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MAME work and other stuff
January 8, 2014 Haze Categories: General News. 27 Comments on I’m Happy Now! (Well .. not really)

Over the last few days I’ve been tidying up some loose ends now that some of the people I’ve been working with have a little more time after Christmas.

First up there is the PGM game ‘Happy 6-in-1’ I’d posted screens of this running with a hacked internal ARM rom from The Gladiator in the past, but it wasn’t playable. By working with rtw (who picked up a new cart for testing because the one the original dump came from was dead) we were able to find a way to extract the real data (same method as the other games) and it works now. Also the new cart is a higher revision (V102 instead of V101, but it hasn’t been dumped yet) Thanks to iq_132 for helping with data entry.

Happy 6 Happy 6

Happy 6 Happy 6
Happy 6 Happy 6
Happy 6 Happy 6
Happy 6 Happy 6
Happy 6 Happy 6
Happy 6 Happy 6

In a similar story I also worked with ANY on getting the correct data for Carket Ball, another game previously featured here (this time by Semicom) Again we had to pick up a different PCB for this because the original PCB was dead, in this case we picked up a Cookie and Bibi PCB and transfered the MCU across. The game now works without crashing and without the sound glitching as soon as you insert a coin.

Carket Ball Carket Ball
Carket Ball Carket Ball

I said the story was similar, so I should also mention that the Cookie and Bibi board we picked up also turned out to have an undumped revision of that game on it, again probably newer because the test mode doesn’t crash in the new set. (It also used different protection data so we had to extract that too) Interestingly the graphics roms and z80 program were also different, unusual for a clone, makes me wonder if the older dump wasn’t a prototype set. There are no real changes to the graphics, just from what I can tell some redundant tiles removed.

Cookie & Bibi (new set) Cookie & Bibi (new set)
Cookie & Bibi (new set) Cookie & Bibi (new set)

So there you go, a couple of loose ends tied up.

*edit* I was originally not going to mention this one, because it’s not my WIP, but a number of people have suggested I mention it because it’s interesting progress.

ElSemi has done some MAME work on his old Crystal System driver. The Crystal System game Top Blade V is protected like many of the others, with a PIC providing code patches. We have a dump of the PIC (it was decapped a while back) but no CPU core. ElSemi was however able to analyse the dump and figure out the addresses it is meant to patch. By doing this he made the game playable.

He also did the same for Office Yeo In Cheon Ha (a Bishi Bashi Champ type game), but there are still stability issues with the emulation that need looking at before it can be considered working.

Here are some pictures, I stress again this is ElSemi‘s work not mine.

Top Blade V Top Blade V
Top Blade V Top Blade V
Top Blade V Top Blade V
Top Blade V Top Blade V
Top Blade V Top Blade V
Top Blade V Top Blade V
Top Blade V Top Blade V

He did also kindly pass me the sources to his Model 2 emulator, I plan on seeing if I can use them to improve the MAME emulation (although no promises, 3D systems aren’t really something I’m known for my work on so it might go nowhere.)


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One more PGM game finally emulated and working.
Nice job Haze, rtw and iq_132.

Guardians – denjin makai II graphics emulation is not perfect

Really nice job Haze, rtw , iq_132 et al !!!

I think my eyeballs are bleeding. lol
btw, this “// for testing only, this is from the gladiator and wrong for this game.” should probably go away now. :)

yeah, I need to do a cleanup pass on pgm.c anyway, the files it references for the protection emulations are wrong too, and I should add the dates to the kov clones/bootlegs..

interestingly the ‘older’ KOV Superheroes + has a ‘SANGO EX+’ string.. the sets we call KOV Superheroes + call themselves ‘HERO’ in the header and actually lack an IGS copyright on the title screen.. you have to wonder…

It’s clearly a newer codebase, but maybe we’re missing something.

ElSemi read my message in the fórum? Thank you, all the best for you.

Good luck with model 2, it’s way past time MAME emulated that system better.

Nobody was stopping you from improving it. :)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.. Oh Boy, IGS, you done goofed. Look at that warning screen. One version later, and they STILL couldn’t spell Constructed correctly. That’s “Construed” to the full extent of the jam.

I am glad that Top Blade V is playable now, but there is one more game in crystal.c driver :
Donggul Donggul Haerong which is actually a very good “Wonder Boy – kind of” game.
Please don’t left behind this gem ! Is its PIC already dumped ?
On PGM side, I am hoping for Photo Y2K 2 to promote to working state. Thank You.

The PIC isn’t dumped on that one, which means finding the protection functions that need patching would be a much longer manual process – that’s why it hasn’t been done.

Photo Y2k2 has no external ARM rom, so we need to work out the nature of the protection and see if there are any commands that might be exploitable, otherwise it’s a long haul simulation effort like Puzzli 2 was, and Puzzle Star is looking to be (that rejected our attempts so far)

Construed is correct..

(although once we add the Hong Kong DW2, sure, laugh all you want, they couldn’t spell “Hong Kong”)

Construed is a proper word in the English Dictionary. I failed. F Minus. I’m retaking Professor Haze’s class next year. =P

will be an intermediate version of MAME so we can play these games ?? :)

also HAZE how about dumping PGM2 is still an impossible task ?? :D

> Top Fighter V
Holy crap, a Beyblade arcade game. I didn’t know such a thing existed. And with copyrights of the original owners too, but being Korean and not released elsewhere I wonder if it really was an officially-endorsed product.

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be legit, if it wasn’t they would have just released the game anyway, without all the actual proper licensing text I imagine. I guess it was just popular enough in Korea for them to consider it worthwhile, and they had enough cheap hardware to do it (it’s a caseless crystal system board)

Expotato did some other stuff too, mainly PC based tho, dance games and the like.

an ex2 build isn’t in my immediate plans, there are a couple of other things I’d like to get done first.

PGM2 is still encrypted, also we don’t know if the internal ARM roms are dumpable AT ALL, or will be fully protected. If the latter the games will probably never be emulated. (it’s a newer chip than the 027A so it’s entirely possible they made the internal area more secure)

I feel compelled to ask this, but after a cursory examination of the Model 2 emulator source code, how is the SCSP emulation in comparison to MAME proper.

In 2011, Luca Elia made some attempts to get Donggul Donggul Haerong in a working state :

May be his findings can help you.

My best whishes for the new year.

ElSemi has done some patches to get it into a similar state..

It seems to suffer from the same issues as officeye tho, possibly CPU core bugs or something causing further memory corruption and an unstable game.

Any questions about very recent games will be deleted. There’s the same chance of those being added as the NGDevTeam NeoGeo releases from the same years. (NeoGeo has been emulated in MAME for over 15 years and we don’t add those newer games, nor is anybody dumping them.)

I haven’t really looked at it yet, but the MAME SCSP has changed a lot in recent years, so it’s not going to be a simple case of being able to replace one with another, things like the Saturn depend on a lot of features I imagine ElSemi doesn’t emulate because Model 2 doesn’t need them.

My initial plan is to try and re-port some of the CPUs to MAME because he made a number of fixes to them since the versions we have in MAME, but the code paths have diverged so far it would be hard to cleanly find / apply the fixes. After that maybe I can hack together some (private) Windows only version using the renderer code he has, then rewrite all that as a software renderer for MAME.

Getting the basic logic running correctly is important first tho, most of the Model 2 games fall over in MAME at the moment due to that, eg. Daytona running at half speed (even when at 100% speed) due to interrupt issues, random invisible obstacles in some games (which IIRC were fixed by CPU core fixes) as well as Pilot Kids crashing (protection / CPU core bug) etc.

It’s definitely not an overnight task ;-)

Just seemed like an unusual thing to try and make a software video game out of. Some things don’t translate from boards into software.

In any case from the videos I see of it it seems like they really cocked up the physics component among other things which helps to wreck it. Kind of like having a pinball game with a ball that weighs 50 tons.

MAME’s SCSP is significantly more full-featured (e.g. DMA support, which Model 2 doesn’t use but some Saturn and ST-V games rely on extensively) and has gotten a lot more testing (Saturn in MESS, Model 3, AO/M1, in_ssf, etc).

In other words, if there’s some problem in MAME’s that’s bothering you, please report it at MAMETesters because nobody makes one that’s a viable replacement.

Regarding porting CPU cores from ElSemi’s emulator, there are assumptions that we’re running on 32-bit x86 baked in all over his code, and so it’s not easy at all. You definitely do want to keep his opcode pre-decoding intact though. That’s where his emulator picks up most of it’s speed.

I had a preliminary port running in MAME back in 2009 (minus the FPU opcodes, so it only ran the Namco FL games), but an HDD crash wiped it out before it got completed and submitted.

Good old Elsemi! His Model 2 software rocks hard!

I know I have seen versions of Sunset Riders and X- men which are not dumped. They were both 4 players with 1 coin slot. The X-men is legit because it came on legit 4-player cab. Is there any collector who is known to possess one of those?

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