Well, it Would be rude not to try… | Nostalgia Nerd

Well, it Would be rude not to try… | Nostalgia Nerd

Today i’d like to talk about… Zool 2 for the PC, this is the CD-ROM version and there’s a very good reason for that. [music intensifies slightly] You see, this video isn’t really about the
game itself, even though it’s a pretty decent little platformer developed by Gemlin Graphics
from 1994. It’s not even about the box contents, including
a Zooz postcard, sheet of stickers, depictive manual or even this splendidly coloured poster. It’s about that CD, which incidentally, isn’t
really necessary for this game. You see, during the mid ’90s, CD-ROM was an
important, emerging technology, and so even games which could fit on a single High Density
disk, were baked into CD format, perhaps with a new 3D rendered intro, or a selection of
music. but nothing really that warranted the expense of a CD-ROM drive. But it also meant that the odd warning would
appear on disks from certain publishers, warning us to “Not play track 1 of this game CD on
ANY audio CD Player”. So, it would seem rude not to really. For this task, I’ll be using a Sanyo MCD-Z10
Boombox. A fine looking machine which oozes that mid
90s sound appeal, an era when we were moving rapidly away from cassette tape and onto that
new circular digital medium. To demonstrate its versatility, first I’ll
pop in a tape. Here I have The Crystal Mountain, by Nightlights
(otherwise known as Snowkitten) [synth music] I’ve been listening to their stuff for years, and I
love albums on tape, so this is no exception. There’s a bit of wow and flutter from this
system, but I imagine a few new bands and a bit of grease would clean that right up. Anyway onto the CD. [suitably 90s clunking sounds[ Right, track 1, let’s see what all the fuss
is really about. [Never gonna give you up] [Welcome to Rick Roll country] What? Are they being serious? “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down…” Wait, Ahhh, man, I must have picked up the
wrong CD. Yep, there you go I left Rick Astley right
next to it. Ho ho, easy mistake to make! Let’s try that again. [inserty sounds] [clunk] [absolute silence] and there we have it, absolutely nothing. No sound what-so-ever. It’s also the only track on the disc, so it
seems a strange disc to place that warning on in the first place. If there were some audio tracks on here as
well – as was common on a lot of CD games of the time – then it would have made more
sense to play this disc on an audio player. Also, I find it a little amusing that the
track length is 4:04. So just like a 404 wepage error, the contents
of this track are apparently absent. But, it might be that we just need to try
a different CD player to get a true idea of what’s going on here. ok, so now I’m at my parent’s house and they have a Grundig stereo from about… what is it? 1995? Mother: ummm, yes? About ’95, ’94. So, let’s see if it works with this one… Now, I have a sneaky suspicion that we might
get a different output from this system. which I’ll explain more about, in a second. Let’s try [click] [white noise] [LOUDER white noise] Ahhhh, yes, there we go. Now THIS is what the warning is for. It’s nothing outrageous or shocking really is it? This time, we’re just hearing this Grundig
unit play the raw binary patterns from the data track as audio. It’s not going to destroy your system, or
send you foaming at the mouth, but I guess if you had the volume turned up high, it might
cause auditory pain, or at worst, blow your speakers. So, how come the Sanyo played nothing, yet
this Grundig system emited what can only be described as a ZX Spectrum tape on steroids? Oh also, thank you to my parents for letting me borrow this stereo we bought in the mid ’90s The reason for this is due to how these sound
systems are designed. [funky beats] But to explain the design, we first must look
at the structure of the data on a CD. The Compact Disc Digital Audio standard was
established in the joint Philips and Sony Red Book release way back in 1981 – the red
book being essentially just a rule book named so, after it’s binding colour, but it’s also
the start of a rainbow of these books, defining further standards. The yellow book would follow in 1984, and
its purpose was to define the Compact Disc Read Only Memory format. The same format – of course – used to store
data on this Zool 2 CD. The significant difference between the two
is that the audio CD allows for 2,352 bytes per sector (or timecode frames, if you prefer),
plus 98 control bytes which hold the timing information which you see on your Stereo LCD
display. The CD-ROM structure however, splits that
sector up into 12 bytes for synchronisation, 4 bytes for header information, 288 bytes
for error correction and 2,048 bytes for the actual data itself. So, if you put a CD with a data track into
a fairly recent CD player, it will be able to recognise the data track structure and
either throw you an error when you try and play it, or in the case of my Sanyo, simply
silence out the noise of what it perceives as incorrectly structured data. If you have an older stereo, which hasn’t
been programmed to ascertain whether data is actually formatted as Compact Disc Digital
Audio before belting it out, then it will simply attempt to play it as it comes. Despite the differences in the format, the
stereo will just start reading a large, single track of – what it presumes to be sweet, sweet
melody – which it will stream directly out I mean, the chances of someone even having
a CD-ROM to put in their spanking new CD player were incredibly low until the mid 90s, so
building in these checks just wasn’t deemed that necessary. [jazz time] But you may point out that the Grundig stereo
is actually from the mid 90s, and about the same age as the Sanyo, so how come the difference in playback? Well, this, as I suspected is down to the
quality of the goods. Both systems are modern enough to weed out
data tracks, however, because the Grundig is a cheaper system, it likely utilises components
which just don’t care. Perhaps older components, or just cheaper
components, but regardless, the Grundig has no idea as to what a data track is, so it
does it’s best to play it as CD audio, and it really is the CD player attempting to process
the binary pits and lands of the CD surface, as an uncompressed wave format. [more white noise] The result of this, is noise streaming in
at a relatively high baud rate, and if we slow down the audio, perhaps to a more familiar
speed, then it starts to sound just a little bit more like an 80s home computer [slower white noise] ahhhhh, yes or even a dial up modem from the 90s. it’s blissful I could just drift off to this. Maybe we’ll play Zool 2 another day. Now this might have been a bit of a silly video but hopefully I’ve explained a few noggins of interest. That’s all I can hope for really. Anyway, thanks for watching, and hopefully, I’ll see you next time! [you know what it is] [fades to white noise]

Danny Hutson

99 thoughts on “Well, it Would be rude not to try… | Nostalgia Nerd

  1. Someone on Patreon has just pointed out to me that this was also mentioned at the end of an Angry Video Game Nerd episode. I honestly had no idea! My apologies for the cross over.

    edit I revoke my apologies because I've just watched the video in question and he calls the CD32 a piece of sh*t

    awaits torrents of abusive comments from fans of significantly larger Youtuber

  2. I have Descent 2 for the Mac. If you put it in a cd/dvd drive skip track 1 it would play the sound track from the game. I think it's about 30 min. long. My son had a PC and it didn't have it. Just sound effects during the game. OK, yes it's and old game but I still play both, Descent 1 and 2. Never got into 3.

  3. Import mspaint.exe into Audacity as raw data, and there is a very weird noise sequence that happens ( not white noise )

    It's cool because the data was never meant to be read that way but sometimes you can get what sounds like a strange ascending or descending tone (from bitmap images embedded in the file stored in order {ex. 64×64.ico 128×128.ico 256×256.ico} which is why it sounds like a music scale or something to us)
    Turn your speakers down
    import other files (such as .dll , .exe, etc.) to try for yourself !

  4. 7:50 Having spent alot of time in the End in Minecraft, that is a normal sound to me. Coincidence? I think maybe.

  5. Restore ANY old boom box with a Bluetooth receiver for about 5 bucks! You DO need an input for mic or something…

  6. I miss when games where like that. Upstairs on the frunt seet of the bus opening it all up and going thought all the bits reading the manual.

  7. Can someone explain to me what being "rickrolled" means

    Edit: nvm. I found out because "never gonna give you up" came on the radio in the car today. This was the following conversation.
    My dad: hey (super puppy), you've just been rickrolled
    Me: what?
    My dad: because his name is Rick , and the dance move he did was like a rolling motion with his arms.
    Me: ohhhhhhhhhhh. facepalm

  8. thats a pretty cool tape/cd compo you have there.. as for the game itself, well, not really into that discussed game genre, so thats a new to me..

  9. Absolutely beautiful implementation of the Rick Roll. Thank you for blessing me with this. (Now time to go listen to it unironically cuz it's a great song)

  10. To quote a well-known and respected noise artist: "The best part of doing something this creative or experimental or noisy is actually doing it. Part of the process is experimentation."

  11. Alot of older audio cd players cannot decipher digital audio vs data. I remember the data sounded like compressed dialup internet connecting.

  12. They should know that, the quickest way to get someone to do something like this, is to tell them not to do it.

  13. A lot of home audio equipment from around 94 – 2004 with tray loading CD players, if you pull it apart will be using what are basically just a PC type CD-ROM drive rather than a a bespoke system. This is probably why we hear the audio on the tray loading stereo as I dare bet if you take the cover off you will have a CD-ROM drive connected via an IDE cable to the circuit board inside. Most likely due to cost & ease of manufacture. Similarly many of the early home DVD players are just IDE based DVD-ROM drives in a box with some circuits inside so that you connect it to the TV & play films and audio.

  14. If you happen to do this with the PS1 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night A man tells you not to play track 1 on a CD player than plays about a 3 minute musical tune.

  15. Personally…I think the reason that it didn't play anything on the Sanyo is because… how does one follow up Rick Astley?… the answer…you don't.. you just stay silent and respect the Rick-roll.

  16. YOOOOO! I used to have Zool 2 on the Atari Jaquar! Holy crap I forgot that game existed! I played a lot of it cuz I didn't have much in terms of interesting games.

  17. I remember as a kid tried to play some game CDs to my JVC stereo CD/Tape combo (where did it go?). It was silent as the sanyo. The reason was that some PS1 discs did have the ability to play the game tracks as audio tracks with no problems! I also tried some PS2 discs but they only had one silent track. I only tried the ones that had the Compact Disc label on them tough…

  18. it would be more likely that the tray mounted CD player was recycling PC CD Rom drive lasers and parts if not most of the drive components for cost savings. as Grundig/Philips also made CD Rom drives, this would explain why it can read yellow book discs.

  19. Didn't even slightly crack on the Rickroll poor played out stupid attempt at funny…learn what 'played out' means and go sit in a room away from everyone else with that shit.

  20. Lmao alright so it's about time we bring that meme back fr. You got a chuckle out of, I definitely wasn't expecting that.

  21. Destruction Derby 2 on PS1 was absolutely gorgeous! We like playing it on Play Station, but when my buddy got a audio CD Player we tried Destruction Derby 2 in it.
    The first track was noise (as we thought) but after 2 track there was FULL UNCUT SOUNDTRACK THAT CAN BE LISTEN TO ANY CD PLAYER! We also listened it in other CD players and eventually in a car! When we got PC with CD-ROM we also grabbed that soundtrack. I am listening to it in my itunes library till nowadays!
    P.S. there was a legend that says that Keanu Reeves been a garage band bass player played in "JUG" thrash metal band which recorded soundtrack for DD2, but lately it happens not true. its a pity =)

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