Topic: 6. Extra documentation

6 .   E x t r a   d o c u m e n t a t i o n

6.1. General usage of emulators with Video Mode Maker. Optimal settings.

6.2. List of relevant video modes and the associated systems.

6.3. List of relevant [NTSC] systems using more than one video mode.

6.4. List of arcade games which dynamically change the video mode.

6.5. List of home games which dynamically change the video mode.

Re: 6. Extra documentation

6.1. General usage of emulator programs with Video Mode Maker.

The first thing to note here is that the key for optimal performance of an emulator on a PC with a customized video card is that the program allows to use freely the video modes we have generated in our system with Video Mode Maker as explained in the previous chapter when switching to full-screen display. Contrarily to what it could be believed, we don't really need that the emulator runs at the vertical refresh of the emulated system (which, normally, will do), since, as it was mentioned there, getting the exact value for the vertical refresh of a given video mode is not possible with PC video cards, and minute differentiations are always present. This difference between the native vertical refresh and the refresh our customized video card can output as the nearest one is so small that it can never be really noticeable in terms of speed by the user (assuming the VMM configuration was properly done), but it adds other visual glitches derived from the lack of perfect synchronization. So what we really need is that the emulator has the option to actually run at the vertical frequency our video card outputs as the nearest one, that is to say, to synchronize its vertical refresh with our monitor's refresh, as well as using the native resolution at full screen. Ideally, it will also adapt the sound emulation so that the derived synchronization issues (remember that the audio also has its own sample rates) aren't too perceivable either.

MAME (and therefore, MESS) is the most obvious example for emulator with proper customizable display options, though many others will let you select any video mode acknowledged by Windows as well as synchronize the vertical refresh. This is made by way of the label system already mentioned in the Video Mode Maker chapter -- thanks to having an assigned label for every video mode where the value for the vertical frequency is modified to be an integer, theoretically we can use them whenever we have the option to configure the full-screen display somehow in the emulator program (or any other application, for that matter).

So you must remember to set the desired video mode in the emulator's configuration menu/file by using the video mode's internal label according to Arcade OSD's list (and not by typing the real video mode's values, since you might be entering a label that may or may not correspond to the desired video mode, which is assigned by Video Mode Maker when generating the modelines).

Three points to note concerning this matter:

- If the emulator makes use of Direct 3D, only Windows-accessible modelines can be used with it. If possible, set the emulator for Direct Draw instead.

- It's usual that an emulator can be set to use any given resolution, but not the desired vertical frequency. In these cases, the video mode selected by the emulator is unpredictable. Though it's certainly possible that the mode from your present list with the 'X-Y-60' label assigned is picked (so it may be a good idea to get this label with the desired video mode assigned -- make sure you edit properly the ReslList.txt file before running VMM file to make that possible), the only way to make sure the right one is selected is by enabling only one instance of that given resolution in the system (the one with the desired vertical frequency).

- In some cases, you can set the emulator to just use the desktop's current mode when switching to full-screen display, so you only need to previously change the desktop to the desired video mode by way of Arcade OSD. Again, you must make sure that the emulator will keep the vertical frequency along with the desktop resolution, since that's not always a given.

A special mention is owed to those games which dynamically change the display resolution or the whole video mode, in case we can configure the emulator properly for that behaviour. Ideally, dynamic resolution switching should be coded into every pertinent emulator so that we wouldn't need to worry which and when the games do it, but that's far from the current situation. You'll normally have to look for special builds such as Groovy MAME in order to get it. Anyhow, it's important to know the different video modes possible for every emulated system so that we can decide which one(s) to use attending to the specific game. We're compiling in this chapter a per-system list in order to help document the labour.

Re: 6. Extra documentation

6.2. List of relevant video modes.

This tries to be a compilation of the video modes used by the most relevant video-game (home and arcade) systems from the 80's and 90's so that it can serve as a reference for configuring VMM. Excluded for now are PAL versions of NTSC systems since they're not really relevant for gaming purposes (with some exceptions such as the Commodore Amiga series, which would need further elaboration), but it still is far from comprehensive.

Normally, MAME, MESS as well as other emulators' documentation are the source, but it may not be up-to-date given that new measurements and discoveries are made every now and then, especially for arcade hardware. The idea, though, is getting the list updated twice a year. Keep in mind that some modes for these sytems aren't actually verified (marked with "(Hz?)" in the list).

Number of video modes listed: 134 ("low resolution") + 19 ("medium" and "high resolution"). Game and maker names are given only as examples for arcade games to help mode identification. Conciliated with MAME 0.145:

224 x 224 x 61.034091 Bank Panic, Combat Hawk

240 x 160 x 59.730000 Game Boy Advance (note: screen aspect ratio is 3 : 2)

240 x 192 x 59.659091 Universal

240 x 216 x 60.000000 Momoko 120%

240 x 224 x 60.000000 Roller Aces, Super Cross II, Dai Ressha Goutou, Jackal, Mr. Goemon, Youma Ninpou Chou

240 x 224 x 60.606061 Manhattan 24

240 x 240 x 57.000000 Tropical Angel

240 x 240 x 57.370000 Son Son

240 x 240 x 57.444853 Kyohkoh-Toppa, Darwin 4078, DECO Cassette

240 x 256 x 60.000000 Knuckle Joe

248 x 224 x 60.000000 Formation Z

256 x 192 x 59.610000 Ninja-kun 2, Atomic Robokid

256 x 192 x 60.000000 Raiders 5, Ninja-kun

256 x 208 x 60.000000 Gekisou

256 x 224 x 53.800000 Psychic 5

256 x 224 x 54.000000 Bombs Away, Mad Ball

256 x 224 x 56.180000 NMK-1

256 x 224 x 57.412200 Chanbara

256 x 224 x 57.500000 DJ Boy, Snow Bros

256 x 224 x 59.000000 Battlecry, Reikai Doushi, Bakuretsu Breaker, Akumajou

256 x 224 x 59.150000 Chuka Taisen, New Zealand Story

256 x 224 x 59.170000 Ninja Ryuukenden, Raiga

256 x 224 x 59.185400 B. Rap Boys

256 x 224 x 59.185606 Bubble Bobble, Scramble Formation, SAR, Ikari III, Datsugoku, Street Smart

256 x 224 x 59.390000 Sky Smasher, Blood Bros

256 x 224 x 59.600000 Raiden, Cabal

256 x 224 x 59.610000 Juju Densetsu

256 x 224 x 60.000000 Mega Drive (A), PC Engine (A) (Hz?), Baluba-Louk, Top Secret, Tatakai no Banka, System C-2, Battlantis, Sand Scorpion, Mega System 1, Magical Crystals

256 x 224 x 60.080000 Tora he no Michi

256 x 224 x 60.096154 Sega System 1

256 x 224 x 60.098476 Super Famicom (A)

256 x 224 x 60.191409 Alpha Denshi

256 x 224 x 60.606061 Black Panther, City Bomber, Gradius

256 x 232 x 59.826098 Bloody Wolf

256 x 240 x 54.000000 Butasan, Argus, Valtric

256 x 240 x 55.450000 X-680000 (A) (Hz?)

256 x 240 x 57.403400 Fire Trap

256 x 240 x 57.444853 DECO16, Double Dragon, Sai Yuu Gou Ma Roku, Xain'd Sleena

256 x 240 x 57.500000 Puzzle King

256 x 240 x 58.000000 DECO8

256 x 240 x 59.637405 Western Express

256 x 240 x 60.000000 Act-Fancer, Trio the Punch, Chelnov, Performan

256 x 240 x 60.098000 Family Computer, Super Famicom (B)

256 x 256 x 55.000000 Buccaneers, Youjuuden, Spartan-X, Vigilante

256 x 256 x 55.450000 X-68000 (B) (Hz?)

256 x 256 x 60.000000 Heated Barrel

272 x 224 x 60.000000 Finalizer

272 x 240 x 60.000000 MSX-2 (A) (Hz?)

280 x 224 x 60.000000 Contra, Fast Lane, Flak Attack, Labyrinth Runner

280 x 240 x 60.000000 Slap Fight, Kyuukyoku Tiger, Get Star

288 x 216 x 60.000000 ASO, Ikari, Athena, Jumping Cross, Gladiator, Rabio Lepus

288 x 224 x 59.170000 Super Contra

288 x 224 x 59.185606 GX System (A), Dadandarn, Simpsons

288 x 224 x 59.700000 NB-1

288 x 224 x 60.000000 A-Jax, Aliens, Asterix, Detana!!, Crazy Cop, GI Joe, Trigon, NA-1 (A)

288 x 224 x 60.606060 Namco System I & II

296 x 240 x 60.000000 Return of the Jedi

304 x 224 x 59.170000 Crime Fighters, Crime Fighters 2, X-Men

304 x 224 x 58.000000 Blazing Tornado, Grand Striker 2

304 x 224 x 60.000000 Garuka, SPY, NA-1 (B)

304 x 224 x 60.606061 MIA

304 x 232 x 60.000000 Denjin Makai II

320 x 224 x 56.000000 Gouketsuji

320 x 224 x 57.230000 System 18

320 x 224 x 57.550645 Gaia Crusaders

320 x 224 x 58.000000 Moudja, Daitoride, Puzzli

320 x 224 x 58.970000 F-3 (A)

320 x 224 x 59.185606 Neo-Geo

320 x 224 x 59.300000 Psikyo-1 (A)

320 x 224 x 59.637405 X-Board

320 x 224 x 59.764793 ST-V (A)

320 x 224 x 59.900000 Psikyo-1 (B)

320 x 224 x 60.000000 Mega Drive (B), System 16, System 32 (A), Psikyo-2, Deniam, Sel Feena, Rabbit, Varia Metal, Nostradamus, Mega System 32, Gun Master, TMNT

320 x 224 x 60.054389 Out Run, Turbo OR, Enduro Racer, Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, System 16B

320 x 224 x 60.606061 Majuu no Ookoku, Gradius II, Hard Puncher

320 x 232 x 58.970000 F-3 (B)

320 x 232 x 60.000000 Blazeon, Chase Bombers

320 x 240 x 53.986864 SPI

320 x 240 x 54.877858 Wardner no Mori, Kyuukyoku Tiger

320 x 240 x 55.161545 Dash Yarou, Horror Story

320 x 240 x 55.407801 Raiden II

320 x 240 x 55.803571 Apache 3

320 x 240 x 57.000000 Armed-F, Terra Force, Big Fighter

320 x 240 x 57.444853 Double Dragon 3, Wrestle Fest, Combatribes, Touki Denshou, Deroon Dero-Dero

320 x 240 x 57.550645 Cave

320 x 240 x 57.613169 Zero Wing, Vimana, Tatsujin

320 x 240 x 58.000000 Ragtime, Joe & Mac, Dark Seal, Charlie Ninja, Osman

320 x 240 x 59.100000 Alligator Hunt, Bang!

320 x 240 x 59.572440 Shadow Force

320 x 240 x 59.597100 Super Nova System

320 x 240 x 59.637405 Dogyuun, V-V, Knuckle Bash, Eighting

320 x 240 x 60.000000 Naname, Oh My God, DECO32, Fuuki, M-92

320 x 256 x 49.764608 Art & Magic

320 x 256 x 55.407801 Zero Team

320 x 256 x 55.470000 New Zero Team

320 x 256 x 60.000000 BNB Arcade

320 x 256 x 61.000000 Denjin Makai

336 x 224 x 60.000000 PC Engine (B) (Hz?)

336 x 240 x 59.922743 Atari

336 x 240 x 60.186720 SSV (A)

336 x 248 x 60.000000 Wheels & Fire

338 x 240 x 60.186720 SSV (A')

352 x 224 x 59.764793 ST-V (B)

352 x 240 x 60.000000 Action Hollywood, Spinal Breakers, Karate Blazers

352 x 240 x 60.186720 SSV (B')

352 x 240 x 61.310000 Turbo Force, Super Volley 91

352 x 256 x 60.000000 Fantasy Land

360 x 224 x 60.000000 Last Fortress Toride

360 x 224 x 60.000000 Pang Pom's, Poitto!, Sky Alert

360 x 240 x 59.922743 Vicious Circle

360 x 240 x 60.000000 Ninja Clowns, FM Towns (Hz?)

366 x 240 x 54.000000 Mighty Warriors

368 x 232 x 60.000000 World Rally

368 x 240 x 58.000000 Steel Force

376 x 224 x 59.185606 Gaiapolis

380 x 224 x 60.000000 Silkroad, Bomb Kick, Shocking

384 x 224 x 56.180000 NMK-2

384 x 224 x 59.185606H GX System (B), Martial Champion, Violent Storm, Silkroad 2

384 x 224 x 59.583393 CP-S III

384 x 224 x 59.637405 CP-S, CP-S II

384 x 224 x 60.000000 Mad Shark, EX Revue, Bucky O'Hare, Moo Mesa, Eight Forces

384 x 240 x 57.420000 Mitchell, Mokugeki, Superman

384 x 240 x 57.550645 Oni

384 x 240 x 59.100000 World Rally 2

384 x 240 x 60.000000 Gundhara, Blandia, Rezon, Zing Zing Zip, Macross Plus, Gundam, Last Duel, Gigandes

384 x 256 x 54.253472 Xexex

384 x 256 x 55.000000 DBZ, Kaiketsu Yanchamaru, Meikyuujima

384 x 256 x 55.017606 M-72

384 x 256 x 60.106990 Blood Storm, SF the Movie, Time Killers

392 x 224 x 60.000000 Koukuu Kihei Monogatari

399 x 253 x 54.706840 MK, Judge Dredd, NBA Jam, Rampage WT, WWF, Smash TV

400 x 224 x 60.000000 Psycho Soldier, Bermuda Triangle, Fighting Soccer

416 x 224 x 60.000000 System 32 (B)

448 x 224 x 59.170000 Cave (PGM)

448 x 224 x 60.000000 PGM

512 x 192 x 60.000000 XX Mission

512 x 224 x 60.098476 Super Famicom (C) (Hz?)

512 x 224 x 60.000000 Super Pinball Action, PC Engine (C) (Hz?)

512 x 224 x 60.797665 Battletoads

512 x 240 x 55.450000 X-68000 (C) (Hz?)

512 x 256 x 55.450000 X-68000 (D) (Hz?)

512 x 256 x 60.000000 Hexion

544 x 240 x 60.000000 MSX-2 (B) (Hz?)

576 x 224 x 59.185606 Vs Net Soccer

640 x 200 x 56.533419 PC-88 (A) (15kHz)






496 x 384 x 57.524160 System 24, Model 1, Model 2

496 x 384 x 60.000000 Model 3

511 x 299 x 54.824186 Narc

512 x 384 x 60.000000 Konami GV, GTI Club

512 x 384 x 60.096154 APB

512 x 400 x 57.134789 Midzeus

512 x 400 x 57.349016 Cruis'n USA, Cruis'n World, Off Road Challenge

512 x 400 x 60.000000 Five A Side Soccer, Taito JC, Syvalion

512 x 448 x 60.000000 Popeye

512 x 448 x 60.098476 Super Famicom (D) (interlaced)

512 x 448 x 61.651673  Hyper NG 64

512 x 480 x 60.000000 FM Towns (interlaced and progressive) (Hz?)

512 x 512 x 55.450000 X-68000 (F) (Hz?)

576 x 432 x 60.000000 Radikal Bikers, Speed Up, Surf Planet

640 x 480 x 53.178707 California Chase

640 x 480 x 55.450000 X-68000 (E) (Hz?)

640 x 480 x 57.000000 Seattle

768 x 512 x 55.450000 X-68000 (G) (Hz?)

Re: 6. Extra documentation

6.3. List of relevant [NTSC] systems which use more than one video mode.

Work-in-progress.


1.  Mega Drive / Sega C-2

- 256 x 224 x 60.000000

- 320 x 224 x 60.000000

- 320 x 448 x 60.000000 (interlaced)

It's unclear if it's 60.000000 or actually 59.922738 Hz. Some MD games dynamically change between the first two modes. The latter is only used by Sonic the Hedgehog 2.


2. Sega System 32

- 320 x 224 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 416 x 224 x 60.000000

Apparently, the only game actually making relevant use of the latter mode is Burning Rivals.


3. Sega Saturn / ST-V

- 320 x 224 x 59.764793

- 320 x 232 x 59.764793 (Hz?) (used by Darius Gaiden)

- 320 x 240 x 59.764793 (Hz?)

- 352 x 224 x 59.764793 (Hz?)

- 352 x 240 x 59.764793 (Hz?)

- 640 x 448 x 59.764793 (Hz?) (interlaced)

- 704 x 480 x 59.764793 (Hz?) (interlaced)

Apparently, this platform could use up to 704 x 513 accordding, though no NTSC game has been found using it.


4. Play Station / ZN System

- 256 x 224 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 256 x 240 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 320 x 224 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 320 x 240 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 384 x 224 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 384 x 240 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 640 x 448 x 60.000000 (Hz?) (interlaced)

- 640 x 480 x 60.000000 (interlaced)

Many games, both, home and arcade, use more than one mode.


5. Neo-Geo / Neo-Geo CD

- 320 x 224 x 59.185606

Many games use an active area of 304 x 224, meaning that, for those, there are eight vertical lines in each side conceived as overscan (they're not intended to be visible).


6. Taito F3

- 320 x 224 x 58,970000

- 320 x 232 x 58,970000

There isn't any game which uses both modes.


7. Master System / Mark III / Sega System E

- 268 x 224 x 59.922738 (according to MESS?)

Active area is actually of 256 x 192 (always?).


8. Family Computer

- 256 x 240 x 60.098000

The FC only has one video mode, but it's here for reference.


9. Super Famicom

- 256 x 224 x 60.098475 (source: BSNES)

- 512 x 240 x ?

- 512 x 224 x ?

- 256 x 448 x ? (interlaced)

- 512 x 448 x ? (interlaced)

A few games switch between the different modes.


10. PC Engine

- 256 x 216 x ?

- 256 x 224 x ?

- 336 x 224 x ?

- 512 x 224 x ?

- 544 x 242 x 59.826098

A few games switch between different modes. The system had programmable overscan features.


11. PC-FX

- 256 x 216 x ?

- 256 x 224 x ?

- 336 x 224 x ?

- 512 x 224 x ?

- 544 x 242 x 59.826103

- 640 x 480 x 60.000000

Unconfirmed.


12. MSX 2 / MSX 2 Plus / MSX Turbo-R

- 272 x 240 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

- 544 x 240 x 60.000000 (Hz?)

These are the main modes the MSX 2 uses for gaming purpones (Screen 5 and Screen 7 modes). The MSX 2 Plus and Turbo-R could turn the latter into 544 x 480 (interlaced), though it's rarely used. These resolution values were never the actual "active area", though, since that's normally of 256 x 212 or 512 x 212, leaving the rest as a border.


13. PC-8801 series

- 640 x 200 x 56.533419 (Hz?)

- 640 x 400 x 50.000000 (Hz?) (24 kHz)


14. PC-88 VA

- 640 x 200 x ?

- 640 x 400 x ?


15. PC-9801 series

- 640 x 400 x ?


16. X-68000 series

- 256 x 240 x 55.450000 (Hz?)

- 256 x 256 x 61.460000 (Hz?)

- 512 x 240 x 55.450000 (Hz?)

- 512 x 256 x 61.460000 (Hz?)

- 512 x 512 x 55.450000 (Hz?)

- 640 x 480 x 55.450000 (Hz?)

- 768 x 512 x 55.450000


17. FM Towns

- 320 x 240 x ?

- 352 x 232 x ?

- 384 x 240 x ?

- 512 x 480 x ?

- 640 x 480 x ?

- 768 x 512 x ?

- 1024 x 768 x ?

Unconfirmed.


(Sources: MAME 0.164, others)

Re: 6. Extra documentation

6.4. List of arcade games which dynamically change the video mode.

Under construction.

Re: 6. Extra documentation

6.4. List of home games which dynamically change the video mode.

Under construction.