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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:03 pm 
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Originally, I owned the PRG0 version of "Castlevania". Both times I played it, it crashed in the Grim Reaper stage.
I found out that this is a glitch in the PRG0 revision:
https://tcrf.net/Castlevania_%28NES%29

So, I got the PRG1 version.

However, this game crashed as well. Not in the Grim Reaper stage, but right before I could enter the door to the hallway that leads to Frankenstein.
It was basically the same effect as in the PRG0 version, only in another stage.

So, is there any knowledge on this glitch?

(It didn't happen right away. I've lost to Frankenstein several times, so it was probably the fifth time or so that I entered the door.)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:46 pm 
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First make sure it really is the PRG1 version, and not just a misnamed copy of the PRG0 version. Getting the SHA1 hash of the PRG data can help here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:51 pm 
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A misnamed copy? Something like that actually exists?

How shall I check the hash?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Grab a good hex editor, like HXD.
Cut off the iNES header, which is the first 16 (0x10) bytes of the file, then save the rest as a .PRG file.
Use your favorite hash checking tool, such as HashCheck (site down at time of post), or unix command line tools like "sha1sum".
According to Bootgod's database, PRG0 should have a hash of EE09B857C90916EDD92A20C463485A610B0A76FD, and PRG1 should have a hash of 3DCB69A8C861C041AEB56C04E39ADF6D332EDA3A.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:57 pm 
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If you're already using HxD, you can also use it to generate hashes and compare files. ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:22 pm 
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Dwedit wrote:
Grab a good hex editor [...]

Erm, you do realize that I'm talking about the actual physical cartridge and not just the ROM file, right?
The bug happened when I actually played on an NES. So, unless you know of an instance where the actual PCB had a wrong label, we can be 100 % sure that my cartridge is the PRG1 version since I opened it and checked it specifically for that very reason.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:06 pm 
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There's lots of things that can cause a NES to crash, such as problems with the cartridge slot and stuff. People have seen all kinds of glitches on a real NES. For example, I've seen Gremlins 2 have CHR glitches, and fail to play the ending animation correctly (probably due to a failed sprite 0 hit).

Maybe the game was still buggy even after one revision. Did you get a photo of the crashed game? What the screen looks like gives clues as to what happened.

But anyway, back to PRG0 vs PRG1. The other way to identify PRG0 vs PRG1 is by Game Genie. If the game won't boot with the code ATOKIOOZ, you have PRG0, otherwise if it works fine, you have PRG1.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:17 pm 
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I have PRG1 because it says so on the board. I don't need a Game Genie or anything like that. I opened the cartridge and had a look. It is PRG1.

So, about the glitch:
I know that the graphics might be garbled if the game's contacts don't connect properly. But is it actually possible that the game just stops playing, with the still screen visible and the sub weapon in the inventory slightly relocated, after it has played fine for an hour without the game itself having a glitch and just this one cartridge being faulty? Also, no other game ever did this. And the crash looked suspiciously similar to the problem in the PRG0 version which is officially declared a glitch.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Is this crash reproducible, or might it have been the result of dirty power? Super Mario Bros. would crash on me if I bumped the controller connector wrong. Years later, when I was working on hot-swap to test a dual Zapper game on a PowerPak (whose menu software doesn't support the Zapper), we ended up concluding that this was due to a voltage sag related to inability to handle inrush current.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:17 pm 
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I once had a Pulseman cartridge where stage 1 worked just fine, stage 2 was glitched up and stage 3 was fine only in the initial battle (then went glitched afterwards). So yeah, you never know what can break.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:11 am 
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In my experience these kind of crashes most commonly happens due to loose/oxidised cartridge connection nowadays. Just bumping the main unit is enough to crash the more dirtier carts I have, while I can play football with my Famicom without my NIB carts to be affected.

I would try scrubbing away on the cart pins at least.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:43 am 
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So, you all think that it's the cartridge? Unlikely that it's the programming code?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:37 am 
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You could buy a Kazzo and dump it to see if it's identical to the [!] version.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:01 pm 
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Erm, o.k., now it gets really strange.

I understand the necessity to check a ROM file against the hash value to see if I actually have the good version.

By why on earth should I check if my original cartridge has the contents of this very cartridge? What do you expect? That my physical cartridge turns out to have the code of overdump number 3 or bad dump 1?

Or do you think that the chip label is wrong and that I actually own version PRG0?
In this case, I must ask: Has this ever happened? With all the cartridges that were collected by the GoodNES guy, Bootgod or any collector on this board or any other NES community in existence: Has there ever been a case where the chip on the game says PRG1, but it turned out that the code inside is actually the version for PRG0?
If yes, please show me where this instance is documented.
If no, what revolutionary things do you think I will discover when I dump an original NES cartridge of a well-known game?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:08 pm 
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DRW wrote:
If no, what revolutionary things do you think I will discover when I dump an original NES cartridge of a well-known game?
That your ROM is damaged.


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