A retro gamer is translating and digitising Sega Mega Drive game manuals

A blast from the past

A Resetera forum user is preserving video game history by digitising and translating Sega Mega Drive game manuals, box art and screenshots.

Resetera user Water shared his work on the project, titled VGComplete, yesterday (July 31), describing the project as a “little hobby I’ve been working on”. They also stated that other retro game databases are “kind of boring”.

VGComplete is a database of Sega Mega Drive (or Sega Genesis in the US) video game information which features box art, game manuals and screenshots. The project is currently only focused on NTSC-U Sega Genesis titles, which were games region-locked to North America.

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Water has spent £573 ($800) on the project so far, but needs the help of others to continue adding to the database. The bulk of that cost has come from Water hiring a translator. “There’s a bunch [of] retro games that have been translated, but the manuals for the games haven’t been,” commented Water.

There are eight translations on the site so far, including Pulseman, the Game Freak developed action platform game published by Sega in 1994.

Site developer Water aims to work on other consoles in the future, but will focus on: “One console and region at a time in order to aim for 100% completion of a given console catalog before moving onto the next.”

Video game preservation is an important topic, and there’s an entire community of online gamers dedicated to preserving and safe-guarding video game history. The Lost Media Archives features a number of games which have been lost to time, including original source codes and rom files.

The recent Mass Effect: Legendary Edition trilogy was missing the Pinnacle Station DLC which was released for the original game in 2009. EA had lost the source code for the file after the backups of the content had become corrupted.

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Elsewhere, Google may look to hire its Stadia infrastructure out to other developers who wish to launch a cloud gaming platform. This is according to a job listing which mentions an “important opportunity to make our infrastructure and tools available to partners”.

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