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Thread: SD System 3 Arcade Card Game - Graphic Glitches, Crashes and Resets

  1. #1
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    SD System 3 Arcade Card Game - Graphic Glitches, Crashes and Resets

    I had a quick look but can't see any reports on these.

    The games are the neo geo conversions using the Arcade card:

    Garou Densetsu 2 - Aratanaru Tatakai
    Garou Densetsu Special
    Ryuuko no Ken
    World Heroes 2

    The above titles all have intermittent graphical glitches on sprites and backgrounds, eventually causing the game to crash and hang, or crash and reset.

    Strangely, Sapphire and Strider which are both Arcade card games seemingly work without any issues (got to the last level (stage 5) on Strider) as does normal CD games.

    I thought it may be poor ROM dumps, but I have tried around three different sets, some as .cue & .iso, others as .cue & .bin(s) and they all have problems.

    In terms of testing, I have tried two SD cards (Sandisk & Toshiba) both in exFAT and FAT32, but still the same issue.

    I'm using System Card 3.0, with held Start and Select Reset turned OFF.

    How are you getting on with these titles?
    I am not sure whether these are working fine for everyone else, or the community are not reporting as they don't bother playing these games because they already own the superior originals (although these are pretty decent conversions).

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by s. k. technique View Post
    I had a quick look but can't see any reports on these.

    The games are the neo geo conversions using the Arcade card:

    Garou Densetsu 2 - Aratanaru Tatakai
    Garou Densetsu Special
    Ryuuko no Ken
    World Heroes 2

    The above titles all have intermittent graphical glitches on sprites and backgrounds, eventually causing the game to crash and hang, or crash and reset.

    Strangely, Sapphire and Strider which are both Arcade card games seemingly work without any issues (got to the last level (stage 5) on Strider) as does normal CD games.

    I thought it may be poor ROM dumps, but I have tried around three different sets, some as .cue & .iso, others as .cue & .bin(s) and they all have problems.

    In terms of testing, I have tried two SD cards (Sandisk & Toshiba) both in exFAT and FAT32, but still the same issue.

    I'm using System Card 3.0, with held Start and Select Reset turned OFF.

    How are you getting on with these titles?
    I am not sure whether these are working fine for everyone else, or the community are not reporting as they don't bother playing these games because they already own the superior originals (although these are pretty decent conversions).
    Weird - I've been playing a ton of World Heroes, Fatal Fury Special and of course Sapphire and haven't experienced this at all - using a Sandisk Ultra 64GB Micro SDXC

    I know you probably have - but I'm assuming you've checked "use arcade card" in the options menu?

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    Is this with a regular PCE or a Supergrafx?

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    I have exactly the same problem, already informed Terraonion by Email. My hardware is a Coregrafx.

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    I am using a CoreGrafx I (blue logo).

    Yes, Arcade card is ticked (otherwise the game won't load and you get a crying Terry Bogard)

    LarsDragon - Interesting, same hardware here. I do own an original white pc engine - I will test this tonight and report back on how I get on.

  6. #6
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    Ok, I managed to try out the SDS3 (Version 2 board) with an original, unmodded white PC Engine. I was only able to try one game last night, World Heroes 2....to my surprise, it worked without any issues! I put the game on beginner and went all the way through with Hanzo to completion and didn't see a single glitch or experience a crash using the same Rom set (.cue & several .bins). When I switched over to the white pc engine, I was asked which bios to use, and I chose System 3.0.

    When I switched back to the CoreGrafx and booted up World Heroes, the graphical glitches where immediate, the first character Erick was all glitched. I also checked the EXT pins at the back of console, there is nothing bent or damaged and the SDS3 fit is nice and snug.


    I should have stated that the CoreGrafx is modded with a region switch, no idea how this was done as it was bought this way. The glitches occur no matter which region I set it to. I am not sure if the mod is a red herring given that the graphical glitches seem to be isolated to just the four Arcade Card games and not Sapphire or Strider.

    LarsDragon - Is your CoreGrafx an original, unmodded unit?

    Yodd - I see that you have the blue CoreGrafx in your review vid, I imagine you haven't experienced any of these issues?

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    My blue CoreGrafx is unmodded and EXT pins are in good status too. I think the graphical glitches are due to some concrete incompatibility with our model.

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    Same issues here under garou densetsu 2 yesterday , i had some sprite glitches and even at a moment a black screen with a reset of the game.
    The in-game trigger option is disabled , my console is also the blue CoreGrafx , stock and in near mint condition , using a good 9V 1A stabilized psu .

    I need to test more arcade card games ....

    Edit : i tested world heroes 2 for more than 30 min without any issues for me , then retested garou densetsu 2 from 2 differents sources (Redump Validated)and still had glitches and freeze with this game ...
    Last edited by greatfunky; 04-12-2018 at 12:51 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by greatfunky View Post
    Same issues here under garou densetsu 2 yesterday , i had some sprite glitches and even at a moment a black screen with a reset of the game.
    The in-game trigger option is disabled , my console is also the blue CoreGrafx , stock and in near mint condition , using a good 9V 1A stabilized psu .

    I need to test more arcade card games ....

    Edit : i tested world heroes 2 for more than 30 min without any issues for me , then retested garou densetsu 2 from 2 differents sources (Redump Validated)and still had glitches and freeze with this game ...
    Ok, it seems to boil down to some issues we found while developing the cart, let me explain:

    It seems some pce/coregfx models are really noisy inside and the digital signals aren't too "clean" and sometimes have glitches large enough to be picked as a different logic level by the level shifters. Old, slower hardware is more resilent to that noise, but fast modern hardware can pick them unintentionally when sampling the signals. The FPGA program tries to filter and ignore any glitches found, and needs the signals stable in order to accept them (as a read or write) but maybe it still needs more tweaks.
    It took a long time to make the code resilent to those issues, but it's something that can be fixed in firmware, now we just need a way to reproduce it, as the current firmware was tested to be glitch free in all our consoles (my 4 coregfx, 4 pce, 1 sgx, 1 tg16 + the ones Alex has) and our testers'.

    What I found is that the consoles with more issues were also the ones with more jailbars and rgb noise, so all this seems to be related to something inside the consoles that wears over time (maybe capacitors). That doesn't mean you need to change anything, we'll fix that in firmware, it's just a general comment about the current state of the ageing PCE consoles . I have 4 PCEs, and initial firmwares worked great on one of them, the one I used for development. One day, I switched to other one, and arcade card failed randomly. It is what I call the "cursed PCE", and my main development one ATM . It has strong jailbars, it's yellow decolored and smells of cigarrette smoke. I haven't been brave enough to open it, fearing what I could find inside .

    Also, on a side note, having a region mod installed probably adds noise to the data lines because of the longer and unsielded wires of the usual mods will pick more noise.

    Why it affects only to Arcade Card? my guess is that there are some random read/write signal glitches that happen sometimes (also I've seen the CPU repeat a read or write for no apparent reason, probably pipelining) but they don't affect the game as there aren't usually any side effects and reading or writting twice the same address in the SSDS3 is mostly harmless (that's not really true, especially with cd registers, but they are very filtered and accessed slowly, but mostly is) but the arcade card, as every read or write to the data port increases the reading address, an erroneously repeated read or write causes a big difference, shifting the data, and causing severe graphic glitches.
    Last edited by neodev; 04-13-2018 at 03:24 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by s. k. technique View Post
    I had a quick look but can't see any reports on these.

    The games are the neo geo conversions using the Arcade card:

    Garou Densetsu 2 - Aratanaru Tatakai
    Garou Densetsu Special
    Ryuuko no Ken
    World Heroes 2

    The above titles all have intermittent graphical glitches on sprites and backgrounds, eventually causing the game to crash and hang, or crash and reset.
    I tested these titles out lastnight with this setup:

    In-Game Trigger Off
    Composite connections
    256gb Evo+ card
    Core Grafx II (unmodded w/original NEC PSU)

    I didn't experience any reported issues after 5-10min of use with the exception of "Garou Densetsu 2 - Aratanaru Tatakai". It crashed during gameplay requiring a reboot power off/on cycle. Perhaps I would've seen issues with the other titles had a played longer than 10min?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by neodev View Post
    Ok, it seems to boil down to some issues we found while developing the cart, let me explain:

    It seems some pce/coregfx models are really noisy inside and the digital signals aren't too "clean" and sometimes have glitches large enough to be picked as a different logic level by the level shifters. Old, slower hardware is more resilent to that noise, but fast modern hardware can pick them unintentionally when sampling the signals. The FPGA program tries to filter and ignore any glitches found, and needs the signals stable in order to accept them (as a read or write) but maybe it still needs more tweaks.
    It took a long time to make the code resilent to those issues, but it's something that can be fixed in firmware, now we just need a way to reproduce it, as the current firmware was tested to be glitch free in all our consoles (my 4 coregfx, 4 pce, 1 sgx, 1 tg16 + the ones Alex has) and our testers'.

    What I found is that the consoles with more issues were also the ones with more jailbars and rgb noise, so all this seems to be related to something inside the consoles that wears over time (maybe capacitors). That doesn't mean you need to change anything, we'll fix that in firmware, it's just a general comment about the current state of the ageing PCE consoles . I have 4 PCEs, and initial firmwares worked great on one of them, the one I used for development. One day, I switched to other one, and arcade card failed randomly. It is what I call the "cursed PCE", and my main development one ATM . It has strong jailbars, it's yellow decolored and smells of cigarrette smoke. I haven't been brave enough to open it, fearing what I could find inside .

    Also, on a side note, having a region mod installed probably adds noise to the data lines because of the longer and unsielded wires of the usual mods will pick more noise.

    Why it affects only to Arcade Card? my guess is that there are some random read/write signal glitches that happen sometimes (also I've seen the CPU repeat a read or write for no apparent reason, probably pipelining) but they don't affect the game as there aren't usually any side effects and reading or writting twice the same address in the SSDS3 is mostly harmless (that's not really true, especially with cd registers, but they are very filtered and accessed slowly, but mostly is) but the arcade card, as every read or write to the data port increases the reading address, an erroneously repeated read or write causes a big difference, shifting the data, and causing severe graphic glitches.
    Thanks for all these details neodev , i don't own my coregrafx for a very long time (few weeks before my SSDS3) and i was expecting jailbars like my duo-r and ready to fix it .

    But honestly i couldn't find one : the picture is perfect via SSDS3 output, even with my low cost RGB cable.

    Anyway , i'm very confident , you'll hunt down these issues and fix it, as ever ....

    Quote Originally Posted by monads View Post
    I tested these titles out lastnight with this setup:

    In-Game Trigger Off
    Composite connections
    256gb Evo+ card
    Core Grafx II (unmodded w/original NEC PSU)

    I didn't experience any reported issues after 5-10min of use with the exception of "Garou Densetsu 2 - Aratanaru Tatakai". It crashed during gameplay requiring a reboot power off/on cycle. Perhaps I would've seen issues with the other titles had a played longer than 10min?
    Very interesting , i just finished Garou Densetsu Special and Ryuuko no Ken without any glitches , so my issue seems to be only with Garou Densetsu 2 , just like you ....

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by greatfunky View Post
    Thanks for all these details neodev , i don't own my coregrafx for a very long time (few weeks before my SSDS3) and i was expecting jailbars like my duo-r and ready to fix it .

    But honestly i couldn't find one : the picture is perfect via SSDS3 output, even with my low cost RGB cable.

    Anyway , i'm very confident , you'll hunt down these issues and fix it, as ever ....


    Very interesting , i just finished Garou Densetsu Special and Ryuuko no Ken without any glitches , so my issue seems to be only with Garou Densetsu 2 , just like you ....
    I recall FF2 being especially weird in the arcade card behaviour, it might also be that something is not completely right yet in the AC emulation, or something not properly initialized. I definitely need to take a look at that game again.

    Also, I recall it sent some strange or incomplete commands to the CD block too.
    Last edited by neodev; 04-13-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks neodev for taking the time to give a detailed explanation. Good luck with the fix, is there any further testing I can do to help?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by s. k. technique View Post
    Thanks neodev for taking the time to give a detailed explanation. Good luck with the fix, is there any further testing I can do to help?
    There is beta firmware available upon request over on the Terra Onion forums...probably a good idea to retest these games with the new firmware if possible.

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