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Thread: Resident Evil 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    I dunno. Looks okay to me. Maybe I just used an unlucky sample (I just googled for a random 320x240 RE2 background image). And keep in mind, this would be viewed through 16-30" CRT through composite cable for the majority of players. That masks away a LOT of the issues.

    Original (yes, it's a jpg) / 256 color / 128 color
    Well you're right, in that example I have to look very closely to see the difference between 128 and 256. I didn't save mine but where I saw the most artifacts was around the lights, the lack of different shades becomes obvious. What this shows though is that if you carefully planned each room maybe you could get away with fewer than 256, at least in some cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Well you're right, in that example I have to look very closely to see the difference between 128 and 256. I didn't save mine but where I saw the most artifacts was around the lights, the lack of different shades becomes obvious. What this shows though is that if you carefully planned each room maybe you could get away with fewer than 256, at least in some cases.
    Yes and no. There's some very obvious color banding that was starting to appear on the 256 color one that's even more obvious on the 128 color one. Even with dithering and composite blurring that's going to be noticeable. You might be able to use Gradation to blur it further but then you're going to start looking like an N64 game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    I don't think that would have been much of an issue at the time. Capcom sold at least 200k copies of X-Men vs Street Fighter, and if Ebay, Yahoo Auctions, etc. are to be trusted the 4MB RAM cart copy is by far the most common version. Sure you may not always see it being sold with it's outer box and RAM cart, but you can tell it's the version that came with it due to the lack of rear case art. I think I've only seen the non-bundle version 2 or 3 times in the sea of 4MB bundle copies I've seen over the years. Vampire Savior is a similar deal. The non 4MB bundle is a little more common than X-Men vs Street Fighter, but by the looks of things the 4MB RAM variant seems to outnumber it 2:1 from what I'm seeing. So that's probably close to 300k 4MB RAM cart owners from those games alone. Plus it was sold separately and it there were a lot of third party versions like the Action Replay. By the time RE2 would have been coming out there was probably enough install base to have it use the 4MB RAM cart and not really impact sales, especially considering the first Resident Evil on Saturn only sold maybe 150K in Japan? I highly doubt it sold more than that outside of Japan.
    That's assuming that everyone who bought those 2d fighters is interested in Resident Evil 2. I like 2d fighters but I sure as hell don't like RE2, so I can only assume that there would be people who are the opposite: who like RE2 but don't care about 2d fighters - and therefore have not bought XvsSF or Vampire Saviour and have no RAM carts.
    So if you are counting on the user base that got the RAM cart from a bundled game, then you are reducing your sale base by one tenth and you are trying to sell to people who may not even care about the genre in the first place.

    Sounds like a pretty poor sales forecast to me. Making the game have crappier looking backgrounds but a 10x potential sale base would have made more sense, they'd make more money that way.

    Worst case scenario they could have made the game use low quality assets by default, but have RAM cart compatibility that gives you better looking backgrounds. As long as there's enough time to get done both in the allocated development time, it would cause no issues.

    You seem to be putting a lot of faith in Composite and CRT blending
    ya it's not like there's no precedent for heavy usage of dithering on the system, like, say, with transparencies.

    Here's a comparison of Cinepak vs Truemotion. Cinepak is 24-bit RGB, Truemotion is 15-bit RGB. If it's obvious at 24-bit to 15-bit, it's definitely going to be obvious going to 128 colors.
    Apples to oranges. Your comparison has
    - a full motion video, that uses advanced motion calculations, vs a static image
    - a codec vs an uncompressed bitmap (the entire reason why we have to reduce the colour count is because we don't have an efficient enough video compression mechanism!)
    - a reduction to less than 0.2% of the available colours (16777215 to 32767) instead of 50% (255 to 127)
    - I don't even know what YUV models each format uses, nor does it really matter at this point, I think I made my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Yes and no. There's some very obvious color banding that was starting to appear on the 256 color one that's even more obvious on the 128 color one. Even with dithering and composite blurring that's going to be noticeable. You might be able to use Gradation to blur it further but then you're going to start looking like an N64 game.
    I don't see it, can you, like, enlarge it and individually highlight each pixel you find wrong? Or create a mockup of how it would look like with "Gradation"?

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    Also if anyone would be kind enough to give me an archive of all the original 24bit backgrounds, I could batch convert them and we could see how they'd look. The above example was just one random jpeg I found on google, so it's probably already very blurred down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    That's assuming that everyone who bought those 2d fighters is interested in Resident Evil 2. I like 2d fighters but I sure as hell don't like RE2, so I can only assume that there would be people who are the opposite: who like RE2 but don't care about 2d fighters - and therefore have not bought XvsSF or Vampire Saviour and have no RAM carts.
    So if you are counting on the user base that got the RAM cart from a bundled game, then you are reducing your sale base by one tenth and you are trying to sell to people who may not even care about the genre in the first place.

    Sounds like a pretty poor sales forecast to me. Making the game have crappier looking backgrounds but a 10x potential sale base would have made more sense, they'd make more money that way.

    Worst case scenario they could have made the game use low quality assets by default, but have RAM cart compatibility that gives you better looking backgrounds. As long as there's enough time to get done both in the allocated development time, it would cause no issues.
    Again by the time this would have came out I highly doubt Capcom would have cared if the 4MB RAM cart held back sales. After all they took a similar route with Final Fight Revenge. That game probably could have been optimized the same way you're talking about to not need the 4MB RAM cart. But Capcom took the quick and easy route and just threw the RAM cart at it so they didn't need to do any alterations to the assets and could just get it out quick. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd take a similar route with Resident Evil 2 if it made it easier for them to get it out sooner rather than later.

    For a modern Homebrew conversion, I don't see any issue with using the RAM carts. Most Saturn owners these days have one in one form or another. It's far more common than say the Video CD card.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    ya it's not like there's no precedent for heavy usage of dithering on the system, like, say, with transparencies.
    Yes but it has limits. And even then it doesn't always work perfectly in lower resolutions. It's not going to magically hide obvious color banding as the Truemotion examples show.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Apples to oranges. Your comparison has
    - a full motion video, that uses advanced motion calculations, vs a static image
    - a codec vs an uncompressed bitmap (the entire reason why we have to reduce the colour count is because we don't have an efficient enough video compression mechanism!)
    - a reduction to less than 0.2% of the available colours (16777215 to 32767) instead of 50% (255 to 127)
    - I don't even know what YUV models each format uses, nor does it really matter at this point, I think I made my point.
    As far as the Saturn is concerned, each frame of video it displays is an uncompressed bitmap, because it's been decompressed during playback. What generally happens during video play back is this:

    Compressed Frame Data comes in from CD > CPU Decompresses data to a bitmap (24bit RGB for Cinepak, 15-bit RGB for Truemotion)> bitmap is DMA'd to VDP2 VRAM during VBlank.

    There's some other caveats in there like reusing blocks that didn't change from the previous frame and what not, but the key take away is that each frame is an uncompressed bitmap as far as the Saturn is concerned. So I'd say the comparison holds as you can see in each decompressed frame there is significant colorbanding in the 15-bit RGB Truemotion examples. Yes the Video codec has very high compression ratios, but the point we're looking at here is what the decompressed end result looks like. I can do an uncompressed video example where each frame is an uncompressed bitmap and reduce the color to 15-bit RGB or 256 color or 128 color, you'd see the same kind of color banding as what we see in the Truemotion example.

    As for the YUV model, both Cinepak and Truemotion work in RGB colorpsace. Cinepak is 24-bit RGB, Truemotion can be 15 bit or 24 bit, though we don't have the 24-bit encoder.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    I don't see it, can you, like, enlarge it and individually highlight each pixel you find wrong?
    Sure here you go:



    That's an image ripped straight from the disc. You can see very obvious color banding in the 128 color version. Sure there's some in the 256 version as well, but on 128 certain ares just become giant swaths of a single color. You can see similar instances in your examples. Dithering can help but I don't think it's going to work the miracles you think it's going to work. Detail is effectively being blown away here. I don't think that's a good trade off. Especially for a modern homebrew port.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Or create a mockup of how it would look like with "Gradation"?
    Don't air quote Gradation at me. You of all people should know about VDP2's features. That feature is a color calculation feature of VDP2 that effectively blurs the image. It can help with low color layers to make them look a bit nicer. But as with Composite blurring, it also has it's limits and if you go too far things get to N64 levels of blurriness. If you want to see an example of it, here's a sample I did with Cinepak with it cranked up all the way:



    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Also if anyone would be kind enough to give me an archive of all the original 24bit backgrounds, I could batch convert them and we could see how they'd look. The above example was just one random jpeg I found on google, so it's probably already very blurred down.
    You can extract them from the disc yourself with the tool BioFat. They're in the BSS files.

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    Good point about Final Fight Revenge, I forgot about that. But I think RE2 would've been a bigger title than just another arcade port, and making it require the RAM cart would have been still an issue sales wise - especially if they ever wanted to localize it (of course in the end this wasn't an issue because the Saturn market imploded, but assuming it was developed in 1997, this may have still been a consideration).

    Yes but it has limits. And even then it doesn't always work perfectly in lower resolutions. It's not going to magically hide obvious color banding as the Truemotion examples show.
    Obviously it can only do so much when you remove 99.8% of the colour count and 90% of the bitrate.

    As far as the Saturn is concerned, each frame of video it displays is an uncompressed bitmap, because it's been decompressed during playback. What generally happens during video play back is this:
    The final displayed graphic is a bitmap, but that does not matter, because video encoding is a fundamentally different process than converting a single uncompressed bitmap. I feel like you should be aware of this.

    As for the YUV model, both Cinepak and Truemotion work in RGB colorpsace. Cinepak is 24-bit RGB, Truemotion can be 15 bit or 24 bit, though we don't have the 24-bit encoder.
    Mediawiki says CPK most commonly uses a modified YUV 4:2:0 color model, and Truemotion works on at best 2x2 pixel blocks where gamma is encoded per pixel but chrominance per block, which would also be similar in detail as YUV 4:2:0 - however it can also use 4x4 blocks which is considerably worse (on some game intros I can practically count the macroblocks...).

    Sure here you go:
    Should I point out that you are not even highlighting the images I encoded?

    Am I arguing with TA here?

    You can extract them from the disc yourself with the tool BioFat. They're in the BSS files.
    I don't have the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Good point about Final Fight Revenge, I forgot about that. But I think RE2 would've been a bigger title than just another arcade port, and making it require the RAM cart would have been still an issue sales wise - especially if they ever wanted to localize it (of course in the end this wasn't an issue because the Saturn market imploded, but assuming it was developed in 1997, this may have still been a consideration).
    Again, by the time this would have theoretically happened I think it would have been more "Get it out fast or don't put it out at all." and using the RAM cart would have probably been the faster way to get it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Obviously it can only do so much when you remove 99.8% of the colour count and 90% of the bitrate.
    The original images are 24-bit RGB, but only have about 16k colors in them. What do you think going from that to paletted 8bpp but only using half the available colors you have is going to be? It's going to be a very similar situation. Going to 256 colors already has a significant impact. It's even worse going to 128.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The final displayed graphic is a bitmap, but that does not matter, because video encoding is a fundamentally different process than converting a single uncompressed bitmap. I feel like you should be aware of this.
    The Truemotion encoder does the color reductions, dithering, etc. to the original uncompressed images before it encodes them. You can play with the encoder yourself if you want to in a Windows 95 VM and see all the different preprocessing sliders you can play with to reduce color, increase/decrease dither, etc. So it's really not as different as you may think. It's just doing it to hundreds if not thousands of frames and then encoding those modified frames in it's compression scheme.

    The point still stands. Overly aggressive color reduction is still going to be very obvious over composite, even with dithering.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Mediawiki says CPK most commonly uses a modified YUV 4:2:0 color model, and Truemotion works on at best 2x2 pixel blocks where gamma is encoded per pixel but chrominance per block, which would also be similar in detail as YUV 4:2:0 - however it can also use 4x4 blocks which is considerably worse (on some game intros I can practically count the macroblocks...).
    My bad I thought you were referring to the input and output color formats.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Should I point out that you are not even highlighting the images I encoded?
    As you said yours were from a questionable source, so I grabbed some right off the disc. I have no idea what the ID for the room you used was so I grabbed one from one of the largest rooms on the disc. However if you need examples in yours, the back wall and desk have pretty awful color banding. The wall was already bad on 256 colors, but it's even worse at 128.

    The point is, while it may be "acceptable" for a few rooms, others like the one I posted take a pretty big hit. No amount of CRT blurring is going to save that.

    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    I don't have the game.
    So go download it? It's available at so many places it's not even funny. Hell if it has to be a legit copy you can probably go get a PS1 copy for a reasonable price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    He's not porting PS Code over. He's writing a custom engine tailored to the Saturn. What's being pulled from the PS1 is the DATA. And he's already doing what he can to convert it into a Saturn friendly format. You do understand the difference between Data and Code right?
    He's porting over PS assets 100% complete, unless he's got a team of artists, downgrading polygons models and the backgrounds? That would have been the case with a porting team for SEGA back in the day, It's not really comparable. For sure the Saturn RE2 team would have no doubt looked to downgrade the number of polygons and the backgrounds, but we'll never know.


    Both those examples have significant alterations and reductions to work on that hardware
    It shows what is possible. If NEC or Panasonic came with a ton of money to Capcom to get RE2 on the PC FX or 3DO, it would happen, never mind SEGA with the Saturn. The game did come out on the Gamecom after all.
    I remember the day's when Milkcom was the term used for Capcom.

    I'm not having a go at you, just when it comes to money and well Capcom, anything was possible. I love Sega and Saturn, but know a Saturn version of RE2 would be inferior, it could still be done and if the Saturn was the only system you had, it would have made your day, cut backs and all
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    He's porting over PS assets 100% complete, unless he's got a team of artists, downgrading polygons models and the backgrounds? That would have been the case with a porting team for SEGA back in the day, It's not really comparable. For sure the Saturn RE2 team would have no doubt looked to downgrade the number of polygons and the backgrounds, but we'll never know.
    He's not porting over the assets "100% complete". He's only ported over the ones he needs for his demos and proof of concept. And those have all been altered. All the backgrounds have been reduced down to 256 color tilemaps vs the 24-bit RGB Bitmaps the originals were. The models he's using he's already converted over to quads. Reducing polygons isn't really going to help with the issue he's having. He's not really having a major rendering performance problem. The problem he's having is a memory problem.

    Just because he doesn't have an entire team working on it doesn't mean he can't make logical reductions to try and get the sizes down. He's been working on this for quite a while now and has been regularly sharing updates with the rest of us in the SegaXtreme discord. There's quite a bit of experience in that group that's already given tips and suggestions that he's been using to try and reduce things down. At the end the only thing he hasn't tried yet is compression because it's not a major priority for him right now. And there's no guarantee that will solve the problem. What does solve the problem though is the RAM cart.

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    I'm not degrading any person's hardwork here. But there is a difference from trying to do RE2 on the Saturn on your tod, to having a team of 10 or so full-time artists, whose job would be to downgrade the PS original assets, redo the polygon meshes Ect, to fit inside the Saturn engine requirements of the RE Saturn engine by the programmers, who'll also be around 5 to 10 people: for an important game like this and with SEGA looking to want it on its system

    When one moves past silly point-scoring, system bashing andlook at it objectively any port is possible.

    My main issue is the people who miss quoted the interview and how in the interview it couldn't have been more clear...




    A dying market, SEGA cutting all support and the DC were the main reasons, RE2 was never finished on Saturn. It really couldn't be any more clear it was because of DC. Not being able to use the Twin SH-2's or push the VDP1 beyond SEGA's own tools or as well as SEGA Japan could, was common complaint, most Saturn fans were used to that talk. I think the only one who said they could do better was Sarah Avory, who told EDGE and also comment on Twitter that she had found a way to push more, even better than SEGA, but thanks to SOA comments that the Saturn was not our future.

    The likes of EDIOS, Bullfrog and many other's, all dropped their projects and we'll never find out how hard the likes of CORE could have pushed
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 07-01-2022 at 05:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    I'm not degrading any person's hardwork here. But there is a difference from trying to do RE2 on the Saturn on your tod, to having a team of 10 or so full-time artists, whose job would be to downgrade the PS original assets, redo the polygon meshes Ect, to fit inside the Saturn engine requirements of the RE Saturn engine by the programmers, who'll also be around 5 to 10 people: for an important game like this and with SEGA looking to want it on its system
    And I'm telling you that's already all been done here. Yes it's just one person doing it, but they've been working on it for a while now and have only been focusing on a few meshes and rooms to do a proof of concept. The assets have been properly converted and reduced down as far as they can while still being acceptable. The issue is this game was built around the PS1 hardware and leverages it's FMV Decoding hardware to have very high compression ratios on the background graphics. You don't have that on Saturn so you run out of memory if you try to store them uncompressed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    He says here the main issue was the CPU power for graphics calculations. But he doesn't really say what graphics calculations. He could be getting at there wasn't enough CPU power to decompress the compressed backgrounds and do the 3D Model calculations at the same time. Which that would make sense if they were going for the same kind of compression ratios as the PS1. DCT algorithms are very CPU intensive and the few Saturn games that do it typically use all the CPU resources to pull it off. But if they could pull that off he is right that they wouldn't need more RAM as both systems have the same amount of main memory, even though Saturn's is split up. But if you can't pull that off, then the RAM cart is the solution.

    Honestly it's a vague answer he's giving to a vague question that doesn't really go into detail. You need to stop clinging to these kind of answers and interviews as absolute truth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    And I'm telling you that's already all been done here. Yes it's just one person doing it, but they've been working on it for a while now and have only been focusing on a few meshes and rooms to do a proof of concept. The assets have been properly converted and reduced down as far as they can while still being acceptable. The issue is this game was built around the PS1 hardware and leverages it's FMV Decoding hardware to have very high compression ratios on the background graphics. You don't have that on Saturn so you run out of memory if you try to store them uncompressed.



    He says here the main issue was the CPU power for graphics calculations. But he doesn't really say what graphics calculations. He could be getting at there wasn't enough CPU power to decompress the compressed backgrounds and do the 3D Model calculations at the same time. Which that would make sense if they were going for the same kind of compression ratios as the PS1. DCT algorithms are very CPU intensive and the few Saturn games that do it typically use all the CPU resources to pull it off. But if they could pull that off he is right that they wouldn't need more RAM as both systems have the same amount of main memory, even though Saturn's is split up. But if you can't pull that off, then the RAM cart is the solution.

    Honestly it's a vague answer he's giving to a vague question that doesn't really go into detail. You need to stop clinging to these kind of answers and interviews as absolute truth.
    I would probably guess, it was the increase in the polygons and number of enemies actually on-screen at the same time, that was the issue, but we'll never know All I would say is that 'if' the Saturn was still a strong number 2 in Japan, the DC project was 2 or so more years away Whatever issues the porting team were having (and no doubt, it would have been many) we would have got RE2 on the Saturn and also got Sonic Adv and Shenmue.

    Really, Why would you go to all the trouble and hassle of making RE2 on Saturn with a dying market in Japan, with even N64 software sales overtaking Saturn's SEGA Japan moving most of its production/support up to DC and SEGA America, making it clear Saturn was not out future, we can't wait to kill it and we won't bring your 3rd party games over anyway...

    It wouldn't make any sense on most levels and how much clear does one need it? than 'because of Dreamcast'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    I would probably guess, it was the increase in the polygons and number of enemies actually on-screen at the same time, that was the issue, but we'll never know All I would say is that 'if' the Saturn was still a strong number 2 in Japan, the DC project was 2 or so more years away Whatever issues the porting team were having (and no doubt, it would have been many) we would have got RE2 on the Saturn and also got Sonic Adv and Shenmue.

    Really, Why would you go to all the trouble and hassle of making RE2 on Saturn with a dying market in Japan, with even N64 software sales overtaking Saturn's SEGA Japan moving most of its production/support up to DC and SEGA America, making it clear Saturn was not out future, we can't wait to kill it and we won't bring your 3rd party games over anyway...

    It wouldn't make any sense on most levels and how much clear does one need it? than 'because of Dreamcast'
    Again, I'm not really debating why they cancelled it. I'm simply pointing out the technical hurdles that exist with porting the game. A big hurdle to overcome here is managing RAM, and a very quick and easy way to get over that hurdle is to use the RAM cart. It's what this dev has chosen to do to get over the hurdle and get things moving, I don't think it's that crazy to speculate about Capcom coming to a similar conclusion back in the 90s.

    Now before you continue replying, are you proud of how badly you've derailed this thread over someone simply saying "this RAM management issue is probably why Capcom was supposedly using the RAM cart in their porting attempts"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Again, I'm not really debating why they cancelled it. I'm simply pointing out the technical hurdles that exist with porting the game. A big hurdle to overcome here is managing RAM, and a very quick and easy way to get over that hurdle is to use the RAM cart. It's what this dev has chosen to do to get over the hurdle and get things moving, I don't think it's that crazy to speculate about Capcom coming to a similar conclusion back in the 90s.

    Now before you continue replying, are you proud of how badly you've derailed this thread over someone simply saying "this RAM management issue is probably why Capcom was supposedly using the RAM cart in their porting attempts"?
    That's a fair point, but I've given clear examples of where so-called impossible ports were done, and we even had RE2 on a bloody Gamecom. So let's face it an RE2 port was possible on Saturn.
    My main issue was people miss quoting a old Capcome interview and please don't try and make out.. ' because of Dreamcast' was a miss translation.

    It couldn't have been any more clear .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    That's a fair point, but I've given clear examples of where so-called impossible ports were done, and we even had RE2 on a bloody Gamecom. So let's face it an RE2 port was possible on Saturn.
    And this wasn't what was being debated. It's what you tried to derail it to. You do this all the time. You throw yourself into technical conversations and then when you realize you're in over your head you start throwing in completely unrelated arguments to try and distract and derail. It's childish and annoying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    please don't try and make out.. ' because of Dreamcast' was a miss translation.
    I didn't say it was a mistranslation. I said the quotes concerning the RAM cart specifically could have been mistranslated. Even the quote you provided was generally vague as stated previously.

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