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April 2, 2012 Haze Categories: General News. 15 Comments on The Unknown Derby…

I mentioned ‘Super Derby’ in my previous update, which was a 90s Horse Racing gambler from Playmark and it just so happens that a similar game has just shown up too. Obviously an earlier production, and originating in Japan rather than Italy it lacks any form of title screen and we don’t know what it is.

Paul Swan dumped the ROMs from an unknown PCB (high quality pics on forum post) and ‘hap‘ has been working on the emulation (as you can see if you check the MAME GIT link on the left) however it would help if somebody knew what it was actually called!

The PCB is marked EFI TG-007, and it uses an 8085 CPU (like Polaris) but there don’t seem to be any real hints at who made it, or the correct title.

I’ve uploaded a video of the emulation in action, if anybody can match it up with a flyer, or has further details on the origins of the game please leave a comment here, or on the YouTube video

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The closest I could find is this game: http://flyers.arcade-museum.com/?page=flyer&db=videodb&id=2506&image=1
but there are way too many differences. Doubt they’re related.

Osso nice find, best match so far I think.
‘unkhorse’ has a couple of similarities with Game-A-Tron’s Space Bugger (sbugger.c in MAME). We can speculate that Thorobred Derby and unkhorse are a port/sequel/bootleg of eachother.

I don’t think they look that similar to be honest, the presentation is very different.

The overall ‘look’ is just what I’d expect from any 80s game of this type so really it has to be more of an exact match to be certain of a relationship. I’m sure there are a lot more of these games about, but many have probably already been lost due to stricter regulation surrounding the decommission and disposal of gambling games etc. (which is why as much as people hate them they really are just as important to emulate as anything else)

It could be some kind of prequel to this tho, as hap suggests.

Main hint here is the hw similarities =)
8085A CPU and 8155/6 IC. It’s like sbugger hw (3 PCB) is an evolution of unkhorse

visually the one Osso posted reminds me more of Dwarfs Den (Electrosport) by way of the fonts and stuff (that’s also 8085A…) Electrosport also did Quarterhorse, the LD based one, but otherwise the same HW. I’m not really sure where this would fit in that series. Afaik both Electrosport and GAT were very US-centric too.

Driver there needs fixing btw.. current rom loading and gfx decoding doesn’t get along with the way the generic device handles things (tiles need unflipping, bank select needs fixing?) Were the sets Software This dumped ever added to that driver?

I read some people believe Paul Swan’s PCB resembles early Nintendo PCBs. Possibly a sequel of this game? http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=evr-race&page=detail&id=34664&o=6

Thorobred Derby, in Japanese Thorobredダービー
Super Derby, in Japanese スーパーダービー (this can be the real one).

Haze in the video.
On the right side has some Japanese sources, perhaps the name of this game is.

Nope the Japanese is just 記録 “record”

Justin Kerk, thanks. How strange, even on the PCB is not named?

I don’t like the gamble but those tiny drawing horses are really cute.

Yeah, a lot of games have their own little charms, even if they don’t hold up well as games.

A lot of the ‘Mechanical*’ fruit machine ones have neat little tunes as well, even if they’re just samples some of them are amusing and give the games character

* I don’t really consider them Mechanical, and might untag them as such. As far as the game + players are concerned the parts are no more ‘mechanical’ than a monitor or joystick and definitely less mechanical than say a force feedback wheel.

I know it’s very clear to you, but for the sake of other readers of the blog it would be worth to stress that the ‘Mechanical’ flag has not been introduced to filter out fruit machines and pinball from frontend lists (catver should be used for that ;) ).

As such, once sets are properly sorted, the flag should only be used for games where the spinning reels rely on some ‘analog’ mechanism. In that case, indeed, the flag is useful to warn the user that some aspects of the emulation will never be 100% accurate due to missing mechs & physics

I don’t really think that applies to any of them.

They use a combination of magnets + optics to function, afaik only the really early ones rely on magnets alone, and thus could sometimes ‘drift’ on real hardware and needed to be manually calibrated.

I’m told some turn off the magnets for a fraction of a second in some cases to allow such drift on purpose, but just use it as a ‘wobble’ effect on the reels, turning it on very quickly again before it actually makes any difference.

As far as the games go they’re effectively ‘digital’, the startup tests control the magnets which drive the motor, spin the reels, watch the optics to make sure everything is in position, and go from there. The reels are expected to be in the position the games request, the optics are used to verify that, count spins and such. The user has no direct control over the reels so there are no ‘unknowns’ and no physical world aspects of the thing really matter.

There is one game (in MAME) called gamball, which uses a physical ball being dropped to simulate a ‘real’ random number generator, that one you might consider mechanical, but even then it’s a push, it was just a cheap gimmick to make it look like the games had real random number generation, rather than being rigged (when in reality other factors play a far bigger role)

Mechanical to me is more Pinballs (where the physical aspect is EVERYTHING) or one-offs like Ice Cold Beer, Air Hockey, the Crane games etc. where there is a two way interaction with actual physical objects which impact the end result. Those would be harder to emulate in MAME alone, although there’s no reason MAME can’t serve as the engine of another program in such cases. This is also why I mention force feedback wheels, many of them have a direct impact on the handling of the games, making it impossible to turn the wheel in certain cases, something much harder to emulate in a convincing way (and also why suggestions to do FFB with ‘Rumble’ support would be a laughable approximation at best, although would probably be worthwhile just to show feedback)

I thought the magnet only hardware was used for a longer time, but I never opened any of these machines, so chances are high that I’m wrong ;)

for the rest I fully agree

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