Sonic Month 2019

News/Mr Tuff + Donations/Discord

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Mr. Tuff (Dec 5, 1994 prototype)
Discuss this release on the boards here!

Hello folks, long time no see!

We have a few things to discuss in this announcement, but first we have something to share with you today.

We have a new dump of an unreleased game called Mr. Tuff for the SNES! The game was developed by SCI (The Sales Curve) and was possibly going to be published by Ocean. It was scheduled to be released on the SNES, Sega CD, and Sega Mega Drive. The game was actually in a fairly complete state in the middle of 1994, but wasn’t picked up by anyone until later that year when Ocean considered picking it up for a release in March 1995. The various versions of the game were previewed throughout 1994 and were even reviewed in 1995 by DieHard GameFan magazine. The game was still teased throughout 1995, but completely disappeared near the end of the same year.

The game itself is pretty decent. You play as a little robo masher named Mr. Tuff. The goal of the game is to defeat the targets located in each level while trying to get to the end. The gimmick of the game is that Mr. Tuff can find various power ups to equip to his arm, like drills, saw blades, and cannons. He can even drive various vehicles as well. In typical platformer fashion, you’ll face against a boss after a few levels. The levels themselves vary in size, but the game does a good job at keeping the levels interesting enough to keep playing.

Two prototypes have been dumped of this game. The first known prototype to be dumped was released sometime during the early BBS days by ANTHROX under the release archive name ATX-TUFF, which was released sometime around March 4th 1995. Although it’s not known if ANTHROX was the original group that released the game, as the ROM included in the archive doesn’t match what’s included in no-intro (it still has a scene intro hacked in, however). A second earlier prototype was dumped and released by Lost Levels/SNESCentral. The prototype that was dumped and released by the scene was unfortunately modified from its original dump and includes some edits to various parts of the ROM. For instance, the group took it upon themselves to replace every name on the score ranking table with shoutouts to various suppliers and BBS lines.

In 2017, we dumped various loose EPROMs that were donated to us over the years. We discovered an unaltered build burned across three EPROMs for the same Mr. Tuff build that was released by the scene many years ago. Two of the EPROMs were explicitly labeled “Mr. Tuff”, while the third EPROM wasn’t even labeled! Thankfully, we were able to find the missing 3rd of the game by doing a binary search to match any unidentified EPROMs to the appropriate game. A very lucky find indeed!

While the new dump of the game does essentially match the original scene dump, it’s not always a guarantee that the older dumps are unmodified from their original source. It’s nice to finally have confirmation that there were changes made by ROM’s distributors and to have an accurate dump to serve as it’s replacement, and for an unreleased game no less. We were able to locate many other games like this, as well as confirmation of the integrity of older dumps for prototypes that exist in our collection. Expect to see more from this lot in the future!

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In other news, we finally opened up a Discord server! This was something that many users requested for a while since we have been clinging on to good old IRC and message boards for many years. We’ve decided that now would be a good time to open up a Discord server, since we predict a need to communicate with our user base on future happenings, projects, etc. You can grab an invite to the Discord server by clicking the following link or by clicking on the link on the right side of the page. The Discord is still in its early stages, so if you have any suggestions be sure to let us know!

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Finally, we have something interesting coming up. We will share more details soon, but we are in the process of acquiring some major new prototypes. If you are interested in learning more and would like to donate towards that goal, please send us an email or get on our Discord! We don’t normally ask for donations, but this is quite a rare opportunity.

This will be a very interesting year :)

Until next time!