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Denver emulation videos

April 26, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Denver emulation videos

As promised, I’ve made some videos of the games that were not found on the already emulated collections running in MAME.

Part 1 – 66 games

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Part 2 – 43 games

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Denver, not the one in Colorado

April 25, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. 2 Comments on Denver, not the one in Colorado

The Denver ‘GMP-270CMK2’ is a 200-in-1 Family Sports unit ‘imported by’ Denver Electronics of Denmark. In many ways it’s similar to the OPlayer 100-in-1 Family Sports unit that was previously dumped. Here’s a quick recap of what was in the OPlayer (I recorded a video of the Oplayer here, it’s a SunPlus based device)

OPlayer game list

Main Menu (9 games)
Tennis, Golf, Baseball, Table Tennis, Bowling, Darts, Basketball, Boxing, Fishing

Puzzle (19 games)
Shudu, Move Box, Color Stone, Freecell, Gobang, Mine, Parking Lot, Dogs, Rolling Box, Big Shot Checker, Sea Fight, Pocket Change, Brain Challenge, Shape Switcher, Maze of Doors, Chess, Link Water Pipe, Classic Tangram, Silversphere

Action (13 games)
Hare Fighter, Jumping Mary, Robot War, West Cowboy, Crossing, Climbing Expert, Jack Adventure, Spring Mice, Rope Skipping, Pool Party, Elvish Boy, Save the Fallen, Anti Gravity Robo

Venture (13 games)
Super Memory, Black Jack, Gather Eggs, Cups Changing, Slot Machine, Beer Master, Follow Me, On Fire, Brain Age Test, Forest Adventure, Pirate Landing, Cafeteria, Heroboy

Table (20 games)
100 Floor, Sub Warfare, Bubble Destroyer, Balloon Shooting, Up Stairs, Maze Combination, Precipice, Monkeys, Happy Night, Bumper Balls, Table Football, Spin Match, Herculean Guy, Eat Bean, Block Construction, Fruit Family, Flag Match, Wonderful Pompon, Nimble Stone, Bombman

Racing (7 games)
Rally, GT Racing, Highway Racing, Track Tracking, Crazy Push, Japanese Sumo, Tanks PK

Relax (19 games)
Benthal Jewel, Linking Pet, Homward Journey, Find Fault, Pair Match, Brick Blaster, Minibee, Cartoon Match, 30 Degree, Paopao, Diamond Forest, Mini Soccer, Archery, Color Bead Loops, Magnet Boy, Paper Planes, Palace Guardian, IQ Cow, Piggy Golf

Total 100 games

The first thing to note is that the Denver unit does not have any of the ‘main menu’ games, the ‘main menu’ options in this case are now the categories from the ‘mini games’ menu. That means right off the bat the 9 sports titles from the main menu are gone. These haven’t been put into another menu, they’re simply removed from the device. That’s interesting because the OPlayer actually presented those rather well, adapting them from the ‘motion control’ versions found on the Wii clones using this base of software. What this does mean is that we’re potentially looking at 109 new pieces of software in the Denver unit.

Puzzle (36 games) (17 more)
Shudu, Move Box, Color Stone, Freecell, Gobang, Mine, Parking Lot, Dogs, Rolling Box, Big Shot Checker, Sea Fight, Build Road, Puzzle Connection, Transmover, Pocket Change, Brain Challenge, Shape Switcher, Maze of Doors, Super Brick, Panda Labyrinth, Chess, Link Water Pipe, Classic Tangram, Silversphere, Bomb Chain Unlimited, Seven, Move Squares, Puzzle Ball, Button Jumper, Earn Stars, Fill Gad Cylinders, Funny Face, Happy Smile, Pass Maze Road, Return Capsule, Telescope Pole

Action (32 games) (19 more)
Hare Fighter, Jumping Mary, Robot War, West Cowboy, Balloon Boy, Crazy Fighter, Jumping Boy, Rescue Pets, Crossing, Climbing Expert, Jack Adventure, Seize Jewelry, Greedy Girl, Spring Mice, Rope Skipping, Pool Party, Elvish Boy, Star War, Save the Fallen, Hell Marksman, Anti Gravity Robo, Airborne Alien, Gliding Apple Girl, Jumping Ball, Mad Ball, Crazy Tank, Glide Object, Dudu Rush, Earth Shaker, Fly Through Flowers, Full Moon Night, Monkey Brothers

Venture (33 games) (20 more)
Super Memory, Black Jack, Gather Eggs, Cups Changing, Slot Machine, Beer Master, Follow Me, On Fire, Good Fisherman, Open Gold Box, Gas Station, Cake Store, Brain Age Test, Forest Adventure, Pirate Landing, Cafeteria, Water Rescue, Heroboy, Tower Defense, Icecream, Learning Fruits, Learning Food, Learning Animals, Learning Clothes, Learning Sports, Learning Vegetables, Learning Body, Learning Toys, Learning Family, Learning Occupation, Learning Transportation, Learning School, Learning Stationery

Table (36 games) (16 more, but 2 deleted/moved, so really 18 new)
100 Floor, Sub Warfare, Bubble Destroyer, Balloon Shooting, Up Stairs, Maze Combination, Precipice, Monkeys, Happy Night, Bumper Balls, Castle Smasher, Escape The Trap, Table Football, Spin Match, Herculean Guy, Cartoon Puzzle, Gold Miner, Jumping Eggs, X Training, Super Pizza, Eat Bean, Block Construction, Fruit Family, Flag Match, Wonderful Pompon, Nimble Stone, Bombman, Suicide Squad, Overmaze, Four Boxes, Uppercase Letters, Lowercase Letters, Numbers, Find the Largest Number, Number Sequence, Missing Letters, Find the Picture, Find the Word

Sports (was ‘Racing’) (19 games) (12 more, but 5 from elsewhere, so really 7 new)
Rally, GT Racing, Highway Racing, Track Tracking, Motorboat, Mini Soccer, Table Football, Archery, Crazy Push, MotoCross, Dodgeball, Beach Volleyball,Flag Match, Japanese Sumo, Tanks PK, Piggy Golf, Horse Racing, Balance Ball, Balloon Archer

Relax (44 games) (25 more, but 3 deleted/moved, so really 28 new)
Benthal Jewel, Linking Pet, Homward Journey, Find Fault, Pair Match, Brick Blaster, Minibee, Cartoon Match, 30 Degree, Paopao, Diamond Forest, Mini Soccer, Archery, Color Bead Loops, Magnet Boy, Cake Party, Super Porter, Paper Planes, Palace Guardian, IQ Cow, Piggy Golf, Throw the Coins, Air Defense, Bubble Shooter, Colorful Box, Fish Killer, Pinball, Polar Bear, Find The Shape, Colors, Find The Differences, Sound, What Goes Together, Learning Rhythm, Learning Time, Matching, Find The Law, Memory Test, Hide And Seek, Which One Is Redundant, Find The Other Part, Find The Figure, Tangram, Divide Cookies Evenly, Find The Most Heavy, Percussion, What Is The Most

Total 200 games

So yes, there are 109 new games (with 5 in total moving into different categories) I’ve listed all 109 new titles below.

1. Build Road
2. Puzzle Connection
3. Transmover
4. Super Brick
5. Panda Labyrinth,
6. Bomb Chain Unlimited
7. Seven
8. Move Squares
9. Puzzle Ball
10. Button Jumper
11. Earn Stars
12. Fill Gad Cylinders
13. Funny Face
14. Happy Smile
15. Pass Maze Road
16. Return Capsule
17. Telescope Pole
18. Balloon Boy
19. Crazy Fighter
20. Jumping Boy
21. Rescue Pets
22. Seize Jewelry
23. Greedy Girl
24. Star War
25. Hell Marksman
26. Airborne Alien
27. Gliding Apple Girl
28. Jumping Ball
29. Mad Ball
30. Crazy Tank
31. Glide Object
32. Dudu Rush
33. Earth Shaker
34. Fly Through Flowers
35. Full Moon Night
36. Monkey Brothers
37. Good Fisherman
38. Open Gold Box
39. Gas Station
40. Cake Store
41. Water Rescue
42. Tower Defense
43. Icecream
44. Learning Fruits
45. Learning Food
46. Learning Animals
47. Learning Clothes
48. Learning Sports
49. Learning Vegetables
50. Learning Body
51. Learning Toys
52. Learning Family
53. Learning Occupation
54. Learning Transportation
55. Learning School
56. Learning Stationery
57. Castle Smasher
58. Escape The Trap
59. Cartoon Puzzle
60. Gold Miner
61. Jumping Eggs
62. X Training
63. Super Pizza
64. Suicide Squad
65. Overmaze
66. Four Boxes
67. Uppercase Letters
68. Lowercase Letters
69. Numbers
70. Find the Largest Number
71. Number Sequence
72. Missing Letters
73. Find the Picture
74. Find the Word
75. Motorboat
76. MotoCross
77. Dodgeball
78. Beach Volleyball
79. Horse Racing
80. Balance Ball
81. Balloon Archer
82. Cake Party
83. Super Porter
84. Throw the Coins
85. Air Defense
86. Bubble Shooter
87. Colorful Box
88. Fish Killer
89. Pinball
90. Polar Bear
91. Find The Shape
92. Colors
93. Find The Differences
94. Sound
95. What Goes Together
96. Learning Rhythm
97. Learning Time
98. Matching
99. Find The Law
100. Memory Test
101. Hide And Seek
102. Which One Is Redundant
103. Find The Other Part
104. Find The Figure
105. Tangram
106. Divide Cookies Evenly
107. Find The Most Heavy
108. Percussion
109. What Is The Most

Now many of these are ‘educational’ and it’s no surprise that some later units I’ve seen (the ones on newer hardware, not yet working) actually have an educational menu. Some of the educational games are really pointless, for example all the ‘Learning’ games do is show some pictures and read out the name of whatever is shown, but there are also plenty of new mini-games here too that warrant further investigation as many do a good job of presenting basic gameplay concepts.

This is a text heavy update, with no pictures, but I hope to follow it up with a video showing the new content (and maybe add a picture of the unit if I can find one)

Thanks to TeamEurope for buying this unit and getting it dumped.

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Choose Your Guitar!

April 18, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. 1 Comment on Choose Your Guitar!

The first version of the original Guitar Super Star I picked up had a guitar that looked like this. The shape of this guitar is almost identical to the Guitar Fever, although the more triangular button shapes gave away that it was a Senario unit.

Guitar Super Star

This version of the guitar actually seems relatively uncommon and should not be confused with “Guitar Star”, or the later “Guitar Super Star: You Take The Stage” (although to add to the confusion, the original “Guitar Super Star” still has ‘You Take The Stage’ on the box, but not as part of the game title)

The more common version of the original Guitar Super Star looks like this. A red, triangular shaped unit.

Guitar Super Star

When the unit I picked up was dumped, I was quite surprised, it booted to a title screen which actually showed the black and white controller, matching the physical form of the Guitar in question. Videos of the unit I’d seen YouTube showed the red controller. At first I thought this must a bit in one of the ports determining which title screen to show, but after checking extensively I could find no such bit, leaving the only logical conclusion being the ROM must differ between the two units.

Guitar Super Star

I picked up another unit, this time the red type, and Sean dumped the ROM from that. Maybe unsurprisingly at this point, it immediately booted to show the title screen with the red guitar, proving that this was indeed a difference in the software between the two units.

Guitar Super Star

It’s a minor thing as the songs are the same, but documenting revisions is important, and this case interesting because of how the software was adapted to match the physical case of the unit; I’d previously expected to find such with some other units (for example the Zone 100 being black) only for the internal presentation to be too lazy to reflect those changes. (In that case it was more surprising as the Wireless 60 does have black in-game presentation of the unit)

From a software point of view the two ROMs actually appear to have been built with a different version of the IDE / SDK as the header in them shows a different version.

Guitar Super Star

Guitar Super Star

As these were clearly built at different points in time, it might be worth digging a little deeper to find out if there are any other subtle changes between the code in the two units.

From the point of view of a gamer, this likely isn’t the most interesting update, but MAME exists to help document this type of thing, and for anybody studying the history of these things this provides an additional data point. It’s also satisfying on a personal level, because the title screen being different was bugging me immensely, so documenting that it used a different ROM has provided some closure.

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Some Results

April 16, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Some Results

A handful of people donated towards picking up some Plug and Play units, I guess it wasn’t the best time to be asking (let’s face it, the world is more of a mess than usual at the moment) but it did allow some additional items to be picked up so I greatly appreciate all the contributions that were made. If anybody who donated does want to be specifically mentioned please let me know, otherwise data protection / privacy etc. means I can’t just list everybody.

One item that was picked up was the Dodgeball cartridge for the Toyquest TV Go Go / Go Go TV cartridge.

This admittedly is going to be a difficult one to emulate, the system is an interesting hybrid of ‘camera’ and ‘per game’ motion controller, some of which are just physical objects for the camera to pick up, others I believe containing actual motion sensors etc. The games present a controller / no controller option on startup.

Dodgeball is one of the less common cartridges, and also pushed me more in the direction of confirming something that I’d suspected for a while, the US and EU cartridges contain different code. The Dodgeball cartridge was sourced in the US and does NOT contain a language selection menu on startup. The existing dumps were all EU sourced and do.

Without the camera providing a background here the screenshots look a little bare, and you can’t make the selection to start a game, but this one will be an interesting test of technology later, MAME at some point is likely going to have to start accepting a video stream input from a PC camera if these are to become playable at all. I guess it could be simulated with a mouse making areas of the screen lighter / darker if the way the game talks to the camera is figured out at least.

TV Go Go Dodgeball TV Go Go Dodgeball
TV Go Go Dodgeball TV Go Go Dodgeball TV Go Go Dodgeball

As this might have slipped under the radar before, the previous dumps for the system were the ‘4 in 1’ (that is bundled with the system) as well as the ‘Tennis’ and ‘Whac a Mole’ cartridges. Those are the EU sourced versions. I’ll probably need to pick up the US versions of these for final verification that they differ. A US version of Baseball is also on the way.

TV Go Go TV Go Go TV Go Go

The JAKKS Pacific ‘Hannah Montana / High School Musical Two in One’ was an interesting unit to get hold of. I was expecting this box to contain both the Hannah Montana ‘G2 Deluxe’ and High School Musical ‘G2 Deluxe’ units, with ‘two in one’ simply meaning both units in a single box. I was however mistaken, and this is both games in a single unit, with a menu to select between them.

The unit used a custom marked Sandisk TSOP-32 NAND Flash ROM, of a type we’d previously seen in one of the Ultimotion units (and had no way to dump)

Thanks to some information from Team Europe on a different type of 32-pin Flash ROM (figured out by studying an entirely different system which used 32-pin flash ROMs in place of the usual ones via a sub-board adapter) Sean was able to work out a pinout for these too (which has since been documented in the MAME source)

Initial dumps allowed the Hannah Montana part to boot and pass the usual HotGen self-check.

Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2 Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2 Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2
Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2 Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2

However, selecting the High School Musical part caused the game to crash. Searching through the ROM I could not find any strings relating to High School Musical, this was suspicious. Adding further logging to the NAND access code in MAME revealed it was trying to access blocks beyond the dumped ROM, odd, considering it was passing the ROM check.

We did already have suspicions tho, the chip was marked -256B, which was thought might mean 256 Megabits (32 Megabytes) however, Sean was already having to dump the ROM at 64 Megabytes to get the data needed for just the Hannah Montana part. 256 Megabyte had been ruled out as a size because there were no standard Flash ROMs with the correct block size with a capacity of 256 Megabytes, even if it was theoretically possible. In the end Sean had to hack the database for his programmer software to force custom parameters when reading, and dumped the ROM at 256 Megabytes. The upper 128 Megabytes of that was empty, 0xff filled, but the fact that it was still giving data at that point does suggest that the ROM really is 256 Megabytes. I guess these were custom made for JAKKS too as _HSM is part of the part number printed onto the chip, in the same font as everything else. (unless HSM stands for High Speed Memory, but none of the others have this)

Anyway, with a complete dump the High School Musical part boots. Interestingly the program that gets loaded once you select High School Musical has its own test menu, which does checksum this later part of the ROM instead. I guess it was easier to combine the games this way, adding the boot menu to the Hannah Montana game while making minimal changes to the High School Musical code, having it basically load up as an entirely separate piece of software once selected. It *almost* caught us out.

Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2 Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2 Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2
Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2 Hannah Montana - High School Musical G2

Neither game is properly playable yet tho as these use the GPL16250 tech, although it does look initially like they’re going to provide some good test cases for fixing up some aspects of the emulation there. Hannah Montana does allow you to navigate the game menus and world a little bit (with some broken / missing graphics) while High School Musical crashes shortly after booting due to unemulated unSP CPU core instructions – this is good, it gives us a test case for implementing them.

Of course with this not being the two separate units, but a combined one, it became necessary to pick up the separate units too, so I did that and they’re flying around the postal system as I write this.

We also got a Sing Scene Pop. This is another JAKKS Pacific unit developed by HotGen, it also used the funky Sandisk NAND ROMs, but now it was possible to dump them. The dump passes test mode, and as this isn’t a 2-in-1 there’s no reason to suspect any trickery here, we can trust that result. Again the basic machine runs here, but there’s no sound, graphical issues, and no lyrics displayed, so it isn’t playable. Again I’m hoping it helps us figure out some more details of the GPL16250 level of SunPlus tech. The Ultimotion Disney Fairies unit was also dumped with this newfound knowledge of dumping these Sandisk ROMs, however that displays nothing as it’s by a different developer and uses the hardware in ways we understand less at the moment (and again uses some previously unseen unSp 2.0 opcodes)

All in all, several dumps that have the potential to be very useful for figuring things out.

Sing Scene Pop Sing Scene Pop Sing Scene Pop
Sing Scene Pop Sing Scene Pop Sing Scene Pop

Let’s have a look at one that is playable then.

Guitar Super Star: You Take The Stage is the 2nd ‘Guitar Super Star’ game from Senario and builds on the foundations set by the first game. This time around the songs are fully licensed, which alone is a big step up for a game in this genre. On top of that the controls feel a little more forgiving, making it not feel quite as awkward to play. It’s still got some questionable choices, such as only having a single direction strum bar, and it’s still, in reality, not a patch on the proper Guitar Hero games, but it’s an improved effort.

This is one of the SunPlus games to actually use 16MBytes of data, this time in a 32MByte ROM (with half the ROM blank) This is because the 10 backgrounds, even tho they’re fairly short loops, take up a significant amount of space. To facilitate the extra data, the upper half of the ROM space is banked, but figuring that out was easy enough. This will be marked as WORKING in the next MAME release. There’s also a video from MAME here

Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage
Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage Guitar Super Star You Take The Stage

Moving on to one that I didn’t personally pick up, but was instead funded and dumped by Team Europe, we have the Spider-Man Super TV Air Jet (JG6000SP) which was put out under the Lexibook Junior banner. This is an inflatable Ride-On Air Jet, with game controller, if you want to see what it looks like the manual can be found by Googling the part number (JG6000SP)

I’m including here this as Team Europe are a big part of this Plug and Play emulation initiative by not only creating initial interest in emulating this kind of unit, but also supporting the project financially, throwing in probably more of their own money than both fundraisers combined, and also dumping a lot of the less ridiculously difficult cases to ease the workload on Sean.

Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet

Anybody familiar with Lexibook will know that most of their licensed products are reskins of existing games, so it probably won’t be surprising to hear that this SunPlus based unit reskins 7 of the common SunPlus games. I’m going to do some side-by-side comparisons below. It’s also worth noting that Lexibook also released a version of this without the Spider-Man license, where presumably the unmodified versions of these games will also be found. Pictures of the non Spider-Man themed games, the rightmost of the 3 shots, are in this case taken from the “Lexibook JG7415 120-in-1” Video from MAME is here

Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame
Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame
Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame
Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame
Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame
Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame
Spider-Man Air Jet Spider-Man Air Jet Multigame

Clawgrip has been another huge supporter of the work being done on Plug & Play units, again picking up many such things in Spain and having them shipped across to Sean. One such unit he picked up with his own money was a Spanish VTech ‘TV Station’ which is some kind of educational / organizer type thing for use with a TV. Currently the inputs aren’t hooked up (I guess based on the presentation it has some kind of mouse, but haven’t checked this with him yet) It’s possible the hookup for inputs here is similar to some other VTech units, but again I haven’t yet checked that. As maybe you’re noticing by now, there’s plenty of room for somebody to come in and help document how the inputs work by studying the code / hook up the inputs on many of these units. I think this can be a positive as it gives people an avenue to start contributing in non-financial ways if they have an interest.

VTech TV Station VTech TV Station VTech TV Station
VTech TV Station VTech TV Station

Finally for now, I picked up a “Go! Go! Connie-chan! Asobou Mouse” which is a 1997 Bandai Plug & Play. When I saw it I was hoping that it would use the SH6578 style hardware, as Bandai’s other 1997 unit ‘Game Pad’ did, and that turned out to be the case. Due to the limited amount of SH6578 software we have every unit that provides further evidence is helpful as even with a document on the chip, not every possible edge case or change from standard NES behaviour is fully documented so having software to help validate the emulation is important. This one also needs a mouse hookup, and currently falls to test mode where it fails a RAM check, meaning I need to look into that. It was pointed out to me that there’s a long Japanese video covering this unit on YouTube too, so that should be a useful reference for improving the emulation.

Go! Go! Connie-chan! Asobou Mouse Go! Go! Connie-chan! Asobou Mouse

That’s all for now, but as you can see plenty more seeds being planted, several useful test cases for helping to further developer the emulation of things like the GPL16250 and SH6578 in addition to some bits that are already considered ‘working’

Again, if you wish to throw something into the money pool for picking up these Plug and Play units then the PayPal address to use is “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” everything helps.

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List of Recent YouTube MAME progress Videos

April 12, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. 9 Comments on List of Recent YouTube MAME progress Videos

This is kinda redundant as you could just check my YouTube channel, but maybe for some people a list of links to videos is preferable, so here are a whole bunch of videos I’ve uploaded of work being done on Plug & Plays stuff in MAME since Christmas. Many things covered in the posts before this didn’t get a video, but I do like to have footage up when I find time to upload it while working on things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EchUd0BQ8bA Double Dance Mania
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFmKqF2UsPg Excite Stadium DX
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1MHuff7Tp0 Excite Bowling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-5UiJbibik SmartTV Adventures
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGU_q_eRMgc Win Lose or Draw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIysxe_Zems JAKKS 7-in-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j8Wm2SgDJQ Thomas Sharp Cookie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7B55CWLpoo Dance 2k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmdrtcvuvyI ABL Wikid Joystick
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTyC7vofajA ABL Mini Joystick
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjvvFQAXDl4 Technigame 4 in 1 Sports
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFJ4GK5F8rE OPlayer 100-in-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGAFwUBZlOY Who Wants to be a Millionaire Character Options ver.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awf-VhWjwRo Pac-Man Connect and Play / Pac-Man 256
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgnM4-q7Fdc VG Caplet
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc_Oi2Ruikw JAKKS Mortal Kombat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du-uWV3SIL8 ABL Decathlon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWRl4P2ErL8 Paintball Powered Up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKwmjblAh7Y Designer’s World
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYbNbQBRQSc Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant & Monster Mayhem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kGyxmUvWVA Star Wars Clone Wars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrC0DuTvauA Dream Life Superstar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CbZDZES58E 110 Song Dance Mat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6keA1ZYOdk Guitar Star
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeRtVtaMDb8 Care Bears
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjZ6WO668Xg Excite Sports Tennis x Fitness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrAuL5v1yr8 Guitar Superstar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKafNJJsFLQ Supreme 200
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1n57eJakwk My Sports Challenge QVC version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae5jzNi1WjE Jenna Jameson Strip Poker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSejWyprGSA MGT 20-in-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs0PSM4flUU Sports Trivia Professional
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgo7-cV8IlM Guitar Fever
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOJl7nwBqDk Plarail
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7oiV1cx2ec Magiranger Dance & Battle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd1NQHR3LYY JAKKS 2-in-1 Namco Gamekey
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg7aA43TuDA My Sports Challenge Plus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3tsVOGBEWg Champiyon Pinball
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TUydd7XbGo Disney Game It
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enwFXvNCQ64 PDC Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-dCaxD58pk Reactor MD (Sunplus part)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYKP5Qmebs8 Interactive Games 49-in-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ccHTRkESqo Lexibook Seal 50-in-1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6X_7osmQmU TV Sports 10-in-1 Decathlon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLPlYi9GfX4 Deluxe TV Poker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO1uS2NEcLQ Cosmo Girl
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3NKKfOEE-Y The Perfect Mate
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gc-d-uqYwA The Apprentice
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC2gUGnUHBY Big Bonus Slots
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me4pH7ePShI Senario Millionaire
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBArgN0Fbes Wireless Tennis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-HOuvnXcRs My Wico Deluxe
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3GqNlKoYgM Wow Wireless Gaming
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxh7FdomXXk PDC100 (all games)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POENJT7PhAA Tomica Carnavi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tvehE6klTk Jara-Ja Land
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbNnqjLRXig Excite Sports 48-in=1 (golf game)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6L3DEUzFDo Interact 111-in-1 (Jingle Bells song)

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Under the Surface (part 15)

April 12, 2020 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on Under the Surface (part 15)

I’ve now set up a PayPal account linked to “hazemamewip@hotmail.com” so if anybody wants to contribute towards the purchase (and shipping to Sean / TeamEurope) of Plug and Play devices, then that address can be used. It will help enormously with sourcing additional units, plus any spares we might need for experiments (sometimes dumping is not straightforward as many of these don’t use regular ROMs, but ROM globs)

As these are donations, not payments for any specific guaranteed product or service, be sure to send them as gifts. Also don’t send email to that address, it won’t be checked. If you want to discuss sending a specific unit you already own instead, please tag on on Twitter.

MGT 20-in-1

At this point I’ve seen a large number of these Plug and Play multigames full of unlicensed material, and most of them are easy to group based on the games contained within them. One however stands out from the crowd and that is MGT’s 20-in-1 unit.

The closest thing I can connect this unit to is the Senario My Sports Challenge units, as it does contain a number a few of the things found in those, however the rest of the content, while ripping off easily identifiable source material, consists of things I haven’t seen before and several of the games are brazen enough to use the original game titles for the games they’re ripping off in the menus. Maybe these are all from the same developer, and Senario filtered down things in their units to ones that weren’t as obviously ripoffs? I don’t know.

We’ll start with Sonic Fighter. This one does play very similar to Deep Storm found in several of the Zone 60 generation units, however the graphics here are very different; in Deep Storm they were ripped from Psikyo’s Space Bomber. It’s an ‘into the screen’ shooter with a pre-rendered 3d background and that pre-rendered background, while only on a short loop is extremely well done, shifting the viewing angle with the camera to give a genuine sense of depth. All the ROM budget was likely used up on that background tho, as the game only has 1 endless stage, with maybe 4 enemy types, including a larger boss enemy that will appear every once in a while. It’s playable, in short blasts, although you’ll want to turn the sound off or down, the music is an obnoxious 1 second loop.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Best I can tell Golf and Bowling are the same games found on the Senario unit. Bowling doesn’t seem to have the ‘how to play’ instruction screen after the menu, there might be other differences, but I have not noticed any other differences.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Horseshoes seems like an earlier / more primitive version of the game found in the Senario unit, with weaker presentation. Here’s a left/right comparison of the MGT 20 in 1 and the same game in the Senario unit.

MGT 20 in 1 Senario My Sports

Disc Challenge / Frisbee Challenge are the same thing with a different name. Again left/right comparisons. I think these ‘Sports’ games being present on both units establishes some kind of connection between the units at least, but from here-on things get back to being more interesting.

MGT 20 in 1 Senario My Sports

Ever wish your warehouse was flooded, but it was still essential that all your crates were in the correct place. Well there’s pirate themed Sokoban game in here, complete with lots of sploshy water sound effects. I guess I appreciate the theme being a little different here at least.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

This unit also has a version of Puzzle Bobble. Unlike the horrors of the game carrying an official Taito license in the VG Caplet, or the awful VT1682 implementations on the Wow unit this one actually plays reasonably well. It’s smooth, controls are responsive, you feel like you have can aim. There’s a horrible annoying music loop like most things on here, and presentation is bare bones, but there’s the core of something not altogether awful here. Menu calls it Puzzle Bubble, but I’m not convinced that wasn’t just a typo rather than any intention of hiding what the game is.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Next, Space Mission. Pick an obscure arcade shooter, Nichibutsu’s Armed Formation, steal the first stage graphics, and make an endless single level shooter using those. You have Space Mission. This even has a nice wavy linescroll effect on the background suggesting the programmers had some idea how the hardware worked. Again this isn’t a bad demo project if you wanted to pitch doing a game on this hardware, although it lacks enough content to really be called a game at this point.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Storm Fighter again feels like an impressive little tech demo. This one takes sprites from R-Type II, but then gives us some nice multi-layer parallax scrolling, and has an ‘enemy rush’ feel with lot of large enemies swooping past then attacking, none really take too many shots for the little content that’s here is impressive, lots going on, feels well programmed, makes use of the transparency effect on a lazer. Again like all these things, terrible audio loop, but I’ve said this for most of these entries, there’s the core of something decent here, even if it was never fully fleshed out into a proper game.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Puzz Loop is as the name would suggest, Puzz Loop. Actually this one rips the graphics from the CPS2 game Puzz Loop 2. Maybe most interesting is how this one was called Puzz Loop, rather than Zuma. The content of this collection in general (having graphics stolen from Armed F, and R-Type II, as well as calling this Puzz Loop) almost indicates the developers had a much wider knowledge of arcades, and the actual games than others creating SunPlus software, who often seemed to have no knowledge outside of a bunch of NeoGeo sprite rips and no clue about how the games should play.

Again this feels more like a demo than an actual game, but it also feels better programmed than any of the other clones found on comparable SunPlus based systems.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Invaders once again suggests that whoever programmed this unit knew their arcade stuff. This version of Space Invaders puts the one found in the VG Caplet to shame too. It might not have the original graphics, but the gameplay feels correct (except maybe the UFO spawn being too infrequent) Enemies move as you’d expect, controls are responsive, and it’s even using proper samples of the sound, with all effects present. Both Radica and PDP put out licensed Invaders games that were vastly inferior to this offering.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Mars Rescue is Lunar Rescue. This one doesn’t play quite as well, and of note lacks the acceleration when you shoot while going back up the screen but it’s a decent take on the game and even has the ‘red screen’ effect when you die.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Colony 7 is based on Taito’s Colony 7 with a graphical overhaul. I’ve always considered this to be an obscure Taito game in the first place, it’s like a not very good Joystick controlled version of Missile Command with some Defender-like presentation. I was surprised to see it on the Radica Taito unit, and I’m even more surprised to see it here. Were these games originally being developed for Taito and rejected? It’s definitely odd to see newly programmed versions of Invaders, Lunar Rescue and Colony 7 in this kind of thing.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

I’ve said quite a few of the things here have been decent early implementations of concepts. Jewel is not, it’s a stiff and awkward Columns clone. This one doesn’t even have a music loop, it plays in near silence with just a sound for block matching.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Connect Together is also very simple tile matching.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

While Crash implements the basic mechanics of a Bejewelled style puzzler, again with minimal sound design suggesting this was maybe some kind of proof of concept demo?

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Add ’em Up concludes the simple puzzle games

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

A trio of games follow with a weird Onion head mascot character, these are all reflex / coordination themed challenges rather than puzzle games. They’re a little more fleshed out, but still very simple games. Cache, which should almost certainly have been called Catch, sees you trying to catch the green objects that are falling, while avoiding the rocks. You have to be perfectly positioned to catch anything tho or they’ll just bounce off you.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Saw sees you using a circular saw to defend your position against a rush of aliens. This is easily the most violent thing on here, even if there’s no blood. There are no controls aside ‘saw left’ and ‘saw right’ Enemies move at different speeds, if one touches you from behind or when the saw isn’t active and it’s game over. This one is over in 2 seconds if you don’t take action after starting it.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

Moving down from 2 buttons to just a single button, Jump Rock has you jumping over rocks. Again this is over in 2 seconds if you don’t jump.

MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1 MGT 20 in 1

I’m not convinced each and every one of these was worth individual coverage, but this collection hit the right note with me in terms of showing how there can be surprises even with these Plug and Play units. It would have been easy to assume the Puzzle Bobble on here was the same as the common Squirrel Bobble game, but with a new skin for example, but as it’s an entirely different implementation to any of the others it’s much more interesting. Same for the Puzz Loop clone, it isn’t just the Ball Blaster one from the other Zone SunPlus units, nor is it the Joe Ma 2 game from the PDC. There might be many different versions of Puzz Loop across these systems but here we have one that I hadn’t previously seen. As mentioned, you also get the impression that some of the developers here actually knew a bit more about making games than with other units as quite a few of these had real potential even if in the end most of them feel more like quick tech demos than games. Obviously I don’t know the real story behind them, but I am glad this was found, dumped and emulated.

Double Dance Mania

Some news from today in this update! Senario’s Double Dance Mania – Techno Light Edition was just dumped, it was released as part of the Active Arcade line of products and turned out to be a VT based system. I was expecting SunPlus as the box shots looked quite colourful compared to other music games.

Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania

For a full-blown 2 player Dance Mat one of the most surprising aspects of this product is that it only contains 3 rather short songs, and not recognized ones either. Each song has 3 difficulty levels, and can be played either solo or with another player, but for pure ‘dance’ content that’s your lot.

Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania

There are also 6 games on the unit to make use of the dance mat, all of these offer 1 or 2 player options.

The first 5 of these seem to be original creations for this product, and as such actually fit quite well with the theme of this part.

Starting at the top, you have a game where you’re avoiding asteroids, not shooting them, just avoiding them. HipHopscotch is next, this one being close to being an actual music game, seems to rely on unemulated parts of the sound hardware a little more than the others tho, playing a sample each time you press a button. Snowstorm is a ‘vs’ breakout style game, reminds me a bit of Hotshot on the 8-bit microcomputers, but not as interesting. Duck & Dodge is inverse whack-a-mole, a bit different I guess. Hurdle Challenge is basically like the Olympic games from the other sports units, but somehow even worse, the Hurdles seem to have a mind of their own as the display slides about.

Nothing great here, but nice to see original code, and playing against somebody else I guess could provide a little entertainment.

Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania
Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania
Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania
Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania
Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania

The 6th game is Radium Star, and is by far the best game on the unit. The problem is, it’s a bootleg. For some reason Nintendo’s Pinball ended up in many of these dance products as a bonus game and this one turns out to be no exception to that rule, except here it’s been given a new title and a reskin.

Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania Double Dance Mania

I’m starting to wonder if these manufacturers were supplied with this Pinball game (in both this form and with the original graphics) and somehow genuinely didn’t know it’s nothing more than a hack of an official Nintendo NES title. While the graphics have had an overhaul the music remains the same as the original here. I wonder if Nintendo ever did sue over this, as unlike many of the other near faceless manufacturers, Senario would have been easy to get in contact with.

NES Pinball NES Pinball NES Pinball

Zone 7-in-1 Sports

I’m going to switch back to the horrors of VT1682 based material for a while and look at the Zone 7-in-1 Sports unit. I think these predate the larger Zone compilations such as the Zone 40 and Zone 60 and might be the only VT1682 devices to carry the Zone branding. There’s a US version and a UK version which have slightly different titles, the US one is dumped, I have a UK one ripped apart ready for that to be processed one day. Many, if not all, the games in here are in the larger Interact compilations, but as I only briefly mentioned those in earlier parts I’ll give some more coverage of the actual games here (and likely revisit those ones again later to cover any unique things in them)

Amongst the games in this unit are Bowling and Baseball. Those appear to be identical to the VT1682 versions covered when looking at the Excite Sports 48-in-1 unit so I’m not going to cover them again.

Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US

We have a Golf game. It’s called Master Golf. It seems to steal / trace some assets from Neo Turf Masters. This isn’t the same as the other Golf game tho, I think this is an earlier incarnation before it was replaced with the one that straight up stole everything from Neo Turf Masters as this one didn’t make it to the SunPlus systems to my knowledge. Gameplay here is much simpler, there’s not even any aiming of note, it’s just a case of selecting the correct club and power level.

Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US

There’s a boxing game, I guess you’d actually call it kickboxing as feet are involved. Again it’s very basic compared to other games that would carry the Boxing title, although I do quite like the less realistic style these graphics have.

Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US

There’s Tennis, and Table Tennis, they play as you’d expect, they’re not quite the same as the ones in units we’ve already given detailed coverage of, but they’re still single button games.

Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US
Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US

Then there’s Extreme Power Soccer, this one is a little more interesting, offering several game modes, including a ‘keep the ball in the air’ technique practice mode. It’s still just pressing a button at the correct time, but it adds some variety. I’ll come back to this in a minute.

Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US Zone 7-in-1 US

That’s the Zone 7-in-1 anyway, if you want to see Baseball and Bowling see the part where I cover the Excite Sports. Now let’s very briefly look at a close relative of this.

MiWi 2 7-in-1

This MiWi 2 shipped with a 7-in-1 Sports cartridge and a 16-in 1 Arcade cartridge. I mentioned it briefly when talking about Drum Master, which was part of the 16-in-1 cartridge, but the 7-in-1 Sports cartridge fits here.

MiWi 2 7-in-1 MiWi 2 7-in-1 MiWi 2 7-in-3

The unit includes different Tennis and Table Tennis / Ping Pong games when compared to the Zone 7-in-1. The Tennis game is the one found in the Excite Sports unit, as is the Ping Pong game, but here the Ping Pong game renders the opponent sprite priority correctly. Again I don’t know if this is just an emulation glitch in the other unit caused by it doing things in a way that disagrees with our emulation (maybe different VT1682 revisions had different timings?) or if it’s a game glitch in the other set. Also this version calls the Boxing game TV Karate.

MiWi 2 7-in-1 MiWi 2 7-in-1 MiWi 2 7-in-1

I mentioned before that the MiWi 2 16-in-1 cartridge was clearly based on earlier code revisions of some of the games than other units, as there was less censorship in some games, and with the 7-in-1 Sports cartridge there are also signs that these are earlier games / code revisions. I mentioned the Extreme Power Soccer game. With the MiWi2 7-in-1 version the background banners are for YMK Software, with a ymktvgame URL (I haven’t tried it) and there’s a simple counter in the top right. There’s no lose condition, you can drop the ball and start again.

MiWi 2 7-in-1 MiWi 2 7-in-1

If we go back to the Zone 7-in-1 version you can see there’s a target number to reach, and also if you drop the ball you’ll be told to Try Harder, with the game booting you out. You can also see the text in the banners has been crudely replaced. These two things strongly suggest this is a later modified version of the game.

Zone 7-in-1 Zone 7-in-1

I think that covers everything I wanted to cover for this part; sports ended up cropping up again simply because there are so many of these units with sports in, but I feel the coverage of the MGT unit has at least broken that up a bit. Again we’ve got examples of how even for these simple games there are different code revisions out there with various tweaks applied and we can also see how some games were swapped out entirely for what must have been considered better implementations of the same sport.

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