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Old 03 August 2009, 18:56   #1
NewDeli
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The undergoing changes in Laser Disc emulation (Daphne v1, preliminary MAME support..

Did anyone took notice of the drastic changes in the way Laser Disc emulation was handled these last weeks ?


After a 7-day period Daphne v1 probation & mitigated attempts to restore my mpeg2 & roms folders manually, I think I can safely say that I dig what the author of Daphne has in mind.

The general idea is to have you shop for some of the DVDs containing games you badly want to play
(they have reinforced their partnershit with Digital Leisures).
Also, distracting you from downloading the illegal unencrypted .d2v + .ogg files.

Under the game options, you only have two other choices left :
Playing the game with an actual LVD player connected to your machine
disabling playing for this game (ah, I'll post a screen capture eventually)

So, first statement :
Daphne v1 makes the old method of downloading MPEGs completely obsolete (moar on that later) and rightly so.


In fact, the 2 Big Torrent Sites have accompanied this policy :
They still propose the old files, even though after having done some testing, I wouldn't recommend that method. They also propose newer "Daphne approved" MPEG downloads (which won't load in 0.99.7 Daphne versions, don't waste your time on that).


I am not implying the 0.99.7 series won't work at all, especially since there are numerous MPEG rips available for Digital Leisure instant classics, but as would say nvidia, it's not anymore the way it's meant to be played.

For example, the widely available rip of Thayer's Quest, which is considered by many the best DL inspired LD game (ranks inferior to DLII & Space Ace, but close second), with its intriguing 1 key = 1 action control panel instead of stick + buttons, won't work in Daphne v1 at all, and may work, albeit with great difficulties in older unsupported Daphne versions.

Apparently, Daphne author was fed up with the numerous error reports due to bad rips floating around, so he decided to use the torrent technology to make his exclusive high quality & functional ones (doesn't impact how well the game is supported in Daphne, you will have to refer to the what's new section of Daphne website & to Daphne service messages from title screens for that) available.



While some will inevitably complain that
  • It's tens of gigabytes of audio/video files that will have to be replaced by fresher versions
  • They can't be bothered to buy every LD game DVD they want to play since they only used the resources for their personal use (e.g not for having the game rips included in arcade cabinets players and similar)
it's actually a rather clever move INMHO.


Think about it :
  1. Although it's easy to recreate the framefiles with the provided tool or even intuitively, I noticed .dat files appear under the game directories here and there, and those can't be recreated
  2. Although not nearly as puzzling as manipulating MAME roms, there are alternates and hacks at Daphne disposal which may need rearrangements
  3. Automatic download of the support files to play such and such LD games bring the distinct advantage that there will be near to zero error when parsing the video file & assessing the support files
  4. As you may have noticed, the old rips look rather dull compared to those obtained from restored, resampled media the Daphne dev. team have access to...


But, but... I have kept the best part for the ending :

Rumor has it that along with a simple hack (hint : for dummies, another hint : don't update Daphne loader at first run), Daphne loader, which incidentally has became the de facto Daphne download manager, will allow the download of completely unlocked game Audio/video filez, so that Daphne would play them without requiring one of the original DVDs to be detected !


NOTE : In case Daphne uh-oh's for missing roms, the latter (not the .d2v files) can be downloaded here

NOTE 2 : One drawback of the new Daphne method is that it is HDD space consuming : the encrypted m2v and ogg files must remain along with the newly unencrypted ones, so you're stuck with redundant +1GB .m2v files in Daphne subfolders .
----------------------------------------

And then, there's the preliminary MAME support evoked on my MAME thread, with the huge .CHDs files to download only to notice the LD MAME catalog consist of mainly dull games...
Like if Daphne were beginning to trim the rotten tree from the most buggy games to retain only the golden nuggets in their newly shared catalog with Digital Leisures .

Last edited by NewDeli; 16 August 2009 at 20:56.
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Old 03 August 2009, 20:30   #2
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* means default/recommended option
It's rather clear from this screen you're kindly invited to gtfo if you still carry those old resource files, isn't it ?

Joke aside, it also appears that the author must have had some kind of official authorization to release his supposedly superior rips (google dvd2daph for moar)

Last edited by NewDeli; 03 August 2009 at 20:36.
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Old 03 August 2009, 21:23   #3
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If you're still not convinced that albeit a bit dated, Dragon's Lair and its variants can bring a tear to your eye or at least a more than decent level of retro-enjoyment, grab the Daphne Extras (UG torrent), and indulge yourself with the browsing of some neat Arcade documentation (a few in-game videos are included)





So AASAD (After all said & done)... What's your go with LDs played from a virtual player ?

Last edited by NewDeli; 03 August 2009 at 21:59.
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Old 04 August 2009, 10:15   #4
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I converted the videos from the HD DVD version of Dragon's Lair and I'm using those videos now... looks a lot better than what you get when downloading.
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Old 05 August 2009, 00:52   #5
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At what resolution is Daphne running your rips, plz ? Technically, anything above 768p is HD.
However, to my understanding, Daphne won't support much higher resolutions than 480p.

Also, if you don't have the standard DVD of Dragon's Lair,
you won't be able to unlock the downloaded files & play from them (I am talking about the encrypted ones that download via Daphne Loader),
so in either case I can't really understand how you established your comparison.
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Old 05 August 2009, 03:36   #6
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I have those DVDs as well.

Here is a comparison -

Downloaded files -


Files I use -
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Old 06 August 2009, 03:19   #7
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00 - DRAGON'S LAIR
01 - SPACE ACE
02 - Super Don Quixote OK
03 - Cliff Hanger [x] [you know the funny detective from Castle of Cagliostro]
04 - Astron Belt OK
05 - Galaxy Ranger / Star Blazer OK [awful game INMHO]
06 - THAYER'S QUEST
07 - Cobra Command OK [now in MAME]
08 - Esh's Aurunmilla OK [emulation in early stages]
09 - Badlands OK [see Mad Dog McCree]
11 - Freedom Fighter [x]
12 - GP World OK [looks rather bad]
15 - Interstellar OK [awful game INMHO]
16 - DRAGON'S LAIR II
17 - M.A.C.H. III OK [now in MAME]

18 - Road Blaster OK
19 - Us VS them OK [now in MAME, looks rather bad]
20 - Cube Quest [a MAME exclusive, see it in action [ Show youtube player ]]
21 - Firefox [from Atari, a MAME exclusive]



[x] : Unsupported (Matt needs to rework Cliff Hanger emulation, play it from MAME in you really can't wait)

OK : Each & every necessary file from these games is downloaded in the background, all the time Daphne loader is ahem... loaded.
Not sure it's due to the hack, or if it corresponds to Matt's intentions

IN CAPS : Original DVD is needed to play those classics, certainly due to the fact that they still sell rather well

[blabla] : Some trivia by Deli

Last edited by NewDeli; 06 August 2009 at 15:11.
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Old 11 August 2009, 17:33   #8
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Here is a chart to clarify the options you have, depending on the system upon which you intend to run LD games.

The unfilled cells means there are better options (for example, if you have a PS3, you would use the Blu-ray disc of Dragon's Lair over the DVD-video)

May be that would bring a thought about why the Digital Leisure team don't simply go for offering downloads to their customers .




As a side note : I think it's more important to report any issue to the Daphne team with the regular LD rips and the new method than to try in everyway to have the emulator output HD, but if it works, then good for you.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DigitalLeisureSellingModelOddities.pdf (28.7 KB, 599 views)

Last edited by NewDeli; 21 August 2009 at 20:59.
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Old 21 August 2009, 21:20   #9
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I think I found a way to get rid of those useless encrypted .bf game files in Daphne subfolders, without causing it to go berzerc.

Change the preferences of Daphne this way :
Auto-Download : Disabled
Always Use BitTorent to verify files : Disabled


Remove (delete or backup) the .BFs

from these directories :

/vldp_dl
/ace
ace.ogg.bf
ace.m2v.bf

/lair
lair.m2v.bf
lair.ogg.bf

/lair2
many...

/tq
tq.m2v.bf
tq.ogg.bf


/vdlp_dl2
/edl
edl.m2v.bf
edl.ogg.bf

/esa
esa.m2v.bf
esa.ogg.bf

After you have done so, don't run Daphne Loader with Auto-Download ON or it will start its mess again (reallocates files, tries to download the .BFs again...)

These files correspond to
D.'s Lair, D.'s Lair II, Space Ace, T.'s Q.
before you insert the DVD

We assume their deciphered equivalent (.m2v, .ogg) can be used to run the games as fine.

In other words, each of these games will run just fine with those BFs missing, except T.'s Q.

So, here is all you need to do to prevent T.s Q. from asking you to reset Auto-Download
(You could do that for each of the above mentioned games but it may have side effects) :
  1. Select Thayer's Quest, click Configure.
  2. Make sure the Game/Laserdisc tab is selected. Click "Configure Laserdisc"
  3. In the 'Virtual Laserdisc Player Options' select "No, I will install any missing video/audio files manually."
  4. In 'MPEG Framefile Location', click 'Browse' and select vldp_dl\tq\tq.txt
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