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ROM Versions

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1 minute ago, Kuchipetchi said:

Tamasuku 1: 21.2

Interesting! Definitely wasn't expecting it to be 21.

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Now we're in a place where, by my count, pretty much all Connection / Plus releases have at least one known ROM version associated with them, I thought I'd do a big update on all the known ROM versions so far across the entire Tamagotchi series. I've also got something else concerning the development of Tamagotchis which I'll be making a post about soon, but we'll get to that later.

The Test Mode was actually still present as far back as the Vintage releases (activated by pressing A+Reset on these versions), but the version number was not part of this mode. The first version to present the player with information about the firmware of the device was the V1:

 

Tamagotchi Plus / Tamagotchi Connection / Tamagotchi Connexion and Deka Tamagotchi
The V1 is probably the version that has been researched the most, due to its wide range of version differences. The following are all the versions that have been observed on a V1 so far, with a description of each version:

WxJnpo6.png

0.0 - Tamagotchi Plus
By the looks of it, this is the only ROM version that ordinary Tamagotchi Plus devices use.

0.1 - Tamagotchi Plus GLAY Expo Edition
A special edition of the Plus with a unique character replacing the characters that the Matchmaker normally brings.

2.0 - Tamagotchi Connexion
The earliest wave of European and Australian shells used this version.

2.1 - Tamagotchi Connexion
Later releases used this version.

2.3 - Tamagotchi Connexion
Has so far only been observed via the region change procedure on a device with ROM version 4.1 - it is currently unknown if any devices run this version without region changing.

3.0 - Deka Tamagotchi (Unreleased English Version)
Behaves exactly like a Deka Tamagotchi but in English. Can only be accessed by performing the region change procedure on a device with ROM version 4.2.

4.0 - Tamagotchi Connection
Used by the earliest batch of American shells.

4.1 - Tamagotchi Connection
Later batches of the first wave of shells used this version.

4.2 - Tamagotchi Connection
Later waves used this version.

Missing versions
A Spanish version is known to exist, but its ROM version has not yet been identified. Version 2.3 is yet to be observed without region changing, and it is thought that version 2.2 also exists but has not been seen yet. Later batches of European and Australian shells are most likely to feature new ROM versions - in fact, just today I noticed that some European V1s used the same plastic packaging as the V2 while others don't - the only difference is that the V2 packaging has a slightly raised region around where it says "Version 2", while the original V1 packaging does not feature this as there is no corresponding label for "Version 1". The current plan is to keep checking the version on more devices in case any of them feature new version numbers. The original Deka Tamagotchi is understood to have ROM version 1.0, but no device has been checked to prove this yet.

Later International Releases (2005 - 2008)

xMjmhUS.png

A.2 - Tamagotchi Connection V2
Early releases of the US version of the V2 - though, for unknown reasons, these devices were released in Europe instead and the US release date for the V2 was pushed from March 2005 to June 2005. In addition, the "first wave" was replaced with a new first wave of shells when the V2 released in the US.

A.3 - Tamagotchi Connexion Version 2
Early releases of the European version of the V2 used this version. Both A.2 and A.3 can be identified by the fact they use different item names - for example, "Honey" was called "Love Potion" on these early versions.

A.4 - Tamagotchi Connection V2
Later US releases of the V2.

A.5 - Tamagotchi Connexion Version 2
Later European and Australian releases of the V2.

A.8 - Tamagotchi Connection V2
Spanish language version of the V2. Interestingly, the shell designs from the "cancelled" first wave of US shells was used for this version.

A2 H - Tamagotchi Connexion Version 2 - PUMA Edition
A unique version of the V2 released in Europe with a different start up animation and egg sprite.

A3 0 - Tamagotchi Connection V3
Early releases of the V3 in the US.

A3 2 - Tamagotchi Connection V3
Later releases of the V3 in the US.

A3 3 - Tamagotchi Connexion V3
Later releases of the V3 in Europe.

A4.2 U - Tamagotchi Connection V4
Early releases of the V4 in the US.

A4.3 E - Tamagotchi Connexion Jinsei Version 4
Early releases of the V4 in Europe.

A4.4 U - Tamagotchi Connection V4
Later releases of the V4 in the US.

A4.5 E - Tamagotchi Connexion Jinsei Version 4
Later releases of the V4 in Europe.

A4.7 E - Tamagotchi Connexion Jinsei Version 4
Later releases of the V4 in Europe.

A4.5-2 U - Tamagotchi Connexion V4.5
US V4.5.

A4.5-3 E - Tamagotchi Connexion Jinsei Plus Version 4
European V4.5.

Missing versions
Spanish versions of the V3, V4 and V4.5 are missing. A.6 (likely a very late US V2 version), A.7 (likely a very late European V2 version), A3 1 (likely an early European V3 version) and A4.6 (likely a late US V4 version) seem to be missing. A4.7 E was only recently discovered, which suggests there may be more rare ROM versions for other releases, too.

Later Japanese Releases (2005 - 2008)
The Japanese releases after the Plus continued the version numbering system it used.

vehzt2Y.png

6.0 - Keitai
Early releases.

6.1 - Keitai
Later releases. The Hello Kitty item was replaced with a Bunny.

8.0 - Hanerutchi

11.1 - Ouchi no Dekatama

12.0 - Akai

14.1 - Entama

14.5 - Entama CYOI Change

16.0 - Uratama

18.0 - Hanerutchi 2

21.2 - TamaSuku 1

23.0 - TamaSuku 2

27.2 - TamaFure

0.2 - Oden-Kun
Seems to use its own version numbering, possibly filling the gap of 0.2 that comes after 0.0 and 0.1.

1.0 - Ouchi no Dekatama Game King
Seems to use its own version numbering, with a version screen which differs from previous releases.

Missing versions
Other Dekatama versions (Dekatama Shop, Tamatama Market, Royal Market, Game Center, Jukutama) are missing. It may be the case that there exist other versions before or after those listed above, like 14.0 or 16.1.

Tamagotchi Connection V5 / Tamagotchi Familitchi Connexion / Famitama

g73mMRl.png

28.2 - Famitama
Japanese release, first wave version.

28.3 - Famitama
Japanese release, second wave version.

32.1 - Tamagotchi Connection V5
US release.

34.1 - Tamagotchi Familitchi Connexion
European release.

36.0 - Royal Famitama
Japanese release.

36.0 USA 00 - Tamagotchi Connection V5 Celebrity
US release.

36.0 ESP 00 EU - Tamagotchi Connection V5 Celebrity
Spanish language release.

Missing versions
The Spanish language version of the V5 is missing. 28.0, 28.1, 32.0 and 34.0 may also exist. There was also a special Otokitchi dating station in some Tamadepa stores, but it is likely that these are no longer accessible to anyone.

Later International Releases (2009 - 2015)

ZJhQVtE.png

6.0 00 32.0 0 USA - Tamagotchi Music Star
Wave 1 US release, later batches - early batches were mistakenly given the European version. This screen is not pictured above as I have not yet seen a photo of its version screen.

6.0 00 32.0 0 EU - Tamagotchi Music Star
Early European releases.

6.0 01 32.0 0 USA - Tamagotchi Music Star
Wave 2 US release.

6.0 01 32.0 0 EU - Tamagotchi Music Star
Later European releases.

7.0 01 32.0 USA - Tamatown Tama-Go
US release.

8.0 00 USA - Tamagotchi Friends
Wave 1 release (often called "European", but the version is a USA version)

9.0 00 USA - Tamagotchi Friends Dream Town Digital Friend
US release.

Missing versions
Spanish Music Star, Portuguese Tama-Go, Russian Friends and wave 2 Friends.

Tamagotchi Plus Color, Tamagotchi iD, Tamagotchi iDL and Tamagotchi P's (2008 - 2013)
Later Japanese releases seem to use a build date instead of a decimal point sub-version.

SusrLaV.png

40; 08-10-22 - Tamagotchi Plus Color

40; 08-11-14 - Tamagotchi Plus Color

42; 09-06-11 - Hexagontchi

43; 10-02-25 - Tamagotchi iD

LOWWzsw.png

49; 10-09-09 - Tamagotchi iD Station

3pxkapa.png

50; 11-01-14 - Tamagotchi iDL

53; 12-04-30 - Tamagotchi iDL
English language release. I don't know why the screen is green on this version.

54; 11-09-05 - Tamagotchi iDL 15th Anniversary

55; 11-12-22 - Tamagotchi iDL Princess Spacy Version

56; 13-01-06 - Tamagotchi P's

Missing versions
iD Spot, Conan iD, Lovely Melody iD, iDL Spot, other firmware versions of the above releases.

Tamagotchi 4U, Tamagotchi 4U+, Tamagotchi M!x and Tamagotchi Meets (2014 - 2019)
The version numbering was reset from 001 in the Tamagotchi 4U.

l8hCMcm.png

001; 14-08-14 - Tamagotchi 4U

014; 16-08-04 - Tamagotchi M!x - Melody M!x

015; 16-09-26 - Tamagotchi M!x - Anniversary M!x

021 - Tamagotchi M!x - Gift M!x
I don't yet have the ROM version screen for this version, so I'm not sure what its build date is.

030; 18-10-19 - Tamagotchi Meets - Fairytale Meets

031; 18-10-19 - Tamagotchi Meets - Magical Meets

Missing versions
4U+, Spacy M!x, Dream M!x, Sanrio M!x, M!x Station, Pastel Meets, Sanrio Meets, Fantasy Meets, Meets Station, Tamagotchi On, possibly more firmware versions for each?

Other Devices
Many other devices have firmware version numbers that do not fit the numbering schemes of the main series.

F1TOjV8.png

0 - P1 2018 Rerelease, Japan

1 - P1 2018 Rerelease, USA

3 - P2 2018 Rerelease, Japan

5 - P2 2018 Rerelease, USA

sZM3Dqg.png

71.9 - Tamagotchi Nano V1

72.0 - Tamagotchi Nano V2

No, I don't know why they use these numbers, either.

wDg0udn.png

11.1 - Pocket Usatama
I don't currently have a photo of this screen.

0 20.1 - Gudetama Tamagotchi, Japan

2 20.2 - Gudetama Tamagotchi, USA

0 30.1 - Eevee Tamagotchi

XlcZtvI.png

1.0 - Tamagotchi Chibi, Japan
and
1.0 - Tamagotchi Chibi 2017 Rerelease, Japan
The characters differ between the different releases of the Mini, so I'm not sure why they use the same version.

2.0 - Tamagotchi Mini 2017 Rerelease, USA

kM6bUSL.png

1.0 - TamagoChu

And, possibly my favourite ROM version screen:

f317jPc.png

TAMA・P V1-00 - TamaWalkie
Perhaps the P is for Pedometer?

Missing versions
Other mini / chibi versions, the 2019 Usatama and Usapiyo, and perhaps there's other devices too.

I think I need to go and lie down after all that. I hope you all find this interesting! I'll be making the next post soon - we'll be taking a look at some Tamagotchi design documents.

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42 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

I think I need to go and lie down after all that. I hope you all find this interesting!

I certainly did - thankyou very much for your continued work on documenting these things. :D

42 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

I'll be making the next post soon - we'll be taking a look at some Tamagotchi design documents.

Oooooh, now that's going to be fun to see! Where did you find those?! :o

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10 minutes ago, Penguin-keeper said:

I certainly did - thankyou very much for your continued work on documenting these things. :D

Oooooh, now that's going to be fun to see! Where did you find those?! :o

A user in the Tamagotchi discord recently found some Tamagotchi patent files and digging through them revealed quite a number of interesting things!

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43 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

A user in the Tamagotchi discord recently found some Tamagotchi patent files and digging through them revealed quite a number of interesting things!

Oh niiiice! That sort of thing is always fun reading, at least for folks like us. :lol: I'm really looking forward to your post about that.

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A small update (sadly not the long post about patent documents that I'm planning, I'll get round to that soon!)

Apparently, the second wave of the Tamagotchi Friends is version 8.5 00 USA, instead of being something like 8.0 01 USA. Who'd'a thunk it?

Furthermore, I've been thinking about serial numbers - apparently, there are some correlations between the number that's printed on the back of the device and the firmware version. This is something I'd look into further, because it's much more easy to convince someone to look at what serial number they have than to ask them to go to the test mode, lmao. Any pairs of ROM version number and serial number that any of you have will be greatly appreciated.

Finally, I've produced a document based upon the full version list I made a few posts back. Here, I'll keep a list of all the versions without too many of the actual differences between the versions (that information will go elsewhere), as well as a few pages describing the different developer features that Tamagotchis have as well as how to perform them. Those of you looking to get into this sort of thing - or are hoping to help contribute - may want to use the document as a reference. You can find it here.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hwd45 said:

Any pairs of ROM version number and serial number that any of you have will be greatly appreciated.

Presuming that the serial-number is the one that's embossed on the back of the outside of the battery-door, I'll just re-use my photographs from back in January, here, and add in the numbers as captions underneath;

YVHtzzG.jpg
Silver V2: 82705

KR87kZe.jpg
Blue with Flames V4: 0012507

I hope this helps! :D

Edited by Penguin-keeper
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1 hour ago, Penguin-keeper said:

I hope this helps! :D

It does help! And with a few serial codes I think I've already figured out what they mean. And I think it's really, really cool.

Let's look at a few I've collected for V1 and V2, along with their version numbers:

V1
50504 - ??? - EU Wave 1 - Yellow w/ Arrows
21804 - 4.1 - US Wave 1 - Valentine
72804 - 4.1 - US Wave 1 - Purple Spots
03804 - 4.2 - US Wave 1 - Orange Bursts

V2
01305 - A.2 - US Wave 0 - Milky Blue
10305 - A.2 - US Wave 0 - Milky Pink
10305 - ??? - US Wave 0 - Milky White
92605 - A.4 - TF Wave 1 - TF Flowers Yellow
92605 - A.4 - TF Wave 1 - TF Flowers Orange
82705 - A.5 - EU Wave 2 - Silver w/ Black

Now for each of these, notice all the V1s - released in 2004 - end in 04, while the V2s - released in 2005 - end in 05. Notice how the middle number seems to increase with the version number too, and the second number seems to always be 0, 1, 2 or 3.

For each of the shells above, I'm gonna reverse the first two digits, represent the digit as a date and then list the date that particular wave of shells released next to it:

V1
05/5/04 - ??? - EU Wave 1 - Released June 2004
12/8/04 - 4.1 - US Wave 1 - Released August 2004
27/8/04 - 4.1 - US Wave 1 - Released August 2004
30/8/04 - 4.2 - US Wave 1 - Released August 2004

V2
10/3/05 - A.2 - US Wave 0 - Released April 2005
01/3/05 - A.2 - US Wave 0 - Released April 2005
01/3/05 - ??? - US Wave 0 - Released April 2005
29/6/05 - A.4 - TF Wave 1 - Released ~July 2005
29/6/05 - A.4 - TF Wave 1 - Released ~July 2005
28/7/05 - A.5 - EU Wave 2 - Released September 2005

To me, this looks like pretty solid evidence that for at least some versions the serial number is actually just a date with a couple numbers tweaked - most likely the build date. Notice in particular that the US V1 Wave 1 shells don't use the earliest firmware version - those using version 4.1 would have been an updated version made around the time of the V1's release, while devices running version 4.2 began production somewhere between the 27th and 30th of August 2004, possibly in response to some of the battery problems people were already experiencing. Note also that the second wave was initially supposed to release in early September 2004 - I wonder if this played a part in pushing the date back.

Pretty cool stuff! This should help identify the build dates of all the different versions of the Tamagotchi firmware, as well as help figure out how some of the versions were split into separate waves.

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4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

To me, this looks like pretty solid evidence that for at least some versions the serial number is actually just a date with a couple numbers tweaked - most likely the build date.

So the numbers are basically the date of the manufacturing run? That is an awesome find. :D

How do things look with the other versions, then? I can see the date format in the V4 serial-number that I wrote down, but it's got a couple of extra 0s at the front of it - are those used for anything?

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6 hours ago, Penguin-keeper said:

So the numbers are basically the date of the manufacturing run? That is an awesome find. :D

How do things look with the other versions, then? I can see the date format in the V4 serial-number that I wrote down, but it's got a couple of extra 0s at the front of it - are those used for anything?

So far it looks like all V3s, V4s and V4.5s have those extra zeroes, so I'm not quite sure of their purpose. Aside from the zeroes they seem to use the same format as the rest - an example being 0031308, which, when read backwards, reveals the date 2008/03/13. This is actually pretty late for a V4 considering that both the V4.5 and V5 had already been out at this point, but the test mode reveals the version is a surprisingly late A4.7 E. This seems to be why some versions are particularly rare - they had continued to produce them well into the lifespan of the proceeding version. Funnily enough, while we had speculated that there might be very late versions of the V1, even V1s produced several months into the V2's lifespan used version 4.2, which seems to disprove the existence of later US versions. Later European versions are still not off the table though and the existence of some variants of the V1 containing V2 assets (the V2 close up animations) makes a lot more sense when you take into account the fact that they were still producing the V1 even after the V2 was out the door.

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7 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Later European versions are still not off the table though and the existence of some variants of the V1 containing V2 assets (the V2 close up animations) makes a lot more sense when you take into account the fact that they were still producing the V1 even after the V2 was out the door.

Now I'm curious: Do those V1s containing V2 assets behave any differently when connected to a V2, or do they still just display Nazotchi if the creature on the other device isn't one of the V1's characters?

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39 minutes ago, Penguin-keeper said:

Now I'm curious: Do those V1s containing V2 assets behave any differently when connected to a V2, or do they still just display Nazotchi if the creature on the other device isn't one of the V1's characters?

Not sure. The problem is that so far we've only seen these V2-asset V1s in a few pictures, and we only know they exist because Kuchipatchi is seen to use his V2 closeup animation (it's possible the other characters do too but we've not proved that yet). Figuring out which ROM version they use seems to be the biggest unsolved mystery of the V1 since they're rare enough that we just don't seem to encounter them often. Plus, close up animations can be easily missed so the easiest way to find this version is literally just to use the test mode on lots of different V1s until we find something new. Maybe using the manufacture dates will make things a little bit quicker since V1s with unusual dates are good candidates.

But to sort of half-answer your question about V2 characters, if a US V1 is debugged and given one of the V2 debug characters, when connecting with another V1 it will respond differently depending on the version - a 2.0 will display a glitchy mess in place of the character (instead of Nazotchi!) while 2.3 shows the character correctly (confirming the characters are present on the 2.3, even though it can't be debugged). Not sure about 2.1 yet. It'll be exciting to see how many of the V2's assets were carried over to the V2-asset-V1.

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An amendment to my previous post: I asked around in the Tamagotchi Collectors Discord for manufacture dates of Euro and Aus V1s. Quickly found a wave 2 Aus shell with a manufacture date of Feb 1st 2005. A ROM test revealed its version number - 2.4. After all this time I'd assumed 2.4 was nothing more than a rumour that I'd read about in one Tamazone thread from ten years ago, but it turns out it's a real version! Not only that, but it was manufactured around the time of the V2's release, so there's a good possibility this is the missing version we've been looking for.

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Posted (edited)

It's been a while since I posted in this thread as I'm far more active on Discord but I am the person with the A4.7 V4 and looking at the number it has on the back, it seems that it was manufactured approximately seven months AFTER the V4.5's release (13 March 2008). One thing I noticed about it that sets it apart from other V4s is the fact that it seems to have a very low skill point threshold for the universal group whereas it was previously quite high - I tested this by only having about 8-9 skill points in each category and still got a Meme adult. That's definitely a V4.5 characteristic but now I plan to look more into it to see if there are any others. 

My V4 is a European version and its number is 0031308 (13 March 2008). For comparison, my first wave European V4.5 has the number 0030707 (3 July 2007). Another very bizarre thing about my V4 is that it is actually a first wave shell (transparent blue with stars) which I certainly wouldn't have expected but it is interesting nonetheless.

v4%2B%25281%2529.jpg

Edited by rjalda100
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Posted (edited)

A few other miscellaneous things that didn't really fit with my last post. 

I was able to rom test an Asia/Pacific V5 and found out its rom version: 30.1. This falls in line with the North American and European versions which are 32.1 and 34.1 respectively. There don't seem to be as many variants of the V5 so if I had to guess, I'd say 30.1 is probably the only version for the Asia/Pacific V5. 

The number on the back of one of my second wave True Friends V2s (NA release) is 82706. We don't know if this is a misprint or if the tama really was manufactured in July 2006. If that date is correct, the tama itself is still running A.4 so that would rule out late NA V2s having a later ROM version (in that case, the reason for the Spanish version jumping to A.8 is unknown). 

The latest date I've seen in a North American V1 is 24 June 2005. The tama in question is running 4.2 so that essentially rules out a possible 4.3 unless that number was used for the Spanish version. 

Edited by rjalda100
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Okay, I think it's finally time to talk about those patent documents for the V1. The patents are for a "Communication Game Device", one of the patents being in Japanese and the other apparently being a translated version of the Japanese document. As such, there are a few translation errors here and there, so I'll be checking both documents.

Both of the patent documents were files on December 26th 2003, a few months before the Japanese release of the Tamagotchi Plus. I'm not sure what stage of development the Tamagotchi was at at this point, but by the looks of it, most of the mechanics had been decided upon.

The document begins with a crude drawing of a Tamagotchi device.

5f506043e318cf3ed8ee0982491dc13c.png

The shape of the device and the location of the keyring more closely match the vintage models than the Connection-era devices. Instead of a window at the top, two small circles are depicted as allowing the IR functionality. Specifically:

Quote

The main body 1 has at the upper part an infrared light emitting device 17 which is a sender and the infrared light receiving device 19 which is a receiver and they enable communication with other communication game devices.

Skipping ahead to figure 3, we're greeted with a diagram explaining Tamagotchi growth:

49d0c28295dfcc27b9ac8e14d6c56ff7.png

The diagram mostly matches what we expect of the V1. Although the bottom of the diagram says "Grandfather" and "Grandmother", this seems to be a mistranslation of じいさん and ばあさん which also mean "Old man" / "Old woman". The right of the diagram names the five different character categories on the V1 - "Earnest", "Ordinary", "Mischievious" [sic], "Unhealthy" and "Stubborn".

At the top of the diagram we see one immediate difference - the egg sprite from the (Japanese) P1 is shown instead of the one the V1 uses, which is a modified version of the Mesutchi egg sprite. No teenagers are shown, possibly because all the teenagers on the V1 were entirely new.

461aa94388685571466a27090a6b3b7d.png

Another diagram showing the character groups. Instead of describing the characters in terms of a single "care misses" parameter, each group corresponds to mental and physical wellbeing levels. Surprisingly, groups C and D are described as being "Ordinary mental wellbeing, poor physical wellbeing" and "Poor mental wellbeing, ordinary physical wellbeing" respectively, instead of D being described as worse care than C.

Figure 5 lists the different options underneath each menu, as well as some "hidden parameters":

c28082f7abdf12a9c2190f7bb1ee0578.png

These reflect the care parameters we saw before, as well as a device ID and some sort of "good luck" level.

Next we have a table showing the different variables in the first menu:

beef833f1f48d069564d4342b8f7dd88.png

This confirms that there are an additional two hunger hearts and one happy heart that aren't seen to the player. It also gives an explanation of how care affects the level of physical or mental underdevelopment. Apparently the weight of the character decreases by 1 for every hour the character is left with 0 hunger too? That's something I wasn't aware of, if that's present in the final version.

There's some interesting text regarding the weight parameter:

Quote

At the breeding age, if the weight reaches 99 g according to the way meals are given, a picture is displayed showing the virtual living object is overweight. If the weight is reduced to 80 g after dieting by playing the mini game, a normal character is displayed. The program enables the control such that if the virtual living object becomes obese, the chance of the virtual living object getting sick increases and it becomes impossible for the virtual living object to have a meal, and the discipline mode will not be carried out.

Sounds similar to a mechanic that was used on the Osutchi and Mesutchi and later on the Tama-Go. I guess this was a cancelled feature.

Continuing on the topic of care misses, there's also this table explaining care misses further:

5e48206de531b2969688cde46b33b0dc.png

Apparently, each of the games has the effect of decreasing one of the care miss parameters if you play them enough. The wording is ambiguous here but it goes into more detail in another part of the document - clearing 20 or more hurdles is what decreases the care miss counter, not playing the game 20 times. The luck parameter is given in a little more detail, too - it seems to affect how well your Tamagotchi forms relationships with other characters.

In fact, there's a whole section on what seems to be an entirely different take on the matchmaker mechanic:

Quote

If the growth phase of the virtual living object comes to the "breeding age" and day one goes by, the "arranged dating" system becomes available. The "arranged dating" system is a command that executes a program in which the virtual living object gives birth to a baby having good luck of level 1 if the "arranged dating" is successful even if the player does not communicate with another game device. In the "arranged dating" system, the player chooses one of four virtual living objects and the arranged dating is successful if both virtual living objects are chosen who will fall in love with each other and a heart sign lights up and a baby is born. The game player can choose the partner up to 3 times per day, and the game player is supposed to choose an arranged marriage partner considering the personality of the character (virtual living object). The virtual living object can be chosen with the A button, and the character of the virtual living object can be displayed with the B button. The rate of successful arranged dating changes with the level of good luck. The rate is also increased by 20% if the virtual living object has an item. A "debuchara" (obese character) has no chance of having a successful arranged dating experience. If the "arranged dating" is successful, a baby may be born, but after childbirth, the life of the parent and the child lasts for three days (a picture showing the parents and the child is displayed), and the parent’s numerical value is displayed as a parameter.

If the good luck mechanic is unused in the final version of the device, perhaps the removal of this feature was responsible.

Ever wanted to learn more about Tamagotchi poop? Well, now's your chance:

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The "(3) toilet" command is to delete a picture representing excrement on a display a certain period of time after the virtual living object has a bowel movement. The program enables the control such that if eight excrements are shown on the display, the virtual living object gets sick (cannot eat meals or snacks or the game can no longer be played). Whenever the hunger parameter decreases by two, the virtual living object has one bowel movement.

Yeah, that first line really makes me laugh, too.

The document then goes on to explain the connection feature and an entire ranking system that's used to determine which character wins and which loses - I won't go into too much detail about this here though. The text very quickly cuts off here and switches to repeating what was already said, but in German this time. The Japanese document continues, though I can't guarantee the accuracy of Google Translate's take on this section:

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In the case of "Ren-ai", the opposite aircraft communicated was heterosexual after 1 day of the spawning season.

Okay yeah this section is going to be an absolute nightmare to understand. Not to worry though - as I was writing this I realised I've been looking at the European version of the document, and the US version of the document was the one I had been looking at previously - for some reason, it contains more information than this one does.

Continuing on the topic of IR connection, the document makes the following claim about connection breeding:

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This process is different from the "arranged dating process" using icon (4) "minigame"

So apparently that early matchmaker game mentioned earlier was literally in the game menu.

Pictures show the result of connection breeding, as well as the effect it would have on the luck level of the child:

dd954181bd603564f911e1024559719c.png

0aed5b0a1353acf654fcc9fd2a743673.png

Both the image and the text claim that both a boy and a girl are born, obviously contrasting from the final version. The animations seem pretty different, too!

Here's an interesting bit about recording friends:

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Every time ten friends are listed as a result of various communications, an image showing a congratulations banner is displayed, and a special cake which is not served on normal occasions is served. The special cake refers to Snacks which can be eaten bringing the 'good mood' parameter to the top without increasing the weight.

I'm definitely not convinced this is a feature in the final version, unless they removed this in later versions and my V1-experience is just really limited.

This next bit is particularly interesting:

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The communication game device of the present invention is capable of storing items “the gift given by the friend by communication' and items “the gift received in the seasonal event”under“a gift (item)” (See FIGS. 11A and 11B), and the given gifts can be used.

There's never any mention of any sort of seasonal event item in the figures. In fact, the figures show the following:

2aa682f1b6061bcc0e5d5bea20e6a5f2.png

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Note also here that the sprites for the ball and the flower are different from their final versions.

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On the third day of the parent-child mode display at about 12 o'clock midnight, the parent disappears (implying separation of the parent from the child (leaving a nest)). Under this circumstance, if the power is on, the pictures will be displayed for this situation.

Interestingly, this passage seems to suggest that the parent death sequence is only visible if the lights are on. This changed in the final version.

Ever wondered how death works?

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The conditions which satisfy the state of "seriously ill" include those cases where the virtual living object is neglected for 12 hours with the hunger parameter being 0, where the virtual living object is neglected in a state of being "seriously ill" for 12 hours, where the virtual living object gets sick four times during a single growth stage and where three days have passed after the "ojitchi" or "otokitchi" is displayed.

It seems like this last bit suggests that originally the Tamagotchi would have died three days after becoming an old timer? Perhaps it does that on the Osutchi and Mesutchi?

The next section describes the different animations that play throughout the day. We get this lovely timetable showing each character group's actions:

6b0c3fed831774c87a9c7cca3cf87d44.png

If some of the characters really do have a nap after waking up, I wasn't aware of it.

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In "playing alone/play with an item', a picture is displayed based on a 50% probability after a lottery is performed once every 15 minutes during childhood. The pictures displayed in the event include five kinds of play including “play with an item'. A decision on which picture is displayed is made as follows: for the first five showings, a picture is chosen which has never been displayed. For the sixth and further showings, a picture is chosen randomly from the five previously shown pictures. As a teenager, the lottery is performed once in every 30 minutes and a picture is shown with a 50% probability. A picture is shown following the order of priority of a “seasonal event”, “play with an item', and “playing alone'. After all the different kinds of "playing alone/play with an item' have been shown, a picture is chosen randomly from all of the different kinds of pictures. A list of pictures displayed in the “playing alone/play with an item” modes is shown in FIG. 16. As seen from the list, different pictures are displayed at different stages such as childhood, teenager and adult.

"Seasonal events" are mentioned again, referring to the animations that play on specific dates throughout the year. Here's the animation list they mentioned:

9cb38268e36321ec6a6253df4b69a959.png
9fcaa36442b5be92478b8d6346c8eb9f.png

Marutchi is once again shown with a different ball sprite and - what's this? The vintage version of Masukutchi was apparently planned to feature on the V1, and we get a nice sneak peak of his close-up animation! It's likely that Masukutchi was replaced with the identically named Connection-era character. Kind of a shame, honestly. Kuchipatchi's close up sprite seems to have been subtly modified, too.

The seasonal animation list is as follows:

35728e1da562ac99a905a538b19ed1a3.png
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As far as I'm aware, the only seasonal events on the plus are New Year, Doll's Festival, Children's Festival, Star Festival, Full Moon Festival and Christmas.

The text goes into a lot more detail about each of these, but I'll pick out the more important bits:

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On "St. Valentine's Day', February 14, pictures showing a male character having chocolate as a gift from a friend are displayed to commemorate the day or pictures showing a male character having chocolate are displayed at the time of the “playing alone' mode based on the probability of the level of good luck.

On “White Day', March 14, a picture showing a female character having a cookie as a gift from a friend is displayed to commemorate the event. During the playing alone” mode, the female character can get a cookie using a probability based on their level of good luck.

On April Fool's Day”, April 1, a picture showing a character pretending to be dead is displayed at the time of the "playing alone” mode to commemorate this day.

During April 3-10, in the "playing alone' mode, a picture showing a cherry blossom viewer is displayed.

During June 15-30 when the rainy season sets in, a picture of a paper doll is displayed at wake-up time to wish for fine weather (it disappears if another action is taken).

On August 15-17, a picture showing a ghost is displayed as an event of the “Bon Festival' during the “playing alone' mode. On August 20, a picture showing “exploding fire works’ is displayed in the “playing alone” mode time after 17:00 as an event of the “Summer Festival” and a picture showing "carrying mikoshi' is displayed during the “playing alone” mode time.

On October 10, “Health Sports Day', a picture showing a hurdle competition is displayed during the playing alone” mode as the event of the season.

On October 31, a picture is displayed showing a “pumpkin monster” for “Halloween during the “playing alone' mode.

On November 15, a picture is displayed showing a 3 year old, 5 year-old, and 7 year-old virtual living object (Tamagotchi) getting a gift at wake-up time to celebrate the “Shichi-go-san' holiday.

The countdown for the New Year starts 5 seconds before the New Year, and the numbers 5, 4,3, 2, 1, are displayed, and a picture showing “Happy New Year” is displayed.

Next, we get lots of diagrams explaining the connection process, as well as this lovely picture of Mimitchi doing... something

920992c8b3bc0f77e8ad2453c259ef51.png

The following values are identified as information that is sent during connection:

69d567938a55a73dbdf6bf51475f4e36.png

Once again, identifying the most important parameters:

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The “recognition code” is a code for the recognition of the device expressed in 8 bits. The recognition code identifies the difference in the hardware configuration. For example, the communication game device of the same hardware configuration has the same recognition code, but a communication game device of a different hardware configuration has a different recognition code even if the game device can communicate with the game device having a different code.

The "version" is information expressed in 8 bits which varies depending on the kind of character picture (picture of the virtual living object) to be displayed, or the relationship between the memorized character picture and the picture ID.

The “command” is information expressed in 8 bits according to the communication currently performed. In the case of the initial communication process, a code of the “initial communication" is set for the sending game device and a code of an “initial communication response" is set for the receiving side.

The "ID" is the information (body ID) which a calculation processing section gives randomly at the time of reset (Such as at the time the battery is exchanged, etc.) to a communication game device using a number selected from 0 through 256 based on the control program. The information is used in combination with the “name code" explained below in order to identify a partner's communication game device.

The “character number is expressed in 6 bits and is given to each of the various virtual living objects as a code (picture ID). About 35 different codes are provided.

The “no mystery' is one-bit information. The code takes “0” which is defined as “mysterious” when the “version” information sent from the communication partner (picture code) is different from the “version of the player's game device. However the code takes “1” which is defined as "no mystery' when the “version' information sent from the com munication partner (picture code) is the same as the “version' of the player's game device.

The “hunger parameter is a three-bit parameter which affects the result of “quick-eating competition'.

The “number of encounters' increases by one every time communication is performed with the communication partner already remembered in the communication partner memory part.

After the initial communication process, the sending game device checks the received “recognition code” and the “version' to confirm that the receiving game device is able to communicate with the sending game device.

This also explains why a device with ROM version 2.0, upon connection with a debugged V1 showing V2 characters, will display the character icons as a random mess of pixels - the version number matches what the device is expecting, so the "No mystery" parameter is set to 1. However, as the 2.0 lacks the data for these characters, the necessary data is not present within the list of character sprites, so garbage data is displayed visually instead.

In fact, another paragraph later on in the document confirms this!

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If the information on the “version' (memory picture code) exchanged in the initial communication process is identical on both sides, the character picture in accordance with the “character number obtained in the initial communication process is fetched. If the information on the “version' is not identical on both sides, the kinds of character pictures memorized in the image storage section may differ, or the character pictures may differ even if these pictures have the same "character number. In those case where the “version of the sending device and the receiving device are found to be different after the “version of a communication partner and the player's game device were compared, the communication game device of the present invention displays the “mystery mark' having the character number 16' indicating that the memory picture code is not identical. When the “memory picture code of the communication partner who communicates for the first time differs from the “memory picture code' of the player's game device, the “no mystery' parameter for the communication partner is set to “0” (i.e., “mystery’) in the steps of “add or renew memory” processing in the “add/renew memory’ process. After this setting, when the friend list is displayed, the “mystery mark” of a character number 16' is displayed as the virtual living object of the communication partner.

This next line is of particular importance:

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In the case where the Step S12 shows that the partner device can communicate with the player's game device, a decision is made in the next step (Step S13) whether the communication partner’s “recognition code' is a 'store code'. The “store code” in the “recognition code” is used only for a communication game device installed in a store which is able to communicate with a communication game device. By the decision process, it is decided that the communication partner is a device installed in a store and the process shifts to the “store communication process' shown in FIG. 31 (Step S14).

(The figure isn't very interesting, please take my word for it). This section briefly describes the process behind recognising a device as a Deka device - it doesn't go into any more detail about the Deka features here, though.

After an incredibly hefty section about how games and gifts are decided upon, the Deka is returned to once more:

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The “recognition code” refers to information for identify ing the device which serves as a communication partner. As shown in FIG. 33, the information includes 15 items denoted as VER 1-VER 15. If the “recognition code” is VER 1, the device which received the “recognition code' recognizes that the communication partner is a device installed in a store.

The "Recognition code" should probably start ringing some bells now - it's the ROM version!

5ee0c0999b8c717d16c456da54e883c9.png

Most of this table is completely redundant. Let's take a look at each of the devices that are named:

"Reproduced Tamagotchi" - The Japanese document says "Reprint" instead of "Reproduced". This probably just refers to the fact that Tamagotchi Plus is a "return" of Tamagotchis (かえってきた!) and it corresponds with the Plus's version number, 0.0.

"Store" - Deka Tamagotchi. I guess we can be pretty confident that the Deka has a version number of 1.0!

"Tamagotchi NEO" - 2.0 corresponds to the Connexion, so perhaps this is an early name for the Tamagotchi Connexion, and perhaps the Connection too.

"Portable Tamagotchi" - 3.0 actually corresponds to the unused English Deka, but it's very possible that plans for which versions would correspond to each version number changed this early in development. In fact, the Japanese document instead says "Keitai Tamagotchi" - apparently, they had plans for the Keitai this early in development.

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The “device installed in the store' is a device installed in a store which is capable of communicating with the communication game device of the present invention. The device installed in a store is provided with functions and information which are not given to the usual communication game device. The pictures to be displayed and the various programs performed after the “device installed in the store' and the communication game device of the present invention communicate with each other are memorized beforehand in the communication game device. These pictures and programs are appropriate for the “device installed in the store' and are not displayed or performed until the communication game device acquires the “recognition code’ VER 1 in the initial communication process.

This next paragraph seems to suggest that the original friend list cap was 20 and that data from the list would delete itself:

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If the number of communication partners exceeds 20, the information is added based on the new communication and the information about one of the communication partners who has already been memorized based on the predetermined conditions is deleted.

That's it for the huge wall of text in the document. There's still a couple fun figures to look at though!

b34a528e7e1de89f60dba1e79be858d9.png

If you've ever wanted a list of item ID numbers, here's some sort of table for you.

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And how about character IDs? A few of the names are a little bit corrupted, but the Japanese document gets them all right. The IDs perfectly match up with the order the characters appear in the debug list - that means we can give names to two characters who were previously ambiguous!

The character previously known as "Tsutayatchi" - named after Tsutaya, the company whose logo it is based upon - is actually called "Tsutatchi" (perhaps it received both names?). And remember this little nameless "three blocks" character that was originally intended to be a Deka character? The one that kind of looks like a phone signal and sends you text messages when you connect with it?

TamaConnection_ThreeBlocks.png

It's actually called Denpatchi! This makes a lot of sense, as "Denpa" can mean "Radio Wave" (mobile phones actually communicate with microwave radiation, but whatever).

Oh, and Tarakotchi appears on here twice. If you've ever wondered why he appears twice in the debug list, it's because the first one is for odd generations, and the second is for even generations.

I think that's about enough of this document - it's 2:00 am and I've found about as much as I can. My fingers have had enough. I hope you've all enjoyed reading! If you want to read more for yourself, here's a few links to the patent pages and the respective documents:

US Patent
https://patents.google.com/patent/US8545324B2/
https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/8f/7a/0a/aa530ac17e133b/US8545324.pdf

JP Patent
https://patents.google.com/patent/JP3702283B2/
https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/ba/10/22/91e25bf8c51100/JP3702283B2.pdf

EU Patent
https://patents.google.com/patent/EP1557211B1/
https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/94/fb/d2/8b1ba2d7e781ac/EP1557211B1.pdf

Thanks for reading!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Okay, I think it's finally time to talk about those patent documents for the V1.

This whole thing was a wonderful, well-researched read. Thankyou so very much for putting in the obviously-immense time and effort to compile it. :D

4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Instead of a window at the top, two small circles are depicted as allowing the IR functionality.

The two circles actually show where the two IR LEDs are inside the Connection-era devices - it's not that they're showing a lack of a window, it's just that the head-on drawing only shows what's absolutely necessary, and showing where those LEDs are is necessary even though they'd normally be hidden by the shell if you were looking at it head-on. Looking through the window on top of one should confirm this (I checked it on my V4).

4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Yeah, that first line really makes me laugh, too.

The tone comes off so straight-faced that it's absolutely hilarious. :lol:

4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

The seasonal animation list is as follows:

It's really interesting to see White Day get a mention here!

For anyone unfamiliar with it, in Japan and a few other countries that adopted the custom from Japan, White Day is an "answer day" to Valentine's Day - on Valentine's Day men are given gifts, candies, and chocolates, and on White Day women are given gifts, candies, and chocolates (often white chocolates and also white marshmallows), often in return for gifts that they gave on Valentine's Day. This is why the patent documents here mention that only male characters receive chocolates on Valentine's Day, and only female characters receive cookies on White Day.

This is something that definitely wouldn't have made it into the V1! :lol:

4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Next, we get lots of diagrams explaining the connection process, as well as this lovely picture of Mimitchi doing... something

920992c8b3bc0f77e8ad2453c259ef51.png

That Mimitchi is either giving someone a flower, toasting a marshmallow, or running around lighting things on fire. :o

4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

"Portable Tamagotchi" - 3.0 actually corresponds to the unused English Deka, but it's very possible that plans for which versions would correspond to each version number changed this early in development. In fact, the Japanese document instead says "Keitai Tamagotchi" - apparently, they had plans for the Keitai this early in development.

"Keitai" is the Japanese word used for mobile phones, so it doesn't surprise me that they managed to get "Portable" from it. :P

4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

TamaConnection_ThreeBlocks.png

It's actually called Denpatchi! This makes a lot of sense, as "Denpa" can mean "Radio Wave" (mobile phones actually communicate with microwave radiation, but whatever).

That is awesome. :lol: It's nice to see that this guy actually has an official name!

Thankyou again for all of your hard work on this - it really is appreciated. :tarakotchi:

Edited by Penguin-keeper
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