Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:18 am Post subject: Soap Panic and Hanafuda Yuukyou Den are bad dumps.
As several reviewers elsewhere have pointed out, the sketchy pictures in the Soap Panic ROM past the first four are all scrambled. I have never actually seen anyone else try speculating on why this might be the case, however. What I've found from doing this is rather interesting
Examining the Soap Panic ROM for myself, the very first thing I noticed was that the game of which it was a Japanese remake, Bubble Bath Babes, was 96kb, whereas Soap Panic was only 64kb. Observing that Bubble Bath Babes also had twice as many graphics tables in it as Soap Panic, I tried a little experiment: with the help of a hex editor, I appended the last 32kb of graphics tables from Bubble Bath Babes on to Soap Panic and ran it again.
Pictures 5 and 6 were still scrambled (albeit now with different graphics tiles), but the rest of the pictures were all perfectly recognizable as those of the girls from Bubble Bath Babes. The tiles for the Japanese lettering, of course, were still scrambled, but only because they were using the English letters from Bubble Bath Babes. The tables for these pictures I overwrote with a pattern table of graphics to show what each tile's hexidecimal code was. Then I was able to reconstruct Picture 5 from the pattern tables of "Lucky Lucy" from Panesian's game Hot Slots (aka AV Pachi Slot in its Japanese form). As I can find nothing in any of Hacker or Panesian's other games corresponding to Picture 6, it remains scrambled beyond all repair.
The problem with Soap Panic, in short, is that it somehow got truncated while being dumped. The reason the pictures were scrambled was that when the ROM's program for displaying the pictures reached the end of the pattern tables, it simply rolled back over to the first set of tables, displaying their tiles instead of the ones it was supposed to display from the now non-existent second set.
I don't know whether the second set of tables were on some other chip in the cartridge, or some other part of the main chip that the dumper wasn't able to access, but the bottom line is that the "standard" version of Soap Panic currently available for download in various places on the web is a bad dump. I didn't know who'd care at all if I told them this; after all, most online reviewers were mocking it for the rather crummy game it is. I thought this forum might be as good a place as any to start making my discoveries about it known, however.
Once I'd found out about this flaw in Soap Panic, of course, I went looking at some of the other "adult" games (i.e. the ones with risque pictures) for the NES to see whether I could locate any other pattern tables in them to match picture #6 in Soap Panic. While I have yet to find anything that fits, I noticed that Hanafuda Yuukyou Den was having many of the same problems with scrambled pictures that Soap Panic was.
Sure enough, on closer examination, it was missing half its pattern tables and was supposed to be 96kb instead of 64kb. Moreover, the dumper, apparently unaware that there were supposed to be more tables in the ROM, had appended the wrong header to it so that the program still rolled over to its first set of pattern tables after I'd appended another 32kb to the end. (They were all my hex address graphics tables. Alas, there's no comparable English version of Hanafuda Yuukyou Den from which to draw them.)
A quick adjustment of the header pointed the program back to the second set of tables that were supposed to be there, and I've been doing some minor repairs on the pictures frome there ever since. I already recognize some of the screen shots from the game's box as being of essentially the same girls that appear in other Hacker/Panesian games, so I suppose I could go nab those pattern tables from those other games, but frankly I don't see why I should bother repairing ROMs for which better dumps could exist.
Still, I want this to be known as well: the "standard" Hanafuda Youukyou Den ROM offered for download online is also a bad dump. If anyone here has either game cartridge available for dumping or the original dumpers are still around, I definitely recommend that it be redumped with care taken to make sure the second sets of the pattern tables are dumped along with the first sets this time. Apart from that, I hope the game organizing programs and the sites offering these ROMs for download will relabel them to indicate they've been truncated.
Eh, well, as the old saying goes, if you have to ask, you don't need to know.
Heck, I don't know why I bother with these things. If I really wanted to look at naked chicks all day, I could just go surf the net. It's a historical kind of curiosity, I guess. Also, I keep thinking one of these days maybe I ought to try hacking the graphics in one of these games. A custom hack of Idol Shisen Mahjong might make an amusing birthday present for my girlfriend.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum