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Tempest

Victory NTSC Version Corrupted?

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Most people know that the PAL (CBS) version of Victory has extra features missing from the NTSC version.  I always assumed that these were added during the PAL conversion process (maybe the extra time allowed them to finish the game) but I was reading something that seems to indicate that the NTSC version isn't an earlier version of the game but is a corrupted copy!

 

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Paul Jaquays says "The game Victory was shipped broken (US version). Somewhere between when the designer signed off on the game and when it was manufactured, the EPROMs containing the code had become corrupted. The game still operated, but just barely and not like it was supposed to. Coleco management chose to ship the monstrosity, rather than repair it."

Can someone verify this?  Are all the missing features in the NTSC version but just don't show up due to code corruption?  It's pretty amazing that the game would still be playable but just missing some features if the ROM was corrupted.  Are there possibly other differences between the two versions other than the missing Quarks, Scouts, and Paratroopers?

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29 minutes ago, Tempest said:
Most people know that the PAL (CBS) version of Victory has extra features missing from the NTSC version.  I always assumed that these were added during the PAL conversion process (maybe the extra time allowed them to finish the game) but I was reading something that seems to indicate that the NTSC version isn't an earlier version of the game but is a corrupted copy!
 
Quote
Paul Jaquays says "The game Victory was shipped broken (US version). Somewhere between when the designer signed off on the game and when it was manufactured, the EPROMs containing the code had become corrupted. The game still operated, but just barely and not like it was supposed to. Coleco management chose to ship the monstrosity, rather than repair it."

Comparing the two versions should be fairly easy to “fix”. Disassemble, compare, “fix”.

It is possible that it got corrupted but was still “working” mostly. For example, if a call instruction gets corrupted, it can become a bunch of harmless other instructions. The game still runs, but whatever the call routine was responsible for will no longer run.


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The PDF of all the rom differences (a very interesting read) indicates that only two bytes are different between the US and CBS versions.  I wonder what exactly those two bytes do other than make some of the enemies not appear.?

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The PDF of all the rom differences (a very interesting read) indicates that only two bytes are different between the US and CBS versions.  I wonder what exactly those two bytes do other than make some of the enemies not appear.?

Can you post the listing here? I can take a look


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8 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Well, that isn't the listing. But anyways, looks like someone already fixed it. Unfortunately I am just too busy to disassemble right now, but I can do that eventually, when I get to create the SGM2 remaster version. 

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But yeah, if it is just 2 bytes, chances are it corrupted a call and the new instructions are mostly harmless.

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5 minutes ago, opcode said:

But yeah, if it is just 2 bytes, chances are it corrupted a call and the new instructions are mostly harmless.

Yep - it is definitely only 2 bytes difference.

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1 hour ago, Ikrananka said:

Yep - it is definitely only 2 bytes difference.

I'm just amazed that it still works and the only side effect is that some enemies don't appear.  I guess the code just goes CALL <bad address>, returns nothing or a value that is nonsense, and the code doesn't display the missing bad guys.  I suppose I can see how the game wouldn't crash but things would just be missing.

 

I also can't believe that Coleco released the game anyway knowing that a huge chunk of the game was missing.  I know they were stuck with a bunch of bad chips, but I guess they figured the game wouldn't sell well enough for people to notice.  And they were right I suppose.

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1 hour ago, opcode said:

Well, that isn't the listing. But anyways, looks like someone already fixed it. Unfortunately I am just too busy to disassemble right now, but I can do that eventually, when I get to create the SGM2 remaster version. 

Sorry I misunderstood what you were asking for.  AFAIK no one has done a listing for Victory.

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I'm just amazed that it still works and the only side effect is that some enemies don't appear.  I guess the code just goes CALL , returns nothing or a value that is nonsense, and the code doesn't display the missing bad guys.  I suppose I can see how the game wouldn't crash but things would just be missing.
 
I also can't believe that Coleco released the game anyway knowing that a huge chunk of the game was missing.  I know they were stuck with a bunch of bad chips, but I guess they figured the game wouldn't sell well enough for people to notice.  And they were right I suppose.

Call uses 3 bytes. First byte is the opcode, then the address (2 bytes). If the 1st byte gets corrupted, then you no longer have a call. Depending on the opcode you get instead, the address bytes can become other opcodes. Now, if the address gets corrupted, then you will call some random routine. The game could crash, or you could be “lucky” and it calls the very end of some harmless code followed by a Return opcode.


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5 hours ago, Tempest said:

I also can't believe that Coleco released the game anyway knowing that a huge chunk of the game was missing.  I know they were stuck with a bunch of bad chips, but I guess they figured the game wouldn't sell well enough for people to notice.  And they were right I suppose.

I wouldn’t say that a HUGE CHUNK of the game was missing, just that a number of the enemies were missing. 
 

It wasn’t really bad chips, but 2 bytes of code. Well, I guess you can say BAD CHIPS especially if the game code was burnt to PROMs which is a one time deal.

 

No company releases a game knowing the game won’t sell well. If they feel that way, then they don’t release the game. Well, unless it has all been manufactured but then that would mean someone’s head should have rolled for signing off on it to go to manufacturing.

 

I’m not sure of the release days for the Coleco and CBS version, but it’s not like anyone that bought the Coleco version knew that there were missing elements due to code corruption. If one was familiar enough with the arcade game, then they would know that there were missing elements but wouldn’t have known that this was due to code corruption. They would have just figured Coleco programmers left out these missing elements especially if they were familiar with other Coleco titles like DK were a whole arcade level was missing from the game.

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As long as the game works nobody is going to know except for hard core arcade gamers back in the day.  There was also no social network for fans to go crazy and make everything public that colecovision screwed up the game.  I never really played arcade games except the few super popular games like pac-man, donkey kong, etc...   I had no idea those things were missing in the game I played all my life until I joined this forum in early 2000's.   That was why I invested buying a CBS complete box version of Victory so that I would have a fully functional version of the game.

 

 

 

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Well it's not like Victory was a popular game.  I don't think I've ever seen one in person, but oddly enough I do own the marquee.  I doubt many people had seen one in person and like you said, probably didn't know what was missing.

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4 minutes ago, evg2000 said:

Are the missing elements mentioned in the manual?

No, they made a different manual for the us version that tried to explain the missing enemies.  I think they had to because there are still references to them in the game.  Somewhere there's a site that had both the us and cbs manuals side by side.

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44 minutes ago, Ikrananka said:

Page 25 of the attached provides the detailed comparison of the manuals I completed as part of the CV ROM Update Project.

ColecoVision ROM Update Project - Commercial Releases (1982-198x) - v2.01.pdf 1.68 MB · 3 downloads

That's where I saw it!  Thanks for putting that together, it was an interesting read.  I wish someone would do something like this for other systems.

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On 9/21/2021 at 6:03 AM, Tempest said:

Well it's not like Victory was a popular game.  I don't think I've ever seen one in person, but oddly enough I do own the marquee.  I doubt many people had seen one in person and like you said, probably didn't know what was missing.

I own the marquee too.

 

I saw my share of Exidy games bitd, Victory was the exception. Been collecting arcades since '89 and still never seen a Victory in the flesh. So I'm assuming a very low production run...

 

I think this is why Colecovision was head and shoulders above the rest around that era for me.

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