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Alex Kidd: High-Tech World

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Title Screen

Alex Kidd: High-Tech World

Also known as: Anmitsu Hime (JP)
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Master System
Released in JP: July 19, 1987
Released in US: 1989
Released in EU: 1989
Released in BR: 1989


TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Princess Anmitsu Alex Kidd is back in her his only biggest adventure yet! Thrill as he drops dead from trying to walk down stairs, put on armor, and turn on a computer! Marvel as he dies in one hit from bumping into inchworms! Wonder at the fact that this was the closest thing Sega had to a reply to Super Mario Bros. 2!

Disabled Scene Select

Alex Kidd - High-Tech World sceneselect.png

The game has code for a level select, but it seems to have been disabled in the final version. To access it, enter the PAR code 00C0100D at the main menu (and disable it afterwards, or the menu will loop endlessly). Pressing Button 1 increments the scene number, while Button 2 starts the corresponding stage. Stages 1 through 4 are the regular game stages, while Stage 5 is the ending sequence.

Oddly, this is entirely absent from Anmitsu Hime.

Text

@ SHOSUKE KURAKANE
@ STUDIO PIERROT

(The @s are a stand-in for the game's copyright symbol, which is not standard ASCII.)

Somewhat interestingly, the extra copyright text used on the title screen for Anmitsu Hime is in Alex Kidd (see Regional Differences below), but it's not just a leftover – the message has been deliberately reformatted to use the new English font, which is loaded to a different part of VRAM from the original. This is strange because the new English font is only loaded during gameplay – the original one is still used on the title screen, and the Sega copyright text is formatted for the old font in both versions.

Perhaps Sega toyed with the idea of releasing the game internationally without the Kidd branding? This may have been an intentional obfuscation to make sure the message wouldn't show up while still keeping it around in case it turned out to be needed. It's not really a necessary change since Alex Kidd has been reprogrammed not to print this part of the message to the screen regardless.

This text is located at ROM 0x0A1D in Alex Kidd. To convert from the game's native encoding to ASCII, subtract 0xA5 from each byte.

Invisible Phone

Alex Kidd - High-Tech World invisiphone.png

In the middle of the fourth floor, just to the left of James' room, there's an invisible phone. It's fully functional and can be used just like the regular phones. Perhaps it was moved during development, but incompletely deleted from its original location?

Regional Differences

Japan International
Anmitsu Hime regional-1.png Alex Kidd - High-Tech World title.png

Yep, here we go again: yet another extremely Japanese game regurgitated into a form supposedly more palatable to foreigners … except not really, because most of the game has barely been touched!

The game was originally a licensed title based on the 1986-1987 anime adaptation of the 1949-1955 manga Anmitsu Hime (Sugar Princess), with the goal of navigating Princess Anmitsu across not-feudal-Japan to a cake shop before it closes. Someone at Sega decided that despite the game sucking quite a lot, it would probably sell a few copies with Alex Kidd on the cover, and so other territories instead got Alex Kidd's epic quest across not-feudal-Japan to play OutRun (yes, really).

Naturally, the title screen was redrawn to accommodate the changes. The principal cast was substituted with non-copyright-infringing lookalikes, and they shed their blatantly Japanese clothes in favor of … slightly different Japanese clothes? Everyone's skin is also a bit darker in Alex Kidd due to the palette being altered to fit Alex.

Japan International
Anmitsu Hime regional-2.png Alex Kidd - High-Tech World regional-2.png

Most character graphics were redrawn, but only Alex's sprites really had much effort put into them. The results can be quite a bit incongruous.

Japan International
Anmitsu Hime regional-3.png Alex Kidd - High-Tech World regional-3.png

Some other graphics were redrawn as well, such as the font used for the clocks throughout the game, but no one bothered trying to hide the fact that Alex lives in a giant Japanese castle for no real reason.

Japan International
Anmitsu Hime regional-4.png Alex Kidd - High-Tech World regional-4.png

Hell, they didn't even try to cover up the kanji banners and folding screens.

Japan International
Anmitsu Hime regional-5.png Alex Kidd - High-Tech World regional-5.png

Perhaps the altered castle graphic on the map screen was supposed to fool players, but unfortunately this is actually rather annoying – the new map doesn't reflect the disconnections between parts of the castle the way the original did. Some touchups were applied to the graphics for the eight map slots as well.

Despite the apparent low-effort localization with regard to the graphics, at least one obscure detail actually managed to make the leap from East to West. In Alex Kidd, dialing 911 on the phone yields a scolding message from the police department; this was correctly changed from Anmitsu Hime, where dialing 110, the equivalent Japanese number, does the same thing.

Hmmm...
To do:
If some nutjob wants to painstakingly rip and compare every graphic in both games, be my guest