Supergrafx problem--any help?

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Supergrafx problem--any help?

Postby Greatsaintlouis » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:15 am

EDIT: Okay, so nevermind my bitching. Apparently there's a little, poorly-visible switch on the back of the system that switches compatability mode between native SGX and some odd hardware mode which certain PCE titles use, and there's some sort of overlap on the usage of certain graphics chips, or something. Found the info in part of this document: http://cgfm2.emuviews.com/txt/sgxtech.txt In fact, that's about the most useful SGX tech writeup I found online, with most Google searches turning up small info pages of the "OMG, IT'S RARE!" variety.

--Original Post--

So I finally got my first Supergrafx game--Daimakaimura--and was quite happy with the possibility of using the console for something more than just a fancy-looking PC Engine. Plugged the game in, and it doesn't work. No sound, just a flat white screen. I've tried cleaning the contacts on the HuCard, tried applying a bit of contact cleaner and then inserting/removing it from the console and letting things dry, all to no avail. The odd thing is, the regular PC Engine games come up just fine. Anyone ever heard of a Supergrafx somehow busted where it doesn't play SGX-specific games? I'm using a ghetto power supply I got ripped off on from Radio Shack--9v, 800ma, could it be that the SGX requires a bit more juice? (1000mA, perhaps? I've never seen an original PSU).
Bit of a stretch that someone will know what's going on, considering it's an uncommon game for a fairly rare console, but thought I'd check anyways.

Pretty fucking tired of having shit crap out on me lately--I fried my (just) completed supergun's video encoder the other day because I was being an asshole and not paying attention to which controller pins I was shorting for the final test (don't know why I needed to wire that +5v pin, not like I've got any Neo controllers that would use it), and now the potential options are A) Supergrafx is somehow fucked or B) Daimakaimura is, both of which will be a bit spendy to replace.

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Postby SuperDeadite » Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:26 am

Is your SuperGrafx switched to "SuperGrafx Mode?" On the back of the console (left of the CD-ROM expansion port) is a very small switch labeled "I and II". "I" is SuperGrafx mode, and is needed for SuperGrafx games. "II" disables the extra hardware and makes it function like a normal PCE (this is to keep the system 100% back compatible). Check this switch first. :D

Here's the official AC adapter specs:
INPUT: AC100V 16VA
OUTPUT: DC9V 800mA

(+)-----()-----(-)

EDIT: You already found it. I believe only 1 PCE game needs to be in mode II. Everything else works fine in SGX mode I.
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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:34 pm

Yeah, I found it with that handy tech document I posted, thanks.

Nice to know that completely by accident I got the right power adapter. Mine's one of those bizarre ones where you can change the polarity of the tip/center as well as the size of the connector, so I made sure I had it exactly compatable with the SGX, but one of my thoughts was maybe that I had something that provided enough juice for the PCE titles, but not for the extra hardware required to run SGX games. It's got the polarity and voltage printed on the machine itself, I just didn't know if I needed something beefier than my 800mA adapter.

In all actuality, I'm pretty surprised I found that the solution through a Google search. I figured there was a decent chance someone here would have some advice, though--nice to see I was right in that regard. :D

As you can see, I was kinda freaking out something fierce for a while.

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Postby Ganelon » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:13 pm

Is there any reason to own the SG Daimakaimura? Does offer anything beyond the arcade version worth having? What about 1941? Just curious because right now, mine is just an Aldynes and Granzort machine (which aren't really bad reasons).

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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:05 pm

Daimakaimura, if you've got the PCB or even the PS2/XBox version on the Capcom Classics collection then there's no real reason to be looking for the SGX version unless you've got a compulsion to Catch 'Em All for the system or something. It seems to be pretty firmly tied with the celebrated MD version, with both of them having a few advantages over the others (colors a little better on the MD version (a first!), more background detail on the SGX, just to name a few).

1941 is supposedly pretty impressive for the system, but it's pretty much the same thing: access to the PCB or later releases on more powerful hardware (can't think of one off the top of my head, maybe the Capcom Generations version?) are certainly going to be much better, it's just that extra bit of "wow" at what a spiffier PC-Engine could pull off.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:49 pm

I think that's unfortunately the case with most PC-Engine arcade ports They're great little ports for the time, but if you've got the PCB, why bother?
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Postby Ganelon » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:51 pm

Thanks for the info.

Well, stuff like Zero Wing, Hellfire S, and R-Type Complete CD have cutscenes, arrange soundtracks, and all that jazz for folks who enjoyed the base games and want to experience more. I feel the worst for X68000 ports. Cheap, amazing for its time, and almost always a great port but pointless in today's PCB and super-port landscape.

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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:15 am

I dunno, for me, some of the appeal (at least for PCE titles; don't quite have the cash reserves to get an X68000 shipped from Japan, although extinct computers never cease to fascinate me) is that for the time, they were pretty damn impressive considering the other alternative was usually vastly inferior NES/Famicom ports. Sure, it's not PCB-perfect, and most games have since been superseded by superior ports for more powerful consoles, but if it was a decent game both originally and in the PCE port, it can still be fun to this day.

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Postby Shou » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:46 am

With a collection, one of my personal rules is never to have multiple versions of a game unless a port provides a significantly different experience and to always own the original or best version.

Examples:
Ninja Spirit
Arcade vs PCE vs GB
Of course, I got the PCB (although it runs way more than the other 2...)


R-Type
Have the arcade board but the PCE game has nice arranged tracks and cinemas so have that too.....also have Super R-Type which is an interesting arrangement, like the tunage too.
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Postby Ganelon » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:40 pm

Same here, although after buying for a long time, you end up with outdated versions of games anyway.

I do have multiple versions of ST, Tactics Ogre, and all the Langrisser ports though (and have written lists of differences between the versions for all these games in a few forums) so I can empathize with why some people buy multiple versions. If someone enjoys a game enough, they'll want to play through every version to experience as much as he can and find out all the differences (however minimal they may be). This is a difference between collecting games that you might like and compiling games that you truly enjoy.

I'm also fine with ports if they're about 99% accurate to the arcade version (in terms of visuals, sound, and mechanics) so I have R-Types in place of the PCBs (plus, for R's Museum).

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Postby Greatsaintlouis » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:17 pm

One thing about PCBs, though, is that they're not necessarily within everyone's reach, either due to the cost of the boards themselves ($50 usually will net you a very common and often not very good old title; from there you're off to the races) or the cost of a supergun/technical requirements to build one/space required for a cabinet, etc. Not that I'd argue that the PCB isn't the ideal way to experience the game, but those almost-perfect ports are pretty good for the people who can't spring for 100% accuracy.

But I certainly do understand the desire to try different versions of the same game. I've got a couple different Gradiuses, and they're all a bit different (PCE port is my favorite, still looking for the MSX cart). Conversely, for some games, it's not really worthwhile to look for certain versions--the PCE port of Image Fight is actually an enjoyable (but hard) game, while the NES/Famicom port is terrible and forgettable.

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Postby undamned » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:52 pm

Greatsaintlouis wrote:One thing about PCBs, though, is that they're not necessarily within everyone's reach, either due to the cost of the boards themselves ($50 usually will net you a very common and often not very good old title; from there you're off to the races) or the cost of a supergun/technical requirements to build one/space required for a cabinet, etc. Not that I'd argue that the PCB isn't the ideal way to experience the game, but those almost-perfect ports are pretty good for the people who can't spring for 100% accuracy.

Word. That's why those Capcom / Midway / Taito classics games on PS2 just melt my face clean off. That many awesome games on one disc ( well, multiple volumes, but you know).
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Re: Supergrafx problem--any help?

Postby Recap » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:36 pm

Greatsaintlouis wrote:So I finally got my first Supergrafx game--Daimakaimura--and was quite happy with the possibility of using the console for something more than just a fancy-looking PC Engine. Plugged the game in, and it doesn't work. No sound, just a flat white screen. I've tried cleaning the contacts on the HuCard, tried applying a bit of contact cleaner and then inserting/removing it from the console and letting things dry, all to no avail. The odd thing is, the regular PC Engine games come up just fine. Anyone ever heard of a Supergrafx somehow busted where it doesn't play SGX-specific games? I'm using a ghetto power supply I got ripped off on from Radio Shack--9v, 800ma, could it be that the SGX requires a bit more juice? (1000mA, perhaps? I've never seen an original PSU).
Bit of a stretch that someone will know what's going on, considering it's an uncommon game for a fairly rare console, but thought I'd check anyways.

Pretty fucking tired of having shit crap out on me lately--I fried my (just) completed supergun's video encoder the other day because I was being an asshole and not paying attention to which controller pins I was shorting for the final test (don't know why I needed to wire that +5v pin, not like I've got any Neo controllers that would use it)


Lawl.

Thanks.



ganelon wrote:and all the Langrisser ports though (and have written lists of differences between the versions for all these games in a few forums)


Links, please.



ganelon wrote:Is there any reason to own the SG Daimakaimura? Does offer anything beyond the arcade version worth having?


A quite nice game box with superlative cover art.

That's the main reason why I've always found PCBs useless for collection purposes. They simply aren't items intended to be "collected" (not to mention to be stored and available for eventual playing). And getting them brand new has always been a pipe dream. So I can see no point assuming you know how to set up a proper emulation PC.

I don't think X 68000 versions were that "amazing", actually. Most had line-doubled presentation with no 15-kHz option whatsoever. That alone just put them miles away from the originals. And they didn't pick the most memorable titles exactly, either. Better than the 16-bit console ports (and 32-bit too, quite often, not to mention 128-bit ones), I guess, which usually were just different games with different mechanics and dumbed-down difficulty. Especially on the PCE.

R-Types is ("are") far from being 99% perfect, by the way. Very different frame rate and resolution issues, to begin with. Racjin couldn't do much better given the original hardware's specs though.

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Postby Gaijin Punch » Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:53 pm

So I can see no point assuming you know how to set up a proper emulation PC.


There are still quite a few titles that just aren't right in Mame. Unfortunately, these titles are also quite often expensive, require non-standard controls, and probably won't be updated in Mame anytime soon. Night Striker is a perfect example. I'm afraid the PS2 version is probably the most accurate port out there, and of course, we all know of the display issues.

While I agree that PCB collecting isn't for everyone (especially those of us with families) it's still necessary to properly enjoy plenty of games.

If you insist on buying new/packaged stuff, then yeah... probably not gonna be your thing.
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Re: Supergrafx problem--any help?

Postby Shou » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:12 am

Recap wrote:That's the main reason why I've always found PCBs useless for collection purposes. They simply aren't items intended to be "collected" (not to mention to be stored and available for eventual playing).


For display purposes, they don't look as pretty on the shelf but for PLAYING purposes they are king. I'm not sure what's so difficult about putting them on a shelf for storage.....I live in Tokyo and store 400 PCBs easily in a highly displayable manner.
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Postby Gaijin Punch » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:58 am

I'm not sure what's so difficult about putting them on a shelf for storage


You're not married to my wife.
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Postby Shou » Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:40 am

Gaijin Punch wrote:You're not married to my wife.


Touche :D

Luckily, my wife is happy to give me an otaku room. :)
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Postby undamned » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:07 pm

Shou wrote:
Gaijin Punch wrote:You're not married to my wife.


Touche :D

Luckily, my wife is happy to give me an otaku room. :)

Nice :) Next year (Lord willing) my wife and I will move out of our apartment and back into our house, which we are now renting out to some friends of mine (we have the apartment temporarily for work location benefits, which renting out the house happens to pay for). Since we haven't started having kids yet, there's 2 spare bedrooms, one of which my wife had already commited to a "man cave." I'm pretty sure with all my gaming crap, it will indeed make the room like a cave (walls completely covered, etc.). Thankfully, there is room in the garage for shelving along the sides, which will make PCB storage much more livable. If I ever moved to Japan, I imagine most of that would have to go away :)
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