Sega fishlife patched version that runs on any retail Dreamcast

Discussion in 'Sega Dreamcast Development and Research' started by Anthony817, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. japanese_cake

    japanese_cake Spirited Member

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    3 months already? Oups! I got my computer back few weeks ago but then go caught up by work :-/

    Me too lol! The bleemcast remaining parts are one patch and the packaging. But the problem is that I have to deal with a couple of shitty tools of my own so everytime I want to work back on it I need more than an hour just to remember where I left my work... I also want that monstrous protection gone, believe me!

    I appreciate your comments and I did not take it wrong. I just realize that a couple of years ago I had way more time which made things easier. We had the release in the pipe for a very long time and if the testing has been incomplete that is my fault. I am however surprised about your results. Do you a way to test on pal dreamcast? I've tested today on nulldc and on my dreamcast and it seems to boot up w/o issues.
     
  2. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Well it is good to get any kind of conformation on that. Was eagerly awaiting news for the longest. ;)

    Merci beaucoup.
     
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  3. Mrneo240

    Mrneo240 Enthusiastic Member

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    Excellent work everyone in this thread. Inspiring things being done here
     
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  4. japanese_cake

    japanese_cake Spirited Member

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    I think you are right, likely to be due to a miscommunication.

    Anyway, @darcagn even if you had your testing done on your side I would not have had the information yet as I still have a big stack of unread emails ;)
     
  5. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    The GDI with the patched track03.bin works well on my NSTC-U Dremcast using GDEMU. That's the one currently posted on @japanese_cake's twitter. It's the one JC made over a year ago.

    GDEmu firmware: 5.13.0
    Dreamcast Bios: Japanase-Cake's modified DevKit bios 1.032 modified for black swirl.
    Video-Out: VGA
    MD5 of track03.bin pre patch: b613eb9ec68c0a5e69613bfc1e49d919
    MD5 of track03.bin post patch: 3c10ef1d10a2813030370d5333428790

    Seems like something is fishy with your patching @darcagn ...
    I did patch using the GUI ppf-o-matic3.exe on Linux via wine-3.0.
    Or maybe it's me and JC using non-retail bioses?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  6. Spec

    Spec Rising Member

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    Link seems to be taken down already. Is there another place I can grab it already pre patched?
    Thanks for the info. :)
     
  7. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Yeah, I don't know what the hell is going on now. There's something screwy.

    At this point, it's working on my va1 U.S. GDEMU/DCHDMI Dreamcast. I even went back and dug up the other disc images I had in various folders that certainly didn't work before, and now they all work (except for the one tweeted this morning, that one really was the wrong disc image).

    So then I tried the SiZiOUS CDI image on va1 U.S. GDEMU/DCHDMI Dreamcast. It works now. It definitely didn't work before. I literally cannot get it to not work on this Dreamcast.

    So I burned it to CD-R. Put it in my va0 Japanese DC (stock BIOS, stock JP flash). Doesn't work (gives "ufInitSystem miss" error message). Put it in my va1 U.S. Dreamcast with GD-ROM drive and region free BIOS. Doesn't work (gives "ufInitSystem miss" error message).

    I double-check and transfer that CDI file to the GDEMU Dreamcast again, making sure it is the same CDI file I just burned, it works.

    I went back and fished ;) out the CD-R version I made myself a few days ago out of the garbage can in my office. I put it in the va0 Japanese DC (stock BIOS, stock JP flash) and it doesn't work (gives "ufInitSystem miss" error message). I put it in the va1 U.S. Dreamcast with GD-ROM drive and region free BIOS. Doesn't work (gives "ufInitSystem miss" error message).

    I put it in my PC, rip a CDI file with DiscJuggler, put that CDI file in my GDEMU/DCHDMI Dreamcast... guess what, it works.

    So now my GDEMU/DCHDMI Dreamcast has suddenly become compatible with these images, whereas my other Dreamcasts are not compatibile.


    EDIT: And just to make sure, I swapped the GDEMU out, and put the GD-ROM drive back into the GDEMU/DCHDMI Dreamcast just to load that same CD-R. Yeah, it works on that Dreamcast now. It doesn't work on the others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  8. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Where did SiZiOUS have a .cdi posted of it? Quite a few people have asked me for a working .cdi image of it.
     
  9. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Nowhere, it's unreleased at the moment. Given that it's clearly not 100% working, it'd probably be a good idea to limit distribution until we can figure out why it's sometimes working and sometimes not.
     
  10. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Alright, more testing here...

    GDEMU is back in, I used the flash eraser and erased the flashROM, Fish Life still works in this DC.
    So I thought maybe there was a presence of something in the flashROM that could prevent it from booting, but erasing the flashROM in the va0 JP DC did not make it work. It's still broken.

    This makes no sense to me. Maybe this flashROM eraser really doesn't erase the whole flashROM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  11. ItsMeMario

    ItsMeMario Gutsy Member

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    So this is also the reason why the mega link is no longer working ?
     
  12. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    jc took that one down because it definitely didn't work right. This newer one he is hosting on mediafire and its still up, but appears to me to have some issues still.
     
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  13. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    Here's the latest link JC put up, the one I tested and that worked: https://m.mediafire.com/folder/0kmc4am62ygt9

    @darcagn, what's the md5 of your patched track03.bin? That's some very weird inconsistent behavior!
     
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  14. MetalliC

    MetalliC Spirited Member

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    can you dump your flash via sdripper/httpdack/dreamshell ? it will shed some light on the question - why it won't work for you.
    Fish Life doesn't use anything custom/special to access flash ROM, but standard BIOS syscalls, so it does physical chip access in the same way as other games.
    but, I can imagine, Fish Life have some bugs in flash partition 3 data records parsing code, and it fail if there is some specific unexpected data.
     
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  15. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Ok, so I suspected that perhaps the origin of the problem was that I have run the DC Checker disc on many of my Dreamcast consoles.
    The DC Checker writes 0xFF over the entire flashROM, except the read-only part (well, it will also write over the read-only part if you have the 12V region change mod enabled, as @FamilyGuy knows all too well).

    I backed up the flashROM on the DC that now works, I ran DC Checker, and now Fish Life no longer works on that Dreamcast. I can't get it to run at all, even after trying to clear the flash with the Flash wiper CDI that's floating around the internet and also with the PlanetWeb browser.

    The problem is indeed with partition 3 in the flashrom. If I copy 0x10000 - 0x18000 from the working flashROM to the non-working flashROM in an emulator, this restores the Fish Life functionality.

    That being said, this isn't ONLY to do with the DC Checker because I have flashROM dumps that are not sourced from my console that don't work. I am attaching two files, Japanese flash dump and European flash dump, these are sourced from TOSEC, NOT my own console. Neither of these flash dumps work and they DO have a partition 3 that is not overwritten with 0xFF. Their flash partitions have game entries in them. https://mega.nz/#!Tt1VhKZT!yNEqPueSEFQ1Do8nT2PWwkRP--kLG-bfutwZ6yesbEk

    I don't know what triggered it to start working yesterday though. I didn't do anything special or play Dreamcast or anything like that between all these attempts to get Fish Life working. FYI after experimenting a billion times with the JP flash file it works. But copying it back from TOSEC makes it not work anymore.

    Something at some point is writing to partition 3 and making Fish Life like it, but I don't know what it is. So basically you can expect that the current images being distributed will work on some Dreamcasts, and not others, and there's more at play here than just whether the DC Checker has been run.

    So the question is --
    1. Can this be patched in the image so that it doesn't bug out anymore,
    and/or
    2. Is there a program for DC that allows the user to write to partition 3 at will? I think Dreamshell just read/writes the 8K factory settings partition, not the entire writeable flashrom
     
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  16. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    I hereby request an apology, a beer, and a poem. (jk)

    Seriously though that's a very peculiar and specific issue, @japanese_cake shouldn't feel too bad that he missed it.
     
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  17. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Not intending to make anyone feel bad, lol.

    But I don't think it's a "very specific" issue, like I said, it's not only consoles that have had DC Checker run on them, that's just an example of one way to trigger it. There are flashROMs floating around the internet, including the standard ones that are part of TOSEC, which have nothing to do with my consoles, that exhibit this problem. Fish Life was meant to be run on a specific piece of hardware with an expected flashROM, and it's not working on some home consoles. We don't really know which % of consoles work and which don't work, and if some random write can fix it, a random write could possibly break it, too.

    On sizious.com where he was hosting the CDI files, he also has a screenshot of this error in nullDC, so someone else encountered it at some point other than me, timestamped from summer 2018
     
  18. -=FamilyGuy=-

    -=FamilyGuy=- Site Supporter 2049

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    I'm joking hard feelings at all.

    I meant that it's easy to overlook.
     
  19. TerdFerguson

    TerdFerguson ls ~/

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    can we get a CDI release @familyguy?
     
  20. darcagn

    darcagn Site Supporter 2013, Site Supporter 2014

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    Well, if you just absolutely cannot wait for more resolution, CDI file is here.
    http://temp.sizious.com/fishlife/fishlife-amazon-release.7z

    I'm warning though, every single flashROM image I can find on the internet from TOSEC images to images with MD5 hashes in emulator databases to old Chankast rar files that people put in flash images back in 2005, none of these work with Fish Life. There's a good chance it won't work on your consoles either.
     

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