Guess who’s back with more officially licensed collector’s edition reprints of valuable Genesis/Mega-Drive classics? Retro-Bit have just announced their latest project with Edia Co., the current rights holders to the back catalog from Renovation: Special Edition reprints of El Viento and Sol-Deace. Pre-orders for North America are now open from Limited Run Games and Castlemania Games. European Mega-Drive fans can pre-order both from 8BitMods, Arcade Dreams, Dragon Box Shop, Nedgame, RetroCables.es, and Spel & Sant. Wherever you get them from, act before July 30th 2023, when pre-orders close, as this will be the only run for both, like with all other Retro-Bit collector’s edition reprints.
EDIT: More European retailers have opened pre-orders for both games: Funstock, Just For Games, Strictly Limited Games, and Xtralife. The Sol-Deace pre-order page on Castlemania Games has also gone offline, probably due to a temporary error. Keep checking if you really want to buy it there.
You can check out Retro-Bit’s official website for El Viento and Sol-Deace for the most up-to-date information on pre-orders and links to pre-order as well as to scope out their FAQ on both games. To hear more about each game and see pre-order links, check in after the break.
El Viento (1991)
El Viento (Meaning “The Wind” in Spanish) released in North America and Japan, with the only European release being in France, making Retro-Bit’s release the first official release of the game throughout greater Europe and the UK. It is part of a loose trilogy of games focused on the Indiana Jones inspired character Earnest Evans. In that game named for its hero, which released on Genesis along with a Japan-exclusive Mega-CD version, he meets a special “mistress of the wind” named Annet Myer in Peru, who aids him for the rest of his adventure. El Viento is a prequal to Earnest Evans that focuses on the aforementioned Annet. After El Viento came Annet Futatabi, a scrolling beat em’ up released exclusively for the Mega-CD in Japan.
El Viento takes place in 1928. The cult of Hastur, the same antagonists from Earnest Evans, seek to enact a forbidden ritual to resurrect their master atop what will eventually become the Empire State Building in New York City. They’ve even enlisted the local mafia as protection while they prepare their evil scheme. After Annet catches wind of this (Pun intended), she travels to New York from Peru to put a stop to the evil ritual using wind magic that she harnessed from Hastur to use against him.
Retro-Bit’s release includes the following
- Rosa Intensa Cartridge for SEGA Genesis®/Mega Drive
- Full-colored instruction manual
- Reversible cartridge inlay sleeve
- Embellished cartridge slipcover
- Individually numbered certificate of authenticity
Sol-Deace is a scrolling space shooter released by the same Wolf Team studio who also made El Viento. This is not to be confused with Sol-Feace, the Sega CD version of the same game that launched with the add-on in North America and Japan and was, for a while, packaged free with new Sega CD units in North America. Neither version of the game released in Europe. Both games are the same, though the Sega CD version had the advantage of CD audio and animated cutscenes to present its story. Otherwise, most fans seem to prefer the cartridge game. Before the Sega versions, Sol-Deace was originally made for the Sharp X68000 computers in Japan during 1991.
Taking place in the year 3300, an AI called the GCS-WT was created to guide the human race to peace, unity, and democracy as they expanded their reach to 300 solar systems. However, GCS-WT suddenly became rogue, morphed into a dictatorial threat toward the human race, and develops mechanical forces of its own to terrorize all human civilization throughout the galaxy. They even murder the brilliant scientist Edwin Deace for creating a space fighter jet capable of destroying GCS-WT in just such an event. This tasks the only two remaining pilots capable of flying this craft to spring into action through six levels against GCS-WT’s tyranny.
Retro-Bit’s reprint of Sol-Deace includes the same extras as El Viento, except for a Dark Matter colored Genesis/Mega-Drive cartridge.
Much like many releases from publisher Renovation back in the day, neither El Viento nor Sol-Deace were popular releases in the western world and would go on to cult status among Genesis/Mega-Drive enthusiasts. The original releases for both games sky-rocketed in value since the Genesis/Mega-Drive was retired. Loose cartridges of either are just under $100 USD and complete copies go for hundreds, regardless of whether you’re looking for the US or Japanese versions. Good luck even finding the limited French release of El Viento for sale, as well. They’re not among the most expensive Genesis/Mega-Drive games ever released, but they are still out of reach for many Genesis/Mega-Drive collectors today. Retro-Bit’s releases are sure to make the games more well known and easier to obtain in quality physical form while also supporting the original developers of these games at the same time. They’re also region free and NTSC and PAL compliant, so these cartridges will work perfectly on any Genesis/Mega-Drive console as well as modern day clones of said consoles, just like Retro-Bit’s previous releases (Although the cartridge shell won’t fit in a Japanese console, but the board itself should work fine).
You may recall Retro-Bit’s last collaboration with Edia Co. gave us the Valis Collection late last year, which recently began shipping to everyone who pre-ordered. They also handled a collector’s edition Gley-Lancer reprint earlier this year.
Will you be picking up El Viento or Sol-Deace from Retro-Bit? Do you already have the original release of either game? What do you think of these games or of Retro-Bit’s collectors edition reprints? I’m sure I’ll hear all about it from you in the comments below.