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Thread: SEGA Genesis Hulk Prototype Found

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    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    Default SEGA Genesis Hulk Prototype Found

    Just wanted to post here that I recently stumbled upon a what I believe to be a prototype cartridge for the SEGA Genesis game, "The Incredible Hulk". Through analysis of the game and what it came with, it has an interesting story!

    I was able to test the game and it does work. So far it appears to be the final game ROM, but I only tried playing it for a couple of minutes and didn't notice any immediate differences, so maybe some later stuff is unfinished or different.

    Physically, the game has a double-paper label on it, with the company logo and address on one sheet and a sheet with "the incredible hulk" written on it in pen glued on top of it, as can be seen in the pictures at the bottom of this post. It's REALLY, REALLY heavy, heavier than any of the ~220 Genesis games I own easily, so without even opening it up I can say it's not the final cartridge build. By the label and weight I'd propose it's PROBABLY not a reviewer copy, but rather an internal dev one, so maybe there are some differences, who knows.

    Now, here's where it gets interesting. The cartridge came with a final release case, which confused me to no end - why would a development copy have a finalized case but no finalized cart artwork? When I finally got it today and opened it up, I realized why - as there was a blockbuster instructions/rental slip dating back to 1994. Somehow, a prototype cartridge had ended up in blockbuster for rental, and they just threw it in a spare case for the final game! Perhaps someone working within US gold tried to get a couple of bucks out of it by selling it to them, not realizing/caring it wasn't a normal release cart.

    I'm a bit worried to open it up and take pictures of the guts since it might have light-vulnerable EPROMs, but literally all signs point to this being a proto of some state with quite possibly the strangest place a proto's ever resided in.

    Anyhoo, pictures!





    I haven't heard of a hulk proto being found yet, and I haven't been able to find any pictures of confirmed protos of other US gold games, so I'm still not 1000% sure this is definitely what I think it is, but thanks in advance for any information anyone can offer to determine the status of this cartridge.
    Last edited by recorderdude; 09-02-2015 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Videos please!

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    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    I'll charge up my tablet and try to record a little bit of it later today.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Where'd you come scross this little gem?

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    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleeg View Post
    Where'd you come scross this little gem?
    Believe it or not, I bought it on eBay less than a week ago! It was an $11 Buy it now described as "No Label" - the second I saw the picture I knew exactly what I was looking at and grabbed it right up.

    This is actually the second proto I've found through ebay sellers not knowing what they had - the first was a GG localization prototype of "Berlin Wall" sold with a junk GG for $30, info on which has been documented here:

    http://www.smspower.org/forums/15084...siderationTies

    Oh, I also noticed one other difference on this from a normal cart! The hole that the contacts come out of for this Hulk cartridge seems to be a little bit bigger than normal games. You can see some of the higher contacts and maybe some of the board shining through it.
    Last edited by recorderdude; 09-02-2015 at 04:07 PM.

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    Would you ever sell it?

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    At this time, no, as I am mostly attempting to figure out as much as I can about the history and status of the cartridge, as well as any differences from the final build I have not encountered, and dumping the image if the differences are considerable. I buy protos when I find them cheap and poorly listed primarily for preservation, not profit, but if a point of time comes when all that can be learned about the game has been learned and preserved, I will consider selling it.
    Last edited by recorderdude; 09-02-2015 at 04:49 PM.

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    ToeJam is a wiener Hero of Algol Guntz's Avatar
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    Congrats on the proto scoop. There's a released Hulk game on the Genesis, yes?

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    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    Yes, and this appears to be a proto of that game.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    as well as any differences from the final build I have not encountered, and dumping the image if the differences are considerable.
    I'd like to ask you, as a favor, to dump it anyway if you can. Because maybe you won't be able to spot a difference yourself but people which have deeper knowledge about the game may know it better and tell the differences by playing the proto or watching a longplay of it in the future.

    I've checked the hidden-palace's releases (http://www.hidden-palace.org/?releases/console/1) and it doesn't have a single proto dump for Hulk. That, alone, would be a reason to dump it in the first place IMO.

    Also, this can help you to spot some differences:


    IIRC the released Mega Drive version has a few extras compared to the SNES one. One interesting factor about any proto is that you may find content on it which was cut from the final release due to ROM size/publishing costs constraints.
    Last edited by Barone; 09-02-2015 at 06:04 PM.

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    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    Ah, I see! I was advised mostly not to dump my last proto because it had the final ROM checksum on the label, but this one doesn't have any such thing.

    In that case, if you can point me to an affordable method of dumping the game, and a tutorial on doing so, I'd be glad to give it my best shot.

    I'd also be willing to send it to someone to be dumped if they're known for doing it in the past/reputable, but I'd worry about such an item being lost in the mail.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    Ah, I see! I was advised mostly not to dump my last proto because it had the final ROM checksum on the label, but this one doesn't have any such thing.
    Yep, that makes sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    In that case, if you can point me to an affordable method of dumping the game, and a tutorial on doing so, I'd be glad to give it my best shot.
    AFAIK it's reliable and easy to use:
    http://shop.retrogate.com/FlashKit-P...MD-PROG-MD.htm



    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    I'd also be willing to send it to someone to be dumped if they're known for doing it in the past/reputable, but I'd worry about such an item being lost in the mail.
    Oh, that would be a shame, I agree.
    But I think that programmer by Krikzz is affordable, especially if you're into this proto thing as you seem to be as it can be a good investment for repros, even if only for personal use. IDK if you live in US though; if you need help with the costs we can probably find people in our community willing to contribute with something (me included).

  13. #13
    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    Ah, I see! Thanks for the pointers!

    I am in the US, actually - I have an intense interest in hard-to-find/lost gaming items, both in terms of pirates and Prototypes. I've only found two protos so far, but I have at least half a dozen gameboy pirates, the most impressive being a copy of Zook Hero Z's english release (which is not yet emulatable due to antipiracy, but dumping attempts have been made)

    However, I'm also on a rather small budget, so I have to watch my purchases (this is, of course, why I don't go around buying every proto I see willy-nilly, only the super-cheap/badly listed ones that I'd worry might otherwise be bought by someone who doesn't know what they're getting and lost to time. That ROMdumper looks like it would work fairly well, and I downloaded the software just to check it out which seems to be pretty user-friendly. $58 is a bit much to spend on dumping one game (plus whatever shipping is), but you make a good point about repro making and future protos. I CAN afford it, I just gotta think over it and be careful how much I sink into hobbies because that same budget has to go to medical, bills, etc and for the most part I try to set aside a good chunk of it to cover unexpected costs just-in-case.

    If you or anyone else would want to contribute to getting that Genesis ROMdumper, or even just borrowing one from somebody solely to dump Hulk I'd appreciate it tons, but I'd worry about people helping to get it dumped being disappointed/angry if the ROM was the same as the final if I accepted aid in dumping it. I certainly don't want anyone to think I'm trying to scam a free tool here, so...yeah, I've gotta think on whether or not it'd be okay to even ask.

    but before I do anything more, least let me get a video of it on my model 2 for ya first. My tablet should be charged enough in an hour or two to record a decently long clip.

    Thank you so much for the information you've provided! I'm glad I posted about this discovery here, and I definitely want to get it dumped some way or another.
    Last edited by recorderdude; 09-02-2015 at 06:58 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    Ah, I see! Thanks for the pointers!
    It was a pleasure, you brought us a cool story after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    I am in the US, actually - I have an intense interest in hard-to-find/lost gaming items, both in terms of pirates and Prototypes. I've only found two protos so far, but I have at least half a dozen gameboy pirates, the most impressive being a copy of Zook Hero Z's english release (which is not yet emulatable due to antipiracy, but dumping attempts have been made)

    However, I'm also on a rather small budget, so I have to watch my purchases (this is, of course, why I don't go around buying every proto I see willy-nilly, only the super-cheap/badly listed ones that I'd worry might otherwise be bought by someone who doesn't know what they're getting and lost to time. That ROMdumper looks like it would work fairly well, and I downloaded the software just to check it out which seems to be pretty user-friendly. $58 is a bit much to spend on dumping one game (plus whatever shipping is), but you make a good point about repro making and future protos. I CAN afford it, I just gotta think over it and be careful how much I sink into hobbies because that same budget has to go to medical, bills, etc and for the most part I try to set aside a good chunk of it to cover unexpected costs just-in-case.
    Oh, of course, no need to hurry and/or push yourself beyond anything which seems reasonable to you.
    I actually think it's way better to our community to have people who know how to pace themselves in such aspects than just plain game maniacs. It's supposed to be a plus in our lives as I see it.


    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    If you or anyone else would want to contribute to getting that Genesis ROMdumper, or even just borrowing one from somebody solely to dump Hulk I'd appreciate it tons
    If you have a paypal account you'd like to let us know about or which you could send me its address through a PM, I'd be willing to help you, yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    but I'd worry about people helping to get it dumped being disappointed/angry if the ROM was the same as the final if I accepted aid in dumping it. I certainly don't want anyone to think I'm trying to scam a free tool here, so...yeah, I've gotta think on whether or not it'd be okay to even ask.
    Well, I think you've been very clear about your intentions and it was me who actually came up with the donation idea, so I don't see anything wrong about that.
    People around here should be responsible for their own donations if they'd be willing to do so, both in terms of not compromising their own finances and also in terms of knowing that the far major chance is that the proto will have nothing really valuable in terms of extra content.
    But sometimes it's about being part of something, isn't it?

    And when I look back I see these guys who spent the tubes searching for that one specific Sonic 2's proto which brought some extra content to a few hacks done later.

    IMO a great community is composed by a wide range of interests and knowledge. Some stuff people do here is not really interesting to myself, but it helps us to draw more people to our community and sometimes stuff you previously saw as complete nonsense ends up being very helpful and useful when combined to some other people's interests/projects.

    As of now, we have very few people in our community which are into the prototype thing; so let's say you dump this Hulk proto and nothing interesting is found but you keep coming back here sharing your stories and let us know about your stuff, sharing your knowledge with us and vice-versa. That would already be awesome IMO.

    Chilly Willy once asked Melf to create the Blast Processing sub-forum in order to share the stuff he was doing. For quite some time that section saw very little "action" but as things kept evolving we reach this point today where there's a lot of crazy good stuff going on there.
    I think everything which turns out to be awesome one day had that one first step which seemed to be pretty stupid to most people.


    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    but before I do anything more, least let me get a video of it on my model 2 for ya first. My tablet should be charged enough in an hour or two to record a decently long clip.
    That would be cool.


    Quote Originally Posted by recorderdude View Post
    Thank you so much for the information you've provided! I'm glad I posted about this discovery here, and I definitely want to get it dumped some way or another.
    Again, thanks for sharing it with us. Stay around and have a great time.
    Last edited by Barone; 09-02-2015 at 07:53 PM.

  15. #15
    The Trampoline Terror! Death Adder's minion
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    OK, here's the video! It might still be processing a few things but it should still generally be visible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfcbi2nlXPQ

    I think I understand where you're coming from, and I really appreciate it. In that case, if anyone wants to donate in order to help get this dumped, PM me for my PayPal address. I won't put out a super-huge bounty on the ROM, or ask for way more than I need, but any help covering the cost of the dumping hardware would be fantastic.

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