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in-game advertising of CD-i developers

>> Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lately it occured to me that there were actually quite a lot of CD-i developers advertising itself in their CD-i games. Also Philips was an obvious banner in games. Have you noticed them? TripMedia in Burn:Cycle, The Philips logo in Tennis Open, Ultra CD-i Soccer and also in GOAL (pictured), the PRL logo in Ram Raid, The Vision Factory logo in The Apprentice. The Infogrames logo in Tennis Open, PixelHazard in Lucky Luke. The Philips POV references in Thunder in Paradise: All small advertisings to get the name of the developer more popular. These days in-game advertising is becoming more and more popular now that developers find out that they can earn money with it. Did it happen on other consoles as much as it did on CD-i?


The levels and box art of Super Mario's Wacky Worlds CD-i

>> Thursday, February 19, 2009

You know after playing the CD-i prototype I definitely think it had potential. Another really cool thing that I've recently learned is that Silas Warner was a programer on this project. Silas Warner, as in the guy who created wolfenstein! It was never a full game since it was never completed. It would have likely been a good game, some go as far to say that it would've been the cd-i's best game, in fact.

But, the prototype, which basically contains all the of the game that was developed, is not much fun . You can bascially run through a level, as mario and jump on enemies, which is sorta cool. It's a prototype and the levels are of course incomplete, you can't advance to the next level. But, its like super mario world except you can't very much. Just some test levels.

The game can be found on the internet if you search deep enough. The working one has a size of 128,677,920 bytes and must be burned as MODE2/2352. You can check the filesystem below:

CD Filesystem information:
Number of sessions: 1
Size used on Disc: 125662 kBytes
Sectors: 54710
Time: 12:09:35 (Min:Sec:Fra)

Info on Session 1:
Size used in Session: 125662 kBytes
Number of Tracks: 158
Pregap: Data, Size: 125662 kBytes
Track 170: Data, Size: 4294841634 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4294358960 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 2073074 kBytes
Track 48: Audio, Size: 4294962047 kBytes
Track 111: Audio, Size: 335570 kBytes
Track 58: Audio, Size: 1282917 kBytes
Track 32: Audio, Size: 1640616 kBytes
Track 101: Audio, Size: 786432 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4294570235 kBytes
Track 97: Audio, Size: 1927263 kBytes
Track 65: Audio, Size: 1452183 kBytes
Track 105: Audio, Size: 1305733 kBytes
Track 48: Audio, Size: 4293841790 kBytes
Track 55: Audio, Size: 4293834254 kBytes
Track 101: Audio, Size: 1263509 kBytes
Track 105: Audio, Size: 1829979 kBytes
Track 108: Data, Size: 2082567 kBytes
Track 89: Audio, Size: 20198 kBytes
Track 116: Data, Size: 1115674 kBytes
Track 32: Audio, Size: 1944183 kBytes
Track 116: Audio, Size: 1247136 kBytes
Track 112: Audio, Size: 4294086990 kBytes
Track 32: Data, Size: 18938 kBytes
Track 117: Audio, Size: 4293045905 kBytes
Track 32: Data, Size: 1049540 kBytes
Track 101: Audio, Size: 4293844547 kBytes
Track 114: Data, Size: 4294843016 kBytes
Track 111: Data, Size: 4293339013 kBytes
Track 101: Data, Size: 899026 kBytes
Track 115: Data, Size: 4294744834 kBytes
Track 105: Audio, Size: 4293652257 kBytes
Track 105: Data, Size: 4293662222 kBytes
Track 178: Audio, Size: 4292870144 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4293918720 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 1048576 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 787020 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4294180276 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 262144 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4294705152 kBytes
Track 71: Data, Size: 416548 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4293020672 kBytes
Track 179: Audio, Size: 1530076 kBytes
Track 204: Audio, Size: 266020 kBytes
Track 71: Data, Size: 4294701276 kBytes
Track 0: Audio, Size: 4294259071 kBytes
Track 179: Data, Size: 4292946342 kBytes

Many fans of the game have been looking for the popular custom boxart which was made by Spoonman. His page dedicated to his SMWW prototype is not available on the web anymore, but you find the versions below. It is a custom made boxart of the CD-i prototype which fits your CD-i collection!
The front:
The back:
The CD:

"CD-Ready format disc"
Game Details:

So what levels are playable? Below is a full list of all the levels available in the latest prototype of SUPER MARIO'S WACKY WORLDS (PROTOTYPE):

ANCIENT: greek 1/2/3 (3 is underwater)
Eqypt 1/2/3 (3 is short)
Aztec 1/2 !not selectable

Castle 1/2
Ship 1/2/3 (2 is short)
House 1/2 !not selectable

Cave 1/2/3
Swamp 1/2/3/4/5/6 (2/3/4/5 are short) 6 is not selectable
Village 1/2/3/4/5/6 (none load)

Iceberg 1/2
Igloo 1
ice mountain 1

WACKY: Neon City 1 (unfinished gfx plain looking)
Geometropolis 1
Land o' Plaid 1 (unfinished gfx plain looking)

Pipeworks 1 (same as Geometropolis?)
Sewer 1 (not selectable)
Chemistry Lab 1 (not selectable)

This information was previously available on Spoonman's CD-i website, but it has been taken offline. Credits: Spoonman


buziaulane's history perspective on CD-i

A history perspective on CD-i by Jak: "CD-i has been a marketing anomaly, which eventually led to the DVD. I heard about CD-i in 1986. The term was not there yet, but engineers of Philips explaining CD-ROM indicated that they were going to develop another format for television entertainment. In the meantime CD-ROM grew especially as mega book and database carrier, not yet as multimedia carrier. But the rumblings about a multimedia TV entertainment format became stronger by the end of the eighties. By 1988 Philips boss Jan Timmer had enough of the technical dabbling of his Philips engineers and put an old trustee in charge, Mr Gaston Bastiaens to speed up the process. And it worked. By October 1991 Mr Timmer was dancing in a New York discotheque to celebrate the introduction of the CD-i, one year later to be followed by the introduction in Europe (CD-i was a cultural product, so it needs a special handling region wise).

CD-i had problems from the beginning. The format was not the only format competing for market dominance. Microsoft saw the CD-ROM as multimedia carrier, but another standard, 3DO was promoted by amongst others the game developer and distributor Electronic Arts. Not a real threat was the multimedia mini-disc, Electronic Book of Sony. CD-i remained an industrial standard, only supported by Philips and Sony. But this market situation caused a problem for CD-i from the beginning: which were the strong points of its competitors and what market segments should CD-i be in. Philips started its own publishing company and simulated multimedia developers and they developed everything. Once the video module for the player was ready the assortment ranged from the singer Pavarotti to Jazz, from games to soft porn and from movies to documentaries and scientific productions. But the CD-i was no gaming machine; for that it was too slow. It was no a machine for interactive documentaries as its authoring system (Taiga) was too expensive. But as a movie machine it was a start; but Hollywood was not prepared yet.

Besides format problems there were more problems in the technology development worldwide. Internet came up as a multimedia technology for consumers. And consumers were more interested in internet than in a technology which had not yet matured. But the electronic publishers of the Philips Interactive Publishing Company did not find this a problem; with some extra technical gear they thought up CD-i Online, the CD-i holding the static information and internet presenting the timely information through a slow dial-up connection. But this turned out to be the last efforts of CD-i market efforts.

By September 1996 Mr Boonstra, the successor to Mr Timmer, made a clear decision. Philips was in manufacturing consumer electronics and not in publishing. He abandoned CD-i, sold the spoils of the publishing company to Infogrames and moved on with developing DVD."

Credits: Jak Boumans


Robin Keir about the Microcosm CD-i prototype

Microcosm was one of the more notable games that was cancelled from the CD-i roster of unreleased software to date. Mainly due to the fact it was publicised on release schedules in the press throughout CDi Magazine and other publications of the time. It was even advertised in CDi Magazine USA March 1995 Issue 4 pages 36-37, featuring a review quote from Video Games, "Microcosm on CD-i is 100% absolutely, postively the best version period. It puts all other game systems to shame...excellent sci-fi adventure."! The Black Moon Project went digging for answers to this missing CD-i game and we found Robin Keir lead programmer of Microcosm for the CD-i, he prepared the following statement for us.

"I was the lead and eventually the only programmer on the Microcosm CD-i project. It's been a long time but I'll see what I can remember about it...

Psygnosis were the original developers of the Microcosm game. We went up to their offices near Liverpool to talk to the people there and find out more about the game. They had developed a version on some weird Chinese PC clone type system - I can't remember it's name, but Philips bought one for us to play with.

USA Advertisement from CDi Magazine Issue 4 March 1995 Pages 36-37 Double Page Spread

Since most of the rest of the programmers in the Dorking studio at that time were working on porting 7th Guest to CD-i, I was pretty much the only programmer assigned the project.

The whole deal with Microcosm was for us to port it to CD-i in order to show off the MPEG movie hardware add- on. The computer rendered scenes of traveling through the internal organs in your "spaceship" were to be presented via MPEG movie clips whilst the actual gameplay items comprised software "sprites" layered on top of the movies.

There were 2 main problems to overcome:

1) The MPEG movie clips had to be joined together on-the-fly to provide "seamless" jumping from one clip to another, giving the illusion of total interactive user control over the movies.

2) The CD-i system was not known for its great graphical processing power so any software generated "sprites" had to be as optimised as much as possible in order to produce any meaningful sensation of a fast "arcade" style game.

Problem (1) was the hardest task. MPEG video sequences on CD-i contain many elements and need to be carefully synchronized. This synchronization is achieved with timestamps built into the MPEG stream on every "sector" of data. If 2 completely separate MPEG movie sections are to be played back-to-back in a seamless fashion we had to buffer them through memory as they are played off disc and manipulate the timestamps in realtime, buffering enough of the 2nd stream in memory so when the 1st stream ended we were ready to branch right into the 2nd section.

Several people had worked on this so-called MPEG "seamless branching" technique but nobody had really nailed it at that time. To make life even more difficult, in Microcosm we were required to branch up to 3 different movie clips in real time. An example is where you are traveling down an artery (or whatever they were supposed to be!) and you came up to a 3-way split. The user could take the left, center or right branch by selecting it with the controller right before reaching the junction and the game was supposed to "seamlessly branch" into the correct movie segment and continue on its way.

Problem (2) was interesting to work on. I developed a system of "compiled sprites". This worked by taking an image of a spaceship or whatever kind of sprite was to be used and "compiled" that into a sequence of position independent 68010 assembler instructions that would actually directly draw the pixels onto the screen. For example, suppose the first line of the sprite consisted of 10 red pixels followed by 3 green pixels. The sprite compiler code would generate assembler where 5 mov commands of 2 bytes each using a value corresponding to a red pixel would be created followed by another mov command of 2 bytes followed by another mov command of 1 byte. It was all setup to create highly optimized assembler code to draw things in the fastest possible way. For each sprite you then had a mini assembler program that when called would actually render the image on the screen.

John Piesing at PRL (Philips Research Labs) in England had actually developed a similar "compiled sprite" library, but mine was even faster and used less RAM.

It was around this time, March-April 1994 that it became evident that the Philips labs in Dorking, England where all this was taking place was going down the drain. People who hadn't already got new jobs lined up were not exactly wanting to hang around working on potentially dead-end projects. I had already grown tired of the project and its lack of support and had hoped that the project would be canned since it was eating money and it was also obvious that Microcosm wasn't after all a very playable or exciting game. It was desperately lacking any gameplay. The graphics were its only attraction. Luckily (!) for me I was offered a position at the Santa Monica, Los Angeles Philips CD-i studio. I decided to take it. Unfortunately (!) I was still required to work on Microcosm.

Jean-Pierre Abello (sp?) in the Philips Santa Monica, CA offices was the only person I was aware of that was working on the elusive MPEG "seamless branching" technology. He had some very simple demos kind of working but still nothing really useful. I was committed to solving this problem and did eventually produce usable working code after a few weeks in my new USA job. There was some tricky low level assembly language involved for manipulating the MPEG timestamps and some hairy buffering code that managed the loading on the individual movie clips from CD but it did work and actually looked really cool.

The compiled sprites technology was also looking rather nice. Nobody had really created technology that pushed so many or such large sprites to the limits that Microcosm was doing and people would not have believed that such a game was even possible on such pitifully weak hardware.

As often seems inevitable in the games industry (even though Philips was never really /in/ it) the people in charge came to realize what I had known for a long time -- that Microcosm was doomed to failure. Other than the fancy graphics of was a deadly dull and boring game. It was dropped and we moved on to new projects.

I daren't think how much money was thrown away on that project. We even had mini movie shoots for some of the "cut sequences" -- sections between the gameplay where SGI rendered scenes were coupled with live action video. The SGI machines that performed the rendered movie sequences cost an arm and a leg. I think we had something crazy like 4 or 6 of them, just for this project!"


Taco's Toyroom Troopers: CD-i multiplayer action!

>> Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CD-i gaming was mainly based on single player titles, and two-player games were rare and difficult to handle on CD-i. The 2xx series offered a second controller port on the back of the player (which was also used for the Modem/Interlink). The 4xx series required an external splitter which allowed to connect a second controller to the first controller port. However, games like Pac-Panic, Rise of the Robots, Whack a Bubble and Micro Machines made clever use of the two-player action and caused major fun on CD-i. Dutch based Creative Media realized multiplayer games had a lot of potential and built a prototype splitter to use with four players! They called it the Family Box Plug and created two playable games for it in 1996/1997: Taco's Toyroom Troopers and Tank Doodle, which was covered on Interactive Dreams here. Click on the image to see a high res version!


Hotel Mario; The Nintendo version of Elevator Action

>> Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mario and Luigi go to the Mushroom Kingdom only to find out that Bowser and the Koopa Kids had kidnapped the Princess and held her prisoner in the seven Koopa hotels. Like a classic Super Mario game requires, you have to save the princess. This time though, you won't find her in Bowser's Castle, but in Bowser's Hotels!

Each level takes place on a fixed screen with different levels and plenty of doors (hence the hotel theme). The point of the game, a la Elevator Action, is to go through elevators to get to different floors and close all the doors on the map. Yes, there's no flags to grab but there are plenty of enemies that wander around the level trying to touch you and make you die. You can jump on them or hide inside doors to bypass them. Some rooms contain items, such as coins, mushrooms, and fire flowers, which serve their typical Mario purpose of giving extra lives and allowing Mario to take multiple hits. When you close all the doors on the screen, you move on to the next level. At the end of each stage is a Koopa Kid boss, and when you “beat” him by shutting all his doors, it's on to the next hotel.

The idea for this game sounds good on paper but the execution is average. Mario scoots around at a set speed and doesn't grow bigger with mushrooms—his overalls glow but that's it, really. Jumping and shooting fireballs require mastery of the controls (i.e., jamming buttons at the same time) and can be tedious, if only because the Cd-i controller is so terrible. Enemies are rather predictable but they do get more difficult as the game progresses, and top that off with the stupid elevators that mixes up the order they move and enemies that open doors you just closed and the game walks the line of being genuinely difficult and just plain petty. It's not a fast-paced Mario platformer and for that, many Mario fans may find the game monotonous, but for what it does, it does it whole-heartedly enough.

Despite the fact that Nintendo had no production in the game, Hotel Mario has a lot more in common with the original series than the Zelda Cd-i games. Mario and many of the game's enemies, consisting of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Bob-Ombs, Boos, and others, look like docile versions of their Super Mario World counterparts. Also, it's nice to see the Koopa Kids return for one last game, if only as a bunch of stupid-looking enemies. The game earns points for at leasting sticking to the Mario concept, though you cannot take off and leave the screen.

The game's visuals are good, according to Cd-i standards. Each of the seven hotels has a theme—forest, cave, brick building, etc. gives a different look on the action and make progressing to the next level a treat. Mario and the enemies' sprites look a bit awkward as they are either too sluggish or too quick, but the look grows on you with extended play. The sound effects are a mixed bag of funky, upbeat tunes and other ad-libbed sound effects of Mario's jumps and whatnot. I actually thought the sound, especially the music was pleasant, and is one of the best parts of the game.

Hotel Mario isn't a bad game but it breaks from the Mario formula too much to be a really good game. The game's pacing is decent but the controls and the repetitiveness take a toll in the long run. If you do happen to find of the game, it serves as a better collector's item than an actual game. Perhaps you may enjoy the game very much, but it's an acquired taste that's a hit-or-miss with each and every gamer. Philips should have pushed the unreleased Super Mario's Wacky Worlds on CD-i out the door if only they believed in the gaming potential of CD-i a little sooner!


'Level Select' option in Creature Shock

Using the CD-i controller and while holding down the second button click in the top left, top right, bottom right, bottom left with the first button. Then point to the letters in order "CHEAT" from the title "Creature Shock" and click on each letter using the left button (with the right button still held down). It's only the first 'e' in "Creature" that you want to click on. The Cheat Screen should now appear where you can turn Sound Effects "On" and "Off", Level Select, Main Menu and Credits are all the available options.


Arcade machines based on CD-i

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CD-i was used in some arcade machines which have been used for example in Disneyworld. Devin showed a few pictures of a 'Quizard' Arcade machine based on a CD-i player; pictures can still be found here. Recently another Arcade machine popped up, going strong by the name 'Lil Champ'. Again, it is based on a CD-i player! As you see below there is a Magnavox CD-i 210 player inside. It is a coin operated Arcade Game Machine. On screen you see that currently there is a Sesame Street CD-i game in it. I'd like to know some more details, apparently it will work for a specific time otherwise it requires more money, will it reset the player after time runs out? It's nice CD-i fits the purpose of these arcade machines, who knows how many of these actually exist without you knowing it. This unit is 1270cm high, 530cm width and 600cm depth.


Random CD-i Quote (1)

Philips Media: "Battle Chess by the way was a late in the game deal we did with Brian Fargo's company, Interplay and it was actually a result of us licensing Caesar's World of Gambling over to them for CD-ROM (as in those days, we were not allowed by management to do twin releases of products on CD-i and CD-ROM - as CD-ROM was the enemy!) So in turn, we talked to them about doing some CD-i titels, Battle Chess among them (I can't recall the one at this point in time) as a part of the deal."


Philips ADS talks about their CD-i history (part 3)

>> Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Read the previous parts first: Part 1. Part 2. ---Before Atlantis - The Last Resort was released the precursor, Ram Raid was given as a covermount on the UK based CDi Magazine Issue 17 in April 1996. Establishing the basic gameplay mechanics for Atlantis with a completly unexpected 3D engine it also incorporated on-line downloads and competitive leader tables. Do you know what brought about this revolutionary (to CD-i at least!) technology bringing not only 3D graphics but also an element of on-line play into the arena?

Johnny: God Yeh. That was amazing. I still remember that day I saw the first demo. I was stunned, everybody was stunned. We met this guy from the Research Labs round the corner. They don't make games. They make chips. You should have seen that place. It was incredible, that's where all the research goes on. I watched Video on Demand there, 15 years ago! And Clarkey was a rocket scientist. By this point I'm still amazed at Andys multiplexer, then this guy comes along. Talks softly, doesn't even try to promote himself, then with programmer graphics of cartoon bricks wall promptly loads up.... DOOM On CDi!

So you've just got the first online CDi system working, you need a game to show it off. Your console can't actually do very good games. You need a miracle, Paul Clarke had written one in his lunch break. So we were put in touch with the guys at CD-online. Who were all ex philips, branching out to the new set-top box technology. This was ten years ago. Clarky bought the rocket science. They developed the communications. We got a proper musician, and the ADS were Game Design. So this time it was Myself and Rak that had the brunt of the work. It'd been years since I'd done game design, having branched out into graphics in the late 80's, so the chance to get back onto that on such an innovative game was pretty cool for me. Rak got the chance to branch out into 3D.... He later went on to work in that field in movies and TV. That game made us all pretty famous.

We had meeting after meeting to see if we could bring it into the online arena. We sadly had to accept that the rest of the world hadn't caught up with us yet, as data transfer rates weren't fast enough to send packets of live data. Then we came up with the challenge system where a players performance would be logged, and leagues were made. That was the game that would have single handedly saved the platform if it had not been for the other events that were happening higher up the ladder at the time. Damn I wish I'd never gone and dropped out for a life as a roadie. Still

With the release of Atlantis - The Last Resort any mode of on-line play was lost. Do you have any idea why this was cut from the final product?

Johnny: Well there are conflicting stories on this. But actually Atlantis was never intended to be an on-line game. Ram Raid should have evolved into the on-line version, Atlantis was a challenge based game. A linear game with a plot, set missions and a challenge. Ram Raid had started to evolve, but all this happened at the time when Philips was letting CDi die. Wanna hear a sad little story. When Lance Mason who hired me all those years ago at Dorking showed me CDi magazine, before I started, we were talking. He was unsure about hiring me because I was fresh from the streets of Birmingham and homelessness. So I promised him I wouldn't let him down and one day that magazine would have my artwork on the front cover.

Atlantis came out at the exact time CDi magazine published its last issue in Europe. On the day we were clearing out the ADS office after we'd been shut down. A parcel came from Sander in the Philips homelands where the Dutch version was still published. I opened it up. Atlantis was on the front cover and in the centre spread. ADS games were 30 percent of the charts. I bunged it into the box with the rest of the stuff, and that was the end of an era.

Can you share any further anecdotes to drench the CD-i communities appetitie?

Johnny: Loads. Some unprintable. There was the time I told Paul Reid I needed him to stand on an ironing board and pretend he was a cyber-surfer so I could animate his actions for the cyber-surfer in Ramraid. This was of course a lie. I'd already animated it and just wanted to see if he'd do it! There was another time Jason and myself blew up hundreds of balloons on the night shift, and filled the office with them completely for the dayshift. Actually I really better not tell anymore just yet. We had a bit of a reputation for being pranksters, and I'm not sure the others would want any of this online just yet!

By: Devin Shockwell, The Black Moon Project


The Spanish CD-i Encyclopedia

Last year I discussed the regional releases on CD-i which were only released in one country. And you probably know I especially like the encyclopedias released on CD-i. Before, I only knew of the dutch, german, french and US version, but there is also exclusive spanish CD-i software including a full CD-i encyclopedia. The pictures you see show us the logo of 'Salvat Multimedia' and the titles were apparently not published by Philips. That's the first remarkable to see here. If any of you have this CD-i disc please tell us more! It's typical now with the Internet all common around, there are no encyclopedias anymore on CD like we used to have. CD-i was a perfect example who tried to bring you more than games, and however it didn't succeed in every genre, it was definately unique in bringing information to your TV.


How to replace the cells of a CD-i 370 battery pack

>> Monday, February 9, 2009

After 15 years of usage the battery of the portable CD-i players will die one day. We have a lot of questions from people who want to get a new battery for it. The power supply for the CD-i 350 is hard to come by. Windowskiller searched for the pinouts of the DC-In connection of a CD-i 350, but wasn't able to find any information. The power brick outputs 21V DC at 1.7 Ampere. As for the battery, it has 14.4V. He wrote a guide how to replace the cells, it is still online here. The guide is in german and on popular demand I tried to translate it to english and preserve it for all people to use. All credits to Windowskiller for te pictures and guidelines. There are 2 sets of positive and negative connections on the back of the CDI370 where the battery connects. One set connects to the battery pack, the other connects to the heat detector. The inner set is for the heat detector. Let's have a look:

1. Open the battery
The first and biggest problem is to open the battery. The housing is made of two parts but these are glued together so you need some violence to open it. I used a carpet cutting knife to open the case on all four sides. (it is the red line on the first picture)
If you use a Dremel or other automatic saw it is much easier. Be careful because you easily damage the NiMH cells inside the case. I would advice to use a strong sharp knife. In the end, the battery looks like this:
2. Disassemble the battery
Now that the battery is open, we can start cutting the cells off. First we remove the top 'roll' (in each 'cardboard roll' there are three NiMH cells inside). Cut off the tape and remove the paper/cardboard case so the cells become visible. In this way you can easily take them out. Below you see there is some electronics inside too which we need later, so be gentle treat it carefully. The picture below shows how it should look:
Now we can take the cells out. Please note the cells are glued on the bottom to a temperature sensor which you should not damage! So raise the complete block as a whole on one side(the cable of the temperature sensor is long enough fortunately!). Now take the sensor carefully from the cardboard sleeve. The two sides of the case are connected to metal tongues, be sure you don't damage these. It should look like this:
3. Prepare new battery cells.
Now we can start with the real stuff. We need 12 new cells which should be connected to have four poles in total. To this end, we first take three cells, all directed with the 'plus' to the same direction and we use some scotch tape to keep them in a row (maintain the structure of the original cardboard roll). Solder the connection points of the batteries.
We do the same with the remaining cells. In the end we have 4 bars of each 3 cells. Use a voltmeter to check the voltage of each cell to prevent any surprise later on! Each bar should have around 3.45 volt (this may vary depending on the battery and age). If there is no voltage shown on the meter check the solder points and check if the batteries inside are not placed up side down. Finally, use paper to create the same type of cardboard sleeve around each roll and tape it. This is mainly to prevent any short-circuiting. Be sure the outer solder points are still visible.
4. Cables
The following steps are the most important. You cannot permit to make any mistakes otherwise there is a fire hazard. Read this section completely and follow it step by step. For wiring the cells I used solder points. The cables should not be too thin because later on when charging the battery, the current will rise to about one ampere.

First, we place two cardboard rolls parallel so that each side has a plus and a minus. Use tape to package both well together. The two sides of the set should have its poles diagonally the same. The picture will clearify how to do it. From now on, I distinguish the left and right side of the cardboard roll block since both sides are wired differently. I just used the original battery position as an example. You can mark plus and minus on the paper so you don't forget it later.

Let's start with the wiring on the left side. Rotate the block so that at the left side the minus pole is below the plus pole. From here solder a bridge to the left up to the plus pole as shown in the photos. Remember the piece of electronics of chapter two? We need this now, because it established the connection between the other poles. Solder the end of the black sheathed cable to the plus pole right down the other end to the minus pole on the top right (see 2). This would be the wiring of the left side.
Then go on with the wiring of the right side. Here you just need a bridge from the minus pole on the lower left to the plus pole on the bottom right. Take a voltmeter and check between the two upper poles if there is a voltage of around 13.7 volts. If yes, then you have done everything right. (if not: go back to chapter three and check each step). Now we can start to assemble the battery.

5. Assembling the battery
The assembling of the battery is fairly simple. The new battery should easily fit in the housing. If not, you can cut the spacers inside the housing with a wire cutter. Place the battery unit inside so that the right side is where the metal tongues go upwards in the housing. Pay attention to the temperature sensor which shouls not be damaged in any way. You don;t have to glue the sensor again as long as it is placed underneath the battery unit.

Now we need two short cables to the metal tabs on the two upper poles on the right side of the battery. (the ones we just measured the voltage between). Connect the 'front' metal tongue with the plus pole and the other one with the minus pole. This means the soldering should look like this:
Now put the lid back on it. Turn the metal tongues a little bit inside so that the case is not connected to the solder points. The two halves should match again. You can use glue and tape to put back the case as a whole strongly together. Pay attention to the air vents which you should not paste over! Otherwise the battery can overheat when loading.

Credits: version: pre-1.0 (30.12.2006), Copyright © 2006 by Timo Weirich. Visit the original german version here.


ZYX Multimedia published over 10 CD-i titles

>> Saturday, February 7, 2009

While most consumer titles were published by Philips, there are a few games and programs on CD-i published by other companies. Especially after Philips decided to stop its publishing activities on CD-i in 1996, companies like Creative Media (Christmas Country, Whack a Bubble) and HUB (Domino, De Zaak van Sam) also published a few CD-i games. One exception might be ZYX Multimedia who released at least three games on CD-i: BMP Puzzle, Magic Eraser, Hieroglyph. The last two were covered in this post. ZYX was a german company who also brought music CD's and music VCD's (Cotton Eye Joe and Two Unlimited) on the market, like you see in the screen below. The games were only released in Germany, that's why we think they are pretty rare to get hold of.


Screenshots of rare CD-i games

Including some screenshots of the unknown Marlboro CD-i game, watch some screenshots of rare CD-i games you probably don't have!
1. The Smurfs

2. Foqus

3. Goal: FIFA Soccer Quiz

4. Hieroglyph

5. Magic Eraser

6. Marlboro CD-i

Thanks to: j_eits


Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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