The Stroke of Midnight

Consider it a late Xmas present: There is a new FW for Rhea/Phobe that should fix those few games that use CDDA for voiceovers. It’s probably not a complete list but the affected titles are:

  • Taito Chase HQ
  • Side Pocket 2
  • Space Jam
  • Nobunaga no Yabou Shouseiroku
  • Monster Slider

I did test it but not very extensively and the code change is significant so new bugs might manifest too 🙂 Speaking of bugs, keep in mind that Bug! works but only when booted cleanly without RMENU. And obviously the fixed games I mentioned do require the images to contain all the subchannel data to work – so make sure your dump is correct. I will ignore any problem/bug reports from people who can’t tell, but I realize not everyone knows (or want’s to know) such technical details. So as a rule of thumb a CUE/BIN format doesn’t have subs (yet another reason why it’s shit) but CCD does. If it was properly dumped from original disc anyway. Same for CDI but this format defaults to no subs so again you need to know how to rip the CD properly or you will end up with an image that doesn’t quite work. MDS/MDF is like CDI, it can carry subs but it’s not the default setting.

This whole format issue comes back every now and then, and each time I hear the argument that CUE is not so bad – 90% of games work without issues. Well, I don’t aim for 90%, I aim for 100%.

38 thoughts on “The Stroke of Midnight

  1. an update before the end of the new year… now we wait for next year for the opportunity to order a phoebe or rhea

  2. Many thanks for this new firmware, Deunan. I can now play Chase HQ without the Japanese Nancy bugging me with her repeating voice every few seconds.

    One thing I have noticed is that IGR (In Game Reset) no longer works on some games I tested quickly (Chase HQ, Street Fight Alpha Zero 3, Capcom Generation Vol.5). I suspect that RMENU will require a new version to fully support this new firmware…

    • Scratch that. I must have been holding down the wrong button configuration for IGR or something. Chase HQ will not allow IGR with neither 3.8.1 or 3.9.0, but all the other titles I tested work fine with 3.9.0.

    • I looked at “Taito Chase H.Q. + S.C.I.” and it does indeed a have slightly more unintuitive way of doing things when it comes to resetting.

      Basically, you can reset from the first “Press Start” screen, but once you are in the second menu (to choose between Chase HQ and SCI) pressing START+ABC loops you back to that same menu (because of the function code it passes to sys_exit).

      You might have figured this already, but the game does have a way to get back to the first title screen. Once you let go off of any controller buttons it then starts up a frame counter which lasts approximately 20 seconds, and after that the game loops from the beginning landing in the title screen.

      Anyway, as I found that annoying, I went ahead made a simple patch for it, so that you can do an IGR with START+ABC from the second menu where you choose the game.
      Also because patching the disc image implies rebuilding the edc/ecc fields of the affected sector, I decided to make it easier and just share the full sector instead 😛

      Full sector:

      To apply, just open the .img file (of the CloneCD image floating around) with any hex editor and replace the full mode1/2352 sector starting at offset 0xF810.

      • Hey Neuroacid, I noticed when using RMENU that it sorts things not-quite alphabetically if you have some titles fully capitalized vs only the first letter. It looks like titles with all caps get sorted and put first, then the titles that have proper caps get sorted and get put after all the all-caps titles. Not sure if you even want to look into it, but I saw your name here and wanted to mention it in case. Thanks for making RMENU btw :).

  3. Is it also fixed the problem on Vatlva?
    It is a great game but my Phobe cannot run it.
    I tried many disc image on different web and even tried to make image from my original SS disc but no luck…

    • Tested with the image I ripped from the original VATLVA disc using discjuggler(with option scan gap/R-W/PQ/RAW read checked). Everything work fine in Rhea.

      Tested with the image I ripped from redump image mounted in DaemonTools by discjuggler again. Failed to be identified by Rhea/Phoebe.

      I quickly compared the data of these two images. The later one has wrong MSF data in PREGAP region of the second data track. I think it’s caused by bug of DaemonTools.

      So using your original disc and rip again. It’s definitely not a problem of Rhea/Phoebe.

  4. ^^ Did the IGR work before with Chase HQ prior to 3.9.0? I know some titles did not always work with IGR from earlier reports.

    • No, Chase HQ did not work prior with 3.8.1 as per my update.
      Just to be absolutely clear, everything that worked with IGR on 3.8.1 works on 3.9.0. for me.

  5. There is one thing I hope that ccd gets more support since Disc juggler simply does not work in Windows 10. I’ve tried all settings and it’s a coaster everytime

    • I don’t use DJ to burn anything, and I run it on WinXP which itself is just a VM. I do use CCD on Win10 though, seems to work fine. What more support do you have in mind?

      The problem is each of these formats is far from perfect. The inevitable result of treating CD-ROMS as sector-based structured media I guess.

      • DJ works under win 10 using a folder install (copy n paste from a win 7 install) then using a registry tweak. Google it for a guide on how to do it.

        Tbh, Clone CCD and DJ CDI formats suffice, as long as the rip is done properly.

        Personally, I don’t like Mds/mdf (alcohol 120%) as it’s a bloated app.

      • By better support I mean Dj seems to work best it would be good if the other formats work just aswell.
        Although I am considering adding windows 7 drive to my PC.
        At the moment my only option would be Clone CD or Alcohol 120%. I did all of my ripping with disc juggler previously with Windows 7. Windows 10 I could install Disc juggler but the images were all corrupted

  6. I usually use UltraISO to convert BIN/CUE files to the Alcohol format MDF/MDS. Would you Recommend CCD format over Alcohol format? Are there any specific setting I should make sure I have set before converting?

  7. Is there an email list I can join to find out when Rhea orders will be available?

  8. Kinda late to this, but I vaguely remember having tested “Bug!” at some point after firmware 3.8.0 and it working fine — though I only tested the US release.

    So, I was curious why it wouldn’t boot from RMENU, as it should at least work with “full boot” since it is simply a soft-reset, and even “fast boot” method does things in a fairly clean way, setting registers/memory to states identical to when booting from the CD multiplayer (fixing some games that only work that way in the process).
    To confirm the issue, I tested the various releases available and indeed the US one had no problems, but both EUR and JPN releases failed (although in slightly different ways).
    Upon a closer look, the problem seemed to occur during disc changing. Just to be sure, I tried to do it manually in CD multiplayer, and ended up running into the same issue, it would remain stuck in “checking disc” status, but failing eventually.

    Then it hit me… I had set the “open_time” option to 300 in my Rhea.ini file, which I had previously found to be the “sweet spot” after lots of testing and running into similar issues in a handful of titles (related to higher amount of tracks?).
    Anyway, after increasing it by another 50 milliseconds, lo and behold, the problem went away.

    Moral of the story, I’m probably to blame for the problem you encountered, as I have been recommending those lower values for timers in the readme with RMENU. Sorry about that.

    My advice for anyone else using the menu, is that, unless the extra 1/5th of second you save when booting a game or after an in-game reset really matters, and/or you feel like fiddling around with the timers. It’s probably better to just leave them alone.

  9. Just curious but what format do you recommend playing games in for best compatibility? Right now I have them in .gdi, will that cause any problems?

  10. when will RHEA and PHOEBE be on sale again ???? XD i always miss out 😦

  11. I’ve been using my RHEA for quite a while but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to replace the power supply with a Pico PSU?

    • I’d say there’s no real reason unless your power supply stops working. I haven’t seen reports of the Rhea causing efficiency issues similar to the GDEmu in the dreamcast where it makes the psu heat up without the 12V load, and I don’t think the PicoPSU products are well established, so you are taking a potential risk when installing their power supply since power supplies can damage internal components unless they are well engineered (from what RetroRGB says, anyways).

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