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Topics - taizou

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1984-1992 / The truth behind "Namco Corporation"
« on: July 17, 2016, 08:01:50 PM »
So for a long time, no one really knew what the "Namco Corporation" credited in Dian Shi Ma Li really was. There was speculation that it might have been Bit Corp using a fake name (as the game was obviously developed by the same people that made Bit's Jackpot and Sheng Hen Pao), but nothing was ever confirmed.

Until now!

A while back I'd done a little digging into "Fiver Firm", the publisher of the Game Boy Color game e'Fighter Hot (and not much else, that I knew of). I found a few Taiwanese trademark registrations for them, dating back as early as the mid-80s, but not much else. One was for the name "Namcot". Weird, but I didn't really know why they did it. Probably just some old pirate carts or Famiclone. And that's where I left it, for a while.

Until now! I just happened to come across my notes from back then, and googled their Chinese name, "五合企業有限公司". This turned up a page on, a Taiwanese company directory which seems to hold basic info on just about every Taiwanese company, even those that are long gone. And that page gave their English name as "Namco Co., Ltd". Namco again! Weird!

At this point I was starting to think of that other unknown Namco. Fiver Firm had been around since the 80s, doing who knows what, so maybe this would make sense..

The final confirmation came via Google Books, which linked the same Chinese name to "..V Mary Bar" in a (tiny, badly OCR-d snippet of a) Taiwanese presidential office gazette.. surely not a coincidence? A bunch of digging later found a full copy of said gazette on the Taiwanese National Central Library website - which revealed the context for this was a copyright registration, to that same Chinese name, for everyone's favourite plumber-based slot machine game.

I wrote this article based on my findings here-

But knowing all this now opens up the greater mystery of just what the hell they were doing the rest of the time - they existed from at least 1985 (based on trademark registrations), but released one Famicom game in 1989, one Game Boy game in 2000 (ish) and nothing else? The only other thing I can find linked to them is a patent for some kind of cartridge converter. So either they had business interests outside of games, or they were doing a lot of underground/anonymous stuff.

Other Pirates / Taikee Micro Arcade Machine & its variants
« on: January 18, 2016, 08:09:38 PM »
So as brought up in this thread, there are a few variations of these mini (~15cm high) arcade machines doing the rounds at the moment, with mostly 16-bit Cube Tech games (originals and hacks) built in.. and they're quite interesting, so I thought I'd start a new thread for them!

These three all have 240 games - it may or may not be the same set, there are some variations in lists posted online:
Taikee Micro Arcade Machine:
Red5 Mini Arcade Machine: (this is the one I have)
Lexibook Cyber Arcade: (this one has a different design from the others, more Japanese-style)

and here's another version with 230 games (and a different menu, which resembles the one in the production-music-using Cube Tech DDR clone I mentioned in the previous thread)
SoundLogic XT Multicade 230 /

The hardware is something in the VT line - I'd guess a fairly recent model with lots of backwards compatibility, maybe VT369, since it's pretty much a greatest(?) hits(?) of Cube Tech, with their VT168 originals, VT03 originals, a ton of better-than-VT03 NES hacks, a handful of VT03 hacks, who knows what else, and a bit of Waixing/Nice Code stuff thrown in at the end. Unfortunately most of the games are missing their title screens though.

Here's a list of the games found on the Red5 version (transcribed by me from the system menu to avoid any discrepancies with documentation):

MyMemory's listing for the Taikee one suggests the Red5 unit has a few changes, probably mostly for copyright reasons - Galaga was renamed Galaxy Battle and bumped to the start of the Shooting section, and Zuma was replaced with Unwonted Space. Also a few of the target shooting games were renamed; there may be other changes on top of that. I haven't done a full comparison yet. I'm not sure, though, if these differences are actually represented in the Taikee machine itself, or if MyMemory were just given an early game list and the final ROM actually matches the Red5 one.

The Red5 manual actually seems to have been made at some point in between the two - it has Unwonted Space in place of Zuma, but still has Galaga midway through the list and the old names for the target shooting games.

DreamGear also have an 8-bit version, covered here:
but it looks like they're also getting on board with their own 16-bit variation, the "Retro Arcade Machine X", containing 300 games:
according to the game list  on the sell sheet, it looks like they've supplemented *most* of the games on the 240-in-1 versions with a selection of their usual Nice Code games (some VT03). The games dropped from the 240 list seem to be almost entirely those that are either hacks or clones of too-well-known games - so, for example, the Donkey Kong Jr hack Jungle Max1 is gone, but so is the coded-from-scratch Frogger clone Cross River.

Oh yeah, and on the subject of the NES hacks found on this thing - as I mentioned they seem to be based on something better than VT03, I'm not sure exactly which part of the VT line supports these high-colour graphics on top of NES code, but .. that's what it is.

But interestingly there are also high-resolution versions of these hacks in existence, seemingly running at 2x the resolution of the versions seen on the mini arcade machines - in fact it looks like the graphics in those versions were downscaled from the high-res ones.

The high-res versions appear, for example, on a MiWi console I have (the same one that has production-music DDR), and I'm fairly sure they can also be found on this trapezoidal thing once seen on Cube Tech's site. I have no idea what hardware they are running on - some unknown high-res VT derivative? Something else entirely? But it's those high-res versions that are used, misleadingly, for the screenshots on the Mini Arcade box and the icons in its menu.

Famicom/NES dumps / Monkey King fixed
« on: June 06, 2015, 06:29:46 PM »
This is one of the games I decrypted from the WXN pack a while back, but I was never able to get it working properly. But SMWHacker has now fixed it!

It's a platform game based on Journey to the West, as far as I know it was originally developed by Inventor and then later re-released by Waixing for plug & play consoles. It's considerably better than Waixing's own attempts at Journey the West platform games though. I'm not sure if the full game is here or if it was cut down like F-22, but the demo shows 5 levels (including underwater and shooting stages!) which seems promising. Anyway you should check it out!
alt link:!xRp02IBb!zXAWyIQuejMxtTyvVlhCNStIfqaDQce4faEp8fCO86g

Pirate Talk / Trying to track down a WiWi 65
« on: January 19, 2015, 09:21:02 PM »
I'm looking for this plug & play console by Qi Sheng Long: /

Mostly because it's the only thing I know of with 32-bit Nice Code games, and their later stuff is quite a bit more interesting than their 2004-ish NES games (which are unfortunately the ones that show up everywhere) so I'd quite like to track it down, document the games and whatnot.

but! it's very hard to find (whereas the earlier 48 in 1 version, with games by Shenzhen Niutai which I basically DGAF about, is everywhere); most Google results return Qi Sheng Long's own website and Alibaba page, and I would almost believe they had never actually made any if not for these two listings:

Both from (which seems to be dead now, I guess due to recent events in the region), both from early 2013, for two different variations of the console. so perhaps it received some limited distribution in Crimea around that time? nonetheless this is slightly encouraging because it does mean at least some of them left Qi Sheng Long's production line at some point in the last few years.

However, apart from that, I've found no leads - I've tried contacting Qi Sheng Long directly, and they *are* willing to sell them, but they want a minimum order of 1000, which is a little out of my price range (and storage capacity).

so.. does anyone have any idea where I might be able to find one?

Mega Drive/Genesis dumps / Super Tank War
« on: December 10, 2014, 08:30:27 PM »

Mega Drive/Genesis / "Magic Number"
« on: April 19, 2014, 01:24:03 PM »
so a Mega Drive game has appeared on Yahoo Japan recently called 數字方塊 (Shuzi Fangkuai), the English title I guess is "Magic Number" judging from the background of the menu screen.

its yet another MD game I've never seen before... and intriguingly it seems to reveal Chuanpu's English name as "Jam Port".

Other Pirates / on the trail of the Mega Duck
« on: September 04, 2013, 09:31:25 PM »
just been talking about this in the IRC to an ever dwindling audience, so I guess I'll bring it in here. you may know of the Mega Duck handheld, which is fairly close to being a Game Boy clone (but incompatible) & has a bunch of Sachen games and a silly name. it also received an interesting spinoff in Germany in the form of the Mega Duck Lerncomputer which looks like it did the Game Boy Printer before Nintendo did.

anyway no one really seems to know who made it; there are a bunch of names attached to it like Hartung and Creatronic and Videojet and Timlex, most of which seem to be distributors, so I decided to have a look into it.

Timlex seemed like the most likely suspect since their name is on The Brick Wall, the first game for the system and one of the few not made by Sachen. so I found this and this pretty quickly which seem to conclusively link it to them.

but then, who were Timlex? did they do anything else? the answer would seem to be yes - this page reveals two website URLs, and, & this one reveals a Chinese name 添益國際有限公司. both websites are gone now, but archived copies of list a bunch of products including early digital cameras and LCD games (seemingly just standalone stuff, including some licensed from Japanese companies, no Mega Duck) & Welback seems to be the parent company, incorporated in Bermuda obv as a tax dodge (Watara did something similar I think).

anyway searching for Welback I found a press release from the console's launch:
& that slightly unfortunately they seem to have made a massive loss the year following its release:

but even under that name the trail seems to run cold around 2003 or so. OR DOES IT.

no! because Welback Holdings has been renamed a series of times, nicely summarised here:
it went from Welback Holdings to Terabit Access Technology International to Ruili Holdings and now operates under the name See Corporation Limited.

(edit: also its hard to say with all these arcane tax-dodging corporate maneouvres going on but I guess Welback Enterprises might have been what remained of the electronics division, but it was closed in 2011)

I can't find See Corporation's website anywhere, but evidently they have moved into the entertainment industry, and here's a summary from Google:
See Corporation Limited acts as an investment holding company. The Company operates in five segments: film and TV program production, event production, artiste and model management, music production, investment in securities and investment in a pay TV operation. Film and TV program production segment include four films and two TV program, Love Is The Only Answer, Marriage With A Liar, MicroSex Office and All About Love, respectively for films, and Rough Justice and The Dragon Gate for TV programs.The Company produces music albums for its artistes. Its subsidiaries include Anyone Holdings Limited, Cross Challenge Limited, Day Achieve Limited, Ease Strong Limited, Grand Class Investment Limited, Icon International Model Management Limited and others.[/quote]
and here, finally, is a trailer for their movie MicroSex Office.

so thats where the story of the Mega Duck ends. not with a bang, but with a dubious Hong Kong sex comedy. Featuring a character called "Breasty".

Bootleg Bazaar / FS: random jungletac handhelds
« on: July 11, 2013, 07:58:06 PM »
I'm selling a couple of Jungletac handheld consoles, as I recently got another one (thanks to Qiezei) which combines the best of both of these...

They're both pretty similar & they use hardware described as "8-bit CPU with 16-bit graphics" - VT168 maybe? The music is NES though.
The games are all fairly simple anyway, a lot of them are just updates of Jungletac's NES games so you get sort of 80s arcade gameplay with 90s graphics, combined with a few ripoffs of ubiquitous puzzle games like Puzzloop & Bejeweled (and Mr Driller!) etc, but I've had some fun with them.
There are no repeats as such but they have pulled the same game/different graphics trick a few times - I haven't counted but I'd estimate that only accounts for about 10-20 games on each console though.

Both consoles are used but in good condition & with original packaging - lets say £10 each including UK shipping. Non-UK ask me for shipping costs to your location.

Zone Classic Max Pocket

100 games, no TV out or headphone jack. Seems like one of the rarer Zone-branded consoles, I've never seen it in shops or on TV, compared to like the 40/60/100 line which is everywhere.
Game list:
Spoiler: click to toggle

Lexibook Compact Cyber Arcade TV

This one has 120 games, TV out (cable included) and a headphone jack. Sold in Argos for 26.99 currently. BUT it runs at PAL speed for the TV out which means the games run slower than the Zone (which is NTSC internally) & as Lexibook is a French company the max volume is considerably quieter to comply with French law. this may/may not be a disadvantage depending on your opinion of jungletac's music.
Manual with a game list can be found here;

thanks for looking!

Mega Drive/Genesis / Super Tank War by Gamtec
« on: May 17, 2013, 07:08:57 PM »
Well the ebay listing for this was posted in another thread, and I bought it, so have a video:

I'm also looking to get it dumped - if anyone can help out, please PM me. thanks!

2000-present / VT03 videos
« on: March 24, 2013, 11:59:27 AM »
If anyone's interested I'm currently uploading a bunch of videos of mostly undocumented VT03 games here:

(Curly Monkey 2 is totally the best)

Announcements & News / Commercial ROMs
« on: February 23, 2013, 01:17:46 PM »
Please don't post any ROMs of current commercially available games. thanks!

Pirated Work / hhugboy GB emulator
« on: February 20, 2013, 10:14:20 AM »
dunno where to put this for the best really but I've made an emulator.. or I've hacked up an existing emulator, at least:
it runs unmodified Sintax & Li Cheng games so its kinda relevant!

Other Pirates / Pirate PS2 hacks
« on: February 08, 2013, 05:57:50 PM »
and there I was thinking this kind of thing died with the GBA.

also, bonus: amazing pirate covers from Syria:

Bootleg Bazaar / Famicom carts for sale! (more stuff added)
« on: November 03, 2012, 05:42:49 PM »
got a bunch of stuff for sale!

All $5 each or 5 for $20:
Single carts: Ninja Cat, Chip & Dale, Operation Wolf, Double Dragon 3, Kage, Max Warrior, Rockman 3, Banana Prince (sold), "Jungle Strike 2" (Cobra Command), "Monaco V.R." (Chase HQ), "Super Batman 99" (Batman Returns)
"81 in 1" multicart (5 real games: Adventure Island, Magic Jewelry, Tetris, F1 Race, Soccer)
4 in 1 multicart (Double Dragon 3, Bubble Bobble 2, Spiderman, Batman)
"71 in 1" multicart (6 real games: Dr.Mario, Galaxian, Tennis, Lunar Ball, Legend of Kage, 90 Tank)
3 in 1 multicart (Aladdin (Hummer Team version, MMC3 hack with missing music), Spiderman, Chip & Dale 2)

NY Nyankies $2.50 - the tabs holding the case together and the PCB in the case have broken off (...quality plastic), but the PCB itself still works

Ken-Kid Famiclone SOLD
Spoiler: click to toggle

(prices in USD, exclude shipping - PM me for shipping costs to your location)

Thanks for looking!

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