Retro FAQ: Super Nintendo Entertainment System / Super Famicom

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    wonder if the mister can do this kind of thing. That would be cool if so.
     
  2. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I think it would be more difficult? (Dunno, guessing). MiSTer is more about simulating hardware, and the side effect is that you can play games accurately as a result. To modify the sampling of thing like DSP and SuperFX chips "in hardware" would be less flexible than software where you can just define things on the fly a little easier, or call helper routines to do things outside of the emulation loop.

    I'm fairly certain we'll see chip overclocking available in MiSTer one day (which will make games like Starfox/Starwing a bit nicer). But I think this sort of thing is the exclusive domain of software emulators.
     
  3. self_slaughter

    self_slaughter Member

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    Very cool on the mode 7 stuff. Seems the higan dev is keen on it too. :D

    I had a quick toy with it on mario kart and the default 4x setting makes everything sharp as hell.
    Interesting to see, but too sharp to be honest. Setting it at 2x cleans the image up nicely without making it look completely out of place. :thumbup:

    Would love to see how it would come out at 4x, then scaled back and spat out to a crt.

    2x / 4x comparison.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Annihilator69

    Annihilator69 Member

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    Wow this is awesome.
    Will need to see how DKC looks!
     
  5. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  6. self_slaughter

    self_slaughter Member

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    oh yeah, just compiled the latest bsnes and gave 2160p mode 7 (only rendering the game itself at 960p) a try on my system.... Not wrong about needing a thread-ripper.

    My poor 8086k@5.0GHz all core overclock hitting ~90% cpu usage and running mario kart at maybe half speed. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  7. self_slaughter

    self_slaughter Member

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  8. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I kind of skipped over this in the OP, so here's a short expansion on SNES add-on chips (and some related news).

    When it comes to cartridge based consoles like the SNES, don't think of the cartridge like storage or a hard disk in a modern computer. Instead, think of it more like a PCI-E slot, where the cartridge connects directly into the heart of the console, extending the hardware. That means that anything can be connected, whether it's storage or another processor.

    Some cartridges included add-on chips that added features or improved performance in games. The DSP chip found in Pilotwings and Super Mario Kart is a famous one that sped up scaling and rotation. Another was the SuperFX chip that added rudimentary floating point and polygon support for titles like Starfox/Starwing.

    A more complete list is here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_NES_enhancement_chips

    An interesting chip was the SA-1 chip. The core is nearly identical to the SNES's internal Ricoh 5A22 CPU (based on the 65C816, also found in the Apple IIgs), but is substantially faster (almost three times the clock speed of the SNES's main CPU), has faster RAM addressing (with it's own private 2KB of RAM), adds new arithmetic functions and other features. It was most famously used in the west for Super Mario RPG (a combined Nintendo/Square RPG game) and visual effects in two late Kirby releases.

    What makes it interesting is just how similar it is to the SNES's main CPU. So similar, in fact, that several people came up with the idea of "porting" regular SNES games to the SA-1.

    But why? Well, the SNES's very slow main CPU (3.58MHz - compare that to the Megadrive/Genesis 7.6MHz) meant that developers had to get creative to make fast-moving, complex games work well. Especially early in the SNES's life, slowdown was prominent in titles, which hurt the console's reputation for a number of early games.

    So now with the advent of flash carts and FPGA consoles that can simulate the SA-1, "porting" games that suffer bad slowdown to the SA-1 results in highly compatible titles, but with almost all of the slowdown removed.

    Gradius III is one such game, and the developer doing the port has now nominated the title as stable in an update:
    https://twitter.com/HackerVilela/status/1126003826614513665

    More on his GitHub:
    https://github.com/VitorVilela7/SA1-Root

    Here's a visual comparison. The SA-1 version runs at a solid, smooth 60FPS no matter what's happening on screen.

     
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  9. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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    That's awesome although the slowdown is the only way you can survive sometimes, at least in my case.
     
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  10. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Can't wait to see more SA-1 hacks. Imagine Super Ghouls n Ghosts with the slowdown eliminated.
     
  11. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    So many early titles that could benefit from it. Super R-Type was another.

    Each hack is heavily title dependent, although this one apparently came about after 2-3 months of work.

    Word from the dev is that it works well on the SD2SNES and any hardware it'll play in, but there are problems in MiSTer. I'm quite certain MiSTer cores are far from accurate at this stage, so hopefully it'll help out the MiSTer project now that other people are looking at things from another viewpoint.
     
  12. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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  13. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    really liking this thread atm. great info inside. :D
     
  14. bolex17

    bolex17 Member

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    Managed to pick up a SD2SNES for cheap earlier this week.
    Time to check out the world of MSU-1 hacks, definitely want to replay Super Metroid with the orchestrated soundtrack :D

    Excuse the shoddy label, it came with a blank cartridge so I had to print my own.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  15. flain

    flain Member

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    Check out BS Zelda. It was only available via Satellaview and is a version of Zelda that had voice (yep on the original SNES! via an add-on), there is a narrator and he would also pause the game sometimes and start events and things. Fans had to re-create the narration and MSU-1 is the only way to play it today since Satellaview is no longer a service that exists. They even recreated the events it kind of feels like playing online even though it's all scripted :)

    https://zelda.gamepedia.com/Satellaview

    400px-BSX1.png
     
  16. bolex17

    bolex17 Member

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  17. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Still waiting for my SDcard cart to arrive for my JSNES/SNES. Bol, mind if i ask you how much you got the SD2SNES for? Ive been eyeing off that puppy too, but Fark! its deer..
     
  18. bolex17

    bolex17 Member

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    Got lucky and snagged it off eBay for $125. It's the earlier revision released in 2012 and came in a blank shell without a label.
     
  19. bolex17

    bolex17 Member

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    I got around to checking out some of the BS Zelda MSU hacks today and holy crap they're good! The voice-over definitely adds some immersiveness so it!
     
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  20. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    [​IMG]
    Finally got a few moments to test out my J-snes (the super yellowed one) Vs my aus pal release SNES.



    Also testing out the hyperkin SNES hdmi cable option.... Quick word about that...SHIT!! :(

    [​IMG]
    Retrotink gets the thumbs up from my kid.

    [​IMG]
    Bit of SMB action.

    Found out a few things. J-snes rocks! Hyperkin sucks. need a component SNES or at least a s-video to tink. Hyperkin hdmi was worse than composite into retrotink.

    El-cheapo China cart also rocks, works perfect. And is great for loading USA ROMs on J-snes. (The cart is also region free)

    Also of note: non authentic controllers suck arse.

    Concesses of the day? Purchased SNES hd Retrovision component cable. (Which I'll use for my RGB modded N64 :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019

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