Monday, September 22, 2008

Sega Channel - VG [Adjective Noun] Part [Number]

I realized I lack a consistent name for any of these tangents, so I'll just play with that for the title names. woo.

The Sega Channel is one of the few services here I actually have a mild personal experience on - at a festival in Doylestown around [95 or 96, not sure], there was an actual Sega Genesis Kiosk running the service. I got to play The Punisher on it. It was rad. Unfortunately since didn't -live- in Doylestown at the time, I could not subscribe to the service.

The Sega Channel is the most similar to the Satellaview of all these other services (and may in fact be part of the inspiration for this site). "Broadcasts" were temporarily stored in your Sega Channel BIOS cart, which you used to download games, news, and cheats. No special audio enhancements, but it was still pretty sweet looking.

Here's a Sega Channel ad to give you the idea...

(Thanks 80s90sicon)

Here's a video which shows some of the news and contest entries, as well as the music from the service. Note that it's actually a Part 2 for a Sega Channel Memories series uploaded by the user, so please take a look at the other one as well if you don't mind.

(thanks azuriteaction)

In terms of exclusive content, most of what the Sega Channel actually got originally import-only games.

For example, here's "Mega Man: The Wily Wars". This was a remake of the first three games in the NES Mega Man Trilogy.

(Thanks neopokekun)

Also, the rather imfamous "Pulseman". This is one of Game Freak's most major Pre-Pokemon works.

(thanks ShiryuGL)

When the service died, so too did access to the NTSC-U versions. A few of them, like Alien soldier and Golden Axe 3, have now got Virtual Console releases. Hopefully those will pave the way for the previous two mentioned above.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sega Meganet, Mega ANSER, and the Mega Modem - VG Network experiements part 3

Alright, this next one is on the Mega Modem. If any of you remember hearing about the "Telegenesis" and wondering what it was and where it went, this is it's story. Be warned: You might hear some of the most atrocious music ever.

First off, this this wikipedia article has a basic description. Also check out this one on The Sonic Retro Wiki.

Note that while it had netplay functions, only games specially designed could be used as such. And as far as I heard, only two were.

Also, most of those games had to be downloaded -onto- the Mega Modem. And assumedly these downloads did not last. This is why the games for the Mega Modem used to be difficult to find if they were not ported elsewhere.

So, what games were available? I'll start with a MegaDrive Sonic game so obscure it was the only one not put on the Gamecube's Sonic Mega Collection. Watch out for the music, though...

(Thanks ZeroBadniks)

Sonic Eraser would probably have been an awesome title if they changed the soundtrack and extended the gameplay a bit. But alas. Instead of such, it lived and died on the Megamodem, not being noted until nearly a decade later. (Long story about how it's ROM was found.)

This long essay has a nice reading about the other games, as well as the related "MEGA ANSER" service.

I will try to put up video of more of the games in this entry shortly.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

XBAND - VG Network experiment part 2

Before I start this one, I'd like to note that someone pointed out to me that apparently in the previous video, an explicit reference to Windows Vista is made. (What the Devil?) I do not know the implications of such. However, I'll keep my faith and assume for now it's either a sort of recreation, or that the service in fact is still running today.

Either way, I'm moving on. Next stop, XBAND.

Actually, I assume a lot of the more hardcore gamers actually remember XBAND, as this is one that was born, raised and died in the USA.

It's notable for it's netplay options, which let you play games against faraway friends with your dial-up modem.

More Youtubage:

(thanks DESOKUeV)

For an example of how this worked, I decided to go a bit into the more obscure side of the XBAND, though. Did anyone know that in Japan, XBAND was on the Sega Saturn for a brief time?

I picked out this video of Puyo Puyo Sun to show, because unfortunately, there wasn't a Daytona USA example. :(

(thanks mimoria)

The service is notable for, as far as I can tell, being the only "Online console networking service" that was multi-platform.

Since the XBAND has a well-documented history in the USA, It's Wikipedia Article does a good job explaining about it. Be sure to check the citations.


Friday, September 19, 2008

TANGENT: Other VG networking services part 1 - Famicom.

Figuring I need -some- content on this site now, I've decided to make a few articles pertaining to a more broad history of networking in videogames. Click "Read More" to see the first. In the meantime, since I'm signed in, I might be trying to fix some of the video URLs, but don't expect much action there today.

My first article will be on the ファミコン通信アダプタセット
and before you ask, that's the "Famicom Communication Adapter Set". More commonly known here as the Famicom Modem.

Yes. With the "mighty" speed of dial-up, you could send your Famicom to the internet. What was this used for?

Well, it seems Nintendo's trend of using online for something that was -not- a netlinked online game started here. Nope, you could -not- play 2-player Contra with a faraway friend or anything cool like that. Rather, the set was aimed at a more "casual" audience, and the carts produced for it were mostly things older people did, like Stock trading and banking.

If you do some searches online, you may not really be able to find much on this. This is where I jump in with my obsessive-Google-searching and NicoNicoDouga-searching.

With my powers combined with those of some other obsessives, I now present to you what is likely the only working footage of a Famicom modem-compatible game I'll ever find; JRA-PAT.

Can anyone say NO GRAPHICS, TEXT ONLY, FINAL DESTINATION? The Youtube description of the video has the original NicoNicoDouga URL, BTW.

While I heard from most articles that this did not really catch on, apparently that may not be -quite- the case, as JRA-PAT also has a Super Famicom Version.

(Thanks to wojtkowiak2105 for being in my "related videos" when I got the previous video uploaded)
Even getting it's own modem and stuff.

Both versions are very rare and difficult to find in the open anymore.

Next I will link some apparently relevant sites.

ファミコンの周辺機器が大集合! ザ周辺機器ズ 11

This site has some apparently notable info. The pictures of the carts and the like are very nice to see. If you care enuough, check out some of the other sections for more obscure Famicom devices.

This site has some other neat pictures.


Thursday, September 18, 2008


Due to a circumstance involving a mass webspace exodus, I've relocated all my files.

The blog has also had a bit of a reverting in format, for the ease of readability regarding this issue.

This link should tell you more.

I want to get back on this soon, but the incident here is a bit of a setback. I may need to either manually edit all the URLS here to relink to the nwe webspace, or just move the blog entirely.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


Articles on the New Satellablog

Check out the latest Pico Palace articles, too!