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The World Championships Series


von Ozbourme
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On 2/7/2021 at 6:06 PM, l o f i - poutine said:

I absolutely love this series of romhacks. Keep up the great work! '91 and '94 CE are my personal favorites. I play these on a MegaEverdriveX3 in my office, and I love the attention to detail of the sprite work. I would love to play the '93 romhacks, but for some reason '93 romhacks are not able to play on a native Sega Genesis (BlackScreen). I am aware that it is a known issue, and I've been looking into how to fix that via Google, and playing around with the Hex code, but no luck. I am able to play the '93 games via emulator (Gens), but I cannot emphasize how much I would love to play '93 romhacks on a native Sega. 

 

Thanks a lot!

Actually now that you mention it, I haven't gotten an Everdrive myself yet, but does the original NHLPA 93 works alright on one?
I've been looking into making a hack of the original, as opposed to using the 30/32 team mods. [seems silly, but I like the spinning logo splash screen]
Wouldn't be until I'm done some others I already have on the go, but I'm curious if that will work any better.

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Just updating the IIHF 95 ROMs since I finally managed to fix the team rating numbers [for the most part]. Many many thanks to @kingraph for the assist on that one.

The caveat however is that this will only fix the pregame rating as told by Mr. MacLean.
The ratings used for season simmed game performance is stored somewhere else. Don't be surprised to see Estonia [formerly Detroit] and Japan [Rangers] overachieving their butts off in the standings.

IIHF 95 1.2.bin

IIHF 95 WCE 1.3.bin

Edited by von Ozbourme
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10 hours ago, von Ozbourme said:

Thanks a lot!

Actually now that you mention it, I haven't gotten an Everdrive myself yet, but does the original NHLPA 93 works alright on one?
I've been looking into making a hack of the original, as opposed to using the 30/32 team mods. [seems silly, but I like the spinning logo splash screen]
Wouldn't be until I'm done some others I already have on the go, but I'm curious if that will work any better.

Un modded NHLPA '93 does indeed work on the EverdriveX3, with the exception of not being able to save since there is no EEPROM feature on the cart. It is a known issue in the Everdrive forums. The 30/32 team mods seem to be what are giving issues for the Everdrive. My guess is that the Mod or adding more teams messes with the memory or the storage in some way, and the native sega genesis cannot process it. 

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On 2/9/2021 at 8:41 AM, l o f i - poutine said:

Un modded NHLPA '93 does indeed work on the EverdriveX3, with the exception of not being able to save since there is no EEPROM feature on the cart. It is a known issue in the Everdrive forums. The 30/32 team mods seem to be what are giving issues for the Everdrive. My guess is that the Mod or adding more teams messes with the memory or the storage in some way, and the native sega genesis cannot process it. 

Ah nice. All the more reason to make a mod of the original despite the lesser number of teams I suppose.
 

Additional heads up. I have replaced 95 WCE with a final fixed version [thanks to kingraph for helping me realize that it was a really simple fix]. Now all 34 teams have proper team overall ratings.

Edited by von Ozbourme
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8 hours ago, von Ozbourme said:

Ah nice. All the more reason to make a mod of the original despite the lesser number of teams I suppose.
 

Additional heads up. I have replaced 95 WCE with a final fixed version [thanks to kingraph realize that it was a really simple fix]. Now all 34 teams have proper team overall ratings.

Already downloaded the roms. Great Job as always! 

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Despite trying to make sure that I was finished with a ROM before posting it, I've come across another that I wasn't quite happy with and made an adjustment to the IIHF 96 presentation.

So here's an update.

IIHF 96 1.1.bin

What is in this update? Just instead of this...
image.png
...we get this.
image.png

The upside is that teams are not only easier to navigate in NOSE, the timeout and shootout/penalty shot screens have something a bit better than "TIMEOUT TEAM" or Shootout TEAM vs TEAM. Came to this conclusion after trying something different in 97 and finding I was unable to use tile or palette editing to avoid making a doubled name bar. Figured that having the three letter ISO code in there was the lesser evil considering all instances.

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Wait, did somebody say 97?
Why yes. You read that correctly.

Unfortunately I must admit that this was not a very fun project. I never really liked '97 as it just seemed like a lazy copy/paste job of '96, to the point where they didn't even change the year on the playoff bracket, [seriously, go check] and with uglier menu graphics.
So unlike '92 to '96, there was no sense of discovery or even an interesting art direction that would allow me to flex my chops. But, the original plan from the start was to make an IIHF version of all of the Genesis NHL games, and by golly I wasn't going to quit now.

I will however be skipping the retro review and just post the screen shots.
image.pngimage.png
I went with flags over goalie photos mainly to include more teams and make it more international versus player focused. Kept debating if I should change that, let me know what you think eh?

image.pngimage.png
soooo much tile renumbering.

image.pngimage.png
Finding which palette that Skoda ad used, and making use of a secondary unused one in order to make it green, was a pretty cool find.

image.pngimage.png
Finding out that there was a completely unused second palette [with the blue shades being changed to purple!?] was a weird but fortuitous find that conveniently allowed me to make a properly coloured logo and trophy combination. Liked how that part turned out.

image.pngimage.png
I was proud of myself for being able to implement all four 16 colour palettes available to me with that congrats screen.

In conclusion, I will reference another anticlimactic ending screen...
image.png

Oh yeah, forgot to note that, like '96, this engine still doesn't support the main menu option in NOSE. So the default match up does not reflect the Finals with Canada vs Sweden. As well as not being able to set the default game options. Add to that the wonky team rankings and season/playoff simmed game performances. [hence Estonia winning the Championship ?] At least exhibition games are fine.

IIHF 97.bin

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This is such an awesome idea for a series! Amazing work and great to see the other NHL titles getting some love. Retro review/summary adds a neat feel of authenticity too. :D

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Cant u just keep doing the years past 97 and maybe do them in NHL 94/95/96/97 like do a rotation? It would be nice to see each years rosters past 97 and keep ppls collections going

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15 hours ago, Cutter said:

Cant u just keep doing the years past 97 and maybe do them in NHL 94/95/96/97 like do a rotation? It would be nice to see each years rosters past 97 and keep ppls collections going

Actually I have some ideas that I'm looking to explore in this vein. Nothing decided on how I might do this just yet, but thanks for the interest.

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59 minutes ago, DeterminedApathy said:

As a heads up I haven't been able to get any of the ones from 95 onward to load in Classicboy on my phone. It looks like it's probably the same kind of checksum issue that the expanded 93 ROM has, since it just sits on a black screen.

This..... really?
I am curious, does NHL 96, 97 or 98 work in Classicboy? I guess they would react the same way as they are basically build on the same engine.
But the weird part is; those are the least modified as far as the actual ROM goes. Basically just graphical changes like with 92.

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29 minutes ago, von Ozbourme said:

Actually I have some ideas that I'm looking to explore in this vein. Nothing decided on how I might do this just yet, but thanks for the interest.

I think at least having a current rosters batch would be a nice companion to the already great set.

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I noticed something in regards to the '93 games and them not working on Mega Everdrive for a Native Sega Genesis. Both '93 rom hacks are 1mb and the original nhlpa '93 is 512k in memory if I am not mistaken. I think the Genesis is having a hard time registering the difference in memory between the base game and the modified game. I also noticed a similar issue w/ the ps2 version of nhl94, since that game is 2mb, and the original game is 1mb. Is there a way to modify memory to it's original state in the hex editor? This is not a confirmed root cause, but I noticed that discrepancy.

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  • 1 month later...

Been quite some time, but it's finally time to release the final game in the Genesis/MegaDrive World Championship series.
This one ended up having an unexpected amount of stuff to do [especially since I had always passed it off as yet another reskinning of the NHL 96 engine], not to mention simultaneously assembling a note file so I'll actually have some idea of what the hell I'm doing when I have to go back and fix something. Either way, this game feels like the game that EA was supposed to release in place of what would now be called the "Early Access" version that is NHL 97. Interesting that it took outsourcing to THQ to do it... So anyway...

Presenting IIHF 98!
image.pngimage.png
Released in 1998 ahead of the World Championships in Switzerland, this will be the eighth year and eleventh installment in the World Championship series for the 16-bit SEGA console. The game features the top 26 teams by IIHF ranking and the rosters from that year, plus five bonus "unranked" teams.

image.pngimage.png
While many aspects were carried over from the previous two year's games, outsourcing this one resulted in a number of graphical changes that set it apart from its NHL counterpart. [Again the team ratings proved to be an issue, but the interesting part is that the "solution" proved perfectly fine as the supposed #1 overall rated team didn't even make the playoffs in half of the simmed seasons, making it a somewhat irrelevant metric.]

image.pngimage.png
While THQ took over development of the NHL game this year, the IIHF was not impressed with last year's game EA developed game, and insisted that the old development team return to work on the IIHF version. Team 1920 took the opportunity to not reuse any assets from the previous game and create a whole new look.

image.pngimage.png
In addition, this is the first year that a full licensing agreement was made with the IIHF, allowing the game to feature the national team logos of every team at center ice and not just the ones that were negotiated separately. Also additional IIHF official sponsors were included on the Jumbotron even though the team logos were taken out. The modest dev team may have also included a tongue-in-cheek jab.

image.pngimage.png
While the team photo was held over, a new "Winner is You!" photo was created in honour of the Olympics that were recently completed. This image may or may not have taken the better part of an evening to get just right due to the multiple palettes required and limited number of sprite tiles to work with, plus grinding through some mental fatigue, so dammit I'm showing the silly thing off!

image.pngimage.png
New player award art was also created. While not understanding the inclusion of an "EA Award" [which basically had the same selection criteria as the Hart, Ross and Pearson anyway], it did make for an opportunity to include another sponsorship mention.

Anyway, that's enough adoing for one night. Hope this one holds up.
 

IIHF 98.bin

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Posted (edited)

In honour of the return of the World Championships with this year's tournament in Latvia, I'm going to start posting some updated ROMs for my World Championship series. Mostly these are intended to resolve some anachronisms that came about due to some difficulties in finding complete information regarding logos, uniforms , etc [or in the case of Belarus, completely forgetting a four year span of their history.]

  • Most obvious fixes will be uniform colours, which have been adjusted to be more period accurate. [as possible within the limits of the sprite art]
  • Some player names have also been truncated to fit into the "ten character last name/twenty overall" limits for cleaner player name displays.
  • I've adjusted the timeline on licensing to allow for complete national team uniform logos to be used. This will be fully implemented into all teams' center ice logos by IIHF 96, with full licensing being negotiated for the "Championship Editions" of IIHF 94 and 95 only, prior to that. [Unfortunately, there is only the one communal center ice logo in the 32-team ROM for 93, or that could have been worked in as well. Oh well...]
  • A few other minor tweaks like team name banners and logo colours [or in Belarus' case, changing their entire bloody flag <shakes head in shame>]

Many thanks to the indispensable @EagleXIII for his help in filling in the nagging gaps in my research.

So here we go again with the original IIHF Hockey released in 1991, now in "Final Cut" form.

IIHF Hockey (91) F.bin

Going forward, I will also be putting all of the "Final Cut" games into the original post for easier access.

Edited by von Ozbourme
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Next up:
IIHF Hockey '92 - Final Cut Edition.

  • This game was another that mainly just needed uniform corrections.
  • The logos are still not licensed as of this stage in the series, [the vertical orientation, inconsistent/smaller logo sizes, and the single 16-colour palette shared amongst all 24 teams, with the U.S. and Yugoslavia sharing a logo.... all make that task a bit more complicated]
  • And as there are no player names, this one didn't have anything to change there either.

Round Two - Fight

 

IIHF Hockey 92 F.bin

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Moving right along (doog-a-doon doog-a-doon), the black sheep that was:

International Hockey '93 [Final Cut Edition]

  • This game still has the distinction of being the one that momentarily lost the IIHF licensing due to the new fighting features, but also being the first one where the various countries' player's associations agreed to lend their names to the game.
  • Names which were occasionally truncated to fit into the allotted characters.
  • Again, uniform colours were adjusted to better match the period correct look.
  • Being unlicensed, the logos remain based on national coat-of-arms.

Thunderbird 3 is go

 

International Hockey 93 F.bin

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20 hours ago, von Ozbourme said:

Moving right along (doog-a-doon doog-a-doon), the black sheep that was:

International Hockey '93 [Final Cut Edition]

  • This game still has the distinction of being the one that momentarily lost the IIHF licensing due to the new fighting features, but also being the first one where the various countries' player's associations agreed to lend their names to the game.
  • Names which were occasionally truncated to fit into the allotted characters.
  • Again, uniform colours were adjusted to better match the period correct look.
  • Being unlicensed, the logos remain based on national coat-of-arms.

Thunderbird 3 is go

 

International Hockey 93 F.bin 1 MB · 12 downloads

Great work!! Quiz time!!! if you would have to do a 2021 iihf wc rom, which version are you gonna use? which one is your fav? and the other question I have is of course, are you planning to do a 2021 WC rom?  btw, any version will do...just thought I ask.  It would be cool if someone does a 2021 rom.

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5 hours ago, I got the puck said:

Great work!! Quiz time!!! if you would have to do a 2021 iihf wc rom, which version are you gonna use? which one is your fav? and the other question I have is of course, are you planning to do a 2021 WC rom?  btw, any version will do...just thought I ask.  It would be cool if someone does a 2021 rom.

Thanks man. I'll be honest, 2021 is on the list, however it's a long list and it's nearer the bottom. [and that was before I realized I wanted to fix the ones I've already done] On the plus side, I've figured out a bit more that I can do in the 96-98 base games, but <reasons> progress has been slowed a bit.

I am curious though, I know '94 is obviously the most popular game to base mods on, [for good reason to be fair] but it's nice to play around with the other games once in a while too. Perhaps I need to take a poll to see the community would like to see.
And if I want to deviate, I suppose I could always just make base versions from '94 and "Championship Editions" using a different year's game...

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Up next, the "licensed" version that was released later that same year:

IIHF 93 [Final Cut Edition]

  • Starting off again with more period accurate team uniform colours.
  • Again, some names were condensed to fit.
  • While accurate team logos could possibly have been employed for the first time, this game also happens to feature an expanded team list to accommodate all 32 member nations as of 1993. The compromise was that those two additional teams ended up using up the free bytes that previously belonged to center ice logos.
  • This results in more branding for the IIHF, with a standard center ice logo and all games being held in the location of the Pool A Championships, the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany.
  • While the controversial fighting is still in the game, the penalty for engaging in fisticuffs is now a 10 minute misconduct. [As opposed to 5 and a game]

This one for par. Fore!
 

IIHF 93 F.bin

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The one that started this journey is back upon us. Fitting that it also starts seeing the most drastic changes.

IIHF 94 [Final Cut Edition]

  • Starting with team uniform colours, quite a few ended up being changed yet still managed to accommodate the center ice logos.
  • More fixing of some player names to accommodate formatting.
  • Belarus. Dammit. Completely forgot about the four years they used their historic pre-Soviet era flag before adopting their current, kinda-like-the-Soviet-one flag in June of 1995. All markings have been corrected to reflect period accuracy.
  • Center Ice logos still reflect previous licensing agreement. [IIHF itself and players, but not yet individual National teams]
  • A few other minor tweaks that don't quite come to mind right now.

This one gets Five for fighting.
 

IIHF 94 F.bin

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Posted (edited)

Alright, this is where things get interesting, because for this game I've started the retcon of the series.

IIHF 94 - Championship Edition [Final Cut Edition]

  • In this special edition game, the rosters are again expanded from 30 to 32.
  • Team uniforms are again changed to better match their period correct styles.
  • Player names are again modified where applicable to fit within formatting limitations.
  • Extra branding for the World's which were held in Italy.
  • For the first time ever, full league licensing! Center ice logos are now reflective of each team's uniform crest.
  • Player cards were a bit of a debate. I originally used a freeze bug fix, but that also ended up breaking the playoff mode. And is seemed silly to have a "Championship" edition where you can't, you know, win the Championship? So I settled for the freeze bug, but this was well after I already committed to not having any photos past the starting lineups. I tried to see if I could paste in the full roster of photos as I had done for the "regular" 30 team version of '94 and reset the pointers in EARE, but my initial tests did not provide the desired results aaaand I realized that I couldn't be asked to figure it out. Or spend the rest of the evening trying to find player photos for the rest of the Australian and Spanish rosters. To accommodate something most people don't even look at. And even I don't that often. So here we are I guess. That ended on a sour note...

It's IIHF '94 Special 32-team Championship Edition featuring licensed logos and packing a Six-pack!
 

IIHF 94 CE F.bin

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It's 1995. Brad Pitt is the sexiest man alive, Michael Jordan ends his budding baseball career to try to win some more championships with the Bulls, Bill Gates releases a new operating system, Quebec decides to not split from Canada and EA releases it's fifth annual installment [seventh overall] in the IIHF hockey franchise.

IIHF 95 [Final Cut Edition]

  • In this edition, the one year licensing agreement for the Championship Edition of '94 is not held over, meaning a return to Coat of Arms based logos.
  • Team uniforms are edited to match period accurate colours. [although the new player sprites added a layer of difficulty]
  • Name are edited to fit formatting where needed.
  • Belarus again with their white-red-white flag and Lithuanian like crest as the government will not decide to change their flag until this June.
  • A couple other minor fixes. Like Hungary's flag is no longer upside-down. [seriously disappointed in myself for missing that one]

Playing for the Silver Seven.
 

IIHF 95 F.bin

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For the third year in a row, its the late special edition. Kind of foreshadowing for the days to come of buying day one [and needing a day one patch] or waiting for the inevitable "Game of the Year" edition to come out.

IIHF 95 World Championship Edition [Final Cut Edition]

  • This edition sees the return to full IIHF licensing including all national team logos.
  • Teams are increased from 28 to 34 as compared to the original IIHF 95.
  • In most cases sweater logos are featured at center ice.
  • As usual, team unis are adjusted for period accurate colours.
  • Some player names still needed to be adjusted for formatting issues.
  • This is the last time Belarus' flag will need to be fixed.
  • Some minor tweaks like menu banner colours and what not.

They say, 8-bit is enough.
 

IIHF 95 WCE F.bin

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