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Under the Surface (part 12)

April 10, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Under the Surface (part 12)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.


For this part I’m going to look at some of Senario’s “Big Box” games. The packaging for these all had a very specific look about them with designed to make them look like higher end products with fold open boxes showing the unit inside etc. The Senario Millionaire game previously covered when I looked at different Millionaire games, as well as the Big Bonus Slots, and the Poker / Deluxe Poker units which were covered when looking at gambling themed games were all part of this range, but there were several more; enough to give them their own coverage here.

From sports in the previous part to sports trivia, here. Senario’s Sports Trivia Professional Edition to be exact. I’m not aware of any versions without the Professional Edition subtitle.

Here we have a trivia game themed around a sports match, with different periods, and where each team gets to select the next ‘play’ (basically if they want a Trivia question or a random Mini-game) I don’t know a huge amount about American sports, so this one sails wide of the mark for me, but it no doubt had a very specific target audience like many of these Senario ‘Big Box’ games.

There are 8 mini-games here, all very simple, surprisingly the Basketball one appears to use sprites stolen from Data East’s Street Hoop; this is unusual because otherwise these SunPlus based Senario games usually avoided such risky infringement. (the same cannot be said of the Senario famiclone units which just screamed ‘sue us’)


Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional
Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional
Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional
Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional
Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional Sports Trivia Professional

Interestingly the hidden test mode (hold Pause on startup to access menu) calls it ABC Sports, maybe this was meant to carry a license at one point? The checksum here is done if you hit some of the player controls after boot, sadly it just prints the checksum of the ROM rather than verifying it, but it’s at least potentially handy for checking for alt revisions without having to dump the ROM.

Sports Trivia Professional

Senario’s Cosmo Girl is based off a very similar codebase to Sports Trivia Professional and features the same type of test mode. This is important, because as discussed later there seems to be a bug in this game causing it to hang in various situations, so I’d be interested to know if the checksum display is the same on all units, or if there are other revisions, or even the possibility of this one having suffered from bitrot issues. Again hold Pause on cold boot to access this menu then hammer some Player 1 buttons until it does the test.


Cosmo Girl

Anyway, onto the game. Cosmo Girl features a similar structure. Some of the game is following instructions onscreen, it’ll ask you to do certain things (tell a secret etc.) and you’re simply expected to do them. There are also various pop culture quiz questions and a handful of simple mini-games.

There appear to be 8 mini games as with Sports Trivia, although one of them appears to be bugged. The Fashion Disaster game presents itself as a slot machine type thing, where you must match colours. It rolls once, you choose which pieces to hold and which spin again. Chances are on the first spin there will always be a pair, so logically you would always hold that pair, however, if you decide not to do that, and the second roll comes up and after the 2nd roll there are no pairs (which should be a ‘lose’ condition) the game code ends up crashing. I have a feeling this is a game bug, because the chance of causing it if trying to play properly is low, however if you’re playing carelessly (not holding on purpose for example) then it can trigger with relative easy given enough plays. I can’t rule out there being an issue with the ROM in the dumped unit, which is why if anybody owns one I’d be curious to know if the checksum screen reports the same value.


Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl
Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl
Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl
Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl Cosmo Girl

If you enjoy your quiz games with a slice of casual sexism, then The Apprentice is the game for you. This one is a licensed produced, based off the US TV Show of the same name. Should have based it off the UK show and used Alan Sugar instead.

The game structure here is simple, and the presentation basic, although there’s enough here to make it worthwhile. Note, the driver is a little broken due to a regression in MAME 0.220, this is fixed for 0.221.


The Apprentice The Apprentice The Apprentice
The Apprentice The Apprentice The Apprentice
The Apprentice The Apprentice The Apprentice

The Perfect Mate turns that sexism up a level, but it’s a game designs to match ‘ideal partners’ based on responses, so maybe there’s some method behind the madness here? This is a strange one, also very simple in structure with no real winners or losers. A party distraction, nothing more, nothing less.


The Perfect Mate The Perfect Mate The Perfect Mate
The Perfect Mate The Perfect Mate The Perfect Mate
The Perfect Mate The Perfect Mate The Perfect Mate

Senario’s Win Lose or Draw is surprisingly not a SunPlus based machine, instead opting for the NES / VT based technology, but throwing in some extra RAM for the bitmap layer. Currently the drawing pad and LCD display for what you’re meant to draw are not hooked up, so while you can progress through the stages of the game there’s nothing to do. This one relies entirely on the players doing what they’re told and the game acting as a simple controller, presentation mechanism, timer & scorekeeper rather than players using pen and paper. For now this is NOT WORKING.


Win Lose or Draw Win Lose or Draw Win Lose or Draw
Win Lose or Draw Win Lose or Draw Win Lose or Draw

That’s 4 ‘Big Box’ Senario games anyway, you can see what the goal was here, games designed for multiple players in a ‘party’ environment, automating what might otherwise have been aspects of card games / board games. They’re a bit of fun, nothing revolutionary, and in the age of smartphones etc. mostly obsolete as there are free apps to cover the majority of what is on offer here. The questions on offer do make these interesting enough to study from a historial point of view, showing what was maybe in some cases considered more acceptable 15 years ago than it is today. Also, for better or worse, when one of the games features the person who would go on to be the United States President it has a place in the history books.

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Under the Surface (part 11)

April 10, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Under the Surface (part 11)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.


Sports.. I’ve already covered plenty of sports games on these Plug and Play units, but that’s because there were an awful lot of them – the popularity of these units coincided with the period when motion controls were popular (with things like the Xavixport paving the way for the Wii) so naturally there are a lot of sports games as sports games tend to be the first application of motion controls most people think of when trying to develop something, plus they’re generally cheap and easy to create.

XaviX was mostly used in Japan for Japanese Plug and Play units, there were some games using the tech outside of Japan, but it was less popular outside of Japan than SunPlus, Elan or other low cost solutions.

Sometimes XaviX games did get localized for other regions, and in the case of Real Ping Pong what we have is a Korean localized version of Epoch’s Excite Ping Pong. This one was put out by SonoKong. There was also a Korean localized version of Popira (videos can be found on YouTube) but that one isn’t dumped.

As with Excite Ping Pong the controls are not yet hooked up here (I do really need to sit down and study the input code on a lot of these XaviX games) but the demo mode will play. The ‘For Real Gamer!’ tagline is a nice touch.


Excite Ping Pong (Korea) Excite Ping Pong (Korea) Excite Ping Pong (Korea)
Excite Ping Pong (Korea) Excite Ping Pong (Korea) Excite Ping Pong (Korea)

Maybe I should have included this one with the last bunch of VT games, but this ‘Super Ping Pong’ game, put out by ABL (just shows ‘Ping Pong’ and ‘Table Tennis’ on the box) is another take on the same thing, this time on the enhanced NES hardware. Again currently no controls and long pauses between scenes while it writes stuff to the I/O ports (unemulated external DAC sample playback?) This was put out by several other manufacturers, including DreamGear, with different box titles, the ROM may or may not be the same.


Super Ping Pong (Korea) Super Ping Pong (Korea) Super Ping Pong (Korea)

Another ABL product, this one on SunPlus hardware is KickBoxing. This one required you to strap motion sensors to all 4 limbs (which ends up being a lot of batteries) Again controls need figuring out, this might be another where the motion sensors send virtual button presses depending on the action / strength rather than sending raw data. The real hardware here unfortunately seems to eat through batteries quickly, making it expensive to use in the long run. It’s not surprising some later motion games went for camera based approaches instead.


ABL Kick Boxing ABL Kick Boxing ABL Kick Boxing
ABL Kick Boxing ABL Kick Boxing ABL Kick Boxing

One thing of note with the Kickboxing game is that a bit in the IO ports will change the title screen to show the Coleco license, meaning it’s very likely the ROM here is the same as used in Coleco’s Kickboxing product, with that IO port bit possibly being the PAL/NTSC flag, as Coleco distributed the game in the US, with ABL distributing it in other territories.


ABL Kick Boxing

ABL also put out Wireless Tennis, another SunPlus game, this was a standalone unit. The controls aren’t hooked up on this one, but we’ll come back to this game and that point later.


ABL Tennis ABL Tennis ABL Tennis

Senario put out “My Sports Challenge” which is a 5-in-1 Sports unit. This one used a very unusual type of ROM, a 24MByte ROM with multiple Chip Select/Enable lines, meaning that in reality the ROM package contains a 16Mbyte and an 8Mbyte chip. It took Sean some work to figure out how to dump this one even if it wasn’t a ‘glob ROM’


My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge

“My Sports Challenge” contains a Tennis game. That Tennis game is Wireless Tennis. The difference here is that this one is playable. The inputs hooked up easily, and the motion input acts as a virtual button. I don’t know if this means that the standalone unit actually uses a real motion control, hence why it seemed more difficult to hook up, or if it just reads the same inputs in a different way, but it’s noteworthy that the game received both a standalone release, and also appeared in this multigame unit.

My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge

Other games in the My Sports Challenge include a Bowling game.


My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge
My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge
My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge

There’s also a Golf game in here, again tho this depends on when you swing the club, not how hard you swing it as none of these My Sports Challenge games employ real motion controls (on the plus side that makes them easier to use under emulation)


My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge
My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge

Baseball is included too, although there’s no outfield control, you’re simply responsible for hitting and bowling.


My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge
My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge

The 5th and final game in My Sports Challenge is Boxing. This one is interesting because it seems to be loosely based on the ABL Kick Boxing game previously features, you can see that the characters here are the same, even if the visuals have been completely redrawn and the game modes on offer aren’t quite the same. There’s clearly a connection between the two games tho. This one does offer a 2 player mode as the title screen of ‘Boxing Duo’ would suggest.


My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge
My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge My Sports Challenge

That might have been the final game in the regular My Sports Challenge unit, but that is not where the story ends. One thing I’ve noticed with these Plug and Play units is that there were sometimes exclusive units to certain stores / retailers. Sometimes the difference was purely in the package / controller design, but sometimes it was also the software, and My Sports Challenge is one example of that. QVC distributed a version of this game with 6 games instead of 5. It isn’t simply a case of one game being added either; the QVC unit drops the above Boxing game entirely to make room for 2 new games. (This is a shame, because the Boxing game was one of the better ones0


My Sports Challenge QVC My Sports Challenge QVC My Sports Challenge QVC

Anyway, Basketball, time your shots from a variety of angles to get the ball in the hoop.


My Sports Basketball My Sports Basketball My Sports Basketball
My Sports Basketball My Sports Basketball My Sports Basketball

Soccer, or Beach Soccer as the title screen calls it is the weakest of the games in this collection I feel. It has 2 modes, Penalty Kick and Free Kick. While the free kick one is interesting in that you have to select where you kick the ball, the direction and the power it just makes you wish the unit had real motion controls, and most combinations result in either an air shot, or one that just bobbles along the ground. There’s a selection of 3 stadiums too, but I had to check the screenshots just to make sure they were actually different as the majority of the screen is just sand in all cases. Overall this QVC version feels like a weaker product as one decent game has been swapped out for 1 very average one, and a poor one.


My Sports Soccer My Sports Soccer My Sports Soccer
My Sports Soccer My Sports Soccer My Sports Soccer

Does the ‘My Sports Challenge’ story end there? Don’t be silly. Senario also put out ‘wireless Sports Plus’ which is also known on the title screen as ‘My Sports Challenge Plus’ which is a 20-in-1 unit.


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

This 20-in-1 unit contains Golf, Baseball, and Bowling from the My Sports Challenge unit. Same games, full intact. It does not have Boxing nor does it have Tennis.

Basketball from the QVC unit is present but now called ‘Around the World’ This is supplemented with 2 additional games, ‘Shot Clock’ and ‘H.O.R.S.E’ which use the Basketball engine, lack a title screens, and have a slightly different set of rules. Lazy.


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus
My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

Baseball also gets 2 extra games based on the Baseball engine, one focusing on hitting Homeruns, the other on bowling. Again, very lazy.


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus
My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

Golf games a ‘Driving Range’ game. This is basically just Golf without any course or aiming and without real motion controls it’s entirely pointless. Lazy


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

Beach Soccer from the QVC unit isn’t here in complete form at all, but the Penalty Kick part of it is under the title of Goal Keeper. This was the least interesting part of an already poor game in the first place!


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

So yes, compared to the regular My Sports Challenge releases this lacks some of the better content, then makes the numbers up by adding minor variations of those games, and in one case even omits the full version. It does have some redeeming feature however. Putting Green could easily have just been the putting part of the Golf game with nothing new, but is actually a Mini-Golf game.


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus
My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

Disc Golf is somewhere between Golf and Mini-Golf, but with flying discs, it seems like a strange thing to have here and plays like an oversimplified golf game which also ends up being annoying because you don’t have any real indication of how far things will travel, but here it is.


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

There’s a very simple Darts game, with annoyingly inverted board colours


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

By now I’m sure you’re getting the idea. The remaining games are all very simple. There’s Curling, a Penalty shoot game for Ice Hockey, Lawn Darts, Bag Toss, Horseshoes, all of which have very similar mechanics, stop the bar in a Y position, stop the bar in an X position so I’ll wrap this one up there.


My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus
My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus My Sports Challenge Plus

This is not the last we’ll see of some of these games, but I think this is a good place to leave it for now. A mix of sports games have been covered, some playable in MAME, others still without controls at this point. We’ve also seen the evolution of certain games across different units, an example of a retailer specific version of a game, and a less common localization; good value for one part if I do say so myself.

Go to article.. »

Under the Surface (part 10)

April 9, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Under the Surface (part 10)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.


Time for a bit of a miscellaneous update.

The Game It! Disney Classic Pals unit put out by PDP (makers of the VG Caplet / VG Pocket devices) and developed by Jungletac has a selection of games that feel very familiar to anybody who has played the Zone 60, Zone 100, or Lexibook 120-in-1 units. That’s because the games contained within really are just the same as some of the ‘arcade’ games in those units but with a fresh lick of Disney paint (or maybe the other way around, I’m not sure which came first in some cases)

It feels strange to see these generic titles with Disney characters in, but if studying these devices has shown me one thing it’s that Disney would provide a license to literally anybody without caring about the quality of the product, or even how legitimate it was otherwise as long as they were being paid for the characters. It feels a long way from the Genesis / Megadrive days when a Disney license on a game usually meant it was a quality product (some exceptions aside, although I don’t even hate Fantasia) There’s nothing really wrong with what’s on offer here, but there’s nothing that feels special either, we’re not even treated to any Disney music.


Game It Disney Classic Pals Game It Disney Classic Pals Game It Disney Classic Pals
Game It Disney Classic Pals Game It Disney Classic Pals Game It Disney Classic Pals

Here are some side-by-side shots of the games, Disney version on the left, a version taken from one of the more generic SunPlus based Plug and Play units on the right. Some have slightly more changes than others, the screen layout on the Puzzloop clone being different for example, but it’s also possible they’re simply based on a different, or undumped version of the games.


Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game
Game It Disney Classic Pals Generic Sunplus xx-in-1 Game

Tomica Carnavi Drive is a XaviX based ‘driving simulator’ from Tomy. It has stages featuring a range of driving conditions, from city to rally, rain and snow. Currently the controls aren’t hooked up, and like most XaviX games that were release in Japan this is a very Japanese experience.


Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive
Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive
Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive

Train simulators were big in Japan too, so it’s not really surprising that Tomy also put out a Plug and Play one, again on XaviX hardware. This one is Plarail themed. “Nihon Isshuu – Boku wa Plarail Untenshi” is the title, and again no controls currently mapped.


Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive
Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive
Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive
Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive Tomica Carnavi Drive

Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger – Magimat de Dance & Battle is a Japanese XaviX game based on the Power Rangers franchise, or more specifically the Japanese version of it. This is one is controlled with a floor mat, similar to a DDR pad, and as such the controls were much easier to hook up. This one actually uses SuperXaviX technology, but from what I can see only uses the new video features for the XaviX logo on startup (uses bitmap mode) otherwise it looks like it was probably developed for the earlier hardware type and switched over at the last minute. This can be played.


Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle
Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle
Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle
Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle Mahou Taiketsu Magiranger - Magimat de Dance and Battle

I’ll call it there for this part as while I haven’t had a great deal to write about any of these items they’re all worthy of some attention at least. The Japanese ones, especially the simulators represent a type of game that gained far more popularity in Japan than elsewhere, and the Disney one is a curious use of a license.

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Under the Surface (part 9)

April 9, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Under the Surface (part 9)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.


Gambling games form the basis of a genre that has brought much ire from MAME communities, and even in MAME’s early history were a controversial subject with them excluded entirely for what at the time seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a short part of MAME’s early life. A decent chunk of people still seem to wish they weren’t emulated, and actively try to get them ripped out of the project again, however other fields, including this work I’m doing on Plug and Play games seem to have now become to focus of some of that anger instead. I guess some of this is because people think we’re working on these things instead of what they want to see (the reality is if I wasn’t working on these things I probably wouldn’t be working on anything, I tend to work on what I enjoy figuring out, and what I consider to be at most risk of being lost to time)

So anyway, what I’m looking at in this part is the combination of both of those things; gambling themed Plug and Play games. I can almost feel the fire burning.

One of the arguments against gambling games in emulation is that they’re pointless; when there’s no money to win and no money to lose there is no reason to play them as they offer no entertainment value otherwise. That point of view seems at odds with a wider one because quite often on both computers, consoles and here in the form of Plug and Play games we see titles which are recreations of the slot machine formula for home use. I’m sure anybody from the UK of age remembers growing up with things like Codemasters’ Fruit Machine Simulator or Dizzy Dice, which had wasn’t Codemasters and had nothing to do with their oval shaped adventurer. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m sure both of these can be played in the MAME ZX Spectrum driver just fine)

I already covered Golden Nugget Casino in another part, when looking at Majesco stuff, so let’s skip that one and move straight on to something more Japanese.

Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV is a Japanese Plug and Play put out by Takara, Sammy and Dreams Come True using SSD’s XaviX platform. It takes cartridges, 4 are dumped, we know of one other that definitely exists, but the highest cartridge we have was numbered ’07’ and two of them were marked ’01’ but are both different software, so I’m not sure exactly how many cartridges were produced.

This is a well designed product, if even accepts special coins via the a slot to simulate the full experience. It’s currently marked as NOT WORKING because one of the cartridges has no inputs and the others haven’t been extensively tested as the things are entirely in Japanese (it isn’t verified if saving works etc.) however a lot of what is on offer here does seem fully playable, just needs some extra testing and verification.

Without a cartridge you get the build in game, which has 2 slot machines available from the off, and one unlockable through some unknown conditions. Like most Japanese XaviX titles there is structure to the gameplay here. Here are some screens of the base game.


Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV
Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV

The cartridges contain varying numbers of machines and unlockables. Aladdin TV seems to be one of the first cartridges released, and contains a single machine available from the start, and a single unlockable shown with a row of question marks in the menu. I haven’t managed to unlock it, so can’t tell you what it is.


Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV

For some reason inputs don’t respond on this one ‘Ginginmaru TV’, but do on all the others. I’m not sure why this is, the ports are being read, but then the game fails to act on them. This is unusual for XaviX systems, especially as these are digital controls, not some fancy analog setup so I’m currently unsure what is causing this.


Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV

The Salaryman Kintaro cartridge for it contains a ‘whack a mole’ style extra game using the 3 reel stop buttons.


Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV

While this one ‘Moju-o TV’ has you weaving between rocks as the bonus game


Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV

Senario’s Big Bonus Slots brings home the video slot machine action for a US audience instead, offering 5 machines and a whole bunch of lucky bonus games for your entertainment. The machines all play basically the same, but with an increased credit value for each, meaning that your virtual $1000 will only get you 2 maximum bet spins on the most expensive machine. There are multiple save slots and your bank amount is kept, so you can build up money on one machine to spend it on another. No unlockables here. Main negative of this one is really the music which sounds like somebody took a keyboard, hit some random keys and called it music and this won’t be the only time I feel that way about some of Senario’s music.


Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots
Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots
Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots
Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots
Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots
Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots Big Bonus Slots

Jara-Ja Land is another Japanese XaviX hardware game from Takara. This one is themed around Japanese redemption titles, and it is fair to say the presentation is through the roof here. You expect these Plug and Play units to generally be cheap throw-away affairs, but the level of detail to some of them defies that, animations here are just superb. This one currently doesn’t have controls hooked up (I think it’s some kind of analog dial input) but you can run the attract mode for 15 minutes until the machine decides to soft power-off due to inactivity.

Of note, this one prompted me to fix the reel rendering, which the previously covered Gachinko Contest! Slot machine TV saw benefit from too, it’s a mid-screen palette change effect.

This one would actually go on to be in an arcade cabinet a year or so later, distributed by Atlus. I’d assume the arcade version still runs on XaviX hardware as SSD is still credited, but we don’t have a dump from that one, and the code would almost certainly be different (as things like idle power-off make no sense for an arcade unit)


Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land
Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land
Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land
Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land Jara-Ja Land

The Vs Maxx Texas Hold’em TV Poker 6 Player poker units were likely amongst Senario’s flagship products. These big box affairs were SunPlus based games were each player also had an LCD panel to show their cards and make selections. Emulation them required simulation of those additional controllers, complete with internal artwork in order for the unit to be considered functional. Obviously trying to play it when you can easily see the cards dealt to the other player (because everything is now one screen) doesn’t make much sense, but the functionality is there. The standard version is shown below. Music here is slightly better than Big Bonus Slots and at least sounds a bit like a tune, but is still one of the weaker aspects.

From an emulation point of view this was unusual in that it uses the SunPlus ‘Bitmap’ mode instead of being tile based, and as such has a bunch of extra RAM in the device too for storing the bitmap graphics. This actually makes the insides of the unit look more scary than it really is as there are extra globs for the RAM.


Vs Maxx Poker Vs Maxx Poker Vs Maxx Poker
Vs Maxx Poker Vs Maxx Poker Vs Maxx Poker

Play Vision would distribute the UK version of this, but the ingame graphics still only credit Senario. The only real change is that the $ values are replaced with £ values, still, regional variations are good to have confirmed and emulated. I don’t know if there were European versions with different currency symbols again.


Vs Maxx Poker Vs Maxx Poker

A deluxe version of the game, which to my knowledge didn’t get a UK release, adds extra modes, including Blackjack. It’s functional, although I should find out if any of the text was changed on the LCD panel as now sometimes the buttons have additional purposes.


Vs Maxx Poker Deluxe Vs Maxx Poker Deluxe Vs Maxx Poker Deluxe
Vs Maxx Poker Deluxe Vs Maxx Poker Deluxe Vs Maxx Poker Deluxe

Plenty of gambling themed games were included in the multi-games. For example in the VT1682 based ‘Excite Sports 48-in-1’ there is a Poker game under the ‘Brain’ menu. What’s interesting about this is there are some versions of this unit, still with 48 games and almost identical packaging, that do not have the Poker game, but instead substitute it for a different game in another menu. I guess this was due to laws regulating the sale of gambling themed games in certain states / regions. The version without it in this case, is not dumped. The UK version, sold by TaiKee as ‘Interactive TV Games 48-in-1’ has the same selection, including the Poker game. I should probably cover these units in more detail in a later part.


Excite Sports 48 in 1 Excite Sports 48 in 1 Excite Sports 48 in 1

Excalibur and Techno Source also had a bunch of units that could be considered Gambling themed. Some of the Excalibur units look very similar in form factor to the Strip Poker game that was covered in a previous part, but none of them have been dumped yet. The Strip Poker was SunPlus, but based on screenshots I’m expecting most of the Excalibur gamblers to be either NES / VT based (most likely) or Elan at a push. Techno Source units are often single glob, and currently can’t be dumped, but I don’t know if any of the gambling themed ones have been looked at.

This has actually ended up being a relatively short part, when in reality, if all games of this nature were dumped, it would be one of the longer parts. I believe plenty of the other units have been sourced by the same GameHistory.org contributors who sent some other NES / VT based units, although in this case as they haven’t been my primary area of focus (outside of the SunPlus ones) I’m not 100% sure on what has / hasn’t been acquired.

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Under the Surface (part 8)

April 8, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. 1 Comment on Under the Surface (part 8)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.


Plug and Play units based on NES or VT technology are usually considered the ‘cheapest’ of the lot. Often full of blatant NES bootlegs, false claims about the total number of games, and even in quite a few cases games that simply haven’t been tested and don’t run properly. These too have however evolved over time, and while you can still buy many which contain multiple hacked versions of well known NES games such as Super Mario Bros. and Contra, there is more story to be told. Enhanced chipset such as the VT series maintained NES compatibility while also offering enhanced video modes with 16 colour tiles and expanded palettes and as such ended up being used on hundreds of different units with new ones being released even to this day, while earlier clones such as the SH6578 would offer similar features but with a lower level of compatibility for existing software and thus seem to have been more short lived.

I’ve not been going out of my way to buy NES / VT clone units, although have picked up a few on my journey, many of these covered here however have been purchased or donated by other people with a greater interest in such things. Let’s start with one such unit.

The Time Top 36-in-1, which is actually a 12-in-1, is a VT based unit full of what I’ll call “VT Originals” that is games specifically coded for the VT hardware, even if many of them are obvious ripoffs of more popular titles. The 36-in-1 part comes from duplicates in the menu giving you a chance to start each game from a different stage.

This one was donated by JP_Ronny and shows the direction in which some developers were trying to push the VT tech, aside from creating bootleg collections of enhanced NES titles.

There are a few things of note with the unit, first, it has 4 unique fire buttons, A,B as well as X and Y, which unlike many other units are read as separate buttons, rather than X and Y being autofire. Disappointingly only a single one of those extra buttons is used by the software, and even then only by one game (Army Strike) even if many of the others would have benefited greatly. The control design on Frantic Raindrop requires you to press the fire button to cling on to walls, but that also causes you to fire your (ammo limited) weapon; utilizing the extra buttons in this situation would have made a lot of sense, but the game makes no use of them.

Another feature is a difficulty slider switch, although again outside of the obvious case of Bombs Away giving you a different amount of time depending on the switch position it isn’t clear if any of the games are really making use of it.

Sound emulation is currently incomplete, games mostly use sampled sounds rather than regular NES APU stuff, so for the most part things are currently just pops and clicks in MAME.

These suffer from looking better than they play unfortunately, the framerates leave a lot to be desired, there’s no smooth animation or tight controls on offer here; you can see what the developers were going for, but I don’t think they had the skill to pull it off.


TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1
TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1 TimeTop 36 in 1

The Retro TV is a unit very similar in game selection and presentation to the “My Arcade Gamer V Portable Gaming System (DGUN-2573)” from DreamGear, but while that one is a bad dump with some corrupted menu graphics, this one was dumped correctly. In this case there are 300 games divided up into ‘1 player’ and ‘2 player’ menus, although in this case ‘2 player’ often just means that the games are still alternating between players, but both controllers are required.

As with most of these things this consists of a bunch of unlicensed bootleg hacks of 1st party Nintendo and some 3rd party games originally developed for the NES games, and a selection of original games using various levels of VT technology. Given this is a device released within the last half-decade it’s surprising to see the manufacturer still playing with fire by including unlicensed Nintendo games.

With the original games there are many instances in this collection where you find the same game, but where one version is using more / newer VT features than the others as they’re taken from a pool of games that was developed and updated over many years.


Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV

Bounce is obviously Namco’s Mappy, Space War is Jaleco’s Exerion, Conqueror is Konami’s Circus Charlie, Spar is a common hack of Nintendo’s Urban Champion and there are plenty of others too, especially near the end of the 2 player games list. These aren’t remakes, they’re bootleg hacks of the original NES games, pirated games.

Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV
Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV

Repair Urgently and Road Worker seem to be different tech levels of the same game, as are Puzzle Blocks and Blocks World. Fruit Boxes and Lattice Winner also seem to be the same thing, although Fruit Boxes has the 2 player mode removed. You can find the same pattern of ‘old’ and ‘new’ versions of several other games in this collection.

Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV
Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV
Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV Retro TV

The Techno Source Handy Boy 11-in-1 is another SH6578 based Plug and Play. I covered this chipset in an earlier part with the ABL Wikid Joystick, but here you have another Plug and Play using this not-quite NES compatible clone. Many of the games are NES hacks, but reskinned with code changes to accommodate the different way the video hardware works. Some of the games included here still have emulation issues, so the compilation hasn’t been promoted to WORKING state just yet. This is another that was supplied by GameHistory.org


Techno Source Handy 11 Techno Source Handy 11 Techno Source Handy 11
Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11
Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11
Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11
Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11
Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11 Handy 11
Handy 11 Handy 11

There were 2 more games on the same hardware type dumped, the Bandai Gamepad and a Lightgun shooter called City Patrolman. Neither of these goes past the first screen at the time of writing, but they haven’t been looked at in any detail yet, possibly just need control hookups. The Bandai gamepad was from the same source as the above while the City Patrolman ROM had been circulating for a while unemulated.


Bandai Game Pad City Patrolman

Back to ABL, there was the Mini Joystick 80-in-1, which consisted of 2 small joysticks and contains a bunch of VT enhanced titles. Again many of these are games you’ll find in other units, but as this is a slightly earlier product you’ll also find ones that were later dropped from the bigger compilations. The ratio of enhanced colour mode games to standard NES palette games is good here, and most of the games seem to be ‘original’ titles rather than just graphic hacks. One of the more respectable devices, even if nothing is spectacular.


Advance Bright Ltd Mini Joystick 80-in-1 Advance Bright Ltd Mini Joystick 80-in-1 Advance Bright Ltd Mini Joystick 80-in-1
ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick
ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick
ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick
ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick
ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick
ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick ABL Mini Joystick

Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game ‘6 Intelligent Games’ was put out by Smart Planet. It’s another VT based device, this one primarily being a Sudoku unit, but with 5 bonus games bundled in. There are some annoying rendering issues in most games that means this one has been left as NOT WORKING for now, although everything is playable. I think all of these games can be found in other units, and things like Lawn Mower appeared in many forms, even on newer hardware types. Overall the selection of games here does fit the unit well, slower paced ‘thinking’ games that don’t really need advanced graphics to function. Again this one was picked up by GameHistory.org


Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games'
Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games'
Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games'
Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games'
Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games' Sudoku Plug & Play TV Game '6 Intelligent Games'

Dance 2000 / Hot 2000 (Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet, SY-2000-04) is a Plug and Play dance mat based on technology closer to a regular NES than VT technology, with a very simple ‘mapper’ chip. There are many dance mats based on NES technology although most are tricky to dump, this one had a glob on a subboard similar to many ABL products, which made things easier. I do enjoy hearing NES chiptunes, so this has that appeal at least, but the actual game is very poor, and many of the songs don’t seem well tested – the game seems to run out of sprites on some songs causing the arrows to vanish before they even get to the point you’re meant to press them.


Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet
Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet
Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet Jin Bao TV Dancing Carpet

One thing to note with these Dance games is that the NES Software List contains many similar things that were released on cartridge, some sharing the same songs. I wasn’t sure if this Plug and Play version was going to match one of those cartridges, but it doesn’t. I’m not sure which came first, the cartridge versions, or the dance mat versions. Here are some shots of some of the NES games for comparison. This is one of those cases where there’s likely a deeper story to be told one day.


NES Dance Game NES Dance Game NES Dance Game
NES Dance Game NES Dance Game NES Dance Game
NES Dance Game NES Dance Game NES Dance Game

GameHistory.org also picked up the Megapad, which seems to have been developed by Waixing, although I don’t have much in the way of further details. Most of the games in here run, although one or two have issues, I haven’t made screens of all of them as it’s a 31-in-1 and by this point that’s a fair chunk of games. Many of the things on here are early versions of games that would appear on later systems (or sometimes in the same form on later systems) There’s nothing too fancy here, the Table Tennis game actually being more of a Pong clone is unexpected even for this type of device given how common actual Table Tennis style games became.


Megapad Megapad Megapad
Megapad Megapad Megapad Megapad
Megapad Megapad Megapad Megapad
Megapad Megapad Megapad Megapad
Megapad Megapad Megapad Megapad

There is at least one other NES / VT based machine I’d like to cover, but it fits better with other parts I have planned so I’ll leave it off this part. I don’t think there’s much more to say about these ones other than that they’re a very interesting explore if you’re looking to find the roots of games found on later devices and see different stages of their evolution. Due to the number of games in some of these the only way you’re going to see everything is by checking them out yourself.

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Under the Surface (part 7)

April 7, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Under the Surface (part 7)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.


The influence of the classic Guitar Hero games – from when all the songs were on the discs, yours to play whenever you wanted without having to worry about them becoming unavailable, cannot be underestimated. It is therefore unsurprising that there were Plug and Play clones of these, some with licensed music and song lists on the boxes, others with what you might call ‘original’ interpretations of better known songs and no licenses attached.

Guitar Fever, put out by ABL (and possibly developed by V-Tac) is an example of a device that did have fully licensed tracks. As with all the devices covered here these are ‘Midi’ (sequenced) versions of them, rather than actual audio recordings so you’re not getting any vocals, and sometimes even questionable instrumentation choices / arrangements, but they’re songs you’re going to recognize for the most part.

This one is still marked as NOT WORKING in MAME because the background scrolls more quickly than the notes, when in real hardware videos you can clearly see that they’re in sync. One such real video of this one is a 10 year old Ashen’s video, which is maybe the only reason this device is remembered at all. There were different styles of controller for this, but the code seems to be the same in all cases; we actually had 2, one sourced in the UK and one sourced in France, one used a regular flash ROM, the other had a glob, but the checksum sticker on both indicated both were the same (ABL, unlike many others often used stickers with the checksum of the ROM noted on them)


Guitar Fever Guitar Fever Guitar Fever
Guitar Fever Guitar Fever Guitar Fever

Senario put out Guitar Superstar as part of the ‘Active Arcade’ series. This is one of the units without licensing music, however all songs are clearly heavily based on known tracks, even the titles allude to what the original song is. “Granite Man” is based on “Iron Man” by “Black Sabbath, while “We Love Rockin'” is very obviously meant to be “I Love Rock ‘n Roll”. This one isn’t especially good, matching up the songs to what they’re meant to be is probably more fun than trying to play it where even in emulation the controls feel laggy. This one also came in several different styles of Guitar controller, and this time I think the different controllers might actually use a different ROM as the Guitar type is shown on the title screen and there are YouTube videos showing different title screens, and I see no switch read in the software to change it, that means we’ll probably have to pick up the others at some point for the sake of a graphic swap.


Guitar Superstar Guitar Superstar Guitar Superstar
Guitar Superstar Guitar Superstar Guitar Superstar

Guitar Star is another Senario product, although contains no Senario logo ingame, so presumably was only sold by Senario rather than Senario being involved in the development. I don’t know if it was released before or after Guitar Super Star, but one thing that is clear is that it is the superior product. The animation is more fluid, the controls, while not perfect, feel better (at least once you get used to the timings) and the music actually appears to be licensed, so original track names are intact. It has a more cartoony presentation which may not appeal as much to some, but personally I prefer this more vibrant look over the gritty images in Guitar Superstar.

Timings drift slightly over the longer songs in MAME on this one, leading the the music being out of sync with the notes, so for now it still has a NOT WORKING flag.


Guitar Star Guitar Star Guitar Star
Guitar Star Guitar Star Guitar Star

One thing that was surprising with Guitar Star is how it shares the basic frontend with another product, DreamGear’s Shredmaster Jr. although the actual in game presentation of both is significant different, Guitar Star going for a look that more closely apes Guitar Hero than Shredmaster Jr. which has a simpler 2D look to it closer to many of the dance games.


Shredmaster Jr. Shredmaster Jr. Shredmaster Jr.
Shredmaster Jr. Shredmaster Jr. Shredmaster Jr.

In European territories the same game was distributed by TaiKee as the ‘Rockstar Guitar’ and has a title screen of ‘Guitar Rock’ I actually had 2 copies of this guitar, both costing around £5 each. I picked the 2nd one up so that I had a spare, but it turned out to have a different set of songs, including “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough” by the Manic Street Preachers. I made a video of that version here sadly the cheap Flash ROM contained within it died during the dumping process, so the unit will need replacing, that’s always a risk with these as they rarely used high quality components as they were cheap tat even at the time.


Rockstar Guitar Rockstar Guitar Rockstar Guitar

I covered the Family Sport units briefly in an earlier part when I mentioned the OPlayer. Usually Family Sport units are decent value and honest products, unlike many of the NES based multigames full of dupes of the same game they typically contain the number of games they say they contain without any duplicates.

I did however encounter one major exception to that so far, the My Wico Deluxe ’32-bit’ system. This is presented as a Family Sport 85-in-1, and as part of that 85-in-1 there are 3 sub-menus, one for “Mi Guitar” one for “Mi Fit” and another for “Mi Papacon” Within those menus are additional games, but all the games there are dupes of games already in other menus. As for Guitar, Fit and Papacon, they’re exactly the same game but with a different title screen. The My Wico Deluxe is marked as NOT WORKING in MAME but that’s because the motion control bit for the sports games isn’t hooked up properly, these run as you’d expect (although I do need to check the banking is correct for the songs after some recent changes, for some reason some of these SunPlus games aren’t setting port directions as expected)


My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit
My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit

Now I’m going to go with a theory here. At some point maybe Mi Guitar, Mi Fit and Mi Papacon were separate products, shipped with unique controllers so that while they were the same songs, and same presentation, they at least had something different about them. Here everything has been changed to use the basic directional buttons on the controller, and even at times they end up asking you to press opposing directions, which simply isn’t even possible. Other than these I don’t think there’s anything in the My Wico Deluxe that isn’t in the OPlayer, so no need for further coverage of this unit.


My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit
My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit My Wico Deluxe 32-bit

I already mentioned the “InterAct Complete Video Game – 89-in-1” but I guess it’s worth mentioning again here because one of the games within it “Guitar Revolution” seems related to these “Mi Guitar” type games, or at least has basically the same song selection. In all honesty the presentation on it is quite well done, and I’m again left wondering if this was an actual standalone product with a guitar controller in some markets.


InterAct Complete Video Game - 89-in-1 - Guitar Revolution InterAct Complete Video Game - 89-in-1 - Guitar Revolution InterAct Complete Video Game - 89-in-1 - Guitar Revolution
InterAct Complete Video Game - 89-in-1 - Guitar Revolution InterAct Complete Video Game - 89-in-1 - Guitar Revolution InterAct Complete Video Game - 89-in-1 - Guitar Revolution

Switching instruments to the Violin, the Japanese ‘Evio’ Plug and Play took cartridges, and in recent months 8 of them were dumped (7 boot, one requires additional SEEPROM hookup) The highest cartridge we have is numbered on the box as ’18’ (that’s the one that doesn’t boot) so there are probably at least 10 undumped cartridges for this system. The controls aren’t currently hooked up, but you can listen to the songs, albeit with the currently incomplete XaviX sound emulation, in the ‘Demo’ mode. This was a Tomy / Takara product, and apparently even allowed linking up of Violins for multiplayer action.


Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio
Evio Evio Evio

With that I’ll end this part too, I was tempted to throw in another Dance Mat while on the musical theme, but there’s enough in here anyway.

I think this shows that music games played a significant role in Plug and Play culture; there are several Guitars (some sourced, some not) that still need dumping, and while none of those came close to what they were trying to imitate their mere existence helps cement the cultural significance and influence of the more popular games in this genre. Emulating them is important as they’re part of a bigger story.

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