Good is better than fast!
In the meantime, here's something interesting to play with:
Two fans have reportedly fixed the AtGames Genesis audio issues
A decade-old problem solved with a hex editor?
When we talk about Genesis clones, everyone always remember a very known issue: the audio. Companies like AtGames have been releasing Genesis clones for a decade and nearly every release has the been hampered by poor sound quality.
Earlier this year Brazilian tech company TecToy released their new Mega Drive to celebrate 30 year of partnership with SEGA. While this version is better than previous clone consoles, it shares the same Red Kid 2500 processor that has been used in AtGames systems, which means it has audio issues, as well.
But a recent discovery has been made by two fans Neto and Rafael Müller named that could completely fix the audio issues in the AtGames and TecToy Genesis systems.
The recent TecToy Genesis contained a file called md.bin on its packaged SD card. This file sends instructions to the processor to tell it how to execute the games. After a month of digging into the bin file and system, the duo made some interesting discoveries.
Most importantly, they discovered that the clock speed was wrong, which was reportedly the reason the Red Kid 2500 processor had bad audio. Adjusting the clock speed to the correct setting got the sound at about 85-90 percent accuracy of the original Genesis.
Upon hearing this news, fans began messaging TecToy requesting that the company implement this as an official update, and surprising enough, TecToy has announced that they’ll do just that.
Neto and Rafael didn’t stop their work with the TecToy Mega Drive, though. Because it and the AtGames’ Genesis clones and handhelds share the same processor, the two were able to implement this fix on one of their handhelds.
This is pretty impressive work that the duo were able to solve a decade-old problem by using a hex decimal editor and Assembly. Neto and Rafael deserve a lot of credit for fixing a problem that big companies did not have the courage to fix.
If you want to try this fix, take the following steps:
- Download the latest firmware for the new Mega Drive;
- Inside the file, you will have two files the MDI.BIN (New Mega Drive) and Neto_Boot_Loader.BIN (Portable Mega Drive);
- Place the Neto_Boot_Loader.BIN file in the GAME folder and through the MD Play menu load it through the SD option;
- From now, all the functions will be the same as the new TecToy Mega Drive with all the benefits of applied patches.
Unfortunately, I can't get it to work on my white 2016 USA AtGames Genesis portable, aside from loading the debugger. It looks like you should be able to rename ROMs and run them through this modified menu so they would sound better, but someone smarter than me will need to see if it works on anything we non-Brazilians might have.
Even if you get it going, I suspect it would only work on the SD card games, which means no save states. The Phantasy Star games were the most impacted by craptacular sound and music, in my opinion, and they're loooooong multi-session games that need a save function to be fun.