Arcade Card

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Cover of Arcade Card Duo case
Arcade Card Duo for Turbo Duo
Cover of Arcade Card Pro case
Arcade Card Pro for Super CD·ROM²

Arcade Card Address Registers

The Arcade Card is an expansion HuCard for the PC Engine intended to be used with the CD-ROM² hardware. The card comes in two varieties one with 256Kb extra ram and the Super CD-ROM² System 3.1 BIOS for non-Duo PC-Engines called the Arcade Card Pro and one without the extra ram to be used in a Duo called the Arcade Card Duo. It is unknown if the Duo version of the Arcade Card contains the CD-ROM² BIOS. Both types come with an additional 2 MB of non-memory-mapped RAM, a collection of registers to access the aforementioned 2Mb RAM in various patterns and a 32-bit-wide programmable shift register. The Arcade Card has 4 individual port registers to access the 2 MB of memory. Each are their own index in the memory and can overlap without conflict.

Four sets of memory mapped registers.

Address Name
$1A00 port 1
$1A10 port 2
$1A20 port 3
$1A30 port 4

Each port register consists of the following.

Byte Description
0/1 Data read/write registers.
2/3/4 Base address of the 2 Megabyte range. Format is 24-bit: low, middle, high byte.
5/6 Offset register. Format is 16-bit LSB/MSB.
7/8 Increment register. Format is 16-bit LSB/MSB.
9 Control register.

7654 3210    All eight bits of the Control register.
|||| |||+--- auto-increment enabled for INC reg (byte 7/8) (0: Disable / 1: enabled)
|||| ||+---- Offset register (byte 5/6), (to be) added to the base address. (0: Disable / 1: enabled)
|||| |+----- Treat byte 7.8 as signed value (inc reg)  (0: Not signed / 1:Signed )
|||| +------ Treat byte 5 as signed value (offset reg) (0: Not signed / 1:Signed )
|||+-------- Increment select. Apply INC register to base or offset (0: offset / 1: Base ) **
|++--------- Offset Trigger
|             00: none **
|             01: add offset on low byte write (5)
|             10: add offset on high byte write (6)
|             11: both **
+----------- Data port size (0: byte / 1: word) **

10 Manual Offset Trigger. Any write to this register triggers adding the offset to the base address.

Data port

The Data port register acts as an address register. It uses the value of the Base register for the address calculation, to point into Arcade Card memory. All access to the Arcade Card memory goes through these register sets. Depending on which bits are set in the control reg, different address calculation configurations can be used. You can have the Offset register index the Base register. You can also configure to have either the Base or the Offset register auto incremented or decremented on access to these Data registers.


The Offset register is basically a 'window' or 'index' register. It can be configured to be added to the Base register at the time of address calculation for memory fetch/store operations. It does not accumulate back into the Base register on every Data register access. When D1 of Control register is set, it functions as above. There are some other behaviors that can be applied with Offset register. With byte 10, you can have the Offset register value added to the Base register. This is different than above and happens on each instance of writing to register byte 10. This is a manual triggered add function. The value written to byte 10 is irrelevant. The Base address accumulates the Offset register's value. If D6/D5 of the Control register are set to anything other than %00, the above add function is applied to Data port access. In some instances, this is redundant as it acts the same as the Increment register. But it can be configured so that the addition takes place on only one byte of the Data register set. This can be useful for incrementing on WORD size read/writes. Control register-bit D3 defines how the 16 bit value of the Offset register is used. If this-bit is set, the Offset register value is treated as a signed number. This applies both to indexing function and add functions.

Signed extension

Control register bits D2 and D3 effect how Offset and Increment register values are treated. When set to signed, the value is 2's complement. Signed status shouldn't have any effect when the Increment reg is added to Offset register. Both are 16 bit and added normally as signed with or without the signed status. Where the-bit does come into play, is when either the Increment or Offset register (or both) are added to the Base register. Since Base is a 24 bit value, and the Offset and Increment register values are 16 bit, these are signed extended to 24 bit before being applied to the Base register.


When the Control register-bit D0 is set, auto-increment function takes place upon every read/write of the Data register set. The Increment register holds the value, to be added to another register. Control-bit D4 sets which register is going to be 'incremented': the Base or Offset register. Control register-bit D2 sets whether the Increment register value is sign extened to 24bit or not, when adding to the Base register.

Offset increment

When Control register-bit D4 is set to 'Offset', the Increment register is added to Offset register. The Base register isn't effect. Fatal Fury Special uses this Arcade Card register block as a 16-bit down counter.

; Byte7/8 = $ffff (-1)
; Byte9 = %101 (offset auto-increment on, Byte7/8 treated as signed, )
lda $1a10     ; <- Triggers the auto-increment
lda $1a15
ora $1a16     ; <- if both LSB and MSB of Offset is $0000, then loop finished.
bne loop

First read ($1a10) increments Offset by -1. ORing LSB/MSB of Offset, if the result sets the Z flag (both are 00) then finish, else jump back (continue loop).

Arcade Card General Registers

These registers have specific memory locations and not groups like the previous mentioned set of registers.

Address Length Description
$1AE0 4 bytes A 32-bit register. Format: lowest, low, mid, high byte.
$1AE4 1 byte Amount to shift the 32bit register. Lower four bits value is signed.
$1AE5 1 byte Amount to rotate the 32-bit register. Lower four bits value is signed.
$1AEC 2 bytes Should return $00/00.
$1AFE 1 byte When read, gives the version number of the Arcade Card.
$1AFF 1 byte Arcade Card ID = $51. Used to detect the card.

Shift register

The last byte ($1AE3) is a latch. When this is written to, all four bytes are copied into an internal 32-bit register. Reading back from this last byte, also activates the latch mechanism. I.e. you can write to one of the lower 3 bytes, and then read from the last byte to update the register. The value in the 32-bit register is always treated as unsigned when the shift logic is applied.


The register is 8 bits but only the lower 4 bits are used for the shift/rotate operation. The upper 4 bits are still held in the register, and can be read back. The lower four bits are signed, so it controls the direction of the shift/rotate. Only writing to these two registers activates the shift mechanism/logic.

Arcade Card Bank Data Registers

Four banks of Data registers mirrored through out 8k. Each bank corresponds to one of four Address register sets.

Bank Description
$40 Data registers 0/1 of $1A00 mirrored in the 8k bank.
$41 Data registers 0/1 of $1A10 mirrored in the 8k bank.
$42 Data registers 0/1 of $1A20 mirrored in the 8k bank.
$43 Data registers 0/1 of $1A30 mirrored in the 8k bank.

Mirrored Registers

The mirrored registers served a specific purpose. They allow you to use the Txx block transfer instructions with the Data register ports. The are no port-to-port block xfer instructions. In order to get Arcade Card port reads to VDC port writes, you need a special Txx instruction that just doesn't exist. A clever work around is to organize a set of ports, so that you can read them out in sequential fashion - like that of normal sequential linear addressing.

These ports, are mirrored one after another for a single 8k block. It works both for VDC to Arcade Card and Arcade Card to VDC, although the bigger benefit is actually for transferring to VRAM. Each bank of $40-43 corresponds to one of four sets of Arcade Card Data registers. This also means you are limited up to 8KB in a Txx single instance. So you'd have to you remap the *same* bank number to the next page register(s), for larger than 8k transfers. If you want to transfer data to vram, you use the normal [[1]] instruction. And reading from VRAM to Arcade Card, you use the TAI instruction.

Recovered Page


each port register consists of the following

byte 0 1 byte wide read/write port access into the Arcade Card memory

byte 0 and 1 are the same port useful for [[2]] and [[3]] instructions

byte 2-4 the 24bit address of the Arcade Card memory the order is
 low byte
 medium byte
 high byte
byte 5-6 offset for use with base offset address mode the order is LSB MSB
byte 7-8 incrementor value lsb msb if the increment flag is enabled the address reg will be incremented by byte 7-8
byte 9 control reg bitmap-bit 7 n a-bit 6 allow writes to byte 6 to add offset to base but only if-bit 5 is clear.
-bit 5 allows writes to byte 0xa to add offset to base but only if-bit 6 as well.

set-bit 4 auto-increment flag; 0 - inc offset; 1 - inc base bit 3 - auto-decrement 1 - and 0xff0000 to the 24bit address for byte 5 6 note use 2 2's compliment for the offset-bit 2 n a unknown-bit 1 use offset value when calculating effective address ie 'base only' or 'base offset' bit 0 auto-increment enable flag byte 0xa write access to this will add base offset if-bit 6 set in byte 9 the shift register is located in 1ae4 and the data which is 4 bytes in length is located in 1ae0 the value to shift is a signed 4bit value 1ae0- 1ae3 lowest byte low byte high byte highest byte 32bit value in little endian format 1ae4 the number bits to shift negative values shift right and positive values shift left 1ae5 simple 8-bit latch the arcade card identification byte is located in 1aff and the version number in 1afe 1afd 00 1afe version number 0x10 1aff arcade card identification 0x51 the arcade card can also be access via banks 40-43 each and every byte in the bank is the same as the port of its corresponding register 1ax0 with this method you can use the tia to transfer data from the arcade card memory to the [[HuC6270|VDC]] vram directly and tai from the [[HuC6270|VDC]] to Arcade Card memory you can also use this method to read from the cd directly to the arcade card memory with the cd_read function by using mpr agurment with any of the Arcade Card banks 40 arcade card port register 1 41 arcade card port register 2 42 arcade card port register 3 43 arcade card port register 4