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  1. In Topic: Valley Bell's SMPS Research

    30 October 2017 - 07:07 PM

    Hey ValleyBell, quick question.

    I looked at the early Revenge of Shinobi prototype and noticed that nothing seems to use PSG. Can the sound driver actually interpret the byte code in the sequence data to play it back?

    The reason I ask is that despite not using it at all, there are some bytes that go untouched during playback but it seems to be related to the PSG channel. For example:

    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $F1,      $34,      $15,      $15; 0
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $15,       $E,      $15,      $15; 4
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $F3,        8,      $F5,        7; 8
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         0,      $10,      $40,      $90; $C
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $F6,      $2F,      $30,        6; $10
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         0,      $F5,      $2B,        0; $14
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $F5,       $F,        0,      $10; $18
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $40,      $90,      $10,      $40; $1C
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $90,      $10,      $40,      $10; $20
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $40,      $A0,      $F6,        2; $24
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         2,       $E,        0,      $F5; $28
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $10,        0,        8,      $40; $2C
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $88,        8,      $40,        8; $30
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b       $40,      $90,        8,      $40; $34
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         8,      $40,      $F6,        4; $38
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         4,       $F,        0,      $F6; $3C
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         3,        3,      $2A,        0; $40
    ROM:00075252                 dc.b         0,      $F0,       $A,      $F1; $44

    This seems to be data for "Terrible Beat". If the byte code is similar to the final, I do see PSG loop starts (F5s) and loop ends (F6s).

    There's a ton more like this as well, but most of it seems related to the lack of PSG playback...
  2. In Topic: Knuckles' Ringstar (Chaotix) pre-1207 Prototype magazine scans

    22 October 2017 - 12:04 PM

    View PostKurairyu, on 21 October 2017 - 11:34 PM, said:

    This poor game had so many names; Sonic Crackers, Sonic Stadium, Project Casablanca, Knuckles' Ringstar, Chaotix: Knuckles' Ringstar, Chaotix, Knuckles' Chaotix ...

    You can add "Sonic Chaotix" to the mix too (as well as just "Chaotix"). :P

    I meant to post this a few months ago, but I found this (Hobby Consolas #33 - June 1994):
    Posted Image

    This is the earliest mention of Chaotix I could find in my collection. At this time the 32X was still called the Mega Drive 32, but was confirmed to be using the SH2 processors and everything. It's only mentioned very briefly, but it confirms that it was being planned for the 32X even at this point.
  3. In Topic: More Sega Channel prototypes dumped.

    12 July 2017 - 03:20 PM

    View PostMcAleeCh, on 12 July 2017 - 07:32 AM, said:

    Amazing that it seems like fragments from a later build of Crackers are in there - wonder if any other fragments will be found and identified? It's fascinating to see evidence of more development on those mysterious top-down stages, whatever the hell they were intended to be.

    Has this discovery been added to the Wiki yet?

    It's not looking like there are any more Crackers leftovers sadly. Everything else that I was able to match belongs to other games. :(/>

    View PostICEknight, on 12 July 2017 - 07:59 AM, said:

    View Postevilhamwizard, on 11 July 2017 - 11:53 PM, said:

    I've encountered matches from Space Harrier II, a prototype of J. League Pro Striker 2, and Streets of Rage 3.
    Just wondering, how can you find that kind of matches?

    I took the final Yu Yu Hakusho ROM and did a hex binary comparison with the prototype to find where bytes were added/removed/changed between the two versions and discovered that all of the leftover data in the prototype is located where null padding data is supposed to go in the final. Using that as a guide for finding where the leftover data is located, I used a binary grep on an uncompressed ROM set folder with about 8-16 bytes from the suspected areas. In a few seconds I get a list of the ROMs that match the data, and I view the region in the resulting ROM(s) to double check. Every result matches the equivalent region in the Yu Yu Hakusho ROM (save for J. League and the later Crackers build).

    View PostLukyHRE, on 12 July 2017 - 03:01 PM, said:

    May I also ask how it's possible to find these things in an unrelated prototype game? I am aware this has happened before, but exactly how can data from proto game X from company A be found in proto game Z from company B? And in such (relatively speaking) good state? I don't know anything technical about dumping from cartidges, sorry if it's a dumb question.

    Amazing find, evilhamwizard!

    Various reasons. What's most likely in this case is that the individual responsible for either compiling the ROM or interweaving the EPROM binaries together to create a single ROM used a program that didn't release memory properly. So data from a previous ROM is kept in memory and inadvertently filled the regions of the Yu Yu Hakusho ROM that were meant to be padded with null bytes. This was most likely caused by someone who was responsible for managing the ROMs for Sega Channel and not the developer of Yu Yu Hakusho (Treasure).

    Another thing I forgot to mention. As I said before the ROM often pads itself with a prototype of J. League Pro Striker 2. However, the J. League Pro Striker 2 prototype leftovers are actually padded with Streets of Rage 3 (final) data in regions where padding for J.League is supposed to go. So it's kinda a leftover Inception.

    Here's what I got so far:


    0x19084-0x1FFFF <- Space Harrier II leftover
    0x30A00-0x3A129 <- Space Harrier II leftover

    0xB8000-0xB90A8 <- J. League Pro Striker 2 (Prototype) might continue beyond if it's different
    0xF78C0-0xFFFFF <- J. League Pro Striker 2 (Prototype)

    //it seems that Streets of Rage 3 data is used as padding for the J. League Pro Striker 2 prototype leftovers, and
    //the J. League Pro Striker 2 prototype leftovers are being used as padding for the Yu Yu Hakusho ROM.
    0x11D1A0-0x1FFFFF <- Streets of Rage 3
    0x13EBC0-0x13FFFF <- J. League Pro Striker 2 (Prototype)
    0x154BC0-0x15FFFF <- Sonic Crackers (late build, Tails overworld sprite).
    0x174420-0x17FFFF <- Streets of Rage 3
    0x1984E0-0x19FFC1 <- J. League Pro Striker 2 (Prototype)
    0x19FFC2-0x19FFFF <- Streets of Rage 3
    0x1BBBDC-0x1BF2CB <- J. League Pro Striker 2 (Prototype)
    0x1BF2CC-0x1BFFFF <- Streets of Rage 3
    0x1DA720-0x1DFFFF <- Streets of Rage 3
    0x1F3040-0x1FFFFF <- Streets of Rage 3
  4. In Topic: More Sega Channel prototypes dumped.

    11 July 2017 - 11:53 PM

    Ready for something weird?

    Posted Image
    Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen (June prototype)

    It turns out that stray YU_YU.GI file that was compressed was actually a prototype all along. The one and only file besides Kyuukai Douchuuki (maybe) that's actually a prototype. You can download the ROM from HPZ. There's a write up over at TCRF that lists some of the differences so far. One really interesting thing about the game is that it uses "Smooth Criminal" from the Mega Drive version of Moonwalker as a temp track for some of the songs! This is just like that Busytown Pico game prototype from the QA archive. This seems to be a test for the sound driver perhaps?

    But that's not the weirdest part. This ROM is littered with leftover data from various Mega Drive games. I've encountered matches from Space Harrier II, a prototype of J. League Pro Striker 2, and Streets of Rage 3. However, want to see something really weird?

    At 0x154BC0 and ending at 0x15FFFF you see this...

    Posted Image

    This was discovered by rabidabid from TCRF.

    Looks like the spin dash, assign Tails' palatte and get (from divingkataetheweirdo)...
    Posted Image

    Yeah, those are tiles from Sonic Crackers! But not just that, it's from a later build (probably from June perhaps?) because there are some new tiles here that wasn't in the older build. And because this appears halfway through this ROM, it seems that the Sonic Crackers ROM this data was from was 2MBytes, not 1MByte like the one we have. :)/>/>

    So there might be some more Crackers data sprinkles throughout the ROM.
  5. In Topic: More Sega Channel prototypes dumped.

    27 June 2017 - 09:49 PM

    It's definitely all GEMS music. There's only one song in the HOWARD folder, and comparing the bytes from the sequencing data (SBANK1.ASM) to my ROM set, it matches a song exclusively in Comix Zone (Beta). The kicker is that the main snare sample data (in DBANK1.ASM) matches the sample data in Sonic Spinball. It's definitely something from Howard Drossin.

    Garfield's not there, but we know the file name and that you could only play three levels. If the file name is a build date (1220) it was built after the actual retail release, interestingly enough (since it was assumed it was just a prototype version of the original, but this seems to imply that this was built specifically for Sega Channel). In fact many "test drive" games are usually just final ROMs with time limits set on them, so not every ROM had to be recompiled to be a test drive game. There were some really interesting ones that we saw, like Ecco Jr. which predated the retail release by at least 7 months. There were also some special Earthworm Jim (1) ROMs that were actually real time demos showing how to play the game, which only two were made. The other ROMs that were used for the service aren't in the archive, they all used to be compressed in a directory called "xsccomp". But maybe a backup was made somewhere...