Graphic Research (GB Driver)

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Graphic Research
Released 1990-08-24
Programmers Hiroto Kanno, Yasuyuki Hamada, Fumito Tamayama
Language Z80 Assembly
Formats ASM?

Graphic Research (GB Driver) is an unofficial name of the sound driver used in all of Graphic Research's Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Their Game Boy Advance games do not use this sound driver. According to the credits in Xerd no Densetsu 2, the sound driver was created by 3 Graphic Research audio staff; Hiroto "Raika no Papa" Kanno, Yasuyuki "Hyakumangoku" Hamada, and Fumito Tamayama. The latter two programmed the NES sound driver, and from the sound of the driver, appears to be a direct conversion of the NES driver.

Composers wrote the music in Music Macro Language.

Release History

There were two versions of the sound driver. The first game to use it was Power Mission, which was released in both Japan and North America. The first game to use the second driver was Ippatsu Gyakuten DX Bakenou, a Japanese-only release and one of many horseracing games by GRC. After this game, one last game, Koi wa Kakehiki, used the first version of the sound driver. The first Game Boy Color game to use the sound driver was Barcode Taisen Bardigun, again, only released in Japan. The first North American release to use the driver was Monster Rancher Battle Card GB. The last game to use the driver was Soreike! Anpanman 5tsu no Tou no Ousama, which also only saw release in Japan. The game released before it, Monster Rancher Explorer was the last game to use the driver that was released in North America.

Games

Released Title Sample Version
1990-08-24 Power Mission (GB) (パワー・ミッション) 1
1990-12-07 Power Racer (GB) (ヘッド−オン) 1
1991-03-29 Gem Gem (GB) (ジェムジェム) 1
1991-04-05 Solomon's Club (GB) (ソロモンズ倶楽部) 1
1991-05-17 Ippatsu Gyakuten DX Bakenou (GB) (一発逆転 DX馬券王) 2
1991-07-21 Koi wa Kakehiki (GB) (恋は駆け引き) 1
1991-10-18 Xerd no Densetsu (GB) (ザードの伝説) 2
1991-12-13 World Beach Volley: 1991 GB Cup (GB) (ワールドビーチバレー1991 GB CUP) 2
1992-03-27 Captain Tsubasa VS (GB) (キャプテン翼VS) 2
1992-04-17 DX Bakenou Z (GB) (DX馬券王Z) 2
1992-12-27 J.League Fighting Soccer: The King of Ace Strikers (GB) (Jリーグファイティングサッカー) 2
1993-02-19 Xerd no Densetsu II (GB) (ザードの伝説2〜疑心の領域〜) 2
1993-03-26 G1 King! 3-Hitsu no Yosouya (GB) (G1キング!三匹の予想屋) 2
1993-12-17 Bakenou V3 (GB) (馬券王V3) 2
1994-03-25 Lucle (GB) (ルクル) 2
1994-04-02 J.League Winning Goal (GB) (Jリーグウィニングゴール) 2
1994-10-28 Bakenou TV '94 (GB) (馬券王TV’94) 2
1995-04-21 J.League Live '95 (GB) (Jリーグライブ95) 2
1995-12-22 Tokyo Disneyland Mickey no Cinderella Shiro Mystery Tour (GB) (ミッキーのシンデレラ城ミステリーツアー) 2
1998-10-16 Shin Keiba Kizoku Pocket Jockey (GB) (新競馬貴族ポケットジョッキー) 2
1998-12-11 Barcode Taisen Bardigun (GBC) (バーコード対戦バーディガン) 2
1999-12-03 Soreike! Anpanman: Fushigi na Nikoniko Album (GBC) (不思議なにこにこアルバム) 2
1999-12-24 Monster Rancher Battle Card GB (GBC) (モンスターファームバトルカードGB) 2
2000-07-04 Itsudemo Pachinko GB: CR Monster House (GBC) (いつでもパチンコGB CRモンスターハウス) 2
2000-09-29 Monster Rancher Explorer (GBC) (ソロモン) 2
2000-11-23 Soreike! Anpanman 5tsu no Tou no Ousama (GBC) (それいけ!アンパンマン5つの塔の王様) 2

Technical

Frequency Table

B-6 = 7EF
A#6 = 7EE
A-6 = 7ED
G#6 = 7EC
G-6 = 7EB
F#6 = 7EA
F-6 = 7E9
E-6 = 7E7
D#6 = 7E6
D-6 = 7E4
C#6 = 7E2
C-6 = 7E1
B-5 = 7DF
A#5 = 7DD
A-5 = 7DB
G#5 = 7D9
G-5 = 7D6
F#5 = 7D4
F-5 = 7D1
E-5 = 7CE
D#5 = 7CB
D-5 = 7C8
C#5 = 7C5
C-5 = 7C1
B-4 = 7BE
A#4 = 7BA
A-4 = 7B6
G#4 = 7B1
G-4 = 7AC
F#4 = 7A7
F-4 = 7A2
E-4 = 79D
D#4 = 797
D-4 = 790
C#4 = 78A
C-4 = 783
B-3 = 77B
A#3 = 773
A-3 = 76B
G#3 = 762
G-3 = 759
F#3 = 74F
F-3 = 744
E-3 = 739
D#3 = 72D
D-3 = 721
C#3 = 714
C-3 = 706
B-2 = 6F7
A#2 = 6E7
A-2 = 6D6
G#2 = 6C4
G-2 = 6B2
F#2 = 69E
F-2 = 689
E-2 = 672
D#2 = 65B
D-2 = 642
C#2 = 627
C-2 = 60B
B-1 = 5ED
A#1 = 5CE
A-1 = 5AC
G#1 = 589
G-1 = 563
F#1 = 53B
F-1 = 511
E-1 = 4E5
D#1 = 4B5
D-1 = 483
C#1 = 44E
C-1 = 416
B-0 = 3DA
A#0 = 39B
A-0 = 358
G#0 = 312
G-0 = 2C7
F#0 = 277
F-0 = 223
E-0 = 1C9
D#0 = 16B
D-0 = 107
C#0 = 9D
C-0 = 2C

Both sound drivers have the exact same frequency registers, but the second version of the sound driver stores the frequencies in an interesting way. Rather than ascend from the lowest note, the driver is programmed by natural keys first, then black keys. For example, here is the first octave:

$2C $00 $07 $01 $C9 $01 $23 $02 $C7 $02 $58 $03 $DA $03
  C-0     D-0     E-0     F-0     G-0     A-0     B-0

Then two bytes of $00 separate the first part of notes:

$9D $00 $6B $01 $23 $02 $77 $02 $12 $03 $9B $03 $16 $04
  C#0     D#0     F-0     F#0     G#0     A#0     C-1

Once again, there are two bytes of $00 before going on to the next octave.

Interestingly, note F is repeated again in the second part, as well as note C of the next octave being present, even though every octave of the frequency table starts at C.

Links