hwd45

ROM Versions

Recommended Posts

As you might know, when performing a ROM Test on one of the connection-era Tamagotchis you're briefly shown a number representing some sort of ROM version for your Tamagotchi. I'm really into things like game development and version differences so naturally hearing that there were a bunch of different version numbers for Tamagotchi versions from a decade ago really piqued my interest - I figured maybe this would help me figure out why there were some more subtle differences between different Tamagotchi versions, too, like how some Tamagotchi models call that one item "Love Potion" while others call it "Honey". This motivated me to try and document the different ROM versions and how they might affect the gameplay, and try to understand the numbering conventions used in this process, too.

 

I've done a bit of digging and this a list of the version numbers I've found so far:

 

V1: 2.0, 2.1, 4.2, A4

V2: 4.2, A3, A4, A5

V3: A3 0, A3 2

V4: A4.2U, A4.3E, A4.5E

V4.5: A4.5-3E

V5: 34.1

V6: 6.0 00 32.0 0, 6.0 01 32.0 0

V7: 7.0 01 32.0

V8: 8.0 00

 

I obviously can't ask others to perform a ROM Test for the sake of research since it resets the Tamagotchi's data, but if anyone else has ROM tested one of their Tamagotchis in the past and you remember anything about the Tamagotchi's version number I'd love to hear more about it. Ideally, if you can also recall the model version (i.e. V1, V2, V3 etc.), shell design (the differences might relate to the different waves that were released), the region (USA / Europe / Asia-Pacific / Japan) and any other version differences (like changed item names such as Tools / Bubbles, Hair Gel / Hair Potion, Honey / Love Potion, Stuffed Animal / Costume) then that'd be really helpful to me! I'm also looking into the ROM versions of other Tamagotchis not listed above since I figure they probably use similar conventions (V5.5, V9, Plus, Keitai, Akai, Entama, Uratama, Oden-Kun, Hanerutchi 1/2).

 

If you don't have anything to add that's obviously fine - I just hope others find this to be an interesting topic, too!

 

Thanks in advance!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been a month and I've done a little more research in that time so here's a little update to the list:

Plus: 0.0

V1: 2.0, 2.1, 4.0, 4.2

V2: A3, A4, A5

V3: A3 0, A3 2

V4: A4.2U, A4.3E, A4.5E

V4.5: A4.5-3E, AUV4.5-.2

V5: 34.1

V6: 6.0 00 32.0 0, 6.0 01 32.0 0

V7: 7.0 01 32.0

V8: 8.0 00

P1(2018): 1

I've removed a couple version numbers from the list that I think were probably errors. Some versions are rarer than others! There's still plenty of research to be done into the different versions and their features, so any help would be appreciated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure the Hair gel/Honey and Tools/Bubbles is just an Europe-USA difference, rather than the difference in the ROM itself. The item names in the Europe versions are different, and another difference is that the foods have NO names under them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Jhud said:

I'm pretty sure the Hair gel/Honey and Tools/Bubbles is just an Europe-USA difference, rather than the difference in the ROM itself. The item names in the Europe versions are different, and another difference is that the foods have NO names under them.

You're right about the latter difference but the former is incorrect - I had a USA version of the V2 while my brother and sister had European versions, and the item names were consistent between them. It wasn't until someone else showed me their V2 that I noticed the different item names.

Regardless, ROM versions differ between regions too, so I intend on tracking how regions affect ROM versions too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few small updates:

Firstly, it turns out some Ketais have the ROM version 6.1. I haven't found much else about ROM versions and version differences in Japanese models, so any help with those would be greatly appreciated. It looks like the Japanese models might have continued using the numbered version notation the Plus / V1 used:

Plus / V1: 0.0, 2.0, 2.1, 4.0, 4.2
Keitai: 6.1
Famitama / V5: 34.1

I guess we'll see if the pattern continues as we collect more version numbers.

Another thing I thought it might be insightful to mention is the prototype version of the Tama-Go:

tamatowngallery01.jpg

If you were around for the build up to Tama-Go's release you might remember that the shell designs completely changed. Firstly, the shells seen here used a more of a matte colouring scheme than the glossy shells we got in the final version. The faceplates were entirely different (I think I prefer these faceplates), the bases of the figures shown are more translucent than the final design of the lite figures, the packaging is a little different and it looks like the IR slot is transparent here (the three Tama-gos which aren't in use have completely opaque IR slots, I think they might just be mock-up models though. The pink one also seems to be missing part of its top).

tamatowngallery13.jpg

Even the figures got prototype models! Gorippatchi never got her own figure. I wonder if this one is a functional figure, or just another mock-up? We'll see in a bit that it's probably the latter. There's also another image of a Mamametchi figure, which also never got released.

Memetchi's seen here again, but with a different design to the one in the previous image. I don't think this figure design was ever released.

tamatowngallery26.jpg

This last image is of particular interest to me. First and foremost, we can see that despite the figure clearly being on, the device has other ideas. In a video of the event we also see that no "Welcome!" image comes up when the figure is placed on the Tamagotchi. I guess that either confirms the figures being mock-ups or the device still not being fully programmed as of yet.

You might also notice it says "cartridge" instead of "character". I'm really curious about this - I wonder what other differences this version contained? Do you think these prototype Tama-Go models still exist somewhere in the world? Or, indeed, any other prototype Tamagotchis?

If people want, I could continue updating this thread with interesting stuff about version differences as I learn more. That's kind of what this project is, after all - an attempt to document all the different versions that were released.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Do you think these prototype Tama-Go models still exist somewhere in the world? Or, indeed, any other prototype Tamagotchis?

Yes, I do. Sometimes it takes years for prototype toys or games to surface again after being seen at trade-shows or in other venues, but they may very well do at some point. These things certainly aren't always lost. In the specific case of Tamagotchis, we know how there were prototypes given out to Japanese high-school kids for them to test the product in the late 1990s - this is one avenue by which these things find their way into the wild.

I know of stories of Atari 2600 video game prototypes showing up in US thrift-stores, for example (and we're talking years or decades after that system's heyday, here) - these things can pop up in the most unexpected of places!

It's just a matter of whether or not you can track them down, and where to start with doing that. They could've ended up with, say, a former employee, or with a collector who knows one, or something like that, or they could've been sent out to product-testers or review panels. Or maybe they're in a warehouse, or goodness knows where. Sometimes such prototypes inexplicably pop up on eBay, too. Keep an eye out and persevere!

 

11 hours ago, hwd45 said:

If people want, I could continue updating this thread with interesting stuff about version differences as I learn more. That's kind of what this project is, after all - an attempt to document all the different versions that were released.

Please do! I don't have anything useful to contribute here (I'm not a fan of the Connexion line, and only have two - a UK V2 and a UK V4; Still, if you can tell me how to perform a ROM Test and anything else that you'd like to be checked, I'll put batteries in them both and do so), but I am thoroughly enjoying reading the updates to this thread.

Edited by Penguin-keeper
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Penguin-keeper said:

Yes, I do. Sometimes it takes years for prototype toys or games to surface again after being seen at trade-shows or in other venues, but they may very well do at some point. These things certainly aren't always lost. In the specific case of Tamagotchis, we know how there were prototypes given out to Japanese high-school kids for them to test the product in the late 1990s - this is one avenue by which these things find their way into the wild.

I know of stories of Atari 2600 video game prototypes showing up in US thrift-stores, for example (and we're talking years or decades after that system's heyday, here) - these things can pop up in the most unexpected of places!

It's just a matter of whether or not you can track them down, and where to start with doing that. They could've ended up with, say, a former employee, or with a collector who knows one, or something like that, or they could've been sent out to product-testers or review panels. Or maybe they're in a warehouse, or goodness knows where. Sometimes such prototypes inexplicably pop up on eBay, too. Keep an eye out and persevere!

I'm actually a pretty avid video game prototype researcher (Spyro 3's my game of choice, I've spent probably thousands of hours documenting it at this point lmao), but I had no idea prototype Tamagotchis were given out in the 90s! I have seen some images of prototype models though, but I'm not exactly sure where they came from. I really hope efforts have been made to preserve those builds and we can see more of them in the future. Sometimes these things get destroyed to avoid leaks, so I really hope this isn't one of those times. I do remember someone claiming to have a Music Star World Tour Edition prototype back in 2010 but considering they never showed anything of it and Bandai claimed to have never even started production on that version, it feels like a "my dad works at Bandai" situation. Still though, it'd be cool if the design documents and any prototype versions they might have made for this version eventually surface. I suppose after the Spaceworld 97 leak, pretty much anything can happen.

9 hours ago, Penguin-keeper said:

 

 

Please do! I don't have anything useful to contribute here (I'm not a fan of the Connexion line, and only have two - a UK V2 and a UK V4; Still, if you can tell me how to perform a ROM Test and anything else that you'd like to be checked, I'll put batteries in them both and do so), but I am thoroughly enjoying reading the updates to this thread.

I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Performing a ROM test counts as resetting the Tamagotchi, so if you decide to do it you'll lose any progress you've made. To perform a ROM test, the A, B and C buttons need to be held down, and while they're held down the reset button needs to be pressed. The first part of the process is a screen test - this tests all the pixels are working, and pressing the buttons will alternate between different pixels being displayed. After this, the ROM version will be displayed on screen. It'll say something like "VER: A4". Then the words "ROM TEST" will display on screen and it'll start checking the ROM for any errors, and then there's a connection test too. The only part of this process that's important to me is the ROM version, since the rest is just about what faults the individual Tamagotchi might have.

As for other things to look out for, first and foremost I'd like to know the region and shell design of the Tamagotchi. This is to help track if different versions were released in different waves, and to see what regional differences there are. I think you mentioned both of yours were UK versions, though sometimes US versions were released in the UK so I guess the date format should probably be checked just to be sure. If I recall correctly, there was also an incident when the Music Star released in the US where they accidentally packaged the US shells with the European ROMs and they ended up displaying the wrong date format, so I guess even things like regions aren't quite so cut and dry.

As for other things I'm looking for, I'm mostly looking for any other general differences you might have noticed. It's hard to pin point exactly what these are when the differences might be subtle - for example, the V4 released in several waves to fix some of the bugs present in the earlier releases. How do you track something like this? For all you know, your not-glitchy model might have been one with the glitches present but you just never ran into any. The glitches are the only version difference I'm aware of on the V4, though I think - and I might be thinking of the wrong V3 - that in some versions, the food menu wouldn't display item names, and sometimes it would. So I guess whether the food items have names is one thing to look out for.

V2 has some more obvious differences. I think the food names thing I mentioned is also present on the V2 in the treat menu, for starters. But also, a few of the items changed names completely between different builds - costume became stuffed animal, diet soda became soda, bubbles became tools, hair potion became hair gel, love potion became honey, that sort of thing. There might be more that I haven't noticed, but those are the ones I know about, so if you could find out he names for any of those items it'd be really useful too!

I feel like there's probably a bunch of differences nobody's ever really noticed yet, too - most people only have one or two of each version, so there's probably been plenty of instances of subtle changes that nobody ever really talked about because they don't have anything to compare it to. Like, apparently the time at which a V1's age increases is different between different versions of the device, idk how anyone managed to find that out haha. Hopefully we can discover some of those differences!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Here we go!

YVHtzzG.jpg

KR87kZe.jpg

I had to hold in the reset button and then hold down A, B, and C to do this - holding A, B, and C and then pressing reset while they were being held didn't work for either unit.

I bought these as a pair from an eBay seller about a year ago, so I don't know what shops they originally came from (just in case there might be some sort of differences in what revisions got distributed where). The original ballchains were missing, so I just replaced them with split-rings because I had some on-hand.

I don't have the time or the inclination to run these guys, but here are some things that I noticed;

1: The V4 did not attempt to perform a connection-test once the ROM test was over, and simply stayed at this point.

2: The V2 automatically went on to perform a connection-test once the ROM test was over.

3: Both units use day/month for the date-format.

4: The V4 does not show any names for the food.

Also, I really liked how the V4 showed Pochitchi on its version-number screen. That was unexpected and it raised a smile. :lol:

Edited by Penguin-keeper
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really helpful, thanks! I don't think I've ever actually seen a V2 ROM test in action before, because I didn't realise there was meant to be a period between the A and the 5. So far I've only heard written accounts of the tests. Makes me suspect that perhaps A5 was the European release, A4 was the later American release and A3 was the earlier American release with different item names. Maybe there's more versions too, and more differences, perhaps? I guess we'll see!

Also pretty interested in the A4.5 E. There's an A4.3 E too which is also a European version - there's got to be differences between those versions, but I've no idea what they are. Perhaps it's just bug fixes?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, hwd45 said:

This is really helpful, thanks!

No problem! I'm glad that I was able to contribute something, even though it's only small!

I'll continue to enjoy any and all updates to this thread, now. :D

8 hours ago, hwd45 said:

I don't think I've ever actually seen a V2 ROM test in action before, because I didn't realise there was meant to be a period between the A and the 5.

It's not the clearest, to be fair to it - I can easily see how it could be misread as a stylised "A". I can see why they dropped that information down a line later on - it's a lot more readable on the V4!

8 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Also pretty interested in the A4.5 E. There's an A4.3 E too which is also a European version - there's got to be differences between those versions, but I've no idea what they are. Perhaps it's just bug fixes?

I would imagine that bug-fixes are by far the most likely thing, there, yes. There could well be other running changes too, but even I know that this version is famously glitchy, so I would assume bug-fixes before anything else. :lol:

Edited by Penguin-keeper
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got one of the different item name V2s (they seem pretty rare) so I can definitely help with a lot of the differences I've noticed with it. A lot of the food items are different. It also says "PC" vs. "Computer", "Roller Blades" vs "Roller Skates", "Pot Plant" vs "Plant", to name a few that I've noticed. I have several other North American V2s and it's currently the only one I have with these names so it almost definitely had to do with the ROM version. I wish I didn't get so far on it, generation-wise, so that I could ROM test it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, rjalda100 said:

I've got one of the different item name V2s (they seem pretty rare) so I can definitely help with a lot of the differences I've noticed with it. A lot of the food items are different. It also says "PC" vs. "Computer", "Roller Blades" vs "Roller Skates", "Pot Plant" vs "Plant", to name a few that I've noticed. I have several other North American V2s and it's currently the only one I have with these names so it almost definitely had to do with the ROM version. I wish I didn't get so far on it, generation-wise, so that I could ROM test it.

Hi RJ! I'm the person from the Discord server that was asking about your V2. Thanks for the additional information - if you find any more differences then I'd love to hear them (you can just message me on Discord if it's easier). If you ever happen to lose your progress on it and you feel like doing a ROM test, or if you get a new V2 and you wanna ROM test it before running, I'd love to hear the results!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is great. On the topic of prototypes, i find them interesting. i especially love seeing video game prototypes. i know for a fact when it comes to a US v1 if you rub a pencil on JP1 and JP2 it the "firmware" changes to the european one. i remember just experimenting one time and suddenly "gender" was replaced by "style" 

 

EDIT: this link confirms that

https://tcrf.net/Tamagotchi_Connection

Edited by Kuchipetchi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kuchipetchi said:

This is great. On the topic of prototypes, i find them interesting. i especially love seeing video game prototypes. i know for a fact when it comes to a US v1 if you rub a pencil on JP1 and JP2 it the "firmware" changes to the european one. i remember just experimenting one time and suddenly "gender" was replaced by "style" 

 

EDIT: this link confirms that

https://tcrf.net/Tamagotchi_Connection

Yeah, this is a page I've worked on a lot. In fact, I might have even written the bit you're talking about, and I intend on recording the information I find on there when I've collected more data. I think more research needs to be done into the effects of region changing - there are certain changes between the regions which aren't related to the language itself, so finding out if these changes are also affected by the region change feature will be interesting!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Yeah, this is a page I've worked on a lot. In fact, I might have even written the bit you're talking about, and I intend on recording the information I find on there when I've collected more data. I think more research needs to be done into the effects of region changing - there are certain changes between the regions which aren't related to the language itself, so finding out if these changes are also affected by the region change feature will be interesting!

I always wondered about regional changes. For example in Mario party advance. US it's koopa kid but in Europe it's mini Bowser. I wonder what goes into deciding little things like that. Like with Gender/style or gen/gene on the tamagotchi. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kuchipetchi said:

US it's koopa kid but in Europe it's mini Bowser.

Might be because it sounds like "kupa" which means "poop" in Poland, while there's no Polish version of the game I'm pretty sure it was still sold here so they made this decision, just guessing though.

Regional changes are indeed interesting!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Kuchipetchi said:

I always wondered about regional changes. For example in Mario party advance. US it's koopa kid but in Europe it's mini Bowser. I wonder what goes into deciding little things like that. Like with Gender/style or gen/gene on the tamagotchi. 

I feel like the V1 regional differences are the result of poor wording or mistranslation or something. "Style" is such an unusual phrase to use as a substitute for "gender", and "Gene." is a really weird way to abbreviate the word. There's other unusual wording choices, too, and considering the fact that US ROMs are later than the rest (those are the version numbers 4.0 and 4.2) and that this wording was what stuck in later versions, it feels like that's even more evidence that it wasn't really a regional choice. Similarly early versions of the V2 have differently named items which arguably sound a lot weirder than their final versions, as far as I know even the international versions were developed in Japan so this could again be due to translation issues. I guess they kept the wording for the region change feature for testing purposes, or something.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.