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Saturday, 1 November 2014, 10:52
X-Men 2 - Clone Wars (Prototype, 19940506), Sega, 1994
 

FB Alpha Site

Posted on 31 October 2014 at 23:37
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

The FB Alpha section of this site was due an overhaul. There is now a new section with more documentation, newer web technology, updated bug tracker, better galleries, and more.

You can access the section at http://www.barryharris.me.uk/fba.php or directly at the new domain, http://www.fbalpha.com.

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FB Alpha 0.2.97.33 Release

Posted on 24 October 2014 at 19:15
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

A quick bug-fix release. This one fixes an issue with the UI translation templates - hence the quick turn-around.

Oh, and Zero Team is also playable - enjoy!

Be sure to report any bugs on the FB Alpha Bugs page. The downloads are on the FB Alpha page as usual.

Click more for the what's new.

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FB Alpha 0.2.97.32 Release

Posted on 22 October 2014 at 18:40
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

It's time for a new FB Alpha release. This one is the biggest for quite a while with lot's of new stuff, including some shiny new drivers. As usual, you can download this version from the FB Alpha page.

There are lots of fixes and improvements, but the headline addition is the Konami work done by iq_132. As well as lot's of fixes there are lots of new Konami drivers including Asterix, Bishi Bashi, Dragonball Z, G.I. Joe, Lethal Enforcers, Mystic Warriors, Shaolins Road, Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa, Yie-Ar Kung Fu and Xexex. Older Konami games have also been improved, particularly with regards to sprite drawing and shadow support.

iq_132 also ported the Raiden 2/Raiden DX driver now that the games are working in MAME. He also ported the NMK004 improvements, and along with work by dink, NMK16 games are greatly improved.

We also have some new core features, such as auto-fire, configurable system keys (pause, fast forward, etc.), support for Nebula format Alpha Blending Files (.bld) and loads more.

This quality of this release is dedicated to Zazzone, without his countless hours of testing a lot of the bugs fixed in this release wouldn't even be known about. To continue to improve the quality of future releases, be sure to report any bugs you find using the FB Alpha Bug Reporting Module.

Download and enjoy!

Click more for the full what's new log.

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Comments (12)

Varth Bootleg

Posted on 21 October 2014 at 21:24
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

About a month ago Caius dumped a bootleg version of Varth. A had a quick look at the time but never got it going. I've had another look over the last couple of days and the game is now working.

Initially I didn't get very far, the game was halting when reading from the 68K address 0x100280. Initially I thought there was some simple protection, but didn't find anything that worked. I mapped some of the 68K program ROM into the space, and the game did do a little more, but never started.

At this point, I realised there were two more ROMs in the dump. These two ROMs matched data from the end of main 68K ROMs in the original set, but were much smaller. Mapping this data into the space at 0x100000 to 0x1fffff and the game boots and works fine. It looks like the bootleggers used a subset of the 68K ROM as protection data, or maybe they needed to be able to return the original data in the area where they added their code.

The game doesn't appear to write the scroll 3 RAM offset anywhere (the usual address is now the sound command), so I have hard-coded it on boot. However, the game does write the value at boot to 0x800188 (which is normally the PSound fade command). The game promptly overwrites this again though. Is it feasible that the first write to this address sets up the scroll 3 RAM offset, and subsequent writes are used as the fade command as usual?

This bootleg is taken from the 920612 etc version. I can't see any differences in-game but the following hardware differences are observed (as well as the previously mentioned 68K data, and scroll 3 RAM offset handling);

  • Different layout of graphics data
  • PCM data combined into one ROM
  • The scroll registers have moved to the 0x980000 range
  • The game uses Playmark style sprites mapped at 0x990000 to 0x993fff
  • Sound command moved to port 6

This is another CPS-1 bootleg emulated and documented. Look out for it in an FB Alpha release soon.

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Comments (1)

FB Alpha Previous Versions Update

Posted on 14 October 2014 at 21:40
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

Thanks to Robert we have some fills for some of the missing versions. Please let me know if you have any of the remaing missing versions.

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Site Update

Posted on 13 October 2014 at 20:03
Posted by barry
Filed under General

The site was overdue a bit of a tidy up and redesign. It makes better use of width now to make the content easier to read.

I've also updated the FB Alpha bugs section and fixed a couple of issues as well as making better use of width.

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Windows Live Tile for the Site

Posted on 5 October 2014 at 18:25
Posted by barry
Filed under General

I added a live tile to the website. This is activated by pinning the site to the Start screen in Windows 8 (and above) or Windows Phone. The tile shows details of the last five articles if the tile is big enough (medium or large).

Click more for a video of the tile.

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FB Alpha on Windows 10

Posted on 1 October 2014 at 20:27
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

All working fine!

FB Alpha on Windows 10

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FB Alpha WIP (iq_132) - Raiden II

Posted on 28 September 2014 at 18:31
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

iq_132 has also added a Raiden II driver to FB Alpha. This has been made possible due to recent improvements in MAME (in particular, some reverse enginerring of the COP device by kale, ogalibert and haze). This driver is still far from trivial and is an extremely impressive addition to FB Alpha. I'll let the following screenshots talk for themselves...

Click more for the screenshots.

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FB Alpha WIP (iq_132 and dink) - NMK004

Posted on 27 September 2014 at 20:13
Posted by barry
Filed under FB Alpha

iq_132 has ported the NMK004 improvements from MAME (trap15 and haze). After a lot of work from dink, working in the NMK16 driver (and fixing a bug in the TLCS90 CPU core) we now have full emulated sound in the NMK16 games. There have also been improvements in other aspects of the driver fixing minor issues with graphic layer offsets and similar issues.

This is a major improvement in the emulation of these games and massive thanks goes to trap15 who managed to dump the code, and haze who hooked it up in MAME.

The next version of FB Alpha should be a good one. iq_132 has been very busy with some really excellent additions which I'll cover soon...

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