Default Settings ROM Hacks or Perhaps a Hardware Solution?

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    • Default Settings ROM Hacks or Perhaps a Hardware Solution?

      I know this was discussed in various places back when the multi was first released, but I was curious if anyone ever started working on some kind of solution for the games' default setting? Seems the easiest solution would be patch every rom with whatever you want the default settings to be for each game. I also figure that one of our bright forum members could probably figure out some sort of hardware solution for the A board that could work, though the software solution is probably simpler (no idea...).

      Anyway, just curious if anyone was already working on something or had any thoughts?

      I won't pretend to know anything about hacking these ROMs for such a thing, but it'd be cool if maybe a patching tool could be made that could apply certain settings across the library as designated by the user. So like if I wanted all roms set to Freeplay and 2 players, I could input that and the patcher would go and patch all the files that need those changes made.

      Wishful thinking? :saint:
    • I believe that the configuration is stored in sram which means it could be read and stored. Not sure if there is a common memory area for all games. Maybe @l_oliveira can shed some light here.
      * Arcade-projects, the site where you get the most of your arcade games.
      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft
    • I was just dropping by to see if saving/loading custom settings was possible, or how hard it'd be to do ROM hacks to make the desired settings default. I was hoping someone had already done it, but I haven't seen it posted. :-/ It's kinda a hassle to load a game, and then go into settings to set it to free play every time.

      As I was making this post, I decided to take a quick look... and yes, it appears that the defaults are simply stored in the ROM, and the game doesn't seem to notice that I changed them (still passes ROM checks). At least for SFA2 this is true. For example, in file sz2e.03, changing byte at offset B7F1 from 09 to 12 sets the default to free play. I haven't tried this on the actual CPS2 hardware yet... just in MAME. I'll try it on my CPS2 in the next couple days.

      Has anyone done this? I'd like to get all mine switched over to free play, but I'd hate to duplicate the effort if someone's already done it. Of course it'd be cool if Darksoft could make an update where you drop the settings file on the SD card and it automatically patches the ROM when it loads... but we gotta take baby steps first I guess. ;)

      Thanks,
      DogP
    • Welcome, sir! As far as I know, some roms have been patched here and there, but there's not a full set already done. While I think most people would be okay having just freeplay, I'd also like to see 2 player patches for those of us (most of us?) using the multi in a 2 player cab. Some/all of the 4 player games default to 4 players which leads to more settings that have to be changed each time they're loaded depending on your setup.
    • Ah... yes, thanks for pointing that out. I'm not really up on CPS2 games, but I do like to drop in and play them on occasion. But when I've got the games on for a party, they really need to be on free play... so I pretty much just set it on a game and leave it so I don't need to go into the menu each time.

      I haven't updated my card in a couple years, but just looked and saw there's some roll-up packs... I'll probably go with the minimalist, and I'll try to patch as many as I can for free play/2P. Are there any other settings I should look out for? I've got it hooked up in a 2P SFII cabinet (Dynamo HS5).

      I'll let you know how it goes, and post the patches if it works.

      Thanks,
      DogP
    • I've started to look into this (I've done a couple, and they seem to work)... just a couple questions:

      1) Regarding the minimalist pack, is there a reason the r1 sets were used on some roms? From what I can tell, the r1 sets are older than the non-r1.
      EDIT: I see it looks like the r1 ROMs are the only ones patched in those cases... except vhuntj, where the r1 set is used, but a non-r1 exists. Is that an oversight, or is that r1 ROM better for some reason?

      2) Any idea where the US Battle Circuit ROM came from? I don't see it in MAME.
      3) I use the PCB in a standard JAMMA cab (with a 6 game switcher), so I don't use Q Sound... from what I can tell, I still get normal mono audio out the JAMMA edge, is this correct? I don't need to set the settings from Stereo to Mono to get the proper sound, right? I searched, but couldn't find a straight answer on this.
      4) The settings I'm using (where possible) is Free Play on, Demo Sound on, 2P 2 Chute single, and Stereo. Any objections?

      Also, I noticed a few ROMs don't have a free play setting... and some have their service mode in Japanese (so it'll take a bit of guessing to find the right settings)

      Thanks,
      DogP

      The post was edited 2 times, last by DogP ().

    • @DogP Glad to see you joining us here. I'm traveling right now and my internet isn't so great, but I'll look in to everything you've noted when I'm back. I'd love to have a list of any fixes that can be made to the packs, or roms that should be updated. vhuntj is likely an oversight on my part. Please let me know of you notice anything else, and thanks for the help!

      It's awesome that you're working on free play patches too. Those could merit an entirely new pack actually :D
      SmokeMonster Patreon
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      Darksoft: CPS2, STV, MVS
      Supergun: HAS
      PVMs: 2030, 1944Q, 3 x 8041Q
      PCBs: 50ish | Sticks: 50ish

    • Sounds good... I'm working my way down the list, and will hopefully have most of them done tonight. I've done mods alphabetically through Street Fighter Alpha, and tested through Marvel Super Heroes on real hardware (though skipped over several Japanese games that I couldn't read the service menu - I'll go back to them).

      I've got a list of questions going, so when I'm done, I'll post them... but nothing major.

      I believe there are 3 games that have no free play:
      D&D Tower of Doom
      Ring of Destruction
      Super Street Figher II X Grand Master Challenge

      Another hack that would be nice is rotated controls so vertical games are playable on a horizontal cabinet... has anyone already done a hack like this? Obviously all the text and everything would still be rotated, but games like 19XX would at least be playable on a standard horizontal cab.

      DogP
    • Success! I got all of the ROMs hacked and tested on hardware (including the JP ones). I see that someone hacked Super Street Figher II X Grand Master Challenge to allow free play, so the only two that don't have it are D&D Tower of Doom and Ring of Destruction. Both of them have freeplay text in the ROM, so it may be possible to enable it, or maybe it was never implemented. I'll try to check it out when I get a chance.

      Oh, and I looked at Vampire Hunter... it looks like the r1 version used in the set is newer. I guess the names don't always match up with the MAME ROM names.

      Anyway, I'll get these patches uploaded in the next day or so.

      DogP
    • I sent the original set of patches over to SmokeMonster, which set default EEPROM settings to Free Play, and it looks like he's uploaded them. But, it kinda bugged me that D&D Tower of Doom and Ring of Destruction didn't have a Free Play option, so I decided to hack the ROMs for them. I just did a simple hack to force credits, so unfortunately it kills off the attract mode, but having some sort of free play was really all that matters to me right now. The patch is for free play only... there's no option to turn it on/off. Maybe in the future I'll revisit it to get attract mode running with free play.

      Anyway, attached are the patches... also included in the ddtodu patch is 2P and demo sound on.

      DogP
      Files
    • Freeplay can be enabled on early CPS2 games by setting a flag. Once the flag is set some of the games display the text "SHOW VERSION" at the boot screen.

      The reason why some of the early games lack the freeplay option is they were designed for a rental business model. When they started to sell the boards they started to add the option in. Brazil games were tied to the rental business model so they have no freeplay option and they display soft counters on the screen if you hold the first three buttons during attract mode.

      There's a lot of "options" which can be turned on or off through some sort of "dip switch" inside the rom (but it's better call it configuration flags, of course).

      The picture shows the counter on MvsC Brazil. Top counter is coin bottom counter is service.
      Images
      • 0004.png

        20 kB, 384×224, viewed 102 times
    • l_oliveira wrote:

      Freeplay can be enabled on early CPS2 games by setting a flag. Once the flag is set some of the games display the text "SHOW VERSION" at the boot screen.
      Ah... interesting! Any idea if D&D Tower of Doom and/or Ring of Destruction have that flag? Or, can you tell me more details about the flags? Is it a standard area that's memory mapped the same on all games, like a control input? Of course I'd rather leave the original code alone if it just requires setting a bit somewhere (especially if it leaves attract mode intact). The patches I did for these two games simply always forces credits to be present.

      Thanks,
      DogP
    • DogP wrote:

      l_oliveira wrote:

      Freeplay can be enabled on early CPS2 games by setting a flag. Once the flag is set some of the games display the text "SHOW VERSION" at the boot screen.
      Ah... interesting! Any idea if D&D Tower of Doom and/or Ring of Destruction have that flag? Or, can you tell me more details about the flags? Is it a standard area that's memory mapped the same on all games, like a control input? Of course I'd rather leave the original code alone if it just requires setting a bit somewhere (especially if it leaves attract mode intact). The patches I did for these two games simply always forces credits to be present.
      Thanks,
      DogP
      Sadly that isn't standard/defined. It varies from game to game.
    • DogP wrote:

      I sent the original set of patches over to SmokeMonster, which set default EEPROM settings to Free Play, and it looks like he's uploaded them. But, it kinda bugged me that D&D Tower of Doom and Ring of Destruction didn't have a Free Play option, so I decided to hack the ROMs for them. I just did a simple hack to force credits, so unfortunately it kills off the attract mode, but having some sort of free play was really all that matters to me right now. The patch is for free play only... there's no option to turn it on/off. Maybe in the future I'll revisit it to get attract mode running with free play.

      Anyway, attached are the patches... also included in the ddtodu patch is 2P and demo sound on.
      Awesome. Are these patches for .02 of the Darksoft kit roms?
      SmokeMonster Patreon
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      Darksoft: CPS2, STV, MVS
      Supergun: HAS
      PVMs: 2030, 1944Q, 3 x 8041Q
      PCBs: 50ish | Sticks: 50ish