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Vast Fame Co. Ltd. (廣譽科技有限公司) was an unlicensed developer of handheld games that was headquartered in Dali City, Taiwan. Vast Fame claimed to have been founded in 1998 on their website[1]. They would legally register as a company on April 2nd of the following year. Their last known game was published in 2003[2], and the company would shut down on January 2, 2004.

Sound engines

Game Boy Color

One common feature found in most of Vast Fame's Game Boy Color games is that they use a sound engine stolen from Mega Man V, known as Rockman World 5 in Japan. An obvious indicator of this sound engine being used is that all Vast Fame games that use the sound engine still use the original sound effects from Mega Man V. In Zook Hero Z in particular, the music for the second half of Dr. Meet's stage is the music for Pluto's stage in Mega Man VRockman World 5 played at a lower pitch. Only three games that are attributed to Vast Fame use different sound engines: Super Fighters S, which uses the sound engine from the Game Boy port of The King of FIghters '96, Harry Potter 3 (released in English as Harry Potter 2), and its Journey to the West-themed reskin, West Story. The latter two use the sound engine from the Game Boy version of Konami's Parodius Da! and, atypical of Vast Fame's work, directly use soundtracks from the original game.

Game Boy Advance

All of Vast Fame's known Game Boy Advance games use sound engines written from scratch that are binary compatible with the sound format used in the Mega Man V/Rockman World 5 sound engine. Two revisions of this sound engine are known to exist: one is used in most of Vast Fame's GBA output that exclusively uses the PSG channels; the other revision is used in two games, Digimon Ruby and Super Robot Wars: Ultimate Edition, and has limited support for PCM samples, which are primarily used for percussion in music tracks (Digimon Ruby exclusively plays back an audio sample on the title screen).

Confirmed games

These are games in which Vast Fame is explicitly credited or which they have otherwise been confirmed to have developed.

Game Boy Color

  • Bai Wang Da Fu Weng Jin Ban (百萬大富翁-金版, A.K.A. Millionaire, Monopoly Gold Version, Monopoly 2, Crazy Richman 2, To Be A Millionaire) - Sequel to Feng Kuang Da Fu Weng, featuring new music and more playable characters
  • Feng Kuang Da Fu Weng (疯狂大富翁, A.K.A. Crazy Monopoly, Crazy Richman, Super Taiwan Tycoon)[3] - Multicart version dumped
  • Harry Potter 3 (哈利波特3 神奇の光輪) - Released in English as Harry Potter 2. Contains menu graphics from Zook Hero 2. Has a variant that was released on some of Vast Fame's multicarts. An unprotected original print of the English version is dumped, as well as a Kongfeng release of the Chinese version and a Chinese title hack
  • Queen Fighter 2000 (A.K.A. Gals Fighters) - Dumped as unmodified and cracked ROMs
  • San Guo Zhi - Lie Chuan / San Guo Zhi - Ao Shi Tian Xia (A.K.A. 三国志-烈传, 三國志-傲視天下, Shawu Story) - Has V.Fame boot logo and certain versions contain the Vast Fame screen.[4] Multicart and mainland SL versions are dumped. Original Taiwan release is dumped, but currently does not work on emulators
  • Sheng Shou Wu Yu (聖獸物語-神龍傳說) - Multicart version dumped
  • Shi Kong Xing Shou (時空星獸, A.K.A. Space Time Star Beasts, Spatio Monoster, Spatio Monsters, Timer Monster) - Multicart, Kongfeng (牧場物語GB6), and Waixing versions dumped
  • Shui Hu Shen Shou (水滸神獸, A.K.A. Suiko Monster,Mythos,Shawu Story) - Multicart, Li Cheng, and Kongfeng versions dumped
  • Super Fighters S (A.K.A. Super Fighters '99, The King of Fighters 2000) - Not credited in-game but has V.Fame boot logo. Original Taiwan release and Super Fighters '99 title hack are dumped, the ROM of the former receiving a cracked version for emulators
  • Super Fighter 2001 Alpha - Dumped as unmodified and cracked ROMs
  • West Story - Journey to the West themed shooter that uses the same music and game engine as Harry Potter 3. Featured in some Vast Fame multicarts
  • Xin Feng Shen Bang (新封神榜, A.K.A. Feng Shen Yanyi 2: Gold Version, 封神演義2金版) - Multicart version dumped.
  • Zook Hero Z (A.K.A. Zook Z, Rockman Z, Rockman DX6, Rockman DX8) - Multicart and Li Cheng versions (Rockman DX6 and Rockman DX8) are dumped. Original English version is dumped, but currently does not work on emulators
  • Zook Hero 2 (A.K.A. Zook 2, Rockman DX3, Rockman X3, Rockman 3, Rockman Zero)

Sintax also made an unofficial entry in the Zook Hero series named Zook Hero 3 for the Game Boy Color, which is not to be confused with Rockman & Crystal/Battle Network Rockman Crystal. It uses graphics (mainly for item capsules) that look near identical to ones from Zook Hero 2, and the HUD used in-game also superficially resembles the HUD from the same game. It may have been made with permission from Vast Fame considering that Vast Fame is known to have offered development assistance for Sintax's Game Boy Advance games.

Accessories

  • Fire Bird Cheat Card - Internal ROM header name is "VAST FAME 1.0". An icon in one of the menus is a Game Boy cartridge with the text "VF" on it. The cheat card is translucent blue and has "GB金手指" and "FIRE BIRD" written on it

Game Boy Advance

The following games released for the Game Boy Advance are confirmed to be produced by Vast Fame. It's worth noting that the following games also use the same copy protection scheme, which is only known to have been use for games developed by or strongly believed to have been produced by Vast Fame.

  • Rockman & Crystal (A.K.A. Battle Network Rockman Crystal, Zook Man ZX4) - Graphics for a 2003 Vast Fame copyright notice and large graphics of Vast Fame's logo and Chinese name are buried in the ROMs of both the English and original Chinese Zook Man ZX4 versions. Received an alternate mainland Chinese release by Kongfeng as 洛克人大戰 - 水晶版 with an updated title screen. English and original Chinese (Zook Man ZX4) versions are dumped
  • Jue Zhan San Guo (決戰三國) - Chinese only. The same large graphics of Vast Fame's logo and Chinese name from Rockman & Crystal/Zook Man ZX4 are buried in the ROM
  • Super Robot Wars: Ultimate Edition (機械人大戰 - 終極版) - Contains the same large graphics of Vast Fame's logo and Chinese name that are also in Jue Zhan San Guo and Rockman & Crystal/Zook Man ZX4 in its ROM. This may just be a leftover from it likely being built off of Jue Zhan San Guo's engine and is not necessarily indicative of Vast Fame intending to release the game under their own name. The game also reuses music from Shi Kong Xing Shou, Sheng Shou Wu Yu, Zook Hero 2, Soul Falchion, Super Fighter 2001 Alpha, and Jue Zhan San Guo.

Multicarts

Circa 2002 or later, Vast Fame would release several multicarts compatible with the Game Boy Color. Five are known to exist, all of which contain color games known to be developed by Vast Fame. Some of the games included are earlier builds and contain differences from their final releases. Three of these multicarts also include original unlicensed monochrome Game Boy games, all of which were previously released as single cartridge games by Gowin circa 1993 and late 1998, some under different names from the ones in the multicart versions. The inclusion of these games, which were originally released by Gowin with copy protection, as well as a few mono games from the multicarts being earlier/debug builds of the Gowin versions or based on pre-Gowin releases of the games (i.e., Top Secret is based on the 1993 pre-Gowin release of Lost Trips credited to Songtly and Jumbo Team that goes by the same name, and still has Songtly and Jumbo Team credits in the graphics data), suggest that at least some staff from Vast Fame were involved in the development of the mono games.

  • Gold Version 12-in-1 (金版中文RPG戰略+動作+益智12in1) - Currently undumped. Contains the following games:
    • Suiko Monster - Shui Hu Shen Shou
    • "Crazy Monopoly2" - Bai Wang Da Fu Weng Jin Ban
    • Sanctity Monster - Sheng Shou Wu Yu
    • Sword Fighter - Soul Falchion
    • "Zook" - Zook Hero Z
    • West Story
    • "Zook2" - Zook Hero 2
    • Devil Land - Devil Island
    • Rainbow Prince - Prince Rainbow. Mono game released by Gowin in 1993
    • Fire Dragon - Mono game released by Gowin
    • "Yehrude Prince" - Prince Yeh Rude. Mono game released by Gowin in 1993
    • Magic Ball - Mono game released by Gowin in 1993
  • Silver Version 12-in-1 (銀版中文RPG戰略+動作+益智12in1)
  • 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) - Similar to Silver Version 12-in-1, but removes Digimon Adventure Pocket ("Digi Monster") and adds the following games:
    • Shui Hu Shen Shou (Suiko Monster)
    • Sheng Shou Wu Yu ("SANCTITYMONSTER")
    • Feng Kuang Da Fu Weng (Crazy Monopoly)
    • Bai Wang Da Fu Weng Jin Ban (Crazy Monopoly2)
    • Zook Hero Z ("Zook")
    • West Story
    • Prince Yeh Rude
  • Zhongwen RPG Zhanlue + Dongzuo + Yizhi 6 in 1 (中文RPG戰略+動作+益智6in1) - Currently undumped. Exclusively contains color games
    • Suiko Monster - Shui Hu Shen Shou
    • Devil Land - Devil Island
    • Crazy Monopoly - Feng Kuang Da Fu Weng
    • Apotheosis - Xin Feng Shen Bang
    • Zook 2 - Zook Hero 2
    • Sword Fighter - Soul Falchion
  • Zhongwen RPG Zhanlue + Dongzuo + Yizhi 8 in 1 (中文RPG戰略+動作+益智8in1) - Currently undumped. Exclusively contains color games
    • "SANGO WRA" - San Guo Zhi - Lie Chuan / San Guo Zhi - Ao Shi Tian Xia
    • "CRAZY MONOPOLY2" - Bai Wang Da Fu Weng Jin Ban
    • "SPATIO MONSTERS" - Shi Kong Xing Shou
    • "ZOOK" - Zook Hero Z
    • "SWORD FIGHTER" - Alternate version of Soul Falchion with music from Super Fighter 2001 Alpha
    • "WEST STORY" - West Story
    • "SANCTITYMONSTER" - Sheng Shou Wu Yu
    • "DEVIL LAND" - Devil Island

Unconfirmed Games

Game Boy DMG

Note: all of the following games appear on the Vast Fame 18-in-1.

  • Fire Dragon
  • Magic Ball
  • Prince Yeh Rude
  • Rainbow Prince
  • Story of Lasama

Game Boy Color

  • Devil Island - Same sound engine as other V.Fame games. Found on Silver Version 12-in-1 multicart. Reuses several resources from Digimon 3 and Shui Hu Shen Shou
  • Mo Jie 3 - Bu Wanme De Shijie (This is the name of the Li Cheng release and may not be accurate to the original version) - Appears to use the same engine as Devil Island. Li Cheng version is dumped
  • Digimon 3 - Some versions such as the English Digimon Ruby game have music from Shui Hu Shen Shou while most of the original Chinese releases have original music. The Li Cheng version, Digimon 3 Crystal, is dumped
  • Digimon Adventure Pocket - Also known as Digimon Pocket. Same sound engine and similar interface to other RPGs from Vast Fame. Found on Silver Version 12-in-1 multicart with other Vast Fame titles. Multicart version (Chinese) and Kongfeng release are dumped
    • Also its hack Pokémon Ruby, which is a significant hack of this game (original English and Chinese releases currently undumped)
  • Digimon Saphire - Also called Digimon Sapphire, Digimon - Final Battle, Digimon Emerald, Digimon Pearl on its title screen. Uses music from Bai Wang Da Fu Weng/Crazy Richman 2 and Sheng Shou Wu Yu plus the UI from the latter[5][6]. Currently, only the English version is dumped
  • Soul Falchion - A version has leftover graphics, music and ROM ID from Queen Fighter 2000 & Super Fighter 2001 Alpha. This game also appears in the manual for Zook Hero 2 alongside other Vast Fame titles[7]

Game Boy Advance

  • Digimon Ruby (a.k.a. Digimon Rury) - Reuses music from Digital Monsters 3/Digimon 3 Crystal, Crazy Richman 2, Devil Island, Shui Hu Shen Shou, Zook Hero Z, Zook Hero 2, and Shi Kong Xing Shou
  • Digimon Sapphire (數碼怪獸 藍寶石) - Released in English and Chinese. Same sound engine and dialogue font as Zook Man ZX4/Rockman & Crystal. Most of its graphics are stolen from Digimon Battle Spirit[8]. The Chinese version of the game received a Taiwanese release and a Chinese Kongfeng release, the latter using the English release's box art on the cart label.[9] English version is dumped
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sintax Connection(?)

  • Digimon Adventure and its reskins:
    • Has the same sound engine used in some of Vast Fame's GBA games.
    • Uses a remixes of the cave theme from Shui Hu Shen Shou, the victory theme from Soul Falchion and a battle theme from Super Fighter 2001 Alpha.
    • Uses a sound effect from Zhen San Guo Wu Shuang by Sintax.
  • Mario Cart, Disney Cart and 007: Mo Ri Wei Ji (also known as James Bond 007) has the same sound engine and music as Digimon Adventure.

Emulation

Game Boy Color

On the Game Boy Color, almost all of Vast Fame's primary Taiwanese single cart releases, their English releases, and some of their mainland releases use proprietary mappers that primarily act as copy protection to prevent other companies from pirating their games. These games can be dumped with no issues, but the resulting dump will not run on most emulators or on flashcarts. For the Taiwanese releases, there are two known types of protection that were used: a protection scheme used in the original releases of Zook Hero Z and Super Fighters S, and a protection scheme used in most of Vast Fame's Game Boy Color games, including all three of their fighting games. Mainland releases in the "SL" series use their own protection scheme. Some mainland releases by Kongfeng and the English game Digimon Saphire use a completely different mapper based on one used by BBD for most of their own releases, while Li Cheng releases would use their own simplistic protection scheme. Some English releases (i.e., the protected version of Harry Potter 2 and Pokémon Ruby) use their own protection scheme that is completely incompatible with the current emulation of Vast Fame's known protection mappers. A few single cart releases, such as Bai Wang Da Fu Weng Jin Ban and Kongfeng's release of Shui Hu Shen Shou, are completely unprotected and run normally in all emulators (the former's ROM is byte for byte identical to the multicart rip).

Until 2021, the only dumps of Vast Fame's Game Boy Color games available were either rips from their self-published multicarts, or alternate releases by other companies that had little to no protection. Some of the multicart rips were early builds of Vast Fame games with differences from their final releases. While emulation of the mapper used in Vast Fame's multicarts and releases of raw dumps of the 18-in-1 and Silver Version 12-in-1 multicarts were done as early as 2016, the protection schemes used in Vast Fame's single cart Taiwanese releases, English releases, and most of their mainland releases were not reverse engineered and remained unable to be emulated or cracked for some time. In 2021, two of Vast Fame's fighting games, Queen Fighter 2000 and Super Fighter 2001 Alpha, had cracked ROMs publicly released online. It would only be in 2022 when the protection scheme used in most of Vast Fame's Taiwanese releases from the year 2000 and onward would be reverse engineered and properly emulated. Unmodified dumps of the cracked fighting games as well as the original Taiwanese release of Soul Falchion would also be released in the same year. In the following years, dumps of some of the protected Kongfeng releases, along with dumps of the original version of Super Fighters S, the original English release of Zook Hero Z, and a few dumps of various releases of Vast Fame's games have surfaced, with Super Fighters S in particular also getting a cracked version released. As of writing, most of Vast Fame's single cart releases in Taiwan and other regions still remain undumped, and the only emulator that supports any of Vast Fame's copy protection schemes is hhugboy, which supports the protection mapper used in most of Vast Fame's Taiwanese releases, the protection mapper used in the mainland SL releases, and the mapper used in some Kongfeng releases and Digimon Saphire.

Game Boy Advance

Unlike Vast Fame's Game Boy Color releases, their Game Boy Advance games had much stronger copy protection in that they prevented the entire ROM from being read on the cartridge if it wasn't being used on anything other than a Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance-compatible system, meaning that for some time, those games could not be dumped properly. In the early 2010s, however, deprotected reprints of two English versions of Game Boy Advance games believed to have been developed by Vast Fame, Digimon Ruby and Digimon Sapphire, would be sold on the now-defunct wholesaler site Volumerates. Both versions of these games would be dumped in 2011, and while they were functional, these reprints had bugs that were not present in the original releases (the Digimon Ruby reprint has a corrupted end screen and the Digimon Sapphire reprint has a bug where completing a level will save your progress, but crash the game). It would be in 2016, five years later, that original prints of Vast Fame's GBA games would be dumped and their copy protection reverse engineered, with mGBA currently being the only emulator that supports games using the copy protection.

As of writing, only 3 of Vast Fame's known GBA games have all of their versions publicly dumped: the Chinese and English versions of Digimon Ruby, the Chinese-exclusive Jue Zhan San Guo, and Super Robot Wars: Ultimate Edition. Digimon Sapphire only has its English version publicly dumped, with a Chinese version known to exist but not dumped publicly. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is dumped both in English and its original Chinese (魔戒奇兵) versions, but an alternate version released in mainland China, 魔戒三部曲 - 所向無敵, is currently undumped. Rockman & Crystal is dumped both in English and its original Chinese (Zook Man ZX4) versions, but an alternate version released in mainland China, 洛克人大戰 - 水晶版, is currently undumped.

Trivia

  • Many of Vast Fame's credited developers, including producer Lin Bizhi and sound designer Liao Yishen[3], formerly worked for Chuanpu Technology.
  • A game called Final Fantasy IX is labeled New GB Color on the left side of the sticker, which is a trait of Vast Fame games, and boots with a TD-Soft logo, which is seen in Devil Island. This game is not widely considered a Vast Fame game however.
  • Certain revisions of several of Vast Fame's games have the soundtrack changed to that of another Vast Fame game, usually a previous game in the same genre. These games do have their own soundtrack in the original? releases by Vast Fame. Examples include:
    • Digital Monster 3/Digimon 3 Crystal - Shui Hu Shen Shou music
    • Soul Falchion - Silver Version 12-in-1 version uses Super Fighter 2001's music
    • Pokémon Ruby - Chinese "Chong Wu Xiao Jing Ling: Jie Jin Ta Zhi Wang" version uses Shi Kong Xing Shou's music
    • Zook Hero 2 - "Rockman X3" version uses Zook Hero Z's music
  • All the games, especially the GBA ones, have a particular glitch where when a certain sound effect plays, a sound channel for the music mutes until the song is either restarted or changed.

Gallery

References

External link

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