A Quick Look At Railroad Tycoon II

For the past month I've been working in a town some 35 miles from where I live. It's not a massive distance by any means, and I really didn't think that commuting from one major conurbation on the south coast of England to another would be an issue when I took up the offer of employment. A quick car journey every day - easy right? Well no, actually.

Because the road network in this part of England is an absolute joke and roadworks on the Roman routes that make up the main arteries are an almost constant fixture (and last for months/years at a time), I have been forced to use rail travel for the past five weeks. I initially thought it would be quite good to get the train to and from work because it would give me time I would have otherwise spent stuck in a traffic jam to do other stuff - read a book, play on my Vita or listen to/edit podcasts.
The original Reservoir Dogs.
For the most part this has actually been the case, but on many, many occasions the trains have either been late, too crowded to find a seat on, or have been totally cancelled with no explanation. Naturally, this has lead to me grumbling on social media about how pathetic our train services are, but it got me thinking: how hard is it to run a train network and keep everything going smoothly? Thanks to the awesome power of the Dreamcast, I have the very tools at my disposal to find out in a measured and scientific manner. Ladies and gents, the train now approaching platform 3 is Railroad Tycoon II...

Dreamcast 2: Arcade Version - Expanding the Dreamcast Collection: Part 3 - Naomi 2

The Dreamcast Junkyard is finally breaking its silence on the topic of the Dreamcast 2… well, sort of. The Naomi is often described as the arcade version of the Dreamcast, and the true successor to the Naomi was of course the Naomi 2, thereby making the Naomi 2 the arcade version of the Dreamcast 2! Yes? Get it...? Am I right? AM I RIGHT? Well, OK, that was pretty shameless click bait, but you're here now anyway, so why not let us tell you a bit more about the third system in the Dreamcast arcade family.

In part 3, we’ll be covering one of the other systems in the Dreamcast family, the Naomi 2. Much of the information from part 1 (such as how to play Naomi games) applies, so if you haven’t already, then I suggest reading that before making a start here. In part 2 we took a look at the Hikaru system, and while not essential to understanding this article, feel free to take a look back for a complete perspective of the family.

Part 1 – The Naomi Connection
Part 2 – The Hikaru 7

1. Naomi 2 Overview
2. Some Naomi 2 Exclusives
3. Naomi 2 Home Ports
4. The Dreamcast's Virtua Fighter 4 Passport VF.NET and History/VF4 Disks
5. Naomi 2 Games List

OK, back now? Great let’s get started.
Naomi 2 Overview
It’s often incorrectly stated that the Naomi 2 was released in the year 2000, but this seems to be another mistake brought around by poor translations of Japanese. According to Famitsu magazine, the Naomi 2 was first unveiled at the 38th JAMMA trade show towards the end of September 2000 along with Virtua Fighter 4 (then known as VF-X), Wild Riders, Club Karts, Virtua Striker 3 and the new Naomi/ Naomi 2 GD-ROM drive add-on.

First Screens Of New Dreamcast Shooter Released

Hold on to your hats folks - it looks like there's another new Dreamcast game on the horizon. Not only do we have SLaVE, Elysian Shadows, Alice Dreams Tournament, Redux 2 and Hypertension to look forward to - there's an as yet unnamed shooter coming as well...and it looks pretty amazing.
This news comes from the DCEmulation forums (and I was notified of this by long-time supporter of the Dreamcast scene Pcwzrd13), but it appears that a talented two-man team has been working on a spectacular-looking new shooter that employs a game engine built specifically with the Dreamcast in mind. In the forum thread (you can read it here), lead developer PH3NOM explains that he can't give too much away due to an NDA signed with Goat Store but I think you'll agree that these shots (and video below) are very impressive.

Greedy Goblin Con '16 Recap

On Easter Sunday we attended the very first film, TV and gaming con to be held in the town of Dorchester, UK. Dorchester is a small, picturesque town located in the rolling hills of Dorset and is more commonly associated with the writings of famous author Thomas Hardy, but this past weekend it was taken over by storm troopers and cosplayers in aid of Neuroblastoma charity Smile with Siddy.
The Greedy Goblin Con event was held at Dorset County Museum and we, along with the guys from Noah's Arcade brought a touch of retro-gaming awesomeness to proceedings with a line up of Dreamcasts and other systems from yesteryear for members of the public to experience. While the event was nowhere near the scale of things like Play Expo or Revival, it was all in the name of charity and Rob and I really enjoyed chatting to people about the Dreamcast and being beaten by four year olds on Capcom Vs SNK. Ultimately, the convention raised over £3000 for Smile with Siddy and hopefully these proceeds will help in the fight against this horrible disease.

Below you'll find some images from the event - enjoy!

Flappy Bird Now Available For Dreamcast VMU

Remember a few weeks ago we took a little look at the new VMU games and demos from awesomely-named Instagram user guacasaurus_mex? Well, he's been working away behind the scenes and has just released Flappy Bird for the humble VMU! You read that right - the game that made a million iPhone users suddenly think their device was worth a thousand pounds is now available for our little battery-sucking pal.

You'll need Dreamshell and an SD reader to get this onto your memory unit, and the VMU Tool files can be found here. Guacasaurus explains further:

"If anyone is interested I just finished making a Flappy Bird clone for the VMU. Just put the file on an SD card, load with Dreamshell and once Speud's VMU Tool has loaded navigate to 'Open CD' and copy FLPPYBRD.vmi to the VMU.

Like most VMU games this doesn't work properly in the emulator so please use on an actual VMU!

Also, for anyone giving this a go, you hold A rather than tap like in the iOS and Android versions. Tap functionality didn't work so well with only 32 vertical pixels!"
There you go - another new game for the Dreamcast! If you have a VMU with some batteries in, let us know how you get on with it!

Stone Age Gamer Drops USB-GDROM Controller

Online retailer Stone Age Gamer has announced that it will no longer be distributing the USB-GDROM Controller made by hardware modder MNEMO. The custom made device hit the headlines a few years ago as a viable alternative to the GDEMU because it allows you to run Dreamcast games from a USB stick and completely do away with the GD-Rom drive.

Personally, I've never actually used the device as contrary to popular belief, writing this guff isn't my full-time job (it's just a hobby) and I can't afford to blow hundreds of pounds on a PCB. Paying the rent, running a shitty diesel car and buying the odd pair of jeans are far higher on my agenda than emulating a GD-Rom drive. That said, from what I can gather it is a cool device and the reliance on USB sticks rather than SD cards makes it the superior option if you're looking to negate the need to own physical disc versions of games.

Until recently the only place you could buy a USB-GDROM Controller was Stone Age Gamer, but it appears they've had enough of the unpredictable behaviour of the device's creator MNEMO and released the following statement (be warned - it's quite lengthy):

"Dear Stone Age Gamer Customers,

Unfortunately, we must announce that we will no longer be carrying any product created by the developer known as Mnemo.

After over a year of dealing with Mnemo we have found him to be impossible to do business with. We normally would not attempt to cause any drama, but in this case we feel without explaining our reasons because it may be hard for our customers to understand why we would stop selling a product that seemed to be in such high demand.

New Dreamcast Multiplayer Shooter [TERMINAL] In Development

Before you scroll down and view the images in this post, let me assure you that this is a look at an extremely early work in progress being created by a single programmer. Now that discalimer is out of the way, allow me to introduce [TERMINAL], the latest homebrew title to be added to the list of upcoming titles for our favourite wheezing cuboid. [TERMINAL] is the work of Rico Tyrell and is an online multiplayer shooter played from a third person perspective. At present the visuals are very basic, but Rico assures us that the reason for releasing this information is to garner some interest in the fledgling project:

"Currently the game is in pre-production. This is an open source game written using SEGA's Katana SDK rather than KallistiOS, which I am assuming will annoy a lot of people who are homebrew toolchain purists.

As of this writing, the server backend for multiplayer sessions is being written with the short-term goal of getting players connected and moving around on one server by the beginning of April 2016."
 - Rico Tyrell
That thing in the middle is you.

The Mystery Of The EB Special Edition Dreamcast

I love a good mystery, and internet-based mysteries are among my favourite types. Of course Moth Man, the Mary Celeste and the tale of Springheel Jack are cool things to read up on, but the ubiquitous nature of the internet means we can all be cyber sleuths without ever leaving our living rooms. And just to compound what I'm yapping about, stuff that was actually spawned by the internet itself (such as Cicada 3301, Unfavourable Semicircle and Webdriver Torso) is every bit as fascinating to me as 'real world' mysteries are.
Fuck...I was only trying to play Doom.
That's not to say the more mundane aspects of the online world are any less wondrous - the very nature of the internet means that stuff written long ago can still be found online and still be read today, either because the hosting service still exists or the Way Back Machine allows us to glimpse into the past and recover the information contained on those garish (and often embarrassing) GeoCities/MySpace pages of yore.

As a person with an unhealthy obsession with all things Dreamcast-related, It probably won't surprise you to learn that I do spend an inordinate amount of time perusing these ghost sites in the hunt for obscure references to cool stuff that never saw the light of day; and the good old Way Back Machine has helped me verify a story more times than I care to remember.

DreamPod - Episode 28: Bonus Features - 'Ghost Host' Textual Commentary

Bear with me while I draw a long bow...

You know how DVDs and Blu-rays often come with audio commentary that you can listen to while you're watching the film? You can get further insight into what's happening on screen or interesting behind the scenes anecdotes. Well, what if I could do an audio commentary for a podcast? That would be silly wouldn't it? You can't listen to both at once, unless you spliced more then one audio source together into an extended podcast (Tom from the Future says Hi!), but that's not really the same, is it? So how about a textual commentary? Wouldn't that be cool? It's like we've dropped two levels from a second order derivative back to the original equation (Video > Audio > Screenplay, or TV > Radio Play > Book). See? It totally makes sense.
Ooooh, a maths analogy, this must be a classy blog

The Dreamcast Epitech Collection

Just a short post this, and I can't really take any credit for the high quality video content that's about to assault your senses. No, the spoils for the aforementioned must go to our good friend and prolific YouTuber Pcwzrd13, who has come up with the goods yet again! If I didn't know better, I'd be inclined to wager that Mr Wzrd is actually a transcendent AI, trawling the interwebs for the most obscure Dreamcast stuff there is and neatly packaging it up as digestible, well-made videos. Luckily, I'm here to re-blog his stuff and artificially generate more hits for the Junkyard like a damned leech, so everyone's a winner.
But I digress. The Epitech Collection is a compendium of rough homebrew games created by a class of students at Epitech in 2002. If you don't know, Epitech is a colossal information technology and computing college in Paris, France and these unfinished (but still quite impressive) titles are the result of some coding sessions involving Dreamcast and Gameboy Advance development tools.

You can actually download these games and try them yourself, so let us know how you get on if you decide to give them a whirl. As always, be sure to subscribe to Pcwzrd's Dreamcastic Channel for even more cool videos like this one.

New Xenocider Footage Released

The Dreamcast homebrew and indie scenes are exploding right now and Spanish developer Retro Sumus is at the forefront of this wave, working on some very promising titles for our beloved box of tricks. AMEBA is a self-styled 'westernised' visual novel following the investigations of a Madrid-based detective and features some quite brilliant artwork. The other game from Retro Sumus is Xenocider and it is shaping up to be one of the most eagerly anticipated new Dreamcast games.
A clear homage to Sega's epic sci-fi arcade blaster Space Harrier, Xenocider sees you take control of a lone crusader battling all manner of monsters across various alien worlds. Retro Sumus has now released some early footage of its bespoke 3D engine running on genuine Dreamcast hardware and we have the exclusive footage right here.

The game is still very early and doesn't show any enemies or other mechanics, but as a glimpse at what is coming it really is very impressive from a technical standpoint. Fogging is already written in, and other effects will likely be added. Perhaps the important things to take away from this, is that Xenocider is running on genuine Dreamcast hardware, boasts a totally new engine and is running at a stable 60fps. On the basis of this alone, Xenocider looks like a title to keep an eye on.

Thanks to Carlos Oliveros from Retro Sumus for permission to post the video. You can read our interview with Carlos here, or listen to our Retro Sumus special episode of DreamPod here.

Attack Of The Clones

Clone systems are nothing new and they're not going away any time soon either. If you don't know what a clone system is, let me enlighten you. A clone is a console usually manufactured and sold in countries where laws are lax and cheap electronic manufacturing processes are a way of life. Using the (nefariously reproduced) innards of older 8-bit systems such as an Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System or Sega Master System, a clone invariably comes with roms pre-installed, a controller that is a piece of shit and a shell that looks like the bastard lovechild of Sloth from The Goonies and the morbidly obese red car from that old Milky Way advert.
The Chameleon refuses to die.
In truth, most clone consoles are utter crap, but in some places they're the only way to play games simply because owning a PS4 or any other genuine gaming machine just isn't financially possible. Please be assured that I'm not mocking the societal hardships of fellow gamers in less developed nations, but that's just how it is. Saying that, calling the UK a 'developed nation' is pushing it - I saw a human turd in the street the other day.

Now, the reason I bring up clones is that it's become apparent that there are a couple that borrow heavily from the shell designs of legit systems...and some of them even mimic the hallowed Dreamcast. There aren't that many (not as many as ape the PlayStation, for example) but I thought it'd be interesting to have a look at the ones I could find. And by 'find,' I mean copy from a Google image search. Cough.

Dorikyasu Game Corner
This contraption is basically a NES in the shape of a Dreamcast. According to the almost impenetrable description from the website it is listed on (after being translated by Google, natch), the Game Corner features a cartridge slot under the lid and a handy eject button. The bundled controllers are N64 rip-offs and it also comes with a knock-off Namco GunCon for some reason. Could be handy for Duck Hunt I guess. Sadly, the Game Corner is no longer available, but I think it's safe to say no-one will be losing any sleep over it. Interestingly, the same site also lists handheld Dreamcasts that are built to order, but those are no longer for sale either.

A Look Inside The Junkyard

We spend a large part of our time here at the Junkyard bringing all the Dreamers out there the latest news, opinions and articles on our beloved little white box. Whether it be long thought lost games, articles on every element of the Dreamcast that you'd ever wish to have (and some you probably didn't!), collectors guides, an award nominated podcast, interviews with the best DC indie developers out there; you name it, we try to cover it.

But when we're not letting our creative juices flow, the staff here at the 'Yard can often be found building up our own collections. We're a varying bunch, covering 4 continents, and our own collecting goals are somewhat different – whether it be feeding the compulsion to finish a full set, attempting to expand on the Dreamcast family with arcade hardware and software, or just enjoying the thrill of the hunt and finding 10 copies of Spirit of Speed 1937 in a charity shop; we all have different aims and ambitions with our Dreamcast indulgences. And whilst we talk about the console a lot, it's occurred to us that we haven't shared our own collections – at least not for a while. With new members now aboard the Junkyard train, it seems the right time to share our own little corners of Dreamcast heaven.

Oh, and we want to show off a little. There's nothing wrong with that, right?

So without further ado, The Dreamcast Junkyard presents...a look inside the Junkyard!

Alice Dreams Tournament Gets Kickstarter Update

Alice Dreams Tournament smashed its Kickstarter goal last year, and this new Bomberman-inspired Dreamcast game from Alice Team looks like it's going to be a winner for anyone who misses the fun of local multiplayer sessions of old. Online gaming is great and all, but nothing beats being sat in the same room as your adversaries for a bit of friendly (or unfriendly, in the case of my Goldeneye 007 days) rivalry. The good news is that the project appears to be bang on target, and Alice Team have updated the game's Kickstarter page with the following announcements:

Time for some news!
  • We're beta-testing the Scoring mode! We're testing some gameplay modifications to make the challenge more interesting. Note, this mode will use an original interaction on Dreamcast! 
  • Some of the new maps are ready for crazy parties! (See an example below)
  • We are still working on US, Jap and Euro covers. Please still be a little patient, we will soon be able to show you them!
One of the new stages
That's not all though. It seems those nice folk at Alice Team are helping out fellow indie developer Mode4 with their Steam Greenlight project Bombslinger. More hands make light work eh? Alice Dreams Tournament looks set to meet its June 2016 release date for backers and I for one can't wait to get my hands on it.

Check out our recent interview with Alice Team's lead developer Julien Desquenne here.

Source: Dreamcast News

A Quick Look At Stupid Invaders

While it is true that the Dreamcast's library is heavily weighted towards arcade conversions and quick fix experiences, the system does play host to a fairly large number of PC ports across a range of genres. Star Lancer, Railroad Tycoon 2 and The Nomad Soul are all games that have their roots on the PC and all made the jump to the Dreamcast effortlessly, but there is one genre that's oddly under represented: the point and click adventure.

Sure, ScummVM (now at version 1.8) allows you to play a whole wheelbarrow full of old PC adventure titles - many of which are amongst the best games ever created - but when it comes to official releases, they're somewhat thin on the ground. This is particularly odd when you consider just how similar the Dreamcast is in terms of hardware to a mid-range PC from the late 2000s (and it has the added bonus of the Windows CE compatibility), and even more so when you glance at the keyboard and mouse peripherals gathering dust on your shelf/down the back of the sofa. The Dreamcast looks, for all intents and purposes like a console that should be literally bursting with point and click adventure games, but in the PAL territories at least there is only one such officially released title filling that role: Stupid Invaders.

DreamPod - Episode 28

UK Podcast Directory

Music in this episode comes from Shenmue (Tomato Convenience Store), Ikaruga and The Jerry Springer Show. No, really. Thanks to Sean 'NZ17' Robinson for the heads up on ScummVM version 1.8 (go here for more information) and the shooter Tom is referring to is Noiz2sa. Released in 2002 for various systems, Noiz2sa is a freeware shooter that was converted to Dreamcast by Chui of Retro Sumus. The SD reader version is availible to download for free here (thanks to DC Eric for the link).

If you like (or dislike) what you hear, it would mean the world to us if you'd leave us a review on iTunes. Cheers all!

Dreamcast Magazine Issue 11

Dreamcast Magazine issue number 11 frolicked off the press and onto the shelf of your local Newsagents on the 13th July 2000. Not a particularly memorable day for many, but according to a quick Google search, 13th July 2000 was also the day that Fijian rebels released 18 hostages including the former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry after eight weeks holed up in the island's parliament building.
Issue 11 is an absolute beast when it comes to unreleased games though (see what I did there?). Colin McRae Rally 2.0 grabs the cover and receives a lengthy preview of the rally game that never was (unless you've been privileged enough to play it), and the rest of the Forecast section contains a ton of other stuff you've probably never heard of before.

The Sega Driving Simulator – Expanding the Dreamcast Collection Special

Originally intended to be featured in my soon to be completed 'Expanding the Dreamcast Collection – Part 3' article, it was decided (by me!) that this game/simulator deserved a little more attention and so has evolved into its own, albeit short, article. Take a read if such things as boring simulators interest you…or don’t... see if I care!

Did you know, that in 2002, while the English were still living in mud huts and throwing faeces into each other’s faces, on the other side of the globe, whacky big eyed constantly bowing super advanced cat-girl people (aka the Japanese) had already perfected the art of driving simulator creation? Yes, it’s true, and the creator of said super advanced simulator wasn’t Skynet, but in fact Sega! What’s more it ran on Dreamcast 2 hardware!
OK, so it wasn’t technically running on a Dreamcast 2, it ran on the Naomi 2 arcade hardware. The Naomi 2 was of course the sequel to the original Naomi which itself was basically just an arcade version of the Dreamcast, so with a bit of imagination it doesn’t take much of a leap to get from Naomi 2 to Dreamcast 2. (The rest of the above is all true and historically accurate by the way, a Facebook meme once told me so...probably).

New VMU Games On The Horizon?

Ah, Instagram. A social network I have very limited experience with...because I simply don't get it. Yes I'm a Luddite, a moron even. But I'm OK with that. To be honest, I've been called much worse for having a bizarre fascination with a certain archaic games console. Cough. But back to Instagram. I've actually had an account for a while but I've never uploaded anything to it because I literally have nothing interesting to post there.
Nobody wants to see pictures of my Pot Noodles and empty beer cans stained with tears. That said, I'm glad I signed up to it all those years ago though as it allowed me to discover (well, be shown by Cauterize of RetroCollect fame) the fascinating work of user guacasaurus_mex. I see what you did there with the name, Mr Mex. Very clever. But not as clever as the VMU-based creations on your Instagram page!

A Quick Look At James & Watch: Tooth Cracker

In 2015, RetroGaming Roundup's Ben Lancaster released a new homebrew game for the Dreamcast modelled after the popular Nintendo Game & Watch LCD units of the 1980s. James & Watch: Arm was a fairly simple game that tasked players with throwing and catching a small child, and was inspired by true events that involved some bored brothers, a broken arm and a little bit of sibling bribery. If that sounds even remotely intriguing, you should have a look at our previous feature and all will be made clear.
Fast forward to 2016 and Ben has been back to the drawing (developing?) board and come up with the second entrant in the James & Watch saga, the brilliantly titled Tooth Cracker. As with the first in the series, Tooth Cracker is inspired by true events but rather than being based on brotherly 'love,' it is based on the wince inducing tale of a few beverages of the alcoholic persuasion, an errant elbow and the resulting smashed incisors.

Some Dreamcast Items From Video Game Market 3

This last weekend (Saturday 5th March 2016) saw the third annual RetroCollect Video Game Market, where traders and online retailers converged at Yorkshire's Doncaster Dome to sell merchandise, consoles and games at reasonable prices to thrifty retro gamers. That was the theory anyway - some traders were clearly not singing from the same hymn sheet, asking stupid money for old consoles that were so yellowed they could be mistaken for blocks of cheddar. On the whole though, it was a fantastic event and the sheer number of people in attendance was mind blowing.
Thousands of people looking for yellowing Dreamcasts...
I was amongst that number representing the Junkyard, and it was great to meet so many people who visit this hallowed blog and listen to our podcast - in fact I was a little taken aback by how many attendees knew of the Junkyard and asked about articles they had read here, so if you were one of them - thank you. As it was primarily a market, I was able to leave my little corner of the venue and venture into the fray briefly and I'm glad I did because I managed to acquire some quite lovely Dreamcast-related stuff at Video Game Market 3. Here for you delectation is a run down of the swag I got my hands on...
What a fool.

Sega Hard Girls Premium Figure Unboxing Video

A new piece of official Dreamcast merchandise in the year 2016? Impossible! Well, no actually. This is the official Sega Hard Girls Premium Dreamcast Figure exclusive to Japan.
Guard that Dreamcast collection with your life, my precious...
In short, the Sega Hard Girls franchise stars cute big eyed anime girls each based on a classic Sega console. It already has an anime and manga series, novels, PS Vita game, figures and all sorts of other merchandise under its name.

A Quick Look At Exhibition Of Speed

The Dreamcast does have some great racing games and we've been over them many times here at the Junkyard. Metropolis Street Racer, Le Mans 24hrs, Ferrari F355 Challenge, Rush 2049...I could go on. However, as with all consoles there are some absolute stinkers and Exhibition of Speed is a race leader in those stakes. But before I get into the nitty gritty of why this is such a torrid affair, let's have a little look at EOS's history. Developed by Player 1 and published by Titus in 2001, EOS is a PAL exclusive arcade racer and the spiritual successor to Roadsters. What's interesting here is that EOS builds on the derided Dreamcast port of Roasters rather than the (quite decent) Nintendo 64 version, and as such feels every bit as cheap and half-arsed.
Doesn't look too bad in stills.
The game employs the standard features you'd expect in game of this type. You are presented with a Trophy mode which serves as the main championship, a quick race and time attack options and also a four player split-screen option. The Trophy mode takes cues from other titles in this genre in that you choose a driver, then a vehicle and then race in three different leagues. You start in the bottom division and work your way up by winning races and upgrading your vehicle; and each division's circuits have a new gimmick to differentiate them from the previous. This sounds quite cool, until you realise that you can literally play every track and use every car in the game just by selecting quick race. There's no point playing through the championship...because everything is already available from the start!