Dreamcast Alternate 3D-Perspective Menu


July 23rd, 2014

Posted in Features

Perhaps as a parting gift to Dreamcast fans, Sega published their final Dreamcast game (Japan-only) with quite a neat easter egg. Puyo Puyo Fever (Puyo Pop Fever when switched to English in the options menu) was the final Sega-published release for the Sega Dreamcast (2/24/04). Not only is it a great puzzle game, Sega programmed the game with an installable VMU file which would unlock the alternate Dreamcast BIOs menu.

I’m not entirely certain whether this ‘3D perspective’ menu is built into the Dreamcast (and the VMU file simply tells the Dreamcast to activate it) or if the VMU file contains the code for the menu. With the VMU file so small in size I would assume this alternate menu was actually hidden in the Dreamcast for over 5 years. Regardless, it’s pretty interesting to Sega experimenting with the user interface design of the Dreamcast, even if it is just a novelty with no real function.

Menu Comparison

Of course, you’ll need to have the means to play a Japanese game on your Dreamcast. I use CodeBreaker as a boot disc for the system. The video below shows exactly how to switch the game into English mode and install the VMU file needed to unlock the alternate menu. Once the Puyo Puyo Fever-provided file is installed onto your VMU you can switch between the normal menu and alternate menu by pressing ‘START’ on the controller (as long as the VMU with the file is connected). You can use the Dreamcast’s analog stick to change the perspective.

Hopefully, you can come across a copy of the game on eBay. Puyo Puyo Fever seems to be a bit rare (but not expensive). Quite a few months passed before I saw the game on eBay and I ended up being the only person to bid on the game. I paid $40.00. I haven’t seen many sold so it’s hard to say what the price range is. I highly recommend keeping an eye for it. It’s very fun. It also has a full english translation and dubbing! It’s a nice package for the final Sega-published game on the Dreamcast.