Salamander TurboFix and trainer

by sd_snatcher on 28-02-2009, 12:35
Topic: Software
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A few weeks ago, a TurboFix for Metal Gear 2 saw daylight. Now a new game has been fixed: Konami's shooter Salamander. This TurboFix involves four aspects:

  • TurboFix: fixes the same bug that affected Metal Gear 2 and many other Konami megaroms
  • RippleFix: fixes the ripple-laser, in the MSX version this didn't behave like a laser at all
  • CoolColors: it's not a bug of the game, so this is rather an improvement. It replaces that inadequate palette (for gaming that is) the BIOS of an MSX2 sets on boot with a more pleasant one, greatly improving the game visual even beyond the original colors the game had on a TMS9918 VDP.
  • Invincibility: your ship will be invulnerable even against walls

The most important one is of course the actual TurboFix, because Salamander is the most CPU intensive game Konami ever released for the MSX system. Even an MSX turbo-R running it on its internal mapper (with trload) will drop frames in some places. On a fast MSX (Z80 running at or above 15MHz, or R800) the game will now be able to scroll at the same speed Gradius 1 did.

The patches are compatible with both the original 128KB ROM and with the 256KB "SalaNem2" version.

Relevant link: Salamander TurboFix

Comments (11)

By Randam

Paladin (916)

Randam's picture

28-02-2009, 14:59

Really like the turbofix a lot for Salamander and the cool colors really look nice compared to the msx2 palette. Really worth trying, the game plays so much smoother.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3032)

sd_snatcher's picture

28-02-2009, 16:06

This TurboFix involves four aspects:
In fact those are three independent patches:

1) TurboFix+CoolColors
2) RippleFix
3) Invincibility

The patches are available in both IPS and XPC formats.

By Zezus

Rookie (28)

Zezus's picture

28-02-2009, 23:42

To Sd-snatcher:

1) I haven't tested it, but when I play Salamander on my Turbo R using a Megaflash SCC, it runs really fast. Do you think it is really necessary to use TRLOAD?

2) Congratulations! I hope there are more patches coming. I am playing Metal Gear 2 (again, in the Megaflash SCC) and it is working great.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3032)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-03-2009, 04:42

1) I haven't tested it, but when I play Salamander on my Turbo R using a Megaflash SCC, it runs really fast. Do you think it is really necessary to use TRLOAD?

Without the patches it will run really fast on empty areas. But try advancing to the middle of the stage and you'll see that the speed will drop a lot. In fact, it will float too much.
But the main factor because that speed wasn't enough is that the sync itself will now take precious CPU time. The effect is similar to that of playing with vsync on or off on a PC.

But the funny thing is: When playing with the Z80 at 3.57MHz the CPU will hardly wait for a vsync. The algorithm used is smart enough for that.

If you really want to play Salamander with minimal framedrops, the only way is really use TRLOAD. Try the patched version on both TRLOAD and the MegaFlash SCC and you'll notice.

2) Congratulations! I hope there are more patches coming. I am playing Metal Gear 2 (again, in the Megaflash SCC) and it is working great.

Thanks! More patches will depend on how much free time I can get. This patch was done thanks to the Carnival holiday.

For MG2, 5.37MHz is enough to make Snake walk at a satisfactory speed most of the time. So your R800 can keep up with it even with the slowdowns of the slot-access.

The advantage to have more speed than 5.37MHz will only be noticed on the loading screens and when changing screens also. In both of this cases, the more speed you have, the merrier. Smile

By Randam

Paladin (916)

Randam's picture

01-03-2009, 06:15

Maybe a stupid question but why were some of the old Konami games like Maze of Galious designed with turbo in mind? Were there even faster MSXes around at that time? Or was it something the programmers weren't able to overcome back then?

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5400)

JohnHassink's picture

01-03-2009, 08:15

To Zezus:

You dare post a comment to anything on this forum after what you've said 'some' time ago?
Your balls must be the size of Jupiter!
You already proved to be a big, useless loser, so how about keeping your goddamn mouth shut, since you're a degenerate idiot who knows nothing about anything. Retard.

You know nothing. Next time I see you commenting about anything I'll kill you verbally. Fuck off before you get what you bargained for.

You "hope more patches are coming".
Tsss. You don't care. I can tell. Oh yeah, you like Konami games, who doesn't?
You, sir, are a stupid idiot that should know its place.
And your place, I know where it is: either the gutter or in the vegetable grinder or to be reproduced as cattle food.

Apparently, you do have some guts, since you posted here again, but that's all.
I take my hat off for you just because you have the nerve to post here once more. Or is it plain stupidity?

Anyway, I almost respect that.
You feel lucky? You want to test me? I didn't think so.
Thank you. Bye bye.

P.S. How's that for stirring things up, you little piece of shit? Do not ever cross my eyes again. I mean it.
I've accidentally stepped on things in the street which I regard more highly than the #"$% stuff people like you are made of. Die.

By ro

Guardian (4104)

ro's picture

01-03-2009, 09:41

best post EVER!
(that even puts Guyver in the shade...mooeehahaha) Hannibal

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5400)

JohnHassink's picture

01-03-2009, 10:03

You think so, ro? Is it even worse than the way our dear mr. Guyver sometimes lashed out? Murdoch

I do not usually react to people like this.
I'm not on MRC to start fights, I swear.
Maybe I'm sometimes irritated by people, and people are so by me.
I try to be reasonable and not insulting, but:
Read some previous posts here of the 'birth mistake' I'm reacting to, and you'll see what I mean. Wink

These are factors we couldn't get rid of fast enough. They are only harmful to the scene.
Hence my reaction. I try to kill the stinking parasite flower before it spawns.
The sooner they get cleared out of the way, the better.
Since, if we do not, the MSX scene is truly doomed. Because his kind of people only try to frustrate and demotivate everyone.
That is why I acted that way.

I love MSX, and a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Smile
I'll do anything to defend my favorite machine.

By PingPong

Prophet (3418)

PingPong's picture

01-03-2009, 11:37

Peace and love.....Crazy

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3032)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-03-2009, 13:41

Maybe a stupid question but why were some of the old Konami games like Maze of Galious designed with turbo in mind? Were there even faster MSXes around at that time? Or was it something the programmers weren't able to overcome back then?

Probably both and a third option at the same time. I guess that Konami used non-stock or tuned-up MSXzes, probably with a Z80B running at 5.37MHz, to speed up the development (compiling, boot time, etc). This can be an explanation of why so many of their games run flawlessly at this clock. The bug is only detectable at 7MHz or more, which mean they didn't had machines that fast to test back then.

The third cause is: Konami used a standard set of libraries for all their Z80 games, be it MSX or not. Most of them came from the arcade, where they used Z80s at higher clocks and even more than one Z80. This is why the entire game runs inside the INT handler and why there are two completely independent processes (game and jukebox) running there. If you had more than one Z80, each one could run one of this processes without any problem.

But all of this is a wild guess. It can just be that the programmers weren't able to overcome back then, so they coded targeting the "faster generation that will come", like many PC game houses always do.

By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5400)

JohnHassink's picture

03-03-2009, 13:17

I apologize for my words but not for my intent. That's all. Sorry.