2ROMS1Dump… or… 2Dumps1ROM… or… aw, the heck with it! Some new Picross for you.

Putting up this release after a long while, because of the combination of weird circumstances. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten too much time for deep analysis, but this should be a fairly beefy post anyway, if only because of the next few paragraphs.

There’s a good amount of evidence that there’s Satellaview ROMs people in Japan have that are not circulating among the most well-known ROM databases. Depending on who you ask, there’s debate on whether the people who have these ROMs are hoarders who don’t want foreigners obtaining their data, people who’d be willing to share if they were not afraid to talk about their ROMs for fear of Nintendo’s wrath, or simply casual pirates do not realize the significance of archival and databasing.

A part of me has secretly been wishing for a long time that someone would just take all the ROMs the Japanese internet has (that we don’t) and hand them to me on a silver platter. However, I knew that became an unrealistic desire when it became apparent that even NicoNicoDouga video uploads that were deleted, such as the footage of R no Shosai Dai-2-maku, were gone for the long-term.

Therefore, for the many years on the blog I’ve dabbled under the assumption that I would probably never obtain one of these supposed “Japan internet only” Satellaview ROMs.

Of course… you know where this is headed, right? Where I go “OMG CURVEBALL MEGATON, I’VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER TO BE WRONG”?

Well, more or less true. Although perhaps what happened next may have diluted the impact in the opinions of some.

But it’s still all good.

You folks might have seen this video on YouTube earlier.

Tamori no Picross 8/13, yes? ROM’s not circulating around at the time, yes? One of the ones on SFC Mania, it seems?

Much to my surprise, makuchan had this ROM. An enigmatic ol’ “bstamo.smc” that popped up on makuchan’s USTREAM turned out to be a Tamori no Picross we didn’t have yet.

For reference, makuchan’s also got some credits on the BS Zelda Homepage for supplying the current Map 2 ROM we have. makuchan also said some things about other BS Zelda ROMs which I am curious about. Perhaps some day I’ll muster up nerve to ask about them…

Blast my meekness. It took ChronoMoogle’s insistence for makuchan to share the bstamo.smc ROM with me. I did a brief analysis and then recorded that YouTube video while I waited for a final approval to put it up on the blog.

The release of said ROM would be a milestone if simply for being previously one of the supposed “Japanese internet only” ROMs I’ve pondered about for so long, so I was pretty eager to write an article about that.

Then, while I was waiting for that final approval, the most wack coincidence in the world happened.

ChronoMoogle found an 8M Pack dump. Of the exact same Tamori no Picross episode.

.. of course, I assume most are gonna think “Well, that was a bit shaggy dog, huh?” but it doesn’t seem to be exactly that. The 8M Pack dump seems different in some ways that I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly, besides the fact that it doesn’t like to boot in ZSNES compared to makuchan’s bstamo. I’m confused as to what the significance of this is, but most likely it’s quirky emulation.

ChronoMoogle’s 8M Pack also has a magazine of some sort, but it doesn’t seem to want to boot in anything, even snes9x-sx2. It crashes in a similar manner to Super Bomberman. How strange… Supposedly it’s a Bakushow Mondai program. I hope someone can figure out the contents sooner or later.

I’m going to put up both ROMs. Most folks will probably have an easier time running makuchan’s ROM, while ChronoMoogle’s is a more readily verifiable 8M pack dump.

Tamori no Picross 8/13 | タモリのピクロス 8/13 (ChronoMoogle’s 8M, dumped by ikari_01)
ROM download

Tamori no Picross 8/13 | タモリのピクロス 8/13 (from makuchan)
ROM download


  1. Vehek/Vehiek said,

    September 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I did a comparison after separating out the Picross data from the magazine data. The changes were just a few bytes here and there in the first megabit. Most of the changes alter the pointers of some data in BS-X SRAM to another bank; I don’t know what that does yet.
    Here’s something to consider. Makuchan was apparently a dumper back when the Satellaview service was still running. So, given the state of emulation at the time and at least several of the years afterward, you have to take into account possible hacks applied, like there were to the Map 2 Rom.

  2. SmashManiac said,

    September 25, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    “the Japanese internet”

    Also, how can two ROMs of the exact same game released at the exact same date behave differently? “Quirky emulation” doesn’t explain that! Did you consider the possibility that makochan’s version got hacked to work on old emulators?

  3. Kiddo said,

    September 25, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I apologize for the odd phrasing on “Japanese internet”, SmashManiac, but do take into consideration that in the 90’s, the internet was a lot more regionalized and there weren’t all that many “international” sites or sites with cross-region appeal like NicoNIcoDouga. Also, a huge amount of sites were blocked regionally with 403 Forbidden error messages, moreso than ever really occurs today. And even with all those barriers broken we were still dealing with dial-up speeds. 😛

    Of course, perhaps phrasing it that way makes it sound… racist or something? I’m terrible with words, blast my aspergers.

    Vehiek, it’s possible the BS-X SRAM code was altered to make it more like standard SRAM. If that is the case that’d most certainly be a hack. I’m not exactly sure what Tamori no Picross saves, though. Puzzle results, I guess?

    I’m inclined to believe that if makuchan’s ROM was from an old “scene” (as in like a Japanese counterpart to English-speaking ROM scenes from the 90’s) then it’d probably be hacked, as many of such ROMs on our side are eventually found to be. That being said, I would like a more detailed analysis, particular as to what would be hacked and why.

    By the way, makuchan’s tweeted to me. 😀

    “長文w 上手く翻訳できないところはあるけどタモリのピクロス8/13が入手できたよ的な内容かな?あの頃はBS-XフラッシュROMのメモリマッピングが不明だったので、当時のファイルを複数発掘したけど残念ながらダンプミスをしているものばかりでした。”

    EDITING IN bluesun’s translation:

    “So long lol… I can’t translate it too well but I think he’s saying he got Tamori’s Picross 8/13? Back in the day, the memory mapping of BS-X Flash ROM wasn’t known, so even though there were many files dumped back then, unfortunately many are broken.”

    bluesun immediately thought of the bad Waiwai Checks and Kirby no Omochabakos that have been on GoodSNES for years. Although I am curious if this is referring to something about the Tamori no Picross ROMs.

    Either way, I hope some interesting information is unearthed from all this. It might be an interesting approach to try researching into the Japanese ROM dumping scene, even if no ROMs are recovered, as long as it gives some interesting historical trivia.

  4. ChronoMoogle said,

    September 26, 2013 at 5:06 am

    Just as a small note, the magazine data should be 100% bootable too. I could load it on real hardware from the 8m via bs-x without causing a bios-error.

  5. Kiddo said,

    September 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    The name sounds like spam, but then again there’s a gmail address…. Well, I’ll try answering anyway.

    I usually put a single video up for each ROM dump because that should be more than enough to show everything about the ROM dump that I know to convey.
    As for graphics, in regards to pictures I only post a few now and then for examples such as compare/contrast or magazine scans. Besides that, it seems my current readers like the simple look .

  6. SmashManiac said,

    September 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I understand Kiddo, it was just worded in an odd way. Besides, such restrictions are trivial nowadays. Well… except Nintendo’s own database, of course. One can only wish… :)

  7. redeemer665 said,

    September 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    After a really quick look, fortunately both Tamori no Picross dumps seem to be otherwise identical, but some (or maybe all?) SRAM pointers have been modified in makuchan’s dump, just like Vehiek said.
    The header has been modified as well to look like a standard SNES header and there’s also a funny remark in a form of three letters just before the title (“AHO” :) )

    These picross games actually wipe out most (or all) of the other save data on the BIOS cartridge in order to save a lot of data: which puzzles have been cleared and what’s your record time on them, maybe something else as well.

    About the magazine, I’ve yet to have a closer look on it but it doesn’t seem to be anything special. It’s called 爆笑問題の放課後の王様・火曜日 (Bakushou mondai no houkago ousama – kayoubi) Bakushow Mondai: King of the After-school – Tuesday.

  8. ChronoMoogle said,

    September 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Those three letters might be bad! :/ Let me quote KingMike from a post in a hidden forum:
    “I heard the Japanese repro makers watermark each copy so that if a ROM does surface, they can track who to cut off the next time.
    (so unless you could defeat their watermarks, which I’m going to assume are inconspicuous, you’d have trouble)”

  9. Kiddo said,

    September 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Repro makers? You mean someone might’ve made a repro cart of this a long time ago…?

  10. ChronoMoogle said,

    September 29, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Not only repromakers but also dumpers who are doing blackmails to other people of their scene.

  11. Kiddo said,

    September 29, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Tampering with the very data of the ROM, sacrificing the integrity of the dump, for a blackmail? Ugh…

    Well, maybe with these for direct comparison we can see how these are made and how to undo them in whatever we may find.

    I’ve attempted to ask makuchan about it. I assume whatever is going on here, though, is from the very distant past and is all forgotten.

  12. redeemer665 said,

    September 30, 2013 at 8:14 am

    It’s really amazing and I respect it a lot that you’re going through all this hassle to actually try communicating with Japanese Satellaview fans to gather more information. Keep up the good work :)

  13. Kiddo said,

    September 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I only wish I could communicate better. My Japanese is still pretty terrible, honestly. And unfortunately I’m way past the point where it could become natural speaking for me. None of the schools around me had Japanese as a language option, blargghh. :<

    I'm fortunate the Twitter folks are patient enough to be as helpful as they are currently. A part of me wishes someone else would do the talking job, but I dunno if that'd really make things any easier. ^^;

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