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Sega Model2 Emulation Thread 32-bit Arcade Classics in HD! (Win only)

#1 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 13 June 2018 - 12:15 AM

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Greetings, if you're here, you might have some interest in ElSemi's Model2 emulator.

We've had threads on this emulator on the past but it has not received an update since 2014, so I would like to "update" it with this little tutorial.

For this tutorial, you will need the emulator linked above and DxWnd.

  • Extract both the compressed emulator and DxWin to whatever directory you would like.
  • In the extracted emulator folder, edit "EMULATOR.INI" with Notepad or the text editor of your choice.
  • Under "[RomDirs]", put the location of your zipped ROM files, eg "Dir1=c:\Model2\roms".
  • Edit "FullScreenWidth" and "FullScreenHeight" to your desired 4:3 resolution but 16:9 resolution sizes will also work but are not recommended.
    Posted Image
  • Save and exit EMULATOR.ini.
  • Navigate to and run "DxWnd.exe" from the extracted DxWnd folder.
  • Click "Edit" and "Add"
  • Name the shortcut to the ROM you wish to load, EG "Fighting Vipers"
  • For both "Path" and "Launch" navigate to your emulator's exe (32-bit or multicpu 64-bit) and type the ROM name after the exe, EG "C:\m2emulator\emulator_multicpu.exe fvipers"
    Posted Image
  • Click the "Try" button and your game should launch, if you get errors, exit out try going back to step 2 and changing your ROM directory.
  • In the emulator, set the video resolution to "custom", then click "Switch to Fullscreen".
  • You should now have a high definition, windowed version of the emulator, ready for video capture (directx/game capture does not work, you must capture the window itself) or streaming!

It changes this: Posted Image

To this:
Posted Image



This is the only known method to play The House of the Dead in fullscreen and windowed resolutions without recalibrating the gun for each resolution. The results are super crisp and I imagine you can tweak some of DxWnd's settings to crank a few more graphics enhancements for some of the other games but leaving as-is is recommended.

I have been creating cheat codes for Model2 games, so if there are any requests, please let me know below and I will tell you if they can be done or not.

#2 User is offline Sir_mihael 

Posted 13 June 2018 - 09:01 AM

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This is great. I remember playing Sonic the Fighters on this Emulator, but the scaling options weren't too fantastic at the time - still, I was amazed that the game fully ran without any real issues (that I could spot).

Although I'm more of an accuracy fanboy who's usually a sucker for sticking to Native res without upscales, I gotta admit some games really benefit from a HD buff! Nice tutorial.

#3 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 13 June 2018 - 07:56 PM

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View PostSir_mihael, on 13 June 2018 - 09:01 AM, said:

This is great. I remember playing Sonic the Fighters on this Emulator, but the scaling options weren't too fantastic at the time - still, I was amazed that the game fully ran without any real issues (that I could spot).

Although I'm more of an accuracy fanboy who's usually a sucker for sticking to Native res without upscales, I gotta admit some games really benefit from a HD buff! Nice tutorial.

Trhough some LUA modification I did indeed find that the Model2 emulator under windowed circumstances does emulate at 1:1 scale. What is missing, however, is some way to render scanlines on the screen for a CRT effect.

From the documentation
int Video_CreateSurfaceFromFile(filename)
	Loads a image file (.png) as surface
	Returns a surface to use with ReleaseSurface and DrawSurface

Video_DrawSurface(surface,x,y)
	Draws a surface to the given position

Video_ReleaseSurface(surface)
	Release a loaded surface

Video_GetScreenSize()
	Returns screen size (width,height) pair


However I have yet to get anything but the Video_GetScreenSize() to draw anything on the screen.

EDIT: I managed to create a scanline overlay for the emulator and it looked great! But it crashes the emulator after so many frames. I am not sure what the author intended to do with this function but I do not believe it was tested in the way I was using it, which goes to show another oversight perhaps on this emulator and why the MAME team needs to step up to the Model2 plate.
This post has been edited by biggestsonicfan: 14 June 2018 - 07:28 AM

#4 User is offline Sir_mihael 

Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:25 AM

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Definitely agree, it would be great if Model 2 was added to either MAME or Retroarch's cores. I feel like I've definitely been spoiled by Retroarch's scanlines and CRT shaders recently.

Still, you've convinced me to get back to playing some VF2 and Dynamite Cop - my Saturn (and discs) are slowly giving up the ghost :v:

#5 User is offline grap3fruitman 

Posted 23 June 2018 - 11:58 AM

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Quote

I have been creating cheat codes for Model2 games, so if there are any requests, please let me know below and I will tell you if they can be done or not.

I don't have any specific requests but anything you can find in the original model 2 version of 'Dead or Alive' would be fantastic. Debug, cheats, whatever. If you can find out how to change which character slot loads then you potentially load the boss, Raidou, who wasn't playable until the home versions.

Also, that's the very original version of the game and longtime characters like Zack and Bayman are referred to internally by their proto names "Kelly" and "Gatsby" respectively. I'm hoping there's some other leftovers in there. Kelly did have an in-game model at one point and was in the original screens. I just don't have the technical knowledge to begin to dig for anything remotely technical. I have a proto discovery thread on FSD here for anyone curious: http://www.freestepd...discussion.726/
This post has been edited by grap3fruitman: 23 June 2018 - 12:10 PM

#6 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 27 June 2018 - 06:02 PM

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View Postgrap3fruitman, on 23 June 2018 - 11:58 AM, said:

Quote

I have been creating cheat codes for Model2 games, so if there are any requests, please let me know below and I will tell you if they can be done or not.

I don't have any specific requests but anything you can find in the original model 2 version of 'Dead or Alive' would be fantastic. Debug, cheats, whatever. If you can find out how to change which character slot loads then you potentially load the boss, Raidou, who wasn't playable until the home versions.


As far as the investigation goes, these are my preliminary findings:

The build date indicates 1996.10.22 and version 1.00 of the game, but there are traces of source files which date to December 4 1996.

Debug functions remain in the game yet the debug menu itself (presumedly similar across all AM2's games) has been removed.

No signs of Kelly or Gasby.

#7 User is offline grap3fruitman 

Posted 01 July 2018 - 11:21 PM

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Interesting info. Thanks for looking for me. Yeah, I figured any leftovers realistically would be just filenames and miscellaneous text.

#8 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:08 AM

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View Postgrap3fruitman, on 01 July 2018 - 11:21 PM, said:

Interesting info. Thanks for looking for me. Yeah, I figured any leftovers realistically would be just filenames and miscellaneous text.

Keep in mind we just discovered Honey's title card and RoboEgg player name in Sonic the Fighters that had no initial indications of existing in decodable text form. Assets may very well exist that I can't see yet. I will let you know once I have the cheat files ready if I can access anything new or exciting.

#9 User is offline saintminya 

Posted 04 July 2018 - 01:10 PM

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I seriously appreciate this thread biggestsonicfan! I have never seen the Model 2 emu run so smoothly, in fact I just beat Sonic the Fighters for the first time due to this fix. Previously, I would always give up around stage 5 due to it being a choppy mess.

#10 User is offline grap3fruitman 

Posted 19 July 2018 - 07:14 PM

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Works great. It's also possible to get widescreen support according to the readme but each game needs an individual Lua script file. It takes cheats too. I found the value for lifebars in DOA with Cheat Engine but I have to search for them manually each time and I'm not quite sure how to translate to the script. Trying to figure out how to stop the timer and change character slots. Any pointers? I'm no where technically proficient as most of you.
This post has been edited by grap3fruitman: 20 July 2018 - 08:58 AM

#11 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 10 September 2018 - 06:44 PM

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House of the Dead prototype has been dumped

Posted Image

What you see above you are Sega Flash EEPROMS (Do we have those documented anywhere?) owned by AndyGeezerServices.

The ROM files have been dumped (BADDUMP until repair on some of the chips) and have been submitted to MAME, however, the example footage shows it being on the closed source m2emulator. Apparently, the service menu at this point did not have gun calibration, which is a limitation of the m2emulator.

The missing files, along with probable overdumped information from other Model 2 games at the time, for Syndy, Mr. G, and maybe even Dredd may be located within them.

Overall, I'm not sure what this means for the closed source emulator, which is I'm sure on it's last server legs. It is hard to say what this prototype may hold, even if it is released.

EDIT: Closeup of the damaged Flash EEPROMs which require SMT reworking:
Spoiler

This post has been edited by biggestsonicfan: 24 October 2018 - 04:29 PM

#12 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 18 September 2018 - 04:21 PM

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The ROMs above, which are clearly labeled, have been added to MAME 0.202GIT and boy (edit: they are good!), are they as dumb as ever (EDIT: Actually, re-reading the picture of the EEPROMs in the above post, that is what they were, indeed named). In an attempt to mask the filenames of the true ROM set out in the wild, or simply laziness on the MAME team's part, it shows little to zero interest in ever actually emulating Model2 correctly.

If you are interested in the attempted playthrough, here it is below:

https://youtu.be/NrPsikwBGUE
This post has been edited by biggestsonicfan: 24 October 2018 - 04:30 PM

#13 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 24 October 2018 - 10:06 AM

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Giving this a bit of a bump as there is somewhat relevant news:

Some prototype graphics have been released from the HotD prototype, as well as a a bit of code via egregiousguy. A podcast discussing the prototype has also been made available via the Website of the Dead.
Dead or Alive has had progress in finding unused content as well, and my theory of "no way anyone will ever see this so why cut it" in the Model 2 era seems to be par for the course.

And a slightly, well, I don't have another word other than interesting connection I have made with AndyGeezerServices, the owner of the HotD 'trade show' prototype, and ElSemi, contributor to MAME and Model2 emulator creator. ElSemi has created a Rail Chase 2 EEPROM which bypasses the drive board, which I presume connects the hardware/software to the motion-ride vehicle used in the unit.

What does this mean? Well it could mean emulation of the drive board does not exist and there is a hard-coded bypass in the current emulator, which would mean inaccurate emulation for Rail Chase 2. It could also mean ElSemi is still in contact with people in the arcade/emulation scene, despite running his legitimate game porting studio (The one that originally ported Sonic CD and Jet Set Radio).

It's a trying time for Model2 emulation currently, but I believe with the release of Fighting Vipers inside of Project Judge, there will be another spike in interest.

#14 User is offline grap3fruitman 

Posted 11 November 2018 - 11:57 AM

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View Postbiggestsonicfan, on 24 October 2018 - 10:06 AM, said:

Dead or Alive has had progress in finding unused content as well, and my theory of "no way anyone will ever see this so why cut it" in the Model 2 era seems to be par for the course.

I'm still looking for someone looking to help me turn that into a reusable code or script. I tried myself, failed, and shut down. Also, Ryoga found debug mode: https://twitter.com/...807096365244418 - Which I don't know how to activate in any fashion but it's there!

#15 User is offline biggestsonicfan 

Posted 12 November 2018 - 07:50 PM

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View Postgrap3fruitman, on 11 November 2018 - 11:57 AM, said:

I'm still looking for someone looking to help me turn that into a reusable code or script. I tried myself, failed, and shut down.

I still don't fully understand the magic number pointer to a pointer referencing to generate proper Cheat Engine codes, and if video footage is provided of the cheats in action I might be able to reverse engineer them out of the ROM data for proper scripts but it's a lot of effort when the magic number is much more useful. I have to reference an old table created back in 2008 to use Cheat Engine properly with Sonic the Fighters on version 0.6 of the Model2 Emulator.

View Postgrap3fruitman, on 11 November 2018 - 11:57 AM, said:

Also, Ryoga found debug mode: https://twitter.com/...807096365244418 - Which I don't know how to activate in any fashion but it's there!

This seems similar to what I was doing back in 2015 which as it turns out is just arbitrary code execution but with functional spaghetti code that funtions while the game runs. Other Model2 games have this as I stated before there are debug functions, but no menu which to activate the code like we see in Sonic the Fighters now. So while these could be documented for what they could possibly do, there's no reasonable way to get these functions working as intended.

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