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Author Topic: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement  (Read 424556 times)

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #780 on: February 20, 2014, 05:30:20 pm »
I am testing with the newly released NESRGB board and apparently the intro (only the intro) is messed up with it: http://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=47617&p=993916#p993898

Bisqwit , do you use an undocumented/hack-ish function on the intro? I am getting some negativity on this discovery and it just makes me wonder what function causes this , it is said it's a palette transfer to the PPU ?
It works fine with stock composite btw.

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #781 on: February 20, 2014, 05:39:56 pm »
Sorry about the negativity you are receiving as the replies on that forum.

The reason why I don't test this ROM on original hardware is because I don't have original hardware. I only have a clone NTDec, and even then I don't have a flash-cart. Flash-carts are quite expensive and I cannot afford one. Thankfully, others (such as you, keropi) do test this on original hardware. Much obliged.
I have no intention of making this an emulator-only patch, and any situations where it only works on an emulator and not on original hardware are errors that need to be reported so they will get promptly fixed.
Now this patch has already been reported to work on original hardware several times. But this bug report is about non-original third-party hardware.

As for whether there's anything special in the way the intro deals with the palette... Let me see.

Yes, one potential oddity is that the PPU transfer code depends on writes to $2006 ignoring the top 2 bits of the address. I.e. it assumes that an address $BF00 will be interpreted as $3F00, as the PPU memory address is 14-bit indeed. This is true for all versions of the NES known to me so far. Yet, this seems like the strongest candidate cause. Other candidates are dependence on proper palette mirroring, but failing to handle that properly would cause problems in more games.

What could the NESRGB possibly be using the bit15 of the address for? Maybe it's just a bug in their design.
I could workaround this problem with a few additional instructions in the prologue code. I believe there might still be room for it. Since this is not a high-priority problem as it concerns unofficial third-party hardware compatibility, I'll see about it when the time comes to work on the next release (which unfortunately is not around now).

P.S. It is curious to note how eagerly people accuse this hack of only working on emulators and not on hardware, when the very hardware they are referring to is actually an emulator of the real thing, or of a portion of it; it just happens to run on an FPGA rather than on a PC. My product seems to require a more accurate emulator than the NESRGB is.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 09:26:51 pm by Bisqwit »

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #782 on: February 21, 2014, 05:54:23 am »
Thanks for the reply Bisqwit, appreciate it. I'll post that tech info in hopes the NESRGB creator sees them and looks it up.
As for the comments, don't be sorry  ;) , I've already edited out some of my posts that point the obvious and tbh I just ignore anything counter-productive now...

Regarding your testing, I can easily make you a MMC3 or VRC6b (or both , for free ofcourse) carts with eprom sockets, maybe you have a programmer and can use these as test carts?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:59:28 am by keropi »

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #783 on: February 22, 2014, 09:29:10 am »
Regarding your testing, I can easily make you a MMC3 or VRC6b (or both , for free ofcourse) carts with eprom sockets, maybe you have a programmer and can use these as test carts?

You are too kind.
I could make an EPROM programmer. I don't have one right now. It's simple enough, a mere extension to an EPROM reader which I already made. But hmm, how much do EPROM chips cost?
The 27C010 (128 kB * 8 bit) would cost 4€ each at bebek.fi. For Simon's Quest, two are required. So, 8€ per test, assuming both CHR-ROM and PRG-ROM are changed. Plus shipping. I could probably order them considerably cheaper from China though -- if I knew where. In Aliexpress for example I could apparently get 30 for mean price of $,80 per piece incl. shipping. This could be affordable.
(Yes, I know EPROMs are technically multiple-writable, but I said I could easily make an EPROM programmer, not an EPROM eraser... So it would still be single-write only. I do have UV LEDs but I don't believe they emit strong light enough or not quite in the right spectrum.)
Yes, it would be quite interesting to test this hack (and others) on the real NTDec. I can understand MMC3, but how come you have excess VRC6b boards? Aren't those rather rare?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 10:10:54 am by Bisqwit »

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #784 on: February 22, 2014, 01:31:33 pm »
Fear not , I can certainly spare some SST27SF010 eeproms so you don't need an UV eraser. I have a stock of them. Can your home-made reader/programmer erase them?
I have some 3-4 mmc3 boards and a Madara one (vrc6b) and I don't mind giving them up to you. All I need to do is install sockets and do the re-wiring. They are already rom-less boards  :)

Just drop me a PM with your address and let me worry about the rest  ;D

ps. NESRGB creator posted this btw, it seems he fixed it for the intro but not for the other games that only run black/white , your tip was spot-on thanks!

Quote
Result:

Reducing the palette area address decoding from 16 to 14 bits fixes the colours on the Castlevania 2 Bisqwit version.

Unfortunately for Duck Maze fans, the behavior of this game is unchanged. Colours in Orb 3D and Morskoy Boy (the other two known games with problems) are also still wrong.


Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #785 on: February 22, 2014, 01:48:59 pm »
Good to hear that my diagnosis was correct! Re: Black/White, there's a setting in the PPU which controls black/white rendering. Maybe he should check it. Then again, he probably knows all about it already.

I'd like a MMC3 board (either connector type; I have an adapter) if you could spare one. Keep the VRC6 one though; aside from maybe testing on it once or twice it would just collect dust here, so I believe you have more use for it than I do. (And probably the Famicom audio line is not connected in Ntdec either.)
Re: EEPROM, I would have to check how to interface with them, but yeah, I think I could manage :-)
My homemade reader is currently hardcoded for 64-128 kilobyte EPROMs / PROMs, such as the ones I found in an IBM 386 PC and on my Ntdec 5-in-1 cartridge. Haven't actually used it for anything else so far. I featured its design in a YouTube video, with more emphasis on the Arduino program that actually transmits the ROM contents to the PC through Z-Modem protocol: http://youtu.be/08x0MbOX5dE?t=1m13s

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #786 on: February 22, 2014, 03:39:42 pm »
allrighty then, an eeprom MMC3 board it is  ;)
I should have thought of that months ago  >:(   :)

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #787 on: March 05, 2014, 08:35:24 am »
In case anyone wonders how the eeprom mmc3 board turned out, here it is:



and it running the latest version on this famiclone:



I don't have pads for it (it needs special wiring unfortunately) but the intro and screens/demo all seem fine.  :thumbsup:

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #788 on: March 09, 2014, 07:42:25 pm »
Version 2.9.8.10 released!

Changes include:
-- Fixed PAL-only bug: Game crashes at the "game begin" screen (broken since version 2.9.8.7).
-- Fixed PAL-only bug: Townsfolk were colored wrong in the PAL version.
-- Workaround third-party bug: Palette changes in the cinematic prologue were ignored on the NESRGB board.

Thanks Bruno Poiraud (who is also working on the French translation) for helping me find the PAL bugs!

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #789 on: March 10, 2014, 03:46:08 am »
Do you have a spot set aside for inserting the music for the intro?

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #790 on: March 12, 2014, 05:25:36 pm »
Version 2.9.8.11 released!

Changes include:
-- Added French version contributed by Bruno Poiraud. This enhancement is thus now available in four languages: Finnish, English, Japanese and French. More languages may be upcoming.
-- Minor assembler code changes in prologue; shouldn't be noticeable.

If you want to contribute a translation to another language, contact me. You will need to prove that you can work with text files in a specific format, by completing a test I give to you. The only tool you will need in the translation is a text editor, such as Notepad++ or Emacs.

Do you have a spot set aside for inserting the music for the intro?
It is not a high-priority task right now.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 05:34:36 pm by Bisqwit »

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #791 on: March 13, 2014, 04:31:36 am »
great news!
btw, NESRGB just got an updated 1.4 firmware that fixes the intro...  ( http://etim.net.au/nesrgb/background_fault/ )

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #792 on: March 13, 2014, 06:38:50 am »
I got mail from Greece!

Here's the first test results:
http://youtu.be/3UOQFK2TvTo
[video]http://youtu.be/3UOQFK2TvTo[/video]
[youtube]3UOQFK2TvTo[/youtube]

Observations:

The ROM version is NTSC.

It appears that the famiclone also runs NTSC; however, it is clocked at PAL clock rate, and the PPU produces PAL signal.
The outcome is that while the game syncs properly at NTSC settings (i.e. the program accurately predicts scanline timings using the CPU clock), it runs at 83% of the speed that it should.
This is an odd combination indeed. I wonder if I should add a patch option for this combination.
Additionally, there seem to be some problems with the SRAMSave engine. The horizontal cursor does not appear, and it crashes when exiting to main menu.

Additionally, the video is really dim (even though black is sort of gray). I believe this is because of my video capture device though. It's a $20 class USB composite capture device. I think I'll let YouTube do its magic for color correction.
Finally, software that comes with the capture card can only encode in chroma-supersampled settings (yuv420p I believe), which means that the colors will not only suffer from composite PAL-B encoding, but they will also suffer from MPEG encoding (even worse). The small title screen texts therefore are completely illegible.

EDIT: Even though my TV could not recognize the composite signal at all, it could successfully be connected to the RF output. That looks so much better. Horribly artifacted and full of RF noise, especially when the game makes sound, but pixels are crisp. Interestingly enough the picture was also a bit dark there. I suppose it's a problem in this famiclone.

EDIT: I always forget that I lost my original NTDec in mysterious circumstances. This is just some no-brand glob-top famiclone that I got from my sister...  The only thing NTDec I have is the 5-in-1 cart.
Interesting though. This famiclone has a 26.601712 MHz crystal (PAL clock rate). NTSC NES runs on 21.477272 MHz. Shouldn't the games be running 24% faster, not 20% slower? This sort of resembles a Dendy then. I wonder. Interestingly enough, the circuit board bears a marking "N̄T̄S̄C̄/PAL" (with continuous line over "NTSC").
The NTDec at least had proper chips... Too bad I didn't salvage them before I lost it.

One more peculiarity of this design is that there's a glob-top multigame cart sister-boarded into the cartridge input.

The thread strands you see on the RF board? They are actually glue strands.

I'll see about EEPROM programming in a few weeks when I have time, so I can update this thing. Again, thank you Keropi!


« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 05:35:53 pm by Bisqwit »

Turambar

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #793 on: March 13, 2014, 07:00:08 am »
I don't know if it's been fixed already, but I noticed a typo in that video.
In the intro it says "each strenghtening the curse." it should be "strengthening".

Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #794 on: March 13, 2014, 07:15:37 am »
I don't know if it's been fixed already, but I noticed a typo in that video.
In the intro it says "each strenghtening the curse." it should be "strengthening".
Thanks for the report! Will be fixed in next release.

EDIT: Version 2.9.8.12 released!

Changes include:
-- Fixed bug: Simon may flash for a bit when the game starts if the prologue was previously playing.
-- Fixed bug: The number of continues may be initialized wrong (not zero) when the game starts if the prologue was previously playing.
-- Fixed typo in English prologue: strenghtening -> strengthening
-- Fixed mistake in French password-accepted screen
« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 09:53:05 am by Bisqwit »

Bregalad

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #795 on: March 13, 2014, 05:14:38 pm »
Great french translation ! Thank you very much for this !

keropi

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #796 on: March 14, 2014, 03:50:12 am »
great to see the ghetto flashcart arrived  ;D  :woot!:

my famiclone also has a built-in cart pcb, actually it's a 2in1 multicart, you cycle through them by resetting when there is no cart inserted in the slot... at least it has "real" chips like an original famicom, not a single chip machine...

Sullemunk

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #797 on: March 14, 2014, 12:39:07 pm »
Don't know if its an old thing but when saving using tha PAL patch the tiles of the items in the slot list gets swapped/messed up, ie; the white crystal shows up as the diamond, and holy water as an |




Bisqwit

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #798 on: March 14, 2014, 12:50:08 pm »
Version 2.9.8.13 released!

Changes include:
-- In 2.9.8.12, I accidentally included still-in-development buggy features. These features were not intended to be released yet, and they were not included in the changelog either. Reverted these.
-- Bugfix (PAL version): Fixed the item tiles in SRAM screen (thanks Sullemunk)!.

Sullemunk

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Re: Castlevania II (Simon's Quest) - Multilingual enhancement
« Reply #799 on: March 14, 2014, 12:57:49 pm »
wow, that was fast :D