed there are only a few letters changing between each code, and the jump seems to be minus 9 characters alphabetically or something like that. You could modify it and start the game with all items and 9 lives maybe.
If you want to compare a lot of passwords, get the U.S. NES version, where you can press Select+Start to receive a password anytime in any adventure area. I think only the PC version remembers the number of lives you had in your password, though, even though the passwords are compatible across all platforms. Also, in some versions of the game, using a password punishes you by taking away some of the Cosmic Candies, compared to how many there are when you start from New Game.

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Post by jimmimak » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:25 pm

With the Game Gear link cable and any 2 Codemasters games, I believe a 2-player game is enabled, and it may be the same pie splat game for all carts. I really need to check that to know for sure, but my cable is missing :(

I think it would be great if someone could find out the code that activates the teleport machine super powers, and then we could write the code to memory to enable all of them at will. The Linoville power would be fun, teleporting around the screen to get past those obstacles :)

I didn't know about the cosmic candies penalty, I never kept track of them between "saves". It's interesting that passwords work between platforms - did not expect that.

I also saw Quattro Adventure video on youtube, and noticed you had left a comment. I think that commentator has some anger problems :-/ The graphics on the Linus game remind me of the 8-bit Sega Cosmic, so I guess it's a SNES game rather than NES due to palette limit.

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