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MAME work and other stuff
December 12, 2015 Haze Categories: General News. 13 Comments on Makeup on a Broken Man

The Jaleco Megaystem 1 driver is broken to an almost shambolic level, nothing really works as it should. This is mainly down to interrupt handling, timing, sometimes subtle protections, and generally things not being understood well. It did used to run ‘better’ but even back then it was held together with hacks.

If you’re expecting this post to be about Ninja Kazan (Iga Ninjyutsuden) being fixed, or the random sprite lag being fixed, or Takeda Shingen / Shingen Samurai-Fighter crashes being fixed then stop reading now, they’re not, I have no clue how to fix them without resorting to the hacks of old, and I’d really rather not do that.

Kale did add a video RAM mirror allowing the background destruction to function correctly in 64th Street (characters still don’t move during attract tho) and so I decided that while fixing the bigger issues with the driver simply wasn’t going to happen it was probably worth making some other improvements for the time when that does happen.

It has been known since system11 acquired a PCB and made a video that there was a graphical effect missing in Takeda Shingen, A Mametesters report was created with 2 handy videos demonstrating the effect in Takeda Shingen and the P-47 test mode.

This was a while back, and in the meantime the Final Burn Alpha devs emulated the effect due to having more active devs on the MS1 driver than we have.

Since nobody else had done it yet, and it was easy enough, I ported the FBA code that dink and iq_132 had written back into MAME; since the FBA code was based on the MAME code in the first place this wasn’t too difficult.

The result can be seen in the vidoes below. Note, I’ve used the English language set ‘Shingen Samurai-Fighter’ instead of the Japanese language set system11 used for his video. Also note, the game really is broken beyond being playable in MAME right now and crashes out at the start of level 2 even in this test video. The effect can be seen after I pick up the power-up which turns my sword into a flashing one, and then kill some enemies, with the effect emulated they ‘pixelate’.

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The P-47 test mode video demonstrates more clearly the settings for Mosaic that are available. (same settings as Mametesters reference video have been used, you can see the effect creates the same pixels in MAME)

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The effect is also used on the Jaleco logo in P47, after the spinning squares, looks a bit ugly, but should be correct. There’s actually another missing effect on the Jaleco logo here, the initial graphics should draw sprite trails, we’re going to have to look into that one too, could once again be the only place it gets used(!)

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Obviously these will be more interesting to you once the driver works properly again (which like I say, I have no ETA on) but until then you might appreciate seeing them anyway.


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All the bug fixes you guys have been doing lately are fantastic. I’m really impressed.

I do have to say, though, that I’m disappointed that developers are wasting time with emulators such as FBA instead of just improving MAME. It’s so much duplicated and wasted effort.

it gives them more freedom to use hacks etc.

the standard required for MAME, and our refusal to revert back to old hacky code in some situations does put people off, so it’s understandable that some people would rather work on an alternative where they’re more in control, vs. the MAME system where for the most part MAME is in control of what you can do (much easier to cheat on things that require specific timings / timeslices if you’ve got your own code not the MAME scheduler)

so I can understand why it exists, and it’s a million times better to see this kind of competition (and, as you can see, collaboration – their improvements have helped us) in development rather than a certain ‘just convert all emulators to libraries and glue everybody else’s work together’ ’emulator’ I won’t mention where nobody really benefits in terms of development.

Haze, I like how you approached this comment to the statement made on FBA – This hobby *needs* people to work on different projects, and have different approaches – and if we can continue to all share code and knowledge, it will still benefit the greater good.

Thanks for another great post!

Good to see you guys are going back, way back on some of the already mamed games that need some polishing up, great to see these games are getting some love and soon will be 100% emulated, thanks guys this is very much appreciated.

Atomiswave, CPS-3, Cave (Deathsmiles 2, etc), Mega-tech, Neo-Geo 64 and those blasted naomi games should be next on your hit list, hopefully.

Thanks again guys and please keep up the great work you done throughout the years.

Deathsmiles 2 is a full 64-bit 3ghz+ AMD Atlhon64 based PC… I know people have been hacking these to run on Windows, but emulating them properly in MAME isn’t even close to happening, they’re magnitudes more powerful than even the slowest driver in MAME (The Chihiro driver runs at 4% speed, that’s a 700Mhz P3 with heavy cheating in the driver and most of the hardware not emulated properly at all yet)

I really don’t understand what people are expecting us to do.

I don’t believe the majority of people understand what MAME is trying to do.
Anyway… What is the big pull of “Neo-Geo 64”? Which of the seven games are people eagerly waiting to play? None of the games seem overly well received. (Sorry if this seems a naive question… though I do strive to have a MVS system in my home one day.)

I actually don’t play very often video games, but I enjoy reading about every single progress that is being made. It’s like watching an expert solve a rubick cube or an overcomplicated puzzle. :)

Keep up the good work and thanks 1000 times. I truly appreciate your time and your effort.

Although I can undestand the desire of emulating games like Deathsmiles 2, these little improvements in classic systems like MS1 are more than welcome. It is precisely how people behind MAME builds a solid emulation which is the final goal of the whole project. I´m happy each time I read about fixed things related with games of the 80s or the 90s.

I think you are doing a fantastic job, Haze. Keep it up, please.

In regards to d’s question, they are games that are simply not available elsewhere.

Were the two Samurai Shodown games good? They were not particularly amazing, but neither were they awful. They are, however, an interesting part of Samurai Shodown’s history. They were the series first foray into 3D. They were the introduction of Shiki, of Asura, and various story elements. Some elements were carried into the PS1-based third 3D title, but the PS1 game in some ways was less interesting and less appealing than the arcade titles. These are games that most people never even had a chance to see, much less play. Even those who did play them did so very long ago, and only have fading memories of the titles.

Buriki One was also never ported elsewhere. It, by nature, is different from other SNK fighters. It also has Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting/King of Fighters.

Fatal Fury Wild Ambition did see a PS1 port, but there there still may be a curiosity factor, with people perhaps wanting to see how different the arcade game was from the PS1 port. And perhaps a bit of wistful hope that the arcade game was somehow better.

I can’t speak for the two racing games, but there are presumably also people who would be interested in seeing the HNG64 Beast Busters.

For why people might want to see these games return in a playable form, you might as well ask why anyone would want to see any older game be saved or returned to a playable form.

It’s actually the Neo64 driving games that seem most interesting to me, from videos you can find online they look like solid titles, maybe the handling is so bad they’re unplayable, I don’t know. The Beast Busters sequel looks like it barely holds together on real hardware in terms of production values and software quality, but it’s also exclusive to the platform.

It’s an interesting platform for sure, but nothing is straightforward about it, every time we look at it, and think we’ve made progress in one area it ends up leading us to even more things we don’t understand. The lack of I/O MCU dumps is also frustrating because they could be doing more than we realise, and hold the key to some of the odd behaviors.

Thank you both Haze and Baines for your comments. Those are certain reasons enough for people wanting to see the system emulated. I thought I might be missing a particular gaming gem, something that altered the history of a gaming genre or something along those lines and hence my original question.

Still hoping Sega model 1/2/3 and Naomi will get some more mamedev love….

@d: some people had ghetto experiences – or are just ghetto-inclined (think B movies/music) – that they for some reason looked up to…..

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