SEGA Blog SEGA Blog Homepage SEGA on Facebook SEGA on Twitter SEGA on Flickr SEGA on YouTube

Archive for ‘SEGA 3D Classics’


   
 

3D Fantasy Zone – Secrets & Unlockables

SEGA  3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

Are you having trouble with 3D Fantasy Zone? Are you trying to enter our contest, or are just having trouble getting through the game? We’ve got you covered! We pulled together a few quick tips and tricks that well help you out, as a few secrets you might not have known about!

Hidden Rapid Shot Speed

3D Fantasy Zone - Hidden Rapid Shot Speed Upgrade

One of the best features of 3D Fantasy Zone is the Rapid Shot option for your primary and secondary weapons. No more button mashing, no more hand cramps, defeat enemies and bosses with ease! But wait, there’s more …

By default, you can select two different speeds of Rapid Shot, but there’s a hidden third speed that you may not know about. To unlock, press and hold down the “A” button while on the fastest shot speed, then wait for 5 seconds while continuing to hold “A”, and pow – three speeds of auto fire!

Earn One Million Coins and Upgrade!

3D Fantasy Zone - 1 Million Coin Unlock

If you are still having trouble reaching the one million coins in our SEGA Classic Contest, then this is the section for you. Earning one million coins not only adds a second entry into our contest, it also unlocks a new feature – extended usage of weapon upgrades. This means more Wide Beam, Laser Beam, or 7 Way Shot while playing in any level in the game!

3D Fantasy Zone - 1 Million Strategy

1. Take only $6000 into the round (or less if you prefer), reduce your Number of Lives to 1, and activate Base Markers in the options.
2. As soon as you load into Round 7, quickly buy the Jet Engine and 7 Way Shot.
3. Then rush as fast as you can to destroy all of the bases and earn up to $10,000 per base.
4. Fight and defeat the boss and you should walk away with around $1,000,000 in coins.
5. Die and repeat until you hit 1 Million

New Unlocks at Two Million and Three Million Coins

3D Fantasy Zone - Unlimited Weapon Usage at 3 Million

While the extended weapon time is nice at one million coins, the upgrades at two million and three million are even better. At two million coins you’ll unlock ‘Gold Rush’, which will give you double money for each enemy or base destroyed. This makes it much easier to reach one of the all new hidden bosses in the game, but we’ll get to that in another post …

At three million coins you’ll unlock the Unlimited Weapon Time upgrade. Now you’ll never run out of your primary weapon and can use 7 way shot forever. This can make the game a little easy, but it can also increase your chances of beating the last level and unlocking Upa-Upa mode!

Have a Strategy? Share it!

We hope these quick tips help you get through the game and see all the features within 3D Fantasy Zone! If you have a strategy or special tip that you’d like to highlight, let us know in the comments below.

 
   
   
 

3D Fantasy Zone: The Opa-Opa Bros is Available Today!

SEGA  3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros is available today on the Nintendo 3DS eShop!

3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros. is the popular side-scrolling shooter, first released for the SEGA System-16 board in 1986, in which players control a sentient spaceship named Opa-Opa to fight bizarre invader enemies. The re-mastered version combines stereoscopic 3D visuals with a host of additional features to deliver cutting edge gameplay with a classic feel. 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros. also introduces a new feature called the “coin stock” system that allows players to accumulate coins for use across play sessions and to unlock in-game abilities. Furthermore, the game features an unlockable mode in which players are able to play as Upa-Upa, the little brother of Opa-Opa, upon completion of the game.

Read the Interview!

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

We’ve also released an incredibly in depth interview detailing the creation of the game by developer M2. You can find it in two parts here:
3D Fantasy Zone interview part 1

3D Fantasy Zone interview part 2

Enter the Contest!

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest - 3D Fantasy Zone

We’re also running a special contest with a chance to win a classic SEGA hoodie for performing a few challenges in game. Play the game, beat a few challenges, take some photos, submit them online, and you could be one of our 10 winners in this month’s contest.

Enter today!

 
   
   
 

SEGA Classic Contest – 3D Fantasy Zone

SEGA  3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

The SEGA 3D Classics Classic Contest Continues! Last month we unveiled our monthly contest with 3D After Burner II and we’re back with our newest SEGA 3D Classic, 3D Fantasy Zone. For each game, we’re having players complete a few skill challenges to be entered into a classic SEGA prize – our super popular SEGA controller hoodie.

Classic Games, Classic Contest

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest - 3D Fantasy Zone

Back when these SEGA Classic games were available in arcades, there was a contest style of taking a photo of yourself alongside game progress, results screens, or with credits. We’re bringing that back – each month, with each release of a new SEGA 3D Classic, we’re offering up a few challenges to complete in the games. A chance to take a photo and show off your successes, and get entered into a drawing for prizes.

Classic Contest, Classic Prize

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest Prize

Our prize for all of the 3D Classic Contests is a very special SEGA hoodie. We’ve changed the design slightly based on feedback, the hoodie is now a deep navy blue color with grey contrasting hood and drawstrings. The controllers are embroidered with the same grey color to match. We’re really proud of how these turned out and we’re offering them up to 10 winners per contest!

How to Enter

For 3D Fantasy Zone we kicked around a lot of ideas on what sort of challenges we wanted players to complete. Make it too hard and it would be frustrating, too easy and it wouldn’t be fun. So we think we’ve settled on a pretty good balance that also highlights a new key feature – the Coin Bank.

Challenge #1: Get the high score in the local leaderboard. With a bit of practice, everyone should be able to complete this without too much trouble.

Challenge #2: Get 1 Million Coins and Unlock the Weapon Time upgrade. This should challenge both new and returning fans of Fantasy Zone. You’ll need to monitor your spending from the coin bank while maximizing coins earned.

Then email a photo of your screen beating the challenge and submit it to Sega3DClassics@sega.com with the subject, “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes – 3D Fantasy Zone.” In the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth. Easy!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. See Official Rules at http://blogs.sega.com/?p=20502 for FREE entry. Open to legal residents of the United States, D.C. and any member state within the E.U. excluding residents of U.S. territories, possessions and overseas military installations, 13 years of age or older. Ends 2/25/15 at 11:59:59 PM PT.

Classic Official Rules

Sega of America, Inc.
SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes Series
1st Classic: 3D Fantasy Zone
Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
See Section (3) of these Official Rules for FREE method of entry by email.

(1) Description – Sega of America, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) is offering “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes Series” (the “Classic Promotion Series”). The Classic Promotion Series consist of (8) separate sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”). In all Sweepstakes in the Classic Promotion Series winners will be determined and prizes awarded on the basis of random selection from eligible entrants. The Fantasy Zone Sweepstakes (“Promotion”) begins at 12:00:01 AM Pacific Time (“PT”) on February 11, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM PT on February 25, 2015 (“Sweepstakes Period”).

By participating in the Promotion, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. By participating in the Promotion, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Facebook and Promotion Entities (defined below) from any and all damages whether direct or indirect, which may be due to or arise out of participation in the Promotion or any portion thereof, or the acceptance, use/misuse or possession of prizes provided for or in connection with the Promotion. Further, the Promotion Entities do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted by Sponsor or any other Promotion Entities for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

(2) Eligibility – The Promotion is open only to legal residents of the United States, the District of Columbia and any member state within the European Union who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry and individuals between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17) who have the permission to enter of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Official Rules.

Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies (collectively “Promotion Entities”), their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion.

Void in Puerto Rico, all other U.S. territories and possessions, overseas military installations, and where prohibited by law, rule or regulation. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

(3) How to Enter – There are two (2) ways to enter:

Via Game Purchase and Game Play -
• Purchase and play Fantasy Zone. Earn a top score in the local leaderboards and take a photo of your score on the leaderboard, (your “Leaderboard Picture”). To receive one (1) entry send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, attach your Leaderboard Picture to the email, enter “Leaderboard Entry” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

• Continue game play to collect one (1) million coins and take a photo displaying the coin bank at this value (your “Million Coin Picture”). To receive one (1) additional entry send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, attach your Million Coin Picture to the email, enter “Million Coin Entry ” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

FREE Entry by email –
To enter without a game purchase and game play, to receive one (1) entry send an email send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, enter “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes – 3D Fantasy Zone” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

There is a limit of two (2) entries per person regardless of entry method and a limit of one (1) prize per person for the entire Classic Promotion Series.

Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different/duplicitous e-mail addresses, the use of a sweepstakes service, the use of multiple identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete, late, or contain irregular or invalid information, or are corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

(4) Data Collection – Sponsor collects personal information from you when you enter the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, you agree to all of the terms and conditions of Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For information about how personal information may be used, see Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available at http://www.sega.com/legal/privacy.php

(5) Prizes
– Ten (10) winners will each receive a Sega branded sweatshirt, approximate retail value (“ARV”) is thirty U.S. dollars ($30).

There are a total of ten (10) prizes, with a total ARV of all prizes of three hundred U.S. dollars ($300). The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

(6) Prize Awarding – Winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries conducted by Sponsor on or about February 27th, 2015. Potential winners will be contacted within one (1) business day of the drawing by the e-mail address associated with their entry (“Prize Notification”) and provided with a Prize Claim Document (“PCD”), which must be returned to Sponsor within five (5) days of the Prize Notification. If any potential winner is between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17), his/her parent or legal guardian must complete the PCD with his/her information and accept the prize on behalf of their minor. Non-compliance with any of these requirements and/or the return of Prize Notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification, winner’s forfeiture of the prize and (at Sponsor’s sole discretion), and the selection of an alternate winner. Any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded.

Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person, or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

(7) General – All decisions of the Sponsor in any matter relating to this Promotion shall be binding and final. If there are fewer eligible entries than the number of available prizes, any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Sponsor is not responsible for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware, software, or web site. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer or telephone transmissions or technical failure, jumbled, scrambled or misdirected transmissions, late, lost or mis-directed mail, for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, howsoever caused, or other error of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic. Entrants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified. If disqualified for any of the above abuses, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion if any fraud, virus or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Promotion, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to select winners and award prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Promotion and the rights and obligations of Sponsor and entrants will be governed by and controlled by the laws of the state of California, applicable to contracts made and performed therein without reference to the applicable choice of law provisions. All actions, proceedings or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted, without resort to any form of class action, solely within the state courts of California located in San Francisco, California and federal courts located within such state and county with respect to any action, dispute or other matter pertaining to or arising out of the Promotion. In the event any provision of these Official Rules will be held to be unenforceable, these Official Rules will continue in full force and effect without such provision.

(8) Winner Information – Winners will be announced at on or about March 16, 2015.

Sega of America, Inc.
350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

© SEGA. ALL rights reserved. SEGA is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. SEGA, the SEGA logo, and Fantasy Zone are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation.

 
   
   
 

SEGA 3D Classics – 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Brothers – Part 2

SEGA  3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

Today we continue where we left off yesterday with our 3D Fantasy Zone interview with Yosuke Okunari (SEGA of Japan) and Naoki Horii (President of M2). If you’ve not already, be sure to head over to part 1 and catch up on the detailed intro about the game.

Upa-Upa Mode – A new challenge for both the players and developers!

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
Upa-Upa mode

- Alright, let me ask you about this new “Upa-Upa Mode” that you’ve added in this time.

YO: Right. The “Grantanoff”* this time around is the Upa-Upa Mode.

*Check out the 3D After Burner II interview for details about “Grantanoff.”

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
* Opa-Opa was a dot-eating game that used the graphical world styling of Fantasy Zone. It was released in the arcades and for the Sega Mark III. It is also included in the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection for PlayStation 2 (Japan-only).

NH: This all started very early on when we were thinking about adding a mode that would be easier than the original Fantasy Zone. The reason we made this Upa-Upa was— Well, you know how in the arcade version of Fantasy Zone, Opa-Opa is all by himself. But there was a two-player co-op mode in the game Opa-Opa*, and Upa-Upa made his first appearance there. However, Upa-Upa hasn’t really made any appearances ever since Galactic Protector*. We thought this was a bit of a shame.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
* Galactic Protector was a unique shooting game for the Sega Mark III that used a paddle controller. The player characters were Opa-Opa and Upa-Upa. This game was also part of the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection.

YO: To help celebrate the character’s return, we went as far as to add a subtitle: Opa-Opa Brothers. There is another reason we added the subtitle, though. You know, in the previous title, 3D After Burner II, we put in the Special Mode, which I think is pretty amazing, but…

NH: There are a couple of people out there who’ve played it, I’m sure. We really appreciate it.

YO: But looking at the reaction, it seems a lot of people thought it was a pretty vanilla port, on par with a Virtual Console conversion. It makes me think that people who don’t play with the 3D didn’t really notice that we’d added a new mode. Or perhaps people didn’t play it all the way to the end. I mean, we put all that work in to add the additional content in there. If people who actually bought the game ended up putting it down before they discovered the extra content, we need to do more to encourage them to play it, you know? So we put a subtitle on the game so it’s easy for people to know that there’s extra content. Give it a little bit of new-game pizazz. So there you have it. Opa-Opa Brothers.

- I see

YO: But Koga-san also had this idea to that it’d be pretty interesting if we made a Fantasy Zone that used the Touch Screen to allow players to switch between weapons. I agreed, but if we just made it so you could switch using the Touch Screen, everyone would just end up using 7WAY Shots. (laughs) So we decided to make it so you had to use money to choose the weapons. Perhaps we should actually ask Koga-san himself about it.

Keisuke Koga (below KK): Hi, I’m Koga. Nice to meet you.
YO: But Koga-san also had this idea to that it’d be pretty interesting if we made a Fantasy Zone that used the Touch Screen to allow players to switch between weapons. I agreed, but if we just made it so you could switch using the Touch Screen, everyone would just end up using 7WAY Shots. (laughs) So we decided to make it so you had to use money to choose the weapons. Perhaps we should actually ask Koga-san himself about it.

NH: Koga here was our main game designer for the System-16 version* of Fantasy Zone II back when we were doing the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection. So we went and left this version of Fantasy Zone to him as well.

* The original arcade version of Fantasy Zone II was a port of the Sega Mark III (Master System) version (the original version). As a result, it ran on the System E arcade board, which was similar in specs to the Mark III, but inferior in specs to the System-16 board. For the 2008 release of the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection, M2 remastered Fantasy Zone II to be a full-fledged version that took advantage of the System-16’s graphical capabilities.

- So let’s talk about Upa-Upa Mode. Upa-Upa has never really been in the spotlight before, so the mode is very interesting. How did this come into being?

KK: When you compare Fantasy Zone to the other arcade games in the 3D Remaster Project, it’s not one of those interactive physical-style arcade cabinets. I felt really bad that we couldn’t include any cabinet-related options, such as the machine sounds or the screen modes.

At that point, I resolved to add in some kind of new game mode, but then I heard that we were adding a new game mode to 3D After Burner II, which was being developed at the time. That made me feel like including some sort of new remix style content was going to be a requirement for the second round of 3D Remake Project titles.

- So the existence of a Special Mode in 3D After Burner II had an effect on 3D Fantasy Zone.

KK: Yes, that’s right. That said, even if we try to remix content in a way that changes the game balance, such as 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode, in the case of Fantasy Zone, if you give the player rapid fire, they can get through any situation just by using that. But if we take away rapid fire completely the difficulty level would be too high to play on the 3DS. So we decided to try to create some new content that you couldn’t clear just by using rapid fire.

In the past, we had a problem in the System-16 version of Fantasy Zone II where if you had a special weapon in the Weapon 2 slot, you wouldn’t be able to fire your single or twin bombs. We fixed this and removed the limit by making it so you could charge to fire. We wanted to something similar this time as well, where we got rid of limited use weapons. But rather than resorting to some sort of option that you switch on and off like a cheat, I wanted to build it into the game system itself somehow.

YO: For this second round of 3D Remake Project games, I’ve been talking with M2 about properly designing out these game modes, rather than just tacking them on via the options.

KK: In the beginning, I wanted it to be that Weapon 1 (main shot) and Weapon 2 could be used as long as you had the money to do so. So I tried a system focused on first-time players where you could basically use money instead of rapid fire. But it ended up being a little too easy, so I gave up on it and instead added a Challenge Mode for people who think the original game is a bit too easy.

NH: We understand that if you just crank up the difficulty, you’re just going to get pummeled by fast moving bullets in later stages, so for Upa-Upa Mode, enemies come out in droves from the beginning, and while they shoot at you, their bullets move very slowly.

KK: From an internal game standpoint, the game level is raised and the enemies are all trigger happy, but the bullet speed is set to a speed of 0.75, a value not used in the original programming. So, this is something that would never occur in the original Opa-Opa Mode.

And as I said earlier, since this is the 3DS we are talking about, the Touch Screen can now be used to swap weapons as well.

NH: Just seeing all the weapons lined up on the lower screen makes you feel happy, doesn’t it?

KK: Yes, and as a result, I think we’ve done a pretty good job of adding some content that’s quite appropriate for 3DS.

- And why did you make the main character Upa-Upa instead of Opa-Opa?

KK: Since the weapon system changes the normal gameplay, we wanted it to be easy to tell the difference, and we decided to leave that role to Upa-Upa.

Upa-Upa fights alongside Opa-Opa as a palette-swapped second player character in Opa-Opa and Galactic Protector, and Opa-Opa is a prequel to Fantasy Zone. But you never learn what happens to Upa-Upa after Opa-Opa ends. He makes an appearance in the anime Zillion, but he’s not really the same as the in-game character.

Compared to the warrior hero Opa-Opa, it’s a bit of a sad situation for Upa-Upa, and I was worried that if we didn’t put him in here, he wouldn’t have a chance to make an appearance for perhaps another decade. So we decided to put him in. Incidentally, we put a lot of thought into his coloring, since it’s different depending on the title you are referring to. Though it’s not like there were a lot of options to choose from in the first place, we ultimately went with the thing that sets him apart from Opa-Opa: the red canopy.

NH: We’ve also refined the story while staying true to the original version as well.

KK: At first we were thinking that Upa-Upa had taken advantage of a financial meltdown to accumulate vast amounts of wealth by playing the market, and was using those funds to use weapons freely. That idea was rejected, though. In any case, I’m hoping Upa-Upa will put in another appearance someday.

NH: The picking up of coins in Upa-Upa Mode is the same as normal Fantasy Zone, but it’s kind of as if the money that Opa-Opa is putting away for a rainy day is being skimmed off by Upa-Upa, and Upa-Upa can buy weapons using that money. All you have to do is tap the lower screen to choose the weapon you’d like, so if you want to pump 7WAY SHOTS into the boss character, you can. It feels really good.

YO: And by the way, to select Upa-Upa mode, you’ll need to clear the original version once. By the time you clear the game once, you’ll have a pretty sizable stock of cash to use. The game feels different than when you play as Opa-Opa, so I hope everyone will enjoy how it feels to play as Upa-Upa.

KK: I’d like to see people start it with $0 and try to clear it.

- The fighting is pretty intense even from Round 1, so it seems like it’d be pretty rough with just a Single Shot and the Twin Bomb. I think a lot of people will be happy with the new way it feels, though. Looking forward to everyone’s reaction. Thank you so much, Koga-san.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
This was Koga-san’s initial plan for Upa-Upa’s weapons. Its implementation wasn’t realistic, so it didn’t ultimately end up happening.

YO: Upa-Upa’s standard equipment is the Single Shot and Twin Bomb, but they’re not all that powerful. If you spend the money, you can add on three types of weapons on each of Shot 1 and Shot 2, so you’ll need to consider when you are going to use them.

That said, the WIDE BEAM costs $100 per shot, and the LASER is $200 per second, and 7WAY SHOTS are $500 a pop, so things are on the pricy side. If you shoot rapidly, you’re going to find yourself broke. On the other hand, it’s pretty easy to come back, so like we said: it’s a different kind of gameplay.

NH: If you just look at a still screenshot of Upa-Upa Mode, it just looks like a differently-colored Opa-Opa. But when you actually play it, you’ll see the difference. We put some work into it.

YO: Oh, and there is this thing I didn’t really ask them to do, but M2 suggested that we should change the first round music, since it’s called “Opa-Opa!” So they created a new song called “Upa-Upa!” (laughs).

NH: I’d have a hard time answering you if you asked me what makes it “Upa-Upa,” but it’s a new Fantasy Zone¬-esque song, either way.

YO: The song was done by Chibi-Tech-san*. She’s worked on a few things for us such as the Menu BGM for SEGA AGES ONLINE (aka SEGA VINTAGE COLLECTION), and she’s rather good at creating songs that really capture the themes of each game. So she created a Fantasy Zone-styled song that captures Upa-Upa’s carefree style—well, we sort of made up the fact that Upa-Upa’s style is carefree. But we think it really captures it.

* Chibi-Tech – A sound composer at M2. She’s been in charge of sound for other M2 titles such as AHOGE CHANBARA on mobile, as well as remixing soundtracks for G.rev’s Kokuga for 3DS.

- This song not only feels like it’s a Fantasy Zone song, but it also vaguely reminds me of Fantasy Zone II. It feels right at home. That reminds me, there is a Fantasy Zone album being released on March 26th, 2013, right? Is “Upa-Upa!” going to be on it?

YO: Actually, it is! When we released 3D Space Harrier, the soundtrack was released at the same time, and we heard some people were disappointed that the new track added to the 3DS version wasn’t on the album. So this time we went and added it as a bonus track. You could just go and buy only the bonus track, so don’t worry if you already happen to own the CD.

- Oh! Well thanks for being so thoughtful about it!

Spoiler Alert – Options Galore, and a Word About The Next Title?

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

YO: Oh, that reminds me. I forgot to mention this, but we’ve really fleshed out the options this time. For the people reading the interviews I’d to talk about the spots in the menus that are hidden by question marks. You can lengthen the time limits for weapons and increase how much money the enemies drop.

As for unlock conditions, it comes down to how much money you’ve saved, so if you play the game with that in mind, the game will get easier and easier for you, since playing the game gets you more money.

- The money the unlock requirement is referring to is your coin stock?

YO: That’s right. So if you use the Round Select feature or use too much money in Upa-Upa Mode, you might find it rather hard to fulfill the requirements.

- So you’ll need to be responsible with your money, huh? (laughs)

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
SEGA 3D Classic’s infamous staff credits. This one’s from 3D After Burner II.

YO: Yes. Oh, and then there are the staff credits, which M2 puts a lot of work into every time. Horii-san was talking about this earlier, but Koga-san poured all his passion for Fantasy Zone into it.

NH: Oh yeah, that. That whole thing is pretty much made completely from our own internal tools. The programmers just display what’s handed to them, so it’s pretty heavy on the processor.

YO: We get positive feedback on the staff credits for the arcade ports every time, and they’ve gone crazy with it this time, too. It’s separate from the game, but I hope everyone will get a glimpse of Koga-san’s feelings toward this game. Please give it a look.

NH: For me, I think if people come out and say, “I wanna play this!” then things might get a little interesting.

YO: That seems like it would be a rather long road considering that it has this much frame drop and it’s only just displaying what’s on screen.

- I always try to avoid watching these when I’m gathering up info for these articles, so I’m looking forward to watching this. (Watches the credits) (Giggles)

YO: No one ends up watching the actual credits on the lower screen.

NH: That’s right. And the frame rate on the lower screen is so low.

- Yeah, I think there’s definitely going to be some fans that are going to want to play this.

NH: I know, right? I was thinking it’d be interesting if it had a control scheme like Geometry Wars.

YO: If 3D Fantasy Zone ends up being the top seller of the 3D Remaster series, you never know.

NH: Even though Thunder Blade is currently not even in the cards…

YO: Well, by the time that happens, we might be able to convince some people.

- (laughs) Well, it’s certainly fun. Everyone who buys it should take a look.

NH: Well, we do silly stuff, like always. I would like to state for the record in this interview that the schedule was delayed by about a month because of Koga’s antics. I haven’t really come down on the guy for it, but I’m stating it here for all posterity! He went off and did what he wanted as the game designer, and pushed the game out by a month. As punishment, next time I’m going to put him in charge of schedule management, too.

- (laughs) But, don’t you want to play this when you see it?

YO: Picking up from where they left on off on the System-16 Fantasy Zone II, I’d like everyone to check out M2’s passion for Fantasy Zone in this new. game, too.
SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
A treasured Fantasy Zone-themed tissue box enshrined at M2. It was apparently a present.

NH: When we were told that it’s okay to move forward and make Fantasy Zone, I thought, “You guys aren’t considering the overseas market, are you?” Is that going to be okay?

YO: As far as I can tell, it should be fine. But of course, it all depends on the fan reaction going forward.

And last of all, I hope to announce the next game as soon as I can, so collect that money in 3D Fantasy Zone and stay tuned!

- (laughs) Thank you very much for your time, and I’m looking forward to hearing about the next game!

Thanks for Reading!

The end! You made it! This concludes part 2 of our 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Brothers. We’d love to hear your feedback on all the extras discussed here, and especially your feedback when you play the game this Thursday!

 
   
   
 

SEGA 3D Classics – 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Brothers – Part 1

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

This week we launch another SEGA 3D Classic on the Nintendo eShop with 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Brothers! We also launch part 1 of our interview with Yosuke Okunari (SEGA of Japan) and Naoki Horii (President of M2) with a ton of new details about the creation of the game. We hope you enjoy!

Thanks again to Game Watch and Impress, Okunari-san, and Horii-san for their involvement in making these interviews available to our western audience. Special thanks to our producer Sam for translating these interviews for everyone’s enjoyment.

A Little about the Arcade Version of Fantasy Zone

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone

Fantasy Zone, the second game created for SEGA’s System-16 arcade board, was released in 1986. Comprised of a MC68000 and a Z80, the System-16 board was considered to be a more general-purpose version of the “Harrier Board” employed by Space Harrier, which was equipped with two MC68000 microprocessors. There were two versions of the board, labeled “A” and “B,” with the latter featuring sprite zooming capabilities (maximum of 128 sprites on-screen at once), though those features were not available when Fantasy Zone was released. The sound source was a YM2151.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
The shop is one of the main characteristics of the game.

Fantasy Zone is a side-scrolling shooter, somewhat of a rarity for a SEGA title, that features a single joystick with two buttons. The game’s protagonist, Opa-Opa, utilizes shots and bombs to destroy ten enemy bases located throughout each stage. Destroying these bases triggers the boss battle. Defeating enemies and bases causes them to drop coins, which the player can pick up. Once enough have been collected, a balloon-shaped shop will appear. By touching this ship, they player can spend coins on things such as upgraded guns, bombs, engines, and extra lives which can only be obtained via the shop. This feature was unique at the time, and gave the game its sense of originality. Technically speaking, there were four versions of the arcade ROM, with the OLD and NEW Japanese versions making an appearance in 3D Fantasy Zone. The other two international OLD/NEW versions, which are quite rare, featured the ability to continue.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
You can purchase limited-use weapons with special abilities.

This game was ported to a number of home consoles, including the Mark III (Master System), Famicom, PC Engine, X68000, SEGA Saturn, etc. This version is the second release of Fantasy Zone by M2, with the first being the Japan-only SEGA AGES 2500 Vol. 33 Fantasy Zone Complete Collection for PlayStation 2.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
Unique, colorful graphics

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
Destroying all the bases causes the boss to appear

Fantasy Zone, in unrelenting 3D!

- Alright, so the second game in the second batch of the 3D Remaster Project is Fantasy Zone, so I’m here once again to chat with you guys about it. Thank you again for having me. Okay, first off, as always, why did you choose Fantasy Zone?

Yosuke Okunari (below YO): I may have mentioned this when we were talking about 3D After Burner II, but for the 3D Remaster Project’s second batch, we wanted to work on games that we knew would make the domestic Japanese users really happy. So the reason we chose Fantasy Zone was because it’s very Japan-focused. The reality is this game is practically unknown overseas. The arcade version was hardly ever distributed outside Japan.

Naoki Horii (below NH): It’s pretty impressive that you still know stuff like that.

YO: The people overseas who know this game probably played the Master System version. They probably never played the arcade version back when it was originally out. Most of them, at least. There is a ROM version that’s dubbed the “International Version (US ver.),” but compared to Japan, it saw very limited distribution. I get the impression that there was a board that was distributed with the intention of it being the “International Version,” but when compared to other titles that saw widespread circulation, like Altered Beast or Golden Axe, it’s pretty unknown.

However, on the other hand the game was extremely popular in Japan. There was the arcade version, and then there was a Mark III / Master System version released shortly after that was one of the driving forces behind that console’s hardware uptake. And then a year later, Sunsoft released a well-made version for the Famicom. This port onto the major hardware platform at the time helped drive the game’s popularity. Then there was another port to the PC Engine / TurboGrafx 16 a year after that, and this contributed again to its fame, similar to Space Harrier. Basically, its appearance on all of the major players of the 8-bit generation of consoles was the key factor in the game’s popularity.

NH: Huh. So that’s why everyone knows it.

YO: We are able to bring the arcade version back due to the strong domestic response to the SEGA 3D Remaster Project.

NH: So what you’re saying is due to the response to 3D After Burner II, it’s okay to go and pick up Thunder Blade, right…?

YO: Well, 3D After Burner II might need to work a little harder before we can do that…

- (laughs) In terms of genre, Fantasy Zone is a first for the 3D Remaster Project in that it’s a side-scrolling shooter

YO: SEGA didn’t have a lot of shooting games that weren’t played from a 3D perspective. In the arcade, there were Sonic Boom and Scramble Spirits for vertical shooters, and we had games like Astro Flash for our side-scroll shooter lineup.

- So there weren’t many of these standard side-scrolling shooters.

YO: Aurail and Heavy Metal. I mean, I can keep throwing these out, so it’s not like we didn’t have any at all. But if you try to narrow it down to the ones we made internally, there really weren’t many.

- And despite that, Fantasy Zone is remarkable in the fact that it was well-known and a SEGA-made side-scrolling shooter. That’s what makes it seem quite special.

YO: This time around, in addition to the staff who have been working on our projects up to now, we also added team members who worked on the System-16 version of Fantasy Zone II for the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection. The project began as a kind of follow-up to that version of Fantasy Zone II*.

* NOTE: Fantasy Zone II was originally developed for the Mark III / Master System, and when ported back to the arcade, it ran on a board called the System E. This board featured specs very similar to the Mark III / Master System, which was technically inferior to the System-16. The version of Fantasy Zone II in the Fantasy Zone Complete Collection is a remastered version that runs on System-16, and thus is of higher quality.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
System-16 version of Fantasy Zone II

As far as stereoscopic 3D is concerned, we are pretty fixated on the details at this point now that we are on the 10th game in our series. Based on what we did with 3D Shinobi III, we put a lot of work into the 3D work for the backgrounds. There is a real sense of 3D now.

NH: Just looking at it, it seems as if every single pixel has some depth associated with it. However, from a technical standpoint, we didn’t have the leeway to actually go that far. We were able to split either the background or foreground into up to 4 layers, and we had a good deal of freedom in adding depth to the text, though it’s about 8 pixels tall.

YO: I suppose it’s a bit as if we brought the Giga Drive to System-16.

NH: Theoretically speaking, we can do a little more than the Giga Drive. We can assign each ‘cell’ to any of the 4 levels of depth, though there are some limits to that. And if you have a cell that crosses multiple depth levels, we can place individual ‘chips.’ It’s actually possible to go even further with the 3D-enabled System-16 (I call it the “System-16E”) but that’s as far as we went this time after we took the limits of our development tools and brains into account.

YO: When we talk about our previous 3D Mega Drive games, it’s important to note all those games were 2D action games. So we started by taking the side-scrolling screens and making them 3D. And that’s why we chose the Mega Drive version for our first game, 3D Altered Beast, since it used scrolling layers for a 3D effect. After we built up more experience with 3D Ecco the Dolphin, we were able to take the original single-layer backgrounds of 3D Shinobi III and add depth to them.
Well, it’s less that we were suddenly able to do it, and more that we had become more efficient, and decided to put more work into getting it done.

NH: Yes, so now we can take a single background layer, and split it up into multiple ones. And this time we’ve gone and done the same on System-16.

YO: This is pretty well-known by people who followed Fantasy Zone back in the day, but Denpa Shinbunsha (Micomsoft) X68000 version actually supported stereoscopic 3D*, with scrolling layers similar to what we did with 3D Altered Beast. But for 3D Fantasy Zone, we were able to create a look very close to multiple layer scrolling, similar to 3D Shinobi III and 3D Streets of Rage. We’ve really brought a sense of depth to what was originally a flat image.

* The X68000 had a 3D port, which required an adapter to connect the ‘Famicom 3D System’ Glasses, which employed ‘active shuttering’ using LCD to create the 3D effect. When Fantasy Zone was released, the adapter was not available, so Micomsoft published instructions on how to build the adapter from scratch.

NH: For example in Round 1, every plant in the foreground has depth. This is something we were able to do for the first time in this game.

- I was really surprised when I played it, but even the enemy bases are in 3D now!

NH: We were able to do that because we doubled the number of objects being used.

YO: The fact that the characters themselves are 3D is one of the interesting points this time around.

NH: The Round 1 enemy bases (called dorarinfura) have their center sections sort of popping out, and the bases in Round 2 (called baibaapu) have both hands sticking out.

YO: The 3D adds a sense of roundness to the characters.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
Round 2’s enemy bases, baibaapu. Their hands look like they are sticking out.

NH: We actually wanted to add 3D to the bosses as well. We actually did have 3D on them. But when you would defeat one, the 3D would get messed up when they’d break apart. So unfortunately we had to give up on it. But there are some situations, like Round 2’s boss (Boranda), where we put in 3D processing since the parts don’t get messed up when they break apart.

YO: It’s something that’s easier said than done. What they’ve done here is even more work than what we did on the Giga Drive.

NH: Explaining the way the background 3D works is rather difficult with just words, so we’ve gone and prepared a graphic for you. Simply put, in order to show a 2D graphic in 3D, you have to show what’s behind things in the background and what things look like from the sides. Things that you couldn’t see in a single layer screen. That’s all got to be visible in the game.

And of course, those parts of the picture aren’t part of the original graphics. By bringing new parts into the background, as you see in this graphic, you can increase what is displayed without adding or redrawing a single pixel. It’s like a 3D puzzle.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
M2’s explanation graphic.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
Can you see how they fit the puzzle pieces together to create the 3D effect?

- Whoa!

NH: Next, when it comes to putting multiple layers into objects such as the enemy bases, there are some parts that we can’t really leave sitting in the background. For example, in Round 2, the bases have hands that stick out. So in that situation, we had to go in and actually make changes to the original graphic and remove the hands from the body, which is situated in the background.

Incidentally, it turns out that our programmer, Akira Saito*, had been secretly trying various things involving 3D-ifying in-game objects, and our main game designer, Koga, took an interest in what he was doing. And he plied Saito with gifts and forced him to put the stuff he was working on into the game. I’d like to encourage such arrangements going forward.
* Akira Saito has had a hand in almost every 3D Remaster Project title. He’s been involved with sound drivers since the X68000 days.

- (laughs) … Gifts, eh? Well in any case, it feels really fresh and new, so there are even more stereoscopic 3D things to look forward to.

YO: In terms of 3D, Fantasy Zone seems pretty run-of-the-mill at first, but there was a significant amount of work that went on behind the scenes. Consequently, you really can appreciate the colorful, vivid atmosphere of the game through its 3D. It will remind you of the way the original game blew you away when you first saw it. But it doesn’t feel like a dated game, at all. It really feels like a normal modern game you’d see on 3DS.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
Markers have been added that indicate the distance and altitude of the bases

Oh, and I just want to throw this out there, but we tried a lot of different things to get widescreen support in there. Unfortunately, we were not able to get it in this time. It was sort of a situation where it was possible, but not really possible at the same time.

NH: Though, with enough time, nothing is impossible!

YO: Well if it was just adding in widescreen, we could have done that without any problem. But then there would be enemies that’d have to be drawn that wouldn’t be if the screen was 4:3, and this has an impact on game balance. You start having to make decisions on what to display and what not to display, and you end up with differences from the original game’s balancing. We gave up on it because we decided that our time would be better spent on other things rather than programming widescreen and adjusting for game balance. So instead, there’s a full screen mode that just stretches the 4:3 screen out, and it’s not bad at all, actually. And it doesn’t mess with the game balance. Be sure to give it a shot.

So instead of working on widescreen, we put our efforts into adding markers that indicate the locations of off-screen enemy bases. With these, you will now know the altitude of the bases, and as you get close, the arrows get bigger as well. It should help avoid situations where you accidentally run into a base while moving around, or where you totally overlook an undestroyed base.

Also, we’ve added the Classic Screen Mode like we had in the Giga Drive titles—the one that makes it look like you are playing on a CRT screen. I highly recommend trying it. If you happen to own a black 3DS, try setting it on a table and watching a replay using this mode. It really feels like you are playing on a table-style arcade cabinet.

- That’d be quite a throwback for those who played on those back in the day.

YO: For anyone who happened to visit the No Continue Kid and Game Center CX collaboration cafés in Shibuya, you’ll get a taste of that at right in the comfort of your home. (laughs)

- And the lower touchscreen is being used this time as well, right?

YO: Well, it’s not like we’ve been ignoring the lower screen in previous games. There have been a lot of things we’ve wanted to do with it. It’s just…

NH: We haven’t had the processing power. We are talking about drawing three screens worth of stuff (the upper screen has to process 3D, which is two screens worth of processing). Internally, I’ve always told the staff that any attempts to draw to the lower screen while drawing to the upper screen will be treated with extreme prejudice. But hey! Now you can see details about how many more bases you need to beat. You can see the boss character, too! How about that?

Similar to what I was talking about earlier, our designer, Koga, was sneaking peeks at the game design for 3D After Burner II, and started saying, “Oh man, this is bad. We haven’t got any upgrades for Fantasy Zone. Okay, let’s do something fancy with the lower screen.” I have to say, the programmer really was not in good shape at that point.

YO: You can kind of use it as a tactical guide. If you’re not familiar with the game, you can look at the upcoming boss and get an idea of what weapons you should purchase.

- Though if you get really into the game, you’re not really going to have time to look at the bottom screen, especially if you’re not familiar with it. (laughs)

YO: That is true. (laughs) But the fact that the lower screen has more going on makes it feel more like your typical 3DS game, you know? (laughs)

NH: We heard some people saying that just having the menu on there was rather lacking.

A slight digression, but drawing to the lower screen causes your processing speed to take quite a hit. We put a lot of effort into the staff credits this time, and we were getting a lot of frame dropping on the upper screen so we had to draw the lower screen at around 15 frames per second. And despite that we still frame drop on the upper screen.

- (laughs) Sounds like trying to replicate System-16 on the 3DS uses as much processing power as the Giga Drive.

NH: Yes, it does. In some aspects it’s even harder than Mega Drive. From the developer perspective, there are some really crazy things that have to happen. Though none of that ultimately concerns the end user.

SEGA 3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
You can stock up coins and select which round you want.

- Alright, so I’d like to ask you all about some topics other than the porting itself, such as the game system. It sounds like you’ve added a lot of things into the game’s design itself.

YO: The ability to bank coins is probably the most ground-breaking addition, considering all the numerous ports that Fantasy Zone has seen. As you play the game, the coins that you collect with Opa-Opa are basically placed into a savings account. The amount you use in-game isn’t counted; it simply counts the coins you collect.

This ‘Coin Stock’comes in handy when you use the now standard Round Select feature. This helps address the issue where if you start a later round with no coins, it’s pretty impossible to clear because you can’t buy anything from the shop. So now you can withdraw from your Coin Stock.

- It’s a lot easier to pick up where you left off from the Round Select.

YO: Right. You’ll start the game with the money you withdrew and it makes it a lot easier to get going on any round. However, you need to decide by yourself how much to take out, and any left over money will just disappear if you game over. So you’ll need to be careful not to use too much and think about how much money is appropriate to take out.

But if you are too stingy with your cash, you might feel like you should have taken out more while you are playing. By adding a ‘bank’ into what is ultimately a game based on capitalism, in some ways it’s even more Fantasy Zone-esque than previously.

NH: If we go on to make III, let’s have the player pay back that loan. You know, Fantasy Loan… *buh dum tss*
ALL: (laughs)

- Something like Hero Bank*, right?
* Hero Bank is a game published by SEGA in Japan, where players rent heroes to participate in epic battles. The protagonist, in search of glory, rents a hero suit but ultimately puts himself in enormous debt.

NH: Yes, I suppose so.

YO: You know, there’s actually a hero outfit in Hero Bank called “Segalion” that has Opa-Opa as its helmet. (laughs)

But Wait, there’s more!

Join us tomorrow for part 2 of our SEGA 3D Classics interview about Fantasy Zone in which we discuss the new UPA-UPA mode! We hope you enjoyed our first part and all of our SEGA 3D Classics interviews. As always, we love to hear what you think of these articles, feel free to post in the comments below.

 
   
   
 

SEGA 3D Classics – Developer Interviews

Each month we’re featuring a look back at some of our most classic SEGA titles through the SEGA 3D Classics for the Nintendo 3DS. With each game release, we’ve also included an in depth interview with Yosuke Okunari (SEGA of Japan) and Naoki Horii (President of M2) to discuss how these titles were re-created. We hope you enjoy these interviews and the 3D Classics!

3D Classics Series 2

3D After Burner II
3D After Burner II Interview Part 1, Part 2.

SEGA  3D Classics - Fantasy Zone
3D Fantasy Zone Interview – Part 1, Part 2

SEGA 3D Classics Series 1

Space Harrier logo
3D Space Harrier Interview

Super Hang On logo
Super Hang-On Interview

Sonic Logo
3D Sonic The Hedgehog Interview

Altered Beast logo
3D Altered Beast Interview

Ecco Logo
3D Ecco the Dolphin Interview</em>

Galaxy Force II logo
3D Galaxy Force II Interview

Shinobi logo
3D Shinobi III Interview

streets of rage logo
3D Streets of Rage Interview

 
   
   
 

Free Stuff Friday – January 16th, 2015

Continuing in our week of SEGA 3D Classics, we’re giving our download codes for 3D After Burner II on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for today’s Free Stuff Friday giveaway!

On the Block

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

We have four 3D After Burner II codes to giveaway, which are valid for North America and Europe. Good luck!

How it Works

Free Stuff Friday - Sign up for Twitter

1. You must have a Twitter account and be following @SEGA on Twitter to be eligible. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can create one by going to http://www.twitter.com and click the green “get started — join!” button in the center of the page.

Free Stuff Friday - Example Tweet

2. Giveaways start around 11am Pacific Time on Fridays. We tweet a message with instructions and participants send a Direct Message (commonly called DM) in return. Send a Direct Message changes depending on what Twitter client you are using, we recommend reading this helpful tutorial before the giveaway day.

Note: @SEGA is verified, you can send a Direct Message without being followed. This is totally against everything Twitter has taught you about Direct Messages, but it really works.

Example of a typical giveaway:

@SEGA Tweets: “GIVEAWAY: Sonic T-shirt, size L. Be the 15th person to DM “Sonic Adventure” to win!”

You see this, and want to win it, so you send us a direct message that says “Sonic Adventure”. If you are the 15th person to do so, you are the winner! Quotation marks do not matter, capitalization does not matter, but spelling does matter! (Note, this is just an example, please do not Direct Message this example phrase).

3. We will announce the winner the following week across our blog in the next Free Stuff Friday giveaway. Please read the official rules at the end of this post to confirm eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve never used twitter before, how does it work?
A: Twitter is really easy to use! Twitter has a helpful tutorial that walks you through the basics.

Q: How do Direct Messages work again?
A: Check this guide on how to send Direct Messages using the default twitter clients on the web or on a phone.

Q: How can I be sure my Direct Messages are reaching you?
A: Send @SEGA a Direct Message with the word ‘test’ and we’ll respond to confirm we’ve received it.

Q: I have a question for SEGA on Friday, around 11am Pacific Time, why aren’t you responding?
A: We’re probably swamped with messages while running the giveaway, try messaging us later in the day or when it appears to be less busy.

Q: I won a Sonic Shirt that’s too small for me, can I exchange it?
A: No, we don’t allow for exchanges or trade ins. The prizes are up for grabs as is, so in some cases you’ll want to be sure you can use it (like a shirt), or are in can redeem it (like a game).

Official Rules & Regulations

Sega of America, Inc.
Official Rules – Promotions for Twitter

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

This promotion is administered by a U.S. company and in compliance with U.S. privacy laws; by entering you are agree to all the terms and conditions of the Sponsor’s Privacy Policy.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Twitter.
You understand that you are providing your information to Sega of America, Inc. and not to Twitter.
Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Sweepstakes
must be directed to the Sponsor and not to Twitter.

Age of Eligibility: The Promotion is open only to individuals who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older and individuals between the ages of thirteen (13) and twenty-one (21) who have the permission to enter of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Official Rules.

How to Enter: Sponsor will announce the prize we are awarding, a word or phrase, and what number of response you need to be to win. Send us a direct message (DM) via Twitter and be that number to win the prize. (@ replies do not count as entries!)

How Many Times You Can Enter: Limit of one (1) direct message per person per prize.

How Winner(s) Will Be Determined: Winners will be randomly determined on an “nth entry basis”; i.e. For example, Sponsor will randomly which entrant will be selected for a given prize; i.e. the 50th or 100th.

How Winner(s) Will Be Notified: Winners will be notified on Twitter through Direct Messages (DM) as well as through email.

Where and When Winner(s) Will be Announced:Winners will be announced at least one week after the promotion starts on the SEGA Blog (blogs.sega.com).

(1) Description – Sega of America, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) is offering the above referenced Promotion and will award the prize or prizes described above via a random selection method. The promotion is available for entry only on Twitter. If you do not yet have a Twitter account, create your FREE account at http://www.twitter.com. Visit https://twitter.com/SEGA and using the prompts follow SEGA on Twitter. Your activity on Twitter in regards to this Promotion are governed by Twitter Terms of Use at https://twitter.com/tos.

(2) Eligibility – The following are NOT eligible to participate: Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies, (collectively “Promotion Entities”) their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion.

The promotion is void in all countries currently under sanction by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to include: Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, DR of the Congo, Iran Iraq, Liberia (the former regime of Charles Taylor), Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. Please note that the list of sanctions countries ca change at any time, however, a current list can always be located at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/programs

Further, the promotion is void in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law, rule or regulation.

(3) Entering the Promotion – Creation of false accounts on Twitter is prohibited. (Message, data rates or other charges may apply if you are participating via the use of a SMART mobile device; check your mobile plan for rates and details. Participation may not be available on all carriers.) In the event of a dispute as to any Entry, the authorized account holder of the Twitter account used to enter will be deemed to be the entrant. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned the account by the online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning the accounts. You may be required to show proof of being an authorized account holder. Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different/duplicitous e-mail addresses, the use of multiple identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete, contain irregular or invalid information, or are corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

(4) Data Collection – Sponsor collects personal information from you when you enter the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, you agree to all of the terms and conditions of Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For information about how personal information may be used, see Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available at http://www.sega.com/legal/privacy.php
(5) Prizes – There is a limit of one (1) prize per person per Promotion. The odds of winning in any given Promotion depend upon the number of prizes available and the number of total entries received for that Promotion. In no event will the value of any single prize exceed $600 and the total value of prizes in any given Weekly Promotion Period will never exceed $5,000. All approximate retail values are expressed in U.S. Dollars. In the event of unavailability Sponsor reserves the right to substitute an item of equal or greater value.

(6) Prize Awarding – If you are potential winner and a minor in your jurisdiction of residence, your parent or legal guardian must accept the prize on your behalf by providing their name and complete mailing address for the purposes of prize fulfillment. If you do not respond to the Sponsor’s Prize Notification Message by the date indicated in the message, the prize is forfeited and will not be awarded. If you have provided an invalid or inaccurate email address or postal mailing address for the purpose of prize fulfillment any returned communication or prize items will be forfeited and in this event at Sponsor’s sole discretion an alternate may be selected. Any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. In compliance with Canadian law, any potential Canadian winner will have to correctly answer a multiple part mathematical skill question as a condition of being named a valid winner. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person, or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

(7) General – At the conclusion of any given Promotion or prize winning cycle and the selection or naming of the published winner(s) for that Weekly Promotion Period or prize winning cycle, Sponsor, in its sole discretion, has the right to modify any rule associated with the Promotion including but not limited to the requirement for entry, number of entries you can receive, the number and value of prizes available and the deadline for entry or participation prize winning activity including, or at Sponsor’s sole discretion, to discontinue the Promotion completely.

By participating in the Promotion, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. By participating in the Promotion, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Twitter and Promotion Entities from any and all damages whether direct or indirect, which may be due to or arise out of participation in the Promotion or any portion thereof, or the acceptance, use/misuse or possession of prizes. Further, the Promotion Entities do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

All decisions of the Sponsor in any matter relating to this Promotion shall be binding and final. If there are fewer eligible entries than the number of available prizes, any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Sponsor is not responsible for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware, software, or web site. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer or telephone transmissions or technical failure, jumbled, scrambled or misdirected transmissions, for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, howsoever caused, or other error of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic. Entrants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified. If disqualified for any of the above abuses, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion if any fraud, virus or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Promotion, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Promotion and the rights and obligations of Sponsor and entrants will be governed by and controlled by the laws of the state of California, applicable to contracts made and performed therein without reference to the applicable choice of law provisions. All actions, proceedings or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted, without resort to any form of class action, solely within the state courts of California located in San Francisco, California and federal courts located within such state and county with respect to any action, dispute or other matter pertaining to or arising out of the Promotion. In the event any provision of these Official Rules will be held to be unenforceable, these Official Rules will continue in full force and effect without such provision.

 

Sponsored by:
Sega of America, Inc.
350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

 
   
   
 

3D After Burner II Available Today on Nintendo 3DS

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

3D After Burner II, the first release in the second series of 3D re-masterings exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS is available today in the Americas and Europe to download in the Nintendo eShop.

YouTube Preview Image

3D After Burner II is the 1987 flight game masterpiece first released on SEGA’s X Board arcade hardware. Delivering a true vintage arcade experience, the re-mastered version features eye-popping stereoscopic 3D visuals and offers a host of options and settings, including the ability to adjust the difficulty settings and other visual enhancements, such as smoke transparency that were not present in the original version. Players are able to choose from a number of real-life arcade cabinets wherein everything from the appearance to the environmental sounds of the specific cabinet are recreated, providing a true and authentic arcade experience.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

The highlight of 3D After Burner II is the addition of the ’special mode’ which can be unlocked once the player completes the game. The ’special mode,’ while maintaining the basics of the ’arcade mode,’ provides the player with a completely new gaming experience and allows the players to control time by utilizing the ‘burst’ which makes avoiding incoming attacks easier and increases the number of lock-on targets.

3D After Burner II also enhances the original audio experience by including soundtracks with additional melody lines, discovered in SEGA’s archives, from the time of the game’s original development.

We hope you enjoy 3D After Burner II, let us know if you plan to pick it up in the comments below!

 
   
   
 

A Classic contest, for the SEGA 3D Classics

Each month we’re giving SEGA fans a chance to pick up some rare SEGA merch for doing what you love – playing our SEGA 3D Classics!

Classic games, Classic Contest

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest

Back when these SEGA Classic games were available in arcades, there was a contest style of taking a photo of yourself alongside game progress, results screens, or with credits. We’re bringing that back – each month, with each release of a new SEGA 3D Classic, we’re offering up a few challenges to complete in the games. A chance to take a photo and show off your successes, and get entered into a drawing for prizes.

Classic Contest, Classic Prize

SEGA 3D Classics - Classic Contest Prize
We’ve made versions of our SEGA Controller hoodie over the years and it’s always in demand from our fans, so we figure it would be the perfect prize. For each giveaway, we’re giving away 10 of these hoodies to fans who enter the Classic Contest. As you can see, we’re still in the process of making them, so we’ll fill you in on the details. The hoodie will be black with white embroider stitch, we’ll also have an embroidered SEGA logo under the hood on back.

How to Enter

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

There are two challenges for 3D After Burner II, both grant one entry into the contest. Complete both challenges, submit two photos, and have two entries into the drawing for the hoodie.
Challenge #1: Complete 3D After Burner II for the Nintendo 3DS and unlock Special Mode. Take any photo from the game with the burst meter from Special Mode active or visible.

Challenge #2: Complete Special Mode. Take a photo alongside the game with the Mission Complete screen, with the burst meter visible.

We recommend that you record your replay, ensuring you can get the perfect shot. Simply pause the game, take a photo, or have a friend take it for you.

Then submit to Sega3DClassics@sega.com with the subject, “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes – 3D After Burner II”. In the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth. Easy!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. See Official Rules at http://blogs.sega.com/?p=20502 for FREE entry. Open to legal residents of the United States, D.C. and any member state within the E.U. excluding residents of U.S. territories, possessions and overseas military installations, 13 years of age or older. Ends 1/29/15 at 11:59:59 PM PT.

Classic Official Rules

Sega of America, Inc.
SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes Series
1st Classic: 3D After Burner II
Official Rules

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
See Section (3) of these Official Rules for FREE method of entry by email.

(1) Description – Sega of America, Inc. (the “Sponsor”) is offering “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes Series” (the “Classic Promotion Series”). The Classic Promotion Series consist of (8) separate sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”). In all Sweepstakes in the Classic Promotion Series winners will be determined and prizes awarded on the basis of random selection from eligible entrants. The 3D After Burner II Sweepstakes (“Promotion”) begins at 12:00:01 AM Pacific Time (“PT”) on January 15, 2014 and ends at 11:59:59 PM PT on January 29, 2014 (“Sweepstakes Period”).

By participating in the Promotion, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. By participating in the Promotion, participants agree to release, discharge and hold harmless Facebook and Promotion Entities (defined below) from any and all damages whether direct or indirect, which may be due to or arise out of participation in the Promotion or any portion thereof, or the acceptance, use/misuse or possession of prizes provided for or in connection with the Promotion. Further, the Promotion Entities do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the use of any prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. Further, no responsibilities are accepted by Sponsor or any other Promotion Entities for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing, or acts of any government or authority.

(2) Eligibility – The Promotion is open only to legal residents of the United States, the District of Columbia and any member state within the European Union who are eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry and individuals between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17) who have the permission to enter of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by these Official Rules.

Employees, officers and directors of the Sponsor, its parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, advertising, promotional, fulfillment and marketing agencies (collectively “Promotion Entities”), their immediate families (parent, child, sibling & spouse) and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the Promotion.

Void in Puerto Rico, all other U.S. territories and possessions, overseas military installations, and where prohibited by law, rule or regulation. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

(3) How to Enter – There are two (2) ways to enter:

Via Game Purchase and Game Play -
• Purchase and play 3D After Burner II. Complete the play in Special Mode and take a photo of yourself playing with the burst meter active anywhere in Special Mode, (your “Special Mode Picture”). To receive one (1) entry send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, attach your Special Mode Picture to the email, enter “Special Mode Entry” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

• Continue game play to complete Special Mode and take a photo at the Mission Complete screen with the Burst Meter visible (your “Mission Complete Picture”). To receive one (1) additional entry send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, attach your Mission Complete Picture to the email, enter “Mission Complete Entry” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

FREE Entry by email –
To enter without a game purchase and game play, to receive one (1) entry send an email send an email to Sega3DClassics@sega.com, enter “SEGA 3D Classics Classic Sweepstakes – 3D After Burner II” in the subject line and in the body of the email provide your first/last name, email address, state and country of residence, your age and date of birth.

There is a limit of two (2) entries per person regardless of entry method and a limit of one (1) prize per person for the entire Classic Promotion Series.

Any attempt by any entrant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different/duplicitous e-mail addresses, the use of a sweepstakes service, the use of multiple identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that entrant’s entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete, late, or contain irregular or invalid information, or are corrupted are void and will not be accepted.

(4) Data Collection – Sponsor collects personal information from you when you enter the Promotion. By entering the Promotion, you agree to all of the terms and conditions of Sponsor’s Privacy Policy. For information about how personal information may be used, see Sponsor’s Privacy Policy, which is available at http://www.sega.com/legal/privacy.php

(5) Prizes
– Ten (10) winners will each receive a Sega branded sweatshirt, approximate retail value (“ARV”) is thirty U.S. dollars ($30).

There are a total of ten (10) prizes, with a total ARV of all prizes of three hundred U.S. dollars ($300). The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received.

(6) Prize Awarding – Winners will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries conducted by Sponsor on or about March 2, 2015. Potential winners will be contacted within one (1) business day of the drawing by the e-mail address associated with their entry (“Prize Notification”) and provided with a Prize Claim Document (“PCD”), which must be returned to Sponsor within five (5) days of the Prize Notification. If any potential winner is between the ages of thirteen (13) and seventeen (17), his/her parent or legal guardian must complete the PCD with his/her information and accept the prize on behalf of their minor. Non-compliance with any of these requirements and/or the return of Prize Notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification, winner’s forfeiture of the prize and (at Sponsor’s sole discretion), and the selection of an alternate winner. Any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded.

Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name for advertising and promotional purposes as Sponsor so determines without notice or further compensation, except where prohibited by law. Prize recipient shall not be permitted to (a) replace his/her designated prize with another prize or item, (b) transfer or assign his/her designated prize to another person, or (c) substitute any prize or prize component for cash. In the event of unavailability, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All federal, state, local, and other taxes on prizes, (including any applicable import taxes on prizes) are the sole responsibility of the person accepting the prize.

(7) General – All decisions of the Sponsor in any matter relating to this Promotion shall be binding and final. If there are fewer eligible entries than the number of available prizes, any unclaimed prizes will not be awarded. Sponsor is not responsible for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware, software, or web site. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network server or other connections, miscommunications, failed telephone or computer or telephone transmissions or technical failure, jumbled, scrambled or misdirected transmissions, late, lost or mis-directed mail, for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, howsoever caused, or other error of any kind whether human, mechanical or electronic. Entrants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of this Promotion, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified. If disqualified for any of the above abuses, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate entrant’s eligibility to participate in the Promotion. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Promotion may be in violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion if any fraud, virus or other technical problem corrupts the administration, security, or proper play of the Promotion, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. In such event, Sponsor reserves the right to select winners and award prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Promotion and the rights and obligations of Sponsor and entrants will be governed by and controlled by the laws of the state of California, applicable to contracts made and performed therein without reference to the applicable choice of law provisions. All actions, proceedings or litigation relating hereto will be instituted and prosecuted, without resort to any form of class action, solely within the state courts of California located in San Francisco, California and federal courts located within such state and county with respect to any action, dispute or other matter pertaining to or arising out of the Promotion. In the event any provision of these Official Rules will be held to be unenforceable, these Official Rules will continue in full force and effect without such provision.

(8) Winner Information – Winners will be announced at on or about March 13, 2015.

Sega of America, Inc.
350 Rhode Island Street, STE 400
San Francisco, CA 94103

© SEGA. ALL rights reserved. SEGA is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. SEGA, the SEGA logo, and After Burner are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation.

 
   
   
 

SEGA 3D Classics – 3D Afterbunner II – A Classic Reborn – Part 2

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

We hope you are as excited as we are for the release of 3D After Burner II this Thursday! Today we continue our SEGA 3D Classics interview, talking about sound design and an all new mode for After Burner II. Enjoy.

Thanks again to Game Watch and Impress, Okunari-san, and Horii-san for their involvement in making these interviews available to our western audience. Special thanks to our producer Sam for translating these interviews for everyone’s enjoyment.

As always, your comments, posts, and replies are always appreciated. Let us know what you think of these interviews, and the games themselves!

A Present from Hiro-shishou: Sound Data with a Melody!

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Above is Namiki-san, who joined the recording session this time. Below is Chibi-Tech-san.

- Alright, let’s bring in the sound director, Manabu Namiki, to join the conversation. Can you tell us about making the sound for 3D After Burner II?

Manabu Namiki (below MN): Similar to past projects such as 3D Space Harrier, 3D Super Hang-On, and the Giga Drive games, I’ve been overseeing the sound efforts. We started by recording the sounds from the After Burner II arcade cabinet itself. For all the previous titles, my colleague Chibi-Tech, and Matsuoka, the director, would take a trip down to SEGA’s long term storage facility and record all the sounds that the motors, buttons, and triggers make. But for After Burner II, I had a chance to go with them and climb into those machines, trigger the sounds, and record them.

This was different than what we’d done in the past, since I was able to see the machine myself and record things in the best conditions possible. With the help from Wavemaster’s Tsujisaka-san, I was able to actually to turn off the cooling fans as well, which are always a source of noise. But the way the cabinet is designed, some of these fans aren’t easy to just turn on and off. There’s the risk of electric shock, and you might even get injured because the cabinet itself moves. So we weren’t able to get them ALL off, but enough to get a clear recording.

- I see.

MN: If you turn on the environmental sounds in 3D After Burner II, when it’s idling, you can hear the fans, as well as the machinery that drives the cabinet. This is actually recorded from a real machine. This too is part of the environmental sounds.

- You had those in 3D Galaxy Force II as well. Those sounds are really cool. Personally, I think having them makes all the difference, and really leaves you with a different impression. When you hear them, it really gets you excited.

NH: Though, there are those who just want to hear the game’s sounds unaltered.

MN: And for those users, all you have to do is go into the game options and adjust the balance and volumes to your own preferences.

- Now that you actually attended the recording yourself, was there anything different that you noticed?

MN: There weren’t any big surprises, but we really were blessed by the location itself and the condition of the cabinets. The SEGA staff at the warehouse even took considerations to provide us with a room that didn’t have too much acoustic reverberation. And as a result, I think we were able to get a better recording than previous attempts.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

YO: Now that you mention it, we had earthquakes or rain during past recordings. It was pretty rough.

NH: Though we made efforts during the recording so you’d not notice.

- Like when you put blankets over the cabinets for the Galaxy Force II recording.

YO: Oh, and here’s a little something that some fans have been asking for, but in 3D After Burner II, you can actually adjust the balance of the background music (BGM) and sound effects (SE) for the sound source emulator. So now the equalizer and balancer actually coexist.

MN: That’s the result of the work of Saito, our programmer.

YO: When we released 3D Space Harrier and 3D Super Hang-On, we got feedback where users would say, “The SE is too loud, I just want to turn the SE down a bit.” This is a very common feature in modern games. But when you talk about emulated games, the truth is this isn’t something that’s typically possible.

MN: In 3D Space Harrier and 3D Super Hang-On, both the BGM and SE are played through the same sound source just like the original hardware, so there isn’t a clear distinction between the two in the first place. So there’s no separate volume controls.

YO: However, we streamed the background music for 3D Galaxy Force II, with the SE being run through the internal sound source, so it was possible to change the balance between them. But you couldn’t use the equalizer since streaming is just playing back a recording.

MN: But for 3D After Burner II, our programmer set out to make it a reality. This is a pretty big step forward on the sound front for the 3D Remaster Project.

NH: One might ask why we don’t just create two sound sources, one specifically for BGM and one for SE. But this poses a problem for speed and optimization, so having two ultimately isn’t very realistic.

- Wait, so how exactly are you now able to change the balance?

MN: From a software point of view, there is no distinction between the SE and BGM, so we had to go in and say, “This is a sound… This is music…” Then we mark the places where it seems like we would be able to control the volume, and go in and swap out the code and data. It’s just the result of all the previous work and know-how we’ve accumulated on these projects, combined with old-fashioned hard work to find a way to make it happen.

There is this aspect of the 3D Remaster Project where we can’t do something initially, but as we handle more projects we find a way to do it. We knew that we couldn’t do everything right out the door, so we accomplish them one by one, knowing that accomplishments now will enable future accomplishments. Knowing that last time, we couldn’t do something, but this time we nailed it. It’s like one long road, and we’re traveling down it in a quest to achieve the ultimate remastering.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Fully featured sound options.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
And, of course, a sound equalizer.

- 3D Galaxy Force II utilized streaming for its music, but you’ve gone back to emulating everything for 3D After Burner II. Was there anything different work-wise for you on 3D After Burner II?

MN: Since I’d built up experience working on Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and Galaxy Force II, I feel like I was able to bring all those experiences and apply them to After Burner II, a game that was between Super Hang-On and Galaxy Force II in the timeline. I had a lot of trouble with Galaxy Force II.

NH: Trouble, was it? (laughs) That’s putting it lightly.

All: (Laughs)

MN: There are things I’d not have cued in on if I hadn’t worked on Galaxy Force II first, but I can now. And this isn’t just me. I think it goes for the rest of the development staff as well.

YO: Yes, it’s been multi-year process going back to the PlayStation 2 days.

MN: There’s one more point from the sound team about 3D After Burner II I want all the users out there to know about. We’ve implemented a low-pass filter for the first time in the “physical experience” game series in the 3D Remaster Project.

A “low-pass filter” is something we actually put into the Giga Drive* titles about halfway through. On 3D Altered Beast, we were working on the Mega Drive’s rather unique “DA,” a component of the PCM that sounds really rough and scratchy. When we got that working on the 3DS, though, it didn’t sound the way we were expecting.

* For more information about the Giga Drive, please refer to our previous blog posts: http://blogs.sega.com/2013/12/03/sega-3d-classics-%E2%80%93-3d-sonic-the-hedgehog-interview-with-developer-m2/

YO: We touched on it a bit during the 3D Altered Beast interview. For the first game, 3D Sonic the Hedgehog, it didn’t sound particularly off when we played it straight, but for 3D Altered Beast, Namiki-san said, “This won’t cut it.”

MN: Yeah. So I was thinking about how to go in and adjust that. For the FM sound source as well, I noticed that the emulated sound and sound that I recorded straight off an actual Mega Drive sound quite different.
Eventually, I implemented a low-pass filter. Simply put, it’s a filter that cuts out the high frequencies, and lets the low ones through. The audiophiles out there will understand, but by putting this in, it’s sort of like taking the “Tone” knob on a cassette player or an amp and adjusting the treble. As a result, I think we got closer to how the Mega Drive actually sounds.

NH: It made it much better.

MN: Only people on the development team heard what it was like before we put the filter in, so let me try to explain what the differences are to the users out there. When it wasn’t in, the treble was pretty strong and it sounded like things were almost too clear. Some people might feel that’s OK, but when you play the sound off a board and compare it to a recording off the 3DS, there’s a difference. By putting a filter on After Burner II, I feel like it’s much closer to the actual machine itself.

With the sampling frequency used on arcade boards from the After Burner II era, the ROMS back then weren’t all that large, so for things like distorted guitars, percussion sounds, or sound effects, they had to think about what level of sound quality they wanted. And while I think Hiro-shishou* probably put a lot of work into it, the sound quality possible on the original hardware, and the quality we can currently get through software simulation is quite different. So I think this is a worthwhile point of pursuit.

There is a soundtrack released by Wavemaster called AFTER BURNER 20th Anniversary Box. I think we’ve got the 3D After Burner II sound to a point where if you take the arcade version sound off that soundtrack and compare with sound from the headphone jack on a 3DS, you’ll think it was pretty close. I think it’s very close to the sound we recorded straight off the arcade board. I’m pretty happy with what we were able to do. The low-pass filter has some constraints on it, so we can’t use it everywhere we might want to, but it still makes a big difference.
* Hiroshi Kawaguchi, After Burner II’s original composer. ‘Shishou’ is a term similar to ‘sensei’ and denotes reverence.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

- What exactly causes the output to change if you are faithfully emulating the FM sound source and bringing in the PCM data from the original chipset?

MN: The sounds are always converted to analog through the board’s circuitry, but the digital-to-analog converter and the wiring after that can have a pretty big differentiating effect on the sound. It can be a challenge to do this through software where you are replicating the analog circuitry due to CPU power restraints, even with the know-how we’ve built up. If you want to get very detailed, you’d have to emulate all the various components of the circuitry, such as the condensers and the individual resistors. We’re talking about silicon-level emulation here. So instead of all that, we tried 3DS’s pre-equipped low-pass filter instead.

- And you found that to be pretty effective, it seems. Not only where you able to achieve the sound quality you were looking for, but it sounds like you were able to revive two songs that had melodies through the internal sound source?

MN: Well, that story started with our director, Matsuoka, telling us that we were going to be emulating the music this time for After Burner II.

NH: It’s always better when a game’s file size is small*! This is something that our main programmer, Saito, worked himself to death over. If the file is really big, it eats up time during our own functionality checks. Saito exploded at one point saying, “That’s just unacceptable!” and demonstrated his prowess with a lot of optimization work, which ultimately saved us a lot of time overall.
*Streamed music results in a larger file size.

- It’s also nice for the consumers because it doesn’t eat up a lot of space on their SD cards.

NH: It certainly took more time to download 3D Galaxy Force II from the eShop compared to the other games in the series, so that was another reason Saito attacked this problem with a vengeance.

MN: I had no problem with taking the emulation route [for After Burner II], but when they started talking about these ‘melody versions,’ then it was sort of a problem. As we mentioned, there were soundtrack CDs for After Burner II that were released, and these CDs had BGM versions with melodies that were not present in the arcade version. These ‘melody versions’ did not actually exist in either the Japanese or overseas versions of the ROM. This leads one to believe that they existed only in the original developer’s data. I thought that this data may well be lost to the world and didn’t exist anymore. But surprisingly, it did still exist and Okunari-san provided it to us.

YO: It turns out that the CD version of AFTER BURNER 20th Anniversary Box was digitally re-recorded, and these ‘melody versions’ were supposedly the hardest part of the remastering effort. The original composer, Hiro-shishou, actually had the original 1987 data. That is, on an ancient 8” floppy disc (laughs).

- An 8” floppy!? (laughs) Wow, that takes me back.

YO: The fact that the original data was even saved in the first place is a bit of a miracle, but playing it back was quite a task. After a lot of work from the Wavemaster staff, they were able to retrieve the data off the floppy and restore the sound data. They then used that to re-record the tracks for the CD Boxset. We subsequently received a request from M2, who thought there must be some data since it had gone through a new recording. So I was able to give them the music without having to deal with the trouble of getting the floppy to play the data.

NH: In order to use a song that didn’t exist in the original game, we needed to reach out to Hiro-shishou and get his permission to use the data. Once we did that, we converted it to a ROM that’d run on the original arcade board.

YO: When we say “sound data,” we mean that back then they used the ICE (in-circuit emulator: hardware that emulates embedded circuitry; aka. a development kit) to build the data out, but they didn’t go so far as to build the ROM data that would actually run on the machine.

MN: I had them show me the data they recovered from the floppy, and it wasn’t final data that could be burnt onto the final ROM, or play on a mass-produced arcade board. I think what they had on that first CD was a recording off a development board that used an ICE. That’s probably what the final melody version was. So what I had to do was go and convert the data to something that would run on a mass-produced arcade board, and that’s what’s being emulated on 3DS.

YO: So the version in there with the melody included is without a doubt the original data. You could take our version and swap it in with the sound ROM on an actual arcade board and it would actually play.

NH: Though we’ve never actually burnt a ROM.

YO: We are talking about emulation here, so you can actually toggle the extra BGM on and off mid-game. You can’t change the songs while it’s playing, but you can switch it without resetting. For example, if you switch it ON while you’re playing the first stage, it will play the melody version of “After Burner” when you get to stage 4.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II

- So you’re saying that you’re not just muting the melody for the no-melody version, but there are actually two separate versions in the game?

YO: That’s right. And if you want to get really specific, the difference doesn’t stop at whether or not the melody is playing.

MN: Yes, that’s right. Even I don’t have a complete grasp on all the full contents of the data.

YO: It seems like they probably built and finished the one with the melody first, and then when they cut the melody out for production, they went back and touched up spots that seemed off to them.

MN: It’s probably not just the melody channel being muted, but rather it’s properly adjusted so that other things are using the track that the melody portion was residing in. They are completely separate pieces of data.

YO: It’s like you can see the progression of the sound from After Burner, to the completed melody version, to After Burner II.

MN: In my head, I feel like they went back and put a little more work into it when it was going to be put on the album. Even for the version without the melody, the volume balances are a little different, though it’s quite subtle. But the differences are so insignificant you could hardly call it a different piece of data. And if we’d not actually gone and opened up the hood and peered inside, we never would have known. And even now that we have opened the hood, we still don’t really know the whole story. (laughs)

NH: Basically we took the parts we thought were the most important, converted them into data, and got them running on 3DS.

MN: Yes, that’s right. And as a result, you can switch between versions with and without the melody while you are playing the game. It’s something we weren’t able to do before, but we were able to do it this time.

NH: I’m glad we got that in.

- This is sort of like how you guys got HAYA OH in for 3D Space Harrier, so fans of the game back then are going to be happy to hear this… And the fact that these things that could actually run on the arcade boards are being emulated.

YO: I heard once they dropped the melody out because the noisy environment of an arcade would have drowned it out, and they also wanted to capture what at the time felt like a real, gritty battle. But I think it really works on a 3DS now that I’ve played it. It feels natural when you are just casually playing the game in your home. By default, it is set to the arcade spec with no melody, but you can set it to how you want, whether you want to relive the arcade days or try something new.

- This is sort of a unique situation because it was the 80s when this music was originally made.

MN: The music back in 1987 was heavily influenced by this strong interest in Western music, especially hard rock, so there was a strong preference for that kind of sound. Music has gone through a lot of transitional changes over the past 20 years, and people have much more refined tastes. What I mean is that I think people are a little more open-minded when it comes to music. I’d like to think people would naturally think ABII is just fine with a melody in it.

- A lot certainly has happened.

MN: I think it’s going to be hard for those out there who are playing After Burner II for the first time, for those who have never sat in an original arcade cabinet, to really understand the environmental sounds. But for those who know what it was like back then, for people who have sat in the arcade machines in the 3D Remaster Project and know what it’s like, 3D After Burner II takes things to the next level. From the actual motor sounds, to the sounds of the thing moving, there’s more in there than any title to date. We went in and thoroughly balanced all the control sounds and the sounds from the game itself, so I want everyone to go in and try playing it with headphones, with the environmental sounds on while in the “Double Cradle” arcade cab at least once. It really gives you the feeling of sitting in the machine and playing the game. When I play it myself, my body remembers what it was like to feel the machine move, because the whole thing felt so real. I feel like I can even remember how the machine smelled. Though, I have a fresh memory of it since I got to play it recently when we went to SEGA’s storage warehouse.

All: (Laughs)

- Thank you so much.

Rearranging Game Resources to Create a New Game Experience with the Special Mode!

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Play a new kind of After Burner II with Special Mode!

- Alright, I think it’s about time we talk about the Special Mode for this game.

YO: You could say it takes After Burner II’s gameplay and makes it more interesting. It certainly extends the gameplay.

- I’m not sure how to put it, but it sounds like you’ve added a “Burst” to the game while keeping the missile management and lock-on controls close to the original version. Similar to After Burner Climax, “Burst Mode” slows down the action, right?

NH: That’s right.

YO: The fun of After Burner II is all about locking on to enemies and shooting them down, so we really focused on that. Basically, we’ve gone and turned up the rhythm a bit. We’ve adjusted the enemy squadrons so they keep rushing at you as you blast through the stage.

We’ve also made locking on to things much easier. Horii-san mentioned earlier that if you are having trouble locking onto things, just lower the difficulty. But in Special Mode, the lock-on box is always the same as Arcade Mode’s easiest setting. So you can easily lock on to everything. It’s tuned so you can just keep locking on and firing missiles until you run out.

- It gives everything a new rhythm.

YO: There’s also a “rival” plane.

- You took the original game’s bonus stage, and added a rival plane. (laughs)

NH: It is most certainly not a bonus now. (laughs)

YO: Well, it was a bonus in the original game. (laughs)

- You can’t just sit there and fire off missiles and get by, right?

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
You will build your Burst Meter as you defeat enemies, and excuting Burst Mode will slow down everything but you!

YO: Well, if you use your missiles wisely to set off chain explosions and build the Burst Meter…

- So you’re saying that it lends itself to a play style where you address enemy groups one by one. I certainly felt that it had a different kind of gameplay compared to the arcade version. So this is the first “Project Grantanoff”* aspect of this second round of games.*
* “Grantanoff” was character added to the Mark III version of After Burner. Okunari-san wanted this character added to 3D After Burner II, asking M2, “Where’s Grantanoff?” on a weekly basis. Okunari-san dubbed it “Project Grantanoff.” Unfortunately Grantanoff didn’t make it into 3D After Burner II, but it became a code word for adding extra content to the games, such as HAYA OH in 3D Space Harrier, or the moving arcade cabinets.

YO: For 3D After Burner II, I wanted to do something different than just the stereoscopic 3D and the moving arcade cabinet, which we’ve done before. The idea behind “Project Grantanoff” is that we need something in there that hasn’t been in a port to-date, and this special mode is M2’s answer. It’s different than HAYA OH. It’s more of a remixed version of After Burner II.

- When we originally discussed HAYA OH, Horii-san spoke about how you took existing boss routines and recombined them, but for 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode, you actually had to remake all the enemy squadrons and change the sprite palette to monochrome for the Burst Mode. You basically had to do a thorough analysis of the original After Burner II and build a completely separate mode that might even run on the original arcade board.

NH: Yes, that’s right. We were able to dive pretty deep into it due to the results of our analysis. You could say it gave us an oxygen tank for the dive, in a way.

YO: Not only can you enjoy playing a port of the original game, you can experience this new presentation as a 2013 version of After Burner II. It also really brings out what makes After Burner II interesting. If you go back and look at interviews with the developers back then, they talk about the things they wanted to do but couldn’t. One of those was “dog fights.” They said they ran out of time to do it. They talk about how fighter planes are all about dog fights.
I don’t know how far the original developers thought about it at the time, but we decided to actually do that, within After Burner II’s architecture.

- Hearing you guys talk about this is reminding me of the SEGA AGES 2500’s System-16 version of Fantasy Zone II, but this is still a little different, isn’t it?

YO: That System-16 version was built around the idea of “what if this game existed in the 80s?” So while we were working within the limitations of yesteryear hardware, we weren’t applying modern game design concepts. Let me give you an example: these days having a boss that has two forms would be a given, so if M2 did their best, they might be able to make a boss that had two forms with various kinds of attacks, even on the System-16. But in the 80s, bosses having only one attack pattern was the norm and characteristic of the style of the time, so you have to stay true to that. That’s the difference between that game and the concept behind 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode.

The concept behind this Special Mode does little to change what made the game originally interesting, but instead brings it out in a modern way. On the other hand, After Burner II does actually have a sequel: After Burner Climax. That game was praised for the fact that it kept the fun of After Burner II while adding in Climax Mode. That’s something we took into consideration as 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode took shape.

NH: Yeah, it’s sort of like putting the pieces back together in a different way.

- That said, I feel like if there was a Special Mode back then, then this would have been it. And in that way it feels similar to the “what if?” aspect of Fantasy Zone II. But on the other hand, it also feels like what you get if After Burner Climax’s Climax Mode was redone in a world of 2D sprites.

YO: Well, it’s not as if we set out trying to remake it.

SEGA 3D Classics - 3D After Burner II
Rival fighters also make an appearance

- Figuring out how to use this new system seems like it’ll be a point of enjoyment for people. Spending time to figure out how to attack each stage is sort of cathartic in its own way.

YO: The Special Mode isn’t something made by Yu Suzuki, After Burner II’s original designer. Out Run has a sequel called Turbo Out Run that runs on the same architecture but was made by a different designer, and they are pretty different in terms of gameplay. In the same way, 3D After Burner II and its Special Mode are pretty different. But unlike Turbo Out Run, we didn’t change the game itself, but instead further brought out and expressed the good aspects of After Burner II.

NH: We were able to take a fresh look at this game and do what we did because of the efforts of our main programmer, Saito, and this guy named Hiroshi Iuchi, who is a designer who comes from a different background.

- Wait… What? You’re saying that the Iuchi-san had a hand in working on this Special Mode?*
* Hiroshi Iuchi is a Japanese game designer and director who is known for his work on Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, and Gradius V. He currently is associated with M2. He recently worked on a title called Kokuga at G.rev, with Namiki-san working on sound.

NH: Both Saito and Iuchi added their own content into the Special Mode. Iuchi joined mid-way through the project. While Saito said he wanted to put in something similar to Climax from the very beginning, Iuchi came along and said, “I wanna see some dogfights.” So in the end, both got put in and Iuchi did the balancing.

YO: There’s some interesting chemistry going on there.

- Wow, this has gotten pretty serious.

YO: 3D After Burner II’s Special Mode is a great example of a “Grantanoff” for this second round of games.

- Even I’m really interested to see how the players are going to react to it. HAYA OH sort of came out of nowhere, but at the same time people thought it was awesome. For this Special Mode, the base game is still After Burner II but the gameplay is different. It’s quite a different beast.

YO: While the base concept behind a port is the same as Nintendo’s Virtual Console, for the 3D Remaster Project, we want to make sure there’s one or two twists in there. This project started from the idea that adding stereoscopic 3D would fundamentally change a game. But we need to be offering something new that makes you want to go and play these games again, even though some of them have been ported many times in the past. So we need to put in something to make that happen.

The same goes for movies; you buy a DVD for a movie you love, and you watch it over and over. But then it comes out on Blu-ray and it has special scenes, interviews, and other content. People love that. But having worked on the PlayStation 2 era SEGA AGES and SEGA AGES ONLINE series, I realize that the time of impressing people with just collector content has passed.

It’s not a given that the fans are simply going to be satisfied with what you bring out. You need to bring something they haven’t done before. You need surprises. It’s all about peeking into this world unknown, like the players who were surprised and delighted when they stumbled upon HAYA OH in 3D Space Harrier, or people who played 3D Galaxy Force II and realized for the first time, “Wow, so this is what Galaxy Force II is” because it was something new now that it had 3D. That’s what we are going for. I want to see more of this.

3D After Burner II’s Special Mode will make you think, “I never realized you could make this kind of fun with After Burner II,” and, “Now I can enjoy an After Burner II I never knew.” There’s fun in that. And on the other hand, if you’ve only played After Burner Climax, then you can play this version as well.

NH: By putting things in that don’t necessarily follow what you remember about the game, you ensure that people will spend more time playing it. Yes, it’s sort of a bonus side feature, but for an early game such as After Burner II, if you don’t go about it correctly, it’s ultimately probably not going to feel right.
YO: I’m not really sure if people reading our interviews have already played Special Mode, but for those out there who are on the fence, I just want them to know that there is an After Burner II here that you haven’t played before.

And going forward, the concept behind this second batch is that we can continue to provide you with consistent deliveries of these sorts of games, all at a competitive low price. We have multiple projects running in tandem with different designers on them, so we hope you guys stay tuned to see what kind of “Grantanoffs” we deliver next.

NH: Just you wait and see!

YO: We’re going to go on another dive, so stay tuned. Next up is the 10th installment.

NH: Oh damn it! I forgot to bring up Thunder Blade this time!

YO: And of course, the 10th game is not Thunder Blade. Neither is the 11th. So no need to stay tuned for that.

- (laughs) Thank you very much, gentlemen. See you all next time!

 
   
   
 


SEARCH BY GAME