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"Dog version" of Virus dumped!
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Skrybe
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Joined: 28 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:39 pm    Post subject: "Dog version" of Virus dumped! Reply with quote

As I mentioned earlier, I recently purchased the three Virus/Dr. Mario protos that had been up on eBay for a while. It took a little time, but I've dumped and documented the lot of them, and as promised, all three are posted below for everyone to try:


Virus (1989)
Download
Scans & tech info at NesCartDB

This is the earliest build of the game, and it shows a snapshot from a time when the viruses weren't given center stage, replacing them instead with a sick cartoon dog. The core gameplay is there, but the presentation is still rough. There's no music, and minimal animation.

Interestingly, this version of the game is on a bare-bones NROM board. All later versions of the game use more full-featured MMC1 hardware.


Virus (1990)
Download
NesCartDB

Similar to the above version, but with a bit more polish added. This is most visible in the viruses, which are now animated.


Dr. Mario (Proto)
Download
NesCartDB

This version is very close to the final game, but still retains the early design of Mario seen in the PC10 proto of Virus. This includes some images of him that aren't in the PC10 version, like the title screen sprite.

Enjoy, everyone! And Xkeeper, I'll be watching TCRF, I'm sure there's plenty of stuff to dig up in these!
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Evan



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 870

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to see the different stages of development for the game. Not many Nintendo games where this is available.
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billscat-socks



Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not often we see first-party stuff like this. Thanks for sharing what must have been a ridiculously expensive purchase.
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RahanAkero



Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



This is how I feel, as expressed by what may well be an unused sprite from within the proto itself. Thanks, man!
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Ballz
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great, I still can't believe you scored these, Skrybe. Along with kap's PC-10 proto from a few months ago, it's a unique look at the evolution of a classic NES game. I also can't wait for TCRF to dive into these.

Edit: Is it safe to assume that in the chronology of these things, kap's PC-10 proto predates the third and final of Skryrbe's protos?

Edit 2: Derp, of course that's how it'd fit, given the third Skrybe proto is under the name Dr. Mario and not Virus.
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BMF54123
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's interesting...aside from the text changes on the title and menu screens, the two Virus protos have identical PRG. That means the MMC1 code was already in place in the NROM version, it just wasn't doing anything.

[edit]
The sound engine is just a sped-up version of the one in Tetris. You can even poke $6F5 with a track number to play the original Tetris music!
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sebmal



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BADASS
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I am Christina Aguilera



Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMF54123 wrote:
[edit]
The sound engine is just a sped-up version of the one in Tetris. You can even poke $6F5 with a track number to play the original Tetris music!


I'd figured! I wonder to what extent the game was ultimately built on top of the Tetris gameplay engine as well. What few sounds are present in the Virus protos are definitely all straight from NES/Nintendo Tetris.
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BMF54123
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am Christina Aguilera wrote:
I wonder to what extent the game was ultimately built on top of the Tetris gameplay engine as well.

Well, the game as a whole was definitely built on top of Tetris. The startup and NMI routines are the same, right down to the RAM addresses used. Razz

[edit]
More fun stuff:
$723: set to a non-zero value to disable periodic speedups. This is stored with the rest of the pre-game option values and was probably configurable at one point. This works in the final game, too!
$724: set to a non-zero value to disable "FALL DOWN" (extra pieces dropping when you clear a line). This is configurable in Virus, but I'm noting it here because it also works in the final game. Very Happy
$726: set this to 01 to enable HARD mode. This completely disables the pill-throwing animation, so they immediately appear at the top of the bottle.
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MathUser2929



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting proto.
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BMF54123
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are six unused sprites defined in the game: two that point to blanked-out tiles (some kind of animation), and the words COLOR, ONE, TWO, and ATACK. The words would have appeared on the pre-game menu screen, possibly in one of the two blanked-out options. Aside from the aforementioned RAM values, though, I wasn't able to find any functional dummied-out options.

Unfortunately, it seems the "happy dog" sprite isn't actually defined anywhere. :\
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ICEknight



Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 507

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is amazing, thank you for releasing these!
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RahanAkero



Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMF54123 wrote:

Unfortunately, it seems the "happy dog" sprite isn't actually defined anywhere. :\


He's defined. His sprite data has pointers... Right in my heart.
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etabeta



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Re: "Dog version" of Virus dumped! Reply with quote

Skrybe wrote:
This version is very close to the final game, but still retains the early design of Mario seen in the PC10 proto of Virus. This includes some images of him that aren't in the PC10 version, like the title screen sprite.


speaking of the PC-10 version, any hope about taking some nice pcb picture and dumping the instruction rom (typically at u3) so that we can add it to MAME as well (with proper credits, of course)?
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kap
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: "Dog version" of Virus dumped! Reply with quote

etabeta wrote:
speaking of the PC-10 version, any hope about taking some nice pcb picture and dumping the instruction rom (typically at u3) so that we can add it to MAME as well (with proper credits, of course)?


Hey, already dumped actually, pictures available somewhere too. Pemdawg and I talked about giving the dump to whomever a while back, don't know the current situation. Send him or me a pm, can get it to you.
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TheRedEye
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Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no instruction ROM, right?
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kap
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, no instructions on either that or Bases Loaded.
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etabeta



Joined: 21 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both Playchoice-10 dumps have been added to MAME (they will be in next update, because I was slow and we missed yesterday release...)

Many thanks to kap for the patience, and to all the people involved in preserving these

The Virus PC-10 board might not be as exciting as the earlier 'dog version' that Skrybe released in this thread, but I'm quite happy to have both preserved Smile
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hiroshi



Joined: 07 Oct 2004
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Skrybe for sharing! I've been playing with "FALL DOWN" mode off in Virus, it's a refreshing new challenge. And I'm fascinated that it's there at all, like there was some debate whether the extra pieces should fall or not.

BMF54123 wrote:
$724: set to a non-zero value to disable "FALL DOWN" (extra pieces dropping when you clear a line). This is configurable in Virus, but I'm noting it here because it also works in the final game. :D

Thanks for this! It inspired me to make Game Genie codes for the retail versions of Dr. Mario.

SEUEEKSX (RTM)
SEKEEKSX (REV A)

Tested it on real hardware, also found out I needed to make one for REV A :)
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Skrybe
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hiroshi wrote:
It inspired me to make Game Genie codes for the retail versions of Dr. Mario.

Oh, nice! Gotta try this out on real hardware myself!
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