Viewing Issue Advanced Details
ID Category [?] Severity [?] Reproducibility Date Submitted Last Update
08344 Graphics Minor Always Jun 7, 2022, 15:10 Jun 8, 2022, 22:26
Tester jkburks View Status Public Platform MAME (Official Binary)
Assigned To hap Resolution Fixed OS Windows 10/11 (64-bit)
Status [?] Resolved Driver
Version 0.244 Fixed in Version 0.245 Build 64-bit
Fixed in Git Commit 27442a3 Github Pull Request #
Summary 08344: toprollr: Incorrect player life counter graphics
Description The player life counter in the lower left corner of the screen is using the wrong graphics. The tiles currently being used by the emulation are from the death graphic used when the player falls into the water.
I checked MAME versions as far back as 0.108, and this appears to have always been incorrect, rather than a regression.

There are other small graphics issues that will be added below in follow up notes.
Steps To Reproduce Start game.
Compare life counter in MAME to attached hardware screen photo.
Additional Information
Github Commit
Regression Version
Affected Sets / Systems toprollr
Attached Files
jpg file icon top_roller_life_counter.jpg (725,548 bytes) Jun 7, 2022, 15:10 Uploaded by jkburks
Top Roller Life Counter
jpg file icon top_roller_cloud.jpg (409,399 bytes) Jun 7, 2022, 15:20 Uploaded by jkburks
Top Roller Cloud - red pixels
jpg file icon top_roller_btanb_ref.jpg (778,009 bytes) Jun 7, 2022, 15:22 Uploaded by jkburks
Top Roller BTANB Black Specs
jpg file icon top_roller_gm.jpg (154,492 bytes) Jun 7, 2022, 15:40 Uploaded by jkburks
Top Roller Game Machine
jpg file icon top_roller_card.jpg (156,449 bytes) Jun 7, 2022, 15:41 Uploaded by jkburks
Top Roller Instruction Card Jp.
There are no relationship linked to this issue.
User avatar
Jun 7, 2022, 15:17
The Natsuge Mikado retro arcade / museum has been steaming a Top Roller tournament this week.

The high score run = 125,034 points
Time Stamps - 36:54 – 47:42

41:17 = round 1 finish line
45:35 = round 2 finish line
User avatar
Jun 7, 2022, 15:21
The cloud graphic from tilemap 3/3 appears to have 3 stray red pixels. I’m not sure if this is a bit rot issue, or related to the color issues with the text layer (as noted in driver comments). I checked a few of the hardware reference videos and do not see any evidence that there are red pixels in the cloud. See reference image.

User avatar
Jun 7, 2022, 15:24
While I was looking at the cloud pixel issue I noticed 2 more potential graphics issues involving black specs in the water.

Near race marker 46 there is a black square in the water on the right edge.
Near race marker 17 there is a black rectangle in the water to the left of the road.

Both of these graphics glitches appear in the Natsuge Mikado long play hardware video, so they are likely btanb errors from the original board. See reference images. You need to click the link because the image is not showing a preview.
User avatar
Jun 7, 2022, 15:45
The Game Machine announcement for Top Roller refers to the control as a 4-way lever.
The Japanese instruction card also illustrates the control as a 4-way lever.
See attached images:

In MAME Top Roller is setup for an 8-way joystick, and the game does appear to allow these inputs, however the evidence I have may suggest that the game was intended to be played with the limitations of the 4-way control.

In any event, when you watch long plays of the game, the skilled players are frequently slowing down to maneuver around the enemies (regardless of the control setup in the Jamma candy cab – the Natsuge video appears to be using an 8-way).

While there is a small bonus for crossing the finish line with the best rank, it is really not worth the risk of trying to skate full speed the entire race. For example, you get a 500 point bonus for finishing 7th, and a 2000 point bonus for finishing 4th. etc. You could easily move more slowly and make up the point difference with a few well timed jumps over motorcycles.

You get points for:
Distance traveled
Bumping enemy skaters off the course
Jumping road vehicles
Collecting money bags near the finish line

If you play the game with a 4-way control, you can only sprint to full speed when not changing direction, and you quickly lose speed when not pressing UP.

I think the rank that you finish the race has more to do with bumping other skaters off the road than it does with speed. For example, I tried enabling the invincibility cheat, and then holding UP while the game is unthrottled, and I was never able to finish higher than 4th because I was not bumping the other skaters.

Below is a quick translation of the Game Machine write up from the game's release.

Game Machine No. 221 – Oct. 01, 1983 (page 23)

Roller Skater
Jumping Body Strike
Top Roller from Jaleco

 The TV game machine Top Roller with the theme of roller skating was released by Jaleco Co., Ltd. (Headquarters Tokyo, President Yoshiaki Kanazawa) on August 23rd.

 This machine was developed by Falcon Co., Ltd., and Jaleco Co., Ltd. acquired the rights in their entirety. Operate the roller skater with the 4-way lever (left/right, up for speed-up, down for speed-down) and the jump button.

 The skater skates along streets, lakes, rivers, bridges, etc., but there are always several enemy skaters obstructing them. The skater must either shake them off or hit them with his body to knock them to the edge of the road. Also, avoid trucks, cars, and motorcycles that appear suddenly from the front, or jump over them (high score). You can also jump over the river, but you can only jump as far as your speed allows.

 Also, watch out for bombs dropped from the sky by helicopters. When you reach the finish line in this way, you have completed one pattern, and the game gets more difficult as you progress to the next pattern. The score goes up according to the distance traveled and the number of enemies defeated. The game is over when 3 skaters are eliminated by hitting the edge of the road or an obstacle, but an additional skater is added if the score exceeds a certain level. The list price for the 18-inch table is 480,000 yen. The board is also available for sale (from August 29th) at a list price of 128,000 yen.
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Senior Tester
Jun 7, 2022, 19:08
edited on: Jun 7, 2022, 19:23
The lives display is on the text layer, which is relatively simple.

That said, the correct tiles are a logical offset away from the incorrect ones, where if you masked out a line, you'd get them, but then you break the Jaleco logo

Also this code is very suspicious to me
attr = tile_index & 0x10 ? m_colorram[tile_index & ~0x20] : m_colorram[tile_index];

It appears to be because there's a note in the driver about Crazy Climber having a smaller colour ram than the mapped space, and while Top Roller is clearly similar hardware, maybe that changed.
User avatar
Jun 7, 2022, 20:15
edited on: Jun 7, 2022, 21:00
4-way joystick: Possibly.

red dots on clouds: Possible bad rom(s) yes. I can also see a problem with the "0" character on the text layer, easy to see when you cycle through colors in MAME's gfx viewer. On the score panel (top part of the screen, see your screenshots) it's like someone took a bite out of it, this is fine on the arcade cab photo.
*edit* file 15.h4 byte 0, change 0x30 to 0x38, I'm 100% certain on this one.
The rom with the cloud graphics though, supposing it is bad, it's a lot of bits and I wouldn't try doing any modification by hand.

The lives colors should be fixed with:
There's an older pcb recording here:
It's not good quality, but you can see the bottom-right corner that was not in view in the other video.
User avatar
Jun 7, 2022, 21:44
Problem with the "0" character is fixed here:
Tafoid found an old email from 2001, about a redump of Top Roller. According to the dumper, all the roms matched except for one of the text layer roms.
So, the red dots in the cloud, they must be due to something else. Or they are there on the arcade, but very hard to see.