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megadrive region locking


Dandy_Sephy
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Ok, I know about early games often being bilingual, and all the related import stuff.

However, am i right in thinking at some stage Sega region locked carts for their respective regions in the same way as nintneod? If so, when did they start ? My current theory (for pal games) is that they introduced it when they changed from the black grid packaging design to the blue spotty type, but I have no idea if that is the case.

Also, can I assume this works based on language and speed settings, so they will work fine on a modded machine?

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I believe you're right in your assumption, in that it was around the time they changed the box colour. I seem to remember reading about it when Sonic 3 came out, which I think was one of the first to have the new design.

It's certainly the earliest memory I have of the change of box, as my Dad bought me sonic 3 around launch and it didn't match my other games. that puts it at feb 94, which seems rather late to introduce region locking to me.

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I cant help but I think it might be worth giving the folks over on NTSC a go. They seem to have a much bigger retro crowd than here.

Well you speak for yourself, I'll answer the question.

The first region locked games were Rolling Thunder 2, Speedball 2, Thunderforce 4, (all circa 91-92) Cool Spot and the pal version of Muhammad ali boxing , there are also games such as Afterburner 2 that in one guise or another had issues running on regionalised hardware due to bios revisions.

Sega ramped the numbers up in 93, some of it's due to licensing restrictions, some of it (Cool spot, Tyrants/megalomania/Virtua Racing) is down to technical reasons.

you'll find a list in the FAQ I believe

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Well you speak for yourself, I'll answer the question.

The first region locked games were Rolling Thunder 2, Speedball 2, Thunderforce 4, (all circa 91-92) Cool Spot and the pal version of Muhammad ali boxing , there are also games such as Afterburner 2 that in one guise or another had issues running on regionalised hardware due to bios settings.

Sega ramped the numbers up in 93, some of it's due to licensing restrictions, some of it (Cool spot, Tyrants/megalomania/Virtua Racing) is down to technical reasons.

you'll find a list in the FAQ I believe

213

Thanks man. Do the "for pal and secam machines only" and similar messages on packaging actually indicate locked games? As they seem to be random from my pov - many games simply don't say it regardless of age

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Thanks man. Do the "for pal and secam machines only" and similar messages on packaging actually indicate locked games? As they seem to be random from my pov - many games simply don't say it regardless of age

Basically it depends, you're wrong in that it started with sonic 3 but not that it became a major issue with that titles release - it very much depended on the game and the publisher. EA games simply didn't do it, the pal versions of a few virgin games were locked for both licensing and technical reasons. Sadly there was no real rhyme and reason it seems at times - Zombies was locked AFAIRC but not a few other konami games. IRC one turtles title was, one wasn't - by then I'd stopped importing as i just had swiutches on my MD and all games with 2-3 exceptions were the same to me..

Really the games to watch out for are the Blue and Red era titles depending on where the game originated from but you'd sussed that all I can say is check the FAQ (I think we put it in there) or the list of region locked games thats out there.

Why not just obtain a MD 1 and a Scart Lead and stick some switches on your MD to negate this issue? chaos engine and many othergames when fired up in pal mode can then be switched up to 60HZ providing a boost for the sound and gameplay - CE bombs along when you do that as does sonic/sonic 2. I know how to do that is in the FAQ, you must have some wire a soldering iron. 2 cheap switches from maplins and a beat up but working MD 1 somewhere?

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Why not just obtain a MD 1 and a Scart Lead and stick some switches on your MD to negate this issue? chaos engine and many othergames when fired up in pal mode can then be switched up to 60HZ providing a boost for the sound and gameplay - CE bombs along when you do that as does sonic/sonic 2. I know how to do that is in the FAQ, you must have some wire a soldering iron. 2 cheap switches from maplins and a beat up but working MD 1 somewhere?

I pciked up a modded asian machine a few weeks ago at a bootfair, I'm just needing a rgb scart lead (it has a rf lead hooked up inside by my lcd doesnt like ntsc rf signals, but ironically my old crt which my parents have runs it fine except the colors bleed everywhere as rf sucks :()

I was just curious about what factors there were concerning what games were locked.

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I was just curious about what factors there were concerning what games were locked.

There is no method to knowing what games were region locked. The factors would have been to stop imports from the US being sold in Europe. Not just the hardcore gamers but large retail chains would often sell Genesis games in the UK becuase there was no protection.

Rule of thumb is that one games after 93 might have region protection, Sega, Konami, Capcom, Virgin titles were most likley to support region locking.

Adding switches to your Megadrive defeats all region locking.

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If you want an inside Sega answer regarding region lockout, check out the next issue of Retro Gamer, which has a Megadrive article (I'm not giving away company secrets - it's actually mentioned on the back page).

I managed to persuade both Sega Japan and the ex-head of SOA to answer my question on why they implemented region locking in the MD/Gen. Fairly corporate answers, but still a great issue! You should all go out and buy a copy. :(

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If you want an inside Sega answer regarding region lockout, check out the next issue of Retro Gamer, which has a Megadrive article (I'm not giving away company secrets - it's actually mentioned on the back page).

I managed to persuade both Sega Japan and the ex-head of SOA to answer my question on why they implemented region locking in the MD/Gen. Fairly corporate answers, but still a great issue! You should all go out and buy a copy. :(

Man, it;s a sega love fest at RG atm :(

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If you want an inside Sega answer regarding region lockout, check out the next issue of Retro Gamer, which has a Megadrive article (I'm not giving away company secrets - it's actually mentioned on the back page).

I managed to persuade both Sega Japan and the ex-head of SOA to answer my question on why they implemented region locking in the MD/Gen. Fairly corporate answers, but still a great issue! You should all go out and buy a copy. :D

You should try and get an interview with Tony Takoushi, he was responsible for 3rd party megadrive titles during the Megadrive heyday. I belive he's one of the reasons we got some great games that the US never got.

Oh and if you need to know about Dreamcast era 3rd party stuff I'm your man. :D

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You should try and get an interview with Tony Takoushi, he was responsible for 3rd party megadrive titles during the Megadrive heyday. I belive he's one of the reasons we got some great games that the US never got.

Oh and if you need to know about Dreamcast era 3rd party stuff I'm your man. :D

The mag will hopefully continue for a long time (forever?), giving ample opportunity to track down Mr Takoushi. And thanks for your offer! It's always great to find contacts. :D

There's big things on the horizon, and hopefully further exciting developments.

keep 'em peeled chaps.

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I'm 99% sure that the first game to feature region lock-out was the US version of Devil Crash, called Dragon's Fury. I remember Megatech or one of the other Sega mags running a small article about it at the time.

So the first cart to feature lock-out on the Sega console wasn't by Sega, but Tegen.

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The mag will hopefully continue for a long time (forever?), giving ample opportunity to track down Mr Takoushi. And thanks for your offer! It's always great to find contacts. :D

There's big things on the horizon, and hopefully further exciting developments.

keep 'em peeled chaps.

You can google for Takoushi, he's got a web presence IIRC it's also fun to see the posts circa 98 slagging the guy off when he was a producer.....

When you find him point him in my direction as I'm doing something on the wriuters of PCG.

I'm 99% sure that the first game to feature region lock-out was the US version of Devil Crash, called Dragon's Fury. I remember Megatech or one of the other Sega mags running a small article about it at the time.

So the first cart to feature lock-out on the Sega console wasn't by Sega, but Tegen.

If it was in Megatech it'd be after Rolling Thunder 2 then as I'm sure Megatech launched after RT2's release

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Basically it depends, you're wrong in that it started with sonic 3 but not that it became a major issue with that titles release

I originally had a Japanese Mega Drive. I sold it and bought a PAL one when SF2 came out.

Yes, I know, wrong way around!

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