DreamPod - Episode 30: NAOMI Special

UK Podcast Directory

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Dreamcast Vs Wii U: Which Failed Harder?

Nintendo has finally revealed that the successor to the Wii U will be released worldwide in March 2017. This is good for two reasons. The first is that my birthday is in March so I might try to coerce my nearest and dearest to contribute some cash towards an NX as a present. That said, I usually don't get much more than a card written in feces/blood and a voicemail reminding me that I owe somebody a tenner when the anniversary of my birth rolls around, so I won't get my hopes up too much.

Update: we now know this console will be called Switch, so probably ignore the NX logo below. Ta.
The other good thing about this announcement is that finally, the Wii U has been handed a respite and the agonisingly slow death of the console looks to be coming to an end - euthanised, even.  Let's not beat around the bush here - the Wii U has been a bit of a disaster for Nintendo in comparison to past hardware releases, and while the system does play host to some fantastic games that simply ooze typical Nintendo quality, no-one can deny that the thing clearly occupies the 'also-ran' spot in both of the console generations it straddles.

For me, the Wii U was cursed from the start simply because it confused the fuck out of the casual market Nintendo was aiming it at; those people who bought the original Wii thought it was an add-on, and those who had Xbox 360s and PS3s were shown a system with a dinner tray for a controller and a bunch of launch titles that were already available (for the most part) on the console they already owned. Now though, Nintendo has pretty much signalled its intent by announcing the NX (or whatever it ends up being called) and so, just four years after introduction the Wii U looks like it'll be put out to pasture quite soon. Inevitably this has lead to forum threads such as this one, where the question is asked: which system enjoyed a better time during it's contemporary lifespan - the Sega Dreamcast or the Nintendo Wii U?
Source: ZhugeEX Blog
The news came out recently that it took the Wii U nearly 3 years to match the 10 million Dreamcasts Sega flogged in 18 months, and there have been many, many comparisons drawn between these two glorious console failures. However, we wanted to go step further and take a more in-depth look at the Dreamcast vs Wii U topic. While it's obvious that the Wii U hasn't really made a dent in Nintendo's $10 billion fortune (whereas the Dreamcast pretty much killed Sega), the question remains: which console pushed more boundaries, had a better games and excited the gaming world the most?

New Dreamcast Game Zia and the Goddesses of Magic Announced

Another week, another new Dreamcast game is announced! To be fair that title is a teeny tiny bit misleading as Zia and the Goddesses of Magic was technically announced a few weeks ago; but now there's some artwork (above) and a brand new teaser trailer that shows actual gameplay footage (below). Coming from French indie developer Orion (previously of Elansar, Philia and Alice's Mom's Rescue fame) Zia and the Goddesses of Magic is a traditional top-down RPG in which players are tasked with rescuing the eponymous goddesses and restoring peace, harmony and free love to the fantasy land in which the adventure is set. Well maybe not the free love, but we can hope. Here's the blurb from Orion's website:

In a fantasy world, where the goddesses of magic are the guardians of the good, a powerful evil demon captures all the goddesses and jails them in different places where they cannot use their magic powers. Evil creatures start populating the surrounding villages and threaten the inhabitants.

Zia is a little girl who lives in a mountain village with her beloving parents. One day, she discovers a book of magic and starts training to learn how to use magic spells. During her journey, Zia will find out about the imprisoned goddesses, and will try to free them from the evil creatures using the magic spells she will learn.

Join Zia in a Journey around this mystic world, help her find the imprisoned goddesses and try to free them from the evil creatures!
- Orionsoft website

Here's the accompanying YouTube announcement trailer:

According to the Orionsoft website, Zia and the Goddesses of Magic is pencilled in for a September 2016 release and is also planned for both Steam and the Playstation. We'll be keeping an eye on the development of this interesting RPG and you can too by visiting Orion's Twitch channel.

Source: Pcwzrd

Shenmue III Kickstarter Update Discusses Voice Acting & Logo Design

I know it's not really Dreamcast-related, but I thought it was worth sharing the news that Ys Net has updated its Shenmue III Kickstarter page. That said, pretty much all of us here at the 'Yard backed the Shenmue III project and we're sure many people who regularly visit this blog did too. Also, Shenmue is synonymous with the Dreamcast so I'm using that tenuous link to validate me sharing this here. The April 2016 update addresses some of the issues Shenmue fans have been vocal about, namely the design of the Shenmue III logo and the ability to switch between English and Japanese voice acting on the fly:

Before getting into the main part of the update, we would like to respond to two issues brought up by the community—the Shenmue III logo and voice audio options.

First for the Shenmue III logo. There have been many comments from Shenmue fans wanting the logo to match the original logos from Shenmue 1& 2. We have heard your calls and will of course put it on the to-do list. This particular issue will take some time, however, as game development is currently taking a front seat to other design issues. Designers and other parties will also need to be consulted with, so before we can give a more definite answer, we would ask you please give us some time.

The second issue receiving a lot of attention concerns the voice audio options. Many people have asked for there to be an option to switch between Japanese and English voicing. We understand how strongly people feel about this feature, and it is something we would like to include as well, but the inclusion of a dual audio option will ultimately come down to budgetary limitations. Whether it will be added or not, will need to be decided as development progresses.
- Shenmue III April 2016 Kickstarter Update

The rest of the update introduces Shenmue III's environment and architecture designer Manabu Takimoto, and shares some images of him at work with Yu Suzuki. 
"Stay inside the lines!"
As mentioned above this isn't strictly Dreamcast news, but as so many people who are fans of Shenmue have a history with/are still Dreamcast fans, we felt this was worth documenting here. Furthermore, we spoke to Shenmue super-fan Adam Koralik and the voice of Ryo Hazuki Corey Marshall on our podcast recently, so there's another tenuous link and a shameless plug for the DreamPod!

Source: Kickstarter

A Quick Look At Radirgy

You say Radilgy, I say Radirgy...let's call the whole thing off. Is what Fred Astaire was really getting at when he sang that song that time. The proper title of this slightly unorthodox vertically scrolling shmup is Radio Allergy...so I guess either is technically correct. Just don't call it Radallergy, at least not in my presence anyway.

So Radirgy then. Not a game I was overly familiar with until quite recently, simply because it usually fetches quite high prices when listed on eBay and because I like a bargain I was unwilling to shell out for such a frivolous item. That changed when I noticed the game on sale for a rather decent price over at Games World and decided that my life needed more cell-shaded, 2006 Dreamcast shooting in it. Nary a day later, Radirgy was sat spinning in my NTSC-J Dreamcast and now I've had time to play the thing properly I'm going to share my thoughts on it.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Radirgy was released on the Dreamcast in 2006 after being ported from its native NAOMI by developer Milestone. A stalwart of the shmup genre, Milestone were also the same outfit behind those other well-known NAOMI/Dreamcast games Chaos Field and Karous - the latter of which I have never played, again due to its rarity and high price. Before acquiring Radirgy I was aware of its existence but really didn't take much interest because it's a game I never thought I'd own, and as alluded to several times in my Ghost Blade review, I'm not a massive fan of the shmup genre in general. That said, upon playing Radirgy quite a bit since I got it, I can now comfortably say that it hasn't really changed my opinion on vertical shmups: that they're fun and mildly diverting for a while, but ultimately a bit repetitive and they get boring quickly.
That time already?

Three Indie Games I'd Love to See on the Dreamcast

The other day I read an interesting article over on Kotaku (yes, yes I know) that documents the creation of a new football (soccer) game by an indie developer who has never played a football game. Furthermore, he doesn't even know the rules of the sport and has pretty much guessed how football 'works' through hearsay and supposition. It's a really interesting concept, and the resulting interpretation of the beautiful game - now titled Behold the Kickmen - looks like it's shaping up to be the best thing to happen to the football genre since Konami thought Goal Storm was worth reinvestigating.

The developer's name is Dan Marshall, and he's a BAFTA-winning indie developer. Earlier today I cheekily asked him via Twitter when a Dreamcast version of Behold the Kickmen was coming:
Kickmen for Dreamcast: confirmed.
He didn't give a definitive answer (although I'll settle for the 'like' he graciously afforded my stupid tweet), but this got me thinking. Since Volgarr the Viking suddenly appeared out of nowhere in 2015, what other cool indie games would it be amazing to see make the leap to the Dreamcast? Obviously, a lot of indie games these days are built to run on modern platforms and so some of them probably wouldn't be possible on the Dreamcast (stuff like Broforce makes even a PS4 shudder, for example), but this is just a fun little look at some of the titles I'd give my right arm to have ported onto Sega's little box. Well, maybe not my right arm as I'd then have difficulty holding the controller...but you get the idea.

Back to Black: Restoring a Sega Sports or Regulation 7 Dreamcast

Last year we revealed how you can brighten up your standard white Dreamcast using nothing more than a fairly cheap hair serum and a bit of sunshine. Granted, the sunshine might be a problem if (like me) you live in the UK and the sun appears only once every 16 years after a drawn out ritual and sacrifice; but if you managed to try it on a rare day that it stopped raining and the clouds parted, you'll find it worked a treat at banishing the dreaded yellowing. As a side note, all of the systems I treated back then are still bone white to this day, so the fears that the yellowing would return with a vengeance have not been realised as yet.

This is all well and good if you have a standard Dreamcast, but what if you have a Dreamcast that's a different colour? Black, for example? While black Dreamcasts such as the Sega Sports and Regulation 7 special editions don't suffer from yellowing, they can get scuffed and light surface scratches show up clear as day. I know this because recently I was lucky enough to take delivery of two such systems:
The seller did list them as not being in 'showroom condition' so I expected them to be a little beat up, but when they arrived the only thing I really noticed was the surface scuffing all over them. It's not overly noticeable from a distance - and both systems work flawlessly - but up close and from a certain angle the light catches the scuffs and the marks are quite visible. So, I wondered how I could go about removing these scuffs and return these rare beasts to their former glory. Turns out the answer is actually rather simple...

Guest Audio Article: Taking Your Dreamcast Online With a WiFi Ethernet Bridge

There has been a lot of activity recently regarding getting the old Dreamcast back online, and several high-profile projects have emerged. Possibly the most well known at this stage is the DreamPi method, developed by Luke Benstead. Now, while getting the Dreamcast online using the DreamPi is relatively easy if you have a good level of technical knowledge, it can seem a little daunting if you are a dunce like me. Even more so if you have questions about how to do it using a wifi connection.
Happily, Sean 'Nz17' Robinson (no relation to Sean 'Coleco Chameleon' Robinson, by the way) has launched a new audio series called The Video Game Antiquarian, and the first episode focuses on this subject entirely. The Video Game Antiquarian: Taking Your Dreamcast Online With a WiFi Ethernet Bridge does exactly what it says on the tin, and while Sean does get quite technical later on, he does a great job of explaining the theory of getting any dial-up device online, and also giving clear instructions.

Enough from me though - hit play on the audio player below and allow your ears to drink in his dulcet tones. Who said being a Dreamcast fan couldn't be educational?!

If you'd like to see more of Sean's work, be sure to visit Nz17 Productions and if you live in the Naples, Utah area you might want to check out the site for his upcoming gaming convention G.A.M. Rocks - Gaming, Anime and More...it's Japan-a-mania in the Rockies!

Would Upgrades Have Prolonged The Dreamcast?

Sony's recent confirmation of a new, upgraded PlayStation 4 got me thinking. The first thing it got me thinking about was how much longer my £300 PS4 will be a part of Sony's plans. I mean, I've never really had any cause for concern over the long-term future of my next-gen console of choice, even in light of the constant console-bashing that blares from my headphones whenever I listen to a 'big' gaming podcast. But now I'm wondering if my shiny, jet-powered parallelogram will be outmoded before I've even had the time to pay off the credit card I bought it with (hint: I won't). The articles I've read state that we PS4 proles have nothing to worry about, as the 'Neo' will simply be a slightly beefier system and all future PS4 software will have two modes - one for each tier of the hardware.
This kind of reminds me of the N64 Expansion Pak from Nintendo back in 1998, where 99% of the games that used it were still playable on the base unit without the extra 4MB RAM upgrade, but if you had that magical lozenge thrumming under the flap on the front of your console, you could witness the eye-watering magnificence of medium-res Nintendo graphics. Unless you were playing ISS 2000, in which case you got a flicker book version of everyone's favourite footy game.

What I'm getting at here is that Sony obviously thinks the current PS4 isn't powerful enough for what's around the corner in terms of gaming experiences. Looking at the impending PlayStation VR it's possible that they're on to something...but this isn't about the PS4. It's about the Dreamcast, and whether Sega's system could have had a longer period in the public eye if it had been upgradeable.
"The sky is the limit with Dreamcast. We've created a box that is almost infinitely expandable. As new technologies come around, we'll be able to do anything we want to it. One of Sega's big pushes at the moment is the trend of the static box. There will no longer be a box coming out of Sega that we put on a shelf and forget about. The standard 'one box for five years' model is gone."
Sega Source - Total Control magazine, April 1999

The Death of the Dreamcast in Press Releases

It's a funny old world. I say that not because I've just inhaled an entire bottle of laughing gas (I have though, anything to get me through the day). No, I say it because it seems that every time I fire up my creaking MacBook and open Safari I discover something new about the Dreamcast. Well, not new as such...but new to me and probably to you too. New in the sense that you've probably not seen it and now you will, thus making it 'news.' See? Not in the same sense that the shite printed on the front of any random tabloid is news, but news nonetheless. Am I rambling? Thought so. Excuse me while I open the valve on this gas bottle a little wider.

Right, what I'm waffling about is this: I found a website that basically appears to list the Sega press releases in a sort of creepy chronological order, unwittingly documenting the death of the Dreamcast like some kind of obituary locked in time. The best bit about this is that the website isn't actually online anymore and can only be viewed by using our old friend the Way Back Machine.
I swear this blog isn't sponsored by Internet Archive by the way - I realise how often I've mentioned the thing recently but it really is an invaluable tool when trying to preserve lost Dreamcast-related stuff. Stuff the average person wouldn't give a shit about, but that us Dreamcast obsessives find totally fascinating. Most of this stuff has slipped into the past, forgotten and barely ever looked at since it was written by unknown fingers on long-lost keyboards (probably attached to a P90 with 128MB of RAM), and due to hardly anyone having the internet back at the turn of the century (yep, that's technically what it was called) I doubt many people gave much of a toss back then either. Happily, I'm here now so don't worry - I won't let this rubbish pass into antiquity without spamming your Facebook/Twitter/Reddit timeline with it first! Huzzah!

Warning. I feel it is my duty to announce here that this post is quite text heavy, so if you don't like reading stuff (reports show only around 9% of internet users actually like reading articles as opposed to sharing pictures of cats and burgers on social media), you should probably skip it. Still here? Excellent, let's go!

UPDATE: Will a NAOMI or Triforce GD-ROM Work in a Dreamcast?

In the spirit of last years hard-hitting journalistic exposé - Will a Dreamcast Lightgun Work on a Sega Game Gear Screen? - comes a new groundbreaking investigative piece:

A pleasingly unexpected result.

UPDATE: Lets try this again with a Triforce GD-rom...
Since this warning was pretty generic, I expect the same result with a Chihiro disc, but I don't own any of those to test out.

The Games That Never Were: Episode 7

Episode 7 of Pcwzrd's The Games That Never Were has arrived, and as is the norm I'm happy to share it here at the Junkyard. The series - as the name suggests - is an insightful look back at a selection of titles that were announced for the Dreamcast but for various reasons never made it out of the door. Episode 7 looks at another batch of promising games we never got the chance to play in their intended guises (I say that because many people - including myself - have played one of the games discussed in this new episode), and explores possible reasons for their disappearance.

The video is embedded below, but if you'd rather read my drivel instead that's cool. Games covered include the ambitious space-based RPG Jump Runner from Glass Ghost Games, Worms Pinball from Team 17, Armada II: Exodus from Metro 3D, Treasure's Gun Beat and Sega's cancelled homage to Star Fox, Geist Force. This is short and sweet because an intro to a video doesn't really need to be any longer, and I need to go and tidy up my disgusting tip of a flat. Enjoy!

Thanks once again to Pcwzrd for putting this together. The previous episodes can be viewed by visiting Dreamcastic Channel on YouTube or by following the links below.
Previous Episodes:
The Games That Never Were: Episode 1
The Games That Never Were: Episode 2
The Games That Never Were: Episode 3
The Games That Never Were: Episode 4
The Games That Never Were: Episode 5
The Games That Never Were: Episode 6

The Dreamcast Dreamphone

Up until today I'd never heard of the Dreamcast Dreamphone, and I'd wager many other people haven't either. What meagre information there is on this little-known device can only be accessed through liberal use of the Way Back Machine; but I'll explain how I came to find this odd and fascinating contraption before explaining what I've pieced together about it.
Sorry. Wrong number.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Twas a dark and stormy evening and I was randomly browsing the internet for cheap Dreamcast games, when I happened across the following listing at US website eStarland.com. At first I thought I must be looking at an April Fools' hoax or something because even though I consider myself to be quite well versed in Dreamcast peripherals, the Dreamphone is something I've never, ever heard of.
After finding this item (it's out of stock by the way, and is likely to be so for some time to come forever), I did some Googling but could find barely any information on it. There are thousands of references to a board game of the same name (see above), and a couple of forum threads from 2004 and 2007 where people seemingly stumbled upon the Dreamcast Dreamphone in exactly the same manner as I did...and virtually nothing else, anywhere.

Katana Simple Checker Innards Revealed.

The image of the Dreamcast with the weird circuit board hanging out the side has been floating around online for a while now, and has been pretty much confirmed as some form of development tool or quality control checking device. The theory is that games were sent to Sega for testing and if they were run in this system and indicator LEDs flashed, then there was something wrong and the game wasn't approved. Or something like that, anyway.
The mystery board complete with heatsink
I'm about as far removed from a development tool expert as you could possibly get so if I got that hilariously wrong, then I apologise. The reason I'm explaining all this is that some folks over at the Assembler Games forum have started to re-investigate this odd contraption and the the guts of the console have finally been revealed.
A close up of the board with the heat sink removed. Source: Assember Games
You can see the 'Katana Simple Checker' text on the main board. Source: Assembler Games
The board sticking out of the side of this Dreamcast does have some interesting markings on it as well as what looks like an extra processor (and of course the aforementioned LEDs) but it's the main board which adds more intrigue. With the top half of the shell removed, it's clear that the exposed circuitry is actually a part of the main board itself and also has the marking 'Katana Simple Checker' printed on it. There is information about a Test GD on Sega Retro, but this refers to a setup that used a disc and a device that connected to the Dreamcast via the serial port - this system has the extra PCB hard wired to the main board.

As stated, there are people far more knowledgeable than I already discussing the possible uses for this Dreamcast over at the Assembler forums, but I thought this was worth bringing to the attention of the Dreamcast community at large in case someone out there has any more information on it.

Source: Assembler Games

Total Control: Issues 6 to 11

As discussed in the first part of this feature, Total Control was a multi-format games magazine from Rapide Publishing which lasted for only 11 issues. These ran between November 1998 and September 1999 and in that short window the Dreamcast hype train was fully boarded, had left its native Japan and was headed at full speed toward the US and Europe.
Because of this, Total Control - more than any other contemporary UK-based magazine - was very liberal with its Dreamcast coverage. Indeed, sometimes this was to it's detriment, as evidenced by the levels of reader vitriol in the letters relating to over-enthusiastic reporting on Sega's fledgling system. PlayStation 2 fanboys transcend both time and space, it seems. Naturally, I jest.

The first half of this feature explores the Dreamcast content contained within issues 1 to 5 of Total Control and can be found here. Now though, we turn our attention to the final six editions of this short-lived publication with issues 6 to 11. If you'd like to see bigger versions of the scans below, feel free to right click and download them to your device - I know Blogger's image viewing thingy is pretty rubbish for text-based stuff.

Enough procrastinating...let's do this!

Xenocider Update From Retro Sumus

A few weeks ago we brought you an exclusive video preview of Retro Sumus' upcoming Space Harrier homage Xenocider. The video was really only a taster of what we can expect from this ambitious indie title, and since then Carlos and his talented team have been slaving away behind the scenes to add even more to the game engine.

The latest video update throws in enemies, more scenery and shows how Xara's main weapon and targeting system will look. Obviously, this is still very early and there'll undoubtedly be many, many changes over the course of development but the video below provides a more accurate depiction of how Xenocider will play when the disc is actually spinning happily inside your trusty old Dreamcast. Here you go:

The Xenocider Kickstarter launches in May 2016 and Retro Sumus hope to be able to offer a downloadable playable demo in the coming weeks. As ever, we'll keep you posted on any further developments on either Xenocider or AMEBA as they come.

New Homebrew Tooth Cracker Available Now

We took a fairly comprehensive look at Ben Lancaster's homebrew Nintendo Game & Watch parody Tooth Cracker a few months ago here at the 'Yard. If you can't be bothered clicking the link and reading my thoughts though, I'll explain all over again. Because I'm nice like that. Tooth Cracker is the second title in Ben's James & Watch series and tasks the player with cracking human teeth with a (warm) can of bitter twinned with a well-placed fist. I appreciate that sounds very odd, but in practice it's a simple reaction-based skill game with some fairly basic visuals but highly addictive twitch game play - especially so when you progress through to the later stages. Also, whether the can of bitter is actually warm is open to interpretation, but I like to imagine that it spent a good three hours on a sunny window ledge before being incorporated into the game.
Built with the Unity engine.
Anyhow, I'm regurgitating all this because Ben has finally put this interesting little title on sale over at Retrogaming Roundup for the grand total of £15 with free worldwide shipping. For an extra £5 you can also grab the prequel, James & Watch Arm - another title we looked at some time ago.

These games aren't pushing the Dreamcast hardware in any way, but they are a nice throwback to the days when games were more about testing your skill and the hunt for a high score rather than trophies and the like. Ben will also be peddling his game at the upcoming Play Expo in Blackpool, so if you see him there be sure to tell him you read about Tooth Cracker at The Dreamcast Junkyard. Do this, and he'll furnish you with a manly hug and a kiss on the cheek (of your choice) as an exclusive DCJY bonus gift. Please bear in mind that the hug and kiss are mandatory, and non-transferable. This does not affect your statutory rights.

For Whom The Bell Tolls...

Question: What is the greatest piece of video game music ever written?

Answer: The Justice Ray, by Hyakutaro Tsukumo
This is the face of unparalleled musical genius. Truly.
What do you mean you've never heard of it? It's Tsukomo-san's magnum opus, and its legacy is entwined with Sega's own destiny. Before we skip ahead though, lets start at the beginning - the very beginning.

Total Control: Issues 1 to 5

Total Control was a multi-format print magazine that was sold in the UK between November 1998 and September 1999. Published by (the now defunct) Rapide Publishing, Total Control was marketed as a mature magazine aimed squarely at twenty-somethings with disposable income, and as such had a more adult style than some other magazines available at the time. The late 1990s saw a glut of print magazines come and go, and Total Control had stiff competition from publications like Arcade, CVG and Edge; the latter of which is the only one still going at the time of writing. Total Control only lasted for 11 issues due to Rapide Publishing going into administration just before issue 12 could hit the newsstands, but in this brief run it managed to pack in a ton of high quality Dreamcast-related content. This is no doubt down to the fact that it existed in that golden period between the Japanese and US launches, and died right before the PAL release - as illustrated, rather poignantly by the blue swirl adorning the final issue’s cover.
If you want to read an 'interesting' story about my acquisition of these magazines,
scroll down to the 'bonus feature' at the bottom.
There’s not much written about Total Control these days and the magazine seems to have passed into the annals of time with little more than a whimper, but since collecting the entire catalogue (thanks mainly in part to Matt from SegaMags) I thought it would be nice to feature this oft ignored source of Dreamcast nostalgia right here at the 'Yard. Because there’s quite a lot of Dreamcast coverage in these magazines, I’ve split this feature into two parts - the first of which will look at issues 1 to 5 of Total Control, with issues 6 to 11 investigated in the second part (coming soon!).

Are you ready? Here we go…!

Event: Southampton Game Fest 2016

Just a quick events notice, this. Not every post can be an Earth-shattering revelation about some hitherto unknown facet of Dreamcast collecting. Granted, most are...but not this one. Soz. Right then, The Dreamcast Junkyard will be supporting RetroCollect at Southampton Game Fest on 22nd May. The event is being run in aid of Southampton Hospital Charity and is being held at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton, Hampshire, UK. It's only £6 a ticket and there will be plenty of retro and current gen stuff on show for people to have a play on...including all the usual Dreamcast gubbins we have at these events.
I say 'supporting' RetroCollect, but in actuality that just means there'll be banners up for both DCJY and RetroCollect in the same place and myself, Rob and the rest of the dudes helping out will be wearing two t-shirts instead of the usual one. Oh, and there'll be PlayStations, Saturns and N64s etc knocking about and interspersed with the Dreamcasts.

Anyway, if you'd like more information and to find out what other attractions will be at the event, visit the Southampton Game Fest 2016 website here.

Toy Racer Multiplayer Back Online Through Dial-Up

Remember Toy Racer? Of course you do - we only mentioned it a few days ago in this post about the work of two highly talented individuals working to get our trusty old Dreamcasts back online. There's a chance you've just clicked on this because someone's retweeted it or shared it on Facebook though, so I'll explain. Toy Racer was a PAL-only spin-off from Toy Commander that featured toy cars being raced around various tracks that were constructed from bits of Scalextric and broken stickle bricks. It was intended as a budget multiplayer racer to demonstrate the Dreamcast's online capabilities and for the most part it fulfilled its role amicably...until Sega's European servers were smashed to bits and thrown into a landfill. And then pissed on by several tramps.
The good news is that Toy Racer is now back online. And while we've told you this before, this time you don't need any other additional bits and bobs to experience it. All you need is a Dreamcast and a phone line. And Toy Racer, obvs. Plug it in with the standard modem cable and point your DNS at Viola! Toy Racer is back online via dial up...right now!

Get A Free Copy Of The Dreamcast Collectors Guide

Seeing as we're no longer allowed to sell The DCJY Ultimate Collectors Guide, we're now giving it away for free at Sega Europe's request. All we ask is that you pay for the postage/shipping costs via the donate button below. There are limited numbers of these things so as soon as they're all gone, the donate button will be removed.
If you'd like to know more about the outlawing of this totally heinous publication, have a look at the previous articles here and here. Also, massive thanks to Junkyard reader Simon who randomly donated yesterday to help with purchasing of envelopes to send these things out - what a legend. Give him a follow on Twitter if you get a moment (@Stellaking_Si).

Recommended shipping costs depending on your location are as follows:

UK: £3
Europe: £7
USA: £9
Anywhere else: £10

If you'd like to donate more to help us with the DreamPod hosting or Mumble server costs, please feel free - as it is, I pay for it all out of my own pocket (although there's no obligation, naturally). Hit the button below, enter your address details as a message and the book will be shipped. Please allow a few days for me to send it out as I'm in the middle of moving house!

Thanks all, and keep dreaming!

That's it - they're all gone! Done. Finito. Thanks to everyone who donated, your book will be sent out in the next few days. Keep it safe - it's part of a limited run and a piece of history!

If you didn't manage to get a physical version, don't worry as the latest PDF version is also available to download here.

Dreamarena Authentication Cracked, Quake III Arena & Toy Racer To Be Playable Online Via Dial-Up

If you're a European Dreamcast owner and had a system back in the day, you'll no doubt be familiar with Dreamarena. For those who don't know, Dreamarena was the online portal that PAL Dreamcasts would connect to when you wanted to go online; and many games used the service to authenticate your details when you wanted to play multiplayer games via the 33k modem attached like a disgusting carbuncle to the European system. I have fond memories of Dreamarena as it was the first thing I saw whenever I wanted to go online and browse the internet looking for cheats and...erm...the latest news from the international stock markets. Yeah, stock markets. Um.
Was it the Bismarck? Couldn't help myself, sorry.
One thing I don't have fond memories of is that horrendous 'disconnected' sound that used to play as soon as the connection dropped out. That, and the ominous noise of my mother booming up the stairs to see if I was online without permission again. Anyway, that's all irrelevant - this post is about the awesome news that many people (including me) never thought they'd hear: Dreamarena authentication has been cracked and will allow you to once again hook your Dreamcast up to your phone line and, using nothing more than the bundled dial-up modem, play both Quake III Arena and Toy Racer with other people. This isn't an April Fools.

The DCJY Ultimate Guide Fiasco Continues...

You may recall in late 2015 we launched the physical version of The Dreamcast Junkyard Ultimate Collectors Guide. It was really well received by members of the Dreamcast community around the world and was seen as a valuable resource for collectors and those who wanted to explore the Japanese library a little further (it has a handy accessibility guide for non-Japanese speakers). Sadly, Sega Europe's legal team requested that we remove the resource from sale because it wasn't an officially licensed product, and naturally we complied.
Since then, we have redesigned the book's cover slightly to include the labels '100% unofficial,' 'fan made' and wording to the effect that it isn't endorsed by Sega in any way. We thought that would be enough to allow us to distribute this book online once again, but apparently not. In the name of transparency, here's the most recent communication from Sega Europe's legal department:

Four SD Reader Indie Gems

Dreamshell and its uses are well documented on various sites around the internet, and for me it represents one of the most interesting facets of the Dreamcast. If you aren't familiar, Dreamshell lets you boot the console into a PC-like Unix GUI and allows for the loading of various applications. Dreamshell can be burnt to a CD-R (or installed into the BIOS of the Dreamcast if you really want to) and then used alongside an SD reader to access all manner of fantastic homebrew and indie software. I did have a look at Dreamshell in the recent past, but with this post I just wanted to give some exposure to games that have been kicking around for a while but that you may have missed.
None of these games are particularly new, but if you're a recent adopter of a Dreamcast or have only recently decided to dip your toe into the world of homebrew games for Sega's final system, this article may be of interest to you. Possibly even more so if you also happen to own an SD card reader, as these games are all readily availible in ISO format and can be played simply by dropping the files onto the SD card and then executed through the Dreamshell loader interface. The internet is a fast-moving place and people join the Dreamcast community all the time, learning of the many uses for the console that Sega never intended. With this post, I really just wanted to give a mention to the games that are out there, but that rarely get a mention when people discuss this awesome machine.

DreamPod - Episode 29

UK Podcast Directory
The Asahi tweet discussed on the podcast.
Interlude music in DreamPod 29 is from Cosmic Smash. You can find info on the VMU version of Flappy Bird here, the Greedy Goblin Con charity event article is here, and the Stone Age Gamer story here. Also, you can find the [TERMINAL] story here; and the exposé on the brand new Dreamcast shooter (as yet unnamed) is here. As ever - if you like what you hear, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes.