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 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.
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.
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)