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Fun with homebrew

sheath
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February 26th, 2009, 4:16 pm #1

I've been doing a lot of lurking over at spritesmind.net, and I've discovered some interesting files that the hardware/software jockeys over there have been using as examples and demos. I thought I'd list some of them here just to generate some discussion. I'll be adding to this list at the bottom as I find more tasty tidbits.

Wolf 3D on 32X Beta 2!
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/ ... -sw-b2.zip

As most of you know, emulation just doesn't cut it in comparison to the actual game on the real console. There's always glitches in timing, even if the sound and video "seem" to be right. Here are some files that demonstrate the deficiency of emulated sound versus the actual games.

After Burner Super Stripe for Genesis is actually missing instruments in emulators. This means that any game that uses a similar sound will also be missing instruments, and if you record music from emulators you're not getting the real tune.

Recorded from:

My Genesis 1 Sega CD 1 output:


A Chinese Megadrive clone: (Right Click to Save)


KEGA Fusion:


Can you hear the difference? Here's the screwy instrument from KEGA amplified, see if you can even hear it in the full song.
(Right Click to Save)

Here's the instrument coming from a MegaDrive 2:
(Right Click to Save)

What does this mean? It means that even if you think you remember the sound correctly, emulation's inconsistent output is actually creating two versions of the same song. Furthermore, the folks over at SpritesMind.Net also discovered inconsistencies between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 sound output.

Comic Zone Recorded From:
Megadrive 2


Megadrive 1 headphone jack:


Ristar Recorded From:
Megadrive 2
(Right Click to Save)

Megadrive 1 headphone jack


A PCM player for Megadrive Genesis that plays 4 digital channels at 8-bits with 16Khz, proving that the only "limitation" for Genesis sound was cart size and code quality.
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/pl4ch_01.bin (Right Click to Save) (Run in Emulator)

What would Final Fantasy IV (FFII in the US) have sounded like on the Genesis? These songs are homebrew efforts on the Sharp X68000, which uses a Yamaha sound chip in the same family as the Genesis sound chip with the addition of an actual ADPCM channel which is superior to the Genesis' Digital Audio Channel. As such, and in the light of the above Digital Audio player, this should be regarded as possible on the Genesis with only minor changes to the digital samples.

http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/FFIVMDXsets.rar

An unreleased X-men game for 32X, looks like Mortal Kombat Sub Zero. Fusion doesn't play it.

http://www.segasaturno.com/portal/index ... ic_id=3969

Simply awesome:

"Welcome to Project2612, your one and only source on the web for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive VGM soundtracks. Our mission is to provide you with the most accurate, non-waveform reproduction of Sega Genesis/Sega Mega Drive music to date, using the VGM format. We currently have a total of 615 soundtrack sets, with every single known song (and even some hidden songs not used!) in these games. "

http://project2612.org/

UWOL_Quest_For_Money

Introduction by the developer

Now the long making of story, if you care.

The original game was made for ZX Spectrum by Mojon Twins, homebrew game developers team from Spain, and released in 2009. It is little nice old-style arcade game about jumping around and collecting coins, and I've liked it much. Unusual thing about all the Mojon Twins games is that they are made in C (for the platforms with Z80 @ ~3.5 MHz). After I've looked into sources, I've got idea to try to port the game to SMD using the original sources. I've asked Na_th_an from Mojon Twins for permission, he said they don't mind, as long as they are credited, and the game is open source.

I've wanted to make not just exact port of the game, which is makes not much sense, but to improve some details, as long as they will not take too much time.

The project has been started February 18, and pre-release version was finished March 3. It includes few days of fulltime (>8hrs) work. Most part of the time took graphics works, then code, and least part of the time (about 3 days) took sound part.

(More at the link)

Hint for a better playing experience, by the developer:
"After collecting all the coins on the level, one or two arrows will appear on the ground. You should stand above one of the arrows and press down (not necessary to stay on the ground, though, you can do it in mid-air too). Doing this you choose your way through the piramide. The goal of the game is to collect 256 coins. You can't do it in one play (10 levels), so you should complete the game few times, choosing different routes through piramide (when you enter already visited level, it has no coins)."

Sonic Boom (Hack)

I haven't played the game, but check out the sound test, go on, check it out! Especially 91.
Last edited by sheath on August 10th, 2010, 2:56 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Belpowerslave
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February 26th, 2009, 4:38 pm #2

The sound coming out of the Genesis 1 seems much, much cleaner...I wonder if it has to do with the direct port to the headphone jack.

What this means though, and you're not going to like it, is that Sega is more than just partly responsible for the perception that the Genesis couldn't do quality sound. I mean, if their own hardware can't handle it properly and consistently, how can we expect anyone to buy the notion that the Genesis *could* do quality sound?

Think about it...from here on out every time you go back and read some reviewer bashing a Genesis game because of its sound you now have to question what model Genesis he was playing it on. Every time some guy on a forum attacks the sound samples on SF2:SCE you'll have to ask him what version of the Genesis he was playing it on.

Hard roads ahead for you boy! ;)

As for the Wolfenstein beta, that's awesome! I had no idea anyone was doing anything with 32X homebrew dev. other than just static pictures showing off the system's maximum color output. Will have to grab that and give it a shot. Makes you wonder if someone will try to redo Doom on the 32X at some point...

Bel
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sheath
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February 26th, 2009, 5:52 pm #3

They were talking about doing a full version Doom port, but ran into some kind of snag with the way the 32X handles memory. The wolf port doesn't have music yet, but I think they'll have it soon. It runs really well though.

As for the sound thing, the Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 thing doesn't complicate things as much as you imply. I already had to ask what people were playing the system on. If it was a 13 inch TV with a mono speaker, their observations were moot. The Genesis 2 definitely degrades the digital audio quality, but if most people were hooking their Genesis 1 up with the AV out on the back that output was mono. Sega is responsible for this inconsistency, but my position has always been that people don't know a damned thing about cables or signal quality anyway. The main thrust of my argument has been to discredit the people making the accusations against one system or the other by pointing out the inconsistencies in their arguments. Since web reviewers use emulation almost exclusively, their points are moot, since the classic magazines contradict their own observations, their points are moot, etc.

Now, adequately describing all of the variables without blowing out 99% of the people who might stumble on my page, that's a challenge. ;)
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sheath
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February 27th, 2009, 10:28 pm #4

A PCM player for Megadrive Genesis that plays 4 digital channels at 8-bits with 16Khz, proving that the only "limitation" for Genesis sound was cart size and code quality.
http://www.gamepilgrimage.com/Homebrew/pl4ch_01.bin (Right Click to Save) (Run in Emulator)
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sheath
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March 1st, 2009, 8:09 pm #5

What would Final Fantasy IV (FFII in the US) have sounded like on the Genesis? These songs are homebrew efforts on the Sharp X68000, which uses a Yamaha sound chip in the same family as the Genesis sound chip with the addition of an actual ADPCM channel which is superior to the Genesis' Digital Audio Channel. As such, and in the light of the above Digital Audio player, this should be regarded as possible on the Genesis with only minor changes to the digital samples.

Full Soundtrack.rar
Last edited by sheath on July 25th, 2012, 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Belpowerslave
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March 2nd, 2009, 4:52 pm #6

Wow, that's bad-ass! Honestly, I can't say I'm surprised, especially as I've heard FF's main theme before back on High Seas Havoc(I still cannot believe they didn't get sued). Fire up the rom sometime and you'll see what I mean...you can hear it either in the awesome sound test or just by waiting for the attract mode. On top of that the soundtrack from Castlevania: Bloodlines, though not an exact copy of the SNES's IV, used some of the same pieces and was just fucking incredible. I mean, when I'm just sort of listening to gaming music via iTunes and some of the Bloodlines tracks come up, I often times mistake them for the Castlevania IV versions...

Still, it's cool to hear the FFII/IV soundtrack on the Yamaha....wish they'd do ActRaiser next.

Bel
Last edited by Belpowerslave on March 2nd, 2009, 4:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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sheath
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March 2nd, 2009, 5:11 pm #7

Are you talking about the song that plays right after the Sega logo? That's not exactly the same as the FF theme, but it is close. I like the version they made for the X68000, but I did notice that the sound doesn't smoothly rotate between left and right like the SNES tune does. I think this is because these Yamaha chips couldn't fade left to right, they either played left, right or center.
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Belpowerslave
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March 2nd, 2009, 5:41 pm #8

Well, to me, it sounds like the FFIV main theme only much, much faster. They throw in a few different instruments but it keeps the same tune. Anyway, after the hot water Data East got in to with Capcom(over "copying" Street Fighter), I just figured they'd of tried to keep clear of any other potential issues like that.

One thing that does interest me is that HSH is also an arcade game, but doesn't run in MAME just yet. Makes me wonder if it's just simply using the Genesis hardware(like the arcade version of SoR2) or it was on an actual arcade board. Once it gets running, I'd like to check that out and listen to any differences in the audio.

Bel
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DarcSeven
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March 2nd, 2009, 9:17 pm #9

The arcade version of Street of Rage 2? 0.0
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Belpowerslave
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March 2nd, 2009, 10:12 pm #10

Yeah, you can run it in MAME...it's just running off of Genesis hardware though...so don't expect any differences at all(there aren't).

Bel
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