Action Replay

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Action Replay Screenshots
Action Replay Screenshots
Technical Info
ROM MK1 - MK3: 16 kbyte
MK4, v4.x - v6: 32 kbyte
RAM MK1 - MK4: None
v4.x - v6: 8 kbyte
Hardware features MK1/MK2: 1 Button Freeze

1 optional switch Diskmate ROM

MK3 - v6: 1 Button Freeze

1 Button Reset

Manual PDF: 21 pages english MK4

PDF: 18 pages italian MK4 clone Niki II
PDF: 15 pages italian MK4 clone Miky II
PDF: 18 pages german MK5 (Pro)
PDF: 30 pages english MK6
PDF: 18 pages german MK6
PDF: 18 pages german MK6 (better scan)
PDF: 19 pages italian MK6
Action Replay MK6 Manual Project64.txt

Action Cartridge v6 german Manual iDOC.txt
CRT ID MK1/MK2: 50

MK3: 35
MK4: 30

v4.x - v6: 01
Programming See Tech Section and Extension Programming
Software See Extensions and Related Homebrew

The Action Replay cartridge series developed by Datel was released in the middle of 1986 and got several updates during the years. MK1 and MK2 likely (we cannot confirm this yet) share the same hardware base and are direct branches of the Snapshot 64!

  • Awful version rundown ahead:

The base for the MK1 freezer obviously has been the Snapshot 64 ROM which underwent only minor changes on the freezer part. The MK1 and MK2 ROM dumps are not carrying version numbers so there is some guessing involved which explains our labeling of the binaries in the archive with MK2 v1 and MK2 v2. Those may well be MK1 and MK2.

MK3 introduced a hardware change and the ROM was largely rewritten. It appears the continous usage of even tiny menus on the earlier available Final Cartridge I and II encouraged the developers to add such things as well. It appears the same hardware was used for selling the DISK MATE on which the button was replaced by a switch as the Disk Mate software did not support bank switching. To add to the mess Datel also sold MK3 carts on which the Fastload was named Diskmate.

MK4 extended the hardware even further so it now allowed banking. The ROM size was doubled from 16 kbyte to 32 kbyte with this update. We could really use some high quality pictures of this hardware so some comparison to the MK3 board can be made. It appears the base board could have been the same even though the control register differs.

  • Finally:

v4.x, as we call it, carries 32 kbyte of ROM and finally got 8 kbyte of RAM added. There are several different versions of this hardware but they all work and act the same (see also: Action Replay v5/v6 Tech). This hardware requires one of the commonly known v4.x, v5, v6 or other hacked firmwares to operate and this hardware is most likely what you are looking for or owning in regards of original hardware. Most Action Replay ROMs found on the net will meet these standards and of course the archive below aims to be as complete as possible. :)

The Nordic Power being a Datel hardware production and some other companies' collaboration work can even be seen as a small hardware successor to the Action Replay as Nordic Power adds another mode but remains compatible to the original AR hardware. Compatible enough to run original AR v4.x ROMs as well.

Action Replay v6 04-90 final board.jpg

Software success

Said release of the v4.x hardware and software quickly made the Action Replay and its' various clones a de facto standard for most c64 sceners and users.

English PAL and NTSC versions starting with 4.1 up to 5.0 and 6.0 share the same hardware base, meaning the ROMs can be modified and cross-used. Any Pro or even Professional doesn't really mean anything here.

There are several sub-versions of the english 5.2, but they strangely enough appear to be changes from the 4.2 versions without the major code update which happened towards the official 5.0 version. This seems to be partly caused by incorrect or confusing numbering from Toolkit and fastload version numbers.

From 4.2 to 5.0 the screen text editor on the freezer was added along with some basic f-key changes. Several bugs were removed and some added as well. The 4.2 versions do not contain Freeze- and Break-Points or the possibility to restart the loaded parameter files, but these versions come with the novaload copier.

Version 5 ROMs contain several bugs which were introduced with the Freeze- and Break- Points. ZAP was removed from the Basic Extension aswell as the Novaload Copier from the Toolkit menu. Finally the Pokefinder was added along with the screen editor in freeze menu.

Version 6 ROMs which were sold and spread the most as it seems, contain the same bugs as the version 5 ROMs but are reduced message-wise on the nova load copier and extended only with the new copyright message. There was no major code change towards this revision so sticking to v5 on older hardware is probably the best idea. There also is no NTSC Version of the v6 ROM. To use at least a portion of the fast loaders on an NTSC machine equipped with Action Replay 6 the command @k- can be used to switch to the slower fast loader of the cartridge. However, that loader is less compatible so often OFF is the final solution when requiring some other cartridge function on an NTSC machine (e.g. the monitor).

The Triad, Fairlight, Triumwyrat and alike mods found on the net are basically just text changes, FKey changes and sometimes 'Are You Sure?' removed. The binary archive is sorting these under ROM Clones. Other known ROMs are not really worth mentioning except for some german versions which are straight translations without code changes mostly and obviously were created for commercial purposes.


Note

An Extension software can to be loaded while being in the freezer menu of an Action Replay (v4.x+), a Nordic Power or a CyberpunX Replay. Such extensions will enable you to run small programs in the context of the freezer and do something to the frozen memory even.

Extensions additionally lists programs utilising the added RAM of the Action Replay v4.x hardware which come as normal tools.

Tech

Action Replay MK1

  • unknown - likely same as MK2

Action Replay MK2

  • 2*8K ROM (16K)

The following is shamelessly ripped from actionreplay2.c from the VICE emulator. Most of the text was written by Groepaz:

    Short Instructions:

    after reset, there dont seem to be any basic extensions, just a fastloader

    press freeze, then:
    - F1 / F2     Reset to Fastload
    - F7 / F8     Restart
    - left Arrow  normal Reset (Cartridge disabled)
    - F           Novaload Tape Transfer
    - D           Backup to Disk
    - M           Backup to Disk
    - S           Backup to Disk
    - C           Code Inspector
    - T           Backup to Tape
    - X           Backup to Tape
    - B           Hires Saver
    - H           Koala Saver 

    Technical:

    - Freeze Button, Reset Button. rumours are that there exist ARs with a switch too
    - 16k ROM, 2*8kb banks

    io1:

    - is accessed in a loop, probably to re-enable the rom. however how exactly it does
      that remains unclear.

    io2:

    - last page of selected rom bank is visible here
    - accesses disable the ROM

Action Replay MK3

  • 2*8K ROM (16K)

The following is shamelessly ripped from actionreplay3.c from the VICE emulator. Most of the text was written by Groepaz:

    io1 (writes)

    bit 3 - exrom
    bit 2 - disable
    bit 1 - unused
    bit 0 - bank

Action Replay MK4

  • 4*8K ROM (32K)
$de00 control register
  bit 0: Eprom banking bit 0 (bank address 13)
  bit 1: controls the GAME line (0 sets GAME low, 1 sets GAME high)
  bit 2: Freeze-end bit (disables the register and hides any rom bank)
  bit 3: controls the Exrom line (1 sets EXROM low, 0 sets EXROM high)
  bit 4: Eprom banking bit 1 (bank address 14)
  bit 5 to 7: unused.

Action Replay v4.x

  • 4*8K ROM (32K)
  • 8K RAM

The following is shamelessly ripped from actionreplay.c from the VICE emulator. Most of the text was written by Groepaz:

    io1 (writes)

    7    extra ROM bank selector (A15) (unused)
    6    1 = resets FREEZE-mode (turns back to normal mode)
    5    1 = enable RAM at ROML ($8000-$9FFF) &
            I/O2 ($DF00-$DFFF = $9F00-$9FFF)
    4    ROM bank selector high (A14)
    3    ROM bank selector low  (A13)
    2    1 = disable cartridge (turn off $DE00)
    1    1 = /EXROM high
    0    1 = /GAME low

    io2 (r/w)
        cart RAM (if enabled) or cart ROM

Note: Any I/O1 read access (that is $DE00 - $DEFF) will crash a C64 with Action Replay hardware enabled! Emulators tend to not emulate this feature.

Action Replay Freezer.gif

Action Replay v5/v6

  • 4*8K ROM (32K)
  • 8K RAM

The last board revision has a custom chip instead of the TTL logic and often but not always a mask ROM instead of the eprom. There have several Action Replay v5 firmwares been spotted on old and new hardware. Basically you are better off with the eprom version which allows modding whenever you are interested in such things.

All of the technical description of the Action Replay 4.x series remains unchanged for v5 and v6.

Missing

  • ANY ROM dump not on the archive - especially verified MK1 and MK2 dumps
  • ANY scanned manual - the ones online are (except for maybe the italian) in exceptionally bad quality
  • ANY missing Extensions
  • ANY missing software using the cartridge RAM
  • DISKMATE ROM dumps - as it seems that MK3 merged with Diskmate to become MK4

Binaries

NOTE: For better control on the v4.1+ version mess there are TWO version numbers given. The Powerup version first followed by the Fastload version.

Branch ROM means that the dump was taken off a cartridge of which there are signs of commercial availability.

Clone ROM is a hack of some sort not licensed of authorised by Datel.

Action_Replay_binaries_rr.c64.org_2013-01.rar contains just the C64 binaries:

  • Action Replay MK2 v1 1986 PAL .bin and .crt
    Action Replay MK5 6.gif
  • Action Replay MK2 v2 1986 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay MK3 v1 1987 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay MK3 v2 1987 PAL .bin and .crt (incl. an MK3 version mentioning Diskmate instead of Fastload)
    • Clone ROM: Niki Cartridge Fast-Disktool .bin and .crt - likely originating from Diskmate also sold by Datel
  • Action Replay MK4 1988 PAL .bin and .crt
    • Branch ROM: Captain Miky II .bin and .crt (and the Niki II text hack)
  • Action Replay V4.1 4.1 1988 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay V4.2 4.0 1988 PAL and NTSC based on PAL v1 .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay V4.2 5.0 1988 v1 and v2 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay V5.0 5.0 1988 PAL and NTSC .bin and .crt (the root of all evil - hehe)
    • Clone ROM: Action Cartridge Plus v7.0 Tkit90 Triumwyrat 1990 PAL .bin and .crt
    • Clone ROM: Action Cartridge Plus v7.0 Tkit90 Derko 1991 PAL .bin and .crt
    • Clone ROM: Action Replay V7.5 7.5 1989 PAL .bin and .crt
    • Clone ROM: Action Replay V8.4 8.4 1990 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay V5.0 5.1a 1989 PAL .bin and .crt
    • Clone ROM: Action Replay V5.0 Bacchus/FLT 1989 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay V6.0 6.0 1989 PAL .bin and .crt
    • Clone ROM: Action Replay V6.0 TRIAD 1993 PAL .bin and .crt
  • Action Replay Dumper v1.0 by Markus Brenner (incl. source)
  • ripper saver is originating from the funet FTP and somewhat famous
  • Datel Diskmate MK1 .bin and .crt (also includes a Bankswapped version until some emu supports switching over)

Thanks:

        MK3 clone dump - Nucleus
        Diskmate MK3 - Hedning
        AR 4.2/4.0 NTSC - Fungus
        AR MK6 german manual - BlackJack
        Datel Diskmate - Shane


Action_Replay_all_rr.c64.org_2013-01.rar contains:

Sources

are also included on the all-package:

  • Rebuild and Romread source codes by Uncle Tom/The Dreams
  • Action Replay v4-5 Source Code German by MWS & Crisp of Radwar

Weblinks