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Thread: The Sega SG-1000

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    American Ninja Nobi's Avatar
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    Default The Sega SG-1000

    anybody ever played one? what are some good games?
    I don't play old stuff for nostalgia, I play old stuff because the games are better.
    -Drakon

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    Bite my shiny, metal ***! Hero of Algol retrospiel's Avatar
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    Excellent Youtube channel with footage of some of the best SG-1000 games recorded via real hardware: http://www.youtube.com/user/segaxxon

    Some notable games:

    Doki Doki Penguin Land
    Flicky
    Girl's Garden
    Ninja Princess
    Star Jacker
    Star Force
    Orguss
    Gulkave
    Sokoban
    Chack'n Pop
    Hang On II
    Monaco GP
    Zaxxon
    Exerion
    Q*bert
    etc

    but as you can see many of these are available in better versions on other platforms, like NES, Master System, or Mega Drive.


    more complete list of games: http://www.smspower.org/Games/SG
    Last edited by retrospiel; 07-25-2010 at 10:35 AM.
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

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    I have some spare games that I occasionally play on my Japanese Master System.
    http://www.sega-16.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=154&dateline=15683853  53

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    With a wire adapter you can play the games on your Sega Master System.

    From what I have heard the hardware was pretty crappy though. Mostly to do with the controllers. They are hardwired and not very good.

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    Pitfall II is pretty cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeniczone View Post
    From what I have heard the hardware was pretty crappy though. Mostly to do with the controllers. They are hardwired and not very good.
    That's not an issue with the SG-1000 II though, which used two controller ports instead of one on the original system. For some reason only the player one controller on the SG-1000 is hardwired. Both the Mark III and Japanese SMS can play SG-1000 games as well, albeit with a slightly darker color palette. That's probably the best way to play SG-1000 games since both the Mark III and SMS have AV output while the SG-1000 and SG-1000 II are stuck with RF.

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    Can't all SG-1000 card games be played on the western SMS too? (including some rebranded SG-1000 games as budget SMS titles, sometimes with a redone title screen using SMS modes liek F-16 Fighting Falcon)


    Quote Originally Posted by ApolloBoy View Post
    That's not an issue with the SG-1000 II though, which used two controller ports instead of one on the original system. For some reason only the player one controller on the SG-1000 is hardwired. Both the Mark III and Japanese SMS can play SG-1000 games as well, albeit with a slightly darker color palette. That's probably the best way to play SG-1000 games since both the Mark III and SMS have AV output while the SG-1000 and SG-1000 II are stuck with RF.
    Huh, I bet the darker colors are due to being remapped to the Mk.III/SMS's 6-bit RGB from the original TMS9918's 15-color YCbCr palette. (sort of like the Playchoice 10)
    The MSX2 and 2+ must have also done that for compatibility with the new RGB palettes. (9-bit RGB in the MSX2, so probably a closer match the original YCbCr colors) Though the MSX2+ uses another color space entirely for its added graphics modes and outputs through 15-bit RGB. (sort of liek the PCFX with 24-bit RGB)
    Last edited by kool kitty89; 07-25-2010 at 10:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool kitty89 View Post
    Can't all SG-1000 card games be played on the western SMS too?
    The American/European SMS BIOS blocks Japanese games. In fact, I just tried an SG-1000 game on an American SMS, and it wouldn't load no matter what I tried. It works fine on my Japanese SMS though.

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    whats the going rate on a japanese sms? will they play american sg-1000/sms games?
    I don't play old stuff for nostalgia, I play old stuff because the games are better.
    -Drakon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeniczone View Post
    From what I have heard the hardware was pretty crappy though. Mostly to do with the controllers. They are hardwired and not very good.
    I've owned an SG-1000 before.

    Only one controller is wired. You can use an SG-1000 or an SG-1000 Mark II controller in it. SMS controllers do NOT work properly. Neither to Mega Drive controllers.

    whats the going rate on a japanese sms? will they play american sg-1000/sms games?
    Not so cheap. Remember that the SMS was not popular in Japan, so they aren't really that common. Expect to pay around US$100-150 for one in good condition. Lower end if not boxed, higher if boxed. It will NOT play US SMS games, unless you buy a converter (not a bad idea, because you can get FM sound out of some games). There is not such thing as American SG-1000 games.

    If anyone wants to play SG-1000 games, I recommend the Japanese Master System. The SG-1000 is to hard to come by and very hard to find decent controllers for. Same with the Mark II and Mark III. The Mark III is a beautiful system, but lacks FM sound (unless you spring for the expansion module) and is hard to find controllers for if you didn't get two with the system. SMS controllers do not work properly with the SG-1000, Mark II or Mark III. Still, the SG-1000, Mark II and Mark III are all awesome showpieces!
    Last edited by Breetai; 07-25-2010 at 11:20 PM.

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    A Light In The Building. Master of Shinobi
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    Buy a NA/EU Master System and modify the BIOS with an on/off switch. It will then be able to play all SG-1000/Master System/Mark III card titles. If you make a pin converter, it will also play every cartridge title as well. This should save at least $50 from being wasted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    Some notable games:
    [...]
    Chack'n Pop
    [...]
    but as you can see many of these are available in better versions on other platforms, like NES, Master System, or Mega Drive.
    Note that the SG-1000 version of Chack'n Pop is easily the best I've played. Completely trounces the dire NES version, and another one I tried too (MSX, maybe?).

    Personally, I get my SG-1000 fix on the Dreamcast with CrabEmu, which is the only emu I've used that doesn't have the incorrect palette. If the palette shift I'm seeing in other emulators reflects what happens on real hardware via SMS, it's much more of an issue than the above comments suggest -- some games really look terrible with the darker colors.

    Also, a lot of SG-1000 games are getting ported to ColecoVision, since the hardware is essentially identical. Something like 6-8 of them have been done so far, or are currently in process. I think there are a few MSX ports too.

    Some other good SG-1000 games: Doki Doki Penguin Land, Elevator Action, Girl's Garden, Dragon Wang, Rock 'n' Bolt. Hustle Chumy is kind of a trip, too, though it's way too easy.

    BTW is there any conceivable configuration of flashcart + hardware mod + ROM hacking that would allow the MD/Genny to play SG-1000 games? I assume "no", but...
    Last edited by goldenband; 07-26-2010 at 12:07 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chessage View Post
    Buy a NA/EU Master System and modify the BIOS with an on/off switch. It will then be able to play all SG-1000/Master System/Mark III card titles. If you make a pin converter, it will also play every cartridge title as well. This should save at least $50 from being wasted.
    Don't forget that a Japanese Master System has the FM2413 chip built-in. With a gender adapter you can play all your games with FM sound! :-)


    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    Personally, I get my SG-1000 fix on the Dreamcast with CrabEmu, which is the only emu I've used that doesn't have the incorrect palette. If the palette shift I'm seeing in other emulators reflects what happens on real hardware via SMS, it's much more of an issue than the above comments suggest -- some games really look terrible with the darker colors.
    Interesting! I have to admit that I never tried CrabEmu for SG-1000 emulation. How does it compare to Spoutnik's Dream-O-Rama ?

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    Also, a lot of SG-1000 games are getting ported to ColecoVision, since the hardware is essentially identical. Something like 6-8 of them have been done so far, or are currently in process. I think there are a few MSX ports too.
    Amazing! Do you have a link ?
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

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    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    Interesting! I have to admit that I never tried CrabEmu for SG-1000 emulation. How does it compare to Spoutnik's Dream-O-Rama ?
    Haven't tried Dream-O-Rama, actually! Is its SG-1000 palette correct? CrabEmu's not perfect by any means, and the file/directory management needs some work, but overall I think it's very good for SG-1000 games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    Amazing! Do you have a link ?
    I know CV conversions are being made, or at least released, by Team Pixelboy. Collectorvision has a couple too.

    Meanwhile, the guy behind Opcode Games did at least two -- Exerion, Sega Galaga -- which went unreleased and have since been auctioned off as prototypes. I think he's done an unreleased conversion of Elevator Action as well. Also, a member of Atariage translated and converted Black Onyx, and has released the source to that (IIRC) though it wasn't 100% finished (more like 99%, as it's pretty great as-is).

    I don't remember who did the MSX conversions, but they're available on one of the MSX websites, I think?
    Last edited by goldenband; 07-26-2010 at 11:25 PM. Reason: added Collectorvision

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    Excellent Youtube channel with footage of some of the best SG-1000 games recorded via real hardware: http://www.youtube.com/user/segaxxon

    Some notable games:

    Doki Doki Penguin Land
    Flicky
    Girl's Garden
    Ninja Princess
    Star Jacker
    Star Force
    Orguss
    Gulkave
    Sokoban
    Chack'n Pop
    Hang On II
    Monaco GP
    Zaxxon
    Exerion
    Q*bert
    etc

    but as you can see many of these are available in better versions on other platforms, like NES, Master System, or Mega Drive.


    more complete list of games: http://www.smspower.org/Games/SG
    thanks!! doki doki penguin land looks pretty good, was it ever released on any other systems?
    I don't play old stuff for nostalgia, I play old stuff because the games are better.
    -Drakon

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