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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

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and I just found something that shocked me when using Emma02.

 

I just loaded Bingo and I pressed 4 on keypad A and it played music of "Bingo Was His Name-O"

Edited by TLD1985
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Hi there,

 

Excellent!

 

I had a very quick look at the files and noticed some errors in the st2 versions of pinball and star wars. Unfortunately fixing that didn't make them run :(. The thing is that in st2 you need to indicate which blocks (256 bytes) should be loaded. So both pinball and star wars should load to 0400, 0500, 0600 and 0700h. This means that in the st2 file 40h should show 04, 05, 06, 07. In both cases 06/07 was missing. I will have another look tomorrow to see if I find anything else.

 

I also made a st2 file of the grand pack and it does do something in Emma 02. The st2 file I made loads to 0400-07FF as well as to 0C00-0FFF. I'm not sure what it is suppose to do as the instructions I found so far are in French (sorry my French is not very good). Anyway when I press '1' it comes into this 'drawing' program that I believe is in one of the main ROMs as well.

 

If you want to try my versions:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3880958/MPT-02/mg-200-grand-pack.st2

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3880958/MPT-02/mg-203-star-wars.st2

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3880958/MPT-02/mg-205-pinball.st2

 

As said I didn't get the last two doing anything as yet.

 

Cheers, Marcel.

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Well I quickly tried your .st2 of Grandpack and appears to work ok. :)

 

Grandpack is just all the inbuilt games (clone system) on a cartridge.

 

1 for Doodle

2 for Patterns

3 for Bowling

4 for Blackjack (1 player)

5 for Blackjack (2 player)

 

they all loaded on Emma as expected.

Edited by TLD1985

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So just to confirm the Euro-games are identical to the US-games and it's just header information that's been added later? If so that just leaves TV Arcade II: Fun with Numbers to be dumped..

 

 

So has the euro game Flipper been dumped ? or is it the same as another game with a different title ?

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So has the euro game Flipper been dumped ? or is it the same as another game with a different title ?

 

"Flipper" was Mustang 9016's (German clone) name for "Pinball".

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WOW! Great!

 

I will make some videos of the new roms soon.. maybe today even! :) Bingo and Concentration match are the only ones that work for me too.

 

 

So just to confirm the Euro-games are identical to the US-games and it's just header information that's been added later? If so that just leaves TV Arcade II: Fun with Numbers to be dumped..

 

 

:)

 

Yes, the headers were added later, and all the games I was able to check are identical between the Studio II carts and MPT-02 carts. I don't know if this will always be the case, though. I particularly wonder about School House I, which is named Math and Social Studies for the Studio II and MG-209 Computer Quiz for the MPT-02. I have the question booklet for the Studio II version, and the social studies section is pretty United States-centric, even though there are some world questions. I'd expect there to be different questions for the MPT-02, possibly several different sets of questions. Of course, since the cart just has the answers, and you have to look up the questions in the booklet, maybe they could get away with using the same ROM even if the question booklets are different. I've never seen any of the MPT-02 booklets, though.

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and I just found something that shocked me when using Emma02.

 

I just loaded Bingo and I pressed 4 on keypad A and it played music of "Bingo Was His Name-O"

 

Good find! I wonder why it won't do it anymore once you start calling out numbers.

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Well I quickly tried your .st2 of Grandpack and appears to work ok. :)

 

Grandpack is just all the inbuilt games (clone system) on a cartridge.

 

1 for Doodle

2 for Patterns

3 for Bowling

4 for Blackjack (1 player)

5 for Blackjack (2 player)

 

they all loaded on Emma as expected.

 

I'm not really sure how to test this. It did seem to work on the Victory in Emma, but you can also play the same games without inserting a cart at all. I thought it might be better to test on the Studio II, since this doesn't have Blackjack built in. I couldn't get it to do anything when I tried this.

 

Why does this cart exist at all? Are there some versions of the MPT-02 that don't have these games built in?

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Hi there,

 

Excellent!

 

I had a very quick look at the files and noticed some errors in the st2 versions of pinball and star wars. Unfortunately fixing that didn't make them run :(. The thing is that in st2 you need to indicate which blocks (256 bytes) should be loaded. So both pinball and star wars should load to 0400, 0500, 0600 and 0700h. This means that in the st2 file 40h should show 04, 05, 06, 07. In both cases 06/07 was missing. I will have another look tomorrow to see if I find anything else.

 

I also made a st2 file of the grand pack and it does do something in Emma 02. The st2 file I made loads to 0400-07FF as well as to 0C00-0FFF. I'm not sure what it is suppose to do as the instructions I found so far are in French (sorry my French is not very good). Anyway when I press '1' it comes into this 'drawing' program that I believe is in one of the main ROMs as well.

 

If you want to try my versions:

https://dl.dropboxus...-grand-pack.st2

https://dl.dropboxus...3-star-wars.st2

https://dl.dropboxus...205-pinball.st2

 

As said I didn't get the last two doing anything as yet.

 

Cheers, Marcel.

 

Thanks for looking at the files, Marcel. Is a description of the ST2 format available somewhere? I had just copied the header from baseball.st2 and updated the program names, but clearly there's more to it than this. I've updated my file on Mediafire:

 

http://www.mediafire.com/download/w8tydhnqn4xo5l7/mpt02_dumps.zip

 

People who downloaded this before will probably want to update it.

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Yes, the headers were added later, and all the games I was able to check are identical between the Studio II carts and MPT-02 carts. I don't know if this will always be the case, though. I particularly wonder about School House I, which is named Math and Social Studies for the Studio II and MG-209 Computer Quiz for the MPT-02. I have the question booklet for the Studio II version, and the social studies section is pretty United States-centric, even though there are some world questions. I'd expect there to be different questions for the MPT-02, possibly several different sets of questions. Of course, since the cart just has the answers, and you have to look up the questions in the booklet, maybe they could get away with using the same ROM even if the question booklets are different. I've never seen any of the MPT-02 booklets, though.

 

You know, now that I think about it, I don't even know if the present School House I dump is from Math and Social Studies or Computer Quiz. Once I get my Math and Social Studies cart back, I'll get it dumped.

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I'm not really sure how to test this. It did seem to work on the Victory in Emma, but you can also play the same games without inserting a cart at all. I thought it might be better to test on the Studio II, since this doesn't have Blackjack built in. I couldn't get it to do anything when I tried this.

 

Why does this cart exist at all? Are there some versions of the MPT-02 that don't have these games built in?

 

It is a bit of a mystery but that is what would make the most logical sense.

 

In the scan of the English instructions of the MPT-02 it lists all the games available but Grandpack is not mentioned at all. So I would assume that it was the "pack-in" game. As the instructions for Grandpack are in French.. maybe it was only the French MPT-02??

 

 

You know, now that I think about it, I don't even know if the present School House I dump is from Math and Social Studies or Computer Quiz. Once I get my Math and Social Studies cart back, I'll get it dumped.

 

 

Well the exisiting dump of TV School House I definitely works with the RCA question booklets.

 

I do wonder about the clone releases of that game.. they must have come with additional sheets. I believe the Sheen also had a version of that game.

 

I also wonder if "Bingo" had any additional items with it. As to just call out random numbers with no 'bingo cards' would be very odd!

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I know the mustang and the sheen had the built-in games and I assume also the conic. But I thought the mpt's did not have the built-in games...have you verified the victory does/doesn't have them?

The Hanimex MPT-02 Jeu TV programmable is the French version of the Victory MPT-02, it is identical except for the name badging.

I think the Hanimex was only released in france and anywhere else that got a mpt-02 release got a victory version (Spain, Australia, ?)

I think your right though that the Grand pack cart may only be a Hanimex game. It seems very scarce and the few only references I have ever seen to it in the past have been on French sites.

I have friends in Germany who have new boxed victorys and it is not a pack-in game with the victory systems either. Maybe with the Hanimex line or maybe just an additional game to purchase?

I have only seen it with the mpt-02 style label so it has to be either a Hanimex or victory game exclusively it seems.

 

Bingo was released in the us and came in a large box similar to school house 1. It came with 20 bingo cards and 150 marker chips.

Its numbers/title should be - 18V601 TV Casino II: Bingo

It is incredibly rare, and was the last game made for the us rca studio II. Copies are known to exist but with how incredibly rare they are I wonder if they are unreleased copies or from only a handful that hit stores at the consoles end and almost no one bought them and even less saved them.

I don't see a lot of people wanting to buy a bingo game anyway, what really are the benefits to adding a video system to the game if you still need marker chips and game sheets too?

I have never heard or seen anything about the more common mpt-02 line having the accessories for the bingo game. The mpt-02 manual mentions using a bingo card but does not specify if they are included or not and does not mention markers at all-so that's a mystery....

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I know the mustang and the sheen had the built-in games and I assume also the conic. But I thought the mpt's did not have the built-in games...have you verified the victory does/doesn't have them?

The Hanimex MPT-02 Jeu TV programmable is the French version of the Victory MPT-02, it is identical except for the name badging.

I think the Hanimex was only released in france and anywhere else that got a mpt-02 release got a victory version (Spain, Australia, ?)

I think your right though that the Grand pack cart may only be a Hanimex game. It seems very scarce and the few only references I have ever seen to it in the past have been on French sites.

I have friends in Germany who have new boxed victorys and it is not a pack-in game with the victory systems either. Maybe with the Hanimex line or maybe just an additional game to purchase?

I have only seen it with the mpt-02 style label so it has to be either a Hanimex or victory game exclusively it seems.

 

Bingo was released in the us and came in a large box similar to school house 1. It came with 20 bingo cards and 150 marker chips.

Its numbers/title should be - 18V601 TV Casino II: Bingo

It is incredibly rare, and was the last game made for the us rca studio II. Copies are known to exist but with how incredibly rare they are I wonder if they are unreleased copies or from only a handful that hit stores at the consoles end and almost no one bought them and even less saved them.

I don't see a lot of people wanting to buy a bingo game anyway, what really are the benefits to adding a video system to the game if you still need marker chips and game sheets too?

I have never heard or seen anything about the more common mpt-02 line having the accessories for the bingo game. The mpt-02 manual mentions using a bingo card but does not specify if they are included or not and does not mention markers at all-so that's a mystery....

 

I've played the Victory on emulators and it has the built-in games. I don't actually know who dumped the BIOS, so I guess there's a small chance it's mislabeled.

 

I did buy the Grand Pack cart from a seller in France.

 

Bingo does seem like an odd game to make a cart out of. All it really does is call out numbers, which I suppose is a little easier than doing it by hand, but not that much. And I generally think of Bingo as being played by older people, who probably weren't that likely to have a video game system.

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When I get a chance I need to try and see if my victory system plays the built-in games with no cart inserted...I don't have a pal tv though so playing pal systems is difficult for me, but I should be able to at least test if they are on there.

I haven't ever found the Hanimex version though so cant test that...not sure if any of my friends have it of not. Of course it is quite possible the victory could have them built in and the Hanimex doesn't...you never know.

 

Makes sense you got the grand pack cart from france, I would strongly lean to think it was a Hanimex exclusive cart....so maybe it is only the Hanimex that had the built-in game bios removed from the console.

Even the name grand pack seems to have a French terming to its name...

 

Yeah I think Bingo was a very odd game to end the rca s2 game line with...couldn't pick a better game to flop really. It reminds me of like rubics cube for the a2600.

Just something that already exists as a game and doesn't really have any business or need to transfer to video game format.

The fact it is also generally a game for older folks like you mention just adds more to it being a flop and explains more why this game cant be found at all in the us :)

Gunfighter and speedway were the last games before it and they are quite uncommon to begin with and had quite a bit more appeal, if bingo had even a smaller release for less time its no surprise how scarce it is. Maybe only 2 people bought it haha, it would not surprise me at all if so.

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If fauxscot's still reading this, I'd like to know why it's so damn hard these days to find an actual Toshiba datasheet for the TMM331 ROM chip. Must've checked every Toshiba MOS Memory databook: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, datasheet websites... pretty sure someone checked a 1980 book for me too. Not that it's needed these days thanks to Charles... :)

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Hi Again,

 

I guess I also should have checked st2 file format details, I forgot about the number of blocks value on address '4'. I have now updated the 3 incorrect st2 files in my dropbox:

 

https://dl.dropboxus...-grand-pack.st2

https://dl.dropboxus...3-star-wars.st2

https://dl.dropboxus...205-pinball.st2

 

Both star wars and pinball now run in Emma 02 as far as I can see (just pressed a few buttons and it did something which looked correct).

 

Cheers, Marcel.

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When I get a chance I need to try and see if my victory system plays the built-in games with no cart inserted...I don't have a pal tv though so playing pal systems is difficult for me, but I should be able to at least test if they are on there.

I haven't ever found the Hanimex version though so cant test that...not sure if any of my friends have it of not. Of course it is quite possible the victory could have them built in and the Hanimex doesn't...you never know.

 

Makes sense you got the grand pack cart from France, I would strongly lean to think it was a Hanimex exclusive cart....so maybe it is only the Hanimex that had the built-in game bios removed from the console.

Even the name grand pack seems to have a French terming to its name...

 

I have a scan of the Soundic Victory MPT-02 manual and it lists all the inbuilt games.

 

 

This is a photo of the Hannimax (French) MPT-02 and it does have Grand Pack with it.

 

Hanimex%20MP-T02_www.JPG

 

 

 

Hi Again,

 

I guess I also should have checked st2 file format details, I forgot about the number of blocks value on address '4'. I have now updated the 3 incorrect st2 files in my dropbox:

 

https://dl.dropboxus...-grand-pack.st2

https://dl.dropboxus...3-star-wars.st2

https://dl.dropboxus...205-pinball.st2

 

Both star wars and pinball now run in Emma 02 as far as I can see (just pressed a few buttons and it did something which looked correct).

 

Cheers, Marcel.

 

 

They seem to work fine. :)

 

As I said in an email to you the colours do not seem to match so I've been trying to do some research.

 

These are photos from old-computers.com..

 

ss_concentration_match.jpg

krieg_der_sterne_4.jpgkrieg_der_sterne_5.jpgkrieg_der_sterne_2.jpg

 

 

These are snapshots from the games running in Emma

 

 

con1.png

 

 

sw1.pngsw2.png

sw3.png

 

and Pinball is the most colourful game of the entire system it seems!

 

pin1.png

 

 

Now I had a look at the instructions for doodle on the MPT-02 and the colours it states for each number do no match what Emma outputs. Here are the pages from the instructions:

 

coloursvictory.png

 

So I adjusted the colours and when I played 'Concentration Match' I got this:

 

con2.png

 

Now this doesn't match the photo but... it does resemble the Mustang screenshot here:

 

ss_concentration_mustang.jpg

 

 

Now it's probably because the old photos are wrong.. the first photos look like there is an orange colour and maybe the tv/camera made the aqua colour look green..

 

What is needed is people with a MPT-02 (both versions) to take some video/updated photos...

Edited by TLD1985

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First MESS kept complaining that it couldn't find the system ROMs, even though they were exactly where they were supposed to be. It turned out that if you don't have the app in your Applications folder (mine was still in Downloads), it apparently can't find anything.

 

HI, MESS Linux and OS X porter here, I was just pointed to this thread. Sorry for the lateness, but for future purposes the MESS support and discussion forum is located at http://forums.bannister.org/

 

Where did you download MESS, or was it a self-compile? And where were the ROMs located that they were "supposed to be"?

 

If you're not much of a command-line guy, maximum ease of use is achieved with the QMC2 GUI frontend - it's the only one to support all the features of MESS and make them easily configurable. If you prefer or have experience with the command line, running MESS with just the -cc switch will write out a new .ini file which you may then adjust to your heart's desire, including system ROM locations. (This is the same as on the Windows version, incidentally).

 

The actual Studio II emulation is a bit beyond my knowledge but again people who know more about it can be found on the actual MESS forum.

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Star Wars and Pinball work for me as well now, in both Victory and Studio II. Glad to have that sorted out! I've updated the file set again:

 

http://www.mediafire.com/?w8tydhnqn4xo5l7

 

I still don't know about Grand Pack. If I load it into Victory in Emma, then press Keyboard A key 4 (Q in the default keyboard mapping), it starts up Blackjack. But it does the same thing with no cart, since Blackjack is build into the Victory. If I try the same thing in the Studio II, which doesn't have Blackjack built in, it doesn't do anything. All of the other MPT-02 games I've tried will work fine in the Studio II, though obviously in black and white.

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If fauxscot's still reading this, I'd like to know why it's so damn hard these days to find an actual Toshiba datasheet for the TMM331 ROM chip. Must've checked every Toshiba MOS Memory databook: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, datasheet websites... pretty sure someone checked a 1980 book for me too. Not that it's needed these days thanks to Charles... :)

 

I did find this old WIP update from Guru. He dumped the TMM331 ROM in the Visicom system. Scroll down to the January 11, 2009, entry.

 

http://members.iinet.net.au/~lantra9jp1/gurudumps/oldnews2009.html

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Regarding the Grand Pack not working on the Studio II in Emma 02: I did some tracing and it looks like the DMA outs and interrupts for the screen handling don't come on the Studio II. I would need to dig into the details again but as far as I remember this is linked to the SW running some screen handling routine. As soon as I press Q on the Studio II with the grand pack both stop. But note that the Studio II has a slightly different resolution compared to the Victory so this might well be 'correct'.

 

I did also change the Victory rom (as a test) to exclude the built in games. So basically removed 400h-fffh from the rom file. Then ran a Victory on Emma 02 and off course 'Q' didn't work anymore. Then re-ran with the grand pack st2 file (and the adapted ROM) and then it worked again. So this proves the grand pack st2 file is correct as well. Also the grand pack st2 file needed the additional number of block changed in the header which I did at the same time as the other 2.

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Regarding the Grand Pack not working on the Studio II in Emma 02: I did some tracing and it looks like the DMA outs and interrupts for the screen handling don't come on the Studio II. I would need to dig into the details again but as far as I remember this is linked to the SW running some screen handling routine. As soon as I press Q on the Studio II with the grand pack both stop. But note that the Studio II has a slightly different resolution compared to the Victory so this might well be 'correct'.

 

I did also change the Victory rom (as a test) to exclude the built in games. So basically removed 400h-fffh from the rom file. Then ran a Victory on Emma 02 and off course 'Q' didn't work anymore. Then re-ran with the grand pack st2 file (and the adapted ROM) and then it worked again. So this proves the grand pack st2 file is correct as well. Also the grand pack st2 file needed the additional number of block changed in the header which I did at the same time as the other 2.

 

I was testing with the most recent update of the Grand Pack st2 file. That's a clever test for running it on the Victory. I'm glad that it worked. I can't guarantee that Grand Pack would run on a Studio II system. I'll have to try that out on the real hardware when I get the cart back from Charles.

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I did find this old WIP update from Guru. He dumped the TMM331 ROM in the Visicom system. Scroll down to the January 11, 2009, entry.

 

http://members.iinet...ldnews2009.html

 

Ah, Visicom, so I can't blame fauxscot. :D

 

Well, as he frequently comes to me for help ID'ing chips, Guru's challenge to me in 2008 was:

On Sat, 28 Jun 2008 11:06:02 +0800, "Guru" said:

> I need info / datasheet on a chip

> Toshiba TMM331AP

> It's some sort of ROM, from that old Toshiba console that arrived

> recently.

> Did a quick search and nothing came up except part sellers. I'm sure

> you'll have more luck :-)

 

So he and I spitballed stuff back and forth about what it could be. He credits Dox, I don't remember him being involved but perhaps it was in another email conversation. But yeah, I eventually found some Japanese whitepaper on some science project or military hardware, using various derivatives of the chip name and Google techniques, and Yasu translated it (I don't remember Gridle's involvement?) which got us thinking about possibilities of what the ROM chip could be, and its capacity. I could find datasheets for nearly every other Toshiba TMM3xx chip, but not this one. Still, Guru worked out like 80% of the pinouts and did a test dump which looked okay to people armed with disassemblers. That was around December '08-January '09.

 

Also immediately following then in December 2008 I found a snippet view in Google Books of some large electronics catalog that claimed the ROM chip was pin-compatible with AMI S6831. And then we acquired that datasheet, and it matched the pinouts, but not the capacity (and voltage? something like that...)

 

I wouldn't let it go though - I was sure the actual Toshiba datasheet must exist in a databook that was as-of-yet unscanned. So I would occasionally worry that little search project until I found more information, pestering certain databook scanners to upload more Toshiba memory books of the era... I even ended up forgetting the snippet view/chip compatibility discovery and rediscovering it again a few times over the last few years. :)

 

Anyhow, like any of Guru's attempts at dumping completely unknown/unremembered ROM chips, it was based on whiffs of clues of what it could be, tracing out circuitry on old circuitboards, and lots of educated guesses based on other chips with similar part numbers and his years of experience.

 

Anyhow, that's how I remember it based on old emails. Perhaps Dox and Gridle were involved secretly, I can't remember.

 

But a MAJOR pain in the ass because whatever databook the TMM331 is hiding in has not yet been scanned to PDF. Assuming it wasn't custom. But it doesn't seem to be, just undocumented and uncommon. If we'd had the actual datasheet, that would have saved months. :(

 

On the other hand, actually creating a dumping rig that can be used repeatedly and that isn't educated guesses and much more reliably based on Electronics Engineering? That's alllll Charles. :)

Edited by Stiletto

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