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Author Topic: Kaettekita Mario Bros. with different title screen?  (Read 268 times)
adori_12
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« on: May 16, 2019, 03:33:16 AM »

So I was looking around for a copy of Kaettekita Mario Bros. on eBay when I came across this disk:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/KAETTEKITA-MARIO-BROS-Only-disk-card-Famicom-FC-Disk-System-Japanese-Ver/142019991456?hash=item21110d17a0:g:bF0AAOSw241Yd0Nh
It was a normal-looking copy of the game (although slightly overpriced, since there's a few copies that cost like half the price),or that's what I thought at first.
Upon looking at the photos of the game, I noticed the seller was nice enough to include pics of the disk in action, but then I quickly realized something was off.
On pic 3, he shows off the title screen, but it's different than every copy of the game I've ever seen.
Notice how "かえってきた" is weirdly off-centered? On a regular game, it should be on the center. Even the "NAGATANIEN" copyright at the bottom is out of place, and is not aligned with the "NINTENDO" trademark. The year 1988 also shows a copyright symbol, whereas the normal one only has one at 1983. I couldn't find more differences on pic 4.
I looked everywhere for a ROM or even a screenshot matching those changes at the title screen, but I found nothing.
Is this something like a prototype or an early Disk Writer version of the game, or it's just a weird ROM hack or a pirate disk? The disk itself looks pretty legit, and it even includes real stickers and not any handwritten labels. Does anyone owns a copy of the game that shows those changes? Huh
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 06:59:00 AM »

If it's a different version from the dumped one floating around on the internet, a dump of this one would show that. But there is no guarantee that an FDS game haven't been tampered with and rewritten to the same disk.
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Great Hierophant
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2019, 01:53:54 PM »

The placement of the "Nagatanien" and the addition of the additional (c) look too deliberate for some random corrupted byte caused by a bad read.  This is probably a previously-unknown revision of the game.  The かえってきた may be one tile too far to the left for the ideal, but I think that's a matter of taste. 
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2019, 03:11:08 PM »

Yeah I also vote for an earlier or later revision of the game. If a hacker would be changing the title screen they usually remove the copyright and stuff to hide the fact that they stole the game and selling it. Moving things around sounds more like Nintendo changing their mind about the positions of things.
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adori_12
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2019, 03:28:57 PM »

Yeah, it wouldn't make sense for a pirate to just move copyright information instead of removing it, something they used to do almost whenever they stole a game. It definitely doesn't look like a pirated disk.
The best thing I can come up with is that this, as you already stated, is an early unseen version of the game that maybe was available at Disk Writer kiosks for a limited period of time, before they thought the title looked misaligned.
I wonder if there's more changes at the menu of the game, or at any point of it...
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togemet2
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2019, 01:32:53 AM »

Perhaps the photo could've been taken from some magazine that was showing an earlier build of the game. It may not be a screen capture and I've seen quite a few eBay sellers do this to save some time.
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adori_12
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 02:59:16 AM »

So, I decided to do a reverse search of the image, and sadly, it's not an original picture made by the seller.
It only appeared on two other Japanese sites:
http://ure.pia.co.jp/articles/-/46043?page=2
A blog entry about Mario games, and
http://neoapo.com/games/3281
What it seems to be an anime and videogames database, with no information about the game nor the image itself.
The only date attached to the image is October 8th, 2015, since that's the date the first article came out. The second site has no date at all, not even a Wayback Machine search gave me a vague date of since when the image exists on the Internet. So we know this image has been around from at least October 2015, and therefore, it's not a picture of the disk selling on eBay  Sad
It's still interesting though, an unseen, undocumented early version of Kaettekita Mario Bros. existed, and no one -not even the original two Japanese sites that first uploaded the screen capture- realized that. But it's still unknown where did the image come from Undecided
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 03:58:47 AM by adori_12 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 01:32:46 PM »

Too bad they didn't use a picture for the item they are selling.

I took a look at the disk image floating around on the internet, the one where Mario's name been changed in-game to "よゆーだ" while Mario's age, gender and Luigi's data are untouched. It is revision 0 (which should mean first retail version), so those pictures are either from a later undumped revision or from a pre-release prototype.
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adori_12
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 01:51:34 PM »

It is bad indeed, I had no idea Japanese sellers used photos from magazines or Internet screen captures for their products until togemet2 pointed that out Undecided
As for the revision of the version, I think it definitely looks like a prototype, since it only makes sense for the title to initially be misaligned and then being repositioned to the center, not the other way around.
The saddest thing is that there's no info about this at all: You see how big Mario games get alot of attention for their prototypes, but this one? Nothing at all; but I hope the fact that a screen capture of this exists makes someone that somehow still has a copy want to dumping it online, but the chances of that happening are sadly next to zero Cry
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 02:45:25 PM »

Well every game got to a have many versions that are made during development, unless the developer writes over them right away, or deletes them. It's not so common that prototypes gets out to the public. Screenshots in magazines are often from pre-release versions, and sometimes screenshots in manuals are also clearly from an earlier version than the released one. This might as well have been a late build with no interesting differences besides the title screen.

The released Zelda prototype was a big thing because it was a fully playable prototype but with many differences of a very famous game. It made me figure out what the old man in the final dungeon means with the cryptic "go to the next room" (it was a hint to a false wall that was removed in the final version).
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adori_12
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 09:39:52 PM »

Yes, I mean, I love prototypes because of all the differences between it and the final released version (which is the main reason of why I found this screen capture so interesting), but I'd love to see if this had more changes that the photos didn't show. I guess we can only imagine...
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Great Hierophant
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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2019, 07:07:40 PM »

It is bad indeed, I had no idea Japanese sellers used photos from magazines or Internet screen captures for their products until togemet2 pointed that out Undecided

Those shots look very good for a magazine, almost too good.  On the other hand, magazines often used the Sharp C-1 TV or another device with an RGB PPU.  These photographs were undoubtedly taken with a composite or RF video connected display. 

The seller does not say whether the disks work or not.  Sometimes I forget that running the disk system is as easy for me as breathing, but the same can't be said for every eBay seller.
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