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Thread: Popful Mail (Sega CD): Why was this game made so difficult for the US version?

  1. #31
    Senior Member xelement5x's Avatar
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    Hey Vic, this is a bit of a necrobump again but another beta showed up on ebay again:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=321225267649

    I've asked the seller if they have any provenance, and this looks like it could possibly be an actual early release with the debug menu enable by default, but I was wondering if the handwriting looked like it was yours or someone else from WD? Especially considering the seller says it was personalized by you in the listing. :O

    I'm just wondering if someone simply made a copy of a beta ISO and is trying to sell it as a real deal from the era, then keep the original.

  2. #32
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    Hey Vic, this is a bit of a necrobump again but another beta showed up on ebay again:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=321225267649

    I've asked the seller if they have any provenance, and this looks like it could possibly be an actual early release with the debug menu enable by default, but I was wondering if the handwriting looked like it was yours or someone else from WD? Especially considering the seller says it was personalized by you in the listing. :O

    I'm just wondering if someone simply made a copy of a beta ISO and is trying to sell it as a real deal from the era, then keep the original.
    The thick marker with "Working Designs" and "Preview" looks like my writing, but the other writing is not.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    The thick marker with "Working Designs" and "Preview" looks like my writing, but the other writing is not.
    0-0

    Out of curiosity Vic how does it feel when people use your name to sell stuff? "Personalized by Victor Ireland" wow, I can't wait for someone on ebay to sell "Class of Heroes 2 manual, with drop of blood by Victor Ireland!" or "Class of Heroes I, shredded and roasted by Victor Ireland!" (Of course I'm referring to things outside of autographs lol)

  4. #34
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristides View Post
    0-0

    Out of curiosity Vic how does it feel when people use your name to sell stuff? "Personalized by Victor Ireland" wow, I can't wait for someone on ebay to sell "Class of Heroes 2 manual, with drop of blood by Victor Ireland!" or "Class of Heroes I, shredded and roasted by Victor Ireland!" (Of course I'm referring to things outside of autographs lol)
    In this case it's a bit of a stretch. I don't know that a unsigned, quickly scrawled label on a CD-R counts as "personalized", but if people value my contributions that much, more power to them.

  5. #35
    TempestOne
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    Last edited by TempestOne; 10-21-2013 at 09:53 AM.

  6. #36
    Senior Member xelement5x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    The thick marker with "Working Designs" and "Preview" looks like my writing, but the other writing is not.
    Cool, thanks for letting me know! He also mentions in the listing that it will only play on a debug unit though. That seems a bit odd to me since I've never heard of a debug unit being needed for Sega CD press copies, especially since there was no copy protection for the Sega CD.

    Did you guys ever send out copies that needed to be played on special hardware?

    PS-Sorry for asking so many questions, Sega CD and Popful Mail are like my 2 favorite things so this beta would be neat to grab if I can.

  7. #37
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    Cool, thanks for letting me know! He also mentions in the listing that it will only play on a debug unit though. That seems a bit odd to me since I've never heard of a debug unit being needed for Sega CD press copies, especially since there was no copy protection for the Sega CD.

    Did you guys ever send out copies that needed to be played on special hardware?

    PS-Sorry for asking so many questions, Sega CD and Popful Mail are like my 2 favorite things so this beta would be neat to grab if I can.
    I don't remember them needing to be modified to play the gold discs, but I'm not sure. I know we had a switch we installed to change the region on the same unit, but I think the debug discs just worked.

  8. #38
    Senior Member xelement5x's Avatar
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    Lol, good lord this seller was goofy. I asked a handful of questions but the guy was pretty evasive the entire time about it, and didn't want to test it on a regular Sega CD or put in a PC to check.

    The reserve wasn't met on the auction (I was the high bidder at about $50), so the dude relisted the thing at a BIN of $225 and someone bought it! I'm a big fan of the games but that's pretty nuts, especially since I can't imagine it's too drastically different than then the retail release. Oh well, I hope whoever got it will release it.

  9. #39
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    Lol, good lord this seller was goofy. I asked a handful of questions but the guy was pretty evasive the entire time about it, and didn't want to test it on a regular Sega CD or put in a PC to check.

    The reserve wasn't met on the auction (I was the high bidder at about $50), so the dude relisted the thing at a BIN of $225 and someone bought it! I'm a big fan of the games but that's pretty nuts, especially since I can't imagine it's too drastically different than then the retail release. Oh well, I hope whoever got it will release it.
    I don't remember specifically about Popful Mail, but sometimes I put wildly inappropriate very un-PC jokes in games during development that I never intend to see general release just to keep the monotony of repeated playthroughs at bay for the testers and myself, and they get replaced before the end. One time I put pictures goofy pictures of staff from travel to E3 and Japan in the credits roll. It may have had some of those, I dunno.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    I don't remember specifically about Popful Mail, but sometimes I put wildly inappropriate very un-PC jokes in games during development that I never intend to see general release just to keep the monotony of repeated playthroughs at bay for the testers and myself, and they get replaced before the end. One time I put pictures goofy pictures of staff from travel to E3 and Japan in the credits roll. It may have had some of those, I dunno.
    Replying to this thread because I am the 'overpaying' purchaser of this Popful Mail review disc.

    To be clear: like xelement5x, Popful Mail is my absolute, 100%, FAVORITE game of all time. It is a timeless classic that puts me into a nostalgic haze which can bring up old emotions and memories like almost no other media can. Picture me at 6 years old: I had a smattering of nice Genesis titles (Lion King, Power Rangers: the Movie) and some awful Sega CD offerings (Sewer Shark, Stellar Fire) and one marvelous game which blew all others out of the water: Popful Mail. Its perfect 16-bit graphics, CD-quality soundtrack, lightening-quick comedy, with hard, yet rewarding difficulty scaling - Popful Mail has been a once-a-year playthrough at least-type game for almost twenty years now. I know every little bit of it like the back of my hand.

    That said - I am also an avid video game collector. I realize how competitive things like betas and protos can get, and like xelement5x, was determined to verify this was a legitimate review copy before I made any serious offer. When the seller told me their connection to the disc - they were the founders of GameFan magazine - I was quick to offer a maximum amount. Please understand I love Popful Mail more than any other game on the planet, and I also like to collect video games. The chances that something might be a little different, maybe a mistranslation or something was enough to make me want to see it. This item could be the crown jewel of my collection, and I would have paid almost any reasonable price to obtain it.

    (ahem) All that aside - it arrived today. Like people have speculated, this is definitely a WIP of Popful Mail. Strangely, it came in a Rocket Science Beta Copy jewel case. It does work on a regular CDX. It seems half-complete (translation-wise, at least, haven't looked for the parallax scrolling), and I would like to give a rundown of the differences I've noticed so far (played up to Wind Cave before turning it off):

    -No narrator during intro. cutscene
    -Alternate splash screen music (all menu text is in English)
    -Opening cutscene (with Nuts Cracker) is in Japanese (with JP music)
    -C button is another attack button rather than menu. Start opens the menu. There is no Pause button.
    -Enemies take less hits to die. They also drop more money.
    -It recognizes the save files I already had, but will not let me boot them, due to them being the wrong "version"
    -Slight animation difference in first encounter with Slick Junior III
    -Missing apostrophe in guard's speech about Slick
    -Both of Namo's cutscenes are especially hilarious. It appears English voice acting wasn't finished for him, so Mail has English-to-Japanese conversations with him. After Mail saves him from the 4 Illusionists, theres a moment in his speech where the American Gaw voice actor speaks up and calls Mail a "fool". He also refers to the Gingerbread Grifter Gang as "stinkin" rather than "rotten" in the text.
    -Thrashmaster+ is named Greenhorn
    -During the Muttonhead confrontation after Wood Golem, Mail's speech suddenly switches to Japanese and back again.
    -Cutscene between Forest and Cave is in Japanese (with JP music)
    -Kazyr's speech at the start of Wind Caves is in Japanese, and Tatto's dialogue switches between English and Japanese
    -Tatto's encounter with Slick also has some untranslated bits. That stuff is really hilarious to me.
    -The first time you see Gaw, again, it is all in Japanese. But the Japanese voice actor is SO far away from the English voice actor, it is actually startling, haha

    So far, there has been a ton of weirdness. More than I even expected, seeing as how this copy is 4 months from release. I am absolutely tickled to be able to own this - honestly, the idea that Victor Ireland himself handled this IS a very nice cherry on top, and finding a forum post from you confirming your handwriting is actually mind-blowing to me. I've never had the chance to tell you, Victor, but since there is a chance you may see this I must say THANK YOU for helping bring this game to the states. I also wish Sister Sonic hadn't fallen to the wayside, and wish the franchise had continued (people also forget she was a sexy, empowering female main character BEFORE Lara Croft).

    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    The ending animation from that game is one of my favorite ever. The back and forth between Slick and Muttonhead, the whole setting, and the music really reinforce the sense of accomplishment. Slick's "I ain't suckin' nothin'" retort makes me smile every time.
    I love reading this.

    Lastly - I would like to make this preview disc image available to anyone who'd like to see the silly changes and differences, but now I realize I should state that intention and see if its a good idea before continuing. Maybe I should fully test (beat) the game and see all of its weirdness before making it public. Anyway, thanks for reading all this if you did, and sorry for being so long-winded. As you can see, I am ridiculously excited to be owning this (I freakin' Googled 'popful mail beta' and found this thread, if you were wondering, haha).
    Last edited by Desfeek4; 10-19-2013 at 07:06 PM.

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