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Yet Another Dreamcast Developer.

Snow Surfers EURO - 60Hz/VGA Patch
As I said in my previous post, I don't have much time to work on game patches or the next version of my custom bios. That though does not necessarily mean I can't quickly talk about what I worked on few weeks ago! I have a couple of game patches ready or almost ready and today I'm releasing an easy one. As usual, it is a 60Hz/VGA patch that you need to apply to the boot file (1ST_READ.BIN). Snow Surfers is one of those games that which have a specific name for each region: Snow Surfers in Europe, Rippin' Riders Snowboarding in the US and Cool Boarders Burrrn! in Japan. Not particularly helpful but funny though. It was one of the Dreamcast launch titles, at least in Europe. It is a pretty good game and playable up to 4 players.

Download: jc-snows-60hz-vga.zip

Next and last point: custom bios. In addition to small patches that ease the Dreamcast's use, the next version of my custom bios will also embed two new features. One can easily be guessed from the pic below. For the other one, I let you imagine or wait, depending on your mood. I know that it looks a bit shitty but I need really more time to understand how I can re-use the internal graphics. (Time that of course I don't have...)

DC custom BIOS with devkit intro
First of all, thanks to Link83 who made that possible by releasing his regionfree+devkit intro BIOS a while ago.
So today, you know what I am talking about, I release my custom bootROM, with the same features as the one released previously, except that that one has the devkit intro. And of course, it works on the real hardware :)

Download: jc-bootROM-devkit-v1.030.zip
Download: jc-bootROM-retail-v1.030.zip (it's exactly the same BIOS file, just the Readme file has been slightly updated)

To make sure you get what I release, here are the sha1 hashes:

  • jc-bootROM-retail-v1.030.bin: 1F385633B2438BAA1984C1194021DCA967B8D095

  • jc-bootROM-devkit-v1.030.bin: 96A4B580E26B1DC696004757F588647B8172961A

About note about my VGA/60hz patches: soon, I may not have enough time to work on that until this summer. I've made progress with some 240p games (like Bangai-o, KOF, etc.) but not enough to consider them as "patchable". I thought first that it would something to do with the graphic library that was too old to stretch the game to fit he VGA resolution, but my guess now is that I have to play with the frame buffer and double the pixels and the lines. Don't know whether it is going to have impacts on the performances though. Let's wait and see!

Another day, another patch: WWF Attitude (PAL/EURO) 60hz and VGA patch

Today, I release another patch someone asked for. I don't know whether I will have enough time to patch them all, specially when developpers decide to do weird stuff (ugly code?)... I noticed that in the first screens with the intro movies the VGA mode is enabled but not anymore once you reach the press start button screen. Well, if you read the code, everything makes sense then. The game initializes 3 times the graphic libraries. And yes I use the plural form of library here because it uses two libraries: one for playing the intro movies and another one for the game itself. I'm pretty sure that if one day I meet a former employee from Acclaim, he would tell me that they ran out of time when the product guy asked them to put intro movies in the game. Anyway, I can't and won't blame anyone here, specially when it is a nice game to play. Thanks Acclaim!

Download: jc-wwfa-60hz-vga.zip

DC custom BIOS
Hi there,

There is something I wanted to share before going any further in the bootROM/BIOS hacking for the Dreamcast. It is a modified BIOS base on the version 1.01d of the retail one.
Copy/paste of the readme:

  • Region free: boot GD/CD from any regions. The J/U/E flags as well as the area protection slots that reside in the AIP (A.K.A. IP.BIN) are now simply ignored.

  • No VGA flag check: no matter if the game supports the VGA output, the lets it boot. There are games that supports the VGA cable but for some reason the VGA flag in the AIP is not set. The use of a boot CD thus was needed. Now, you will never get the annoying "This game doesn't support the AV cable that is currently connected to the main console" anymore.

  • Bootfile extent check: allow a game to boot even if its bootfile, more commonly called 1ST_READ.BIN, is not located on the outer part of the disc. I don't know whether it can be of any use for people using discs. However, for the lucky owners of ODDE for Dreamcast, you can re-build games' track 3 without any padding. For instance, with "Dreamkey 3.0 v1.001 (2001)(Sega)(PAL)(M8)[!]", the track03.bin is ~1.10GB. Re-building the track (track03.iso) using the following command: mkisofs -C 0,45000 -V DREAMKEY3 -G IP.BIN -l -o track03.iso data will made the track03.iso way smaller (only ~93MB). Homebrews can also be rebuilt to GDI so that the 0GDTEXT.PVR texture shows up in the audio player :)

  • Display bootROM version: the current version of the bootROM appears in the up-right corner of the screen.

Download: jc-bootROM-v1.030.zip

I hope it will make the VGA freaks happy: no more boot disc required! (Except for some games but no worries, I'm going tackles them down soon :)

Resident Evil: Code Veronica EURO - 60Hz/VGA Patch
Enjoy the 60hz and VGA!
Need to patch other European versions... I'm thinking of the dutch and french ones. Are there any other version?

Download: jc-recve-60hz-vga.zip

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