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Micro Machines *Special Edition*... again!

>> Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nice find by Devin about why Micro Machines CD-i was called "Special Edition". Something that was never clarified, not in the manual, not in magazines or advertising. Devin: "I've been conducting a little research with much help from Ashley Hogg, the CD-i version developer. Just to clarify a few points, the special edition was the only version released on CD-i. It featured more levels than the other platforms including Megadrive, SNES and so on. This is why it is called a 'Special Edition'. Furthermore the prototype v1.02 does fit with some documentation I've been reading. Specifically a 'Final Bug Report' for Micro Machines version 1.02 dated 22/08/95 which fits with the production date of 11/08/95 for the testing beta itself.

A closer look to the early production manual brought to mind that the two player logo actually covers a part of the Codemasters logo. That's... strange?

Devin has more documents and info about Ashley Hogg and his Micro Machines CD-i project so expect more to read more soon at Black Moon Project.


Super Mario's Wacky Worlds fake copy but nice artwork

I love the artwork but it happens a lot fake copies of Super Mario's Wacky Worlds surface on ebay. I still want to share the pictures with you because it looks interesting.

From the auction: "This Disc Has Been In My Collection For Several Years. It Was Given To Me By A Novalogic Tech Friend. This Game Disc Was Created and Burned By Novalogic But Never Completed. This is Version 0.11" Ofcourse you should notice that a game burnt like this (with the printed cover) can never be an original prototype. It should look like this:

But it looks like this:


Original Zelda CD-i artwork surfaced online

In November, 2007, we published the interview with Dale Desharone about the Zelda CD-i titles "Link: Faces of Evil" and "Zelda: Wand of Gamelon". This feature was created by John Szczepaniak who put great effort in getting some artwork about the game that was featured in 2006 already when Devin from Black Moon Project organized a charity auction. Now, may 2010, John published them online.

John: "When clearing out an old laptop, I came across several images. The most significant, for me, are scans of original artwork from the first two CDi Zelda games. When interviewing Dale DeSharone on the development of the games, he explained how he’d dug around in his attic to find his old CDi player and copies of the games (to play them again with his children), and also I believe this original concept art for the games. He sent me scans from all his old games, and proved extremely helpful when writing the feature.

So it was with much sadness that I discovered he’d passed away a few years ago. While these images have appeared in print, I don’t think they’ve ever been available in digital format before, and they’re so nice it would be a shame to have them languish on an old forgotten hard drive of mine.

A lot of people unfairly criticise the Zelda CDi titles because of the cinematics, but I’ve played the hell out of them over the years and they’re still a blast to complete. The artwork, as shown, is also quite nice. As the only person to have interviewed him on his work, I feel it’s my duty to share these images."

[Thanks, John]


"Oh yeah, I know, it's been a long time."

I can't get any grip on the great stuff that was going to be online again at 'Le Monde du CD-i' but unfortunately the guy behind it, DJKoelkast, didn't show any support. I was surprised though the message on the website changed slightly recently, triggering there might be some activity in the future: "The website WILL be back, eventually. Actually it's just been upgraded to the latest version. When will it be back? The only thing I can say is: soon, but I don't know when. Don't stop looking here, we'll be back. You can still make your account if you want to, you'll receive an e-mail update when the site is online. Thanks for your patience." The site has been offline since November 2007 (That's 2.5 years), so I can't blame you don't believe in it anymore! But as always, we at Interactive Dreams will always follow any CD-i progress on the web!


Small boxart change in Micro Machines CD-i *Special Edition*

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010

Call me crazy, but small details always catch my attention. Last week I saw Micro Machines CD-i on Ebay, but it was not the ordinary 'Special Edition'. (Something that still bothers me. I posted about it on the old forum like ages ago but still nobody knows why there's "Special edition" at the top of the front box art. I really hope, someday, sometime someone will show up knowing why.)
Anyway, the disc on ebay was a testing phase beta disc (version 1.02)dates 11/8/95. I don't think these discs justify a high price tag as they normally do on ebay, but the seller claims that it "features some gameplay differences from the finished version". I'm not going to test that for 80 GBP. Maybe you? Again, anyway, above you see a picture including the original jewelcase and boxart where it came in. And there was a change: Compare it to the retail version below:

That '2 player logo' has shifted a few inches to the corner!


Philips Media in 1995 cancelled a lot of games

>> Friday, May 14, 2010

Interesting quotes by Jimmy about his work at Philips Media Games: "A lot of games were cancelled because at that point in time (1994-95) Philips Media was in transition. It became obvious that CD-i sales could not sustain the division, so an attempt was made to develop multiple SKUs of a game for CD-i, PCs, and Macs. Unfortunately because the CD-i platform was so technically limited, it meant that the PC and Mac SKUs of a game would be hopelessly crippled and non-competitive in the market. This sometimes led to the entire game being cancelled.

Another issue is that some of the developers that Philips Media had cultivated over the years were focused solely on CD-i development, and had not developed sufficient technical skills and ability to compete in the PC game market.

Finally, Philips had some developers that simply should not have been developing game software, period. These were companies that might have made their living doing something else (such as 3D graphics, commercial productions, film or video, or special fxs) and then hired a couple of engineers to do games.

For developers it was a "gold rush" mentality at the time; everybody wanted to feed at the Philips Media trough, and many of them shouldn't have been anywhere near the trough.

When I first got hired as a PM at Philips I was so depressed at the state of game development that the first thing I did was bring in a new game/developer who had the chops to do state of the art PC games (Jaeger Software/Fighter Duel). This game went on to become the top selling game for Philips Media. Had I not been able to do that I would have probably quit in total depression, because the other games that I was assigned (example: Who Shot Johnny Rock - Castilian Spanish Version, Kingdom, etc.) we're so ultimately boring and depressing that I simply would not have been able to continue on.

I will also take some of the blame for lobbying to get certain games cancelled (City Golf, Dead End, The Crow, etc.) because they were simply not good. I hated to see money wasted on stuff that wasn't going to sell when there were more worthwhile projects to do.

BTW, Citizen Dwayne was later retitled A New Day, just before it too was cancelled.

City Golf was supposed to be a golf game in NY City. The developer had no realtime 3D engine, and wanted to do it as sprites over a 3D rendered backdrop, which is lame. Then they couldn't get the sprites to scale properly (which I knew was going to be an issue.) Then the developer changed the game from 18 holes to 9 holes because they were going over budget.

The final straw was when the developer completely missed a development milestone, but Philips, because of politics, overruled me and decided to pay the developer as if the milestone was completed, which completely undercut my authority on the project.

At that point that project was in my crosshairs for cancellation, and I finally succeeded (with lots of help) before the company wasted even more money."

An idea about all the cancelled games he worked on: Voyeur II (CD-i SKU cancelled), Ripley's Believe it or Not (cancelled), Citizen Dwayne (cancelled), Dead End (cancelled), City Golf (cancelled), The Crow (cancelled), Stay Healthy for Life (cancelled).

Thanks to Jimmy


The CD-i Internet 14k4 Modem

>> Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Internet kit for CD-i (Web-i in the US) was released with a 14k4 modem which I don't see often. Here you see the original CD-i modem along with the KeyControl and the CD-i mouse. It brought very nice internet access into the livingroom right on your television, already in 1996. At least 14k4 was fast enough to get online gaming on CD-i...
Still I always wonder why for example the GDI 700 (intented for institutional/commercial situations) was equiped with a serial port allowing up to 38.4Kbps connections for fast modem communications. Why was it never possible to get a faster modem running on a CD-i? The CD-i internet experience was already slow when it was launched, and Philips claimed the CD-i player couldn't handle faster modems rather than the standard 14k4 modem. Was that true or was it a money decision?


Playable CD-i Demo Discs

>> Saturday, May 8, 2010

Like Nintendo, the CD-i platform never experienced a lot with sharing demo versions of retail games to the public. However, in The Netherlands it was tried two times. The first playable demo disc was offered by the dutch retail CD store 'Free Record Store', one of the few places that sold CD-i in the Netherlands, along with 'Van Leest', 'Superclub', 'V&D' and 'Bijenkorf'. Anyway, it was called 'Gold Club Disc' because it was shared to members of the CD-i Gold Club. The Gold Club was set up by Philips to share a monthly catalogue of all CD-i discs and to let people know of any special sales and discounts, which were very scarce by the way! The disc was made by SPC Vision and holds demo versions of Dimo's Quest, The Apprentice and to my surprise even Accelerator! The disc was shared in 1994 if I believe and in my opinion it was the best gift they ever gave CD-i Gold Club members.

In 1995 the dutch and UK CD-i magazines shared a 3 level demo version of Micro Machines. I've never heard if sharing these king of demo discs actually increased software sales or the opposite (people might not buy the game because they already got the demo for free). This demo actually had some features that were not implemented int he final retail version, like the opportunity to quit the game!


Dead End CD-i: Marketing push on a mess?

Devin found found another article that has Dave McElhatten stating that Dead End would get a similar treatment to Burn:Cycle. With a focus on the games music! Kinda sounded like they would have released a Burn:Cycle type package. Maybe including an audio CD with the game and a big marketing push! Jimmy, who we know as a developer behind Voyeur 2 and Zelda's Adventure on CD-i, comments: " Hehe, Dave may have said that, but I was the project manager on Dead End, and believe me when I say that there was no way DE was going to get out of the door at Philips into release. The game was a mess, and got worse as we went farther on in development. Mercifully killed long before completion.

The marketing department had seen very little of the game, so they couldn't allocate funding until they had done an evaluation, which never happened."

Thanks to Jimmy, Devin


Seb explains which CD-i player you should buy

'I recently did a new video about CD-i. In it I look at some of the more common systems and give some basic tips for people who want to start collecting for CD-i. Please let me know what you think! I'm probably not the most versed in the world of CD-i, but I still hope I did explain everything alright. If you see anything important that I missed, then feel free to let me know, I'm eager to learn more too.

Anyway, since YouTube has a time limit of 11 minutes I had to split the video up. If you rather watch the video in one go, then you can view it on blip at: '
Part 1:
Part 2:
Thanks to HalfBlindGamer /Seb


Examples of professional CD-i titles

>> Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There are many more professional CD-i's then there are consumer ones; I don't think a comprehensive list exists. They range from in-house educational to technical demonstrations and anything conceivable in between. Such CD-i's would often be just a component of a system and it would not be immediately recognizable as a CD-i except to technical people. Some samples from the Dutch market:

- The Dutch drive permit organization "CBR" used a CD-i based system for the theory exams for the latter half of the nineties (this replaced a dia/casette player based system and has itself been replaced by a PC-based system). This was coupled with custom hardware to allow a single CD-i system to handle many tens of exam candidates; it was also coupled with a networked PC to handle certificate printing and central registration.

- The Dutch national airport for several years used a CD-i based system for their "Apron Safety Test"; it was a video-based test that drivers had to pass before being allowed to drive their vehicles onto the airfield (between the planes). This used a room of CD-i players that reported the test results of their individual users to a central PC that handled certificate printing and such.

- There was a disc called "Energie Potentieel Scan" that supposedly helped people to achieve energy conservation in their homes; I'm not sure of the distribution mechanism but it was probably freely distributed to the customers of some energy utility company.

- SPC did an Internet demonstration disc for Philips that served as a proof-of-concept of Internet on CD-i (it used a CD-i port of parts of the BSD-Lite TCP/IP stack and simple custom web browser).

- Remeron was a CD-i on antidepression medication that was used by medical salespeople, using portable CD-i players.

- Baxter had a CD-i on diabetic self-help (in several languages) that were on public display or for patient use in several hospitals.

- Philips had a "demonstration" CD-i for the full motion system (MPEG playback) that demonstrated the use of play/pause techniques including slow motion and seeking, as well as more exotic techniques such as window manipulation and seamless jumping (the latter very rudimentally).

- Lots of CD-i players came with an introductory disc on the CD-i system (not sure if this qualifies as "professional", though...)

Thanks to CD-i Fan


CD-i Games Highlights Demo Disc 1995

Probably the only official proof that Discworld CD-i exists as well as the only proof that Voyeur 2 exists on CD-i. In the UK CD-i Magazine a preview of Voyeur 2 CD-i was published and a review (!) was published of Discworld CD-i, but both games never made it to CD-i retail. On this site you can find a lot of info about the Voyeur 2 CD-i prototype we got our hands on but Discworld is probably the only big CD-i prototype we never found...


Philips CD-i was the first dual-layer DVD player

Black Moon and the associated sites have often been asked the same question, "can I play my DVD in a CD-i player"? To which we sigh and then go to great lengths to describe what a CD-i player is and how it came before DVD so you'll have to settle with the VideoCD tech that an upgraded CD-i player offered. However it appears we were wrong to assume CD-i was only capable of playing VideoCD, at least theoretically! Whilst rummaging around our store of newspapers we found an article about the beginnings of DVD tech and how, as an early demonstration, dual-layer DVD technology was first incorporated in to a Philips CD-i player. Click here for the full scope...


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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