Vast Fame multicarts dumped!
So, recently I added support for a multicart mapper to my Game Boy emulator hhugboy. You may be wondering at this point (unless you've been following me on Twitter, or read the emulator readme, where I kinda gave the game away) - why? THIS is why:
Yin Ban Zhongwen RPG Zhanlüe + Dongzuo + Yizhi 12 in 1 (銀版中文RPG戰略+動作+益智12in1)
that's right - 12 whole games from Vast Fame! This cart was the source of my Shi Kong Xing Shou and Xin Feng Shen Bang dumps, but I recently figured out how to dump the whole thing (with the help of a custom-built cable and a modified version of Brian Provinciano's gblinkdl software).
The multicart mapper and menu (featuring music stolen from Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible) don't seem to have been created by Vast Fame, and certainly aren't specific to their carts, having shown up on numerous generic multis too. Presumably these carts were produced towards the end of Vast Fame's life, and as far as I know they were only released in Taiwan.
Most of these games have been dumped in some form by now, but there's one kinda-new one, Digimon Pocket; it's similar to the previously dumped Chong Wu Xiao Jing Ling (aka Pokemon Ruby) but with new maps and obviously Digimonified. Its intro and map screen also features music obviously nowhere near Vast Fame's usual standards, not sure what's up with that. It gets better once you get into the game though. There are also two interesting variations here - Zook Hero 2, the original version of the game released elsewhere as "Rockman DX3", and an alternate version of Soul Falchion with a different title screen and Super Fighter 2001's soundtrack.
And then there are the mono games, about which - if you know your unlicensed GB stuff - you may be thinking "weren't those by Gowin?" Well, yes they were released by Gowin, but they were developed in the early 90s by staff involved with the whole Gamtec/Chuanpu melange from which Vast Fame would later emerge. It looks like they shopped them around a few publishers before finding Gowin; the Gowin releases contain (mostly) unused logos for Syntek Ltd, and Top Secret here has an unused copyright to Sonling (Songtly) and Jumbo, the same duo credited for the Mega Drive version of Fire Dragon. The versions on this cart all seem to be earlier revisions than those released by Gowin, with some featuring severe bugs.
ROM: Yin Ban Zhongwen RPG Zhanlve + Dongzuo + Yizhi 12 in 1 (Unl).zip
But that's not all! Would you believe there's something even bigger out there..
Shishang Chaoqiang RPG + Gedou + Yizhi Ban Zuhe Ka 18 in 1 (史上超強RPG+格鬥+益智版組合卡18in1)
Yep, they released an even bigger multicart, adding the first Zook game (the original version!), both installments of their Richman series, a couple more RPGs, the Harry Potter 2/3 reskin Qi Tian Da Sheng, and one more mono game. This isn't quite their entire library - they made at least one Pokemon and two Digimon games that aren't present on either cart (in addition to Digimon Pocket, which is only on the 12 in 1), and their earlier fighting games Super Fighter S, Queen Fighter 2000 and Super Fighter 2001 Alpha are missing too. Presumably copyright is the reason for Digimon, Pokemon and Super Fighter's absence; but Queen Fighter is if anything less ripoff-y than Soul Falchion, so I'm not sure why that didn't make the cut. But even with those few missing, it's a damn fine selection of games from the GB's best unlicensed developer.
Big thanks to Shamboozle for lending me this one!
ROM: Shishang Chaoqiang RPG + Gedou + Yizhi Ban Zuhe Ka 18 in 1 (Unl).zip
36 in 1 (SL36-0032)
This one is perhaps less interesting, it's just a generic multicart; it has (fairly common, buggy) Chinese translations of Pokemon Gold and Silver, plus a selection of 34 mono games. But it helped me understand more about the mapper, including how it handles banked SRAM (like Pokemon's) and MBC1/MBC5 incompatibilities (which affect Rolan's Curse and other mono games), so it was useful in its way. It's also kinda interesting in that it was released by "SL", a company that published several of Vast Fame's games in Mainland China.
ROM: 36 in 1 (SL36-0032) (Unl).zip
Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking, it's all well and good that I can play these on your weird emulator, but what if I want to play them on something that can record videos or that runs on my phone or my Bingoo A420 or whatever? Don't worry, I got you covered~
So these are separate versions of any game (or variant thereof) not previously released, with header fixes where necessary; most of the games using SRAM don't have the correct header values to allow them to save in most emulators.
- Shuma Baolong - Koudai Ban (數碼暴龍-口袋版) - aka Digimon Pocket, never dumped before!
Raw dump: Shuma Baolong - Koudai Ban (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
Header fix: Shuma Baolong - Koudai Ban (Unl) (Multicart Rip) [Header Fix].zip
- Luke Yingxiong Z (路克英雄Z) - original version of Zook Hero Z; only the Li Cheng hack was dumped previously
Raw dump: Luke Yingxiong Z (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Luke Yingxiong 2 - Zook Hero 2 (路克英雄2) - original version, only "Rockman DX3" hacks dumped so far
Raw dump: Luke Yingxiong 2 - Zook Hero 2 (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
Header fix: Luke Yingxiong 2 - Zook Hero 2 (Unl) (Multicart Rip) [Header Fix].zip
- Gedou Jian Shen - Soul Falchion (格鬥劍神) - intro/title variant on dumped version
Raw dump: Gedou Jian Shen - Soul Falchion (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Baiwan Dafuweng - Jin Ban (百萬大富翁-金版) - same as existing dump, but there's no existing header fix afaik
Raw dump: Baiwan Dafuweng - Jin Ban (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
Header fix: Baiwan Dafuweng - Jin Ban (Unl) (Multicart Rip) [Header Fix].zip
- Fengkuang Dafuweng (瘋狂大富翁) - already ripped from a different multicart, but that one contains the menu code, this is a more "pure" dump
Raw dump: Fengkuang Dafuweng (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
Header fix: Fengkuang Dafuweng (Unl) (Multicart Rip) [Header Fix].zip
- Shuihu Shenshou (水滸神獸) - differs slightly from existing dumps
Raw dump: Shuihu Shenshou (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
Header fix: Shuihu Shenshou (Unl) (Multicart Rip) [Header Fix].zip
- Sanguozhi - Aoshi Tianxia (三國志-傲視天下) - one of the existing dumps is an overdump of this
Raw dump: Sanguozhi - Aoshi Tianxia (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
Header fix: Sanguozhi - Aoshi Tianxia (Unl) (Multicart Rip) [Header Fix].zip
For completeness, here are links to the five other colour games, which were previously ripped from multicarts by me:
Sheng Shou Wu Yu, Xin Feng Shen Bang & Shi Kong Xing Shou, E Mo Dao, Qi Tian Da Sheng.
- Long Xing Tianxia (龍行天下) - aka Fire Dragon, different title screen from the Gowin version and some glitchy stages
Long Xing Tianxia (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Mofa Qiu (魔法球) - aka Magic Ball
Mofa Qiu (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Prince YehRude
Prince YehRude (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Lasama Chuanqi - Story of Lasama (拉薩瑪傳奇) - has level select, 99 lives and game-breaking collision bugs
Lasama Chuanqi - Story of Lasama (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Zuigao Jimi - Top Secret (最高機密) - aka "Mi Tu De Lu: Puzzle Path" or "Lost Trip" or "Losing Trip"
Zuigao Jimi - Top Secret (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
- Caihong Zhanshi - Rainbow Prince (最高機密) - glitched graphics in 2nd stage onwards
Caihong Zhanshi - Rainbow Prince (Unl) (Multicart Rip).zip
And that's it! Six years after Shi Kong Xing Shou, we finally have Vast Fame multicarts completely dumped and emulated!
oh yeah and I haven't updated my dumping project page with these ones yet because it's tedious and I'm going to bed
First, thanks for the dumps, and second, Zook Hero 1 needs to be translated, you, who dumped the rom, you could make an translation tool for it? I can translate based on the english version.
I'd rather try to figure out the protection on the actual English release tbh. If you really want to translate this version it should be possible with standard romhacking tools though.
Digimon Pocket's music is the same three tracks from Shui Hu Shen Shou that Digital Monsters 3 used, and it's a shame since both SHSS and Digimon Pocket's original soundtracks are really good (and the former's quite large; they easily could've had actual battle themes for this version.) I'm curious if this one's an older revision between that, slight changes and a missing NPC character.
Taizou, you could send me the rom with protection, will not try to figure out the protection, just to get the texts and codes to be able to put in the rom without protection. I believe this will help me a lot to translate the rom.
Take a look:
I am not able to follow up with the translation because you need to change other codes besides the texts pointers.
Nice work! Can't wait to try these out!
Nice. Maybe someday the English versions of some of these will see the light of day.
I think the only one with a 100% confirmed English version is Zook Hero Z. I've seen boxes for potential English versions of Digimon Pocket (as 'Digimon Adventure Pocket') and Zook Hero 2 (as 'Rockman Zero') as well, but it's probably fairly unlikely that stuff like their original RPGs or the Richman games were ever released in English.
Hey, speaking of Vast Fame, I apparently found this on Google. Not sure if anyone has posted this or pointed it out, but....
It's in Chinese, but apparently it's company data on Vast Fame. Even though it disbanded, the data's still there on this website. From there, we know that it was established sometime in April 2, 1999, but had its disbanding sometime at around January 2, 2004. Its company registration authority is the Taichung City government (though TCRF already noted somewhere that Vast Fame resided in Dali City). And its whole headquarters is a single rented office room in a building somewhere.
And under the "所營事業資料" section it has "F119010 : electronic materials, wholesale trade. F219010 : electronic materials retail. F118010 : IT software wholesale trade. F218010 : Retail software information. F113050 : Transactional equipment wholesale industry. F213030 : Transactional equipment retail." I don't know if I'm translating this right or know much about Taiwanese business law, but I tried my best in interpreting as much as I can.
And I managed to find Vast Fame's former headquarters just by using the information provided by copying and pasting "臺中市大里區新里里大里路六二號一樓" on Google Maps. Here is the result, you can even use Google Streetview on the thing for a better look: https://www.google.com/maps?q=%E8%87%BA%E4%B8%AD%E5%B8%82%E5%A4%A7%E9%87%8C%E5%8D%80%E6%96%B0%E9%87%8C%E9%87%8C%E5%A4%A7%E9%87%8C%E8%B7%AF%E5%85%AD%E4%BA%8C%E8%99%9F%E4%B8%80%E6%A8%93&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiY_5-8lJjPAhUM34MKHR18D-0Q_AUICCgB . The address translates to "No. 62, Dali Rd, Dali District
Taichung City, Taiwan 412" in English.
I hope this is as much help to you, Taizou and other Vast Fame fans looking to find more info on them.
thanks for the info, questionmark person!
Sadly, that information has been known for years:
"Armed with only the company’s address and a fat wallet, I would later pay a taxi driver to take me to the former site of Vast Fame. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when the cab driver pulled into a residential area chalk full of apartments. After snooping around the area and confirming the address, I came to realize that Vast Fame’s company must have been headquartered in a small apartment of sorts, which suggests the size of the company itself. Not one to give up though, I went to a nearby convenience store and grabbed a couple of beers, before checking out a small game shop that had been around back in the day."
Nice to know that people aren't reading my blog. :(
Either way, seeing screenshots of these games bring back good memories of three or four years ago. I used to play these games all the time, on a beat up Game Boy Color machine. Sadly, these days I am usually busking rather than gaming, and thus my games just sit sadly in the drawer.
On another note, I am on some Vast Fame leads, as one of my friends has a contact that is "close" with them.
haha well I read your blog (which is great btw) and I did already know about that stuff, but I don't want to discourage people coming here with useful info. Makes a change from "when will you dump X" you know.
Interestingly enough, I had visited my girlfriend's area tonight, and we happened to walk right by where the old Vast Fame company used to be. It was evening though, so no pictures this time ;) My girlfriend had then seen the shop I had stopped by four or five years back, and mentioned it to me, and I recounted the story how the shop keeper had no idea about Vast Fame, despite selling gaming products. Hahaha, really makes you wonder.
Yeah, it seems like their fame was never all that vast, even on their home turf, sadly. At least they've now gained some kind of late recognition among the (admittedly small) group of people interested in weirdo unlicensed games though.
Got any cheats for zook hero?
yes i do!
in both address/value and gameshark/action replay format:
FFD2=14 / 0114D2FF - max health
FFE0=09 / 0109E0FF - max lives
FFDE=09 / 0109DEFF - max H-tanks
FFDF=09 / 0109DFFF - max S-tanks
FFB9=01 / 0101B9FF - have boots upgrade
FFBA=01 / 0101BAFF - have blaster upgrade
FFBB=01 / 0101BBFF - have armour upgrade
FFBC=01 / 0101BCFF - have helmet upgrade
FFB7=xx / 01xxB7FF (where xx is a number between 00 and 06, anything higher will crash the game) - change selected weapon
oh on the subject of zook z, i noticed the header in this version is "ROOK" whereas in every standalone version i've seen it's "ZOCK2000 V FAME"
in both cases they managed to mix up Rock and Zook, but in different ways each time..
Thanks for taizou's post. I always try to find Zook Hero Z recent years. For this game, it's one of my best memories GBC game when I'm in high school. Now I finally find it on your page. Many thanks for your working on this~~~
I beat Prince YehRude a little over a month ago (I kinda liked it, and I didn't think it was that weird, aside from the four times it digresses into a random, arbitrary mini-game), and I was wondering: do you have any idea where the music is from? The only thing the bootleg games wiki says is "The song is children music." but that says nothing about which songs are which, etc. Could some tracks even be original compositions?
Yeah I think the music in YehRude is original. Can't 100% guarantee it though. Those mono Gowin-published games had a couple of different composers working on them, one was Gamtec regular Hanmin Liao, but YehRude doesn't sound like his work and I'm not sure who it was.
Where can I find dump of this 'Spatio Monoster' game or more information about it (with original title/transcription maybe)?
Thnx in advance!
dude, spatio monster is just shi kong shi shou.
There are Gowin games that have dates on them that date back to the early 90s. The multicarts that are shown here show games with copyright dates that are from the early 2000s. Are you sure Vast Fame released their version's first?
Here is an archived listing of Magic Ball's English box:
Notice how the copyright suggests Gowin released this version in 1994?
On the subject of why the Vast Fame versions would be buggier than the Gowin ones if they were actually newer releases, I have no idea.
The ROM for Zook Z seems surprisingly large. It is quite a bit larger than the Li Cheng version, and the ROM for Zook 2
I wonder why?
Downloads seem to be broken sadly, fix please
I heard that the VF multicarts lack custom boot logos, but your new update to the emulator shows a different reality. If the unlicensed protection mode is set to Sintax, these boot with the V. Fame logo, however the Gowin stuff seems to have other weird looking logos. Soul Falchion has the logo "SOUL". Zook 2 uses a regular VF logo, but West Story has one I haven't seen and Devil Island uses a TD Soft logo. Do you know if these appear on actual hardware, or if this is just something that messing with the emulator setting dug up?
I can't seem to get a boot logo out of your dump of Digimon Pocket. I am making a spreadsheet of all the VF boot logos to post to the wiki and was wondering if you knew if Digimon Pocket uses the italicized DIGI logo, or the non0italicized one with a period at the end. I was also wondering if you knew what boot logos for Pocket Monster Ruby and that Lord of the Rings GBC game VF released looked like. Thank you for reading
Most of the logos you describe are the ones from the single cart versions and do appear on real hardware when playing the original single carts, but don't appear on the multicarts. The logos are only displayed if the cartridge hardware actually swaps them into place when booting the game (which the multicarts don't), but they are usually left in the ROM in the same spot even in multicart/hacked/whatever versions, and since Sintax carts have the same kind of logo swap, the emu will display them in that mode.
I don't know about Digimon Pocket or Pokemon Ruby, sorry, I don't have original copies of those. Lord of the Rings might be TD-SOFT since it's based on Devil Island but I would have to double check
Ah, thanks. To my knowledge NGCA versions of Vast Fame games also have custom logos that only boot when using an unlicensed compatibility mode that forces the logo swap. That I found when trying to see if I could force a logo to appear out of my Digimon Saphire cart
>inb4 commenting on an years-old post, but thank you for the mofa qiu dump! i’m crazy about clever and obscure puzzle games and this one is instantly addictive :)
ZOOK HERO Z PASSWORDS
This takes you to the last stages in Zook Hero with 9 Lives, 9 Energy Tanks and 9 Weapon Tanks