It is currently Sat Apr 04, 2020 12:04 pm

All times are UTC [ DST ]

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Daphne documentation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:09 pm 
Registered User
Registered  User

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Posts: 23
Quite some time ago, I started work on a docfile for Daphne that was intended to be included with the emulator. Matt had looked at it and asked for it to be completed. Unfortunately, various goings-on in my life over the past couple of years have meant that it's been left it in a largely-unfinished state. I just don't have the time to work on any of the stuff I'd like to be able to anymore, so I'm handing over what I've got so far to the world in hopes that someone will pick it up and finish it. Daphne's a really great emulator, but would be even better if she came with a user's guide ;)

A lot of this is now out-of-date or incomplete, and I'm not entirely certain as to how much of it will need changing or additions - there's no mention of OSX Universal support, for example, and I know that the game list and some commandline options have changed. Also bear in mind that most of this was written in vi under Linux, so Daphne Loader isn't covered at all - it's purely commandline-based.

Version 0.4 (07/13/05)
By Cameron Mac Millan


0) About this document

1) What is Daphne?

2) Requirements

3) Theory of Operation
   3a. Recommended directory structure
   3b. ROMs
   3c. Laserdisc player types
   3d. Framefiles and MPEG / OGG video
   3e. Sound samples
   3f. Starting Daphne
   3g. Controls

4) Supported games
   4a. Parent/Clone ROMs
   4b. What does 'Supported' or 'Unsupported' mean?
   4c. Game list, ROM names, and built-in tests

5) Laserdisc Players
   5a. Physical players
   5b. Virtual players

6) List of commandline options

7) Miscellany
   7a. DVD2DAPH
   7b. daphne_log.txt
   7c. Usage Statistics
   7d. External scoreboard support in Dragon's Lair / Space Ace

8) For more information

0) About this document

This document is intended to be a reference guide for users of the Daphne
emulator.  It does not cover topics such as building Daphne from source,
obtaining supplementary files required to use Daphne, or graphical front
ends.  If after reading through this document you still have an unanswered
question, please refer to the Daphne FAQ.  Links to the Daphne FAQ and
other resources can be found in Section 8.

In order to better know how to use Daphne, it's important to understand
how Daphne operates.  To this end, this document has been written in three
segments: introductory information (Sections 0-2), theory of operation
(Section 3), and supporting information (Sections 4-8).  If you're itching
to run Daphne RIGHT NOW, you can skip directly to Section 3f for examples
of how to start Daphne from the commandline.  This approach really isn't
recommended, however, particularly if you're a new user.

1) What is Daphne?

Taken directly from the Daphne FAQ: "DAPHNE is a program which lets one
play the arcade versions of many laserdisc games on one's PC."  Freely
downloadable in either binary or source distributions, Daphne can be
obtained under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) from .

2) Requirements

Daphne has no specific minimum hardware requirements.  There are two
reasons for this: the first is due to the fact that how you run Daphne
plays a large part in determining the type of hardware that you'll need. 
Evidence suggests, however, that for full-screen video something akin to a
P3/800 with 128MB of RAM and an 8MB AGP video card would be a reasonable
starting point.  Again, your specs may be above or below this line.

Operating systems Daphne has been known to work under include Microsoft
Windows (95, 98, 2000, and XP), GNU/Linux (x86), Mac OSX, FreeBSD, and
Solaris.  Others may be possible; if you have success running Daphne on a
different platform, please let us know.

Assuming you have a suitable combination of hardware and operating system,
you'll also need the following:

   - The Daphne emulator.
   - ROM files for the game you intend to run in emulation via
     Daphne (not included).
   - Video footage of the game you intend to run in emulation and a
     way to play it back.  This can be accomplished in one of two ways:
     either using an original laserdisc by directly connecting a supported
     laserdisc player to the computer running Daphne and allowing Daphne
     to control the player, or by optionally using Daphne's built-in
     virtual laserdisc player to play back the same footage stored in an
     MPEG- or OGG-format video file (not included).
   - If using the virtual laserdisc player, you will also need framefiles. 
     These tell Daphne how to play back the video stored in the MPEG/OGG-
     format files (not included).

3) Theory of Operation

Before attempting to run Daphne, it's generally best to have the Daphne
binary in the root of the directory containing the supplementary files
(ROMs, MPEGs, etc.) that Daphne requires in order to be able to
successfully emulate a game.

3a. Recommended Directory structure

A reasonable directory tree structure for Daphne might look like this:

     +--DAPHNE (Daphne binary goes here)
        +--DOC (Documentation)
        +--EXAMPLE (Sample files for redefining keyboard controls)
        +--FRAMEFILES (Framefiles for virtual laserdisc player users)
        +--PICS (Various graphic files used by Daphne)
        +--ROMS (Game ROMs required by Daphne)
        +--SOUND (Sound files used by Daphne)
        +--VIDEO (Directory for virtual laserdisc player video files)
           +--SUBDIR (Per-game Subdirectories containing video files)

The directory names should be reasonably self-explanatory.  For people who
downloaded a binary distribution of Daphne, the DOC, EXAMPLE, FRAMEFILE,
PICS, ROMS, and SOUND directories should be created by default when the
archive is expanded.

Note that the VIDEO subdirectory will need to be created manually if
you're planning on using MPEG or OGG video files in conjunction with the
virtual laserdisc player.  It's recommended that you also create
subdirectories within it to hold the video for each game - for example,
the 'SUBDIR' directory under 'VIDEO' in the example tree above may be
renamed 'LAIR' if it's going to hold the video for Dragon's Lair.

It's recommended that you keep the default directory names outlined above. 
Daphne looks in directories with fixed names (such as 'ROMS' and 'SOUND')
for certain types of files; if these directories cannot be found, Daphne
may not run properly if at all.

3b. ROMs

ROMs are required in order to play any game Daphne supports.  These should
be placed in the ROMS directory, and if obtained in .zip format do not
need to be unzipped once placed there - Daphne can automatically extract
the necessary files on the fly provided that the .zip file is named in a
way that lets Daphne find it.  For example, the Dragon's Lair ROMs should
be placed in the ROMs directory with the name ''.  For a listing
of correct ROM names, refer to Section 4.

It's also possible to unzip each set of ROMs individually and store them
in subdirectories within the ROMS directory.  Each subdirectory must use
the same name as for the correct zipped set - so an unzipped Dragon's Lair
set would go into ROMS\LAIR.  Note that the .zip extension should not be
used as part of the subdirectory name.

3c. Laserdisc player types

Daphne supports two types of laserdisc players: physical and virtual. 
Physical players are exactly what their name suggests - an actual working
laserdisc player connected directly to the serial port of the computer
Daphne is being run on.  The virtual player included as part of Daphne is
used when no physical player is present, but MPEG- or OGG-format video
footage from the original laserdisc is available.  Both types of players
have certain requirements that must be met in order to be able to use them
with Daphne.

Physical players must be compatible with Daphne - not every player ever
manufactured is supported.  As a broad guideline, there are five makes of
supported players; details can be found in Section 5a.  Players are
connected directly to the computer's serial port and controlled by Daphne;
an external TV, monitor, or other display device is attached to the player
itself in order to display the in-game video.

The virtual laserdisc player (VLDP) is used to simulate a physical player
and requires two things in order to operate: an MPEG- or OGG-format file
consisting of the original laserdisc footage from the game you want Daphne
to emulate, and a framefile that tells Daphne where the footage is stored
and how to play it back.

There's also a second type of virtual player: NOLDP.  As its name
suggests, this isn't really a player as such - it's just a short way of
telling Daphne that no physical player is attached, and that the VLDP
should NOT be used to display video.  From the standpoint of playing games
this is largely useless, but for testing or debugging Daphne it can be
extremely valuable.

3d. Framefiles and MPEG / OGG video

Framefiles are required by Daphne to locate and play back MPEG- or
OGG-format video footage when using the VLDP.  They're just a text file
consisting of at least two pieces of information, and optionally a third
if required:

   - The location of the MPEG or OGG-format video file.
   - An offset representing the starting frame within the video file, and
     the name of the video file to use.
   - Optionally, offsets and filenames for multiple video files if using
     more than one video file.

In general, it's best to give your framefiles the same name as the ROM
name of the game they emulate - so a framefile for Dragon's Lair may be
LAIR.TXT, a framefile for Cliff Hanger would be CLIFF.TXT, and so on.

Given the above information, a basic framefile (in this case for Cliff
Hanger) might look like this:

   0 CLIFF.M2V

This would tell Daphne to look in the directory C:\DAPHNE\VIDEO\CLIFF for
a file called CLIFF.M2V, and to start playback from offset zero.

A slightly more complex example would be where a game uses multiple video
files for playback.  The basic format is the same, but with the offset and
file specified for each video file required by the game.  In this
(partial) example for Dragon's Lair:

   150     dl-slates.m2v
   323     dls00.vob.m2v
   1366    dls01.vob.m2v
   2044    dls01d1.vob.m2v
   2085    dls01d2.vob.m2v

As you can see, the path to the video is still specified in the first line
of the file, but each video file required by the game and its offset is
specified in order.  This method is usually only required if using an
external utility such as DVD2DAPH to create your video files from a source
such as a DVD.  More information on DVD2DAPH can be found in Section 7a.

3e. Sound samples

Daphne uses sound samples in certain situations to generate in-game
sounds.  An example of this would be the beep heard in Dragon's Lair to
indicate a successful or unsuccessful move.  The sample files can be found
in the SOUND directory; while Daphne will run without them, they do
contribute to the experience of playing the game as it was intended.  If
you installed a binary distribution of Daphne, this directory should have
been automatically created (with the sound files in it) when the
distribution archive was expanded.

3f. Starting Daphne

Starting Daphne is a rather straightforward process, with Daphne needing
to be told three basic things: the name of the game to emulate, the
virtual or physical laserdisc player to use, and (if using the virtual
laserdisc player) the location of the framefile for the game being
emulated; for physical players, the port on the computer that the player
is attached to should also be specified.  Typically, starting Daphne from
the commandline would look something like this:

   daphne lair vldp -framefile framefiles\lair.txt

Breaking this down, we have:

   - The name of the game to run ('lair')
   - The type of player to use ('vldp')
   - Location of the framefile ('-framefile framefiles\lair.txt')

Which would start Dragon's Lair, use the virtual laserdisc player to
display the video, and read the framefile located at framefiles\lair.txt
for video information.  If you were using a physical player, the
commandline may look like this:

   daphne lair sony -port com1:

This would start Dragon's Lair, tell Daphne that a Sony laserdisc player
will be used to provide the game footage, and that the player is connected
to serial port COM1: on the computer.

It's also possible to pass certain options on to Daphne from the
commandline that affect how Daphne operates.  For example:
   daphne lair vldp -framefile framefiles\lair.txt -fullscreen

Would start Daphne in fullscreen mode running Dragon's Lair.  Multiple
options can follow each other, e.g.:

   daphne lair vldp -framefile framefiles\lair.txt -fullscreen -useoverlaysb

Thus giving a fullscreen emulation of Dragon's Lair with the players'
score and credits remaining being overlaid on top of the game video.  See
Section 6 for a full list of supported commandline options.

3g. Controls

Daphne's primary method of control of the on-screen action is via the
keyboard.  The majority of games use a layout common to most arcade game
emulators, but Thayer's Quest has a unique mapping.  The setting common to
most games is as follows:

Key                  Equivalent to
1                  | Player 1 start
2                  | Player 2 start
5                  | Insert coin
6                  | Insert coin
Arrow keys         | Joystick
CTRL or Space Bar  | Button 1
ALT (left)         | Button 2
F12                | Take screenshot (VLDP only)
/ (Keypad)         | Space Ace: select 'Cadet' skill level
* (Keypad)         | Space Ace: select 'Captain' skill level
- (Keypad)         | Space Ace: select 'Space Ace' skill level

Thayer's Quest is unusual in that it was the first arcade game to use a
full keyboard for control of the game.  Because of this, it uses a very
different key mapping scheme to the other games.  Note that not every key
has a specific function; this is how the game was originally designed.

Key                  Equivalent to
F1                   Choice #1 (triangle) / Clear
F2                   Choice #2 (circle)
F3                   Choice #3 (square) / Enter
F4                   Choice #4 (pentagon) / Space
F5                   Insert Coin
1                    Yes
2                    Items
3                    Drop Item
4                    Give Score
5                    Replay
6                    Combine Action
7                    Save Game (Not currently supported)
8                    Update
9                    Hint
0                    No
W                    Amulet
E                    Black Mace
R                    Blood Sword
T                    Chalice
Y                    Coins
U                    Cold Fire
I                    Crown
O                    Crystal
S                    Dagger
D                    Great Circlet
F                    Hunting Horn
G                    Longbow
H                    Medallion
J                    Onyx Seal
K                    Orb of Quoid
Z                    Spell of Release
X                    Sceptre
C                    Spell of Seeing
V                    Shield
B                    Silver Wheat
N                    Staff
M                    Spell of Understanding

Note: a graphical image of the Thayer's Quest keyboard is available from .

4) Supported games

Before listing every game Daphne supports, it's important to understand
two key concepts: Parent/Clone ROMs and Daphne's definition of a
'Supported' or 'Unsupported' game.

4a. Parent/Clone ROMs

'Parent' and 'Clone' ROMs are essentially different revisions of the same
ROM set, normally with some common data between them.  As an example,
Astron Belt has two ROM sets: ASTRON and ASTRONP.  ASTRON is considered
the parent set; ASTRONP is considered the clone.

In order to play ASTRONP, however, both the ASTRON and ASTRONP ROM sets
must be installed.  This is because the data that is common to both of
them is found only in the ASTRON (parent) set.  Attempting to run ASTRONP
without the ASTRON set installed will result in Daphne giving an error
message about being unable to find the required ROMs.

Note that if you are using the VLDP for video and want to play a game
that's a clone set, you can normally do so using the frame and video file
from the parent set.  For example, it's perfectly acceptable to play the
ASTRONP clone set with the ASTRON.TXT framefile and ASTRON.M2V video file.
This saves having to create multiple copies of the (rather large) video

4b. What does 'Supported' or 'Unsupported' mean?

In general, a game is considered to be supported if it runs well enough to
be playable.  This does not necessarily mean that the game is free from
glitches - the crashing at game over in Bega's Battle is a good example of
this.  It's playable, but when you run out of lives the game locks up
(note that only the game locks up - Daphne should still be running as
usual and able to be exited normally).

'Unsupported' refers to a game that is either not yet playable or not yet
implemented.  Normally this is due to driver work on the game in question
being at a very early or buggy stage of completion, or no driver having
been written for the game as yet.  If implemented, these games usually
have severe issues due to the emulation being incomplete.

Please note that if you're seeking help with playing unsupported games you
will most likely be ignored: if they worked, they'd be supported.  The
same applies to reporting known bugs in the emulation of a game, the
Bega's Battle crash mentioned previously being a good example of this. 
However, development assistance is always appreciated as are reports of
new or unknown bugs.  See Section 8 for more information on helping out
with Daphne's development, including submitting bug reports.

4c. Game list, ROM names, and built-in tests

Under the 'ROM Names' column, the topmost name in any row is the parent
set; names appearing below it are considered to be clones.

Game Name          ROM Names                                 Status
Astron Belt       | astron (Hitachi LD player)              |
                  | astronp (Pioneer LD player)             |
Badlands          | badlands                                |
Bega's Battle     | bega                                    |
Cliff Hanger      | cliff                                   |
                  | cliffalt ('Hanging Scene' version)      |
Cobra Command     | cobra (Dedicated / Bega's Battle)       |
                  | cobraab (Astron Belt / Galaxy Ranger)   |
                  | cobraconv (CH / GTG / DL / SA / IS)     |
                  | cobram3 (M.A.C.H. 3 / Us Vs. Them)      | UNSUPPORTED
Dragon's Lair     | lair                                    |
                  | lairalt (Rev. A)                        |
                  | laireuro (European, Atari)              |
                  | dle11 (Enhanced V1.1, LD-V1000)         |
                  | dle20 (Enhanced V2.0, LD-V1000/PR-7820) |
Dragon's Lair II  | dl2                                     | UNSUPPORTED
                  | lair2 (Dragon's Lair II Rev. F2)        | UNSUPPORTED
Esh's Aurunmilla  | esh                                     |
                  | eshalt (Alt. #1, UNCONFIRMED)           |
                  | eshalt2 (Alt. #2, UNCONFIRMED)          |
Freedom Fighter   | ffr                                     | UNSUPPORTED
Firefox           | firefox                                 | UNSUPPORTED
                  | firefoxa                                | UNSUPPORTED
Galaxy Ranger     | galaxy                                  |
                  | blazer (Star Blazer)                    |
Goal to Go        | gtg                                     |
GP World          | gpworld                                 |
InterStellar      | interstellar                            |
M.A.C.H. 3        | mach3                                   | UNSUPPORTED
Road Blaster      | roadblaster                             | UNSUPPORTED
Space Ace         | ace (Rev. A3)                           |
                  | ace91 (Space Ace '91)                   |
                  | aceeuro (European, Atari)               |
                  | sae (Enhanced, LD-V1000/PR-7820)        |
Star Rider        | starrider                               |
Super Don Quixote | sdq                                     |
                  | sdqshort (Short scenes)                 |
                  | sdqshortalt (Short scenes, alt.)        |
                  | superdon (Alias for 'sdq')              |
Thayer's Quest    | tq                                      |
Us Vs. Them       | uvt                                     | UNSUPPORTED

Test Name          Function
benchmark         | VLDP framerate efficiency benchmark test
cputest           | Z80 CPU Test (Loads generic ROM for test purposes)
mcputest          | Multiple Z80 CPU Test (Runs Z80s in parallel)
seektest          | Dragon's Lair 2 multiple MPEG seektest
speedtest         | Frame seek speed test

5) Laserdisc Players

The following is a listing of valid laserdisc player options that may be
given when starting Daphne, broken down by physical and virtual types. 
Note that for physical players the option specifies the make of player
being used.

5a. Physical Players:

   - combo
   - hitachi
   - philips
   - pioneer (except V6000-series)
   - sony
   - v6000 (Pioneer V6000-series)

Not all players from a given manufacturer are necessarily supported.  See for the list of known-compatible
laserdisc players.

5b. Virtual Players

   - vldp: Use if no physical player is in use.  Requires framefiles and
           MPEG or OGG-format video footage to operate.
   - noldp: for testing purposes only; will not output video.

6) List of commandline options

The following options can be passed on to Daphne when starting the
emulator.  Note that certain options only work in certain circumstances -
for example, some only work with the VLDP, while others are game-specific.

Generic options:

-bank n x       - Set DIP switch bank.  n is the DIP switch bank to set,
                  x is the setting to apply.  x represents the switch
                  bank, laid out in the order 76543210 and is boolean
                  (1=on, 0=off).  As an example, '-bank 0 00110000' would
                  turn on switches 4 and 5 on bank 0.
-cheat          - Enable cheat mode.
-idleexit n     - Run game for n seconds without receiving input before
                  exiting.  Useful for returning automatically to a
                  front end.  Example: '-idleexit 10'.
-nocrc          - Don't check ROM CRCs.  Useful if using modified ROMs, or
                  testing 'drop-in' support for a clone ROM set.
-nonblocking    - Use non-blocking (accurate) instead of blocking (stable)
                  frame searches.
-nohwaccel      - Disable YUV hardware acceleration.
-noserversend   - Don't send usage statistics to server.  See Section
                  7c for more details.
-nosound        - Disable sound.
-sound_buffer   - Set size of sound buffer.
-startsilent    - Disable sound at game launch; reenable when input is
-trace          - Enable CPU tracing (debug builds only).
-version        - Show version and exit.
-x              - Set screen width in pixels.
-y              - Set screen height in pixels.

Virtual laserdisc player-specifc:

-altaudio n     - Use an alternate soundtrack.  Example: '-altaudio 2'.
-blank_searches - Blank video while searching.
-blank_skips    - Blank video while skipping.
-framefile      - Framefile to use with MPEG / OGG stream.
-fullscreen     - Display video in fullscreen mode.

Game-specific options:

-enable_leds    - Enable LED support via keyboard LEDs for Space Ace.
                  This emulates the ranking LEDs found on the original
                  Space Ace cabinet.  Note that this only works under
                  Windows 2000/XP, or as root if running in Linux.
-scoreboard     - Enable external scoreboard support in Dragon's Lair
                  and Space Ace.  See Section 7d for details.
-scoreport      - Set port external scoreboard is attached to.
-nospeech       - Disable speech in Thayer's Quest.
-useoverlaysb   - Use overlay scoreboard in Dragon's Lair and Space Ace.

Physical laserdisc player-specific:

-baud           - Set baud rate for communication with player.
-latency        - Set search latency in milliseconds.
-pal_dl         - Use PAL Dragon's Lair disc.
-pal_dl_sc      - Use PAL Software Corner Dragon's Lair disc.
-pal_sa         - Use PAL Space Ace disc.
-pal_sa_sc      - Use PAL Software Corner Space Ace disc.
-port           - Set serial port player is connected to.
-spaceace91     - Use Space Ace '91 Laserdisc with Space Ace 1983 ROMs.
-stoponquit     - Stop player on exit.
-preset         - 

7) Miscellany


DVD2DAPH is a rather useful tool that will allow you to convert the video
found on Digital Leisure's Dragon's Lair and Space Ace DVDs into a format
usable by Daphne.  While it's not *required* to use the DVD footage, if
you want to play Dave Hallock's Dragon's Lair Enhanced then you will need
to extract the video from the 20th anniversary box set Dragon's Lair
edition released by Digital Leisure.

It's worth noting that DVD2DAPH is developed independently of Daphne and
has its own documentation at .

7b. daphne_log.txt

As its name suggests, this file records Daphne's activity during runtime
and can be found in the same directory as Daphne was installed in.  It's
essential for use in troubleshooting: if you're asking for help with an
error on the Daphne Forum, you *will* need to provide the contents of
this file.

7c. Usage statistics

By default, Daphne reports usage statistics over TCP port 7733 to a
central server.  To disable reporting of these statistics, start Daphne
with the -noserversend option.

For the curious, the statistics consist of a randomly-generated user ID
(created the first time Daphne is run, located in the userid.bin file in
Daphne's root directory).  Also sent are the OS being used, CPU type and
speed, amount of memory, and video hardware on the machine Daphne is
running on in addition to how frequently each game is played.  To see
the usage statistics for those who have it enabled, visit .

7d. External scoreboard support in Dragon's Lair / Space Ace

Daphne supports the use of an LED scoreboard similar to the one used
originally in the arcade versions of Dragon's Lair and Space Ace.  For
more information on how to build one and schematics, see

8) For more information

General info about Daphne:


ROM images and Technical Info:

Dragon's Lair Project:

Using Laserdisc Players, Framefiles, and MPEG / OGG video:

Framefiles and video:

Offline Profile  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:01 pm 
DAPHNE Bronze Donator
DAPHNE Bronze Donator

Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:07 am
Posts: 57
Location: Near Atlanta, GA
That's very cool, and much needed, thanks casm!

Offline Profile  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:58 pm 
Registered User
Registered  User

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:36 pm
Posts: 23
Huggybaby wrote:
That's very cool, and much needed, thanks casm!

Thanks... Unfortunately, it's so old that I can see big chunks of it are way out of date or no longer applicable. I'm working on it, though :D

Offline Profile  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Theme created