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Thread: Multi-version NeoGeo games

  1. #1
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    Multi-version NeoGeo games

    As long as I know, there are a bunch of NeoGeo games which have been officially released in more the one verion. Alternate versions are usally distinguished by gamplay trimming, such a difficulty level and tidbits retouch.

    I would like to discuss this topic to find out and collect the larger amount of info about it.

    Here are the 'double version' of NeoGeo game I know.

    1) Magician Lord - MVS and AES
    Basically in one presumably older (and harder) version Elta start back from the beginning of a screen each time he's killed, and he as 1 block of energy less than in the wide know version, where he starts back right in the place he's killed.

    2) Raguy
    Again difficulty issue. Also some differences in the intro as far as I've been reported by an Italian member who saw the two different version in AES.

    3) Shock Troopers
    I'm calling BBH out here. IIRC is again about difficulty and energy of the player, right?

    Well, then again I say: discuss.
    J'y gagne, dit le renard, ŕ cause de la couleur du blé...

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  2. #2

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    I think there are two versions of Shock Troopers...The first one is the one
    where each of the soldiers you choose has his/her own energy bar. The other
    version of the game all soldiers you choose share one big energy bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shito
    3) Shock Troopers
    I'm calling BBH out here. IIRC is again about difficulty and energy of the player, right?

    Well, then again I say: discuss.

  3. #3
    Robert "Helmet" Patrick beh3moth's Avatar
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    MVS Magician Lord does not have the intro seen on AES (there must be a full intro MVS game floating around somewhere!)
    " I remember running around the lab that day showing it to everybody, saying 'Here, feel this! "

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    I belive that Garou has two versions also.

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    Second Production Runs of NEOGEO Cartridges

    Quote Originally Posted by beh3moth
    MVS Magician Lord does not have the intro seen on AES (there must be a full intro MVS game floating around somewhere!)
    Gentlemen,

    The subject of "game program variations" among NEO-GEO cartridges is a very interesting topic, but one which I have avoided discussing for several years and for obvious reasons. However, since someone else brought it up (Shito) I might as well contribute a little bit here and there. But lets not go too far, because I am not ready for that.

    In regards to Shock Troopers, I believe that the differences outlined by SNKJorge in this thread are merely an "option setting" in the MVS soft dips. Just like a two player simultaneous option for Viewpoint, and other similar options from some other titles on the system.

    In regards to Magician Lord's Intro...or any of the other early first generation neogeo cartridges, the games actually had TWO intros programmed. A full length HOME intro and a modified / shortened (or lack thereof) MVS intro. There is nothing unique about that. The original Fatal Fury comes to mind...check it out if/when you can.

    The problem is that over the last few years, the UNIBIOS has slowly but surely made its way into the homes of neo-geo gamers. Moreso then the original DEBUG bios managed to do over the course of about ten years. Factors such as the internet, more tech savy gamers, and more mvs boards being used in homes then ever before have contributed to this distribution and awareness increase. These "nuances" have always been here, it's just that only a small percent of the neo-geo gamers knew or cared about them.

    No doubt that several neo-geo games were indeed successfull enough that they had more then a single run made of them. And no doubt that changes here and there may have been implemented for the second runs. Games like the original World Heroes for example are among them. I could list dozens of "interesting factoids" regarding the 1990-1994 neo-geo software and product line up but my intention here is not to bore everyone.

    One more thing to remember is that MVS and HOME carts are "technically" made at the same time. Reason being that the program ROMS already contain all of the HOME data in them when they are mass produced and placed onto MVS carts for the initial run. This was the MAIN reason why, despite the massive uproar among the neo-geo home console user base in 1993 regarding the upcoming "cencorship" of blood in Samurai Shodown, SNK USA was "powerless" and could do absolutely NOTHING about it. It was already "DONE" and "DECIDED" per say.

    Regards,
    Billy Pitt
    Last edited by SuperGun; 07-16-2006 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Minor Corrections
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperGun

    In regards to Shock Troopers, I believe that the differences outlined by SNKJorge in this thread are merely an "option setting" in the MVS soft dips. Just like a two player simultaneous option for Viewpoint, and other similar options from some other titles on the system.
    This is pending confermation then.

    I wonder anyway what happens if the game is booted in AES mode.

    I think we should create a list about the games that sported some options in MVS mode not presented in the AES version, and generally a detailed list of differencies inbetween MVS and AES features of games.

    Another interesting topic is Preistoric Isle 2, where the nationality set a different game mode (one life energy mode or multi-life mode).

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperGun
    In regards to Magician Lord's Intro...or any of the other early first generation neogeo cartridges, the games actually had TWO intros programmed. A full length HOME intro and a modified / shortened (or lack thereof) MVS intro. There is nothing unique about that. The original Fatal Fury comes to mind...check it out if/when you can.
    As for intros, I pretty sure also Sengoku Denshou has two different versions, one for MVS and one for AES mode.

    Neverless, the point is the gemplay differencies.

    Same goes with Raguy. My friend saw two different AES carts with different program, you see? That could not be a matter of dips.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperGun
    The problem is that over the last few years, the UNIBIOS has slowly but surely made its way into the homes of neo-geo gamers. Moreso then the original DEBUG bios managed to do over the course of about ten years. Factors such as the internet, more tech savy gamers, and more mvs boards being used in homes then ever before have contributed to this distribution and awareness increase. These "nuances" have always been here, it's just that only a small percent of the neo-geo gamers knew or cared about them.
    I see your point. This is also the case of the infamous Kizuna4playerVersion, which has been proved to be an option included in every cart IIRC, but accessible just via special hardware (MVS), right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperGun
    In regards to Shock Troopers, I believe that the differences outlined by SNKJorge in this thread are merely an "option setting" in the MVS soft dips. Just like a two player simultaneous option for Viewpoint, and other similar options from some other titles on the system.
    You are incorrect.

    There is no way to toggle the changes between the two versions of Shock Troopers. It is an actual change in the program roms. Here is the lowdown between the two versions, I shall call them Version A and Version B.

    Version A
    -The player's lifebar consists of 128 "points". (whenever you pickup a life-restoring item, the number of points that it adds is shown. The first-aid kits are worth +64 points)
    -When a new credit is started, the lifebar does not start fully filled up at 128 points. In Lonly Wolf the lifebar starts at 112 points, and in Team Battle it starts around 90-96 points (I do not remember the exact amount right now, but it's somewhere in that range).
    -At the start of each level, it will show you each character's "rating" for the level. They will be given anywhere from 0-3 stars for the level. The higher the star amount, the faster that character will be able to move ON THAT STAGE ONLY. In addition to this, if a character is rated 2 stars a +8 life bonus will be added, and if they are rated 3 stars they will get a +16.
    -You are given only one life. If you are playing in Team Battle, all three characters share that lifebar, so once it runs out it's game over.

    Version B
    -The player's lifebar consists of 64 points, which means you can only take half as much damage before dying.
    -Lifebar starts at 100% in both Lonly Wolf and Team Battle modes.
    -There is no display of the star rating inbetween stages, and no life-ups are given for characters that are rated 2 or 3 stars on the stage. However, THE STAR RATINGS ARE STILL THERE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT DISPLAYED TO THE PLAYER, so characters will still move at different speeds depending on the level.
    -By default the game is setup to give you 3 lives in Lonly Wolf, and a 3-character team in Team Battle. This setting is changeable in the soft dips under "HERO" to be a number from 1-8 (Yes, this means that if you change it to 8 and select Team Battle, you will all have 8 characters on your team). The "HERO" setting is absent entirely on Version A.
    -Also worth noting that in Team Battle if the game is finished after 1 or 2 of the characters die, those characters will not be present in the ending. In Version A all 3 characters will always be there (since they all share one lifebar, naturally).

    That's pretty much it. It's still unclear as to why there are two different versions in the first place, considering the game only saw an MVS release. I have a US cart and a Japanese cart, and they're both Version B. No serial number is given on the Japanese cart, the US one is 011XXX (all my carts are in a box right now). I'm pretty sure somebody here had a Version A cart with a low serial number, so it seems to imply that the Version A carts are in fact earlier. Strangely though, there are some screenshots of Shock Troopers contained in the Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad Original Soundtrack booklet, and they are clearly screenshots of Version A. Hmmmm.

    Oh, and just as a correction in this thread (although Shito already pointed it out), changes in stuff like intros from AES to MVS do *NOT* count as a separate version of a game. All the data is programmed onto every game, it just depends on which format the game is running in of course. Magician Lord IS a game with two separate versions though, the MVS carts are programmed with the smaller lifebar and the "respawn where you died" function. The AES carts are programmed with the larger lifebar and the "restart the level when you die". If you somehow played the MVS version on an AES, you would get the extra AES-specific intro AND be able to play the game in the "respawn where you died" format.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBH

    That's pretty much it. It's still unclear as to why there are two different versions in the first place, considering the game only saw an MVS release. I have a US cart and a Japanese cart, and they're both Version B. No serial number is given on the Japanese cart, the US one is 011XXX (all my carts are in a box right now). I'm pretty sure somebody here had a Version A cart with a low serial number, so it seems to imply that the Version A carts are in fact earlier. Strangely though, there are some screenshots of Shock Troopers contained in the Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad Original Soundtrack booklet, and they are clearly screenshots of Version A. Hmmmm.
    Thank you for your contribution, BBH. I was kinda counting on you!


    Oh, and just as a correction in this thread (although Shito already pointed it out), changes in stuff like intros from AES to MVS do *NOT* count as a separate version of a game. All the data is programmed onto every game, it just depends on which format the game is running in of course.
    Fair and simple, yes. This also goes for all the 'options' (any training mode, sound test, etc) avalaible in AES mode only. It's not that those 'differences' make any title a double-version game.

    Magician Lord IS a game with two separate versions though, the MVS carts are programmed with the smaller lifebar and the "respawn where you died" function. The AES carts are programmed with the larger lifebar and the "restart the level when you die". If you somehow played the MVS version on an AES, you would get the extra AES-specific intro AND be able to play the game in the "respawn where you died" format.
    Don't know. I'm pretty sure I saw MVS games with the larger lifebar but the "respawn where you died" options. Also emulated versions seems to be like that.
    Last edited by Shito; 07-17-2006 at 05:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shito
    Don't know. I'm pretty sure I saw MVS games with the larger lifebar but the "respawn where you died" options. Also emulated versions seems to be like that.
    changing the difficulty in the softdips will change the lifebar, which you can't do on an AES system. I'm pretty sure all MVS copies were designed to be the instant respawn versions.

    oh, KoF '98 has two different versions too. In the beginning of the intro, there's a voice cussing. "Say that shit like it's coming out your motherfucking...", or something like that. In the alternate version, there's no voice at all, just extra static.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBH
    changing the difficulty in the softdips will change the lifebar, which you can't do on an AES system. I'm pretty sure all MVS copies were designed to be the instant respawn versions.
    Mmmh... what about the AES version then? Are ALL of them designed with the 'restart from the beginning of the level' setting? In emultated home version is not like that actually...

    [/QUOTE]
    oh, KoF '98 has two different versions too. In the beginning of the intro, there's a voice cussing. "Say that shit like it's coming out your motherfucking...", or something like that. In the alternate version, there's no voice at all, just extra static.[/QUOTE]

    You mean in the very beginning where a static tv screen is shown?

    You're not referring to the famous:

    It all began in '94,
    kept on rolling in '95,
    pieces were set in '96,
    came to an end in '97.
    (etc)

    right?
    J'y gagne, dit le renard, ŕ cause de la couleur du blé...

    Mais si elle l'aimait, elle n'était libre de rien.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Shito
    Mmmh... what about the AES version then? Are ALL of them designed with the 'restart from the beginning of the level' setting? In emultated home version is not like that actually...
    What emulator are you playing on, and which romset are you using? Both the "restart the level" and "restart where you died" versions have been dumped. You sure you're not playing a dump of the MVS version?

    You mean in the very beginning where a static tv screen is shown?
    Yes, that part. Right when the "SNK Presents" part is shown at the beginning. If you're using MAME, the kof98 romset will have the cussing. The kof98n romset does not.

    Oh, and let's not forget about the Korean versions that exist of some of the later fighting games - most/all Japanese voices are removed entirely, some character names are changed (Kafuin Gaira = Kim Ung Che?), and even the game names are different (Samurai Shodown 3 = Fighters Swords, The Last Blade = The Last Soldier)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBH
    You are incorrect.

    There is no way to toggle the changes between the two versions of Shock Troopers. It is an actual change in the program roms. Here is the lowdown between the two versions, I shall call them Version A and Version B.

    Version A
    -The player's lifebar consists of 128 "points". (whenever you pickup a life-restoring item, the number of points that it adds is shown. The first-aid kits are worth +64 points)
    -When a new credit is started, the lifebar does not start fully filled up at 128 points. In Lonly Wolf the lifebar starts at 112 points, and in Team Battle it starts around 90-96 points (I do not remember the exact amount right now, but it's somewhere in that range).
    -At the start of each level, it will show you each character's "rating" for the level. They will be given anywhere from 0-3 stars for the level. The higher the star amount, the faster that character will be able to move ON THAT STAGE ONLY. In addition to this, if a character is rated 2 stars a +8 life bonus will be added, and if they are rated 3 stars they will get a +16.
    -You are given only one life. If you are playing in Team Battle, all three characters share that lifebar, so once it runs out it's game over.

    Version B
    -The player's lifebar consists of 64 points, which means you can only take half as much damage before dying.
    -Lifebar starts at 100% in both Lonly Wolf and Team Battle modes.
    -There is no display of the star rating inbetween stages, and no life-ups are given for characters that are rated 2 or 3 stars on the stage. However, THE STAR RATINGS ARE STILL THERE EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT DISPLAYED TO THE PLAYER, so characters will still move at different speeds depending on the level.
    -By default the game is setup to give you 3 lives in Lonly Wolf, and a 3-character team in Team Battle. This setting is changeable in the soft dips under "HERO" to be a number from 1-8 (Yes, this means that if you change it to 8 and select Team Battle, you will all have 8 characters on your team). The "HERO" setting is absent entirely on Version A.
    -Also worth noting that in Team Battle if the game is finished after 1 or 2 of the characters die, those characters will not be present in the ending. In Version A all 3 characters will always be there (since they all share one lifebar, naturally).

    It's right.... i have both version.
    the pcb are the same, but game's option are a bit different!



    here's soft dip pics for shoock troopers:

    VERSION A : http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/6430/versash2.jpg
    VERSION B : http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/1887/verbyd7.jpg
    Last edited by HCG; 07-17-2006 at 10:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBH
    What emulator are you playing on, and which romset are you using? Both the "restart the level" and "restart where you died" versions have been dumped. You sure you're not playing a dump of the MVS version?
    May be.


    Yes, that part. Right when the "SNK Presents" part is shown at the beginning. If you're using MAME, the kof98 romset will have the cussing. The kof98n romset does not.
    Well, you know, emulations does not count very much anyway, as many romset are actually minor hacks. I've seen romz with extra character selectable (with proper mini-picture in the selecter screen as well), such as KOF97 with Orochi, etc. All that stuff is occasionaly also burned into eprom and use to mod actual carts.

    Do you think any OFFICIAL cart for KOF98, be it AES or MVS, has that speech?

    Oh, and let's not forget about the Korean versions that exist of some of the later fighting games - most/all Japanese voices are removed entirely, some character names are changed (Kafuin Gaira = Kim Ung Che?), and even the game names are different (Samurai Shodown 3 = Fighters Swords, The Last Blade = The Last Soldier)
    The (in)famous 'Korean Version' of some NeoGeo games are a mistery. As KOREAN is not selectable a language option, those are supposed to be different romset, right? What I wonder is: official material or hacks/bootlegs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shito
    Well, you know, emulations does not count very much anyway, as many romset are actually minor hacks. I've seen romz with extra character selectable (with proper mini-picture in the selecter screen as well), such as KOF97 with Orochi, etc. All that stuff is occasionaly also burned into eprom and use to mod actual carts.

    Do you think any OFFICIAL cart for KOF98, be it AES or MVS, has that speech?
    I'm confused as to why it doesn't count, it's a version of the game with different program roms, thereby proving it's different...? It's not a hacked version either, there's no extra characters or infinite supers or whatever. The game is pretty much identical except for that missing voice sample. I'm not sure which versions (territories?) of the game got the version with the voice sample, but there are definitely two versions of the game that exist.

    The (in)famous 'Korean Version' of some NeoGeo games are a mistery. As KOREAN is not selectable a language option, those are supposed to be different romset, right? What I wonder is: official material or hacks/bootlegs?
    They are completely different romsets, yes. Interestingly the games play in English instead of Korean, I think even if they're played on a Japanese system the language will still be in English. They seem to be "official" versions although they weren't really highly publicized by SNK.

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    There are quite a few of the original titles such as NAM75 and ghost pilots that had different #'s of continues (ie. in ghost pilots there is a version with 3, and another with 5).

    ChrisR

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBH
    I'm confused as to why it doesn't count, it's a version of the game with different program roms, thereby proving it's different...?
    My 'doesn't count was refferrin to 'emulation' actually. I was kind of trying to make sure the two version of KOF98 you refer about are both official. I've never seen myself a KOF98 with the cussing speech in the beginning, nor MVS nor AES.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisr
    There are quite a few of the original titles such as NAM75 and ghost pilots that had different #'s of continues (ie. in ghost pilots there is a version with 3, and another with 5).

    ChrisR

    Thank you for your contribution, Chris! Nice to see you around here again.

    BTW, are you sure those are not kind of options triggered via softdip?
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    More info on Magician Lord, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.neo-geo.com/forums/showpo...56&postcount=9

    Goes into more detail on the different versions of the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMOSteel
    More info on Magician Lord, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.neo-geo.com/forums/showpo...56&postcount=9

    Goes into more detail on the different versions of the game.
    I AM interested, thank you.

    Very interesting read. Not only that, I read the whole thread.

    I would summarize the whole thing in few points.

    1) Earlier NeoGeo games had the P-rom actually different from MVS to AES.

    2) That result in some actual differencies in the game, IE the presence of an intro, difficulty bits, etc.

    3) SNK someway managed to produce AES with either the 'proper' AES P-rom or the MVS P-rom.

    4) Basically, some AES seems to contain the MVS romset instead of the supposed AES romset

    Actually, I think it's still unclear if it was the *VERY FIRST* homecart run to have been produced with the MVS romset or any *VARY LATE* homcart run to have the MVS romset having been produced upon cannibalizing any MVS deadstock. This would be pretty interesting to debate.

    Also, anyone knows other game sporting differencies inbetween MVS and AES which are NOT the product of the bios reading? I think Raguy is one of these, with issues very similar to ML's.
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    I hate to gossip since I have no means of testing this anymore, but when I moved from Neo CD to Neo MVS I could swear the CD version of Ninja Masters' played at a different speed than the MVS counterpart (I want to say the CD version was faster - but it was some 6 years ago and I can't remember)... dunno if that stirs anyone's interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverSublime
    I hate to gossip since I have no means of testing this anymore, but when I moved from Neo CD to Neo MVS I could swear the CD version of Ninja Masters' played at a different speed than the MVS counterpart (I want to say the CD version was faster - but it was some 6 years ago and I can't remember)... dunno if that stirs anyone's interest.
    Thank you for the additional info.

    Actually I was not referring/aiming at difference between cart and CD version, for those two format are obviously different, and the program code are not exactly the same anyway...
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    wonder why intro was edited in this jpn version?

    BTW does anyone now if the cardboard version ML has the extra life and starting from the point where you die?
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  23. #23
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    I may be wrong, but I believe Neo Turf Masters differed between MVS and AES. Doesn't AES have an extra hole that can be played?

  24. #24
    King of Typists
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    To the top!

    I'm still collecting info about this topic.

    Let's try to sums thing up a bit.

    1) MAGICIAN LORD
    -MVS and AES versions DO ARE actually different in some bits of the program code / chipset.
    -MVS version has a default 2+2 energy bar, but it can be brought up to 3+3 via dip-switch.
    -MVS version has the 'respawn exaclty where you died' functioning. This can't be altered via dip-switch. MVS carts still works this way even if forced in AES mode.
    -MVS lack intro demo. Datas for the intro demo are NOT present in the MVS cart romset, for the intro does NO show with a MVS cart functioning in AES mode anyway.
    -AES is locked on the 3+3 energy bar. If this is triggerable via dipswitch in MVS mode is not confirmed.
    -AES has the 'respawn from pre-set points' functioning which is anyway unavaible on the MVS, and unpresent in the MVS carts code. AES version still works this way even if forced in MVS mode.
    -To mix-up things a litte more, seems some very early or late AES carts were produced by SNK with the MVS chipset whitin.

    2) RAGUY
    The are two different AES version, one with the difficulty level freely adjustable, another with no level setting option. This is waiting for more in-depth analysis anyway.

    3) SENGOKU
    Just a difference in the intro, longer for the AES verions and shorted for the MVS. Yet thit seems to be triggered just by the mode in which the cart is running. In other words, no different version fo the program code / chipsed are supposed to actually exist for this title.

    4) SHOCK TROOPERS
    While this game never saw an official AES releases, two different MVS versions do exist. The difference are NOT triggerable via soft-dips and affect various gameplay issues in the game
    J'y gagne, dit le renard, ŕ cause de la couleur du blé...

    Mais si elle l'aimait, elle n'était libre de rien.


    凄いゲームを、連れて帰ろう。
    "NEO·GEO is the most important of unimportant things." - Fran

  25. #25
    King of Typists
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    No I'm looking for actual romset variations into AES/MVS production runs.
    J'y gagne, dit le renard, ŕ cause de la couleur du blé...

    Mais si elle l'aimait, elle n'était libre de rien.


    凄いゲームを、連れて帰ろう。
    "NEO·GEO is the most important of unimportant things." - Fran

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