I decided to revisit one of my older drivers, Black Touch ’96.
This was promoted to working last year after code anaylsis showed that the majority of the bugs in the game did not appear to be emulation issues, but just the result of some very bad programming.
Examples of this include the game timer not working (it checks a variable in workram that never seems to be set correctly, so is reset to 20 every single frame) as well as enemies and other items ending up outside the area of the screen you can move to, walking on the backgrounds etc.
The sound is driven by a PIC16C57 which was deprotected and dumped as part of the old pre-Caps0ff decapping project, but until now nobody had got around to hooking it up.
I hooked it up, and it seems just as badly programmed as the rest, for example once it starts playing music in attract mode it never seems to send a command to turn it off. The choices of sounds are awful in many cases too.
I guess the only really interesting thing about this hardware is that it’s basically cloned from the SNK ‘P.O.W’ hardware, but with the added ability to have 256 colour sprites. We’re also quite lucky to have the PIC dump because a lot of these PCBs no doubt just ended up being scrapped due to how awful the game is. There are a number of other Korean games with PICs driving the sound where they couldn’t be dumped at the time and we haven’t since sourced another PCB now that we have the capability to dump them. (the Tumble Pop rip-off Pang Pang comes to mind)
Here is a video of Black Touch ’96 running in MAME with sound, you probably don’t actually want to watch it.