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dos

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Just wondering if there's a reason why particular regions of games are used, and if we're "locked in" to those or there's a way to use other regions. It's not a huge deal but I prefer using the original Japanese versions of games as much as possible unless there's something text heavy (rare in arcade games), because sometimes things like difficulty levels get messed with when they get exported. I noticed that (using the SmokeMonster pack) it is mostly world versions. Would it be as simple as pointing the ROM generator to the Japanese game files?
 
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Apocalypse

Just wondering if there's a reason why particular regions of games are used, and if we're "locked in" to those or there's a way to use other regions.
Actually each multi starts as a treat to myself. Having grown up in western Europe I do prefer the world versions since that's the ones I remember, nostalgia plays a great part in the hobby for me (that's also why I don't understand the pursuit of candy cabs, they look nothing like the machines I used to play on in my childhood).
Then as an other member said I can't stand if there's text I don't understand in a game. I don't speak Japanese at all, I've just learned to recognize some words in order to be able to browse through menus (and get the final answer correct in Bare Knuckles :D ).
That said some titles are still in Japanese because it's, or it was at the time of development, the only known version on M72. Amongst M72/M81/M82/M84/M85, converting games to M72 is the hardest (presence of a MCU which is NEEDED for samples playing, no sound ROM, different flip and priority bits, etc.).
So to answer your question, some games are easy to change for the Japanese version (e.g. Tonma, R-Type, Ninja Spirit), but others can demand a lot of work (for instance Kengo which has to be decrypted then patched, in the same way as Lightning Swords but I'm expecting different memory offsets).
 

dos

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That's understandable, and it does make the most sense to use the world versions as that is what most people will prefer. World versions are also usually the parent in MAME despite being alterations of the originals, so most people who play through emulation probably became used to those.

I just personally like the Japanese versions because they represent the original product to me, "dialed in" and balanced by the devs (with location tests, etc.) before other region's distributors/operators requested edits to either content (either censorship or westernization) or difficulty to increase turnover/profitability. I honestly don't know whether and how much any of that has been done with regards to the M72, thanks to the multi I'm playing the world versions of some of these games for the first time in years and they don't really seem too different from the Japanese versions I'm used to when it comes to the stuff that matters.

As far as the candy cab thing goes, I grew up playing in in USA arcades in the 80's and 90's and despite us being the kings of nostalgia for our cabinets (to a sometimes insane level) I somehow managed to avoid that and prefer Japanese cabs, maybe because I saw pictures of their arcades early on (around the time the Aero City was current) and imported their controls, so I felt like I was missing out on a "better" experience (seating, control precision, screen size). I had a Dynamo for a really long time, but it felt like a stopgap to the end goal of owning a Japanese cab. I think the European style cabinets are also "universal" in the same way candy cabs are, so you're also spared the "can't enjoy a game until you have the complete dedicated cab with full arts" thing the nostalgic American players go through!
 
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You're not the first to ask for Japanese versions, it will happen, it's just a question of me finding time for that in regards to the other projects I have.
One step at a time, I'm glad I fixed the boss 4 bug in R-Type II, I was committed to it, altough it took time to be released.

On M72 regional differences vary from none (R-Type) to different ennemy patterns and increased difficulty (IIRC R-Type II).
But I'm no specialist as I almost never play Japanese versions.
 

twistedsymphony

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Having grown up in western Europe I do prefer the world versions since that's the ones I remember,
I totally get this. for me I usually prefer the USA versions and seeing the "Winners Don't Use Drugs" screen in the attract loop makes me feel nostalgic.

I used to fell the same way you did about candy cabs, but I think my major motivator in this hobby has gone well beyond nostalgia and most of my favorites these days are games I never even knew about back in the day, at this point I appreciate the games (and the cabs) for what they are and nostalgia is just icing on the cake on a few select titles. I still prefer to see in-game text in a language I can easily understand but I do also appreciate why people might prefer the "original" Japanese releases.

I think if we had simple tools for building our preferred ROM sets that would go a long way towards pleasing different people with different reasons for wanting their preferred region.
 
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Apocalypse

I think if we had simple tools for building our preferred ROM sets that would go a long way towards pleasing different people with different reasons for wanting their preferred region.
It's not that easy, for a tool covering all bases I would need to decrypt and/or patch all romsets. Which is a massive work.
For the sake of simplicity I could have a fix game list where users would just select their version between regions. (At first I was thinking of the possibility to assign any game to any "slot" so people wanting to drop games they don't play could then have different versions of the same game.)
 

raidenmaniac1

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is there a way to download the updated roms (is it just ROM2 only?) that address the bugs found on Rtype2 3rd and 4th bosses?
thank you
 

rtw

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I think if we had simple tools for building our preferred ROM sets that would go a long way towards pleasing different people with different reasons for wanting their preferred region.
It's not that easy, for a tool covering all bases I would need to decrypt and/or patch all romsets. Which is a massive work.For the sake of simplicity I could have a fix game list where users would just select their version between regions. (At first I was thinking of the possibility to assign any game to any "slot" so people wanting to drop games they don't play could then have different versions of the same game.)
It would not be that hard to make the tool, true there is some finicky parts when collecting ROMs from split archives but it should be feasible. I am already doing a lot of this in the CPS2 and F3 generators.

The tool would get a list of the games you want, merge them into the correct format, apply the patches and spit them out into suitable files for the multi.

mrt -l

List supported ROM sets and their names like:

rtype
rtypej
gallop
nspirit
...

names would be the same as the MAME ROM names, internally the system would keep a list of what defines a ROM set for rtype and which zip files it resides in. Then you load the files into memory in the correct layout. Then patches are applied and the ROM sets emitted into multi format.

mrt -i c:\mame\roms -g rtype gallop nspirit

The order of the ROMs would correspond to the order on the command line. i.e. rtype = dip 1 , gallop = dip 2 etc.

Of course this relies on us having a patched ROM set for the game suitable for the multi.

mrt = magic room tool :D
 

hoagtech

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is there a way to download the updated roms (is it just ROM2 only?) that address the bugs found on Rtype2 3rd and 4th bosses?
thank you
It’s most likely been said. But I’m wondering the same thing and don’t feel like trudging through 27 pages.

Can we get some clarification of the programming process?

I’m kinda looking forward to using my puller, eraser, programmer setup for the first time.
 

jepjepjep

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Thanks for the continued support Apocalypse. This multi is really something special. There's no way a lot of us would be able to play a lot of these games on original hardware since they're so expensive.

I'd also like to voice a request for Japanese versions, Ninja Spirit in particular. I've been playing this one a lot lately and I noticed that they modified the checkpoints in the western release (and I think they modified the enemy damage; but I need to test some more). They added more checkpoints like in Ghouls'n Ghosts USA vs. Daimakaimura. Also noteworthy is the Japanese version is in full English aside from the title screen.
 

dos

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Could anyone let me know if massive slowdown is normal on this hardware? Some examples:

- Gallop first stage when you're breaking block obstacles or battling the very large flying tank enemies that shoot missiles
- Ninja Spirit 1st boss if you are using shirukens with a few clones and don't kill him right away when he starts firing lots of green projectiles
- R-Type 2 first boss if you don't kill him instantly and the "arms" come in from the left side of the screen, and in the second stage when lots of those enemies that zoom down diagonally when you kill them are onscreen

On my boardset it goes down to what has to be single digit FPS during these parts. Not having owned the boards before I'm not really sure what's correct and it's hard to tell in MAME what's "accurate" slowdown.
 
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Apocalypse

Could anyone let me know if massive slowdown is normal on this hardware? Some examples:

- Gallop first stage when you're breaking block obstacles or battling the very large flying tank enemies that shoot missiles
- Ninja Spirit 1st boss if you are using shirukens with a few clones and don't kill him right away when he starts firing lots of green projectiles
- R-Type 2 first boss if you don't kill him instantly and the "arms" come in from the left side of the screen, and in the second stage when lots of those enemies that zoom down diagonally when you kill them are onscreen

On my boardset it goes down to what has to be single digit FPS during these parts. Not having owned the boards before I'm not really sure what's correct and it's hard to tell in MAME what's "accurate" slowdown.
Not normal to me.
To what could be the cause, well, maybe a failing CPU (but quite rare, I don't remeber having replaced even one on Irem hardware) or something wrong in the clock circuitry.
 

ShootTheCore

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Down to single digit frame rate? That seems weird to me.

Well, I wouldn't say "single digit" frame rates, but definitely around 25% of normal speed once in a while. The barrier walls in Gallop are the worst offenders if your craft is powered up and you're tagging multiple wall blocks at once..
 

twistedsymphony

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Some slowdown in areas I think is expected but single digit frame rage is definitely not normal.

can you guys post a video of what you're seeing?
 

dos

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For me, what's worse than the block breaking is the part in the 1st stage of gallop when two of the big flying tank enemies are onscreen one on top of the other on the right. It's definitely single digit for me while fighting them with the lock on laser, I'll make a video probably tomorrow after work. I'll also hit the xtal pin of the cpu with a scope and see if anything looks weird.
 
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