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#1 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:34 PM

I know this probably sounds a little weird, but does anyone have a collection of all (or most) of the known existing bad dumps of VCS ROMs that continue to be found on the internet? It may include overdumps, or not -- file size alone is usually enough of a giveaway when I find overdumps. I'd like to have the bad dump files for comparison purposes, to minimize redundancy in my collection.

#2 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 1, 2010 1:55 AM

Just wanted to say this is a real good idea, A.J.


I've thought about something similar, like writing some stella.pro files for bad dumps (those ones that don't crash in Stella). I just don't have the time.

#3 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:42 PM

Here's my preliminary collection of possible bad dumps.

Attached File  Bad Dumps questionable.zip   1005.59KB   168 downloads

However, when using Anti-Twin to compare these files to my regular binaries collection, several of the "bad dumps" match the (apparently good) only version I have of some files. I'd like some independendent input as to whether any of these allegedly bad dumps are actually good, before I go deleting good .BINs from my collection.

Note that two files I know are only sort-of technically bad, are the Party Mix Supercharger combined files. Unlike other Supercharger multi-load games, Party Mix is three separate loads to be selected depending on which game you want to play -- not a sequential multi-load game. So a combined binary of all three loads is pointless, as there would then be no way to play the second or third load games.

Also, the Dukes of Hazzard (original game, not the Stunt Cycle hack) file may be merely an overdump. But I can't find any other version of it.

#4 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:33 PM

Here's my preliminary collection of possible bad dumps.

Attached File  Bad Dumps questionable.zip   1005.59KB   168 downloads

However, when using Anti-Twin to compare these files to my regular binaries collection, several of the "bad dumps" match the (apparently good) only version I have of some files. I'd like some independendent input as to whether any of these allegedly bad dumps are actually good, before I go deleting good .BINs from my collection.

Note that two files I know are only sort-of technically bad, are the Party Mix Supercharger combined files. Unlike other Supercharger multi-load games, Party Mix is three separate loads to be selected depending on which game you want to play -- not a sequential multi-load game. So a combined binary of all three loads is pointless, as there would then be no way to play the second or third load games.

Also, the Dukes of Hazzard (original game, not the Stunt Cycle hack) file may be merely an overdump. But I can't find any other version of it.

Just read this and I'm speechless.

Franzman, we've been sorting out the good ROMs from the bad ROMs for several years now and now you come up with this request?

Please download my ROM collection instead.

8)

#5 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:46 AM

I have your V5 rom collection, Rom. But I also have many, many more binaries from the Hacks & Homebrews collection, AA forum posts, various websites, and "other sources" ;) . Among them, there are unfortunately several files of which I seem to have only one version, which were identified at some point by "GoodTools" or others as being bad dumps.

Do you have (or could you easily assemble) a collection of roms that have been removed from what is now your V5 collection, identified as to why they were removed (bad dumps, overdumps, underdumps, wrong name, etc.)? How about earlier versions V1-V4 of the collection?

#6 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:50 AM

I don't have any bad dumps anymore.

I'm glad I got rid of them.

Also, I don't have any older versions of my collection.

In fact, I plead for deleting all old era (1977-1992) ROM .bin filenames in the Stella.pro file that are not in the V6 collection, to avoid any future mix up of good and bad dumps.

I spoke to Stephena about this last year and I really hope he will do this.

BTW: my V6 collection will be online within two weeks from now.

Besides many updates of the V5 collection, it will also feature a Harmony Cart friendly ROM set of all known to exist original old era ROMs.

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:55 AM.


#7 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:22 AM

I have your V5 rom collection, Rom. But I also have many, many more binaries from the Hacks & Homebrews collection, AA forum posts, various websites, and "other sources" ;) . Among them, there are unfortunately several files of which I seem to have only one version, which were identified at some point by "GoodTools" or others as being bad dumps.

Do you have (or could you easily assemble) a collection of roms that have been removed from what is now your V5 collection, identified as to why they were removed (bad dumps, overdumps, underdumps, wrong name, etc.)? How about earlier versions V1-V4 of the collection?


I've given up on Goodtools (as far as VCS roms are concerned)...it is not a reliable source for such information. Many times, the rom file flagged as "good" [!] was the first one to appear on the 'net - whether or not it was an accurate dump. Of course, those marked as [B]ad or [O]verdump have a correct description...but those marked as [a]lternate happened WAY too often.

http://www.atariage....ions-and-dumps/

Hacks & homebrews...anything goes (because they themselves may have been assembled wrong in the first place to create the required filesize). So once again, Goodtools is no help there. You'd also run into the problem of X number of variations existing in the Goodtools library, due to an inordinate number of WIP versions that basically should be ignored once a final release has been created.

Best strategy is to grab any and all previous versions of H&H roms and dump them into a seperate directory (keeping only the files that have the latest date). That cleans up your playfile directory, and you can still hang onto the older versions should you ever want to revisit them. It's not like they take a lotta space on your HD ;)

#8 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:46 AM

I have your V5 rom collection, Rom. But I also have many, many more binaries from the Hacks & Homebrews collection, AA forum posts, various websites, and "other sources" ;) . Among them, there are unfortunately several files of which I seem to have only one version, which were identified at some point by "GoodTools" or others as being bad dumps.

Do you have (or could you easily assemble) a collection of roms that have been removed from what is now your V5 collection, identified as to why they were removed (bad dumps, overdumps, underdumps, wrong name, etc.)? How about earlier versions V1-V4 of the collection?


I've given up on Goodtools (as far as VCS roms are concerned)...it is not a reliable source for such information. Many times, the rom file flagged as "good" [!] was the first one to appear on the 'net - whether or not it was an accurate dump. Of course, those marked as [B]ad or [O]verdump have a correct description...but those marked as [a]lternate happened WAY too often.

http://www.atariage....ions-and-dumps/

Hacks & homebrews...anything goes (because they themselves may have been assembled wrong in the first place to create the required filesize). So once again, Goodtools is no help there. You'd also run into the problem of X number of variations existing in the Goodtools library, due to an inordinate number of WIP versions that basically should be ignored once a final release has been created.

Best strategy is to grab any and all previous versions of H&H roms and dump them into a seperate directory (keeping only the files that have the latest date). That cleans up your playfile directory, and you can still hang onto the older versions should you ever want to revisit them. It's not like they take a lotta space on your HD ;)

Exactly my thoughts.

8)

#9 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:38 PM

I appreciate AJ's efforts here. I don't have time to help him or I would. I often find people posting a "new" version of a rom because they can't find it in Rom Hunters set. Then I have to hunt and search to find out if it's been dumped before, and if it's bad, alternate, etc...


But a set of all bad roms is easy to compare. Just fire up Clonespy and let it do it's thing.


IMHO Stella should also flag some dumps as bad. I'm talking the bad dumps we've uncovered. Not the many WIP of homebrews or anything.

#10 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:02 PM

Also there are a couple of roms or so that haven't been put in your set yet, Rom. We discovered them testing the new Harmony dumper. One is a Miner 2049er alternate, the other is a variant of Mr. Do's Castle.

The Miner rom I feel very comfortable with as I can look at the straight hex and tell it is code in the different places. Buzbard did a dump that matches the rom out there on the net, and AJ and I both got exact dumps of this variant. So we have confirmed both roms as good. What is left is disassembly to figure out which actually came first, and what the differences exactly do. I have been way too busy to do so though. My time won't be getting much better soon either.

The Mr. Do's Castle is a little more tricky. I'm really hoping we can get another dump of a Mr. Do's cart. While I feel AJ is getting a true dump, I'm unsure if his cart is damaged for example. Another possibility is his dump is perfect, and the dump out there is bad? Maybe they both are good and they are alternates? Who knows. I'm been to busy to look at this too.

#11 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:02 AM

With respect to some of the suggestions above for Stella, some of these things are definitely doable, IF I can find the time. I'd like to clean out the stella.pro file too, and have it based on known good ROMs (from RomHunter set). However, my main concern has always been that there's still some value in some of the homebrews and hacks, and I don't want to remove them completely. Put another way, I don't necessarily think that the RomHunter collection is a definitive collection of all *useful* ROMs. It is definitely a perfect collection for those that want accurately dated ROMs which were released on real carts. But as such, it isn't all-encompassing.

I guess my real problem is how to prune the stella.pro file to only include what we consider *valid*. RomHunter sets are definitely valid, but there's some debate about the remaining ROMs. Related to this, I'm wondering what the rationale is to exclude ROMs from the database. I know what *my* reason is (to make updates easier), but for what other reasons would other people want this done??

#12 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:03 AM

I appreciate AJ's efforts here. I don't have time to help him or I would. I often find people posting a "new" version of a rom because they can't find it in Rom Hunters set. Then I have to hunt and search to find out if it's been dumped before, and if it's bad, alternate, etc...


But a set of all bad roms is easy to compare. Just fire up Clonespy and let it do it's thing.


IMHO Stella should also flag some dumps as bad. I'm talking the bad dumps we've uncovered. Not the many WIP of homebrews or anything.

First problem is, how do you recognize a 'bad' dump code-wise? And secondly, after it's been recognized, how do you 'flag' it??

#13 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:11 AM

I've given up on Goodtools (as far as VCS roms are concerned)...it is not a reliable source for such information. Many times, the rom file flagged as "good" [!] was the first one to appear on the 'net - whether or not it was an accurate dump. Of course, those marked as [B]ad or [O]verdump have a correct description...but those marked as [a]lternate happened WAY too often.

Based on suggestions above, I can see eventually adding GoodTools functionality in Stella directly. When you think about it, it already has most the infrastructure needed. It contains an internal database, which can be overrided by an external database (stella.pro). It can rename files with the 'Rom Audit' feature. And it's based on the latest version of RomHunters release. This sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately it's yet another thing to add to the TODO list ...

Thinking about this a little more, the ROM launcher in Stella could be extended to actually use the 'Cartridge.Rarity' database property, and only show ROMs with a specific rarity. Coupled with an extensive update of stella.pro to include valid, updated info for 'Cartridge.Rarity', the output in the ROM launcher could work much more like a real database front-end, and actually make use of database fields in the back-end. And once that was present, one could then choose to only show *real* ROMs from RomHunter, include hacks and homebrews, etc. Basically, include functionality similar to what's in the x26 front-end.

#14 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:38 AM

First problem is, how do you recognize a 'bad' dump code-wise? And secondly, after it's been recognized, how do you 'flag' it??


We've recognized lots of bad dumps in the rom comparison thread. In terms of flagging it, I simply mean change the stella.pro file so instead of:

Yars' Revenge (1982) Atari


You have:

Yars' Revenge [bad dump] for the bad dump

or:

Yars' Revenge [b]

Then if there are more it starts at [b1], then [b2], etc... Thats what I mean by flagging it. Letting the user know it's a bad dump so they don't need to ask.

#15 stephena OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:29 AM


First problem is, how do you recognize a 'bad' dump code-wise? And secondly, after it's been recognized, how do you 'flag' it??


We've recognized lots of bad dumps in the rom comparison thread. In terms of flagging it, I simply mean change the stella.pro file so instead of:

Yars' Revenge (1982) Atari


You have:

Yars' Revenge [bad dump] for the bad dump

or:

Yars' Revenge [b]

Then if there are more it starts at [b1], then [b2], etc... Thats what I mean by flagging it. Letting the user know it's a bad dump so they don't need to ask.

Well if that's all there is to it, it would suffice to send me a text file of ROM MD5's indicating the ROMs to be flagged with '[b]'. Alternatively, you could check out the latest version of stella.pro from the SVN repository and make the changes yourself (and then send me the file).

#16 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:20 AM

What about using checksums?

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#17 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:26 AM

What about using checksums?

That's what Stella does - runs MD5 against the ROM image to get a unique id.

Stella MD5.png

#18 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:28 AM


What about using checksums?

That's what Stella does - runs MD5 against the ROM image to get a unique id.

Stella MD5.png

Ah ok. I've never actually poked around in Stella, I've been using Z26 all this time. I really do need to play around with it now though.

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#19 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:53 AM


First problem is, how do you recognize a 'bad' dump code-wise? And secondly, after it's been recognized, how do you 'flag' it??


We've recognized lots of bad dumps in the rom comparison thread. In terms of flagging it, I simply mean change the stella.pro file so instead of:

Yars' Revenge (1982) Atari


You have:

Yars' Revenge [bad dump] for the bad dump

or:

Yars' Revenge [b]

Then if there are more it starts at [b1], then [b2], etc... Thats what I mean by flagging it. Letting the user know it's a bad dump so they don't need to ask.

Really, Omega.

Does all the work of flagging all the bad and overdumped VCS ROMs on the internet weigh up to the confusion of a person who wants to know if a certain ROM that's not in the collection is bad or not?

Stephena, about the removing of filenames: I was only talking about old era bad and overdumped ROMs, not post 1992 hacks and homebrew ROMs (IMO these need to be named as well, although it's a hell of a job to do it correctly and most certainly not mine anymore).

IMO it's the best way to check if a certain old era ROM is bad or not: if it doesn't have a Stella.pro filename, it's either bad or just dumped.

Newly dumped old era ROMs not already in the collection will eventually be added to it and filenamed anyway.

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter, Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:04 PM.


#20 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:42 PM

Ah ok. I've never actually poked around in Stella, I've been using Z26 all this time. I really do need to play around with it now though.

Back in the 90s, when Stella was way before the 1.0 release, I did the OS/2 port - Stella/2. I contributed the idea of doing the checksum to ID the cartridge. Before that you would set up a companion file for the ROMs that couldn't use the default settings. It had the file name, but with .vcs as the extension, and was typically only needed to set the paddle, PAL, etc games. My initial demo checksum routine only hashed the first 1K of the ROM. It worked OK for proof of concept, though we did have a few dupes. The dupes weren't a big issue though as they were all hacked variations of a game where the hack was outside of the hashed ROM section. For the official implementation Brad changed the hash routine to use MD5, and to also hash the entire ROM so that hacks would get a unique ID.

One unique thing I did for the OS/2 port was to show you the control the game was using, as well as the state of the TV and left & right difficulty switches:
stellaslideshow.gif

Edited by SpiceWare, Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:44 PM.


#21 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:03 PM

I don't have any bad dumps anymore.

I'm glad I got rid of them.

Also, I don't have any older versions of my collection.
[...]
BTW: my V6 collection will be online within two weeks from now.

Besides many updates of the V5 collection, it will also feature a Harmony Cart friendly ROM set of all known to exist original old era ROMs.

The text file you included with the V5 set is little more than a list of filenames. For V6, are you doing anything different? It would be extremely helpful to have a "history" document, detailing exactly what changed between each version of the collection-- files added, files deleted (and why), files renamed, etc. Do you have any of that information for any previous versions of your collection? Do you at least have it for changes between V5 and V6?

Does anyone have any older versions of Rom's collection that you could send me?

#22 Omegamatrix OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:23 PM

Well if that's all there is to it, it would suffice to send me a text file of ROM MD5's indicating the ROMs to be flagged with '[b]'. Alternatively, you could check out the latest version of stella.pro from the SVN repository and make the changes yourself (and then send me the file).



I'll see what I can do, probably next week though. I'm getting ready for school, and moving at the same time. I will help you on this though.


Really, Omega.

Does all the work of flagging all the bad and overdumped VCS ROMs on the internet weigh up to the confusion of a person who wants to know if a certain ROM that's not in the collection is bad or not?


Yes, really.


I don't think you understand, Rom. Not everyone uses your master rom set. A lot people have roms here, there, and from everywhere. It's nice to have Stella quickly tell if a version is a known bad dump, and it's also very easy to do with the Stella.pro files.



Does anyone have any older versions of Rom's collection that you could send me?


I do. Just give me a few minutes and I'll PM them to you. The best thing to do is make a copy of the older folder. Then compare and delete with Clonespy. Compare to the newest version available (V5 in this case). Clonespy will delete all the duplicates in the older folder if you tell it, and whatever is leftover will have been removed from Rom Hunters collection for whatever reason.


This type of deleting is also the first thing I do when Rom releases a new rom set. It quickly sorts out the new roms from the old for me. Then I use Stella's awesome renamer function to get rid of all the long file names (sorry Rom, I don't like them). :) I like the information you've gathered, I always look it up on Atarimania when I need it, but cramming every bit of information into a filename just isn't for me.

#23 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:27 AM

I don't have any bad dumps anymore.

I'm glad I got rid of them.

Also, I don't have any older versions of my collection.
[...]
BTW: my V6 collection will be online within two weeks from now.

Besides many updates of the V5 collection, it will also feature a Harmony Cart friendly ROM set of all known to exist original old era ROMs.

The text file you included with the V5 set is little more than a list of filenames. For V6, are you doing anything different? It would be extremely helpful to have a "history" document, detailing exactly what changed between each version of the collection-- files added, files deleted (and why), files renamed, etc. Do you have any of that information for any previous versions of your collection? Do you at least have it for changes between V5 and V6?

Nope.

It's too much work.

There's a lot of renaming going on with little bits and pieces of info constantly added.

I'm not going to keep track of that.

I promise I will keep track of a list of deleted and replaced ROMs in the future, but not one of renamed ROMs.

8)

#24 Rom Hunter OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:35 AM

The best thing to do is make a copy of the older folder. Then compare and delete with Clonespy. Compare to the newest version available (V5 in this case). Clonespy will delete all the duplicates in the older folder if you tell it, and whatever is leftover will have been removed from Rom Hunters collection for whatever reason.

This type of deleting is also the first thing I do when Rom releases a new rom set. It quickly sorts out the new roms from the old for me.

Easy as pie indeed.

Then I use Stella's awesome renamer function to get rid of all the long file names (sorry Rom, I don't like them). :) I like the information you've gathered, I always look it up on Atarimania when I need it, but cramming every bit of information into a filename just isn't for me.

For me it is.

With the help of the X26 search engine, I can look up all the information I need within a split second and play the game instantly.

Looking it up in Atarimania takes way more time for me.

8)

#25 A.J. Franzman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 15, 2010 4:25 PM

Thanks to Jeff, I now have V2, V3 and V4 of Rom's collection. Does anyone happen to have V1?

As I understand it, the Hacks & Homebrews collection (now V1.2b, sorted) also originated with R.H. Does anyone have V1.1, 1.0 or older of that collection?

I'm planning to generate some sort of history documents for these updates, including at the very least, files added and files deleted. I may also include files renamed (info changed or deleted) and files renamed (info added), as long as that doesn't involve every single file in an archive! :woozy:




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