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Tutankham Settings?

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  1. VERIFIED Senior Member Credibility: 5,567
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    Question Tutankham Settings?

    I've recently begun playing Tutankham and I've discovered that there is quite a lot of confusing information regarding the "proper" settings with which to play. TG itself contains conflicting DIP info, the default settings have changed across various MAME versions, and there might even be a flipped difficulty setting in MAME. Since I don't have access to an arcade machine and I'm only a 71k player, my ability to test these inconsistencies is limited. I've searched for answers in these forums and elsewhere, but have not found any. Any input/clarification would be greatly appreciated.

    First, these are the only two documents I've been able to find that describe the DIP switches.

    Pinout and DIP switch settings
    Schematic (manual)

    Immediately there is a discrepancy in the two different Flash Bomb settings. The first document indicates that you can either have 1 flash bomb per life (SW2#7 = OFF), or accrue extra flash bombs every 20,000 points (SW2#7 = ON). The second document indicates the same setting for SW2#7 = OFF (1 flash bomb per life), but says that SW2#7 = ON will give only one flash bomb per game with an extra flash at 30,000 points.

    I have played Tut in about a half-dozen different versions of MAME, and the "1 Per Game" setting has never given me an extra flash at 30k. It has always given me an extra flash EVERY 20k. Having never played Tut on a machine, I have no idea what I should really be expecting. There are two versions of Tutankham in MAME: the Konami boardset (tutankhm) and the Stern boardset (tutankhms). Do the real, physical boardsets behave differently?

    From what I can tell the 1PL flash setting is meant for TGTS and the 1PG is meant for marathons...even though the "1 Per Game" isn't really what is happening.

    That brings us to difficulty settings. The factory default based on the Schematic above is SW2#5-6 = OFF-ON. This gives a difficulty setting of 2. There are 4 difficulty settings, ranging from 1 (easy) to 4 (difficult). The oldest reference to difficulty settings I can find for Tut are on Mark Longridge's site where he posted a text file, apparently last updated in 2004, of many TGTS settings: Twin Galaxies Tournament Settings for Original and Emulated Arcade Games. According to this document, the proper difficulty setting is "Hardest." It doesn't give a specific DIP setting, so my assumption is SW2#5-6 = ON-ON. It also requires a 1PL flash bomb setting and the "tutankst" ROMset...which I take to mean the older version of the STERN ROMset when played in MAME.

    Searching the old iterations of the TG site has been difficult, but I managed to find the Tutankham TGTS page circa 2007-2008: Tutankham - Points [Tournament] [TGTS]. This page matches the factory default settings for difficulty but gives a 1PG flash bomb setting.

    Then we have the current version of TGTS settings, which contradict themselves. As of today, the TGTS settings for arcade show:

    Dip Switch #1:
    1-8 = OFF
    Dip Switch #2:
    1-2 = OFF
    3 = ON/OFF [Upright/Cocktail]

    4 = OFF
    5-8 = ON
    Note: The above Dip Switches, when properly designated, will give the following Twin Galaxies Tournament Settings, used for this title;
    Lives: 3
    Bonus Life: 30,000 Points
    Difficulty: 2
    Flash Bombs: 1 Per Game [Extra Flash Bomb @ 30,000 Points]


    Having both SW2#5 and SW2#6 set to ON would put the difficulty at the highest level, if the manual is to be believed. Yet the description says "Difficulty: 2." So...which is it? The current TGTS MAME settings require "Hardest." Notice also that Flash Bombs for arcade TGTS are set to 1PG. The marathon settings are currently set to 1PL. Isn't this backwards?

    So, apparently different difficulty settings in use over time and the current difficulty (and even flash bomb) settings appear to be contradictory. What to do?

    Several other things to note:

    1) The default difficulty setting in MAME up to version 0.144 was "Easy." In 0.145 it was changed to "Normal", which should be the same as difficulty 2 (factory default).
    2) The fire joystick was originally mapped as buttons in MAME, which made it possible to fire in both directions at once. This was fixed in the most recent version of MAME (0.153).
    3) MAME now has a visual depiction of DIP switches, but it appears as though SW2#5 and SW2#6 might be backwards. Here are how the DIPs look in MAME 0.152:


    I see this as SW2#5-6 = ON-OFF, which would give a difficulty setting of 3/"Hard", not 2/"Normal". Changing the MAME difficulty to "Hard" flips the setting to what I would expect to see for "Normal." I don't know how DIPs are handled within MAME, but which should I trust: the description of the difficulty level, or the DIP switch settings below?

    There is some more discussion regarding these settings here.

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by xelnia; 09-07-2017 at 11:37 AM.
  2. VERIFIED Senior Member Credibility: 11,761
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    I have wondered about what the difficulty settings actually mean. As if the game isn't hard enough even on the easiest setting.

    I speculate but haven't physically timed it, that the swarm timer varies per difficulty setting?
    The ArcadeSD board does a really nice emulation of Tut but it requires using 3 buttons. In that version you can fire both ways, too.
    Are you inspired to find the joy in gaming?

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    robotron2084guidebook.com/
  3. VERIFIED Senior Member Credibility: 5,567
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500points View Post
    I have wondered about what the difficulty settings actually mean. As if the game isn't hard enough even on the easiest setting.

    I speculate but haven't physically timed it, that the swarm timer varies per difficulty setting?
    The ArcadeSD board does a really nice emulation of Tut but it requires using 3 buttons. In that version you can fire both ways, too.
    From what I can tell the swarm timer stays the same regardless of difficulty: 16 ticks of the in-game timer, or a hair over 34 seconds real time. Maybe it has something to do with enemy speed and logic. Also, if the game gets harder through each of the four "loops" of the stages, and there are four difficulty settings in the DIPs...is it possible that the DIPs just start you at a "harder" loop, at least from an enemy standpoint? The timer and keys don't seem to change with the DIPs, so all I can think of is enemy behavior.
  4. VERIFIED Senior Member Credibility: 11,761
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    Interesting. I sold my real PCB quite some time back. Might have to fire up MAME and see if anything obvious sticks out, using the 255 lives setting. I'm curious now!
    Are you inspired to find the joy in gaming?

    TG employee (82-84)
    robotron2084guidebook.com/