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Thread: (Arcade News) There's a New Sheriff in Town!

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    Finally regained access to my account here...

    When TG changed ownership to Jourdan Adler and a new web site was launched it became apparent that they inadvertently reinstated previously pulled scores. It is my understanding that there was/is a flag of some kind in the database to indicate scores that have been (should be) pulled from public view because they were deemed to be impossible and unverifiable.

    Wild Western (arcade) has just such a score. The game has a max possible score of 999,900, as I proved when I submitted a video of my performance in 2011. Unfortunately, the bogus 1,099,900 Richard Eldridge score from 1983 has once again reanimated like the living dead. This score appeared in Walter's first TG record book from 1998 but was subsequently pulled from the database, I believe circa 2004. It does not appear in Walter's subsequent editions (2nd and 3rd).

    Can we please get this corrected? Thanks.
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  2. #12
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    Congratulations, Chris !! Nicely done :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    Congratulations, Chris !! Nicely done :)
    Thanks.

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    Chris:

    A little tidbit of info that may interest you regarding "Wild Western".

    Several years back, somewhere between 2002-2007, Greg Erway brought his WW boardset to ACAM and with the assistance of Randy Lawton they compared the two boards. They appeared identical, if I remember correctly, BUT there were gameplay differences.

    According to Greg, one of the boards was definitely harder. The segment where you guided your horse among the sage brush had a much more congested grouping of sage brushes than the other board. I can't remember the other differences.

    No one ever figured this out back then...ever encounter this before on this title ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    Chris:

    A little tidbit of info that may interest you regarding "Wild Western".

    Several years back, somewhere between 2002-2007, Greg Erway brought his WW boardset to ACAM and with the assistance of Randy Lawton they compared the two boards. They appeared identical, if I remember correctly, BUT there were gameplay differences.

    According to Greg, one of the boards was definitely harder. The segment where you guided your horse among the sage brush had a much more congested grouping of sage brushes than the other board. I can't remember the other differences.

    No one ever figured this out back then...ever encounter this before on this title ?
    No I haven't, and actually, you asked me about this once before, about three years ago right after I broke the record. I thought it was in this thread but it must've been on that other forum that neither of us frequent anymore.

    I've seen game boards do strange things like this when the +5V rail on the power supply is too low. The PCB doesn't get the voltage it requires for the CPU, RAM, etc., and it can have unpredictable results. The "Frog Off" between Donald Hayes and Pat Laffaye at Challenge Arcade in Wyomissing, PA in 2008 experienced this. On one of the two Frogger machines the players were dying randomly on wide open sections of road for no apparent reason. If memory serves a call was placed to Jason Cram to run it by him and ask for advice. He suggested checking the power supply voltages. Sure enough, the +5V was too low; it was at about 4.7-4.8V. Once adjusted the game was back to normal. It turned out they were actually getting run over by cars that were on the road but were not visible due to inadequate voltage to the PCB.

    So my initial thought back then was that Funspot's Wild Western had a similar problem. But if Greg's Wild Western board set was tried in the same cabinet and it played normally while Funspot's board set played visibly harder, then that would rule out anything but a difference in the board sets themselves.

    I've noticed there are two ROM set revisions in MAME. I wonder if Funspot's board is set 2. I believe set 1 has always been used for MAME competition on this title at TG. Set 2 being noticeably harder would make sense. If players were lasting more than a few minutes on the game Taito may have issued a harder ROM set upgrade for arcade ops. There is no "difficulty" dip switch on this game; the only things you can change are the number of starting lives and at what point value you earn an extra life.

    So that's my theory. The best way to answer the question would be to dump all the ROMs on Funspot's board set and checksum them against MAME to see if there is a match. If it matches set 2, there's your answer. If it doesn't match, then either there is an unidentified technical glitch with Funspot's Wild Western board set or they have an undocumented ROM set revision that hasn't been dumped for MAME.

    I don't recall anyone ever playing set 2 in MAME and comparing it to set 1. I'm not set up to do so. MAME players of this title typically have configured a dual-stick X-Arcade. You'd have to find a good Wild Western player who is set up to play it on MAME to get a good opinion on the differences, if any. Since becoming a truck driver I don't have that kind of free time anymore. I barely get the time to enjoy the actual arcade games in my basement.

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    I'm going to send Greg this info and see what he thinks. I do clearly remember him swapping boards with Randy into the same ACAM machine, so environment was not the issue.

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    Awesome Chris! :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanTe View Post
    I've noticed there are two ROM set revisions in MAME. I wonder if Funspot's board is set 2. I believe set 1 has always been used for MAME competition on this title at TG. Set 2 being noticeably harder would make sense. If players were lasting more than a few minutes on the game Taito may have issued a harder ROM set upgrade for arcade ops. There is no "difficulty" dip switch on this game; the only things you can change are the number of starting lives and at what point value you earn an extra life.
    I had just looked in MAME to see if there were actually more versions than just one and I seen the same thing you mentioned. I looked in MAME 1.06 though and not the newest version. This very well is why it's a difference in the difficulty. It still doesn't explain how someone can run the score over a million unless he simply fudged on his score (like we all think) OR they fixed the score rollover in set 2?? That would be very interesting indeed.
    Stephen K. Boyer
    Former Twin Galaxies Sr. Referee
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Mario Bros. 2-Player Team: 1,517,380 ( Arcade Medium World Record )
    Mario Bros. 2-Player Team: 788,970 ( Arcade Medium NO POW World Record )
    Mario Bros. Single Player MEDIUM 4,260,210 ( MAME World Record )

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    Hi Chris:

    I heard back from Greg. After so many years he is not sure whether he and Randy did the board SWAP while at ACAM, but they did do a side-by-side comparison and here is what he recalls beyond that...

    -> "I have played on around 5 WW machines over time. All of them played the same except for the ACAM one. It is a fantastic experience to play on the ACAM machine because the cactus/rock distribution is absolutely brutal. There is little or no holes to squeeze between"

    -> "Seems to me that there is logic on the board to dictate whether a rock/cactus should come out or not. On a normal machine on higher boards I would estimate this to be around 80% of the time the answer is yes. But on ACAM I would estimate this at around 98%. This causes a wall of rocks/cactus to come at you and trap you in the corner."

    -> "I suspect the circuitry responsible for the random number generation is stuck to always say yes to a rock/cactus. This might be caused by a voltage issue I suppose. But without knowing for sure if we put my board in there I can't be sure. I do know we closely compared the ROM chips...I believe everything was an exact match. I don't recall if there is an indication of ROM version present however."

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    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    Hi Chris:

    I heard back from Greg. After so many years he is not sure whether he and Randy did the board SWAP while at ACAM, but they did do a side-by-side comparison and here is what he recalls beyond that...

    -> "I have played on around 5 WW machines over time. All of them played the same except for the ACAM one. It is a fantastic experience to play on the ACAM machine because the cactus/rock distribution is absolutely brutal. There is little or no holes to squeeze between"

    -> "Seems to me that there is logic on the board to dictate whether a rock/cactus should come out or not. On a normal machine on higher boards I would estimate this to be around 80% of the time the answer is yes. But on ACAM I would estimate this at around 98%. This causes a wall of rocks/cactus to come at you and trap you in the corner."

    -> "I suspect the circuitry responsible for the random number generation is stuck to always say yes to a rock/cactus. This might be caused by a voltage issue I suppose. But without knowing for sure if we put my board in there I can't be sure. I do know we closely compared the ROM chips...I believe everything was an exact match. I don't recall if there is an indication of ROM version present however."
    If ROMs were compared and they were an exact match then I definitely suspect a technical problem with the board. It could be something as simple as a bad resistor allowing too much voltage down the line or a bad trace somewhere is causing a drop in voltage to part of the board.

    I still would be curious to see a skilled Wild Western player spend time with set 2 in MAME and report their findings.

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