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MAME work and other stuff
November 7, 2017 Haze Categories: General News. 38 Comments on Progress Post

fixed up some bugs in the ARM core, identified IRQ controller, located palette…

Warning

other layers aren’t yet emulated, but you can already see the palette uploads for what is running eg. the IGS logo
IGS Logo Palette

If you wait a while you get the ingame HUD for attract mode
HUD

located the background tilemap data, not added to video mixing yet, but can see tilemap RAM content in tilemap viewer
background

found sprite list. sprites use 1 rom for ‘mask’ (1bpp shape) and another for colour (5? bpp palette) Similar to PGM1, but not the same as the offsets to both are in the sprite list this time. hooked up the 1bpp mask data for now.
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites

started hooking up colour data to the sprites, giving them detail, not quite right yet

sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites

worked out the slight scramble on the colour data

sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites

improved various things about the sprites, still some issues with y-flipped sprites tho
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites

Metallic added preliminary sound, as I can’t demonstrate this in screenshots here’s a quick video

started adding in the background layer (priority still wrong) and fixed the y-flipped sprites. still the odd sprite issue (actually looks like the badly coloured sprite in the 2nd to last screenshot should just be hidden by the bg and never seen) sprite zoom not yet implemented either. Metallic also made further sound improvements.

sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites
sprites

emulated sprite priorities, fixed a few other sprite bugs. most (all?) the features of the video needed by Oriental Legend 2 are now emulated, so it’s looking pretty good. made a new video

added linescroll effects

linescroll sprites
linescroll sprites
linescroll sprites
linescroll sprites
linescroll sprites

although annoyingly the game still seems to crash at this point.. even with no hacks etc. I’ve seen videos of the hacked build doing this too, so bit of a mystery at this point, maybe another ARM bug?

linescroll

While I came up with a crude hack to work around the above crash (which probably isn’t safe) I’ve been unable to find a real solution yet, although the game is playable past this point with the hack.

PGM2 dumping is likely to resume on Wednesday, maybe having proper dumps of some of the other titles will throw more light on the issue.

38 Comments

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Incredibly fast progress! Nice work!

Very good work! Thanks for sharing the progress!

Great work Haze, Peter and Morten! :D

Omg it’s happening. :O
I love you guys!

what is the point ? a chinese hacker ran mame with hacks and 3 games are playable :D

The point is proper emulation without hacks. That’s the whole point.

Of course, if running a binary that can blow your machine is your thing, then true, no point on doing things right.

hng64……

Wow! You rock!

right, obviously the point of this is to do things correctly, hence the title of the original article.

that ugly hacked thing has reportedly blown up several machines, is completely untrustworthy, doesn’t even coin up properly, and went to great lengths to hinder anybody using anything from it for proper emulation.

this is proper emulation, built from scratch, it doesn’t have the coin problems of the hacked emu, isn’t going to blow up your machine, and the source is already available for anybody who wants to compile and run it. since there’s source, it can also be compiled for non-windows platforms etc.

will you dump haze all the games of PGM2 ??

will the old roms be valid (current roms for pgm2 as listed in mame download sites)

current roms will not be valid (obviously) as you’ll need the internal ROM dumps from the CPUs, which is what is allowing this proper progress to be made in the first place.

also some roms in existing dumps may have bad bytes, there are 4 suspicious bytes in the oriental legend 2 sprite roms for example.

other games will come with time.

Excellent work! Thank you and Congratulations!
I’m very excited to see this system properly emulated.

Haze you prove it so well this time, thanks for the last 2 comments, amazing how they try to screw you doing your job, and they try to screw people’s computers. Keep the good work! Send it thow huawei p8 lite.

Its worth noting that Oriental Legend 2 actually does indeed have an English setting that can be accessed via emulation which makes the entire game full English, but the English cart was never actually released. A very nice surprise that no one knew about before the Chinese hack emulator came out.

The English version is based on the Japanese version of the game (That did actually get released), which is very different to the Chinese versions. The Chinese versions use the card system to save character data, but the Japanese version is rebalanced to have no card system, so you level up a lot faster and certain gameplay elements are altered (some secrets in the Chinese version require multiple playthroughs with the card saving to access certain hidden secrets and such)

Also, putting the game into the English or Japanese setting in the garbage Chinese hack emulator made the games break completely. Certain doors could not be entered at all and the game flat out crashed after about stage 4. Only the Chinese version was made to ‘work’ with all the hacks in that emu.

Very good work! Thanks for sharing the progress!

has it been confirmed that the Japanese version of Oriental Legend 2 actually had the same external program rom (same date stamp on the boot screen) or could it be incomplete in the rom we have, hence the bugs you mention. I haven’t tried playing through it yet.

I want so much that Death smiles 2 works in Mame, was next. After other PGM2 games obviously……. :)

Death Smiles 2 runs on a dual core 64-bit 3Ghz PC based board, it will probably be 30-40 YEARS before it’s playable in MAME. It’s a really bad looking game, but the hardware is significantly more advanced than anything MAME emulates.

the PGM 2 BIOS will be redumped ? or they are all OK as they are in current versions of MAME

I’ve a arcade version of DS2 and works on PC but unfortunately there are many graphic glitches with Nvidia video card :( …..Can you fix these Haze ?! :)

PGM2 doesn’t have a bios, this is already stated in MAME source.

and no, I can’t fix glitches in DS2 when running on a PC, that’s entirely why these things will need to be properly emulated one day, not hacked to run on a PC. CPUs, Video hardware, drivers etc. are going to change over time. Hacking games to run on PC isn’t emulation and isn’t of any interest to me at all, all this hacking them to run on PCs now is going to be very damaging in the long run as it makes original dumps and information much harder to find. The way these are being done is the absolute opposite of the MAME approach.

After many years that I follow you, I knew your opinon very well… I tried! :) :) :)

Macaw> after doing a bit of my own testing I think the Japanese and Overseas codepaths are incomplete in the external ROMs we have, so it’s likely that the Japanese cartridges contain an updated program rom, hence why they crash if you try to modify the region on the current ones.

although I do still get a crash in MAME with no hacks at all, which is odd..

Also for me the RAM TEST in service mode gives an error

Awesome job! Thanks for your contribution to the Arcade community!

I swear that RAM test passed earlier, now it wants to test a full 0x10000 bytes for a region that should be 0x200 at most.

Thanks for explaining :)
Something strange too : In the real hardware you can’t choose the 2 greyed characters without having an empty card inserted and here you can (the card system is a pain and when using cards you can choose your character only the first time and after that the character choosen is assignated to the card) so having the ability to choose them without cards is very cool :) but not accurate…
Also in the haked MAME version these 2 characters weren’t available when set to “oversea” region (don’t know if it’s accurate or not) but your screenshot shows them all…
I don’t know if it can help to fix something, but I hope :)
Anyway : THANKS!! Amazing work!!

For PGM2 fans Christmas has come early, great job fellas!!

I suspect it lets you choose the characters because it knows there is no card reader attached, or thinks it’s running on a motherboard where that isn’t an option.

As already stated by somebody else, the Overseas / Japan is a very different codepath because they didn’t use the card reader in those regions, we need an actual Japanese cartridge to know if the external code is the same on them because there are issues if you region swap the existing roms.

You will have news about PGM1 too? There still a few things to do and i understand you patience.

I have no solution to the remaining PGM1 issues, I was unable to find exploitable internal commands to dump the ARM roms for the remaining games. There will be no news on PGM1 from me.

Thanks for the answer. =)

What the heck is that resolution IGS set this thing up to run at? It’s not a good match for 16:9 displays but they couldn’t have seriously been gunning for anamorphic 4:3 in 2008, could they?

The most common arcade cabinets were all 4:3 screens, so yes, these were meant to be displayed at 4:3

The resolution is the same as PGM1, 448×224 I guess the idea was that it’s an improvement over both CPS1/2 and NeoGeo.

PGM2 is a very similar design to PGM1, just with more colours and a more capable sprite chip and ARM for the main processor instead of the 68k.

I suspect IGS massively underestimated just how quickly after this traditional 4:3 screens would fall by the wayside. It seems to be one of a number of arcade systems that popped up around this time and faded out just as quickly. I’d hazard a guess that this is the final ‘mainstream’ platform that uses the traditional sprites / tilemaps etc. with dedicated roms for each setup tho. It’s likely there are newer arcade gambling systems based on similar tech as their needs are quite simple, although we’ll find that out with time I guess.

how are the rest of PGM2 games doing ? :D are you working on them ?, do they boot ?

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