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TeknoParrot and Arcade Loaders for PC

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Updated OP after a week of playing about with this.  

 

It's fantastic!

 

So, what I learned this week is that there's a type of emulation that isn't really emulation in the traditional sense.  For a particular era of arcade games (2005 up to the present day), the games ran on PC hardware and were written in regular PC code.  This means that the process of getting them on your home PC isn't the traditional emulation route (where your computer is emulating a different machine entirely) but an arcade loader (where a loader program sorts out what you need to run the original PC based code on your own PC at home). You're effectively running PC games on your PC, so it's far less demanding than emulation.

 

The results of my experimentation (and thanks so much to @StoooTube for answering my questions when I got stuck)  have blown me away.  I have a 2007 PC with a second hand Nvidia  560Ti graphics card in it.  It wouldn't run stand a chance of running, say, a PS3 or Xbox emulator.  But it plays PC games from 2007 very well, so I'm using the Teknoparrot emulator and playing Afterburner Climax, Sega Racing Classic, Daytona 3, Outrun 2 and Sega Race TV and they are all running superbly.  It's also strange how, for example, Outrun 2 plays really well on a joypad (the controls feel exactly the same as the home PC conversion) which is amazing when you think the arcade code is designed for a steering wheel.  

 

The downside to all this is that it's the most tweaky system I've come across in emulation.  There doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason as to which game file is the executable, and there are some issues that make no sense to me at all.  For example, Chase HQ 2 ran extremely slowly, but as soon as you press start the game itself plays at full speed.  Unfortunately this meant that calibrating the controller took ages and you have to do that (just the once) before you can play it. Some games do not allow you to insert a coin and you need to find the arcade settings screen and put the game on free play , after which it works fine. Some games need a patch for AMD graphics, others need a patch for Nvidia.  The executable for Outrun2 happens to be hidden in a folder called Jennifer.  Sometimes there's no obvious way of knowing what exe file to pick. A number of the games get files quarantined by your virus protection. It's not very intuitive!

 

But this is all a one time faff. Once you have the game set up, it's one click to start and it's proper arcade games in the home, good, recent stuff, working amazingly well. The best bit for me was being able to play and spend time on Sega Race TV, which I played once in Blackpool and never saw again. A very silly game (and not Sega's best by a long way) it's a racer I've always wanted to play again and I can't believe how perfectly it runs on my old PC.

 

There are also arcade loaders out there that work as standalone environments.  I found Contra Evolution and it came as a zip file with an emulator built in, you just run game.exe and it works.

 

This is an area of emulation I'd not seen before and it's pretty exciting!  If you have the patience to tweak, it's quite extraordinary to have these brilliant arcade games running perfectly on a fairly basic PC. And if you can run Outrun 2 in 4K, well....  Glorious!

 

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@StoooTube played with it a while back, I think.

 

I was curious about it, but it sounds like a bunch of hoops to jump through and I don't know if my PC's any good. :P 

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There are a few different 'emulators' like this (arcadeloader was one of the first I think). They aren't emulators in the strictest sense, they just allow arcade games that run on standard PC hardware to be run on your own pc, presumably taking care of security and I/O in some cases, although i've never delved into it.

 

You will struggle to find these freely available (i.e. through archive.org) as a lot of the games are recent-ish and will still be out in the wild. There is a french forum called Emuline that have a good subforum for arcade pc loaders, but you will find yourself trawling through various download link sites and the restrictions you get without paying for them.

 

These loaders cover a wide variety of machines though so there is no one spec that is good enough. I'd suggest cross referencing that hardware it supports with their wikipedia pages  to see how your pc stacks up against them.

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3 hours ago, dumpster said:

Anyone got any experience of this? Sounds right up my street but I can't find the roms, so don't know how well it works on my average old PC.

 

3 hours ago, Qazimod said:

@StoooTube played with it a while back, I think.

 

I was curious about it, but it sounds like a bunch of hoops to jump through and I don't know if my PC's any good. :P 


I recently set this up on my new PC, it’s a lot easier now than it used to be.

Teknoparrot now updates to the latest build automatically which is really handy. A lot of “problem” games now have shader fixes for graphics cards - for example Outrun 2 now works with AMD cards. These patches are usually easy to find with a simple Google search. 
 

The ROMs are harder to find... the Teknoparrot site used to have links to some games, another good place is Arcade Punks. If there’s a particular game you’re after give me a shout.

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I saw a pack for this the other day that clocked in at 289GB. 

 

I found it to be very hit and miss, but there's some really good stuff on there when it does work. I had it integrated with CoinOPS next but it just wasn't configured correctly. For every game that did work, 2 wouldn't. 

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Outrun 2 is around 1.8gb and runs brilliantly at 4K resolution on both AMD and Nvidia systems.

 

Race TV is around 2.9gb and apparently runs well with Nvidia. I read there’s an AMD shader fix available but I’ve not been able to track it down yet, so I haven’t actually played it. 
 

I also have Daytona 3, Initial D 8, Chase HQ2, Sega Rally 3, Afterburner Climax and Virtua Fighter 5 and they all run brilliantly. 
 

edit: I managed to find a copy of the AMD shader fix for Race TV and it works.

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I am absolutely blown away by this. Running on a PC that is fairly old, I'm playing Afterburner Climax, Sega Racing Classic and Outrun 2 absolutely perfectly, not a glitch in sight. Thanks to @StoooTube for the assistance.  This is incredible!

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On 19/07/2020 at 21:43, dumpster said:

I am absolutely blown away by this. Running on a PC that is fairly old, I'm playing Afterburner Climax, Sega Racing Classic and Outrun 2 absolutely perfectly, not a glitch in sight. Thanks to @StoooTube for the assistance.  This is incredible!

Sounds good, are you using a steering wheel? I found I can't play any aracde racing games on emulators using a joypad.

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On 21/07/2020 at 10:00, bplus said:

Sounds good, are you using a steering wheel? I found I can't play any aracde racing games on emulators using a joypad.

 

When I wrote that previous post I'd been setting the games up and making sure that they work and was just blown away by how perfect the games are emulated,  even on my old PC. Now I've tried to play the games I've had varying results with different controllers. I don't have a wheel for the PC and I've got various control pads here to try out. The best results have been with the Xbox one controller. You get a small amount of drift which you can fix by changing the dead zone in the teknoparrot settings. Sega racing classic suffers due to the small amount of movement of the stick. You find yourself steering to the extremes all the time. Sega  race TV and Outrun 2 seem to handle absolutely perfectly and plays as if it was written for your computer.

 

I think what impressed me the most about this is that I had expected it to be an emulator in the  traditional sense  but it seems that  these games are PC-based anyway and   I can only assume that it's not doing anywhere near the amount of dynamic recompiling that you get with traditional emulators. My PC  was last upgraded in about 2008 and is by no means a gaming PC. I'd have no chance of emulating, say, Afterburner Climax on a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 emulator but the original  arcade game came out in 2006 and runs perfectly on it .

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This is so good! Takes some setting up and tracking down files etc but once setup the games run amazingly and cannot wait to try with a wheel. Just trying to find a t300 for decent money now! 

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I think I'm on my four or fifth try to get most things working. I've downloaded a few packs for Coinops and Core, and they're incredibly hit and miss. You really do need to go into this directly from the emulator I've found. Another kicker is having your anti-virus quarantine half the files before you know it, leaving you wondering why so many files are suddenly missing. 

 

I'm surprised there's not a proper set up pack or guide, but this really feels like experimental emulation. But when it works, it's incredible. I absolutely agree with dumpster that it takes some tweaking but it's worth it. 

 

I grabbed a few roms this week and am going to start afresh as there's stuff I've never even heard of that I want to play (Never knew there was a Daytona 3 or Sega Rally 3).

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You guys have persuaded me to have a play around with this. So far I've only gotten hold of Sega Rally 3, but it crashes out with an 'Out of memory for tex' issue. Any ideas what I need to do to fix this?

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Yes, there's a file you need. Give me a second. There's a link to the file on the video's page. 

 

 

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How can I calibrate for Chase HQ2? I've tried not touching keys or joypad, I've tried holding left and right when it tells you not to (which seems to be the fix) but still tells me calibration failed.

 

I could get the accel/brake to work. 

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Given up on Chase HQ 2 for now. 

 

Got VF5 working (but not full screen)

Got Sega Golden Gun working (nice!)

 

Edit: I'm an idiot. I need to set wheel axis to the left joystick. Doing so allowed me to set up Chase HQ 2! 

 

Also working -

 

House of the Dead 4

Sega Rally 3 (good fun!)

Dead or Alive 5 (looks impressive)

Let's Go Jungle

Let's Go Island

Luigi's Mansion

Rambo

Tekken 7

 

Not Working

Daytona 3 - Does some kind of network test, but then crashes (I did grant it access to the network)

Transformers - Works but the cursor is stuck at the top of the screen

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4 hours ago, Goose said:

 

 

Not Working

Daytona 3 - Does some kind of network test, but then crashes (I did grant it access to the network)

 


I can’t remember if Daytona 3 was one of the games where you have to change it to a single cabinet in the system menu. 
 

(Maybe I’m thinking of Daytona 2 and Supermodel emulator).

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Can we use this thread to share any troubleshooting tips? I can't get Rambo or Luigi's Mansion to do anything at all.

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Rambo was the same for me - I swapped the game exe to a different one - Here are my settings - I think I had it set to RamboR.elf to start with. It works now. I'll grab my Luigi settings as well. And wow, Outrun 2 is glorious! 

 

image.png

 

image.png

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I somehow managed to get hold of a copy of Outrun 2 where all the music had been replaced with just the worst "music" known to humanity. Absolute total barbarity, some horrific sub-Vengaboys audio puke. Who does things like that? Frankly it's a much bigger crime than downloading the game in the first place.

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9 hours ago, Goose said:

Given up on Chase HQ 2 for now. 

 

Got VF5 working (but not full screen)

Got Sega Golden Gun working (nice!)

 

Edit: I'm an idiot. I need to set wheel axis to the left joystick. Doing so allowed me to set up Chase HQ 2! 

 

Also working -

 

House of the Dead 4

Sega Rally 3 (good fun!)

Dead or Alive 5 (looks impressive)

Let's Go Jungle

Let's Go Island

Luigi's Mansion

Rambo

Tekken 7

 

Not Working

Daytona 3 - Does some kind of network test, but then crashes (I did grant it access to the network)

Transformers - Works but the cursor is stuck at the top of the screen

I think the Daytona 3 crash *may* be down to forced resolution. I remember having loads of trouble before I got it running. From memory it has to be set at a specific resolution, but you can use a fix to make it fit your monitor screen. The fix will be buried somewhere in the emuline Teknoparrot thread. 

 

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Any protips for getting Outrun to work on AMD GPU? Grabbed the latest tekno which is supposedly fixed the white screen issue, but still seeing it :(

 

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I was amazed last night as to how good Outrun 2 looked and played, it's gorgeous. 

 

Going to try and set a few more up today. I've been doing my best to add a game, get it working correctly, before moving on to the next (apart from the two mentioned above).

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16 hours ago, sega_kid said:

I think the Daytona 3 crash *may* be down to forced resolution. I remember having loads of trouble before I got it running. From memory it has to be set at a specific resolution, but you can use a fix to make it fit your monitor screen. The fix will be buried somewhere in the emuline Teknoparrot thread. 

 

 

Still no joy with Daytona 3, I'll leave that for now. 

 

Got a few going today, and couple that just won't have it.

 

Transformers: Works fine now with the mouse

Mario Kart DX: Not quite sure - it gets so far then looks to be looking for network connections. Not too bothered as I've got it running elsewhere

Virtua Tennis 4: Works great

Star Wars Battle Pod: Works well, but won't go full screen

Melty Blood: Works fines, really not my type of thing though

Sega Classic Racing: Works but with graphical issues that the patch didn't seem to fix

Sega Dream Raiders: Works, bloody awful game

Mach Storm: Works great, lots of fun.

Darius Burst: Looks and sounds gorgeous

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So far 

 

Outrun 2 - now runs great, but need to enable vsync or the framerate is too fast

Sega Rally 3 - working great

Sega Racing - good but controls are a bit twitchy

Ford Racing, no luck getting the wheel to be emulated

Virtua Tennis 4 - works great

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Has anyone had success with the force feedback plugin? I managed it once, on my previous PC many months ago, but I can’t remember what I did and following the guide, I can’t get it to work?!

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Ok Sega Dream Raiders is much more fun if your children play and you stand behind them shaking the chair at the appropriate points!

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