“One man's trash is another one's treasure” is how the saying goes. For Assembler Games forum user tdijital such was the case last year, when he stumbled upon an individual in possession of a substantial amount of diskettes and CD-ROM filled with video game source code and Sega development tools for Mega CD, 32X and even Sega Saturn. Like any good digital Indiana Jones, tdijital set up a post with his findings along with his efforts to recover all the code that was precariously stored in those diskettes and discs.
And recover them he did, sharing his findings with other digital Indiana Jones until figuring out that this IRS liquidation lot was from the late Foley Hi-Tech Systems. Among the source code were a bunch of Spider-Man game versions, a set of Sega Channel ROMs and even a unreleased Playstation game called Razor Wing. There was also a disc with Super Strike Trilogy source code, a title that was known to exist in some form previously confirmed by David Foley himself.
Enter Tanglewood creator Headcrab, who was more excited about the found “SEGA.EXE” file, something he had searching for years:
It uploads SN68K-built ROMs direct to a Cross Products kit without going via the debugger, something I need to set up my automation system for Tanglewood development.
With the missing “SEGA.EXE” file now in his possession, Headcrab used this missing piece of the puzzle to further perfect his Mega CD development home rig. In one fateful insomnia-stricken night, he successfully compiled the most developed version of Super Strike Trilogy and built a fully functional ISO image of the game. You can check the end result of that version in the following video.
The lack of the original Megadrive FM music suggests that EA was probably thinking about adding Red Book audio to the compilation, a common practice at the time for Mega CD games. Despite a few noticeable hiccups (it randomly crashes), this game was clearly close to going gold. It contains the full Mega Drive/Genesis versions of Desert Strike, Jungle Strike and Urban Strike on a single disc, a compilation that would certainly be good value for money for fans of the series had it ever made it to the shelves.
So another important piece of past video game history has been preserved by sheer fortune, tech savvy know-how and the right bunch of people gathering around a common passion. And it might not be the last you hear about findings in this particular lot since it also contains a great many resources on Sega Saturn development.
This tale also reminds us we would surely love to see the Strike series get a timely reboot… any fans of EA’s isometric chopper game out there in the comments section? Let us know!