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MAME work and other stuff
April 26, 2018 Haze Categories: General News. 8 Comments on End of April notes

Not much to report at the moment.

The XaviX work has stalled somewhat while I try to look through many lines of disassembly to see what I’m missing, there are a few things I haven’t shown / uploaded any videos of, but I’d rather wait until I make a breakthrough on those.

Instead I’ve spend today looking a bit more at the ‘Elan’ hardware on which several other Radica games run, and improved the sprite base register in the later type used by Golden Tee Home, connectv Football and several others (that are yet to be dumped)


connectv Football connectv Football
connectv Football connectv Football
connectv Football connectv Football
connectv Football connectv Football
connectv Football connectv Football

connectv Football was a surprising find, because Radica typically used the connectv brand for European products and Play TV brand for US products, however there was already a Play TV Football, based on XaviX hardware so logically connectv Football would be the same game but for the European market. In this case however it was not, it’s a unique game that appears to have only been released in the UK / Europe. I guess what makes it especially strange is that it uses the same font for the ‘Football’ text, despite being an entirely different game, see this screenshot from an earlier update.


Play TV Football

The connectv Football ROM does contain a ‘connectv Real Soccer’ logo too, but it appears to be unused, maybe had this one been released in the US that would have been the name, but with the Play TV branding obviously. Instead the actual Play TV Soccer game is yet another game, this time an import of the Epoch Excite Soccer from Japan on Xavix hardware (not yet dumped)

Controls haven’t been hooked up yet, but it’s just a collection of 3 mini games that you played with an shiny shinpad that worked with sensors in the base unit, reporting an X/Y position relative to the base, so might not be too difficult to map to a mouse. Sprite colour register is not yet fully understood.

I’d like to get this one finished because it’s actually one that I purchased myself and sent to Sean for deglobbing and dumping.

Another I purchased and sent was the other UK / European exclusive, connectv Cricket, this one however runs in vii.cpp (SunPlus) hardware like Skateboarder, and appears to expose some bugs in the DMA handling (or CPU core) of the driver, as well as needing proper I2C EEPROM emulation, and whatever IR communication hookup it needs to communicate with the bat, meaning that right now it’s a long way from being playable.


connectv Cricket connectv Cricket
connectv Cricket connectv Cricket

I also sent some LCD games, but they turned out to be an MCU type we have no current way of dumping and with no visible bits under a microscope, so at least one of those will probably go down as a casualty of the discovery process.

In other news Morten Shearman Kirkegaard figured out the correct compression algorithm for Gunpey by studying the compressed / decompressed data, allowing the fake decompressed data rom we extracted to be removed and replaced with real emulation of the decompression. That progress missed the latest release but will be in the next one.

Caps0ff decapped a number of MCUs including F1 Dream, which I hooked up, fixing operation of the original game in MAME (previously you had to run bootleg versions) The game however does still feel rather unfinished, crashing if you successfully complete all the tracks, but it that doesn’t appear to be protection related and I have a strong feeling the original game would crash / reset in that position too (and Capcom never programmed a proper end sequence)

8 Comments

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Hi HAze,
dunno if this is the bootleg, but it has end sequence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2_DDZTrrJo

not clear what it is, maybe it’s from a much earlier version of MAME before the address exception it triggers was emulated, or maybe there are some other conditions to it crashing.

it definitely crashed at the point MAME END tried to do the ending sequence anyway, which was a long time ago.

could be some kind of other bizzare bug in the emulation of the system too I guess that needs further studying, but it doesn’t seem protection related.

Kale seems to think it’s a real hardware video, and also that the scoring works better there, when it doesn’t in any of the MAME sets..

So maybe we’re still missing something non-protection related that’s a bit silly, like byte smearing, not sure.

Interesting. Well at least we have the real MCU now, and it’s mostly working, but in light of the new evidence, maybe really does need looking at in more detail.

What happened to Virtua Fighter 1 /Model 1. Is this still being worked on? The game at the moment has some weird glitches in mame, like Sarah’s ponytail polygons dropped on the floor.

The work done on VR in the latest build (using the real TGP CoProcessor ROM) is preparation for the Virtua Fighter and Star Wars Arcade being decapped.

AFAIK The Dumping Union have sources for both chips and will be sending those for decapping, after which the process is a visual data entry one (hopefully nothing gets too dirty / difficult to see the bits for) and once those are correctly entered the games should, in theory, work.

That’s really great news. Totally looking forward to it. Thanks Haze!

Hi Haze,
[This is an off topic comment]
Do you know why High Seas Havoc has disappeared from the mame game list ?
And also, as you may know, the PIC was decapped by Caps0ff and the dumped was added to Mame before this week end by Ian Evangelista.
But even with this dump, the game is still marked as non working. Do you know why ?
Sorry to bother you with this thing but I’m concern with this game since I’ve donated my board of this game to the Italian Dump team back in 2006. Since then, I can’t play it
So this is why I wonder if it will become playable in the future.
And thank you as usual for your dedicated work on the enhancement of Mame.

It hasn’t disappeared, it’s still there in the very latest builds.

It’s encrypted (and maybe protected) I was unable to full work out the encryption. The part that matches the MD version was successfully decrypted, the rest wasn’t.

The PIC might play a role in this, changing protection states on the fly, if it really sits between the CPU and all other accesses then emulating it properly might be difficult (although I’m not sure it’s fast enough to do that much)

The good thing about having the PIC dumped for now is that it can potentially be used to repair faulty PCBs.

If the MAME Italia dumping guys still have your PCB then you can probably safely ask for it back, I don’t think it will tell us much more (and presumably we have a 2nd one from which the PIC was dumped anyway) Of course it’s possible that the PCB you sent is the one used for decapping the PIC, I’m not sure.

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