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September 3, 2012 Haze Categories: General News. 42 Comments on A Super Lap of Dishonour (or why I don’t play racing games…)

F1 Super Lap, the sequel to Sega’s F1 Exhaust Note was sat in the ‘Not Playable’ pile for a long time. Modeler didn’t emulate it, and when the rest of the System 32 games in MAME received protection bypasses it was overlooked too, with the assumption that it needed 2 linked boards to function at all. It came to light 9 months ago when this original hardware YouTube video was posted that the came could actually function with just a single board, either expecting some kind of status from the network hardware to indicate there was no linked board, or possibly putting the blame on the protection (F1 Exhaust Note was instead unprotected)

Sega used a variety of protection chips on the System 32 boards, with several using evil looking battery-backed FD1149 MCUs, F1 Super Lap was one of these. What Sega didn’t do was protect any of the games especially well, and despite having these MCUs it looks like in most cases they’re used for very simple memory copy / clear operations, which would be a good protection if used effectively but it doesn’t appear they ever were.

It’s hard to say exactly what the protection is on F1 Super Lap, there is a byte in RAM which locks you in service mode, maybe it’s that? There’s also a value which gets placed in RAM for what looks like a network wait but seems to lack any mechanism to clear it, so it could likewise be that. The game also makes some odd reads during the attract demo, causing the V60 to attempt to set a bad addressing mode which I’m guessing would crash the real CPU. To be honest, I’m not sure which of these things are protection related, and which are related to improper simulation of the network board. The game also has some priority glitches during the attract demo, but those could easily be general problems with the System 32 video implementation, it isn’t perfect as several other games demonstrate.

Anyway, as you can probably guess I’ve got things going a bit further, actually quite a lot further. In current versions of MAME the game is simply stuck in service mode, I’ve fixed this problem, and even found a way to allow the game to be started and played, you might even consider it working although my driving is far too bad to do any extensive testing of it.

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap

.. and just to back up my claims of being the worst player of racing games you’ve ever seen here’s a little video of it running in MAME

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*edit* Uncle Tom dumped his World region set from which the original YouTube video was made, so the new parent set in the next release will have English text / speech

F1 Super Lap F1 Super Lap


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Great work! Nice looking game.

You’re on fire :) Very nice progress once again!

I’ve got to disagree with you man. Super Moncao GP is probably the worst racing game in mame. I messed with that damn thing for two weeks trying to get the stupid ouputs hooked up.

Great working getting F1 in a better state. It’s a thankless job getting a game working just to document it’s crappiness for all time. ;)

Congrats. Can we expect you (given that it seems you’re the only one who cares) to fix System 32’s old video issues (or trying) and make of this a roll?

nice work!!!

You said you’re the worst because you didn’t see me playing yet… LOL

Anyway, awesome job, as always.

Aaron seems to be revisiting some of the 16-bit Sega drivers lately, so I do wonder if he might revisit the video here too, Title Fight has been a complete mess since his rewrite (I guess some edge cases weren’t properly covered by the hardware tests on which the documentation he used was based)

That said I’m not sure if he’s actually fixed any bugs in touching the older 16-bit code, or just re-factored the lot, last I checked (a few builds back) flip-screen still wasn’t working for Excite League and Super League and they really shouldn’t even be marked as working without it, they’re cocktail only games.

Probably going to wait it out for a bit and see if he or anybody else looks at it before committing to anything.

I also don’t play racing games,but this in another peace of great work,and another game,added to fully working list!

Oh how,but how much, i am waiting for the day to see the rest of Gaelco games to be perfectly emulated!
I know how hard it is,but i still believe in a miracle ,from your magic hands David!
Is not important the games they’re still unemulated,but this phrase “almost impossible” ,that doesn’t fit to mame project!

My copliments David!

I’m not touching Gaelco, ever.

Wow, is Gaelco stuff that bad?

Well the only way to emulate it is to simulate the protection.

The protection devices shares main ram with the 68k.

It’s designed to manipulate values in RAM in non-obvious ways, there are no obvious ‘THE PROTECTION FAILED!’ codepaths, just subtle misbehaviors if a check fails.

Gaelco invested a lot of time into protecting the games properly, unlike Sega here, and as a result they’re an absolute nightmare to work with, you’d have to pick apart every single bit of 68k code and guess exactly where the protection comes into play for every event in the game, from start to finish, with no indication at all if something is potentially protection related or not.

Now, maybe somebody could do that, but it’s not going to be me and from the brief looks I’ve taken in the past it looks like Gaelco did a decent enough job on all their games to elevate the protection beyond the ‘just annoying’ status.

Tests on the original boards are risky, the thing is designed to be anti-tamper, and are battery backed. There is nobody connected to MAME who capable of dumping them (not even the Decap guy) and afaik even if you could dump the mcu it would still be encrypted, you’d have to dump the key as well…

So yeah, Gaelco isn’t on my list, I feel like I’d be wasting my time on it. If somebody wants to prove me wrong they’re more than welcome tho.

Thanks for getting it working ;)

As far as control go, to be honest, it’s not your fault. The game used a steering wheel (with a flappy paddle gearbox) with only about 270 degrees of turn and was *very* sensitive (same for F1 Exhaust Note).
They’re both great games, but suffer terribly if you don’t play them with a steering wheel for minute adjustments and instant dead straightening (I used to be able to get 1st place on both games!)

Haze,keep up the amazing job you keep doing by making playable ”diamond” games that were unplayable in mame for a long time.As for your driving abilities,trust me you r better than many of us in here :)

Dedicated to David Haywood´s (HAZE):
Thank you for your effort in Automat (bootleg of Robocop).
I decided made this video (I don’t know if this can help you).
Can You improve the Automat emulation with the right game speed,normal music tempo, right sounds and other minor details? (the music is same that capcom “Section Z”)

Thank you.

WOW!I knew it was very hard.but not that hard David!
So…i hope for some unprotected pcb’s,like aligator hunt,or biomechanical toy to be found!

I don’t think there will be any unprotected PCBs of the protected games.

AFAIK the Unprotected Alligator Hunt came from an internal Gaelco contact (much like the Maniac Squares proto, Xorworld, and the World Rally MCU)

I’ve never seen a protected Biomech Toy board, so they’re probably all ‘unprotected’

One problem is that not all the games are made by Gaelco, just published by them, things like Glass aren’t first party games, so I’m not sure Gaelco could provide the MCU rom even if they wanted to (unless they protected all the games inhouse)

Others are, but I think the World Rally MCU was a one-off deal.

Nobody managed to bootleg any of the protected Gaelco games. The only reason any are emulated is because of Gaelco.

Excuse me Haze, what do you think about Gaelco game ATV Track partiality emulated by Demul team?

The later (3D) Gaelco games aren’t protected, so I wasn’t talking about those.

GLASS (gaelco)

I decided made this video (before Haze decided it was pointless and a completely lost cause).


As you can see if you run it in MAME, even basic things are missing like the sprites on the game intro screens, it never even seems to send them to be drawn, and I haven’t even seen code which looks like protection to draw those there.

It’s nasty stuff, protected in all sorts of little ways and the chances of you finding them all are very low, so I honestly don’t feel any of the games can work properly without the original code (which can’t be dumped)

THUNDER HOOP 2 (gaelco)


I decided made this video for Haze (if help in a future emulation) and the people that see how is the full game completed.

I have a vast collection of pcbs. I think that later, I can upload more playthrough of the unemulated gaelco games.

Have you dumped all your games to make sure they’re the same revisions as supported in MAME? I know it can be time consuming, but it’s always worth checking.

Often in large collections people find the occasional undumped set, or even completely undumped games on non-working PCBs.

There are still a fair number of (non-Gaelco) Spanish titles which haven’t been dumped at all, so if you’re based there, or have Spanish contacts then it would be worth keeping your eyes open, many of the rare titles in MAME such as the Cidelsa games, Little Robin featured below, and things like Pirates came from random boards found in Spain :-) We’ve still never seen PCBs for the Dinamic games.

The videos will no doubt help with behavior verification at some point, but it’s highly unlikely I can emulate the Gaelco games, every little value in RAM matters, and while on Glass it at least looks like they stuck to a small region for the MCU provided values (probably because it’s a 3rd party game) on the other games it seems almost entirely random.

Very nice. One of the record holders IMO for game in MAME the longest while remaining broken.

Probably the record taker for a game that has been in MAME for over a decade broken is Over Rev, another racer. You ever take a look at that one? (I have no love for most racers either, Over Rev is just a curiosity).

Excuse me – I meant Over Drive.

Yeah I’ve looked at Over Drive, the whole thing is hideously coded and nobody can even quite figure out how the CPU comms works properly, there seem to be race conditions and timing dependent code all over it which is just a complete nightmare, adjust one thing and you might improve it in one way but cause it to blow up in another, it also seems to hate the implementation of some of our video chips..

Might just be the interrupt hookups, or some status flags are implemented in totally the wrong way, but neither myself, kale, olivier or a number of other senior devs have managed to make head nor tail of it over the years.

I don’t want to put people off, I don’t think there is any protection for example, and if somebody really wants to spend their time trying to figure out how to get the 2 68ks happy with each other then it could be an interesting little project for a fresh pair of eyes but everybody I know is out of ideas with it.

It might be one of those cases where it would benefit from somebody getting the game working properly even with hacks to keep things happy in order to improve the rest of the emulation around it, and hopefully eventually understand things better.



Yes, today most of my pcbs are dumped.
Always I have in mind get new pcbs games for mame.
Often when I have a new pcb that is undumped in mame, I contact with other Spanish person with hard for dump roms. (Sometimes I sell any pcbs to Smitdogg “Dumping Union”).

@ bazar77
THUNDER HOOP 2 and GLASS,are the 2 most wanted game from Gaelco’s unamulated games!
Thanks from the deepest of my heart,for the great memories you bring back to me!

Thanks to you for see the gameplayer; and thanks to Haze too for your effort in emulated old arcade games in mame.

(This is an off topic comment)

Hi Haze,

In the past, I’ve donated the PCB of High Seas Havoc from Data East.
On this PCB (see at http://tinypic.com/r/1zlylwy/6), there is chip labelled SEGA and since this game originally belongs to the Megadrive, I wonder if it can be added to the MegaPlay driver instead of its own driver hshavoc.c.
And may be this can help in the emulation of this game.
Thank you for reading.

It’s not a MegaPlay board, but we already know it’s Genesis based.

The problem is it’s encrypted and has some kind of MCU (PIC?) for protection.

hello ?

sorry …

Haze I write you becouse I have a very strange pcb labeled as:



– The year is 1996 (in mame the dumped set in des. says 1997)
– have v33 pcm, v33 sound, fix odd (v33 fix2), fix even (v33 fix1), v33 prg1 (in pcb label as prg0), v33 prg2 (in pcb label as prg1)
– NO COP CHIP protection, instead have a RAIDEN-333 seibu 1996 (maybe cop protection ????) no sure.
AND THE MORE STRANGE: have obj0 labeled as seibu musha obj-1, obj1 labeled as seibu musha obj-2
OTHER: BG12 labeled as musha back-1 and bg3 labeled as musha back-2. WHAT SEIBU GAME IS MUSHA????

RARE: this pcb not is Raiden 3, not is Musha …… the game is a NEW ZERO TEAM version.

I made this video:



Photo of the pcb for Haze:


and other video:


Photo of the pcb for Haze:


and other unemulated playthrough video:



I´m bored and I found a cheat mame address for see the “ending” (this game not have ending) of (namco) TOKYO WARS.


* when I have time (and the good mame romset) I will try search cheat code address with you latest addition SEGA “F1 Super Lap”.

Yeah, the Musha thing is Zero Team, both New Zero Team and Zero Team 2000 use similar PCBs, as does Raiden 2/DX New and Raiden 2 2000 (not dumped)

-333 is the protection chip, the games upload some kind of encrypted program / data for it, there is an external data rom a bit like the COPD2 external roms, and it probably acts in a similar way.

The Zero Team versions of this type of board have the proper sound hardware, the Raiden 2 / DX versions on this type of board have much worse sound hardware than the originals

It’s not really that rare, I’d say the New Zero Team boards show up about as often as the regular ones.

http://www.mameworld.info/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Number=286796 shows the similar Zero Team 2000 board, the interesting thing about that one is that the sprites aren’t encrypted, but the sprite encryption was cracked a few months ago anyway.

“F1 Super Lap” Sega

Video ending using cheat codes:


Something completly different… some time ago someone (very specific, I know) mentioned a task that would be good for someone starting to look into the MAME code. It was along the lines of porting some existing C (?) code into the new class setup. I think it was in the comments somewhere but couldn’t find it. Can you tell me what it was or give me a hint ? I would like to look into it if I have some time.

It’s pretty much been done (it was changing drivers using the old SN76489 implementation to use the new C++ one) There are one or two drivers using it which haven’t been changed over yet, but those are in progress.

Fast Eddie: There’s the tms5200 core, too, if you want to have a look. I only did looping.c.

Thanks Haze. I’m just sticking my nose into portrait and qix.

Sorry, I meant Osso.

IIRC in portrait the tms isn’t hooked up yet.

Osso, methinks you are right. Just did a quick find across files.

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