A new forum sounds good. But I think that it should only be accessible to those who are actually working on this. I know that may not be possible, but there's always a chance that one can get cluttered too. Oh well, we can move from forum to forum like lochusts ^.^
Anyway, that guy is very correct. I checked that string, it does indeed appear in every p1 rom I looked for it in. However, I looked in the p2 of mslug4nd and it's not there, so that also confirms you can delete one of the two, be it p2_3 or p2_4. Either way, when you do delete one, the other one WILL have to be moved to the p1 rom. But there's still a problem, I mean, for all we know, the right sequence could be P2_4 + p1_4 + p2_2 + p2_1 for the p1 file, and the p1_1 p1_2 and p1_3 are supposed to go in the p2 file. I'm not very proficient in ascii... I can sort of understand the basics of ascii though. I do understand hex... I just havne't worked with it in over a year...lol.
One thing I do think, I don't have much of a reason to think it, but, I can't recall seeing a 7MB p file. I've seen 6 and 8... maybe I've seen 7 and just don't remember, but back to what I was saying before, about the rom banking, I read somewhere that mslug5 and kof2003 use the same rom banking. If that's true, then it's possible that the rom banking has been correct all along and the p roms really are skewed! It's just a hunch, but since the p file for mslug5 is 6 mb (for mine anyway, it works, I beat it and all so I guess it's right) I have a hunch that one of the remaining 6 files from the group p1_1 p1_2 p1_3 p1_4 p2_1 p2_2 is also unnecessary. That would structure the prom (or p roms if you split it into two pieces) like mslug5. I think that could give us a better guideline to go on as to how big it needs to be or at least something helpful. Maybe I'm just spouting off here, but hey it's an idea isn't it?
Here's the dat file for my mslug5 just to make sure you know which one I have:
Game: Metal Slug 5 (Fully Decrypted)
Maybe somebody has a mame driver for mslug5 they could post? We could compare the rom bankings that way.