Action 52 not supported?

AtomicShroom
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Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AtomicShroom »

I know, why would anyone want to play this? But as a curiosity, it has its merits.

However it doesn't seem to work on MiSTer? Instead of booting normally with the introduction and title screen, it boots directly into one of the 52 games available (Billy Bob). Since there's no way back to the main menu from the game itself, you cannot access any of the other 51 games.

Is it known that this is not supported?

Thanks!
AngelicLiver
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AngelicLiver »

Action 52 uses mapper 228 which is apparently supported by the MiSTer core, I have a vague recollection of trying this out a while back and it worked fine. I'll take a look later.

Maybe check that the ROM you are using has a NES2.0 header?
rhester72
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by rhester72 »

I don't think a NES 2.0 header is required, there's no submapper or RAM. Even with mapper 228 and proper non-power-of-2 PRG ROM banking, it just doesn't work on MiSTer, exactly the way the OP described.
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AngelicLiver »

rhester72 wrote: Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:59 pm I don't think a NES 2.0 header is required, there's no submapper or RAM. Even with mapper 228 and proper non-power-of-2 PRG ROM banking, it just doesn't work on MiSTer, exactly the way the OP described.
Perhaps I'm thinking of Cheetah Men II working then! Thanks for clarifying.
DevilHunterWolf
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by DevilHunterWolf »

My Action 52 has the game list split. Half are in one file and half are in another. The menu works and only shows the games that are in that particular file. A few standouts like Billy Bob and Cheetamen have their own files. Action 52 was problematic even on real hardware so I assume the ROM split and separation had to be done for functionality sake. Billy Bob's later levels weren't reachable in the original so that's why I assume it was selected for separate files. I didn't go through every one of the 52 games, but it looked to me like everything was working on MiSTer. If you have just one file for Action 52, you may want to source the split or separated ones that work on original hardware. That should give you some better luck playing them.
AtomicShroom
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AtomicShroom »

Or, you know, MiSTer could support the single file version as intended.
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by DevilHunterWolf »

AtomicShroom wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:21 pm Or, you know, MiSTer could support the single file version as intended.
Action 52 did not work properly on real hardware. Some games just wouldn't load, some levels wouldn't load, and other games would crash the NES. There's not really a benefit of having the original one ROM other than trying to create the exact accurate experience of a bunch of broken things. The split files helps with getting all the games to work. Even with just the two menu split files, you can play more of the games than you could on an original NES while still getting the same FPGA benefits MiSTer always provides.

Would one file be more true to the experience? Sure. But I can't say I blame the people who worked on the NES core if they may not be concerned about trying to get this one mess of a game working as one file. It's not exactly a game people tend to spend a lot of time on or come back to frequently. I'm personally fine with a few easy to switch between files if that means all the games work (as well as they could have).
AtomicShroom
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AtomicShroom »

DevilHunterWolf wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 4:19 pm
AtomicShroom wrote: Thu Aug 19, 2021 12:21 pm Or, you know, MiSTer could support the single file version as intended.
Action 52 did not work properly on real hardware. Some games just wouldn't load, some levels wouldn't load, and other games would crash the NES. There's not really a benefit of having the original one ROM other than trying to create the exact accurate experience of a bunch of broken things.
The whole point of an FPGA solution is 100% total accuracy. So yes, even if the game is broken in so many different ways, this is the exact experience that I'm looking for.
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kfreiberg
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by kfreiberg »

AtomicShroom wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:52 pm The whole point of an FPGA solution is 100% total accuracy. So yes, even if the game is broken in so many different ways, this is the exact experience that I'm looking for.
If you're looking for 100% accuracy, you may want to try original hardware. Even though FPGA cores may be extremely accurate, looking for 100% may not be possible.
AtomicShroom
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AtomicShroom »

kfreiberg wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:36 pm
AtomicShroom wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:52 pm The whole point of an FPGA solution is 100% total accuracy. So yes, even if the game is broken in so many different ways, this is the exact experience that I'm looking for.
If you're looking for 100% accuracy, you may want to try original hardware. Even though FPGA cores may be extremely accurate, looking for 100% may not be possible.
I'm not even that picky. I'm just looking for the game to boot correctly. I mean it works fine in software emulators. It certainly points to the MiSTer core doing something wrong. Hey maybe it'll even benefit other games.
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by DevilHunterWolf »

AtomicShroom wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:50 pm I'm not even that picky. I'm just looking for the game to boot correctly. I mean it works fine in software emulators. It certainly points to the MiSTer core doing something wrong. Hey maybe it'll even benefit other games.
Software emulation doesn't necessarily go for 100% accuracy or function the same as real hardware. But that's fine. That's how we get so many crazy and awesome hacks that wouldn't have worked on real hardware. Emulation can tap into things that real devices are not capable of as they are. But that can lead to some hacks or homebrew that won't work on proper hardware. It's just beyond its capabilities.

Some homebrew games have an issue on flash carts if they included an extra board or chips in the cartridge, whether its for sound, graphics, or whatever. They're using something custom for just that game, not like say a Super FX chip of old that isn't well documented already. That's how they can sometimes get around the real device limitations. The MiSTer's closest comparison is buying a real console with a flash cart. If it wouldn't work on a flash cart, it likely won't work on a MiSTer. I can't say I'm an expert on Action 52, but that transparent shell it has clearly shows its insides and it's no standard NES game. Seems to fall into that custom chips territory that stops those few special homebrew carts from functioning on a flash cart.

Which wraps this back to why Action 52 is fine on software emulation. Software emulation can function different from real hardware, add on more things, or ignore certain aspects that would lock up the real thing. The MiSTer aims for hardware accuracy so it will be susceptible to the same issues as real hardware, just with a flash cart caveat. Software emulation has an easier time "fixing" Action 52 to work properly. But flash carts and the MiSTer don't. And that's why the split menu files exist. It's a solution to the problem and it works pretty well.
AtomicShroom
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AtomicShroom »

DevilHunterWolf wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:00 pm
AtomicShroom wrote: Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:50 pm I'm not even that picky. I'm just looking for the game to boot correctly. I mean it works fine in software emulators. It certainly points to the MiSTer core doing something wrong. Hey maybe it'll even benefit other games.
Software emulation doesn't necessarily go for 100% accuracy or function the same as real hardware. But that's fine. That's how we get so many crazy and awesome hacks that wouldn't have worked on real hardware. Emulation can tap into things that real devices are not capable of as they are. But that can lead to some hacks or homebrew that won't work on proper hardware. It's just beyond its capabilities.

Some homebrew games have an issue on flash carts if they included an extra board or chips in the cartridge, whether its for sound, graphics, or whatever. They're using something custom for just that game, not like say a Super FX chip of old that isn't well documented already. That's how they can sometimes get around the real device limitations. The MiSTer's closest comparison is buying a real console with a flash cart. If it wouldn't work on a flash cart, it likely won't work on a MiSTer. I can't say I'm an expert on Action 52, but that transparent shell it has clearly shows its insides and it's no standard NES game. Seems to fall into that custom chips territory that stops those few special homebrew carts from functioning on a flash cart.

Which wraps this back to why Action 52 is fine on software emulation. Software emulation can function different from real hardware, add on more things, or ignore certain aspects that would lock up the real thing. The MiSTer aims for hardware accuracy so it will be susceptible to the same issues as real hardware, just with a flash cart caveat. Software emulation has an easier time "fixing" Action 52 to work properly. But flash carts and the MiSTer don't. And that's why the split menu files exist. It's a solution to the problem and it works pretty well.
Since the game boots and works fine (of what you can access), just in the wrong place, I think it's a pretty safe bet to assume it's just possibly something as mundane as addressing the various data banks in the wrong order. The cart has 4 mask rom chips. The MiSTer core is probably addressing the 2nd before the 1st or something simple like that.
AtomicShroom
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by AtomicShroom »

Also I noticed on Git that another game which has many games in one, Nintendo World Championships, was reported to also boots directly into one of the games instead of showing the intro/title screen:

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/NES_MiSTer/issues/211

Seems like the same issue.
rhester72
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by rhester72 »

I swear I don't remember the real NWC having a title screen - hitting start on controller 2 got things going, but before that I was CERTAIN it was just a black screen. I reserve the right to be wrong, that was literally 31 years ago. LOL
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Re: Action 52 not supported?

Unread post by darksakul »

AtomicShroom wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:46 am Also I noticed on Git that another game which has many games in one, Nintendo World Championships, was reported to also boots directly into one of the games instead of showing the intro/title screen:

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/NES_MiSTer/issues/211

Seems like the same issue.
I know Nintendo World Championships was a very non-standard cart, even back then.
There even dip switches that poke though a cut out that allows users to change settings.


Action 52 is even stranger. Some users report the cart is hot after brief play sessions
It is my great regret that we live in an age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of people who try to.
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