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Thread: Secrets of the Sega Mega CD

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    16-bits is all he needs Master of Shinobi matteus's Avatar
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    YouTube Secrets of the Sega Mega CD

    I thought this video was probably best suited here! This is the first part of my video series "Secrets of the Sega Mega CD" covering the Sega CD hardware and what it could do. We predominantly hear "It had a faster 68000" but that's not all it had to offer! It's also good to learn how FMV worked on the system and I attempt to cover that in this video as well!

    Last edited by matteus; 01-04-2019 at 09:15 AM.


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    Raging in the Streets Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Awesome video. Can't wait for part 2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Awesome video. Can't wait for part 2
    Thanks working on it now will take a while tho!


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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Good vid. I liked the ending bit with the countdown too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cleeg View Post
    Good vid. I liked the ending bit with the countdown too.
    That's a regular thing on my dev videos. The resolution is mucked up on this video for some reason tho lol


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    Quote Originally Posted by matteus View Post
    Thanks working on it now will take a while tho!
    It was fab and well explained. I remember reading an interview with the main programmer of Battlecorps and he said the ASIC chip was very powerful and after writing 7 lines of code (or something like that) the chip would do all the rest, but his biggest issues (other than the MD colour palette) was with the Mega CD RAM and also the bandwidth between the Mega CD and Mega Drive and why he said it was most prob when most developers didn't bother to really use the Mega CD and the ASIC chip.
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matteus View Post
    That's a regular thing on my dev videos. The resolution is mucked up on this video for some reason tho lol
    Oh dear! It shows I've never watched one until now!

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    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    The Sega CD was really held back by the interface it had with the MD side. They really failed at making the MD extensible, which is funny considering they made 2 addons for it.
    The fact that the VDP could have double the VRAM and double the CRAM and there was no way for the MCD to provide them really shows either lack of foresight or bad engineering.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    The Sega CD was really held back by the interface it had with the MD side.
    Yeah, but tbf to SEGA the Mega CD original started life as nothing more than a floppy disc drive add-on. It was only after seeing the PC Eng CD-ROM did SEGA revise its plans and started to work on the Mega CD, by which time the Mega Drive development had long been finished and the system out. I guess seeing Mode 7 and the NEC use of CD-ROM prompted SEGA to try and put in features that were never intended to be there when the MD was being developed and the expansion slot was being desgined
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 01-05-2019 at 12:30 PM.
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    The Sega CD was really held back by the interface it had with the MD side. They really failed at making the MD extensible, which is funny considering they made 2 addons for it.
    The fact that the VDP could have double the VRAM and double the CRAM and there was no way for the MCD to provide them really shows either lack of foresight or bad engineering.
    Yeah I didn't really cover the connection bus. I was wary of bogging people down with complexities but I guess I could have said it was made for floppy disc data transfer and not cd data.


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    Similar issue with the floppy drive, if you have a VDP running at half its potential for cost reasons, and you're planning an addon anyway (hence the side expansion slot), why not make it such that said addon can provide the missing pieces? Just seems like such a bizarre design choice, I think they just made too much of a mess on the MD board and were stuck, unable to do it even if they wanted to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Similar issue with the floppy drive, if you have a VDP running at half its potential for cost reasons, and you're planning an addon anyway (hence the side expansion slot), why not make it such that said addon can provide the missing pieces? Just seems like such a bizarre design choice, I think they just made too much of a mess on the MD board and were stuck, unable to do it even if they wanted to.
    Rushed to market maybe? or just a fluke it turned out okay in the end?


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    We know original intention was to have the VDP with 128K of VRAM and probably double CRAM (meaning 128 colours, the VDP certainly has support for it). We know that for cost reasons that was cut in half.

    The only reason that occurs to me why they didn't make it possible to add the missing half was that they couldn't, the way the board was designed made it impossible to expose the VDP to the expansion slot and they couldn't change the board design entirely to make it happen.

    Not really "rushed", just an unfortunate cost cutting decision too late in the design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Similar issue with the floppy drive
    To a point, but a Mega Drive Floppy Disc drive would have just been seen by the public as a means of MD games being cheaper than carts
    The trouble with the Mega CD was it was hyped up so much with all that new Hardware and also CD-Rom that people were expecting it to blow away the PC Eng CD ROM and Snes mode 7 . Also it's not like I can think of any add-on that was really well planned out and really worked as well as the base machine. Almost any add-on buy its definition is a afterthought really. I think where NEC was good was not only in the support it gave its CD Add-On (which had its own issues) but also how it sold and really pushed the Duo, while SEGA's All In One Mega Drive and Mega CD systems were either the hugely expensive and limited Wondermega or Multi-Mega.

    Maybe the Mega CD might have been better supported if SEGA only made an All In One Mega Drive/CD unit like the Duo mid cycle
    Panzer Dragoon Zwei is
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    Presented for your pleasure

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    Sega should definitely have had their own "Duo". In fact there should never have been a Mega Drive 2, only a MD + MCD combo.
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