News...

NEWS...


Hi!... My name is Roberto Fresca, and I'm part of the MAME Dev Team since 1998. Here you can find some technical things about rare hardware. This site is intended to avoid duplicated efforts. This page is *always* in construction... :-)




--- 2014/02/23 23:55 ---

Cherry Wheel...

A new rarity thanks to ANY. The game is a mix of slots machine with a sort of roulette / fortune wheel. You can play the slots in different ways (credits or timed). When you reach a special symbol, you have a bonus with this sort of roulette called Gyro. This game is running in a M68000 hardware with a OKI 6295 for sounds, and a MCU (PIC16C65B) at location U60.

Cherry Wheel PCB

At very begining, I got constants resets due to unknown checks against NVRAM values. Fortunately, David Haywood told me that the problem is that program takes 2 values (from NVRAM) and ends up causing a divide by zero error (Thanks David!). And since the exception handler points to 0000, the game just resets.

So... I started to work in a default NVRAM with the minimal values to get the thing booting, and will allow me to improve the NVRAM values to get the game more functional.

Here you can see some snaps...

Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel

And here the settings...

Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel Cherry Wheel

Sadly, if you play the game you always win, getting only cherries constantly. I harassed the poor ANY to get some NVRAM dumps to see if some hardcoded value was involved, but after a lot of work, I noticed that the MCU (meant for touch screen purposes) also is involved in the reels control/states.

So... next step will be a complete analysis of this MCU, with the purpose of simulation. Also I'll work on button-lamps support. Wish me luck...





--- 2014/02/22 16:00 ---

On fire III...

More dumps from ANY. This time is a fruit game called 'Gold Fruit'. The graphics bank that contains the charset (among other graphics), looks corrupt. ANY also tagged the ROM as bad dump, since he got 2 fixed bits along the dump.

After some analysis, I noticed the graphics were decoded/packed in a different format. Fortunatelly these fixed bits are unused, so the whole graphics set is 100% OK. So... I created a new machine driver with a different decodegfx to support this one... Here a PCB picture and some in-game snaps:

Gold Fruit PCB

Gold Fruit Gold Fruit Gold Fruit Gold Fruit Gold Fruit Gold Fruit

Main rate is fixed to 40% (doesn't matter WTH you try to set through DIP switches). Also Coin A and B are fixed to 100 credits by pulse, thing that made me think if these weren't used as remote credits buttons...



In other news... Thanks to ANY, we have now a new set of Witch (this one is with ranking). Still need some work on the NVRAM system, but is playable. Here some snaps...

Witch (With ranking) Witch (With ranking) Witch (With ranking) Witch (With ranking) Witch (With ranking) Witch (With ranking)



And more... A new Videotron Poker with cards selector (see the little arrow)...

Videotron (With cards selector) Videotron (With cards selector) Videotron (With cards selector) Videotron (With cards selector) Videotron (With cards selector) Videotron (With cards selector)



And also more... Implemented the program banking in Mundial/Mondial (Italian/French). Now you can use the DIP switch to select program. Program 1 is in Italian, program 2 is in French. Ages in my todo list... :-)

Mundial/Mondial (Italian/French), switch to select Mundial/Mondial (Italian/French), switch to select Mundial/Mondial (Italian/French), switch to select





--- 2014/02/19 20:29 ---

On fire II...

And all the efforts and time spent finally paid!. I got the credits working... :-)

This vintage Jubilee Double-Up Poker, has the inputs multiplexed *and* encoded. That means the game has 8 lines for inputs (port C8h) that are routed to different set of inputs depending of 3 selectors (CC2h, CC4h, and CC6h) states. I got all the 8*3 inputs mapped, and the credits input wasn't found there... After a lot of reverse engineering, got the missing input: the first 2 lines were encoded *together*, but also need the CC4h state ON, and just for some milliseconds (has timeout) to trigger credits properly.

Here some pics for comparison...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker (real screen)

Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker

The game is working properly, but still without sound (looks like is discrete sound). Anyways, I'm proud of it, since this driver was made without any technical info, schematics or whatever. Just a lot of analysis and reverse-engineering.
Here some cab pics found on the net...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker cab Jubilee Double-Up Poker cab

Some paytable details...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker paytable

'ALL CREDITS REDEEMABLE IN LIQUOR ONLY. NO CASH PAYMENTS'. Nice one, BTW...

In other news, I have the Coinmaster Joker Poker sound working. :-)





--- 2014/02/17 00:27 ---

On fire...

During the last week, I was working in a lot of things for Jubilee Double-Up Poker. Now I have the graphics banking working properly. Also improved a lot of things. One of them was to find the input port, but is multiplexed in an extremely way. I started a workaround to demux the port, using what I interpreted as selectors (there are many CRU offsets involved). Just a few inputs work, but I think I'm in the correct way since these are consistent. Can't go further due to the lack of Coin In input (maybe interrupts are involved). So, for now, I got the following screens...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker

Just hacking the inputs, injecting random data got the following screens...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker

These were meant to confirm that my implementation of 4 graphics banks plus the attribute RAM is accurate. :-)





--- 2014/02/16 21:55 ---

Crystal downgrade...

Here one of the worst downgrades. Seems that JCD made a Crystal Colours version for CMC hardware. The game is far from the one running in Snooker10/Sandi' hardware. A new rarity thanks again to ANY. The game is working properly as you can see in the following snaps...

Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware)

Is this harlequin/jester Butthead?... And what year is this 'MCMICVIII'?... Seems that someone needs some Roman numerals lessons! :-P

Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware) Crystal Colours (CMC hardware)

Too far from this one:

Crystal Colours (Snooker10 hardware) Crystal Colours (Snooker10 hardware)

...with better graphics and sounds.





--- 2014/02/16 15:26 ---

Luna Park...

I always thought that 'Bottle 10' and 'Kkot No Li' had the worst graphics for gambling games. but thanks again to ANY, we got another one with ugly and child'ish title graphics. It's Luna Park, and is running in a modified CMC hardware, with video RAM 4000-4FFF mirrored to 6000-6FFF and color RAM 5000-5FFF also mirrored to 7000-7FFF. The game writes into 'both' video RAMs, so, if you ever think to do a ROM swap and put the program in a regular CMC board, you'll get messy unplayable graphics.

Luna Park PCB

Also the program ROM contains two different programs (one in each half), and the highest address line is tied to DIP switch #1, so you can select through it which program to run.

Here some snaps of the game working (with proper program banking)...

Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program) Luna Park (set 1, dual program)

Some leftover to see more child'ish tiles inside...

Luna Park (tiles inside)





--- 2014/02/14 12:10 ---

Fleshing the Jubilee...

Some years ago, I started a preliminary driver for a very old Jubilee poker game called 'Double-Up Poker' (looks like they got the brains off thinking in the title)... The fact is that I was stuck due to three reasons: (A) I only got the ROMs and didn't knew anything about the hardware. (B) I wasn't soo skilled on the TSM9980 CPU to get the proper interrupts working, and (C) didn't get too much response from the preliminary attempt to emulate this machine.

But since Michael Zapf modernised the TMS9980/95 (and hooked some interrupts stuff), I always thought that I can improve in some way this system. Fortunatelly a PCB board picture and a few specs appeared in an old forum. So... just started again to see if can do something.

Jubilee Double-Up Poker PCB

Not so much, but found what seems part of the video RAM. Here some snaps...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker

Aren't the following snaps from cards drawn?...

Jubilee Double-Up Poker Jubilee Double-Up Poker

Looks more like the ATTR RAM instead of the principal video RAM. I'll try more harder...



**** EDIT ****

Figured out the video RAM and the color/attribute RAM.

Jubilee Double-Up Poker

A bit better, no?... Now need to work in graphics banking.





--- 2014/02/10 14:05 ---

China Town...

As I always said, I love the obscure and rare games. Thanks to ANY, we got another bizarre game preserved. It's China Town, and is running in the encrypted and evil Dino 4 hardware. The game also has some silly protections (among some video isuues) that were figured out.

China Town (Dino4 HW) PCB

China Town (Dino4 HW) Real Machine China Town (Dino4 HW) Real Machine

Here some snaps of the game working (with button-lamps and sound)...

China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW) China Town (Dino4 HW)





--- 2014/02/08 22:30 ---

More about Coinmaster...

After long hours of work, figured out a lot of things about Joker Poker... I got proper colors, and the game working properly. ANY kindly measured the PCB clocks and I made the rest. Still need to hook the sound (the offset where the AY8912 is mapped for address/data writes, do some interference with the DIP switches status (hooked in one AY8912 port), hanging the game in the "DIL 7 ON" screen. Anyway... Here some snaps of the game working (without sound) ;-)

Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker





--- 2014/02/07 4:12 ---

Improving Magic Card II...

Not soo much, but override the hacky CRTC settings to get a decent visible area and get the game centered, through a dedicated interface config. See the snaps...

Magic Card II (centered) Magic Card II (centered) Magic Card II (centered) Magic Card II (centered)





--- 2014/02/06 2:43 ---

Something about Coinmaster...

ANY received a nice Coinmaster PCB. The game is in fact Joker Poker, manufactured by Coinmaster (Wales, UK) in late 80's.

Coinmaster Joker Poker PCB

The game runs in a Z80 platform with 3x PPI 8255 for I/O (what a mess of I/O), plus a AY-3-8912 for sounds and DIP switches port. I started something, and got a lot of troubles. The game is not working (yet), and got bad colors and no sound. I'll hang overnight working on it to see if something good comes...

Just a few snaps...

Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker Coinmaster Joker Poker





--- 2014/02/05 22:05 ---

Royal Card (encrypted on Dino 4 hardware), take two...

After an exhaustive work, I was able to fully decrypt the graphics set. Here some decrypted tiles...

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) decrypted tiles Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) decrypted tiles

About the program, It's a real mess... (AB)using the BIT instructions and some obscure things. Let me explain a bit...

The game vectors are $C122 (RESET) and $C20F (IRQ)

The code starts...

C122: A2 FF      LDX #$FF    ; load 0xFF to reg X
C124: 9A         TXS         ; transfer to the stack
C125: 78         SEI         ; set interrupts
C126: D8         CLD         ; clear decimal
C127: 18         CLC         ; clear carry
C128: A9 4C      LDA #$4C    ;\
C12A: 8D 00 00   STA $0000   ; \
C12D: A9 10      LDA #$10    ;  \ set 4C 10 C2 (JMP $C210) into $0000
C12F: 8D 01 00   STA $0001   ;  /
C132: A9 C2      LDA #$C2    ; /
C134: 8D 02 00   STA $0002   ;/
C137: 4C DC 48   JMP $48DC   ; jump to $48DC...

48DC: 93         NOP         ;\
48DD: 00         BRK         ; \
48DE: B7 4B      SMB3 $4B    ;  \
48E0: 05 93      ORA $93     ;   > nothing has sense here...
48E2: 00         BRK         ;  /
48E3: B7 4D      SMB3 $4B    ; /
48E5: 05 B7      ORA $B7     ;/
48E7: 4C 05 76   JMP $7605   ; jump to $7605 (no code there)


And the IRQ vector pointed code... does nothing!

C20F: 40         RTI         ; return from interrupt


And the code pointed from $0000...

C210: 48         PHA         ; transfer accumulator to stack
C211: AD 01 0A   LDA $0A01   ; read the PIA #2 input
C214: 29 F7      AND #$F7    ; \ compare with 0xF7
C216: CD 01 0A   CMP $0A01   ; /
C219: D0 02      BNE $C21D   ; if not... jump to $C21D
C21B: 09 08      ORA #$08    ; \ clean the value
C21D: 8D 01 0A   STA $0A01   ; /
C220: 68         PLA         ; take out from the stack the previous accumulator value
C221: 40         RTI         ; return from interrupt

The board was later connected to a fluke, and the pieces of code dumped from the real hardware, match 100% the ones I decrypted here. Even with the game working properly in the real hardware. The only visible changes are in the NVRAM, where the $0000 offset hasn't the JMP $C210 instruction injected at the start...

Maybe some scrambled instructions on the fatidic 'mexican' Rockwell R65C02 (like Magic Card II)??... Maybe mnemonic 93 is AXA (ab),Y (93 ab) instead of NOP (as seen in some sources)??...

Tooo much obscure/darkness here...





--- 2014/02/04 16:10 ---

Bingo!...

This is a real vintage and rare game...

Bingo PCB

Bingo, was manufactured in 1983 by Game-A-Tron. The game runs in a Z80 platform with a PPI 8255 for I/O (both missing in the board), plus a SN76489N for sounds. The dump was laying under my nose for years, and I never seen it!. The game is working properly with full sound.

Here a video and some snaps...

Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983) Bingo (1983)

**** EDIT ****

Figured out the output and got the button-lamps working...

Bingo (1983) with lamps Bingo (1983) with lamps Bingo (1983) with lamps

Another jewel preserved... :)





--- 2014/01/23 19:52 ---

Royal Card (encrypted on Dino 4 hardware)...

Another rare game board from ANY, that kindly dumped it for the sake of preservation. This is Royal Card.
Ahhh... the TAB one... NO!. Nichibutsu?... NOPE! So??

This one is a different game, totally encrypted, running in a Dino 4 hardware *plus* an obscure daughterboard with CPU (the fatidic mexican Rockwell R65C02) and an unknown PLCC, for extra protection.

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) PCB

And some details about the daughterboard. You can see how the data lines are going to the phantom PLCC device.

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) daughterboard

Here a pic of the game running:

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware)

After long hours of work, I have the program decrypted, and the graphics partially decrypted. Here some tiles arranged:

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) title tiles

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) tiles

Royal Card (encrypted, Dino 4 hardware) tiles

Unfortunatelly the program starts and soon jumps to an offset where there is no valid code. Need more investigation...







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