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Star Castle Free Play

As always, use at your own risk...


Provided by DogP

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    For years, my games haven't been saving scores, and I haven't really cared... I was mostly worried about getting them all working, and then getting them on free play. But finally I've gotten around to replacing dead batteries, installing NVRAM, buying high score save kits, making high score save hacks, etc. Now almost all my games should be saving high scores... but the one that was bugging me was Star Castle. It was coming down to either hacking it or selling it. :-P Star Castle is an oddball system... it's a CPU based system, but there's no actual CPU chip (the CPU is designed using a bunch of logic chips). It has its own instruction set, 12-bit wide memory, etc. Overall, it's weird. I had done a free play hack for it 5 or 6 years ago, but it was mostly just tweaking a few instructions. This hack actually required writing some code. It also required a hardware change, since the old RAM has no battery backup. Anyway, attached is the hacked ROM set to preserve the high score, and a few pictures of the mod. There are details in the zip regarding the ROMs, chips, wiring, etc. But the TL;DR of it is: 1) Based on the older (easier) starcas1 ROM set 2) Score is saved when DIP SW 6 is ON, and can be cleared (or used as free play w/o score save) by switching DIP SW 6 OFF 3) Requires desoldering 3x 2101 RAM chips and installing 3x 5101 RAM chips (2101s would quickly drain the battery), plus a battery switchover circuit to keep it powered when the game is off (unfortunately, FRAM 5101 replacement modules won't work) 4) I created a battery switchover using a DS1210 and CR2032 battery on a piece of perfboard, and double-sided taped it to the top of my 5101s. I'm providing this information and hack for free with no warranty... I'm not interested in providing this modification service

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