Modded Dreamcast Greatness (and much more)

Sometimes I think I spend too much money on collecting Dreamcast stuff, but then I think of that guy you owned every single Japanese game sealed up and how much he must of spent to get that lot only to not even play any of them. Last week I splashed out quite a lot of cash on a Dreamcast bundle of stuff: £120 (+£10 postage) to be exact. It all arrived yesterday and i must say though, I think it was a great deal.

This orange logo on start up is going to take getting used to, I've had a blue one all these years up until now..

For starters the Dreamcast is a Japanese model with it's shiny triangle by the light and big metal fan, possibly one of those early 1998 ones as it has no phone cable socket in that modem attachment. Unlike my previous ventures with Japanese Dreamcasts' (which both turned out to be broken), this one has a step down converter and best of all..it's had a mod chip installed so it can play games of any region without the need of a boot disc.

One of those broken Japanese systems I had also had a modification: someone had replaced the Japanese power board in it with a British one, which simply means it now took British plugs with no need for a stepdown converter. So not long after this new one arrived yesterday I popped the two open and swapped the power boards around and wala! My new system now had two mods to it. Now all it needs is a direct VGA socket hack and it'd be perfection. I'll use the stepdown for whatever other Japanese electronics I get (like a Japanese Saturn one day) and sell off the broken systems.

Another reason this bundle was a great deal was the games. A mixed bunch from every region, the games that convinced me to make offers on the set were Gigawing 2, Radilgy and Trizeal. All three of these games would cost me quite a bit separately, possibly around £40-50 each. The guy who owned it clearly had good taste: just have a ganders above at the 12 games that came with it. There was also two light guns in the box, a controller and a black VMU. Not all the games were in great condition (Power Stone in particular was pretty wreaked), but it's still a fantastic lot.

The system is a real joy to use. When you start the console up with a PAL or American game in it, you can hear it stop and start the disc while on the Sega screen, which must be the how the mod works, recreating the disc swapping in a second. It's also very quiet, so it must of been looked well after. To make sure it stays that way I won't be sticking any CD-Rs into this one, I'll keep one of my PAL systems beside me to swap in when I want to play homebrew or emulators and as for CD-R copies of games..I have so many of the games I want now I'm barely going to need them.

The last couple months have been quite busy with spending: I've been buying Dreamcast stuff a plenty. The lot above came from a ebay shop that has tons of sealed stuff selling cheap. I got a total of six VMUs (two of each colour) as well as Heavy Metal Geomatrix, Kao the Kangeroo and Charge N' Blast.


These second hand ones (top row) came from someone in America and were unfortunately in pretty bad shape (I-Spy has it's back pages of the manual ripped out and a cut out hole in the back cover) but playable. The two in the bottom row were found at a boot sale, although those have completely dried up for the year now, what with the cold weather. Probably why I've been going so Ebay crazy.

Here's another load of Japanese games I got cheap. I'm going to be digging out some translation guides to play Rent-a-hero and Sakura wars 3 (always wanted to see what the fuss was about with that series) and both Cool Cool Toon and Tokyo Bus Guide are quite addictive. I also have a japanese copy of Shenmue with the Jukebox CD, which means I know own Shenmue on every region. Oops! Probably best if I got rid of the PAL one then, to save shelf space.

Finally there's these two little oddities. These demo discs called "Dreamcast Express" were apperently only availble if you joined a Sega club of some sort, and come with two discs each. One of the discs has a full on interactive video tour of Tokyo Game Show '99, which is rather neat.

Now I just need to wait for my Segagaga box set to show up! Oh dear, my poor bank account.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Lik-Sang used to sell modded DCs before they got shut down. I've got one from them.

マーティン said...

I love the Dreamcast and Saturn so much. I have a black R7 DC and a Sakura Taisen DC, which I might go home and power up now. Sonic Adventure wants me to play it.

Tomleecee said...

Cool post - but 120 quid?!?!? Have a word mate!

The GagaMan(n) said...

Will be cheaper when I resell some of the stuff I now have doubles of. Plus three of those games would cost me more than that alone! I know what I'm doing. =P

Caleb said...

Wow! Good deal Gagaman(n)!

I could have bid that much on a Japanese lot with some rare shumps but I just spent money on the limited edition of Dux and a copy of Wind and Water.

I am lucky that the Japanese PS2 doesn't require a stepdown converter for the US.

When I bought it at a garage sale I mindlessly plugged it in without thinking.

In fact I think that most Japanese hardware is compatible with US power sources.

The GagaMan(n) said...

Yeah, I think Japanese and American plugs share the same wattage, whereas we Brits use a completely different one, just to be awkward. I'm currently looking up a white Japanese Saturn that my step down converter could be used for (which actually has PSX2 written on it!)

NebachadnezzaR said...

Man, you made me drool all over those pictures... Haven't got anything new for my DC for a while, been busy with some games I had around that I barely played when I first got them, but I hope to get something new for Christmas.

Hey マーティン (does that translate as "matein" or "martin"? My katakana is a bit rusty), congratulations on that R7, I would love to get one of those.

Caleb said...

I just paid $42 American for copy of Ikaruga in excellent condition.

Was that a decent price?

I really have no idea.

マーティン said...

Hey NebachadnezzaR,
Yeh, it's Martin :) here's a photo :
[img]http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/2470/img4471ns6.jpg[/img]

Caleb, $42 is a good deal.

マーティン said...

link again:

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/2470/img4471ns6.jpg

Sorry!

Caleb said...

Holy crap!

For the Americans reading this there is a really great Dreamcast bundle at shopgoodwill!

Includes Shenmue 2!!!!

Cost is only up to $10 so far!

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Sega-Dreamcast-Game-System-Plus-4291166#des

NebachadnezzaR said...

Wow, Martin, is that your collection? It's fucking awesome! (that R7 is so pretty...)

マーティン said...

Hey Neb,
Yeh, that's my collection! There's a little more, but that's mainly it. Making my own tribute website...

http://web.mac.com/martinirwin/iWeb/sega/Home.html

Let me know what you think!

マーティン said...

Dreamcast section coming along...

http://web.mac.com/martinirwin/iWeb/sega/Dreamcast.html

The GagaMan(n) said...

You got some sweet stuff there マーティン! Would be even better if you could upload bigger copies of those photos when you click on them. I have one of those old Tails toys too =)

マーティン said...

I love my old Tails toy (1993 - actually 16 next year!) - You in Manchester too? Cold here! I just put a photos page up, so hopefully you can see them in a bit more detail...

マーティン said...

OK, I decided to create a blog... better than a website I figured... feel free to pop in and comment anytime... please feel free to add me to links in your respective websites :)

http://mysegacollection.blogspot.com/

Tomleecee said...

マーティン - You're a Mancunian?! Well Holy fucking shit! It appears us mancs have a thing for Dreamcasts! If only Sega were based in the jewel of the North, everything would have worked out just fine!

Barry said...

AHHHH! I just bought Tokyo Bus Guide on ebay for $17.99 without any consideration of "Do I really need this?"!! Can't wait to give it a try. At the very least my girlfriend's sister will think highly of me, any wacky import makes her day and TBG may just make her week.

Tomleecee said...

Just out of interest - why does Radilgy have a picture of a bird wearing NHS glasses on the box?

Anonymous said...

Actually Gaga, the voltage is different between Jap and Amer. so you risk you stuff if you don't convert. However, a lot of stuff auto-converts (like the power adapter for DS). Not sure what the DC is like though.

マーティン said...

OK - felt I needed to clear this up. Portable games consoles rely on DC power - as they are also powered by batteries (like a laptop is also DC). DC is direct current, so there's a transformer in the power adaptor (or brick) and this converts the incoming AC current into DC.

Games consoles, desktop computers, PCs, kettles, TVs, etc etc... run on AC power. In Japan, this is 110V. In the UK this is 240V. The larger potential difference (voltage) in the UK means that you'll risk blowing up your Dreamcast when you plug it into the UK power as it will try to get a large current from this voltage. Hence, "stepdown convertors". If you take your UK DC to America/Japan and plug it in, it won't turn on as there's not enough power in the mains.

Tomleecee said...

You learn something every day!

fatherkrishna said...

When you consider I paid £15 for a VMU just two years ago, I'd say £120 for that lot or Caleb's $42 for Ikaruga are both excellent value for money, LOL!

BTW welcome to the 'Yard マーティン!

Whereabout's in our beloved Manchester are you from??

マーティン said...

If something's worth something to you - you'll pay more. Girlfriend wants £140 boots, I want £140 of DC stuff... :)

I'm actually from some mysterious land far away from Manchester, but still in the UK, but currently live in Castlefield. Been here since 2002 when I started my degree in Manchester. Love the city :)
You?

Tomleecee said...

Gatecrashing, I know - but when I'm back I reside in lovely Longsight!

Anonymous said...

Well, Maaaaatin. The US is 120V, so the difference is not as big. But as I said, you still risk your stuff.

マーティン said...

Yes Anon, there isn't a huge difference... and it's worth being careful. I use a step down for anything that uses AC and isn't fitted with a UK plug.