(Topic ID: 257328)

Flash Gordon wrong speech?


By zacaj

5 months ago



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  • 34 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by gdonovan
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#1 5 months ago

I have a Flash Gordon with a Squalk and Talk sound board. When you plunge, it's supposed to say "flash! emperor ming awaits" mine sounds like it says "crush! emperor-roo te great". I got a recording from zahner from his flash, which sounds correct.

Here's a recording of my game doing the sound test:

It says "15 seconds" and a laugh multiple times.

Here's a recording of zahner's flash: https://vimeo.com/378894172. It says "emperor ming awaits", and doesn't repeat any phrases. His seems to be a sounds plus board, not a squalk and talk?

Do the boards sound different from each other, or do I have an issue with my board? Does anyone have a squalk and talk that sounds correct? I've found multiple people having this "emperor-roo" issue, but none ever report solving it.

#2 5 months ago

Sounds fine to me @ 14 seconds.
Emperor Ming Awaits.

His "Miserable Earthling" def sounds way diff'rent than yours, or mine. Weird.

EDIT: Unless this is one of those weird internet things were people hear diff'rent things like seeing diff'rent colors.

#3 5 months ago

My FG has a freshly re-capped S&T board. Sounds similar. Although my Xenon sounds much cleaner than FG. I have a 2nd S&T being recapped for FG and I'll install that one to see any difference.

#4 5 months ago

Sounds right to me.

#5 5 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

EDIT: Unless this is one of those weird internet things were people hear diff'rent things like seeing diff'rent colors

They sound incredibly different to me. Not even a small thing, like half the phrase is completely different. The other video goes "emperor (small pause) minG (longer pause) awaits!" with an emphasis on the ending of ming and a noticable 'a' in awaits. Mine sounds like it says "emperor" and then stutters for a second, only getting a bit of the G and then skips to the "-ait".

I've got one friend who swears they sound they sound the same, and another (who also owns an FG with a S+T) who independently pointed out theirs sounds wrong.

Quoted from tomdrum:

My FG has a freshly re-capped S&T board. Sounds similar.

Mine is recapped too. Does your sound test repeat the same phrases like mine, or do you just mean the one phrase is similar to mine?

#6 5 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

They sound incredibly different to me.

Really interesting.

Well I'm encountering 2 FGs tonighty so I'll take a listen and report back.

#7 5 months ago

I think the two have some differences. Personally I think your sounds better and more correct phrases than your friends.

#8 5 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

I think the two have some differences. Personally I think your sounds better and more correct phrases than your friends.

Speaking just to the "emperor ming awaits", I find mine so bad that, until I heard the other, I didn't even know what he was saying, while the other is perfectly clear and concise. I haven't really compared the other phrases at all beyond that mine is missing some phrases

#9 5 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

EDIT: Unless this is one of those weird internet things were people hear diff'rent things like seeing diff'rent colors.

I think you may be on to something. There’s a whole debate about Stern Star Trek and whether it says Kahn or Kai. Of course, it is supposed to be Kahn, which I heard for the longest time until I started hearing Kai.

That said, the two different boards in the videos do sound different. I have a S&T, and it sounds the same as the OPs.

#10 5 months ago

Here is what mine sounds like. Not saying that it is correct but gives you something to compare with.

#11 5 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Mine is recapped too. Does your sound test repeat the same phrases like mine, or do you just mean the one phrase is similar to mine?

Mine only plays background sounds in test mode.

#12 5 months ago
Quoted from tomdrum:

Mine only plays background sounds in test mode.

The coin door test or the test button on the board

#13 5 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

The coin door test or the test button on the board

Coin door. My game is unrestored and I haven't done the door yet. I'll try the board.

#14 5 months ago

Mine does the exact same sequence on the board test. It sounds the same.

#15 5 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

When you plunge, it's supposed to say "flash! emperor ming awaits"

Weird as mine did that when I pushed the start button, not when I used the plunger.

#16 5 months ago
Quoted from Nokoro:

I think you may be on to something. There’s a whole debate about Stern Star Trek and whether it says Kahn or Kai. Of course, it is supposed to be Kahn, which I heard for the longest time until I started hearing Kai.
.

Ha yes! Because I had no f-ing idea how people were hearing Kai; good call on that one.

Here's 2 machines for ya

https://vimeo.com/378951202

https://vimeo.com/378951166

Hmm....don't know why vimeo links don't auto embed

#17 5 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

They sound incredibly different to me.

Sounds Plus + Vocalizer setup essentially has encoded sampled speech in the Vocalizer board ROMs.
S&T has a TMS5200 speech chip which digitally models the vocal tract using air/breath simulation. Speech from the TMS5200 is synthetic.

#18 5 months ago

There are components that affect the speech timing on the S&T board - I had 2 EBD's side by side and one was just slower by a bit and it drove me crazy because it wasn't how I 'remembered' EBD being - that's the one that got sold, and the other one happily is pitched 'better' to my ears. Possibly the differences are down to something like this.

Now, what those components ARE is a good question. If it's the actual TMS5200, you might be out of luck unless you can get a bunch of those to swap. Someone at some point should figure out how to mod the sample data to work with the more readily obtained TMS5220.

#19 5 months ago

Sounds fine to me. I've found there are variations on these Bally boards based on age and value of caps. I have 2 Harlem Globetrotters machines and the tones sound somber in my recapped sound board and higher pitched in my recently acquired game with original sound caps.

#20 5 months ago

Ok I got a question....what exactly is supposed to happen when it says, "Death Ray 15 Seconds" I know it counts down for 15 seconds, but are you getting some sort of bonus multiplier for those 15 or what?

#21 5 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

Ok I got a question....what exactly is supposed to happen when it says, "Death Ray 15 Seconds" I know it counts down for 15 seconds, but are you getting some sort of bonus multiplier for those 15 or what?

2x scoring - should be the 2X insert lit in the middle

#22 5 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Ha yes! Because I had no f-ing idea how people were hearing Kai; good call on that one.
Here's 2 machines for ya

I think I heard a little disparity between the two you posted Law. The first vid (game looks restored) was clearer, but a hair slower than the second. No idea why Zac's phrases seem off. I just picked one up, so now I'll have to test it when I get home later out of curiosity.

Quoted from tomdrum:

Although my Xenon sounds much cleaner than FG.

Xenon always sounds cleaner IMO. Plus Ciani's voice is sexy, which makes me listen much better.

#23 5 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

2x scoring - should be the 2X insert lit in the middle

Thank you for the info I appreciate it

#24 5 months ago
Quoted from timab2000:

Ok I got a question....what exactly is supposed to happen when it says, "Death Ray 15 Seconds" I know it counts down for 15 seconds, but are you getting some sort of bonus multiplier for those 15 or what?

Quoted from TheLaw:

2x scoring - should be the 2X insert lit in the middle

Could also be 3x scoring or 5x scoring depending upon what is lit.

#25 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

Now, what those components ARE is a good question. If it's the actual TMS5200, you might be out of luck unless you can get a bunch of those to swap. Someone at some point should figure out how to mod the sample data to work with the more readily obtained TMS5220.

The resistor R9 regulates the speech speed. If R9 goes out of spec it can affect the speech speed, you can check the value with the schematic - I installed a variable resistor in place of R9, adjusting the resistor I could change the speech speed from very slow to very fast (which is fun to play around with) then adjusted somewhere inbetween at a point where the speech sounded normal, this is how you can get your speech how you want it to sound.

I have had two TMS5200 chips that sounded different to each other, trying both in the same board I found one definitely sounded noticeably slower than the other, so the TMS5200 chip itself can also be the cause, in this case, the variable resistor allows for speech speed adjustment on the slower chip.

#26 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

There are components that affect the speech timing on the S&T board - I had 2 EBD's side by side and one was just slower by a bit and it drove me crazy because it wasn't how I 'remembered' EBD being - that's the one that got sold, and the other one happily is pitched 'better' to my ears. Possibly the differences are down to something like this.
Now, what those components ARE is a good question. If it's the actual TMS5200, you might be out of luck unless you can get a bunch of those to swap. Someone at some point should figure out how to mod the sample data to work with the more readily obtained TMS5220.

Back when I actually had a tube a TMS5200(kick myself for not buying all I could when I could) every NOS chip with the same lot/date codes sounded different when tested on the same board. Most where slight differences but some where darth vader, much slower/lower pitch and others where more towards the alvin in the chipmunks faster / higher pitch. Maybe the leg rot that happens on these chips gets up inside of the chip package and effects something or just they just always sounded different from day of production... not sure

A TMS5220 almost works dropped in but most phrases are garbled. Its like it is pin compatible but the instructions are different. Having the speech ROMs modified to use the TMS5220 would be awesome as you can still get that chip relatively easily. I don't even know if that is possible to do tho. Not having a TMS5200 because the original's legs rotted away is a reason many of these boards are dead. I have a box of them without speech chips.

Atari used I think both the TMS5220 and TMS5200 in the video game Gauntlet. They probably had the right development tools tho that might be just lost to time.

#27 5 months ago

I figured that the chip had a lot of analog circuitry in it so that accounts for the variations. Good to know on R9 in case I run up against it again.

It really grated on my ears to hear that slow EBD speech.

#28 5 months ago
Quoted from slochar:

I figured that the chip had a lot of analog circuitry in it so that accounts for the variations. Good to know on R9 in case I run up against it again.
It really grated on my ears to hear that slow EBD speech.

The speech clock resistor you can change to trim pot used like a rheostat and get some adjustment to pitch, but you can't make a darth vader tms5200 sound like an alvin chipmunk tms5200. Its hard to describe, but adjusting is worth trying.

#29 5 months ago
Quoted from barakandl:

Maybe the leg rot that happens on these chips gets up inside of the chip package and effects something or just they just always sounded different from day of production... not sure

That's an interesting point, I wonder if they degrade/change over time.

I bought 7 NOS TMS5200NL chips nearly 20 years ago & I tested them when I got them, all the same date codes, I think 3 or 4 out of the 7 appeared to be faulty with garbled speech, the rest were ok, I sent them back & they sent me replacements - I remember when I had 7 working chips they did all had the same pitch when tested in the same board.

None had any leg oxidization when I got them, but I noticed recently that most now have a bit. I decided to vac seal the 6 of these I still have in a tube to halt this - this may be a first!

Also, going back earlier to around 1997, before their were any sellers on the net for chips like this, I needed a TMS5200 & could not find one anywhere or even a used S&T board at that time, so I bought a TI99 speech synthesizer which are cheapish & utilize a TMS5200.

Interestingly when I pulled the unit apart it had a different part number for the chip - CD2501E. It is funtionally identical to the TMS5200, just a different number. Works perfectly. That chip has also oxidised. No NOS CD2501E chips can be found anywhere.

IMG_0771 (resized).JPGIMG_0773 (resized).JPG
#30 5 months ago
Quoted from Joydivision:

That's an interesting point, I wonder if they degrade/change over time.
I bought 7 NOS TMS5200NL chips nearly 20 years ago & I tested them when I got them, all the same date codes, I think 3 or 4 out of the 7 appeared to be faulty with garbled speech, the rest were ok, I sent them back & they sent me replacements - I remember when I had 7 working chips they did all had the same pitch when tested in the same board.
None had any leg oxidization when I got them, but I noticed recently that most now have a bit. I decided to vac seal the 6 of these I still have in a tube to halt this - this may be a first!
Also, going back earlier to around 1997, before their were any sellers on the net for chips like this, I needed a TMS5200 & could not find one anywhere or even a used S&T board at that time, so I bought a TI99 speech synthesizer which are cheapish & utilize a TMS5200.
Interestingly when I pulled the unit apart it had a different part number for the chip - CD2501E. It is funtionally identical to the TMS5200, just a different number. Works perfectly. That chip has also oxidised. No NOS CD2501E chips can be found anywhere.[quoted image][quoted image]

TMC0285 appears to be the same thing as TMS5200NL/CD2501E too but is also not available anywhere.

The Apple Echo II supposedly used a TMS5200 in the early versions of it, but all the pictures that come up in google image show a TMS5220.

Nice stash of chips. Hopefully having them in a vacuum sealed bag will slow down the leg rot that happens. Maybe throw some desiccant and oxygen absorbing packets in with it.

*edit* from wikipedia
TMS5200 (AKA CD2501E, internal TI name is '0285' hence chip is sometimes labeled TMC0285): Added 8-bit parallel FIFO interface; designed for use by the TI consumer division for the TI 99/4A speech module; also used on the 4th generation Bally/Midway pinball tables' Squawk and Talk speech board (part number AS-2518-61), on the Environmental cabinet version of the Bally/Midway arcade game Discs of TRON, on (earlier) Apple II Echo 2 cards, and on the Zaccaria arcade games Jack Rabbit and Money Money, and Zaccaria pinball machines Pinball Champ and Soccer Kings. Superseded by TMS5220 in late 1980/1981, and possibly sold as cheap, 'fire-sale' stock in 1982–1983. Uses the 'final' chirp table.

1 week later
#31 5 months ago

howdy all,
I don't have any sound at all on my FG, but I do have a connector that is not plugged in. It's the 2-wire connector that goes into J2 (sound board), but my J2 has like 6 header pins. I'm pretty sure this should be plugged into pins 1 and 2, not sure which orientation though.. anyone have a helpful picture?

#32 5 months ago

J2 pin 1 and 2 go to the speaker/volume pot. Orientation doesn't matter.

#33 5 months ago

Awesome, thanks! Sounds great! Looking forward to playing it after I get it working.

1 month later
#34 3 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Speaking just to the "emperor ming awaits", I find mine so bad that, until I heard the other, I didn't even know what he was saying, while the other is perfectly clear and concise. I haven't really compared the other phrases at all beyond that mine is missing some phrases

I'm just getting my FG up and running and "emperor ming awaits" is not clear at all. "ming" is badly garbled.

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