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Help understanding neo-geo/CPS rom formats

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3 replies to this topic

#1
Dartagnan

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Hey all, nice to see a emu help board that's actually current! I looked through the topics already and couldn't see something that adressed this, so...!
Lemme say first that I've been d/ling roms and using emu's non-stop for the last 4 months or so, starting with snes, nes, gg, sms, gba, and roms for saturn, dreamcast and psx, and a bit of experience with mame. Set up all the emus, worked out all the glitches on my pc by myself, yada yada... However, when I got to Neo-geo and CPS1/2 roms.... well, things are a bit difficult to understand and after scouring the web and some chatrooms for answers and finding none... :) I find myself really needing assistance for the first time.
I could really use some help with these questions!!!

1) With neo-geo (and CPS) roms, how can you tell which emu they're designed to play on?

2) Are there converters to transfer compatibility from one emu to the next?

3) Which emu is most compatible (still being updated?) (Mame..??)
3a)...and could you give me a recommendation as to which you deem the best and why? (Kawaks roms are quite impossible to find...)

Most of the roms I have work with NeoRageX. I have Kawaks, and that plays only one of the Neo-geo roms I have (cthd2003) and plays only some of the roms I have with FBA. I've tried playing both of these romsets with Mame too, and after getting varying responses, I have the funny feeling of a head against a brick wall for some reason. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!
ICQ#58434332

Edited by Dartagnan, 04 January 2004 - 09:48 PM.


#2
Agozer

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Let me give out my 2 cents on this...

1. Differen't romsets, different hardware. Neo-Geo roms are either in.bin or.rom format (only.rom for NeoRAGEx,.bins work in Kawaks, Nebula and MAME). A Neo-Geo set contains P (program), C (graphics), V (samples), M (Z80 processor instructions) and S (text) roms... Sometimes there isn't an S rom because the data for S is stored in some other rom (usually the P1 rom).

Now for the CPS/CPS-2 stuff

CPS-1 roms' filenames might seem odd at first glance, because the filenames (inside the zip) rarely look the same. CPS games work on CPS emulators as is, because there's no encryption in them....Unlike it's big brother, which brings me to:

CPS-2 roms consist of files usually named xxxx.01-xxxx.25, but sometimes the game only needs a few of these, not a full scale 01-25 and the files don't always go in order (there are cases where 02-09 files don't even exist, but the games has 10-20. In addition to the actual files, CPS-2 games need specific XOR tables released by the dudes at CPS2Shock. XOR tables do away the encryption that the game has. XOR files in the archive have an "x" as the last letter before the actual extension.

If you find CPS-2 games in the 'net, you most likely notice that the archives don't have the XOR tables in them. You have to get those separately.

In short Neo-Geo games DO NOT work with a CPS/CPS-2 emulator (unless the emulator has support for Neo-Geo) and vice versa. It's a completely different hardware.

2. What do you mean by this exactly?

3. Indeed, MAME is by far the most flexible emulator out there. I don't use MAME myself, but that is my choice.

3a. For Neo-Geo, I suggest that you try out Kawaks, Nebula and NeoRAGEx... NeoRAGEx is by far the easiest of the 3 to use, but it's outdated and doesn't support on-the-fly encryption of Neo-Geo games like Nebula and Kawaks. Nebula, Kawaks and MAME need specific drivers, whereas NeoRAGEx does not.
NeoRAGEx has been discontinued, but several hacks from HappyASR are still 'on the anvil', so to speak.

For CPS/CPS-2, use Final Burn Alpha (FBA), it also has Neo-Geo support. 'Nuff said.
If you want to use just one emulator for everything, use MAME.



Feel free to ask some more, if this wasn't clear enough. :unsure:

Edited by Agozer, 04 January 2004 - 11:53 PM.


#3
tyler

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I have a similar query and I think its basically what Dartagnan was asking in his second question.

I use KawaX SE and on several occasions have downloaded NeoRage roms not knowing the difference before hand, as for example Garou is still called Garou.zip whatever version it is.

So not wanting to spend 2 hours downloading garou.zip (36mg on 56k :D ) and it being the wrong one. How can we tell before hand if its the Kawaks rom?

Or is there a program that will take a Neorage rom and make it compatible with Kawaks?

Of the many rom sites I've visited none say whether they're Kawaks or NeoRage, simply Neo Geo.

Any help, information would be much appreciated :blink:

#4
Dartagnan

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Agozer- Thanks a lot for your very detailed answer! That explains a lot as to why the different Neo-geo roms sets don't play nicely with different emu's. I started using the latest version of FBA (forgot cardinal rule of always using the latest version, sorry...) and because FBA wouldn't load my neo-geo games due to a asia-s3.rom missing (from the latest bios file that I'll find shortly) I stumbled across a useful link that had a lot of questions I didn't ask answered, which was here:
http://www.hardworks.de/neogeo/

I double checked and they don't appear to have a forum so hopefully this won't be a violation of this board's policy.(I really don't want to get myself into trouble here on my second post!!!) Please delete / contact me to edit if there's a problem!

I'll try out Nebula next, and thanks for your recommendations and help!

Thanks again,
Dartagnan <_<




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