Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

PCB problems and fixes
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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 12:58 am

This is likely yet another trap left by the original developers to catch ROM changes...

What exactly happened right before the game freezing? Did you pick some specific item?

Punji

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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 2:34 am

I have played those levels on MAME (they are insane, but fortunately I have the game continue patch) and found no issues, apart from slowdown on certain levels (I made a note to double check if the original game also has that).

So, either I'm not getting the specific item that causes the problem or the issue is somehow only reproducible on HW.

I still did not receive my EPROM programmer, I can't do much else before that unless I get some hints here...

Punji

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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 11:30 am

Simon:

- Did you remember picking the same item or doing the same thing every time before the game freezes?
- Where you playing with one or two players?
- What is your DIP Switch configuration?
- Did you use the file from the link that Ian (idc) posted above or did you apply the patches yourself? I check the file from Ian and it is good, so please use that.
- Did you do a verify on each of the EPROMs to be sure they were programmed correctly?

Punji

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idc
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by idc » January 18th, 2013, 11:33 am

joaoljr wrote:I have played those levels on MAME (they are insane, but fortunately I have the game continue patch) and found no issues, apart from slowdown on certain levels (I made a note to double check if the original game also has that).

So, either I'm not getting the specific item that causes the problem or the issue is somehow only reproducible on HW.

I still did not receive my EPROM programmer, I can't do much else before that unless I get some hints here...

Punji
Might it be useful to add some kind of level skip hack - temporarily - in order to playtest individual levels? A single screen after pressing start where one can increase/decrease a number using left/right or up/down on the joystick, then fire to select would probably suffice... Could be an incremental patch similar to the continue patch I guess.

I do have a Bobble Bobble bootleg ROM set with a level select built in, but it's a very dirty hack and of course it doesn't have your "Redux" patches in it. ;)
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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 1:36 pm

I think I can try implementing a "cheat" screen to select the initial level/lives and next special item... :-)

Now, if we really have an issue only reproducible on HW then I will for sure need something to replace MAME debug tools, like displaying a register and stack dump at any time to understand where and why the game has frozen.

But before doing that, I would like a confirmation from Simon that he has verified the EPROM contents after programming them.

Punji

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golani
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by golani » January 18th, 2013, 2:35 pm

hello,
i think the problem is that the game freeze , collect the items in every round.
everytime its freezing if i collect an item that appers in every round.
(such as fish, diamonds, neckchain)
also the other elements each round will appear and also the (yellow, blue candy , stick,water cross, shoe and so on) (I think)

yesterday i dont collect the first items (fish, diamonds, neckchain) only approx 7 to 8 times

il go to round 96 , than freeze :(

i must not be the same item, there were different items i collcet and than freeze

il play every time in single modus one player (bub)

i dont put in code (original game, power up) only super mode.
i do not die until level 50 and get the golden door for reaching level 70

i take the file from ian and burn it to emproms .

i double checkt the programming and can be sure that the eprom chips are not faulty
i did a verify on each of the EPROMs to be sure they were programmed correctly

dip switch a: all off
dip switch b: 1,7,8 on - rest off

i try on differend bootleg pcbs wit the same result.

i will try again and counting the items il take until freeze (as less i can), maybe i reach round 100

simon
Last edited by golani on March 30th, 2013, 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 4:26 pm

Thanks Simon.

It looks from the DIP switches that you are playing in japanese and easy modes. I will try again on MAME using that configuration and also follow your steps the best I can.

Punji

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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 5:46 pm

I was able to reproduce the freeze on MAME using that configuration after collecting a zillion special items in level 80 (I forced the game to stay at that level and tested each item, one by one).

It is not clear to me what exactly caused that. The stack trace does not help (it is like the main game routine gave up).

Well, at least now we know it is not HW related (assuming the issue I reproduced is the same one as Simon reported).

I will investigate.

Punji

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golani
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by golani » January 18th, 2013, 6:09 pm

i try again and collect only 28 items in game and reached Round 89. there i pop many fire bubbles and the game freeze without collect any item in this round.
last time i remember i get water cross bevore freeze.

it could be it has something to do with, how many times you pop - fire water or lightning bubbles !?
i will check.

simon

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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 7:19 pm

Just to clarify, it did not freeze when I was collecting an item either. I had just started the level, the special item appeared, the 2P animation was showing up and then everything stopped leaving some garbage at that place in the screen.

Yes, I think this is caused by something else, like an item counter, score, time, etc.

Punji

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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 18th, 2013, 11:31 pm

This is getting very complicated... I just realized that Bubble Bobble is a multitasking game! It may have up to 6 "threads" running.

In a normal game, I see at least 5 of those threads alternating the CPU.

In the frozen game, I just see one thread running...

Punji

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golani
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by golani » January 19th, 2013, 12:47 pm

like an item counter.

i played now single game 1.player to level 100 without dieing - collect less items in game play - get 2!!! times the red fireball (fire shot for 5 rounds) one time in round 47 ,second in round 95.

never bevore get the red fireball 2 times in one gameplay!

freeze in level 100 after destroy much lightning bubbles

simon

justice99
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by justice99 » January 19th, 2013, 7:45 pm

Hello guys, first of all thank you very much for your work !
If i want to edit my bootleg PCB, how many chips do i have to replace ? 3 ?
Which model should i buy ?
Is the PCB5.0E Willem EPROM programmer or the G540 good for that kind of job ?
Sorry for noob questions :-)
Thanks in advance.

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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 19th, 2013, 9:59 pm

How many chips you have to replace ?
The mod requires replacing 3 ROMs (27256 or equivalent).

I'm currently debugging an issue that causes the game to randomly freeze at higher levels. I have been able to reproduce the issues a couple times on MAME with my watchpoints installed. I found the place in the code were the freeze happens. I will need to study the code around that place and try to figure out why that happens.

Simon, thanks for all your help with the testing so far! Stay tuned.

Punji

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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 19th, 2013, 10:11 pm

Simon, by the way, I also got the red fireball twice! And the code that causes the freeze runs when the button that shoot bubbles is pressed.

Punji

justice99
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by justice99 » January 19th, 2013, 10:22 pm

Thanks joaoljr, i will try to get roms and a burner asap.

I cant believe you have done it.

Bravo !

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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 19th, 2013, 11:00 pm

As I imagined, the problem was yet another trap from the original developer, triggered by ROM modifications.

This is how it works:

Every time the shooting button is pressed, an address counter increments from 0038h until 1464h. This routine sums up the bytes at each corresponding ROM location into an 8 bit counter. I'm not sure if this sum is used for anything, like a random generator. Anyway, when the code reaches the end of the address range, another routine is triggered. That one checks the value against a constant, like in a crude check-sum algorithm. Any changes to the bb3 within that address range may cause this match to fail. That triggers the trap, disabling the threads and probably doing some more damage (I didn't check that out yet).

I assume the bootleggers have updated this value to match the changes they did to the bootleg ROM, or it also suffers from this same issue. Notice that you just have to shoot 5165 bubbles to cause the problem! This is not related to picking special items at all.

I will prepare a new patch soon.

Punji

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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 20th, 2013, 12:45 am

The new patch is below.

Ian, could you please update the file in your link to avoid confusion?

Simon, please try this new version. I hope you will now complete the game!

Punji

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golani
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by golani » January 20th, 2013, 1:00 am

hello,
as soon i can downlod bb3 from ian i will try to complete the game.
simon

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joaoljr
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Re: Bubble Bobble Bootleg info

Post by joaoljr » January 20th, 2013, 2:01 am

To be fair, I caused that issue myself! A long time ago when I started doing this patch, I restored some changes done by the bootleggers in an attempt to make the game as similar to the original as possible. Some of those caused crashes right away, so I realized they were traps. This particular one did not cause any issues when restored, so I though it was safe. Unfortunately I did not shoot that many bubbles until now...

Regarding the slowdown issue when there are many monsters and bubbles on the screen, both the original game and the bootleg one running on MAME also appears to have that.

Punji

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