Posted in NEWS
March 30, 2020

Sega made a traffic safety game in 1988, and collectors now have it

Sega made a traffic safety game in 1988, and collectors now have it

Game preservationists have found, saved, and even shared and translated, an extraordinarily 33-year-old cartridge for the Sega Master System. It’s about traffic safety.

Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen was never put up for sale (it, and a system, were available for rent as part of a public service campaign by an insurance company). SMS Power, a group dedicated to preserving Sega’s 8-bit legacy, managed to find a complete kit in a Yahoo! Auction at the end of 2019.

Considering that a loose cartridge was sold on the same site for about $33,000 in 2009, and the seller of this kit had sought a similar price, SMS Power crossed its fingers and hoped its modest bid was enough. It was, and for 521,000 yen (roughly $4,800) they won it.

The story doesn’t end there. SMS Power linked up with the NPO Game Preservation Society in Tokyo to help with handling the materials and transporting them. NPO scanned all printed materials and dumped the cartridge’s ROM before the briefcase arrived, “in order to avoid any risk that the game may be lost or damaged while transporting.”

And from there, SMS Power and NPO Game Preservation Society even created a translation patch so that an unofficial English version of the game could be made available as a ROM.

The screenshots of that translate the game as Let’s Check With a Game! Traffic Safety, which contains three mini-games: a “Driving Sense Test,” “You’re the Best Driver,” and “Pyonkichi’s Adventure.” The last looks like a game in which a rabbit ventures out into the real world and gets into encounters where he has to make a safe choice.

Game de Check! Koutsuu Anzen was a product of Tokio Marine and Fire Insurance Ltd., and was developed by Sega in 1987. The kit that SMS Power won includes all documentation, and the group even found two newspaper articles from 1988 that described the campaign’s purpose and execution. It was intended for use in traffic safety campaigns at kindergartens and in day care, as well as in community centers such as neighborhood or residents’ associations. Tokio Marine sent 200 copies of the game and 100 units of the hardware to its branches across Japan.

SMS Power has uploaded scans of all the manuals and the original, unaltered ROM. If you want the game’s soundtrack well, here’s that, too!

Published at Sun, 29 Mar 2020 20:40:01 +0000

Forced out villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons are glitching their new islands

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has a serious glitch involving the game’s adoption feature — whereby players may take in villagers that leave others’ islands — that can potentially ruin your experience.

This post on The Bell Tree Forums describes a potential workaround to resolve the glitch, and others say Nintendo is even aware of the bug, but for now the best defense to be vigilant and inspect villagers before taking them in.

That’s because, according to this Reddit thread, if the villager in question has been forced out of another player’s island, the plot of land on your island that is meant to become their new home will be bugged, and there’s apparently no fix. The glitched plot will simply read “ ’s New Home,” with the building supplies awaiting their arrival. Players cannot place any more plots for new villagers, and the evicted villager in question never moves in.

With only 10 plots for your island, plus the fact this involves a form of amiibo trading among players, it’s easy to see why this bug is being treated with such alarm by the Animal Crossing community.

The PSA making the rounds describes the problem in detail. The key detail is that a villager who leaves another player’s island of their own accord is entirely safe and won’t glitch their new island. Only ones that have been forced out by another player (and with villagers capped at 10 per island, many have good reasons for doing so) will bring this glitch to someone else’s island.

So, if you’re doing a trade with another player, ask for (or kindly provide) a screenshot showing the dialogue portion where it says the villager is “thinking of leaving,” which ensures they weren’t forced out through the campsite.

Otherwise, Bell Tree Forums has a very complicated workaround that might fix the glitched plot, involving removing the plot of land. But it doesn’t work all the time. In any event, players are asked to report this bug to Nintendo.

A player in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons subreddit said they informed Nintendo about the problem, and were told that “they’re in the process of fixing but can’t fix the bug without messing up other bugs right now, so this could take a few days if not, maybe a week.”

Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched March 20 and so far has gotten two patches, one to address an item-duplication glitch that threatened to wreck the game’s economy. That came in just a few days after players sent out word about it on the internet.

Published at Sun, 29 Mar 2020 18:20:42 +0000

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