You Can Now Access The Original Jet Grind Radio Website From Your Dreamcast

While the promise of online gaming was a big part of Sega's marketing campaign when trying to flog the Dreamcast to the masses, many games simply didn't have any online gameplay portion. That didn't stop certain games proudly displaying the fact that they offered 'online functions' on the packaging, though. Usually, what this meant was that high scores could be uploaded to a leader board; or that certain things could be downloaded from a dedicated portal to a VMU that added extra features. For example, ghost car times in racing games, or mini games that could be played on a VMU screen. Some games offered more than others in this area, and one of the best when it came to added online extras was the awesome Jet Grind Radio.
As detailed in this story over at Dreamcast Live, the Jet Grind Radio website has been resurrected in (almost) its entirety, meaning that you can once again hook your Dreamcast up to the internet and browse the various pages that could be accessed from the game's main menu. Hidden away in this treasure trove from yesteryear are a graffiti gallery and ranking page, along with a hints and tips section that actually corrects some of the information printed in the physical manual. This isn't the first time a game's bespoke website has been revived, as the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 sites were both brought back online recently too.

This is pretty stellar work by a programmer known as Jial, and the whole mini-site is currently being hosted by our good friends over at DreamPipe. The only downside to this whole tale is that the only site currently available to your ever-hungry Dreamcast is the US version. If you try to access the online functions through a PAL copy of Jet Set Radio, it tries to connect to the Dreamarena portal which as yet has not been restored. Just to clarify, the Dreamarena portal - as the name suggests - looks totally different to the US site but offers pretty similar features if memory serves. If you try to access the online portion of PAL Jet Set Radio, the game's browser points at, which no longer exists. Even using Wayback it isn't archived and so it's probably lost to the mists of time.
This is what you'll see if you try to access the PAL Dreamarena site. Followed by...
...epic fail.
This can be remedied by opening the Dreamcast browser's 'jump' function and typing in the URL - which is where the NTSC-U Jet Grind Radio browser points to by default. Naturally, you can also access this from a standard web browser on your computer, but it just isn't the same as seeing it displayed through the Dreamcast browser. That, and the VMU graffiti download functions are null and void. Links to the 'Graffiti is Art' competition run by Sega back in the day are dead, but if you use the wonders of the WayBack Machine you can see some photos of the event, along with Peter Moore addressing the crowds of hoody-clad sk8tr bois, innit.
"Graffiti art is an underground art form that our audience is very interested in and we wanted to create a legal and creative forum for this amazing art to be displayed and recognized."

- Peter Moore speaking at the Graffiti is Art event, October 2000

If you own a DreamPi you can connect and try accessing the site straight from the Jet Set Radio menu with no additional messing about, and for more details and instructions on delving into the past with your Dreamcast, be sure to read the original story at Dreamcast Live. Please note that the use of the Jet Set Radio logo in the social media posts for this article are deliberate. I just wanted to laugh at people who comment without even reading articles. There are a surprising number of them out there you know. Small pleasures, and all that jet jazz.

Source: Dreamcast Live

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hoogafanter said...

I was really happy to hear about this the other day. Custom graffiti is awesome...

Segasocks said...

Hopefully the Spirit of Speed 1937 website will be available soon!