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metarog

Metarog's Tapwave Zodiac Collection

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Hello everyone... I finished what I think is a complete Tapwave collection several months ago when I got the Brando branded case but I was organizing and thought I would take pics for all to see. If you know of anything I am missing please let me know as I want to be as complete as possible.

 

I couldn't fit everything into one shot so I divided into 2 halves more or less. The album below has close ups and descriptions of what I have. Thanks for looking.

 

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Edited by metarog

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Thanks... I really enjoy collecting for this fairly unknown handheld. The stuff is challenging to find but it is usually pretty cheap since very few collect it.

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Pretty sweet collection! I wasn't even aware this console had any physical game releases, for some reason I thought everything was digital. How are the games on it?

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Thanks, the games are hit and miss... there were only 8 physical releases with Duke Nukem and SpyHunter being my favorites. Tony Hawk and Z-Pak Fun are not good and the rest are average. There were some downloadable games that were nice such as Avalanche and Gloop along with some fairly good AdVenture/RPGs like Green Myst and Acedior. You could also play most palm games on SD card and I liked Rayman along with some classic arcade ports of Joust and Sinistar.

 

Overall, I had a lot of fun with the games and although nothing was mind-blowing at least some were very good.

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Very cool. I only learned of the Tapwave a year or two ago and added one to my collection as soon as I did. I call this "the best handheld system that no one has ever heard of." I understand why it failed as a gaming system (especially due to the lack of marketing and 3rd party support), but it was definitely ahead of it's time and it's amazing that it still holds up well today.

 

From that same era, I think the N-Gage is another very underrated handheld that collectors overlook nowadays. Between the two, the Tapwave has better hardware, but the N-Gage has better games. As for the Gizmondo..I have that one too, but completely hate the thing.

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Totally agree with you on the Tapwave... the platform was ahead of its time but poor timing and only a handful of good games doomed it early on.

 

BTW, I also have a complete Gizmondo game and assesories collection... it is no Tapwave but I still find it playable and enjoyable at some level. The main drawbacks are the unreliable battery and the rubber parts on it becoming slimy over time. Although most of the games are just so-so there are a few gems Like Interstellar Flames, Sticky Balls and Trailblazer.

 

I put the N-Gage in another category as it had a much greater library (though still smallish) and lots of 3rd party support compared to the other two. It also sold in the millions whereas the other two probably sold around 100,000 combined! Lastly, it was also made by a big successful corporation where the other two made nothing else but those handhelds and went belly up afterwards.

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Admittedly, a large part of my dislike of the Gizmondo is unrelated to the gameplay and more so that it took me so long to get one up and running. Endless headaches. I think I bought three Gizmondos just to get a working one, but it had no battery. And god forbid you try to find a battery for the thing... I never did get a working battery, but I finally got a dead/nonworking one after a ton of hassles searching for one. And then I used the AC adapter to play the system (the AC adapter won't work unless some form of battery is in the system, so I had to find that nonworking one). But it was still finicky even with the AC adapter and it was a pain to finagle it until it finally turned on. Then.. I actually really enjoyed Trailblazer on the system..but for some reason it causes my Gizmondo to randomly shut off in the middle of the game. No other game does that to me- just Trailblazer. Shuts off every time. So I bought another copy of Trailblazer... and same thing happened. Making me assume it's the system rather than the game. So Trailblazer is great fun for all of 1 minute, and that's all I've played of it. Needless to say, so much annoying stuff has happened between me and the Gizmondo that I'll never be able to appreciate it at this point.

 

And I do agree with you about the N-Gage, since it is probably fairer to compare it to other systems like the Wonderswan and Neo Geo Pocket Color, even if they were from a few years earlier. The Gamepark systems would be more comparable to the Tapwave probably, but I don't own any of those. Still, I personally group all of these 1997-2005 handhelds together (Game.com too) as similar, in that they're a whole era of handhelds released between the Game Gear and PSP that tried to compete with the Game Boy line and failed miserably, never becoming mainstream products.

Edited by Retro STrife

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Wow, really sorry about the issues with the Gizmondo... I guess I've been fortunate as my four units all work very well.

 

You made a good point on the Gamepark as that was more of a peer but I have never actually seen one and I believe all the retail games are Korean so who knows if I could understand to play them.

 

Now the Game.com... that was a real bomb. I had a couple of them and none worked right. The touchscreen was horrible and most of the games next to unplayable.

Thanks again for your input.

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How fortunate for me that this topic got bumped recently so I'm not the one necrobumping it! :)

 

After 11 years of owning a handful of games for the system (I bought Tony Hawk and the two Z-pak games from Comp USA for the wallet emptying price of $.25 each in 2006), and occasionally halfheartedly checking ebay I finally picked one of these up. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the two lucky SOB's that new ones for $50 or less a few weeks ago. But I think I did ok with the package I got.

 

ANYWAY, what brings me to this thread is I'm interested in the Palm MMC games that will run on the Zod. Using what few details I could make out in your pictures, I ordered a bunch of the Handmark stuff. Are those the only titles that work with the Zod or just the ones you've picked up. I've found a few other things between eBay and Amazon. It stinks that it seems all the good Zod resource stuff is wiped from the internet. So much for this being an eternal resource! Have you considered CDrom stuff like Madden 06? I wonder if that stuff even runs. I'm rather excited for this stupid stuff, I even bought a (Cheap!) old XP laptop so I wouldn't have to dick around with getting old programs to run correctly on my current pcs, lol.

 

I'm especially curious if you've messed around with the Sega Classics card. If so, how's the emulation? My guess is at best it would be like most early emulated Genesis stuff- that is maybe it plays ok but the music is crap. I'd be delighted if it actually worked decently though. Haven't gotten it yet, but I'll pick it up eventually anyway because why not, but not at the stupid high BIN the only copy on eBay is right now.

 

As far as other oddball handhelds, the Gizmondo is another one I've kept an eye on over the years but haven't wanted badly enough to pull the trigger on yet. I do have a fairly extensive Ngage collection (only missing 4 games that I'm aware of, including Sega Rally which I'll never have because I don't care enough to spend that kind of money on it) and Game.com (Original unit CIB, second model NIB, all the games and the internet package NIB- only because I was grabbing the stuff dirt cheap when it was getting clearanced out forever ago- like most of my collection).

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Great to hear from another Tapwave enthusiast... we are few to be sure.

 

As far as the Palm MMC games they are mostly just OK. Sega Classics does not work on the Zod for some reason... the launcher screen comes up but the game crashes when you try to load it. They do work on my Zire fine and the emulation is actually pretty good considering. The Game Essentials MMC is also wonky and only a few games work on the Zod. I believe all the rest work fine including the Handmark ones. In my opinion the best one to get is the Midway Arcade Classics from Pocket Express as it had nice versions of Joust, Tapper, Sinistar, etc.

 

I got every Palm MMC games made but did not bother with the CD based stuff as most of it could be found online anyway. You can find a lot Zodiac specific games for free online too but if you are having trouble finding them pm me and I'll point you to a few. Please post pics of what you have as I'm always curious what other Zod collectors have.

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Pm sent.

I preemptively downloaded all the shareware on openhandhelds.org. I watched a video on Arvale and that made me kinda excited to actually play it.

I've yet to actually receive any of the stuff, but I'll post pics once it's all come in. I even bought the PalmOne wifi card so that I could see how awful web browsing with it can be, lol. The only thing I don't have coming (because I can't find one) is a frickin' case. Suppose I should have picked one up years ago when I'd look for the system as I remember a bunch being plentiful and cheap. Oh well.

Another thing I can't seem to find concrete info on is the SD cards it likes. I've read they have to be non SDHC and something about a size limit, but that limit can be worked around with folders? Proper info on that would be appreciated.

How well do the emulators work? I have a PSP, GPX Wiz, and GPD Win, so it's not like I need another portable emu machine, but I'm curious about it anyway.

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SD cards 4gb and below work fine or so I've been told but my biggest is 2gb so that and below is proven.

 

I haven't tried any emulators but I'm told most anything pre PS1 works.

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Well!

After waiting 3 weeks, I contacted the seller of the Zod I purchased from eBay, and he gave some story about customs holding up the package and it was going back to him blah, blah, blah. He gave me a full refund, so at least I'm not screwed out of the money. Had another issue with another seller, I bought 4 palm games and he only sent 2. I messaged him a couple times which he ignored and finally I got eBay involved. He answered that message right quick, said he'd send the other 2 and then never did. Had to open a case and eBay immediately refunded me in full. So I got 2 games for free- which is nice, but I'd much prefer to have the stuff I purchased and not all this hassle.

Someday I'll be able to share my collection, maybe!

Edited by jesusc

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Stinks but at least you are not out any money. I do have an extra sport case so whenever you do get a Zod let me know if you still want one.

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I'm going to keep my eye out for sure, I still want one. But I'm going to wait for a US seller, which seems to be even more uncommon for an already uncommon item. Will definitely be down for that case if I don't get one in a package deal or something, thanks.

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And then I used the AC adapter to play the system (the AC adapter won't work unless some form of battery is in the system, so I had to find that nonworking one).

 

My Gizmondo battery still works, which I attribute to having the whole handheld collection on a power-strip that get's turned on once or twice a month. Thanks for reminding me, it's that time again!

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I actually keep my Gizmondo batteries outside the unit and charge it about twice a year. So far all my Gizmondos have good batteries using this method.

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I finally got one! Seller actually shipped it this time and everything!

Sadly (even more sadly I'd find out later), it's a Zod 1. But the price was right as far as I was concerned and it seems to work fine. The sadly part has rung true recently because I'm out of memory! I've only put a couple of things on there, and then I started having hotsync issues. (After I figured out why I was having hotsync issues when I first got it- like I couldn't sync at all- it was because I was using a palm desktop manager I downloaded from some site that said it was for the Zod but didn't work at all.) I eventually found a download for the installation CD that came with the Zod -but not my used one- and installed it and everything finally worked. After a few failed syncs, I decided to do what it kept telling me to do and look at the log. I was out of memory! Not only could I not add anything else to it, 2 of the 3 games I had for mame wouldn't run because they use system memory for ram.

Anyway, the unit didn't come with any games, but it did come with a case. It's a little fabric pouch deal by Lava Solutions Group. Oh, it also came with a screen protector on it, so that was nice even though at first I thought the screen looked like crap. The protector fit so well it didn't look like an add on. I've left it on for protection, but it's pretty cloudy.

 

So if anyone else pops in here looking for Zodiac info, openhandhelds.org is your friend (as of this typing) and ignore the LJP for Dummies Episode 1 video on youtube, I followed it by the letter and it didn't work. You can build your file system the way you're told, but just hotsync the .prc file. It won't copy over.

It really, really stinks that all of the internet documentation is gone. I've been fighting with getting the wifi card to work. It uses WEP, and my router is set up for WPA. I set up a second network with WEP, but I'm still getting connection issues. It connects fine if I turn off the password security, but I'm not leaving myself open. I don't even know why I care about getting this thing online, but it passes the time I suppose.

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Congrats on finally getting one. BTW, I don't hit sync anything any more as everything on the Zod's internal memory will be wiped out once it loses power. So unless you plan on charging it every few days or so you will have to hotsync everything again.

 

I now just place all apps, games, files etc on SD cards and run it all from there. You have 2 SD slots so you can have one for games and another for utilities or whatever. I've never tried the emulators but I'm fairly certain you can run those from SD cards as well.

 

You can fit a whole lot more on a 2gb SD card than the internal memory and it won't erase unless you delete items. The smaller memory SD cards are cheap so that is what I would do for long term storage and it quicker to just copy files onto them on your computer.

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I picked up a 2gb when I thought I was getting the Zod 2. I'll be looking into how to properly file everything on it so I don't run into the system wiping out on me. Silly design flaw!

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