Handheld Underground

The Return of Li Cheng 2015 (pt1)

posted by taizou @ 2015-09-20 20:52:17 Dumps

Got a few more dumps of Li Cheng releases of various games today - including a couple hopefully people will find interesting.

It's kind of a shame that I can only bring you these bad title hacks instead of the original releases of the games, but.. maybe someday!

Chao Jinhua Shuma Baolong - Zuanshi Ban (超進化 数码暴龙-钻石版) (CBA012)

Okay so this first one is just Digimon D3 again. Please try to contain your excitement.

raw: Chao Jinhua Shuma Baolong - Zuanshi Ban (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA012) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Chao Jinhua Shuma Baolong - Zuanshi Ban (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA012) [Fixed].zip

Taikong Zhanshi - Jingdian Ban (太空战士经典版) (CBA063)

Now here's something new, and something that could have been great in the right hands - an attempted port of the Mega Drive game Barver Battle Saga: Taikong Zhanshi. Sadly this port is garbage, and I don't say that lightly.

It's developed by the same "Tian Cai Xiao Zi" team as a bunch of other dubious RPGs, but even by their standards it's a bit of a mess. AFAIK there was also a version published by Sintax with different graphics, which I don't have to hand right now, but I really hope it looks better than this version.

Oh and the music (all three tracks of it) seems to be stolen, bizarrely, from "Pocket Voice 2.0", a voice recorder cartridge by Bung; but one of the tracks was also used in ROM intros by the release group Paradox (where it's credited to "Blackbox"), so its true origins remain mysterious for now..

raw: Taikong Zhanshi - Jingdian Ban (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA063) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Taikong Zhanshi - Jingdian Ban (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA063) [Fixed].zip

Xin Shediao Yingxiong Chuan (新射雕英雄传) (CBA090)

Another Tian Cai Xiao Zi game, based on the novel Legend of the Condor Heroes. This one is much better made than the previous, but it does suffer from a very unfortunate bug which causes the music (stolen from Telefang this time) to mess up horribly when the text printing sound effect plays. This has been confirmed to happen on the real cart - it may have been introduced by the Li Cheng release though.

Interestingly, not only does this game open with a Sintax logo (several TCXZ games were originally released by Sintax in China) but I received it in the original Sintax box (bearing the same title without the "Xin"), despite the cart inside being 100% Li Cheng. I'm not sure if this is evidence of cooperation between the two companies though - or if it was just a case of the seller mixing and matching the box and cart for the same game.

raw: Xin Shediao Yingxiong Chuan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA090) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Xin Shediao Yingxiong Chuan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA090) [Fixed].zip

Xin Guangming Yu Hei'an 2 - Zhushen De Yichan (光明與黑暗2-諸神的遺產) (CBA095)

..And here's another Tian Cai Xiao Zi RPG, falling somewhere in between the previous two in terms of production values (and thankfully without the sound bug). Allegedly it's based on Sega's Shining series somehow, but I'm not particularly familiar with those games so I have no idea if it's ripping off any particular entry.

raw: Xin Guangming Yu Hei'an 2 - Zhushen De Yichan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA095) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Xin Guangming Yu Hei'an 2 - Zhushen De Yichan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA095) [Fixed].zip

Tezhong Budui (特种部队) / Teshu Budui 2001 (特殊部队2001) (CBA100)

Just Metal Slug 2001 - which has been dumped for a long-ass time - with a different title screen. Still, it's a fun enough game, for what it is. Li Cheng didn't bother protecting this one at all, so even the raw dump works fine in any emulator - my fix just tweaks the header to remove the SRAM it never uses.

Incidentally the title on the box/cart differs slightly from the one on the title screen, hence the two titles here. both of them roughly translate to "Special Forces" though.

raw: Tezhong Budui (Teshu Budui 2001) (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA100) [Raw Dump].zip
header fix: Tezhong Budui (Teshu Budui 2001) (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA100) [Header Fix].zip

Taikong Zhanshi DX3 - Zuizhong Huanxian (太空战士DX3-最终幻想) (CBA145)

this is an interesting one! It's a (bad) title hack of a game originally known as "Final Fantaxy IX", a heavily FF9-based beat 'em up/RPG hybrid. The original version was released by "TD Software", but it seems to have been developed by the same team (possibly BBD) behind Sintax's early stuff. and much like their other early beat 'em ups, it's very well-made if a bit repetitive.

raw: Taikong Zhanshi DX3 - Zuizhong Huanxiang (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA145) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Taikong Zhanshi DX3 - Zuizhong Huanxiang (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA145) [Fixed].zip

Tezhong Budui 2 - Jidi (特种部队2-基地) / Teshu Budui 2 - Jidi (特殊部队2-基地) (CBA146)

and now: the game better known as Terrifying 911, aka Too Soon: the video game. originally released (and developed?) by Hitek, on the market at least by June 2002, using actual footage of an attack that killed thousands less than a year previous. bad taste? i'll say.

but underneath all that, there's a surprisingly faithful port of Metal Slug 1. Compared to other unlicensed Metal Slug games it's in a whole different league - just about everything is here, the original levels, weapon upgrades, bosses, prisoners to rescue, and even the Metal Slug itself have been retained.

And yet this was (as far as I know) Hitek's only action game - the rest of their output on the Game Boy consisted mostly of RPGs, strategy games, board games and the like. I believe it was also their only game released in English, but this is the Chinese version (and naturally a shoddy title hack thereof).

raw: Tezhong Budui 2 - Jidi (Teshu Budui 2 - Jidi) (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA146) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Tezhong Budui 2 - Jidi (Teshu Budui 2 - Jidi) (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA146) [Fixed].zip

[finally, just to note that I am aware my previous fixed version of of Gangdan Wuyu 2 crashes after level 2 and may have other issues - I'm looking into it!]


Merry Sintaxmas 2014!

posted by taizou @ 2014-12-25 23:19:16 Dumps

bet you didn't think it'd be back! I didn't even think it'd be back. but here it is! Sintax Claus has visited us once again and his sack is full of dubious games:

Qi Long Zhu Z 3 (七龍珠Z3) / Dragon Ball - Advance Adventure

This is something you don't see very often - an attempt at a port from Sintax, rather than an original game and/or lazy reskin of a previous game loosely based around whatever property they're ripping off. So the game being ported is the pretty excellent Dragon Ball: Advance(d) Adventure for the GBA; I've previously dumped a (yes) lazy reskin of this game posing as "Bynasty Warriors 5" but this is the original.

raw: Qi Long Zhu Z 3 (Dragon Ball - Advance Adventure) (Unlicensed, Chinese) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Qi Long Zhu Z 3 (Dragon Ball - Advance Adventure) (Unlicensed, Chinese) [Fixed].zip

Yuenan Zhanyi X - Shenru Dihou (越南戰役X-深入敵後)

Now this one is interesting - it appears to have started life as a followup of sorts to Vast Fame's quality Mega Man-clone Zook Hero series, titled something like "洛克英雄传3" or "Rock Hero Legend 3". I have no idea if Vast Fame approved of these shenanigans, but they may well have done, given that they're known to have worked with Sintax in the past. This is a Metal Slugified version of that game, but it still retains plenty of signs of its origins; perhaps inevitably it's nowhere near as good as the Vast Fame games that inspired it though.

raw: Yuenan Zhanyi X - Shenru Dihou (Unlicensed, Chinese) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Yuenan Zhanyi X - Shenru Dihou (Unlicensed, Chinese) [Fixed].zip

Lao Fuzi Chuanqi (老夫子傳奇)

Hey it's this engine again. Taking the starring roles this time are "Spudz" and "Master", of the popular Chinese comic Old Master Q; the official translation of Spudz' name these days seems to be the overly-literal "Big Potato" but for once I like Sintax's version way better.

raw: Lao Fuzi Chuanqi (Unlicensed, Chinese) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Lao Fuzi Chuanqi (Unlicensed, Chinese) [Fixed].zip

Digimon Crystal II

I've previously dumped the Chinese version of this game, but here's an English one! I love English Sintax games. They're the best. But they're also much harder to find than the Chinese versions. :(

raw: Digimon Crystal II (Unlicensed, English) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Digimon Crystal II (Unlicensed, English) [Fixed].zip

There was another one with boats in it as well but it only differs from a previous dump in the title screen and a few backgrounds and I didn't manage to hack out the protection in time. maybe later!


Mega Drive dump!! Super Tank War

posted by taizou @ 2014-12-11 00:04:06 Dumps

Okay so this is a tiiiny bit out of the usual scope of this site here, since it's not technically a handheld game, but... there are certainly handheld versions of the console this game is for, even if it wasn't designed that way originally, so it almost counts. And this is has kind of become my de facto ROM-dumping blog anyway, it's just that until now I've only had Game Boy stuff to post. so here's a thing:

it's Super Tank War, a pretty rare Mega Drive (or Genesis if you're American) game by Gamtec. As with many unlicensed Mega Drive games, it's quite rare - literally the only copy I've ever seen documented anywhere is the one I own, and recorded this video from. It's also pretty much a Battle City clone, which is not an entirely surprising thing for them to have made, considering the popularity of Battle City and its hacks in Taiwan and other Famiclone-heavy markets, not to mention the fact that Gamtec had already made such a clone for the NES, variously known as either "King Tank" or "Super City Tank".

The actual ROM is 256KB, but at that size (in current emulators at least) the music and most of the sound effects don't play; something similar was recently found to be afflicting Link Dragon, and the solution simply appears to be doubling up the ROM to 512KB. Presumably this is some kind of unemulated quirk of the Gamtec mapper, and it's doing something like mirroring 00000-3FFFF at 40000-7FFFF and reading the music from the latter.. for some reason (my knowledge of Mega Drive stuff is pretty much zero, as may be apparent, so I'm not really sure why they would do this, or if that even makes sense in MD terms). But anyway I'm releasing both the 256KB ROM as the proper dump and a 512KB as a hack to get the music working, similar to what I do with raw and fixed dumps of Game Boy games.

Dumped by chôkai from my cart - also special thanks to Raistlin for arranging things.

raw dump: Super Tank War (Unlicensed) [Raw Dump].zip
512k version/sound fix: Super Tank War (Unlicensed) [Sound Fix].zip


li cheng extravaganza ~ part 5

posted by taizou @ 2014-09-25 20:55:01 Dumps

here we go again! more Li Cheng stuff and, in my opinion, probably the best set so far (mostly because of one particular game)

Mo Jie 3 - Bu Wanme De Shijie 魔戒3-不完美的世界 (CBA089)

This is a sort-of Lord of the Rings game by Vast Fame based on their previously dumped Emo Dao, except reconfigured to be entirely linear, with the map screen cut out. This also means there are no shops (despite enemies still dropping money) and no items, although you are granted a weapon upgrade for the final boss.

Also I poked around in the ROM a bit and there seems to be a title screen and intro text for an English version, "Fellowship of the Rings"; I've never seen this version, but hey maybe it's out there. Or maybe there's some way to enable it in this ROM!

raw: Mo Jie 3 - Bu Wanme De Shijie (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA089) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Mo Jie 3 - Bu Wanme De Shijie (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA089) [Fixed].zip

Luoke Ren DX6 洛克人DX6 (CBA091)

THIS is what I'm talking about. It's ZOOK HERO Z hell yeah 🎉🎊🌠🐯

if you aren't familiar with this one, it's Vast Fame's very first platform game, the first in their "Zook" series of Mega Man (X) clones (the second being the more widely known Zook Hero 2/Rockman DX3), the first game to rip off Mega Man 5's sound engine (which Vast Fame basically made their own), and generally just a really good game with great music and you should totally play it.

raw: Luoke Ren DX6 (Unlicensed, Japanese) (CBA091) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Luoke Ren DX6 (Unlicensed, Japanese) (CBA091) [Fixed].zip

Shuma Baobei DX6 数码宝贝DX6 (CBA097)

Some kind of RPG, heavily based on Digimon Adventure 02: D-1 Tamers for the WonderSwan Color, and developed by the same SKOB-affiliated team as Mingzhu Koudai Guaishou 2/Digimon D4. This is one of their later efforts and seems to be much better than their earlier stuff, although I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing in it.

interesting(?) aside: all of the characters' names appear to have been changed, either to dodge copyright or because the developers were just fucking around; Ryo and Taichi have become 榮恩 (Ron) and 哈利 (Harry) respectively, but I'm not sure of the origins of the rest.

raw: Shuma Baobei DX6 (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA097) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Shuma Baobei DX6 (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA097) [Fixed].zip

Shi Mian Maifu - Fengyun Pian 十面埋伏-风云篇 (CBA147)

And finally! This is another instalment in the "Shi Mian Maifu" RPG series by Tian Cai Xiao Zi (maybe?), using Vast Fame's San Guo Zhi engine and music from Telefang. I have no idea how they got their hands on the engine, and it's nowhere near as good as Vast Fame's own games, but maybe you could get some enjoyment out of this if you know Chinese.

Thanks to Shazam for supplying the cart!

raw: Shi Mian Maifu - Fengyun Pian (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA147) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Shi Mian Maifu - Fengyun Pian (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA147) [Fixed].zip

..so that wraps up the planned five-part Li Cheng ExtravaXingXing™ BUT of course that's not the end of Li Cheng. they could never be contained within a mere five parts. so stick around and maybe at some indeterminate point in the future i'll have some more of this stuff!


li cheng extravaganza ~ part 4

posted by taizou @ 2014-08-24 14:41:20 Dumps

whoa after a 3 month gap (sorry about that) here's some more Li Cheng stuff!

Taikong Baobei 太空宝贝 (CBA083)

This is just a Li Cheng rerelease of a Sintax game I already dumped. It's... the same. They didn't even bother to replace Sintax's boot logo with the Niutoude one, so to play in hhugboy it requires "Unlicensed compatibility mode" to be manually set to "Li Cheng".

raw: Taikong Baobei (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA083) [Raw Dump].zip
header fix: Taikong Baobei (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA083) [Header Fix].zip

The next three games are all Pokemon platform games by Makon (aka Yong Yong) and I know you all love those. For some reason Li Cheng have titled them all Shuma Baobei (数码宝贝) which is actually a Chinese name for Digimon, but as previous games have demonstrated they didn't really care about the difference.

Shuma Baobei - Huojian Bingtuan 数码宝贝-火箭兵团 (CBA085)

Also known as Pokemon Ruby (although the subtitle of this version translates to "Team Rocket"), this is a platform game starring a very red Pikachu (and yes they made a "Sapphire" with a blue Pikachu too).

Strangely, the game is permanently in some kind of debug mode; you can select a stage by pressing A or B on the stage intro screen, you have infinite lives and on touching an enemy you don't take damage but instead "collect" it as if it was one of the Pokeballs that litter the stages.

Unfortunately this also applies to the bosses, and as the game doesn't register the boss as being beaten when you "collect" it, you just get stuck in the boss area forever and it's almost impossible to actually finish any level. You can deal regular damage to the bosses sometimes by jumping on them, but usually a jump still results in a "collect". The only way to damage them consistently is by using Pikachu's electric attack, but even with this maxed out you don't get enough hits to finish them off; the only way I was able to defeat any boss was by cheating to give myself infinite electricity (Action Replay/GameShark code 01FF6BC2) or by using savestates and jumping.

If you actually do manage to beat the stage 8 boss, you'll get a blank green screen followed by a crash; I can't verify this on the real cart since Makon games don't work with my Action Replay and the game is more or less unbeatable without cheats or savestates (unless you get very lucky), but it happens both with the raw dump in hhugboy and the fixed version in other emulators, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was the case on real hardware too.

raw: Shuma Baobei - Huojian Bingtuan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA085) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Shuma Baobei - Huojian Bingtuan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA085) [Fixed].zip

Shuma Baobei - Chao Mengmeng Fanji Zhan 数码宝贝-超梦梦反击战 (CBA086)

This seems to be the original version of the game above, with a different level ordering and a correctly coloured Pikachu among other differences - but most importantly it doesn't have any weird debug features stuck on, so you can actually play it properly. It's probably better known as "Mewtwo Strikes Back" (which is also what the Chinese subtitle translates to), and it's roughly based on the Mega Drive Pocket Monster game.

raw: Shuma Baobei - Chao Mengmeng Fanji Zhan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA086) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Shuma Baobei - Chao Mengmeng Fanji Zhan (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA086) [Fixed].zip

Shuma Baobei - Hai Zhi Shen 数码宝贝-海之神 (CBA087)

This is pretty much Makon's previous game Super Mario Special 3, only with Pikachu instead of Mario, some other sprites slightly modified and the levels arranged in a linear order. Apparently in some versions it isn't possible to complete the first level, but in this one you can, so.. you can enjoy the whole thing! (yay?)

raw: Shuma Baobei - Hai Zhi Shen (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA087) [Raw Dump].zip
fixed: Shuma Baobei - Hai Zhi Shen (Unlicensed, Chinese) (CBA087) [Fixed].zip