David Haywood's Homepage
MAME work and other stuff
October 12, 2018 Haze Categories: General News. 13 Comments on Slapping a Tiger would be a poor life choice

I’ve been doing a bit of work on the XaviX emulation in MAME (technology used by a number of Plug and Play TV Games) and in that time I’ve made some decent progress with the emulation. While still far from perfect (some graphical problems, no sound, poor performance) I feel there has been enough progress to show some of it here. Some of the most noteworthy things using the hardware are the Taito / Namco Nostalgia collections which were released in Japan in 2006.

Taito Nostalgia 1 contains “Slap Fight” and “KiKi KaiKai” and remixed versions of them.
Below is the remix version of Slap Fight which mixes Slap Fight with another classic, Tiger Heli, giving you the Tiger Heli ship instead of the regular Slap Fight one. Due to the compressed screen size this version of the game is very difficult. The KiKi KaiKai allows you to play as the main character from Bonze Adventure instead.


Taito Nostalgia 2 Taito Nostalgia 2
Slap Fight Tiger Slap Fight Tiger
Slap Fight Tiger Slap Fight Tiger
Slap Fight Tiger Slap Fight Tiger

Namco Nostalgia 2 contains “Gaplus” and “Dragon Buster” again with remixed versions.
Below you can see the Gaplus remix “Gaplus Phalanx” where instead of shooting things you must capture the grey enemies while avoiding capturing the red ones (and not hitting anything in the process)

Namco Nostalgia 2 Namco Nostalgia 2
Gaplus Phalanx Gaplus Phalanx
Gaplus Phalanx Gaplus Phalanx
Gaplus Phalanx Gaplus Phalanx

Taito Nostalgia 1 contains “Legend of Kage” and “Gladiator” plus the usual remixes of them. Below is Amazones, the remix of Gladiator. Note, with current emulation missing the EEPROM support the key assignments are invalid by default and get lost every time you exit the game, but they can be assigned each time.

Taito Nostalgia 1 Taito Nostalgia 1
Amazones Amazones
Amazones Amazones
Amazones Amazones

Namco Nostalgia 1 still doesn’t run properly, so no shots from that one at the moment.

Outside of Japan the XaviX technology was used mostly by games with novelty controllers. Progress has been made on the emulation of some of those too.

Graphics were much improved in Radica’s Play TV Boxing, menus now look solid, priorities are correct, sprites fill the screen properly etc.


Radica Boxing Radica Boxing
Radica Boxing Radica Boxing

Radica’s Bass Fishing game no longer crashes when you enter gameplay, and no longer has corrupt text in the menus. Inputs aren’t fully mapped yet tho.


Radica Bass Fishing Radica Bass Fishing
Radica Bass Fishing Radica Bass Fishing

Radica’s Card Night no longer crashes upon reaching the main menu, and has more correct graphics. The glitch where it rendered a corrupt menu over the startup screens is gone too.


Radica Card Night Radica Card Night
Radica Card Night Radica Card Night

The Radica Madden & Football games now show their startup screens (EA license screen on Madden, Farsight developer screen on Football) and also prompt the player to throw the ball (not emulated) to start, rather than crashing at that point.


Radica Madden Radica Madden
Radica Football Radica Football

The e-kara things now have a scrolling screen and colours that aren’t garbage (although no inputs exist to get past this screen) and the Fisher Price ‘Rescue Heroes’ shows a startup screen now before crashing. Excite Fishing DX moans about the EEPROM.


e-kara Rescue Heroes
Excite Fishing DX

Wild Adventure Mini Golf shows some startup screens before getting to an animated display asking you to swing the club to start (not hooked up)


Wild Adventure Mini Golf Wild Adventure Mini Golf

Radica’s Baseball 2 shows it’s secret test menu, and also a startup screen, but crashes after showing the Radica Logo


Radica Baseball 2 Radica Baseball 2

Radica’s Ping Pong now boots, although you can’t serve.


Radica Ping Pong Radica Ping Pong
Radica Ping Pong

Radica’s Monster Truck has improved priorities (although controls still aren’t hooked up)


Radica Monster Truck Radica Monster Truck
Radica Monster Truck Radica Monster Truck

Snowboard has some minor improvements but still needs the raster interrupt hooking up for the ground


Radica Snowboarder Radica Snowboarder

While many of these still aren’t playable the progress over the last few days has taken most of them from doing almost nothing to looking much more like what they’re meant to be, and a much better picture of the overall hardware.

None of this would have been possible without Sean Riddle dumping the majority of these titles and Peter Wilhelmsen purchasing many of them for that purpose.

13 Comments

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

This is great

Very good work on getting this far with them but i was wondering if you have seen a plug n play system with around 50 or 100 games on it. All i can remember it was in the later part of the 90s & it had quite good classic games on it such as wonderboy gallag gunsmoke & quite a lot of other classics on it. i seen it on a very large outdoor market in england & looking at the screen shots on the box they looked like the original graphics from the arcade but i can’t be a 100% on it, at the time I didn’t have enough money on me to buy & when i went back a month or so later I couldn’t seem to find the stall selling them as it was a very large outdoor market & after 4hrs I still hadn’t walked around all the stalls. The price was around £60 – £75 & I do hope you come across it but knowing my memory you’ll find it & the graphics would end up being nowhere near arcade original. THANKS

Very cool. Thanks for the progress update on these!

Great work!

I’ll start dumping some Radica devices this week. I’ll start with Radica MegaDrive ArcadeLegends I (PAL), and will probably continue with the 2nd volume (Radica MegaDrive ArcadeLegends II, also PAL).
I also have Radica Cricket, but I think this is already dumped, isn’t it?
I have also “Konami My First DDR” and “Konami DDR Disney Mix TV Game”. But I have not opened them yet to see what’s inside…
What other Radica / Jackks Pacific / etc. hardware is needed for dumping?

Thanks!

Keep in mind that most of these don’t have simple ROMs that you can remove and dump, in most cases there are exposed pads that match the pinouts of a standard ROM that you can solder onto, but for a lot of them there aren’t even those, just tiny traces coming from the blobs with no indication of the pins.

Cricket is dumped (it’s in the vii.cpp driver instead) although obviously version checking comes in handy

All of the Jakks stuff we’ve seen has been blobs with no pads, which is probably why even Wall-E is clearly a bad dump (as dumping them is hard, and I don’t even know who did that one) We’ve got a couple of them, but have no way of dumping them, those look like vii.cpp hardware. Mooglyguy has been doing work on the vii driver recently to improve the emulation, adding sound etc. (I’ll write about that later)

As for the Radica Genesis ones the following are dumped

// NTSC releases
CONS( 2004, rad_gen1, 0, 0, megadriv_radica_3button_ntsc, megadriv_radica_3button_1player, megadriv_radica_state, init_megadriv, “Radica / Sega”, “Genesis Collection Volume 1 (Radica, Arcade Legends) (USA)”, 0)

// PAL releases
CONS( 2004, rad_sf, 0, 0, megadriv_radica_6button_pal, megadriv_radica_6button, megadriv_radica_state, init_megadriv_radica_6button_pal, “Radica / Capcom / Sega”, “Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition [Ghouls’n Ghosts] (Radica, Arcade Legends) (Europe)”, 0) // SF2 game is region locked, US version ROM is definitely different
CONS( 2004, rad_ssoc, 0, 0, megadriv_radica_3button_pal, megadriv_radica_3button, megadriv_radica_state, init_megadrie, “Radica / Sensible Software / Sega”, “Sensible Soccer plus [Cannon Fodder, Mega lo Mania] (Radica, Arcade Legends) (Europe)”, 0) // still branded as Arcade Legends even if none of these were ever arcade games

So yeah, the PAL ArcadeLegends 1/2 ones are needed for verification (SF2 USA will definitely be different)

None of the Radica Sonic ones are dumped at all.

None of the Radica LCD games are dumped (all the ones seen so far use an MCU type that Sean can’t process at the moment, no technique to dump electronically, no visible bits under microscope (might be implant ROM and need better staining, might be eprom and require electronic solution)

Also for many of the TV games there are extra MCUs and the like to handle specific tasks (eg in Skannerz TV there is an MCU in the scanner gun that we can’t dump / emulate at the moment either) and for Jibbi there is a dedicated speech recognition chip again with internal ROM for the sounds it can recognize.

but yeah, there are hundreds of things like this that aren’t dumped, the XaviX hardware was probably used for at least 100 games / toys in Japan that we’ve never even seen for sale, and there’s a lot of the Jakks stuff running on the vii.cpp hardware (and newer types too) as well as the usual Chinese multigames (some on enhanced NES hardare, some like the Vii, on the vii.cpp / unsp hardawre etc.) I really hope we find a way to dump the MCUs on some of the Radica LCD ones too because they have some funky products, like an entirely LCD based Tetris game (several versions infact, which may or may not be the same code)

On the Radica Megadrives the PAL ROM is for sure different, as the menu screen shows “Megadrive” instead of “Genesis”.

According to http://devster.monkeeh.com/sega/radica/ ,the Megadrives can be dumped as 27C160 in two passes if you tie pin 44 (‘A21’) to GND on the first pass and then VCC on the second (as advised by Phil Bennett).
I’ve already soldered the wires on the Arcade Legends 1, so just putting the wires into a socket and dumping it is left.

I’ll probably get also the OutRun megadrive, although if it lacks a menu, the ROM will probably match the standard sega cart.

I also have a “Basic Fun” mini Atari paddle TV game with three licensed games (Breakout, Warlords and Pong), but all you can see on the inside is a large black resin covering all the PCB, so there’s no way for me to dump it…

Thanks! Regards: ClawGrip

For things like that ‘Atari paddle TV game’ we usually require a donor one to be ‘decapped’ for investigation (which will likely destroy it) otherwise we don’t have a clue what’s inside.

Single glob and not much else means either the glob is covering both ROM and CPU (annoying) or it’s an MCU with internal ROM (even more annoying) or possibly even an FPGA with custom programming rather than a regular CPU (we’re screwed)

If they’re hard / expensive to come by that is a problem of course (which is why some arcade games using similar haven’t been processed, we’ve only seen 2 Seibu Pop’n Run boards ever, and while Air Raid is more common I think it might not be possible to dump the true content in a non-destructive way, although we have good people on the case for Air Raid at least)

I tend to agree that the Radica Outrun will be the same, might be more worthwhile getting ‘Super Sonic Gold’

I’m curious about the Jakks NHL95 / Madden 95 one, since they’re said to be the Genesis games, so unless they reprogrammed them for a different platform I’d expect that to be Genesis based too. (maybe licensed tech from Radica?)

About a year ago I per chance rediscovered the arcade version of Gladiator after many, many years. Up to that point in time, I had no memory of it to speak of. I think it might have been one of the first games I laid my eyes on and one of my first memories of arcade games. The switching on of synapses in my brain that has lain dormant since childhood as I remembered the cafe I played it in, the sounds, the excitement, left me speechless for more than an hour. It really transcended just a feeling of discovery. It moved me like a good piece of music can move you.

I think this is what draws me to retro gaming. The feeling of stepping back in time, rediscovering pieces of you that you thought were gone. My wife says I’m stuck in the past. No. I’m just finding out who I once were and how wonderful the mind can be, storing everything, all our experiences, waiting for triggers to relive the best of what was.

Thank you, Haze. The appreciation I have for keepers of what was, is great. You do us a great service, sir.

Yay!!

Thank you for coming back to look at this some more… nice progress!!

If it helps any, I have gameplay video of each Taito/Namco Nostalgia version here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrDosArcade/videos

Really nice work, I’m glad to see so much progress being made on plug n play systems lately.

I vaguely remember reading on a forum somewhere that the Jakks NHL/Madden games had indeed been ported/remade from the Genesis versions to some kind of Sunplus hardware, though it was years ago so I could be misremembering or conflating it with something else.

@Agard the plug n play you remember will almost certainly be a Famicom/NES clone, they were really common in the late 90s/early 2000s under names like Mega Joy, Super Joy, Power Player, Power Joy, Gamezone, Gunboy etc. The games would all be NES versions rather than arcade but probably looked close enough in screenshots.

MrDo> yeah, I was studying the videos for a few things, eg they helped confirm some odd choices with regards the visible area / clipping window use in some cases. Thanks for uploading them, they show off the games well.

Great work! This seems a quite interesting driver, makes you wonder if somebody could have just released a proper Xavix console with cartridges/cards instead of having one PnP device per game.

Regarding the video emulation, is there a technical reason why the emulated color palette looks so… “Commodore-ish”, for the lack of a better word? The captured video seems to feature a more “normal” (warmer) palette, if you compare the green patches in Slap Fight for example.

You could have almost certainly released a console that used carts, the XaviXsport thing was a ‘fake’ console (really the base unit was just an TV / AC adapter with an IR receiver, all the CPUs, Video HW, Sound HW etc. was still in the carts and all the games still used novelty controllers with a bunch of hardware in too, and some of the carts even had their own IR receivers.

Problem is you’re talking about something that’s clearly not as powerful as the 16-bit consoles in the year 2000 (or probably 2003 if you’re talking Super XaviX) and releasing a full-blown console that can only just output 240p in the year 2000 doesn’t make much sense. I’m surprised there weren’t any arcade games using the tech tho, but that might actually come down to colour output.

The palette looks washed out because it doesn’t use RGB encoding, it uses HSL or HSV and presumably there’s something not quite correct with my algorithm to convert that to RGB, it’s probably not quite standard as all the examples I can find use the same logic. The ‘Elan’ based hardware has a similar issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close