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Thread: PC-Engine Games - What do the spine colors mean?

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    PC-Engine Games - What do the spine colors mean?

    Hi Everyone,

    When looking at some photos of PC-Engine CD-ROM games I noted they had different spine colours for the same game. For example, gold, silver, or white. Are these to denote different releases? If one saw the cover, would it be apparent which ones are original releases, and which ones are second printings?

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    Do you have a specific example? As far as I know, only Spriggan Mk.2 has different spine cards or are there other games? There is a golden and a pink spine-card whereas the golden one is the rerelease from 1994 as far as I know. I don't think there was ever the same game with 3 different spinecards..
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    Ah, maybe I should have been more clear. On the side of most games, on the spine there is a logo indicating if it's a HU card or CD-ROM game, followed by the title of the game down the spine. While I don't have any examples of the top of my head, sometimes I see games with the same name, but the background color of the game title is diffrent. Such as Silver vs white. I assume OBI strips are a totally diffrent matter altogether.

    Side Topic: Being a PCE newbie, what does all the CD-ROM, Super CD-ROM, Arcade, etc mean? Is that just to indicate what kind of "card" you need for your CD-ROM attachment in order to play your game? (^_^);
    Last edited by Trenton_net; 05-07-2012 at 05:06 PM.

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    Yes. There wasn't an Arcade card for Turbografx, no US games use it anyway.

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    The original System Card was just the BIOS ROM for the 1988 CD-ROM2 hardware. The original CD-ROM2 has only 64 KiB of DRAM to hold all game assets so it was quickly upgraded to the Super System Card which contains the BIOS as well as 192 KiB of RAM on the card to bring the total up to 256 KiB. The majority of games require a Super System Card. The Super CD-ROM2 and DUO consoles have a SSC built into the PCB and switch to it when a HuCard isn't inserted. The Arcade Card is a SSC with another 2 MiB of serial-access RAM, and the Arcade Card DUO is a cost-reduced version for SCD2 and DUOs with just the serial-access RAM since the SSC part would be redundant. That's about it.
    Last edited by Calpis; 05-07-2012 at 08:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenton_net View Post
    Ah, maybe I should have been more clear. On the side of most games, on the spine there is a logo indicating if it's a HU card or CD-ROM game, followed by the title of the game down the spine. While I don't have any examples of the top of my head, sometimes I see games with the same name, but the background color of the game title is diffrent. Such as Silver vs white. I assume OBI strips are a totally diffrent matter altogether.
    I'm afraid I still don't really know what you mean. The background color of the title on the spine is usually always white, only spine-cards for CD-games had different background colors most frequently. I've also never encountered different colored spines for HuCard games.

    Can you point it out on this picture by any chance? ^^

    If you mean the different coloured HuCard-logos and the many different numbering systems on HuCards - that's just because every company had their own counting of "Volumes" and Spine-designs. So games by Nec Avenue, Hudson, Konami, IREM etc. would look similar next to games from the same company other, but different from games by other companies.
    Last edited by ave; 05-07-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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    @Calpis: Just to be clear, does that mean simply getting an Arcade card will cover someone for all games since it is backwards compatible?

    @ave: Ah, sweet picture. So right hand side, second Adol (from the top), under the letter "d", you can see the same game, but different spine colors. Left side is grayish, and the right side is white, purple. What gives? Maybe two manufactures had a hand in releasing that particular title?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenton_net View Post
    @ave: Ah, sweet picture. So right hand side, second Adol (from the top), under the letter "d", you can see the same game, but different spine colors. Left side is grayish, and the right side is white, purple. What gives? Maybe two manufactures had a hand in releasing that particular title?
    No, I think you misread the titles. The one with the grey-ish spine is Klax, the one with red/white combo is Gradius. Different companies, different spine colors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenton_net View Post
    @Calpis: Just to be clear, does that mean simply getting an Arcade card will cover someone for all games since it is backwards compatible?
    Pretty much, there are a few games which have broken compatibility with the Super System Card/Arcade Card however but since the original System Card is just ROM any flash cart can emulate it to give you that compatibility.

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    @Calpis: Ah, thats great. I guess it's time to hunt for an arcade card.

    @ave: Hrm... I guess your right. I'm probably not reading the labels correctly as they looked the same to me.

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    If you have any of the three Duo-revisions then you don't need a system card. Only if you want to play one of the 12 ArcadeCD-titles you need this extra Arcade Card - and the only games that are worth it would be Strider and Sapphire IMO.

    Yeah, sometimes PCE-labels can look really similar because the text is really tiny. But I'm quite certain that there are no different labels for the same games whatsoever.
    Only Magical Chase received a rerelease in a new-style case design and therefore both versions look a bit different:
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    @ave: Are you a collector? You seem to know a fair amount about PC-Engine software titles. (^_^);

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenton_net View Post
    @Calpis: Just to be clear, does that mean simply getting an Arcade card will cover someone for all games since it is backwards compatible?
    A few games won't work with more recent system cards. Altered Beast, for example, won't work with anything beyond a System 1 card.

    but who wants to play the PCE version of Altered beast to begin with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trenton_net View Post
    @ave: Are you a collector? You seem to know a fair amount about PC-Engine software titles. (^_^);
    I'm trying! B-)
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    @ave: Does the Vancouver area offer much chance for collecting PC-Engine titles? I assume at least it's better than Ottawa, which has a tiny Asian community by comparison. The closest thing I've seen to PC-Engine collectors here, is the odd TG16 person. And even then, it's kind of sketchy. :-)

    EDIT: I should have a fair bit of doubles in my possession soon. If your interested in swapping for ones you need I'd be happy help. I'd also be open to chip swaps too, if that's what your in need of. (^_^);
    Last edited by Trenton_net; 05-11-2012 at 10:43 AM.

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    Well, I never had any PC-Engine fans in geographically feasible distance to me, neither here nor in back in Europe so I had always relied entirely on imports from Japan or web forums.

    You're right that the Asian population here is huge, but then again it's mostly Chinese and there's a big tendency towards bootlegs rather than collecting :P
    I know only 1 person here who likes oldschool/PCE games. And don't get me started on the HappyConsoleGamer, bitch thinks he's a fabulous celebrity and ignored my message about meeting up with some generic default response like a rockstar lol.

    "Hi, thanks for your mail and keep watching my videos" wtf

    Anyhow, rant aside, I'm afraid my entire PC-Engine collection is in boxes and a 1000km away from me. I don't have any doubles though, but if you have nice soft then you can certainly hit me up for a sale :)
    By chip swaps, do you mean TurboChips for TG16? I'm afraid I don't collect those, just jpn PCE! :)
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    Ah, I meant Saturn chips for PCE games. (^_^); Considering I'm a newbie, I'm still at the "I'll take pretty much anything phase, even garbage games". But considering you don't have any doubles, that seems pretty unlikely.

    As for PCE CD-ROM titles, I should have somewhere around 30-40'ish titles which might be doubles. But considering these are low tier games, you probably have them already.

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    I only have few low tier CD games, but since I only collect stuff with spinecards it's a bit hard to accumulate a lot of crap in little time - certainly not as easy as Saturn/PS1. If you have some CD titles with spinecards that you want to part with, feel free to contact me ;)

    Just haven't got anything to trade! :( My entire collection is in my parents' basement these days and I won't have any access until July/August this year.
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    Ah, it's too bad your only after spine items. All the CD's I have are spineless. I guess that's what you get for going on the cheap. Otherwise I would have offered you CDs in bulk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ave View Post
    If you have any of the three Duo-revisions then you don't need a system card. Only if you want to play one of the 12 ArcadeCD-titles you need this extra Arcade Card - and the only games that are worth it would be Strider and Sapphire IMO.

    Yeah, sometimes PCE-labels can look really similar because the text is really tiny. But I'm quite certain that there are no different labels for the same games whatsoever.
    Only Magical Chase received a rerelease in a new-style case design and therefore both versions look a bit different:
    what a nice picture ^^
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