3 Game Gear Prototypes acquired - Thanks to everyone :)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Orengefox, Jul 10, 2014.

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  1. Dark Sonic

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    That in itself though is kind of interesting. We've never seen a prototype classic Side scroller without monitors in it.
     
  2. ICEknight

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    Oh, but we probably have. I mean the build with the jumping minitrolls, which might have also been an autodemo judging by the Japanese text that appeared over the screen.
     
  3. Dark Sonic

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    I also just remembered sonic crackers. Duh
     
  4. SGR

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    Judging from this autodemo and a magazine scan, at the very least I have a feeling that's all we're gonna see of Underground Zone. What excites me most about this proto is that we can get a nice, clear look at the original Green Hills Zone.
     
  5. Orengefox

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    At long last, another update:

    In the last update, I mentioned about further investigating with some other people on what could have gone wrong with the Game Gear adapter for the Retrode. Since then, I've talked to a few Tech Members/Staff Members here on Sonic Retro and even made contact with Matthias_H, the creator of Retrode.

    I asked Matthias_H how to force the Retrode's .cfg that file to read something as a GG cart. Although the Retrode is programed to automatically detect any sort of cart including GG carts, you sometimes need to force the Retrode to read it as such. While talking to Matthias_H, I discovered that the Retrode's firmware programming wasn't able to force read something as a GG cart. I told Matthias_H about it so he's going to sort that out.

    Matthias_H in the end said that the Retrode should have been able to detect any GG cart using the GG adapter regardless. The Tech Members/Staff Members did wonder this and all. Between the Tech Members/Staff Members and Matthias_H, they were convinced it might have something to do with the wiring even though everything was connected right. Which means it wasn't so much the Retrode's firmware as much as it was the GG adapter's faulty wires.

    The good news is I was able to buy an SMS adapter for the Retrode while all this was going on (thanks for the help sonicblur). The SMS adapter is design so that you can solder a GG slot onto the adapter; allowing the Retrode to automatically read SMS and GG carts. It should be more straight forward than what I tried to do initially. Because the SMS adapter is no longer being produced, I struggled a bit to find a place that still sold them. That's why I made my own GG adapter. Otherwise I would have done this modified SMS adapter from the start.

    I bought the SMS adapter back on the 26th of July. Bare in mind, it took a whole week for it to leave the US. It's currently at Customs and has been there for awhile now which is really annoying. The good news is it'll be leaving Customs today and will be handed down to Parcelforce. Once the import fees have been paid off (which I'm also waiting to do), it won't be long before the package reaches me. Sorry it's taken this long folks. The anticipation has been killing me as much as the next person.

    That's all from me for now :)
     
  6. Glitch

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    Arg! So it looks like this will be dumped while I'm away on holiday! Then it's decided: I'm taking a laptop with me. Screw the family time! :)
     
  7. McAleeCh

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    Thanks for the update Orengefox - glad things are sounding more positive. Keeping my fingers crossed that things'll go smoothly for you once the SMS adapter arrives! = )
     
  8. Blastfrog

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    Nice to know that things are back on track. Can't wait to see the contents of the Sonic 2 GG ROM, whatever they may be!
     
  9. Ravenfreak

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    Thanks for the update Orenge! I can't wait to hack the rom, and it's good to know the SMS adapter should be arriving very shortly. :)/> Unfortunately today was my only day off of work until next Monday, but I'm sure I'll have time to crack open the ROM after work at some point. :v:
     
  10. Orengefox

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    Last and final update folks:

    1. SMS Adapter arrived. Nearly ruined it while modifying it to read GG games as well.

    2. The Sonic 2 GG Auto Demo prototype was dumped successfully using the Retrode & SMS/GG adapter. It was a good dump.

    3. Had trouble dumping the Sonic Labyrinth prototype using the Retrode & SMS/GG adapter. Tried every combination of switches on the PCB.

    4. The Sonic Labyrinth prototype PCB short circuited and went up in smoke quite literately. Could be due to the PCB being old, or the Retrode in some complicity.

    5. The Sonic Labyrinth prototype EPROMS were still intact. I bought myself an EPROM reader and attempted to de-solder the Sonic Labyrinth prototype EPROMS off the PCB.

    6. Turns out I didn't need to de-solder any of the EPROMS off the PCBs all this time (you guys were right). However, I had to really pull hard at them in order for them to eventually come off.

    7. Being extremely careful, I was able pull the Sonic Labyrinth prototype EPROMS off the PCB; making sure I didn't bend the EPROM's pins to the point of being beyond repair.

    8. While putting the Sonic Labyrinth prototype EPROMS onto the reader, turns out the reader can only read half the information off every EPROM (something to do with them being a non-JEDEC version of the chip).

    9. This issue with the EPROM reader was happening to all three GG prototypes. With no other way around this, I decided to do something different.

    10. To rectify this, I used the PCB the Sonic 2 Auto Demo prototype was using because we know the Retrode + GG adapter was able to read the EPROMs off that perfectly.

    11. I simply placed EPROM dips 1 and 2 from the Sonic Labyrinth prototype onto it and dumped it. Then dumped it again using EPROM dips 1 and 3. And finally, dumped it using EPROM dips 1 and 4.

    12. Chopping the information that repeated (EPROM dip 1), I was able to put it all together and it worked. All the data was there and was running perfectly on the K Fusion. I went on to repeat this same process for the Tails Adventures prototype.

    Everything is still being sorted at the moment (I've got some bonus stuff for everyone for being so patient with me all this time) so bare with us. That's all from me for now but before I wrap this topic up, I leave you all with this little message from off my twitter:

    https://twitter.com/Orengefox/status/501398257453780992
     
  11. GerbilSoft

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    Probably an old/bad capacitor. Good to know that the EPROMs are still intact. :)

    Seems odd that the reader could only read half the data. You probably could have done some fiddling with one of the address lines to get the second half, but reusing the S2 board works too.
     
  12. Turbohog

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    OrengeFox, that sounds like a living nightmare. Thanks for your patience with this whole process. I'm glad to hear that it all worked out in the end.
     
  13. MathUser

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    Woot, can't wait to see the Sonic 2 autodemo and see what data is hidden within.
     
  14. Overlord

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    Fantastic news that you finally managed to pull it off - I know you've been putting a lot of effort into doing so, and it's great that you've finally done it. We got lucky with one of the PCBs still being usable for dumping with, this issue is only going to get worse over time along with bitrot - good that the data has been permanently saved.
     
  15. McAleeCh

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    Blimey - sounds like there've been complications at pretty much every turn! Really glad it all finally came together in the end, though - your perseverence in trying to secure and dump these prototypes has paid off. Congratulations! = )

    Can't wait until they're released - I won't be able to do much poking around with them myself until I get my regular computer back, as it's currently in a repair shop after having decided to die on me yesterday. In the meantime, I'll console myself by grabbing a copy of Fusion and the dumped ROMs when they're released, and then keeping track of any goodies that other, more technically proficient people manage to dig up from within them.
     
  16. ICEknight

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    Would it be possible for you to also dump the untrimmed data of each individual chip, so it can be added to MESS' split-ROM softlists?

    Individual chip dumps are already going on and people are re-dumping every known physical game that spans more than one ROM/EPROM into separate files, so it would be a good thing to make it a standard procedure for this kind of releases the sooner we can.
     
  17. doc eggfan

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    *squeels like a school girl in excitement*
     
  18. Ravenfreak

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    Damn sounds like you had a few issues, but I'm glad it all worked out in the end. I can just taste that Sonic 2 Auto demo... :v: So I assume there will be download links within the next few days or so? :)
     
  19. SGR

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    Me too! I have been waiting for this for a while. Can't wait to get a pixel-perfect view of the original Green Hills Zone. :D
     
  20. nesboy43

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    So scared reading that story, totally thought the Sonic Labyrinth cart was doomed. Thanks so much for all your hard work and patience. So happy things worked out.
     
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