Ecco 2 Revision 1 is an unofficial release, translation and revision of Ecco 2: The Tides of Time for the Master System. It’s based on the Brazil exclusive released by a company called TecToy. The Master System version is a port of the Game Gear version that was translated to Portuguese from English.
Revision 1 is a new translation from Portuguese back to English that is totally different from its English/Game Gear counterpart. It addresses the cosmetic issues of the TecToy version with some additional changes made to the game’s story and structure. The original Game Gear version of Ecco 2 had incomplete levels and lacked a fluid storyline.
The revised version of Ecco 2 was translated by Aloísio Júnior, with some minor changes to the code made by Johnny “Arkonviox” de Alba.
The health and air bars were out of alignment with the top left corner of the display. They were positioned for the top left corner of the Game Gear’s smaller display. For the revision the health and air bars were re-positioned to match their locations with those from the original Ecco the Dolphin for Master System.
The level select menu was positioned at the top left portion of the display making it out of alignment with the cursor. This made it hard for the player to know which menu item they were selecting.
In order to fix it the menu had to be moved to the center of the screen. This put it back in alignment with the cursor that appeared broken. Once the level select menu was re-positioned a glitching tile appeared that was hidden on the offscreen portion of the display buffer. This glitching tile was actually a value in memory used to represent the currently selected stage. To remove it the values memory address had to be relocated to an address that wasn’t being used. This involved altering every reference to that address in the games code.
Some of the dialog in the game are mixed up or make no sense. This leaves the player confused about what their objective is on some of the stages. A good example of this is on the second stage, Medusa’s Trail (Vents of Medusa), where the player’s objective is to find a metasphere that will transform them into a school of fish.
At the beginning of the stage there is an Orca who is suppose to give the player information about the upcoming metasphere. Instead the Orca gives the player information that isn’t relevant until the end of the stage. At the end of the stage there is another Orca who gives the player information about the metasphere - after the player has already found and used it.
To correct this error on the programmers part, the dialog from the Orcas on the stage Vents of Medusa (Medusa’s Trail) was swapped to help the player find their objective and to restore the structure to the game’s story.
On the stage Moray Abyss the player has to fight a boss in order to progress. There is a Glyph at the beginning of the stage that should give the player information about the boss. Instead the Glyph explains what Teleport Rings are used for.
The Glyph’s dialog had to be changed to something relevant. Unfortunately, there was no other dialog in the game that fit the narrative of the stage. New dialog was extracted from Ecco, Defender of the Future and re-purposed for the Glyph. It not only fit the narrative of the stage but also worked as a nod by the Revision team to that game.
Trellia is a Skyfin, an evolved Dolphin who travels back in time to find Ecco. She brings him forward in time, millions of years to the future. There the player expects to find future lifeforms like her. Instead there are various Orcas, large and small, that were put there as possible place holders for Skyfins (or other future lifeforms). The only time you see a Skyfin in the entire game is when you initially meet Trellia. It seemed fitting to add others like Trellia, including herself to her future. The Mega Drive version had them!
To add Skyfins to the future stages the Orcas had to be removed. It didn’t make sense that there were Orcas in the future in the first place! It is safe to assume they possibly evolved in a similar fashion as Dolphins. Leaving the Orcas there made them seem very out of place.
Ecco is brought to the future by Trellia who has him seek out an old friend with information about events in the present. On the stage Tube of Medusa, Ecco finds his friend and avoids a floating creature called the Medusa. Once Ecco exits the stage he finds himself back in the present without any indication that he was sent back. This left the player confused into thinking they were still in the future.
To create a proper transition back to the present, elements in the story had to be dramatically changed. This was due to the limitations with the game that could not be altered to accommodate the proper story. The result was a new event that occurs that allows Ecco to be sent back to the present.
On the stage Sea of Birds, Ecco will encounter a metasphere that will transform him into “the enemy” in order to “escape the enemy”. In the game’s text is a message that was suppose to be used for this stage. To restore that message’s purpose a new Glyph was added that helped improve the stage’s narrative.
On the first Convergence stage, a Dolphin was removed and the nearby Glyph’s dialog was changed to guide the player to an objective. Both the Glyph and Dolphin originally provided messages that didn’t really work with the events of that stage.
The period of the day was changed to night on the second Convergence stage to differentiate it from the first Convergence stage. This was done by activating an event element from the stage Sea of Darkness.
The credits were updated to reflect the changes made by those who worked on the revision.
EPROM 17A and 17B are versions of Ecco 2 without the radical changes to the games story. They feature the re-positioned Health and Air bars, and a fixed Level Select Menu. These versions were created for purists who want the bug fixes but also want to keep the game as close to the original as possible. EPROM 17A is the Portuguese version, while EPROM 17B is an English translation that uses the text from the Game Gear version.