SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive Games
See my Main Page for information onbutton representations.
Cyborg JusticeAhh, Cyborg Justice. The game I wanted ever since setting eyes on it on a SEGA ad poster (the kind that came packaged with GameGear games... ah, those were the days...). I've since gotten 2 copies at Funco, the second because the first never really worked (but at least it came with an original box and a sheet with controls... why doesn't Funco provide control cards any more?). Not that the second works much better, but it does play on my Nomad, so I'm happy. Enough about me. CJ is a cool premise, but the graphics are bad and the gameplay is repetitive. None the less, I have it so it's here.
Start a game and configure your robot as crappily as you wish. Once you enter the game, pause and press C, B, B, C, C, A, C, B (quickly, I think) to bring up the debug menu. From here you can change your current arm and give yourself massive numbers of extra lives, as well as select various other game options. The only catch is that for most stuff to activate, you have to die and restart, which as I recall, means that in many cases you end up with the default crap robot anyway. There are ways around this, but I don't remember them right now. They aren't too hard to figure out, tho.
One feature of CJ was the ability to build your own robot from a set of fixed parts, with well over 100 possible combinations. Here are the functions of various assembly parts, to the extent of my knowledge (if you know more, please e-mail me at seanstaraol.com):
Arms: Special weapon activated by pressing A twice
- Hand: jack-hammer punch (short range, nice damage) by holding [towards]
- Spiny Clump: spinning grinder, move with D-pad
- Buzz Saw: cuts off opponant's arm if you make contact long enough, move with D-pad
- Rocket: goes *boioioioing*, shooting off across the screen for high damage on impact, but then you have to go over and pick it up or play without it.
- Cannon: "la-ser." High power projectile, with a little charge time, great weapon but tends to randomly stop working if you use it significantly in a level.
- Flame Thrower: play with fire. toast your opposition up to a body's width away. may cause some other effect, but I hardly ever use it.
Bodies: No clue. Possibly varying degrees of power/defense, but just as likely to only be cosmetic.
- Normal Body: you look vaguely like the front end of a cadillac
- Lobster Body: you look like the front end of a futuristic car and you have a claw
- Insect Body: you look like a fat mantis
- Frog Body: you look like a commando, almost, if you squint...
- Big Booster Body: has a visor, shoulders that look like they should have missile racks, 3 fingers and looks great with Big Foot Legs
- Quasimodo Body: you look like a headless silver weight-trainer
Legs: I wonder...
- Jogging Legs: move more quickly?
- Spiked Legs: higher kick damage, possibly a special kick maneuver...
- Somersault Legs: sommersault by tapping C twice
- Tank Legs: charging tank attack by pressing C twice. careful not to run off a cliff or into a trap...
- Big Foot Legs: no damage from ground traps
- Pneumatic Legs: my favorite, allows you to super-jump by tapping C twice while moving (good for pits)
Shinobi IIIFirst and foremost, Shinobi III is a cool game. Ninjas are cool. Magic is cool. Flashy sharp things are cool. Ninja using flashy sharp things and magic to make things blow up is spectacular. There are only a couple codes for the game I know of, but hardly ever use. There are enough fun things to do without them.
Play He Runs, Japonesque, Shinobi Walk, Sakura and Getufu in the options screen before starting a game for invincibility.
Set Sound Effects to Shuriken, Music to Shinobi, and Voice to Shuriken Hits in the options screen and reduce your starting shuriken to 00. After about 5 seconds the 00 will mysteriously transform its self into an infinity symbol (you gotta love SEGA) and you'll never run out of shuriken.
Probably the biggest reason I never use the above codes is the charging slash. Press left or right twice to run. Attack while running for a good 3 or perhaps 4 regular shuriken worth of damage, plus a half second of invincibility! If the following overview is somewhat weighted towards the slash, that's why.
Stage 1: Zeed's Resurrection
Easy enough. Most enemies are one-hit kill, and they all react slowly to your presence. Use shuriken, or whatever method you prefer. The first two large samurai can be killed when unguarded by either 3 shuriken or a charging slash. The sub-boss samurai takes a little more work. If you time it right, you can charge-slash him as he makes his slash, avoid the damage, and jump the shockwave when it returns. 2 slashes, or the equivalent in shuriken or kicks will kill him.
Not much more difficult than part 1. Watch out for spike traps, cross the chasms on the ropes, and be sure to check the ceiling above each rope for a vertical passage. The first contains shuriken and ninjitsu, the second contains shuriken and an extra life. By far the easiest way to beat the final boss is with four (only four!) charging slashes. The boss drops his guard for an attack whenever you get close, so by the time you're within slash range he'll be vulnerable. Your blow hits before he even starts is, and you not only don't take damage, but actually bounce backward slightly, leaving you free to jump over him unharmed when he charges.
Stage 2: Secret Entry
You're riding a horse, so the charge slash is out :P. However, for those who want a challenge, the jump-kick still works. For the most part, though, you'll want to use shuriken on the running ninja (watch them in the background for timing). Prepare to jump about 5 seconds after each warning. With practice you can catch a 1up before the sub-boss. Hit the sub boss with shuriken and avoid his spears when he comes at you from the front. To dodge his kicks, keep about a quarter of the way from the left of the screen, and when he appears, run to the far right. With proper timing you can get him to come down in the middle of the screen without hitting you, and even jump-kick or slash him as he runs off to the right.
Take out the gun troops however you wish (timing with a slash is difficult, but not impossible). The boomerang throwers take 2 shuriken worth of damage to kill. I find kicks work well. There are a good half dozen power ups to be obtained from the overhead catwalks extending from the long vertical tube/column things coming down from the ceiling. Run-jump-flip left off the first to reach a second with more shuriken and jump up from it to reach a couple more crates with more valuable goodies. In the elevator shaft, the crawling gunners don't appear until you get on the same level as their vents. Use this to your advantage by jumping frequently to lure them out early and either dodge or kill them. Stay as high as possible once out of the building, crabing whatever pipes and ceilings are available. Throw shuriken onto the platforms as soon as you can reach them, as most have gun troops on them. At worst you'll just hit a crate, making it easier to grab power-ups on the fly. There are a couple areas where you risk getting crushed, and at least one where if you have only a couple seconds to go from ceiling hanging to a platform (to avoid crushing) to a vertical wall-jump clime (to avoid falling off screen) to a gunner, so stay alert. The boss can be killed in only a few charging slashes (when he drops low to release mines), but not without taking damage. Unless you're keen on not taking any damage, I'd suggest slashing at least once or twice, as between the force field and room mirroring, it can be annoying to get shuriken in.
Stage 3: Body Weapon
Watch the ceiling for flying brains and the ooze for... um... ooze monsters (which take 2 shuriken to down). 25-50% of the crates here are bombed, so watch out. Always check the ceiling for places you can jump through. If you don't need to go through the ceiling to progress, you can claim a good 4-5 crates of power-ups. Shuriken the flying brains, and I'd say jump-kick the tubes holding the jumping brains so you connect and kill just as they break out (if you're good, you can get all 3 jumpers and teh flying in each set with kicks without touching the ground). Conveyors carry you just as well from below as above. Kill the sparks (1 shuriken) however you want (slashing is probably a bad idea, with the ooze below) or just avoid them. There are two crates at the lower right of the conveyor belt room, two more at the upper left. To get the ninjitsu from the crate over the ooze before the sub boss, stand on it, hold left, crouch, sweep-kick and immediately wall-jump right. I still take some damage on this sub boss, but usually out of stupidity. Kill the brains as they break out. If you let 3 or more get loose simultaneously, you're much more likely to take damage. After a dozen or so kills, the jars just shatter without releasing anything and the ooze drains. Drop down the pit.
Fun bit. Use the jump kick for just about everything here. The ground slows you down, so jump-kick for movement. There are buried pincer enemies, so jump-kick them to get through. The level boss appears in the background with a targeting cursor, which you'll want to get ahead of quickly (jump-kick) to avoid unshakable lock-on and resulting pain (whether or not you get hit, he'll try to arget you a good 3-4 times in this section). When you actually get to fight him, you can time jump-kicks to his forehead to stay out of danger (whenever you hit him his hand will rise out of the muck and shoot across teh floor to catch you). His burrowing doesn't mean anything (only less space for you to dodge his hand if you hit him while he's submerging or surfacing), so just wait for him to surface. If he begins sucking you in, get as far left as you can in the first second or so, then crouch and duck-walk left until he spits his energy beam. Slashing does good damage here, but can be quite risky.
Stage 4: Destruction
Jet surfing! Slashes are out entirely, a good 3/4 of the enemies are too high for jump kicks, and all enemies take about 3 hits, so you're really gonna want to get and maintain power shuriken. Again, you can watch the background to see where the bikers will appear. From the right they're always grenadiers along the top of the screen, from the left they're always machine gunners coming in just below your peak jump height. Get rid of them all as fast as possible so they don't stay around to make things difficult. When you see the exclamation mark, be prepared to dash, and if you can, jump. Dashing alone usually gets you past the mines after each ramp, but jumping helps you catch the far high power-ups, including a 1up near the end of the section. If you have power shuriken when you reach the sub-boss, you'll have quite an easy time if you just keep throwing them as quickly as possible. If you don't, throw shuriken quickly anyway. You won't kill him before he starts firing at you, but you'll do good damage. Dodge his rifle and homing rocket spread and shuriken or kick him whenever his shield's down.
Good music. Climb the pipes all through this section, getting as high as possible wherever possible. There are quite a lot of goodies stashed up in harder to reach locations, including at least 2 (!!) 1ups. Kill the normal ninja as you will, but realize that they will jump up or down to get on your level whenever the can. Most ninja die with one shuriken, the fire floaters and pipe crawlers take 2. It's a lot easier to knock out the gas vents with a jump kick (hang on their pipes, jump up, kick down, hold ^ to catch the pipe again as you fall) than shuriken. Beware flying ninja, especially in the areas over water. Barrels will sink you off screen (death) if you stand on them more than about 3 seconds. Learn the single-wall climb here if you haven't already (running jump at wall and jump off as normal, flip at the peak of your jump and angle back to the wall, pressing jump again as soon as you're sure you're up against it. You should be able to climb about half your height per jump this way). Use this maneuver to snag the two crates from atop the orange pipe just before the boss.
Part 3: Boss
I give the boss its own section because a) it's long, and b) you're back on the jet board. If you have power shuriken, pat yourself on the back and rapid-fire them at the boss' first stage. Shortly after he stabilizes (if he isn't already dead), switch to jump-kicking to avoid his nastier attacks. About 10 seconds after part 1 sinks, part 2 (a reversed part 1, now looking more robot-like, but you can see the remnants of the cannon on its back) rises out of the water and grabs its gun and shield. You can't hit it at all until it grabs both. When the robot is fully equipped, hit his gun, I prefer jump kicks, until it breaks and you can hit his shield. Hit his shield (shuriken) until it breaks and you can hit his nose. Jump kicking lets you avoid many attacks. If you're good, you can even kick all his homing missiles out of the air without taking damage. Every time yo get one part of him to blow out (usually disabling an attack), he'll come at you even harder with what he has left. He has an annoyingly large amount of life, and I still often don't get through without lightning ninjutsu. Watch for life and shuriken power-ups as you progress. One or the other comes by every, oh... 15-30 seconds. After destroying his gun, shield, and a good half dozen body parts individually, you should finally be able to sink him.
Stage 5: Electric Demon
Relievingly horizontal. Mines explode 1-2 seconds after being stepped on, the tops of the tanks take a little longer. Kill all troops as soon as you see them, and watch for grenade mortars placed at the most annoying locations. Also look for power-up crates hidden against scenery crates. There are more than you might expect. Challenging, but straightforward. For the sub boss, it is possible, with perfect timing, to charging-slash him as he dashes across the screen, completely avoiding damage on your part. This is quite risky without practice, however, as improper timing means either no damage to either of you (early) or damage to you but not him (late). If you aren't sure, just jump his charges, shuriken him as he slows down, and jump-kick his head as he stops to use his gun.
Bombs in crates destroy floors, which can be both good and bad. Grab power-ups from crates in higher locations, but generally avoid hitting crates at floor-level unless you see no other way to progress. Yes, it is possible to grab the power ups on the other side of the small pit just below where you come in. No, getting across does not involve jumping or hanging (if you try this approach, you die. Period.). I won't disclose exactly how, but as a hint- what maneuver gets Shinobi's feet off the ground for a split second without jumping??? There are a few puzzle-y places in the first section, but while they may appear to, they shouldn't put you in any danger of falling off the screen if handled correctly. There are a couple bonus crates just below the door to section 2. Section 2 is even more maze-like than 1, but the general direction you want to head is up, then right. The single-wal climb is especially useful in reaching hidden and semi-hidden ceiling passages (be sure to check to make sure what you think is the top of a passage is really the top). Again, destroying crates on ground level will usually just make your life mroe difficult. The boss here isn't nearly as bad as the jet-board boss, but it can still do heavy damage if you aren't prepared. Use lightning ninjitsu if you have any doubts. Personally, I like to use the charging slash for this one. You can stand on the dragon's chest safely with just enough room to initiate a slash which takes off perhaps a sixth of the head's life. When the head is down, go for the chest with whatever you can, slashes work well here too. Always move in, attack, then move out until the flames and/or energy spheres clear out enough to let you back in. Dodge the debris as you are able, but I find it isn't as much of a threat as the boss' primary weapons.
Stage 6: Traps
Welcome to the single most annoying level in the game. If you don't have the timing of the midair flip down by now, get set to lose a continue or two. As in the elevator, the higher you keep yourself here the better, and if in doubt, launch shuriken at the top of each jump. There are standing ninja on every 2nd or 3rd major rock, and 3-6 flying ninja distributed pretty evenly through the area. If you see a rock that is simply going to be hell to jump to, rest assured that's where you'll need to be to make it to the next more comfortably sized and positioned rock. The sub boss isn't as menacing as you might expect. This is the first boss I would suggest not trying the slash on, for fairly obvious reasons, but rapid, well-placed shuriken work quite nicely. When the boss turns into a feather circle, it only takes one shuriken in the very center of the circle to knock him back into humaoid form.
Press up to enter doorways. The hardest to reach doorway in each area is the one they want you in. In the tall room in which you'll probably spend most of your time, I suggest using the single-wall jump to reach the top rather than trusting the crates. Spare the crates as much as possible, as they make your life easier if you slip off the wall, but if you have the choice, take out both a winged ninja and a crate rather than neither one. The door you want is at the very veeeery top right. In the next room yes they do want you to make your way between the spike-topped walls, going up one passage, over a wall into the next passage, catch yourself, jump over the next wall, catch yourself, etc. Once you reach solid ground again, proceed slowly and take out any enemies you see. Keep high and continue right past a few more tricky jumps into the door in the 'L' shaped hollow at the upper-right (any other door leads to nasty trap hallways and back to the tall room). Proceed down the long hall, killing the ninja and avoiding as many spikes as possible (small moving and fixed ones hurt, large ones are lethal). Once again any door but the one at the very end (after all the traps) will take you backwards to some degree. Only use them if you're desperately in need of life/shuriken. One final short hall contains a door that screams 'BOSS', with two others, one which takes you back, one at the far end of spikes which takes you to a tricky power-up room, then back to start. The boss himself is a royal pain. In his first stage, just slash whatever shadow you can reach most easily, throwing shuriken at the other one if you can. Ninjitsu of some form is highly reccommened for both stages. In his second form, hit the boss with slashes if you can, anything else if you can't. You will take damage. Period.
Stage 7: the Final Confrontation
Part 1: Hang test.
Ohhh, you're saying horizontal levels should have ground? Get used to hanging here, and learn to judge your hanging 'stride (amount you move on one swing, whether you have room for another on the same bar). The jets take roughly 4 shuriken, the vents somewhat less. Some jumps can only be made with a flip.
Part 2: Snipe test.
Unless you have loads of shuriken and haven't died recently, this elevator is a test of how well you can hit stuff at range. All targets die with one hit, but the little moving droids can be a pain, and all the tiny guns are out of melee range.
Part 3: Dodge test.
I fail this one pretty routinely. The charging slash is NOT the way to go after the cannons, since they don't die to one hit of it. They hurt, and furthermore, their timing seems to simply pause when they're scrolled off (so you can't run when one is about to fire, then come back later when it's clear- it will still be about to fire!). 6 regular shuriken take them out, and fortunately their shots can be destroyed with 1 shuriken each, if you're quick. I'd say just lie low until a pause in firing (3-shot bursts) and take the canons out at range. The mortars are more nuiscance than threat, and do die to a charging slash, so don't waste your shuriken.
Part 4: Navigation test.
Been practicing the 1-wall wall jump? Good! Many bits here require falling off a ledge and jumping off the adjacent wall at the last moment. The blue stuff isn't too painful, but don't take it in spades. The first set of falling posts is best tackled by standing on each until it falls low enough to jump to the next without hitting your head. For the second, just keep moving. Grab the 1up from the second crate to the left once you're on the ceiling (defuse the TNT in the first with a shuriken). Be sure to duck below the blue stuff as needed on the platform rides. The zig-zag platform ride requires creatively timed jumping to stay on the platform. Miss and you die. Run-jump to grab the pipes in the next bit. You can't reach them from the 'ground' or by a flip.
Part 5: Wall-jump test.
The 1-wall jump can potentially save your life here too. The bigger strategy, however, is to be sure you're on the wall before you jump again. Rush and you'll just flip. Also, don't press against the wall until you're on solid wall. The blue stuff won't hurt you if you're simply falling adjacent to it to reach the next patch of wall.
Part 6: Pain.
I can only presume this guy is the infamous Zeed himself. He blocks frequently, but you can usually shuriken his legs from a crouch or charge-slash him when he's attacking (he even blocks charge-slash when standing). Enough damage (4 solid charging slashes) and he'll beam to phase 2 and start opening a can of martial-arts whoop-ass. Defensive thunder jitsu does not go amiss here (shadow/clone jitsu doesn't block most of his attacks). Neither does the sacrificial ninjutsu, as it will give you as many life bars as you have lives remaining to beat him. Just unload, unload, unload. Wait for him to open up, and unload whatever you have. Fight in close to save shuriken. Good luck. I've still never managed to finish him off.
Sonic the Hedgehog To use the debug menu for level select, at the title screen press ^, v, <, >, hold A and press [Start]. Alternately, the same code, but pressing C after each direction, will give you debug options (in the game, B toggles debug mode, A cycles through objects, and C places the selected object, also you can pause and hold B for slow-motion, press C to advance only one frame, or press A to reset while keeping most codes enabled and keeping any collected emeralds. Enter both codes a few times, pause-A resetting in-between and eventually you'll end up with both level select and debug).
Collect all the emeralds through repeatedly using 'special stage' on the level select menu before you start the game (if you're really cheap, use debug mode and just move the placement cursor over the emerald, pressing B to return to Sonic and end the level) to make your life easier.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2Sonic 2 is the debug king of the Sonic series (I'm thinking MegaMan 3 here...). There are probably more codes than I've listed here (I've gotten some pretty strange non-*ding!* sounds from the sound test before, but haven't linked any effect to them so far...), but I think these will be enough to start out.
To get to the main Sonic 2 level select, go into the options menu and play tunes 19, 65, 9 and 17 (the birthday of one of the game's big producers), return to the title screen, hold A and press [Start].
From the level select sound test play tunes 04, 01, 02 and 06 to give yourself Super Sonic from the start of the game (jump after collecting 50 rings, you'll transform as if you had all the emeralds).
Enter tunes 01, 09, 09, 02, 01, 01, 02, 04 (Sonic 2's release date) to activate debug mode (same controls as Sonic 1's debug). Hold A when you select your level.
For 14 continues, enter 01, 01, 02, 04 (probably just part of the release date again).
Hold C when you select your level to activate 'night mode,' basically a dark field over any unoccupied foreground location. (may have to enter debug first)
The monitor you get in debug mode is the 2-player position warp monitor. Not useful on its own, but if you activate Super Sonic and switch positions with Tails, Super Sonic's speed and invincibility will be transferred to tails. Place 2 monitors (you can't place an unbroken monitor once you've broken an existing switch monitor), and switch back to Sonic after giving Tails Super abilities, and get hit or let your rings count back to 0. Get 50 more rings and you can become Super again (after your rings reach 0 once, they won't drain again until you become Super again, and Tails will keep all his Super abilities until he dies (pits, crushing or drowning will kill him).
At the title screen, press ^, ^, ^, v, v, v, ^ or ^, ^, v, v, ^, ^, ^, ^ to switch the game's 'Tails/Miles polarity' (anywhere the game says Tails or Miles the names will be reversed).
Game Genie code ACLA-ATCY will cause the pointer from the level select's Emerald Hill 1 to point to the start of the infamous Hidden Palace zone. Only a shadow of the original data is left (level was removed during the game's production), but the music is still there, and you can use debug to scroll around the level and see what's left. All the level-specific graphic data is gone, plus the data which tells the game what floors/walls are solid, but sprite function data still exists (there ae a few crumbling platforms, a couple 'auto-spins' on pipe entrances and some nifty bridges which change color as you walk across them (palette data is also intact)). Sprites already in the level still function, for the most part (I haven't found any enemies I know were there from a beta ROM I've played), but the sprites debug mode lets you place are taken from Oil Ocean zone. Also, check out the only Tails 1up monitor in the game!
I've been working, periodically, with the hex code of Sonic 2 bin roms (the exact hex in the cart its self, and thus the hex GameGenie works with). If the remaining Hidden Palace data is still on the cart, just not where the game expects it to be, I may be able to work out some Game Genie code combination that makes the HPZ fully playable to the degree in which it was playable when furhter work on it was abandoned. If anyone has information which might help me in this endeavor, don't hesitate to E-mail me at seanstaraol.com!
Actually, I have to give the Sonic 2 programmers some credit. The game is very flexible indeed, and will try to run (usually succeeding reasonably) with whatever odd codes/hacks you throw at it. While I haven't yet repaired HPZ, I have located the pointers for the 2-player level select menu. Not long after, I developed a set of Game Genie codes to swap any level into any slot of the 2-player level select. Any level that ran split-screen in beta (everything but levels with water) that is still in final runs pretty much exactly as it did in beta. EHS, MCZ, CNZ and the special stage, of course, all run perfectly (see below for zone name abbreviations, if you haven't figured out what I'm talking about yet).
In a more detailed playability breakdown (unmodified, read further for touch-up codes):
Emerald Hill Zone (EHZ/EH): 2-player by design, runs perfectly.
Chemical PLant Zone (CPZ/CP): Major graphical glitching in act 1, junk in foreground limits playability seriously if you don't know the level some to begin with, but terrain and sprites all seem intact. Act 2 contains water, which has never been implemented in split-screen, and runs 1-player even from the 2-player level select (read further for how to get around this).
Aquatic Ruin Zone (ARZ/AR): Both acts contain water, which has never been implemented in split-screen, and run 1-player even from the 2-player level select (read further for how to get around this).
Casino Night Zone (CNZ/CN): 2-player by design, runs perfectly.
Hill Top Zone (HTZ/HT): Runs with only a few minor graphical glitches (I've discovered there's actually code to customize HTZ for 2-player in the ROM! It was pulled from the final, obviously, but at some point they tried to make it 2-player!) and occasionally gets confused and removes certain sprites. The reason this zone isn't 2-player by design, I think, is the earthquake caves. When you get to them, either there is no earthquake (which can be both a blessing and a curse), or there is an earthquake but the moving ground/lava, while solid, is invisible. For some odd reason, some lava in the stage no longer damages you in split-screen...
Mystic Cave Zone (MCZ/MC): 2-player by design, runs perfectly.
Oil Ocean Zone (OOZ/OO): Major graphical glitching, but terrain and sprites are still there, so it's playable if you know the level some to begin with. The only big malfunction I've found is one time when, in one of the balloon/cannon courses (some of them work fine), Sonic froze in midair and I had to restart the level (game didn't freeze, but Sonic just sat there spinning as if he was moving, so I couldn't enter any commands).
Metropolis Zone (MZ): More graphical glitches, but thankfully all in the sprites and background, so you can actually see yourself as you play through. As far as I can tell (haven't played it much), everything works fine so long as you don't mind the starfish being even more indistinguishable before they explode... SEGA probably didn't work this one up for 2-player because of its sheer size, the fact that it's so late in the game and designed to be a challenge simply to navigate (keep players from learning the level in 2-player before tackling it in a normal game). There may also have been some paranoia regarding the function of the teleporter pipes, but they do seem to work in 2-player.
Sky Chase Zone (CSZ/CS): Think about how this level works in 1-player and 1-player with someone else controlling Tails. Think about how you might make it work in 2-player. Then tell the ROM because it hasn't a clue! The stage loads in 2-player, yes, and the graphics aren't even all that bad, but both Sonic and Tails (the plane) jump immediately to the left side of the screen and remain there, no mattter what you do, as the level scrolls by (they don't even get hit!)
Wing Fortress Zone (WFZ/WF): Another 'how would you do this in 2-player' zone. The stage loads, graphics are pretty good, but Tails moves as tails moves in 1-player- just close enough to the first platform for Sonic to jump off, then down off the bottom of the screen. Sonic can play through, but if he dies once, he warps back to the start, and with no Tails there to catch him, he falls of the screen repeatedly until game-over. If you load WFZ act 2 (one of the many addresses for levels that don't actually exist in the game), you end up in the WF level, and the starting point is actually on the platform, but there's no Tails and no other sprites, so the level is impossible to complete.
Death Egg Zone (DEZ/DE): I think this is the only zone that has a boss fight in 2-player. It loads, with minor graphical glitches, and plays well enough (Tails will sometimes even appear without a hack, for some odd reason, when he wasn't in WF2. If he doesn't appear, read on.), and could actually be used for some very interesting games (2-player final boss tag-team match anyone??). What's nicer is that when a player dies, he warps back to the start but the level, and boss, keep going so damage can accumulate. Just look each time before you jump into Silver Sonic's room, as half the time he'll be on the left side of the room and you'll walk in right on top of him and die. Haven't made it to MegaRobotnic yet, but I'd think that battle would go just as well as the Silver Sonic battle.
And what you've all been waiting for, the grand array of codes that will get you into the levels:
The base code to put EH1 into the EH1 slot (useful, I know) is ACHA-AACW. The first half of the code determines whether act 1 or 2 will be started when you begin the 2-player game. The fifth and sixth characters determine the level to be inserted. The seventh and eighth characters determine the slot on the 2-player stage select screen used to access the hacked-in zone. Build your own codes from the tables below:
|Start at Act...||Characters|
|of Zone... (pointer value)||Characters||of Zone... (pointer value)||Characters|
|EH (0000)||AA||?? (0900)||AW|
|?? (0100)||AC||OO (0A00)||AY|
|WZ* (0200)||AE||MC (0B00)||AO|
|?? (0300)||AG||CN (0C00)||A2|
|MZ* (0400)||AJ||CP (0D00)||A4|
|MZ* (0500)||AL||DE (0E00)||A6|
|WF (0600)||AN||AR (0F00)||A8|
|HT (0700)||AR||SC (1000)||BA|
|By selecting from 2P screen... (address)||Characters|
* WZ?? What the smeg is WZ?! Actually, as I was putting this together, I found that in all my notes I've had this listed as another '??,' but I actually think it's residue from the late Wood Zone, which was removed pretty early on in development. The music is the same as Metropolis Zone, as Wood Zone's was in the beta, and the palette is very similar to Wood Zone's (the flashy yellow in the sky would have been used to animate saw blades and conveyor belts). It's all on the Emerald Hill graphics, with no sprites, and presumably the terrain is either beta EH or some slight variation, which I'm guessing is what they actually used for WZ during development (hence my hopes that all levels used some variation of one master set of terrain data, at least initially, and that I might find some such set that's a close enough fit to HPZ's final data to make HPZ playable).
* Metropolis Zone has 3 acts, but the level structure was only designed to handle 2 acts per zone. The solution? Make a second zone to hold MZ act 3 and tack on a little bit of code to have a 3 dislay in the intro screen. MZ4, as far as I can tell, is either MZ2 or MZ3, but offset such that the start location is a few screens up in the air. Much like the ?? zones are to EH, only with solid ground.
* Okay, I lied. Hidden Palace does not play as it did in the beta, sadly. It has water, so it is forced into 1-player mode, but the graphics, terrain, and sprites are still the basic S2final ghost of their former glory.
As previously noted, certain stages cannot load in 2-player because of water. To play these stages in 2-player, you will need to remove the water using the following codes. Keep in mind that removing water may create traps due to the fact that certain springs and other methods of navigation behave differently underwater. For instance, one springboard in ARZ is nowhere near strong enough to get you out of a particular pit without buoyancy assisting it.
- No water in CPZ2: DT9T-AN7R
- No water in ARZ: CT9T-AN70
- No water in HPZ: AN9T-AAF4
These codes may, of course, be used for 1-player games as well if you happen to be hydrophobic!
All non-standard levels, left unchanged, have garbage graphics in 2-player. Many also have so much crap in the foreground that it's impossible to see where you're going, especially if you're playing Tails. Construct codes from the following tables to switch in layer scrolling effect data from the existing 2-player levels to help mitigate the foreground garbage. The first, second, fifth and sixth characters relate to the level you're switching data in from, the final two characters relate to the level you want to try to fix the graphics in.
|Swap data from... (pointer value)||Characters|
|Same in all codes:||xxCT-xxxx|
|... Into: (address)||Characters|
CNZ is the only level whose 2p raster code will clean out the foreground in DEZ. I reccommend either MCZ or CNZ code for ARZ- one will keep the foreground leaves fixed relative to the screen (very bottom), one will cut them out entirely. MCZ code is really bad in CPZ and DEZ, and using CNZ code in CPZ is also more ugly than the alternatives. I have not tested the codes for switching data into WFZ, HPZ and SCZ- they should work if you use them, I just don't know if any work better than any other. Odds are you won't be 2-playering those zones anyway.
Finally, while I've gotten Tails to show up in Death Egg 2-player naturally under some circumstances I don't recall, he is clearly absent from my more recent attempts at 2-playering the level. If he's not showing up for you, try the following code to bypass the part of the ROM that switches him out (this will instead switch him out of a zone scrapped in development):
As with the water un-inserion codes, this one will probably work to keep Tails in the Death Egg in 1-player mode too. On request I could probably cook up a code to patch him into Wing Fortress, but I can't promise the game would react well trying to have both player Tails and pilot Tails at the start of the stage.
The last thing that would make the 2-player levels better is eliminating the garbage graphics entirely. I'm looking into how the tiles get loaded/displayed out of order in 2-player, and it may possibly be a Game-Genie-fixable thing. If it is, it may also eliminate part of the need for the raster/scrolling fix codes. If anyone wants to try their hand at ROM hacking, you can work out your own set of codes if you wish. Get a .bin Sonic 2 ROM (not .smd, the .bin files contain the actual data as it appears in the cartridge, .smd files have been somehow reencoded) and a hex editor. Look at the address 042594. This is the start of the data that tells the game where in the ROM to look for certain elements of a level, such as graphics, palettes, terrain and sprites. Each level has 12 bytes of pointer/flag divided into 3 groups of 4 bytes. The first byte of each 4 is a flag byte which has a different effect in each group. The last 3 bytes of each 4 are pointers to level block data- 16x16, 128x128 and mappings. Anyway, play around with them (try copying pointer values from one level into the corresponding addresses for another level, or changing the values slightly). Address 00C4FC (?) has a table of 2-byte offset values (counted from the start of the table) to the raster/scroll effect data for each level. Much more information is available elsewhere online (Google 'Nemesis Sonic 2'). You may need to dig up an emulator with either a checksum-fixer or simply checksum-ignoring capability, as I've found in many cases ROMs will give you a red screen and refuse to do anyting if their current contents don't match their original contents. If all else fails, you can always use a hex-to-GG converter (ggconvert for Win 9x is a nice one, and will do NES, Genesis, and either SNES or GB, and there's one written in C floating around the 'net that you can pick up the source for and compile on any platform with a few tweaks) and a real Genesis/MegaDrive, Sonic 2 cartridge and Game Genie.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Yep, there's a debug/level select here too! Press ^, ^, v, v, ^, ^, ^, ^ quickly (but accurrately, you're more likely to miss it by not hitting all the ^s and vs correctly than by hitting them too slowly) between the darkening on the SEGA screen and the completion of Sonic's intro to the title screen (as with almost all of SEGA's Sonic codes, you'll hear a ring chime). The Options menu can now be found on the title screen below the 2-player line. I guess SEGA got tired of hiding stuff after Sonic 2 because all you need to do here is hold A when you select your level to trigger debug mode. Controls are the same as in all the other games, except for the fact that in addition to B toggling debug, A flips gravity. The monitors here are Super Sonic monitors, which give you 50 rings and Superdom. Alas, like the warp monitors, once you break a Super monitor you can no longer place Super monitors, so plan ahead.
BTW, notice anything strange? That's right! Mushroom Valley, Flying Battery and Sandopolis aren't even in Sonic 3! Yes folks, this is another Hidden Palace Zone type phenomenon. These levels were, in all probability, removed from the game during development. Unlike the dearly departed HPZ, however, these levels were put back into Sonic & Knuckles! (I've heard playable traces of them still exist in Sonic 3, but I've yet to actually get at them there) Yes, I know there is a HPZ in S&K, but believe me, it's not the same as S2's. I personally think the original HPZ was much cooler than the one SEGA finally used. For a small (very small, actually) peek at the original HPZ's graphics, select either of the 2nd 2P VS levels. Yes, not only did SEGA not clean the unused levels out of the level select, they also retained all the S2 level icons, including the HPZ which could never be viewed in S2's level select!
Sonic & Knuckles Another level select (this one, alas, without a debug... read further for details)! As either character, make your way to the first chance to hang on something (in this case, one of the jack-pump-lifters), and press <, <, <, >, >, >, ^, ^, ^ (*ding!*). Pause and press A as if you were in debug to reset. Now guess what! Hold A and hit [Start]!
... And guess how much attention SEGA paid to the S&K level select screen? That's right! Not too smegging much! You can choose from any level in S&K or Sonic 3, but the Sonic 3 levels put you right at the start of S&K. Note of interest: the music here is from Sonic 3.
Okay, so the codes for S&K alone are pretty lame. I agree. This, however, is because, to my understanding, S&K was never supposed to exist in the first place. It was supposed to be included in Sonic 3, but the developers ran out of space. Hence the invention of the super-special lock-on system, which does nothing more than tack the S&K code onto the code of another game (it was originally supposed to work with Sonic 1 as well as Sonic 2 & 3, but a glitch with Knuckles gliding into Scrap Brain conveyor belts caused Sonic 1 linking to be dropped- anyone up for more Sonic hacking?). Below are codes to work with Knuckles in Sonic 2 and 3:
Yippee Skippee the Level Select: ^, ^, ^, v, v, v, <, >, <, > at the title screen. For debug, enter S&K's release date: 01, 09, 09, 04, 01, 00, 01, 08. Anyone starting to notice a pattern? Same controls as always.
SEGA gets tricky here, but I have to admit the debug for S3&K is much easier to pull off reliably than the debug for S3. First, start a game. Any will do, as long as you start in Angel Island (the no-save file is nice here). Grab the first swinging vine you come across and enter the S&K code of <, <, <, >, >, >, ^, ^, ^ (*ding!*). Pause and press A. Find the Options below 2 Player on the title screen and go to Mushroom Hill. <, <, <, >, >, >, ^, ^, ^ (*ding!*) on a ratchet-pump. Pause and press A. Next time you select your level, hold A when you press [Start]. Controls are the same as in Sonic 3. By pressing C you can change your starting character. Try doing odd things like sending Knuckles to the Death Egg if you get bored.
Streets of RageBest game by far on the Sega Arcade Classics disc for Sega CD, not that it's not good in its solo cart form too. Simple, repetitive gameplay, but somehow it doesn't get too old too fast.
The number one key to successful fighting in SoR is range. Know the ideal range for the weapon you're using, and don't let enemies inside it. Regular attacks, depending on the effect you want, should be made directly adjacent to or overlapping an enemy. Knives and bottles work roughly 1 body width away, baseball bats go up to about 2, and the lead pipe can tip three, but is most reliable at 2.
The number two key to successful fighting is timing. Know that weapons have a recovery time and don't let enemies get close to you inside that time. More importantly, know that you can keep racking up damage on enemies if you hit just slow enough not to enter a combo, whereas if you go into a combo, all of a sudden you're only damaging one enemy and you'll throw him away usually before he's dead.
I repeat- the best unarmed fighting strategy, especially with Blaze, is to pause between attacks just long enough not to enter a combo. Not pressing [towards]+[attack] simultaneously will also help avoid combos. Nearly any enemy in the game can be defeated by locking him into a non-combo series of attacks. You can even catch multiple enemies in a non-combo series, and if an enemy voluntarily walks into one, odds are he'll be stuck in it until he's dead. While normal enemies will be stunned momentarily, allowing you to keep up attacks indefinitely (e.g. until they die), bosses won't give you the luxury of not moving. Still, with well-timed steps to stay on top of them, even most bosses fall to this technique once you catch them in it (it usually at least breaks whatever attack they're trying to pull off).
The only times at which a combo is particularly beneficial are when there are pits/drops to throw enemies into for instant-death or occasionally when the screen is crowded but so randomly that you can't catch multiple enemies in the same non-combo repeat attack. In the second case, the best you can hope for is a better-than-jump-kick mass knock-down resultant from throwing into a crowd.
If you're about to die, use your special! There's no reason not to, since you'll get a new one as soon as you come back. It can only help.
Don't pick up food/weapons until you need to. Weapons have a 3-retrieval limit, so switching frequently will just eliminate extras.
Go for items towards the left side of the screen first once you're ready for something new. Anything not at the far left is likely to be useful left on screen once you scroll a little further.
You can never keep around too many knives, except possibly if you have a bat or pipe you're very comfortable with and you find yourself between waves where all knives will scroll off before you see enemies again. Thrust knives can deliver 1-hit kills on weak enemies, and only 3-hit kills on strong enemies. The game will also let you throw knives for equal or greater damage at range. Throwing seems quasi-randomly triggered, but tapping [attack] only briefly and/or pressing ^, </>, [attack] or ^+</>+[attack] may help trigger a throw rather than a thrust. Knives are good for clearing a screen before you move on with a heavy weapon, or taking out the first enemy in an upcoming wave before he's even near you.
Far be it from me to say which of 3 reasonably balanced characters is "best," I can actually see strengths and weaknesses in each depending on your playing style, but Adam's jump-kick positively rocks, as jump-kicks go.