Dongle conversion

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    • Dongle conversion

      If you have some dongles that you'd like to convert to another game, you can PM me for more information.

      Make sure you check this document to understand the list of games available and their compatibility issues.

      docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d…en&authkey=CMz7i8cO#gid=1
      * Arcade-projects, the site where you get the most of your arcade games.
      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft
    • Just a silly comment about this: Dongle conversions are possible only because SONY goofed up with the Magic Gate encryption usage policies.
      They used the same file key (which was supposed to be unique on a per file basis) on all bootfiles.

      Plenty of early MG encrypted retail PS2 contents share that "feature" including things like HDD boot ELF files and MG encrypted master boot record sectors...

      Weren't for that goof up, the dongles would be pretty darn secure devices on their own. lol
    • Mr T Guru wrote:

      most of what you (or others) may/have be doing has already been done. almost all games have been tested across all revisions of the S246 hardware and documented in MAME.
      got a link please?
      I can't make heads or tails out of where anyone's supposed to find anything in MAME's documentation for end users of actual hardware.

      All the same, I'm doing methodical testing with each and every game, on all _6_ versions of the hardware, every common (and uncommon) IO board I can get my hadand actual inputs, because many games will accept IO for booting, but won't actually work with the games), and ATAPI power-saving compliant and noncompliant drives.

      This is all part of a bigger project, and is only a small corner of what I need to complete. I'm fine if MAME uses my work in the end, but my goal is to make the 246/256 accessible, and possibly interesting to people, and not a cryptic mess that people would rather just avoid, as it currently is.
    • That's a very nice initiative that I'm sure many users will appreciate to have. MAME has different goals than your documentation project has.

      Let's make sure we all keep the nice atmosphere here or I'll start deleting posts.
      * Arcade-projects, the site where you get the most of your arcade games.
      * If you want Drama go to Neo-Geo forum ---Darksoft
    • Mr T Guru wrote:

      as I said above most of the games have already been tested on each h/w revision.
      it's all in the MAME source, along with dumps of games that were (previously) either hoarded or undumped.
      the source is the key to MAME's knowledge....
      github.com/mamedev/mame/blob/master/src/mame/drivers/
      Thanks for the link... I've taken a look.. a few thoughts- not to be critical, but the reason why I started independent work on this years ago, starting with joint work on the google spreadsheet:

      - Myself and a number of others have observed a number of games that do NOT work on "every drive"- I can provide video of this situation if you'd like even.
      - I've observed (and talked with others in KLOV who had issues with Time Crisis 3 booting on a 246C.. this is being investigated as the 246C's compatibility should be identical to the Driving, A, and B models.
      - The 256 model, I have not seen this- is it marked as such on the front barcode sticker? There ARE 2 versions that i'm aware of - Normal, and PB-Free (the text is seen inside the right memory card slot)
      - There is also another 246 model that exists, but I've yet to find one in person- I only saw it going through old auctions a few year back- we commonly refer to it as the 246AB for lack of a better term as it appears to use the early revision COH board found in Driving and A revisions.
      - Dragon Chronicle, Legend of the Master Arc: DGC11, Ver.A1 + DGC11 CD0
      - Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix 2 Tokumori is a Type X game- one was recently on YJ.
      - Gundam Seed II does NOT share the same NM number as Tekken Dark resurrection- I have over 10+ of the dongles, and they all have the code NM00034. It is likely your sample was a transplant or a mistake.
      - Wangan Midnight R's Disc code is WMR1-A
      - Wangan Midnight's Japanese Disc version is WMN1-A
      - Tekken 5, the Version B signifies 5.1, TE51 is japan region, TE52 is export, so a 5.1 Japanese is TE51, Ver. B, while an export version is TE52, Ver.B.
      - A Tekken 5.1 upgraded dongle (japanese or export), when mixed with a 5.0 disc (there's only a japanese region) will result in a game that's 5.0.
      - A Tekken 5.1 export dongle will result in a strange overall game version when mixed with a japanese TE51 DVD0B, and will boot to service menu if the DIP is set, but not into game because the local IC card resources are missing from the disc.
      - Hamutaro doesn't appear to be confirmed anywhere I can find as being on this system...
      - Commonly, dongle codes were not printed with upgraded versions, and will carry a red ink dot from Namco's upgrade procedure to signify Ver.B or later. Some games like Soul Caliber II and it's 4+ dongle Versions leveraged a red dot for the first upgrade, then repeated pen markings for each upgrade thereafter marking WHICH version it was at.
      - You appear to be missing a few other items unless I'm mistaken,like Whole Brain Training and Gundam vs. Gundam (Not NEXT).
      - There are a number of legitimate unreleased games that had at one point been seen running on hardware, i.e. Samurai Surf, Starblade, etc.
      - There's a number of commonly mis-translated names that have also been going around for a while. I've enlisted a few bilingual translators to sort out proper naming for games and the formatting that should be used on these titles.
      - a bunch of other missing inventory info and compatibility updates are needed as well

      I have no problem sharing once I'm done my independent testing of course- MAME has a clearly different focus than where I'm going, but lots of my data will crossover to your stuff.
    • the MAME document is a work in progress. it will be updated as more is known.
      The 256 h/w numbers are taken from units I own. I have 256 and 256(B)
      It's also likely there is 246 and 246A and 246B as Namco likely discovered compatibility issues and released fixed hardware to overcome them (likely what the 256B does)
      I said there is no 'game-specific' optical drive required. I never said anything about compatibility with different brands. obviously some drives work and others don't. but NO game needs a specific brand & model.
      Gundam vs Gundam is there as Mobile Suit Gundam - Gundam vs Gundam.
      the info is relative to emulation and hardware. I really do not care about the gamers' perspective and all the minor details that people like you fuss over.
      My priority is dumps and getting hardware-specific info so those dumps (will eventually) work in MAME (or some kind of emulation)
    • The reason why some drives work and some don't have to do with EPA power saving stuff. Older drives were not required to stop the disc when not in use and newer ones do. So older games like Tekken4 don't expect to find the disc stopped when it requests data (it usually does not while ingame fight is happening) so it usually crashes while cycling through attract mode as it need the drive to play the opening video and at that point a modern drive has already stopped the disc. The game requests the data, it's data read timer times out and it deems that the drive is not ready (while the drive is still busy spinning the disc up) and halts.

      That's the whole problem with old 246 games and why you need specific drives for these games.
    • Mr T Guru wrote:

      the MAME document is a work in progress. it will be updated as more is known.
      The 256 h/w numbers are taken from units I own. I have 256 and 256(B)
      It's also likely there is 246 and 246A and 246B as Namco likely discovered compatibility issues and released fixed hardware to overcome them (likely what the 256B does)
      I said there is no 'game-specific' optical drive required. I never said anything about compatibility with different brands. obviously some drives work and others don't. but NO game needs a specific brand & model.
      Gundam vs Gundam is there as Mobile Suit Gundam - Gundam vs Gundam.
      the info is relative to emulation and hardware. I really do not care about the gamers' perspective and all the minor details that people like you fuss over.
      My priority is dumps and getting hardware-specific info so those dumps (will eventually) work in MAME (or some kind of emulation)
      - Thanks for confirming a (B) version of the 256 - Now i'll be on the lookout for one! Thanks!
      - There are DEFINITELY 4 official versions of 246 at least
      - Driving (just marked 246)
      - 246A (Red or silver chassis)
      - 246B (the most common outside Japan)
      - 246C (compact, but most common in Japan)
      - My concern was over the 246AB (for lack of a better word)
      - Yes, Gundam vs. Gundam is NM00043.
      - Dongle GVS1, Ver.A
      - Disc GVS1 DVD0B
      - There WAS a disc GVS1 DVD0, but they ALL should have been returned to Namco, so good luck finding one- it was used in the Site-test for GvG

      - I'm aware you don't care about the gamer's perspective, but i'm far less of a gamer, and more interested int he hardware and functionality side of things. In the end, people on both sides of the whole thing can try and make each other's lives easier by working together, rather than trying to ignore the bigger picture as it were.



      l_oliveira wrote:

      The reason why some drives work and some don't have to do with EPA power saving stuff. Older drives were not required to stop the disc when not in use and newer ones do. So older games like Tekken4 don't expect to find the disc stopped when it requests data (it usually does not while ingame fight is happening) so it usually crashes while cycling through attract mode as it need the drive to play the opening video and at that point a modern drive has already stopped the disc. The game requests the data, it's data read timer times out and it deems that the drive is not ready (while the drive is still busy spinning the disc up) and halts.

      That's the whole problem with old 246 games and why you need specific drives for these games.
      - Thanks for better clarifying this.
      - Also as you know (and for other's reference), 256's don't have the ability to do the EPA stuff, whether it's because the 246+ functionality is incomplete, or something else, and a few games that need this also don't work on 246C
    • Also, these are the photos of the unknown 246B revision, that we've come to call 246AB due to the clearly 246/246A parts used, but a PCB layout that's very different from either.
      Sadly the sticker on the front is too low resolution to read.
      Images
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    • defor wrote:

      - Also as you know (and for other's reference), 256's don't have the ability to do the EPA stuff, whether it's because the 246+ functionality is incomplete, or something else, and a few games that need this also don't work on 246C
      And that explains why the "defective" Tekken 4 dongle (just needed cleaning) would not boot on my 256. Learn something every day.
    • Tekken4 loads a LOT of drivers from the rom0: directory on the ROM "BIOS". The 256 has a different version files on it's "romdir" and Tekken4 isn't compatible with them.

      PS2 works with two CPUs talking to each other through a RPC interface. If one side has different version of the RPC interface in it than the other (and the RPC interfaces do differ a lot from one PS2 SDK version to another) the communication cannot happen.

      Because PS2 games are supposed to reload the IOP with their own version of SDK files (Tekken 4 uses the files from the 246 ROM and files from it's own dongle) under normal circumstances the RPC interface currently loaded by the system is the same one the game was developed with. But Tekken4 does load the same SDK as the ROM on the COH board. Likely because the programmers were worried about having too little space on the dongle (7.6Mb) it loads a truckload of shit from the ROM to save space on the dongle so it RELIES on the files the 246 older BIOS has in it.

      That coupled with hardware differences make Tekken4 only work on older boards.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by l_oliveira ().

    • l_oliveira wrote:

      The reason why some drives work and some don't have to do with EPA power saving stuff. Older drives were not required to stop the disc when not in use and newer ones do. So older games like Tekken4 don't expect to find the disc stopped when it requests data (it usually does not while ingame fight is happening) so it usually crashes while cycling through attract mode as it need the drive to play the opening video and at that point a modern drive has already stopped the disc. The game requests the data, it's data read timer times out and it deems that the drive is not ready (while the drive is still busy spinning the disc up) and halts.

      That's the whole problem with old 246 games and why you need specific drives for these games.
      I've tested all the games with 'modern' multi-read/write DVD drives and they worked, including Tekken 4. Whether they work for the next 50 years as the game cycles through games and attract mode is not my problem. Emulation doesn't care either way. As stated in my doc, working is defined as 'Booting To The Attract Mode'. If it boots it works. The end.
      This thread is getting out of hand. I'm not going to discuss/argue with gamers about minor B.S. like this. Please go elsewhere for that.
    • defor wrote:

      Also, these are the photos of the unknown 246B revision, that we've come to call 246AB due to the clearly 246/246A parts used, but a PCB layout that's very different from either.
      Sadly the sticker on the front is too low resolution to read.
      the blue PCB there is just the version used on Time Crisis 3. I had one in for repair a few years back. From what I remember it's the same as 246B.
    • Mr T Guru wrote:

      I've tested all the games with 'modern' multi-read/write DVD drives and they worked, including Tekken 4. Whether they work for the next 50 years as the game cycles through games and attract mode is not my problem. Emulation doesn't care either way. As stated in my doc, working is defined as 'Booting To The Attract Mode'. If it boots it works. The end.This thread is getting out of hand. I'm not going to discuss/argue with gamers about minor B.S. like this. Please go elsewhere for that.
      They will "boot" the game. They "don't work" because the game will crash during long term operation.

      It's a major headache for real operators trying to actually operate the game in a real arcade environment.

      it's not something you will see from just leaving it to run a couple minutes.