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Here's the absolutely weirdest thing I've ever come across, and I'd like to run it by you all and see if you have any thoughts about what could be happening.


I downloaded a copy of the Pacman rom for Atari 5200, made sure Mame was set up properly, and ran it as follows:


mame64 a5200 -cart "Pac Man (1982) (Atari).zip"


It worked flawlessly.


For comparison, I downloaded a bunch of roms from emuparadise and used the Pacman rom images from that set.


I had to rezip them with normal zip, and change file extensions from .bin to .a52, but, after all that, all the rom files from each Pacman set showed to be exactly the same with a binary comparison.


Even so, Mame refused to run them. The copyright screen would show up, then the screen went black.


Bear with me, it's not over yet. Here's the really weird thing.


I wanted to run Ms. Pacman also. I used the proper naming conventions, zipped the files, no success. Now, this gets really weird! Read on to see what happened next.


So far, the only zip file that worked was the zip file of Pacman I originally downloaded.


Working on a hunch, and, don't ask me why I thought of this, but, I said, "what the heck--everything else hasn't worked", I took the original pacman zip file, added the Ms. Pacman images to it, deleted the Pacman images from the file, renamed it to "Ms. Pac-Man (1982) (Atari).zip", ran it, and it worked! Yet, when I created my own zip file, nothing worked, not Pacman or Ms. Pacman, even though every file was checked and the binary comparisons were spot on, no differences, and, I made sure my zip file and the file names inside the zip file were consistent.


There should be no reason why my own zip files I created wouldn't work, nor can I see any reason that using the original zip file that was working would make a difference. But, there it is. I now have both working Pacman and Ms. Pacman, and I can't exsplain why.


I just created my own file for Jr. Pacman and it worked without me doing anything special, other than making sure the filenames were right.


Is this not the absolutely weirdest thing you've ever heard of.


I'm scratching my head over it, and probably will never understand it.


But, if any of you have any thoughts, I'd like to hear them.

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Exactly how are you checking the files are binary equivalents? Windows and hex editing applications can be very deceiving .. not showing certain header info. With Linux or cygwin run od on the binaries and do a diff between the results. I would suspect there is a difference in the header info between the zip files.

Edited by thetick1

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I wouldn't use MAME for 5200 emulation... Top button never works and I kept getting graphical glitches and even crashes.


I highly recommend using Kat52 if not Altirra.

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Thanks for the recommendation.


As for file comparison, I compared the .a52 files with fc/b file1 file2


Had to do that with each of the rom dumps associated with the game.



I'll look into the other emulators as well.



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MAME requires ROMS with the proper CRC as defined in the hash file a5200.hsi. Pac-Man is defined as...


<hash crc32="8873ef51" name="Pacman (Atari) (U)">


You can edit this entry with the correct CRC for the ROM you want to try or you can create a new entry in this format...with a different name.


Alternatively, you can use Altirra which has far superior Atari emulation and doesn't require you to define each ROM as MAME does.

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