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Questions about original 5-in-1 Jakks Pacific Namco TV Games unit


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#1 Mingy Jongo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:42 PM

I'm taking about the one with Pac-Man, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Rally-X, and Bosconian, originally released as a yellow/purple color-schemed 4-way joystick and later as a "pocket" edition with an 8-way directional pad (which makes Bosconian all the better). Does anyone know if this is an NES-on-a-chip or something different, and if it has been dumped to an NES rom or MAME? Despite not being arcade accurate and the sound being way off, the gameplay of most of the five titles on it are among my favorite ports of those games, and I noticed that MAME supports a couple later, rarer plug and plays like the Radica Taito one and wondered if this one, one of the most common units of them all, had been dumped despite having difficulty finding anything online.


Edited by Mingy Jongo, Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:43 PM.


#2 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:48 PM

I don't think it's a NOAC and I doubt it's been dumped.

This guy would know.
http://pnp-info.angelfire.com/
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#3 Mingy Jongo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:21 PM

Thanks, PM sent. I'm kinda surprised the Radica Taito and Tetris ones have been dumped and are already implemented in MAME, but not this one. If anyone that knows how to do it needs one I'd be happy to send one their way.


Edited by Mingy Jongo, Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:22 PM.


#4 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:27 PM

I can tell you that it the games are definitely not MAME. Bosconian doesn't play so great using only four controllwrs and the ROM is considerably different and better on the later Jakks pnp sticks. Did Dug is definitely not arcade port, and while I also dont think they are using NES roms, Im not sure what they were using.

For the record, I think that this first version was the best quality stick they came out with until the last aracade ones. The Namco collections after that were so flaky regarding QC. And the four wag stick makes playing Pac Man and Dig Dug really fun. I really enjoyed it actually, amd helped start me get back into retro gaming quite a bit.

#5 Mingy Jongo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:43 PM

Like I said, I know that they aren't emulations and as ports are nowhere near close to the arcade versions -- I just really like their difficulty balance and fun factor. Bosconian supports 8-way even on the original release -- it's just that you cannot physically press two directions at the same time without modification. There is a lesser-known and rarer "pocket" version containing the exact same program where you can go 8-way, and as it is a directional pad and not a joystick the other games still control excellently. Upon noticing the relatively high-framerate scrolling without artifacts on Rally-X though I agree that it probably isn't an NES rom.



#6 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:16 PM

Does anyone know if this is an NES-on-a-chip or something different,


Got your PM, but I saw this thread upon logging in and figured I may as well just respond here. It isn't a NOAC. Anonymously provided information from someone in the know, posted in a different forum well over a decade ago, reported that the early Jakks Pacific TV Games systems (including this first Namco unit) were built on Winbond microcontrollers. Jakks only did a few models on that architecture before switching to Sunplus, and then Generalplus microcontrollers. I have a lot of data on these later systems, but that's as concrete as it gets for the Winbond-based models. I suspect that the original source of the info is someone I've spoken to before, but this person is reluctant to discuss specifics nowadays, so the best detail I can offer is that I believe the Winbond chip in question is a member of the W55x family, like the W55V91, a 65C816-compatible chip targeted for "TV-toy applications," as its datasheet says.

Incidentally, if I remember right, the only Jakks Namco systems that had 8-way joysticks were the 2004 model headlined by Ms. Pac-Man (light blue case, yellow ball-top joystick) and its wireless (infrared) variant, which looks quite different and adds Bosconian and New Rally-X to the game selection. This Bosconian is not the same port as the one in Jakks' first Namco unit, due to the underlying hardware switch; the games from the original model were reprogrammed for Sunplus architecture in the later models in Jakks' Namco series, and thus this Bosconian gets a boost not only from the 8-way controller in the wireless Ms. Pac-Man unit, but also from its inclusion of voice alerts like in the original arcade game.

I had no idea that the Radica Taito system (which I don't think is rare, or at least it wasn't) had been added to MAME compatibility. Judging from YouTube search results, it looks like that was fairly recent, about a year ago, and the system was, as I'd thought, based on a NOAC.
 

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Fixed; I know what you really mean. ;)

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#7 Mingy Jongo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:50 PM

Thanks for the info!

 

 

Incidentally, if I remember right, the only Jakks Namco systems that had 8-way joysticks were the 2004 model headlined by Ms. Pac-Man (light blue case, yellow ball-top joystick) and its wireless (infrared) variant, which looks quite different and adds Bosconian and New Rally-X to the game selection. This Bosconian is not the same port as the one in Jakks' first Namco unit, due to the underlying hardware switch; the games from the original model were reprogrammed for Sunplus architecture in the later models in Jakks' Namco series, and thus this Bosconian gets a boost not only from the 8-way controller in the wireless Ms. Pac-Man unit, but also from its inclusion of voice alerts like in the original arcade game.

 

That is slightly incorrect; this one definitely has 8-way control also and as far as I can tell through directly comparison, runs the exact same program as the original Namco TV Games unit, and diagonal flying in Bosconian works. I have one connected to my TV right now:

51ADTW9BQYL._SX425_.jpg

I suspect that whoever programmed the game wasn't aware of the hardware choice of the original model that limits movement to four ways, so it wasn't until this model came out that 8-way movement in Bosconian could be utilized.






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