Dreamkey's Hidden Video

This probably won't mean much to you if you're not familiar with the European internet browsers for Dreamcast, but allow me to explain. Dreamkey was the PAL equivalent to SegaNet and Dream Passport and represented the default method of connection to online portal Dreamarena back in the day. Now we've established that, I'll continue. I was randomly browsing YouTube t'other day when I happened across a rather strange video. Upon closer inspection, the video appeared to have been uploaded by regular Junkyard commenter and MSR aficionado RJAY63 and was actually posted in 2011...but until now I'd never seen anything about this.
Apparently, by inserting the Dreamkey 1.0 internet browser disc into your Dreamcast, going to the address box and simply typing 'about:' you can view a secret video crediting the creators of Dreamkey. The video isn't really all that special - it's basically the European 'Shave' advert with credits laid over the top and the Robbie Williams song removed, but it's an interesting discovery nonetheless. I watched intently hoping it might credit the actors in the video, thus solving the riddle of who Player One / The Barber actually is (you can read out that little quest here); but alas it does not. Enough preamble though - here's the hidden video (click 'continue reading' if on the main page):

Windows CE is Best OS and Dreamcast is Best PC?

A few days ago, the Junkyard posted a couple photos of Dreamcast consoles, highlighting the fact that Japanese systems had 'Designed for Windows CE' when PAL and US had 'Compatible with Windows CE.' Before I was (more) knowledgeable in matters Dreamcast, I assumed that particular OS was already playing a part in the system's operation
At least it's not Vista
However, simple logic shows that this is not the case, and the console operates from Sega's own software. Each game ran only the bits and bobs of the operating system that it needed. For the most part, games used the proprietary software developed by Sega.

Sonic Adventure Dreamcast Homepage Restored

Sonic Adventure is a pretty divisive game, but most will agree that it really was a great showcase for the Dreamcast when it was a console in its infancy. It had great visuals and some fantastic set pieces - who can forget the killer whale sequence in the first stage? These days the vast majority deride the game for its bugs and somewhat aimless later levels...but that's a subject for another day. The reason I bring Sonic Adventure up is that news has reached me via Liam Ashcroft of SEGAbits, that somebody has gone to the trouble of purchasing the original Sonic Adventure Dreamcast homepage and restored the site in its entirety. Just for the hell of it.

DreamPod - Episode 32

Musical interludes in this episode are supplied by Metropolis Street Racer and the UK and US Dreamcast advertising campaigns. The Xenocider Kickstarter can be found here, and the Alice Dreams article can be found here. If you'd like to read the Eurogamer article from ex-DC-UK editor Keith Stuart, go here. Our Patreon is here (feel free to pledge $1 where you can!), and if you can find it in your heart to leave us an iTunes review we'd very much appreciate it!

Alice Dreams Tournament Release Date Slips, Online Leaderboards & New Play Mode Revealed

May 22nd saw the release of a new update from the team working on the hotly anticipated Dreamcast Bomberman clone Alice Dreams Tournament. This update brings news both good and not so good; with the latter being that the game will no longer make its intended June shipping date. Reasons cited for this delay include the implementation of VMU functionality, the production of the 'making of' video, and other small bug fixes:

"It is important to be honest and tell you that we will not be ready in June. We still have promises to realize or terminate: the additional VMU interactions, the 'making of' and other small fixes."
 - Alice Dreams Website

While this is disappointing, it is commendable that Alice Dreams are being totally honest and transparent. While no firm release date has been given, I did reach out via Facebook to state that I'd really like to have the game playable at The Dreamcast Junkyard's stand at this years Play Expo Manchester in October, and they assured me it would be ready by then...so that's something at least.

Southampton Game Fest 2016 Show Report

Sunday 22nd May saw the second annual Southampton Game Fest, a celebration of all things gaming held in aid of Southampton Hospital Charity. Held at the maritime city's Grand Harbour Hotel and in the shadow of the world's largest cruise liner (no, really - the thing was docked literally across the road from the hotel's main entrance), Game Fest brought a taste of gaming and geek culture to the historic home of the RMS Titanic.
Harmony of the Seas. This picture doesn't convey the sheer size of the vessel.
The Dreamcast Junkyard was there in collaboration with RetroCollect and brought a decidedly old-skool theme to proceedings, decking out the entrance to the event with a number of retro systems. Megadrives, Neo-Geos, Nintendo 64s, PlayStation 2s, Saturns and - of course - Dreamcasts were all laid out for the general public to experience. The event was a total success and raised hundreds of pounds for the charitable cause it was held to support; and there were plenty of non-retro attractions too. A FIFA 16 tournament, a Bomberman tournament held by Games You Loved (from which I was eliminated in the semi final by a 10 year old!), a cosplay masquerade, traders selling all kinds of gaming paraphernalia and a whole host of indie developers showing off their new projects were just some of the things punters could take advantage of.

Fur Fighters' Hidden Artwork

OK, so this isn't really the type of thing you'd call Nathan Drake in for but I only discovered it by accident. My laptop just happened to be on a desk next to my big carry case of Dreamcast games the other day so I decided to mindlessly pop a few of the GDs into the optical drive to see if there was anything interesting in the way of bonus content on them.

I was aware that some games (such as Shenmue and Shenmue 2) do have folders of images and other bonuses on them, but I didn't know about Fur Fighters. If you're unfamiliar with the name, Fur Fighters is a third person shooter from Bizarre Creations and is a rather excellent little game...and if you put the disc in your computer, you'll find a folder on there that's full of exclusive artwork.

Power Stone Reborn - Lastfight Review

I’m going to be a really cheeky boy here and stretch the definition of Dreamcast game ever so slightly to encompass modern games inspired by classic Dreamcast titles. Yep, I’m taking the piss a bit now, you’re not wrong...but hear me out!

Ask anyone to name some of the Dreamcast’s most defining games and the words 'power' and 'stone' are bound to get a mention sooner or later. Whereas Street Fighter III, Soul Calibur and Marvel vs Capcom 2 were all fantastic Dreamcast fighting games in their own right, their respective series didn’t really have the same strong exclusive tie with Sega’s white disk churning box of magic as the Power Stone games can boast. Years later, Capcom did make the rather inappropriate choice of porting the games to the PSP (of all systems...idiots), but we’ve not heard anything of the 3D party brawler since.
Unfortunately, it seems to have faded away into the mists of time and with Capcom in their current financial predicament, I don’t think any of us would be wise to expect a new entry anytime soon. To make matters worse, despite being two of the greatest multiplayer brawlers of all time, few companies have ever tried to replicate or take inspiration from them, not with success at least (I’m looking at you Sonic Battle *shudder*). Until now, that is...

A Quick Look At Nightmare Creatures II

Every console library has its fair share of stinkers, and the Dreamcast is no different. For every Shenmue or Soul Calibur, there's an equal and opposite Spirit of Speed 1937 or Urban Chaos. As demonstrated by this continued, ill-advised usage of Newton's third law as a literary device, for every experience that propels you toward the very zenith of gameplay, graphics and sound design coming together in a crescendo of mind-bending brilliance; there's a nadir waiting to bring you back down to Earth with a city-crushing bump. Ladies and gentlemen allow me to present Nightmare Creatures II, a game so fist-clenchingly bad that it's almost comical.
As Dreamcast fans we spend an inordinate amount of time remembering the good aspects of the console and lamenting at its untimely demise. Just like when you sit and reminisce about how much fun you had during your school days, it's all too easy to filter out the bad stuff. So you selectively forget all the times you got bad marks in an exam, had to walk home in the rain, got detention for something you didn't do, or had a fight with your best mate; but recall all the laughs, sunny field trips and just how comparatively easy life was back then as a care-free school kid. The same is true with Dreamcast fandom - we all remember the Shenmues, Power Stones, Soul Caliburs et al...and we quickly forget that the Dreamcast played host to a hell of a lot of shit too.
You know you're in for a treat when the pre-rendered loading screens
are full of pixellation.
One of the main culprits here were the sloppy PlayStation ports that made no attempt to harness the extra power of Sega's newer hardware, and were simply put out in an attempt to boost sales figures. Don't get me wrong - there are a ton of exemplary PlayStation to Dreamcast ports that really enhance the base game: Soul Reaver is one such game that immediately springs to mind. But there were far more that were just simple, bare bones ports that really offered no real advantages over the original versions. Ducati World, any of the Disney movie tie ins, Star Wars Jedi Power Battles, Evil Dead...the list goes on; and sitting right at the top of that fetid, putrid pile is Nightmare Creatures II.

New FPS Gets Update, Confirmed As Dreamcast Exclusive

A few weeks ago we showed you some screens of a new, as-yet-unnamed Dreamcast game that is widely believed to be a Payday-style first person shooter. Details are scarce at the moment, but now lead developer PH3NOM has shared new footage of the engine in motion...and it looks stunning. The video titled 'Dreamcast Engine May 2016' shows how the developers have adapted the game to run in a new engine and how they are overcoming some of the limitations imposed by the Quake III renderer. The game is clearly still at a very early stage, but if this comes together we could be looking at one spectacular first person shooter. Even more intriguing is that PH3NOM has told The Dreamcast Junkyard that this will be a Dreamcast exclusive title! Here's the video:

As with all of the Dreamcast's upcoming homebrew and indie projects, we'll be following this one closely so keep an eye out for more information as we get it. Thanks to PH3NOM for allowing me to share this video here.

We're On Patreon!

Yes, yes. I know it's only one step up from standing outside the local supermarket dressed in little else than a heavily soiled pair of trousers and a 1997 Manchester United shirt covered in dubious stains, and asking shoppers if they can "spare some change," but we're now on Patreon.
To be honest, I've seen some fucking terrible personal blogs asking for money from readers, and those only update once a month! We've got a podcast, a YouTube channel, update at least three times a week...and we've got a cease and desist from Sega! Who else can claim to bring you such entertainment for nowt? Anyway, this Patreon is only really designed to help us pay for the DreamPod hosting so it's not set at an astronomical sum; and I promise I won't blow it all on a Maserati and cocaine before riding a race horse off the top floor of a skyscraper in a drug-fuelled haze, believing I (and Pegasus - that's the horse) can fly.

In all seriousness though, if you want to donate or pledge or whatever it's called then please feel free. If not, that's totally cool - there's no obligation whatsoever. Once we get a few pledgers though, I'll put a little link on the right so I can name-check and personally thank everyone who does. We've been doing this for over a decade now, and while nothing will change as we head into year 11 and beyond, it'd be really cool if we could somehow get a little help moving the Junkyard forward.

Here's the link: The Dreamcast Junkyard Patreon

New Xenocider Demo Adds Space Harrier Stage

So the Xenocider Kickstarter campaign is well under way and plenty of us Dreamcast owners have pledged to make this game a reality. If you haven't, I urge you to take a look at our previous posts on Retro Sumus' ambitious Space Harrier clone before heading over to the project page and lending your financial support. As we've already discussed, the Xenocider Kickstarter campaign allows prospective backers the unique opportunity to download a playable demo; but now Retro Sumus has gone one step further by updating the build to include a bonus 'Fantasy Land' stage that accurately mimics the first mission from Sega's famous arcade shooter.
This extra mode differs from the regular demo stage in that you can fly around the screen indefinitely and you don't have the ability to move a targeting reticule - you simply fire forward just as in the original Space Harrier. You can also run along the ground (watch out for trees!) and there are a couple of new enemies, explosions and sound effects that draw inspiration from Yu Suzuki's retro masterpiece. It's a really cool addition to the (already great) demo and hints at some of the bonus stages we can potentially expect in the final game. 

The original Space Harrier did make an appearance on the Dreamcast in various guises, but we missed out on a home port of Planet Harriers even though it was rumoured. Happily though, Xenocider looks like it could be the game to fill that void, and if you actually needed yet another reason to check out this project then surely this is it.

Grab the new Space Harrier demo by heading to the Xenocider Kickstarter update page and clicking on the 'playable demo' download link. You can then select the new stage from the main menu.

Dreamcast Magazine Issue 12

Dreamcast Magazine issue 12 hit shop shelves on 10th August 2000 with a cover emblazoned with Ferrari F355 Challenge and a free double-sided Ferrari poster, which is odd because the issue was actually sponsored by Lamborghini. Naturally, I jest. It's been a while since we looked at Paragon Publishing's unofficial periodical though, so I thought it was about time we dipped back in...and where better to start than with the next in the series? Exactly.
So issue 12 then. It picks up - funnily enough - exactly where issue 11 left off and continues with the same high quality and oft humorous prose as before. Previews in this issue include Silent Scope, Half-Life, WWF Royal Rumble, Record Of Lodoss War, MTV Skateboarding, Star Lancer and the aforementioned Ferrari F355. Interesting news snippets concern themselves with the imminent launch of the Sega Sports black console (see above), the attempt to get Jet Set Radio banned in America, the Virgin Net Dreamscreen service for Dreamarena users, and the new-fangled Utopia boot disc.

Postcards From 2049

Whenever I'm asked what my favourite Dreamcast titles are, there's one game I will always mention: San Francisco Rush 2049. While many Dreamcast owners will quickly (and correctly) cite titles such Metropolis Street Racer, Le Mans 24hrs and Hydro Thunder as the cream of the crop when it comes to racers on Sega's final console, Rush 2049 will always come near the top of my list.

I can't even accurately explain why, there's just something about the janky handling and erratic physics that really endeared not only 2049 but the entire Rush franchise to me. Indeed, ever since I played the original console port of San Francisco Rush on the N64 I've been a fan of the series and while there are far, far better games out there I just can't get enough of Midway's arcade racer.
When it comes to Rush 2049 though, I think there's something strangely beautiful about the near-future world the developers created for us to race through. The neon soaked straight aways and tranquil civic gardens of the San Francisco of 2049 prove to be a perfect backdrop through which rocket-propelled high performance vehicles can jostle for superiority; the futuristic jungle of suspended walkways and towering skyscrapers lay in wait while high speed trains and passenger-less trams traverse the sterile streets of a commuter-less metropolis.

A Quick Look At Super Magnetic Neo

Magnets are fun. I vividly remember the first time I discovered that old hi-fi speakers contain magnets after I broke one open in an alleyway behind my house. Being from a rather run down district of Manchester me and my siblings made our own fun back then, and smashing old broken stuff up in alleyways was a particular highlight. When such endeavours yielded hitherto unknown treasure like huge magnets...well, that's the stuff dreams are made of. Even more so when we discovered that putting said magnet on the TV made all the colours go funny...until my mother saw what we'd done and went banzai. But I digress.
BBC Breakfast's new format was a winner.
Magnets then. Fun and mysterious things that can be used for all kinds of wondrous applications - making speakers work, ruining the colour on crappy old CRT televisions, levitating the friction-less trains of the future, and being the basis for the overtly camp Dreamcast game Super Magnetic Neo.

Sega Doesn't Announce Shenmue Remastered, Clickbaiters Jump On Story

Sorry, but I had to get this shit off my chest. I saw an article on Metro yesterday that wound me up so much I had to put my Vimto down as my arms were shaking so much I couldn't add the vodka held in my other hand. Pure rage was silently racing through my veins - I kid you not - when I saw the utter SHITE being peddled by a site attached to one of the biggest newspapers in the UK. It's only big because it's free mind, but still big enough to be taken seriously by idiots who read a newspaper and take everything printed therein as gospel. You know - like people who read the Daily Mail.
For those who don't know, Metro is a free newspaper that people leave on buses and trains across this fair isle and for the most part it's alright. However, when it comes to gaming news they appear to either steal content from other sites or just scour social media and jump on any old rumour they find, printing it as actual news. It's usually articles on how much old consoles are worth, but with pricing pulled out of the ether - who can forget the time they claimed a Dreamcast is worth £800? Or the time they said a Master System is worth £900 but then linked to an eBay auction for an SG-1000?
The latest debacle from these chancers is that Sega has confirmed that Shemue and Shenmue II are being released on new consoles with HD remasters.

I would like to categorically state that this is utter rubbish, and is a completely false claim. The story is that Dan Sheridan from Sega Europe answered some questions on Youtube and said that Sega were potentially investigating such a project. That Metro thinks it is acceptable to print a headline that reads 'Sega confirms Shenmue I and II HD remasters are underway' is appalling. I've seen clickbait, but this not only takes the piss - it takes the entire urinary system. And the spleen. Why, oh why does the mainstream press think it's OK to make stuff up and slap headlines like this on it...because it's just games? This type of thing completely undermines those of us who try to treat gaming as a respectable and mature medium. Shenmue and Shenmue II HD have not been confirmed by anyone - least of all Sega Europe!

This is clickbait horse shit taken to a whole new and utterly abhorrent level. Frankly, Metro should be ashamed of themselves.