Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection


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#641 Thorondor

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:30 PM

At least the booklet is full of colourful illustrations, so there's that, Zombie. :)

It's certainly true that your camera got on the flashy side, as the obfuscation on the imagery of the XCOM: Alliance bit on the center pic demonstrates.

Still, your rightmost snap redeems that, making the addition relevant.

#642 Zombie

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 03:51 AM

Hello again folks! :)

I've been doing my normal X-COMXCOM searches religiously again and managed to nab myself a set of 3 rather large speaker tags for the Astro A40 gaming headset featuring Borderlands, Bioshock and XCOM. Put this up in the XCOM Promotional Items page. It wasn't exactly a cheap purchase, but I put in a best offer which was accepted so I feel this was a fair price considering how rare it is. ;)

The searches continue! Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#643 Space Voyager

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Posted 21 September 2020 - 06:22 AM

HA, who would have though such promo items exist! So, you can decorate the headset with the sign from the game you love most?

Nice catch!

#644 Zombie

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 02:07 AM

While doing my searches I came across a PSX promotional flier for X-COM Enemy Unknown (EU PSX version for the first game). It has the cover art for the EU version so I assume this is from overseas even though the seller is from the US. Even stranger? There were 2 for sale, so I purchased them outright. From the photos it looks like it's only 4 pages long - we'll know for sure when they arrive. ;)

And now for some BIG news! Ran across a Russian PSX version of TFTD! It had a buy now option so I purchased it - was quite reasonable at $9+$9 shipping considering it's coming from Kiev, Ukraine. Then again, the delivery window is 15-34 business days so it might not get here till next month. Will be waiting patiently for it to arrive. Who am I kidding, you know I can't wait! Posted Image

Also picked up a December 1995 issue of Next Generation Magazine which has an article on the PSX version of X-COM: UFO Defense. Looks interesting from the single page I can read in the photos - hope there are multiple pages though. Btw, the PSX version was supposedly released Oct 25, 1995 but according to the article here it was still getting finishing touches in December 1995 so the real release date would probably be early Q1 1996. Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#645 Space Voyager

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:46 AM

Congrats! Still, new items of interest emerge from the past.

#646 Thorondor

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:33 AM

I hadn't thought the PSX side of the X-COM equation was so prolific, Zombie!

All three items sound appealing to me to tell you the truth. Posted Image

Don't know if that Russian PSX version of TFTD comes shrink-wrapped or not, but if not would you even be able to run it in a PlayStation given region locking and all that? Anyway, if the data is still readable on the disc I'd at least consider duplicating it for safeguarding.

#647 Zombie

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 01:37 PM

View PostThorondor, on 12 October 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

Don't know if that Russian PSX version of TFTD comes shrink-wrapped or not, but if not would you even be able to run it in a PlayStation given region locking and all that?

It's used, but runs. Looks to be in good condition overall. You would need to get and install a mod chip in a PSX to get around the region codes. I'm not sure if that would be enough as the video format will be different - though this was the case years ago, by now there probably is software that can do this. ;)

View PostThorondor, on 12 October 2020 - 08:33 AM, said:

Anyway, if the data is still readable on the disc I'd at least consider duplicating it for safeguarding.

Yeah, I'll probably copy it to my hard drive and backup drive. :)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#648 magic9mushroom

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:37 AM

I do have to ask, Zombie; with all the stuff you know and have and some of it not publicised (like the annotated source code of TFTD), have you thought through what happens to safeguard it if you were to die? This sort of thing has a nasty tendency to slip between the cracks, since relatives won't have your passwords to get into things and frequently won't even know that they're supposed to be looking, never mind what for.

Very morbid, I know, but I just want to be sure we don't lose some of this stuff.

#649 NKF

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 04:25 AM

Having seen some of the aforementioned unpublicised items - there's some things there that I would really like to see preserved as well such as some really neat TFTD early concept images. Alas, Zombie's hands are tied to some degree.

By the way, Zombie - have you tried using a Playstation emulator? The issue around PAL or NTSC formats would be a non-issue then. Most PCs these days have no trouble emulating the PSX, even on Raspberry Pis.

You can get a tool such as ImgBurn to convert your PSX disc into an ISO file and then get an emulator such as ePSXe to run it. Alternately you can obtain a multi emulator front-end environment called RetroArch on Steam that can download the ePSXe core to emulate PSX ISO files.

I've been getting really into emulation these last few years and have been gradually converting my favourite Playstation titles (up to the PS3) into ISOs and have been playing them through emulators.

This is mostly as a preservation measure as the hardware and storage media are ageing. Being able to play the games on modern hardware is also a plus.
NKF - finally built a gaming PC in 2020 (though not any of that RGB nonsense). Can now play games up to '89!

#650 Zombie

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 02:25 AM

View Postmagic9mushroom, on 13 October 2020 - 09:37 AM, said:

I do have to ask, Zombie; with all the stuff you know and have and some of it not publicised (like the annotated source code of TFTD), have you thought through what happens to safeguard it if you were to die? This sort of thing has a nasty tendency to slip between the cracks, since relatives won't have your passwords to get into things and frequently won't even know that they're supposed to be looking, never mind what for.

Very morbid, I know, but I just want to be sure we don't lose some of this stuff.

Sorta taken care of already. Scared shitless over Covid since March so I took some steps. One of the things I still have yet to do is catalog exactly what I have and label everything, but it's mostly boxed together. Posted Image

View PostNKF, on 16 October 2020 - 04:25 AM, said:

Having seen some of the aforementioned unpublicised items - there's some things there that I would really like to see preserved as well such as some really neat TFTD early concept images. Alas, Zombie's hands are tied to some degree.

By the way, Zombie - have you tried using a Playstation emulator? The issue around PAL or NTSC formats would be a non-issue then. Most PCs these days have no trouble emulating the PSX, even on Raspberry Pis.

You can get a tool such as ImgBurn to convert your PSX disc into an ISO file and then get an emulator such as ePSXe to run it. Alternately you can obtain a multi emulator front-end environment called RetroArch on Steam that can download the ePSXe core to emulate PSX ISO files.

I've been getting really into emulation these last few years and have been gradually converting my favourite Playstation titles (up to the PS3) into ISOs and have been playing them through emulators.

This is mostly as a preservation measure as the hardware and storage media are ageing. Being able to play the games on modern hardware is also a plus.

I believe I tried the ISO thing maybe 10 years ago (for the Japanese version of UFO: EU?) but found the software was very lacking and not at all user friendly for noobs like myself. Not sure what it's like these days - I'm assuming it's much better but still very technical and piddly. ;)

On a related tangent, I received the NEXT Generation magazine the other day and just as I expected it was lackluster. The UFO Defense article was only 2 pages long and beside that, there are no advertisements for the game (or any other MicroProse game for that matter) in the magazine. The PSX promotional flyer is shown as being delivered but I haven't seen it yet (had it delivered to work so I could keep an eye out for it maybe it'll be here Monday). The Russian PSX version of TFTD is being prepared for shipment by the Ukraine postal service (whatever that means) and the eta for it is now Nov 3-Dec 2. Crikey! Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#651 NKF

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:06 AM

Emulation's come a long way in 10 years, so I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results if you attempt it again. I have given my PSX copy of UFO a spin and it runs great.

Having virtually no load times compared to running it on a physical console is divine!
NKF - finally built a gaming PC in 2020 (though not any of that RGB nonsense). Can now play games up to '89!

#652 Zombie

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:27 PM

View PostNKF, on 23 October 2020 - 04:06 AM, said:

Having virtually no load times compared to running it on a physical console is divine!

Very true, I remember the load times for missions was really long on my PSX version of X-COM: UFO Defense. And to think I started my "testing" career on it. Posted Image

While we are on the topic, I was just wondering how an emulator handles saves for the PSX? Is that possible? Only have 15 save slots? Etc, etc. Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#653 NKF

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 07:34 PM

In-game the saves are the same as the memory cards are emulated. But the virtual memory cards are files you can make copies of, so you can easily archive away saves you want to keep.

With PSX emulation, there are also save states, which I think you might find useful for repeatedly testing things under the exact same conditions.
NKF - finally built a gaming PC in 2020 (though not any of that RGB nonsense). Can now play games up to '89!

#654 Zombie

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 03:13 AM

View PostNKF, on 16 October 2020 - 04:25 AM, said:

You can get a tool such as ImgBurn to convert your PSX disc into an ISO file and then get an emulator such as ePSXe to run it. Alternately you can obtain a multi emulator front-end environment called RetroArch on Steam that can download the ePSXe core to emulate PSX ISO files.

I got ImgBurn to create a .bin of the PSX TFTD version easily enough, but from then on out it was nothing but trouble. ePSXe just crashes when I try to run the .bin and the same thing happens when I try to run TFTD directly from the PSX disc. I have a sneaking suspicion I didn't configure the program correctly as there is a error message sometimes: PSX Bios not found. ePSXe was not able to find a psx bios in your epsxe bios directory. You can use the HLE bios [yadda, yadda, yadda] but keep in mind that you can only have this file LEGALLY when you own a REAL Playstation. Dunno what's up there, and like I said I'm not very software savvy.

Looked on Steam for RetroArch. There's a page for it but the release date is TBD and it says Coming Soon when I added it to my wishlist.

See? Ten years later and nothing's changed. Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#655 NKF

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Posted 28 October 2020 - 04:01 AM

No actually you are on the right course.

I had forgotten about the issue around the bios, which is one of the more grey areas you will need to contend with. Most of the emulators I've been spending a great deal of time on such as PPSSPP for the PSP don't have that particular hurdle to cross.

Personally, I've justified it by having spare physical consoles (hardware anxiety), so I jolly well want to be able to play the games I've paid for.

If you need help or advice, drop me a PM. I feel determined to get you experiencing these classic gems you've been collecting.
NKF - finally built a gaming PC in 2020 (though not any of that RGB nonsense). Can now play games up to '89!

#656 Zombie

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 05:19 AM

View PostNKF, on 28 October 2020 - 04:01 AM, said:

If you need help or advice, drop me a PM. I feel determined to get you experiencing these classic gems you've been collecting.

Yeah, I'm probably going to need help as this isn't an area of expertise for me. I'm just really curious about the PSX version of TFTD. I know the music is better, but I'm not sure if the UFOpaedia has been completely updated to include 360 degree spinning picture entries like a few of the entries for UFO Defense. Those were cool. And of course I want to check out the Japanese PSX version of the first game. I'd like to get some screen caps and post those for people to browse. Posted Image

Oh, and before I forget, I purchased a few more items for my collection recently. Picked up a 2-floppy demo set for the April 1995 PC Review issue which I just added to the Magazine Compilations page. TFTD obviously. But while I was looking for similar listings I also found (and purchased) a CD-ROM version from the same issue. Wow. I did unfortunately lose out on another listing which contained UFO: EU - while the seller was fixing the listing to allow me to buy it, it was snatched up by someone else. (CD-ROM Games Demo Disc - Number 12 April 1996). Bummer. Sometimes you just get unlucky. Posted Image

I also purchased a set of buttons from MicroProse (supposedly original and not aftermarket) which should be arriving before the end of the month. No update on the Russian PSX version of TFTD, literally nothing. The tracking number still shows it's being prepared like it has been since October 15. Patience is a virtue though.

Also picked up a 3-floppy demo set (various issues, not sure which magazine or company released it either) containing TFTD. Will have to do a lot of research on this to figure out where it came from, the release date etc.

Most of these purchases have been off ebay.co.uk and I had to do a lot of work to orchestrate the buying and shipping aspects to secure them. Not only that, but I actually looked at every listing a specific seller had to determine if any of them contained an X-COM game (he unfortunately didn't include the contents of the CD-ROMs in the item listings... that's actually how I found the CD-ROM Games Demo Disc listing). So yeah, I walk the talk. Posted Image

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#657 Thorondor

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 10:15 AM

Wow, someone has been keeping busy on the interwebs. :)

From Russia with love perhaps, but running silent, running deep that PSX version of TFTD. Fingers crossed for delivery with no issues, Zombie!

#658 Zombie

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 06:54 AM

I received the PC Review (April 1995) CD today so I added scans of that along with scans from the Smart Collection (December 1996) floppy to the Magazine Compilations page. If any of you know anything about Smart Collection floppies, please enlighten me. I couldn't find anything in my searches. ;)

Was browsing some more listings today and got another nibble on a magazine compilation cd I didn't have yet. The seller didn't offer shipping to the US so I'm discussing this with him. We shall see. :)

Still no new update on the Russian PSX version of TFTD in case anyone is interested.

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#659 Thorondor

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Posted 15 November 2020 - 02:38 PM

That PC review CD comes with some nice extras, Zombie, namely a Dark Forces demo which would've been great purchase bait by itself.

Then there's Lost Eden's showcase of "some of the most stunning graphics ever seen". :P

There are some nice touches on those Smart Collection floppies - golden text imprints and an actual in-game screenshot on it, all guaranteed "virus free!" :D

I sure hope that Russian PSX version of TFTD didn't get diverted somewhere along the line. Without tracking updates it's mostly a waiting game.




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