|Videogames||October 27, 2023|
Did you know that some of your dreamcast games might be hiding cool stuff that you can access with your PC? I read online that dreamcast copies of Sonic Adventure contained PC wallpapers, so I decided to find out for myself. Sure enough, putting my copy of Sonic Adventure into my DVD drive yielded free wallpapers. Neat! After doing this I wondered, how many other dreamcast games do this? I then decided to jam every Dreamcast disc that I own into my PC to find some digital treasures.
Attempting to treat the games like audio CDs results in unique warning messages. Some examples of this can be seen in this YouTube video and in this even longer YouTube video. Most of them had the default message, but some had custom messages. I've uploaded my own brief video here, which includes the generator demo disc messages that I haven't seen elsewhere online.
I am disappointed to say that most of my games turned out to be real bummers in terms of bonus PC content. Most games were just a few text files, commonly "ABSTRACT.TXT", "BIBLOGR.TXT", and "COPYRIGH.TXT". These typically include boring content, and seem to be just required files on every dreamcast disc. What is strange is that the content that's within these files seem to not really have consistent traits. Some titles, like Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Maken X had their genre documented in "ABSTRACT.TXT". Resident Evil: Code Veronica said simply "Survival Horror", while Maken X had a very vague "Adventure" in its file. Even official Sega titles seem to vary with what is written in those files. The Sonic Adventure games say "abstracted by none", while Tennis 2K2 had actual trademark information which was duplicated across all three text files.
A couple of discs had an old .exe file of "Sega Swirl", which is some weird internet-tied puzzle game included with the web browser discs. Using windows compatability, I was able to install and run it. Not that you would want to, because it's Sega Swirl. Here is a table containing my findings with the games and software in my collection:
|Game / Software||Unique Audio Warning(s)?||Has Sega Swirl Executable||Contains Images|
|Crazy Taxi 2||No||No||No|
|Generator Vol.1 (Demo disc)||Yes||No||No|
|Generator Vol.2 (Demo disc)||Yes||Yes||No|
|Phantasy Star Online||No||No||Yes|
|Quake III: Arena||No||No||No|
|Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2 discs)||No||No||No|
|Sega Marine Fishing||No||No||No|
|Sega Sports Tennis 2k2||No||No||No|
|Shenmue (4 discs)||Yes; different voice per disc||No||No|
|Sonic Adventure 2||Yes||No||Yes|
|Space Channel 5||No||No||No|
|Web Browser 2.0||No||Yes||Yes|
I did find some bangers, however. Most dreamcast discs in my collection that did have content contained images or wallpapers (for 800x600 or 1280x1024 displays). I don't know if any of these were available elsewhere, or if they are completely exclusive to the disc. They're sick regardless. Only a couple of disks had something besides wallpapers, but don't get too excited about that.
Alright, enough bullshitting. Here are some highlights of my disk-exploration:
I was blown away when I found this stored within the bowels of my copy of Blue Stinger. Although, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Blue Stinger is a weird ass game.
There is more lewd content on the disc, as well as a couple of regular character models. There are a few cool art pieces and screenshots to be found as well, alongside the bathing suit models.
I was unsure if this post should even have a lewd-content warning, since these crappy old 3D models are pretty tame in my opinion. It's probably for the best that I did.
Phantasy Star Online just genuinely had some cool wallpapers on the disc. I've only dabbled in Phantasy Star Online's singleplayer activities (there are private servers, but it's a hassle), so I wouldn't really consider myself a huge fan of the game or anything. Despite this, I did add some of these to my desktop wallpaper slideshow simply because of the vibes.
Sonic Adventure had some pretty unique character wallpapers. The character art is cool, but the cheesy lyrics subtitled in the images are strange. I think that the lyrics are associated to the character's stage music. While I would have preferred that the lyrics were absent, I do feel that their inclusion is pretty funny.
This was the first disc that sent me down this rabbit hole, and it's probably the most feature-packed disc shown in this post. You may recognize the Sonic DJ image, as it was the featured image of the week on October 22, 2023.
The "BIBLOGR.TXT" file on this disc actually contains a brief rundown of the games leading up to Sonic Adventure. The list is incomplete, as it doesn't seem to include non-sonic-team games like Sonic Spinball, 3D Blast, or the game gear titles. This seems intentional.
Oh hey, this game has a custom CD player warning message! Check that out here!
Sonic Adventure 2 contained pretty similar content to the first game. Unfortunately there was less of it. The Sonic and Shadow artwork on this disc reminds me of some promotional artwork for the game.
Also like Sonic Adventure 1, Sonic Adventure 2 also has content written in the "BIBLOGR.TXT" file. It's another list of previous Sonic games that Sonic Team worked on, but it includes more variants of Sonic Adventure.
I had high expectations for the Web Browser disc. I didn't really get what I expected, but I do like what I got. These are some pretty cool old 3D Sonic renders. I don't know the origins of these renders, but I think they're from Sonic Xtreme or more likely Sonic 3D Blast. I know that the one on the right is for sure 3D blast, but I'm not so sure about the image on the left. Maybe it's from Sonic Jam? I dunno.
This disc includes an executable for Sega Swirl... ew.
That's all I've got for you today. It was a truly educational experience popping dreamcast games into my PC to get some new wallpapers for my desktop. I might try other games from other platforms in the future. I think I'll try some PS1 or Saturn games next!
I didn't present everything included on these discs, so if you want to see more of what these dreamcast discs have to offer, check out what Segaretro.org and Archive.org have preserved on their sites!