Anyone tried Fantastic Dizzy on Master System or Game Gear?

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Bag of Magic Food
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Anyone tried Fantastic Dizzy on Master System or Game Gear?

Post by Bag of Magic Food » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:12 pm

I first heard about Regen yesterday when a friend recommended it for its higher emulation accuracy, the sound emulation in particular. I know someone who's been wanting to record gameplay footage of the "Sega 8-bit" versions of Fantastic Dizzy (as in NOT GENESIS, sorry), so when I heard that Regen also emulated older Sega consoles and had full input and video recording capabilities, I thought, "Great! A more accurate emulator ought to handle Fantastic Dizzy and record it just fine!"

But unfortunately, on both the Master System and Game Gear ROMs I have, Regen fell prey to a familiar bug that freezes the game. What's frustrating is that I don't know what triggers it exactly, the timing just seems random, but it always happens very early into the game, usually only a few seconds after gaining control of Dizzy, but sometimes I can go for a whole minute before it happens. I don't think it ever occurs on the inventory menu or during the automated title sequence, where Dizzy plants a beanstalk to jump onto his name, but it has happened during some of the demos where Dizzy is just standing around in random locations.

What happens is, Dizzy will freeze where he is, all the other sprites in the playing area will disappear, and button input will cease to do anything, but the music will keep playing. After several seconds, Dizzy and his inventory items may flicker a few more times and slow down the music briefly, and after many more seconds, the music will stop, and the status bar will change palette and may shift over to the left or right a little. In re-testing this just today, I found that sometimes the game would return to normal if it was still in the music-playing part of the bug, but it could freeze up again shortly thereafter.

This bug happens in the exact same way on Kega Fusion, so I'm starting to think that this is an old, common bug that is either not well known or difficult to fix. I know other games by CodeMasters had custom mappers that are frequently the source of inaccurate emulation--like in Cosmic Spacehead on SMS/GG, some emulators will place the backgrounds too low or freeze up in the middle of a teleportation. I'm not as technically proficient as a lot of people on this forum, so this guess may be completely wrong, but I wonder if the freezing is anything like the Pause Button Hack, a way to pause the game but keep the music playing. I know the facts that sprites disappear and the music eventually does stop cast doubt on that idea, but I just thought the values in that hack might be worth looking into...

So I've also been working on finding another emulator that can play and record a whole game of this version of Fantastic Dizzy. Meka gets through the game without any hiccups, and it does have savestates, sound capture, and screenshot capture, but no true video recording, and its sound output is very stuttery anyway, so I think trying to screen-record it would just make that even worse. I was considering MESS since this one "online arcade" site uses it for a lot of things and I was able to play a whole game of Game Gear Fantastic Dizzy there, and MESS does have .Avi recording, but I downloaded it for myself and couldn't figure out how to make it recognize the files it needed to start up the game. I did find it interesting that its driver has a special CODEMASTERS setting as a hashfile feature though.

That's why I came here, because the same person who recommended Regen also recommended I submit a bug report. What does everyone else think is a good solution for Sega 8-bit Fantastic Dizzy?

Ah, before I forget, I was trying Regen 0.972D on Windows XP. Let me know if there might have been changes to that kind of mapper support that would mean I should try a different version.

AamirM
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Post by AamirM » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:52 am

Hmm...strange. Thanks for the bug report. I'll take a look at it as soon as I can.

Bag of Magic Food
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Post by Bag of Magic Food » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:20 pm

And thanks for reading the bug report! What's tricky about finding a good Master System emulator is that a lot of them are bundled in with good Genesis emulators because of Sega recycling their architecture or whatever, but then most of the attention in development appears to be on getting the Genesis emulation right, and the previous Sega consoles can start to seem a little neglected. So I appreciate you looking into it.

AamirM
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Post by AamirM » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:50 pm

Nah. If anything, emulation of the 8 bit systems might be a bit better than Genesis. :P (maybe except excluding YM2413 sound)

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