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Messages - KingMike

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Programming / Re: VRAM Address in DMA
« on: November 27, 2017, 03:37:34 pm »
So, the only way to copy memory from RAM to VRAM is to use the provided DMA unit? (No shock, if so. Just asking.) And is the RAM address a byte address while the VRAM address is a word address?

Also: It would seem to make sense to me, ignorant as I am, that there is no need to copy from VRAM to RAM. Is that correct? Does the DMA work in only one direction?


You can write to $2118/2119 directly to send data to VRAM (to the VRAM word address stored in $2116-2117) but there is usually no need to, since often data written to VRAM (such as graphics) is usually large enough that writing to the DMA registers is better. (DMA takes more setup, but can write faster than manual loops)
I recall one game I hacked, Magna Braban, doing that for the graphics decompression routine. Maybe they did that for some kind of intentional timing delay. As I recall, converting from an iterative loop to a DMA routine caused it to break, at least maybe on better emulators (than the ZSNES and SNES9X which were out at the time the translation patch was originally created).

But one game I remember is a famously shitty game called Maka-maka.
They had the concept of DMA completely backwards, they set up DMA writes to write a single byte at a time to WRAM (not even VRAM, the console RAM) while they used manual loops (not even the CPU's block-write instructions) to copy 64K at a time.
This results in a cartridge game that has even worse load times the some of the famously slow early CD-based games.

And the out-of-battle spell menu ignores which character the player selects from the character-select menu and only allows the main protagonist to chose spells.
To release an RPG with such a basic functionality as casting spells outside of battle broken is astounding. :P

The credits are apparently broken too, but we almost have to wonder the programmers purposely glitched it to kind of Alan-Smithee themselves. :D

Personal Projects / Re: Final Fantasy IV Prettified
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:14:47 pm »
Maybe not so bad on the SNES, but I LIKED that the GBA version of FF6 used the original number font on the battle HUD. If because it was a portable screen so that was less strain to read compared to other GBA FF games that used super-tiny fonts. (at least FF4A, as I recall)

Gaming Discussion / Re: Comparing game localizations
« on: November 26, 2017, 10:07:53 pm »
Mato has now released his Google Translated Final Fantasy IV patches.
Beware that Mato has released the patches with the uncensored machine translations (though sometimes altered for space limits, though I think he let a machine also alter for space limits. Perhaps to have as little human intervention in the content as possible). Yes, Google sometimes had a very dirty mouth, to give a warning.

Two versions since it resulted in two very different kinds of nonsense.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« on: November 26, 2017, 12:05:50 pm »
Completely different consoles.
You wouldn't be converting, you'd be writing your own port from scratch.

Newcomer's Board / Re: DKC2 Idea: Donkey Kong change character sprites
« on: November 23, 2017, 01:29:59 pm »
Assembly language programming. The language of the CPU.
If you don't know (and I would guess that by that comment), you'd probably need to learn that first.

Because, yes, you'd probably need to re-program Donkey Kong's gameplay mechanics into the game. His movements, hit detection, etc. All of it.

Newcomer's Board / Re: DKC2 Idea: Donkey Kong change character sprites
« on: November 23, 2017, 02:18:58 am »
A lot of work.
Assuming that the DKC2 engine doesn't contain leftovers for DK (I have no idea how similar they are), then you'd have to recreate it.
Do you know ASM? Because you'll probably need it.

Personal Projects / Re: Tengai Makyou Zero translation project
« on: November 21, 2017, 12:50:09 pm »
I think I already posted but supposedly the PSP version of Apocalypse was better gameplay-wise but had a bit of censorship.

Personal Projects / Re: Tengai Makyou Zero translation project
« on: November 14, 2017, 10:58:56 pm »
By the way, I'm in my forties and I've enjoyed this game. I've been looking forward to it for years and it has been quite a rewarding experience being able to play it at last from start to finish (it adds, in a way, a feeling of "closure" to a long lasting wish of mine for many years). There are also several other snes games I'm waiting for, such as Daikaijuu Monogatari 2, Shin Momotarou Densetsu (I think no one's even trying to translate this one), Last Bible 3, God, Tenshi no Uta, Odisselya 2 (another game with no known plans of being translated; it seems to involve time travel), and many others I forgot now.
I want to do the Momo RPG series, though it will still be awhile as I am once again attempting to learn Japanese.
I do have a script dump but when I do work on it more, menus are going to be the big issue.
The Famicom version of Gaiden is a more reachable goal at this point. But I'm still unsure which are the "best' versions to work on.
My additional plan has been to somehow learn PS1 hacking at some point and do that version of II.
I have seen the PCE version of 1 ("Turbo") is significantly different than the Famicom, but it's probably better to get some form of each game translated than to worry about alternates.
And there is the GBC 1+2 but I'm not sure about working on that. It probably could use a text speed hack though at the least. It's soooo sloooow!
There was someone on Odysselya 2 but I think that person has retired. (the DQ3 guy who picked up ROM hacking pretty quickly, as I recall)

I remember when the BSX was first brought to the emulation scene attention, the games had been given the fan title "BS Suck and Blow". Great title.  :P

Programming / Re: How were early 8 and 16-bit games programmed?
« on: November 14, 2017, 08:18:42 pm »
That is something I never experienced live.
I was a very lonely child with no real life friends :( , which is something I assumed you needed in order to play video games online. I assumed that to play a video game, you would need to enter an actual person's phone number, so I thus assumed I would be unable to use Xband.
(though I understand the Saturn NetLink did do that so it is still possible to play a game against another person... though in America, finding someone that owns a Saturn might be a challenge, let alone the adapter, same game and a landline ;D )

How very different it was in the '90s, before me (and most people) were using the Internet.

Programming / Re: How were early 8 and 16-bit games programmed?
« on: November 14, 2017, 02:42:07 pm »
Wow!!! Thanks. That was written in 1999, it says. From the article: Here's the funny thing. My job offer was for doing exactly that, just a number of years earlier than that article! It was to retrofit the SNES so that real-time games involving two or more players could be performed between homes at different areas of the world and.. successfully. The long meeting I had in the conference room that day, which spanned the morning and then continued well into the late afternoon, started with this question, "We want to know how you would approach solving this problem successfully, knowing that frame-by-frame synchronization is a requirement over the net?" I spent pretty much the entire day standing in front of a bunch of programmers listening to me think about and solve this novel problem -- the very basis for their as-yet undeveloped product. They put the entire problem in my lap to see how I dealt with it.

Turns out, I was able to come up with several possible avenues of making this work out. I won't bore people with the details here but I did get a job offer the next day, so I suppose there was perhaps at least some small merit to the way I thought about it, at least, if not for the solutions I proposed.

Thanks for the article. Short and it brought back memories.
Are you talking about Xband?  ;D

That can still be quite a bit more work to redo bankswaps if the code in the fixed bank is still accessing it.
(certainly a possibility NMI will be doing bankswaps. I mean, aren't sound drivers usually based on it, and certainly they're not going to fill up the valuable space in the fixed bank for sound data?)

Deep Dungeon III and Momotaro Densetsu are two 256KB MMC1 games that I expanded to 512KB.
DD3 I recall needed extensive work to get around that much of the main system text was in the fixed bank.
For Momotarou I used the space for text expansion, and worked around NMI bankswaps by waiting for NMI to run before swapping to the expanded banks.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: MMC3 & MMC5 Bankswitch Bugfix Code
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:56:56 pm »
Guardian Legend was originally an UNROM game.
Used rather wasteful code that did like:

Code: [Select]
LDA #$00
STA $04
and repeat for the other six values.
where $FFF0 was a table of 0x80, 0x81, etc.
Pretty sure there was no use for the high bit on the page number in UxROM.
The only thing I can possibly think of is if maybe at some point they intended for MMC1.

I know the Famicom version was one an IREM-printed cart but it seems to also be UxROM as well.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Screenshots
« on: November 13, 2017, 12:45:58 pm »
Alright, I didn't know. Sorry about that.
The actual text is something like "Cape: A strange cape that lets you escape a dungeon"

I think the last kanji is 射

Programming / Re: How were early 8 and 16-bit games programmed?
« on: November 11, 2017, 02:16:52 pm »
You guys heard the story going around that Sakurai had programmed Kirby's Dream Land before learning that programmers usually use keyboards?
(he wrote it using a Twin Famicom and a trackball)
Apparently he also used the Famicom to design the Super Famicom game Kirby's Super Star.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Screenshots
« on: November 09, 2017, 12:24:16 pm »
I don't personally think the font is that bad, but in general, I'd go for readability over "character".
(for example, Castlevania III is one font I think is used more than it should be)

I think he just needs someone to write out all the kanji for him to make a table.
Those requests are pretty common.

Personal Projects / Re: Yaki's Super Mario RPG Project
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:54:50 pm »
   Speed (Updated. Now calculates turn order and accuracy of the monster. Attacker's Speed is compared to Opponent's Speed; If Attacker's is less than Opponent's, difference is calculated as MISS chance.)
That sounds okay at least on paper, but I've played a few RPGs now where it seems like you easily miss three out of four hits against faster enemies, which doesn't make for a very fun game.
Is there a limit to the reduction so it doesn't make battles tediously long?

No. They can turn into birds. They just have to face a trial in which they're tested to see if they can handle it. But there's a downside; once they turn into birds, they forget about being human and everything.
I'm guessing that was still part of the curse.
In BoF1 they could freely transform back and forth (such as the soldiers who bring Ryu to fight the Wizard after he poisons Nina).
Although why they don't fly there directly instead of walking, I don't know.
Nina's story in BoF1 is a little confusing. So the "child" Nina (pink dress) is amnesia? A time-traveler? I know that only "adult" Nina (the blue dress one in Tunlan) can fly. Why there are two Ninas is the part I don't understand. The two soldiers that initially join her should be able to fly, yes? Actually yes they should, because how they even learn about the wizard was one of the two poisoned soldiers using its last life force to fly back to warn the others.
Was adult Nina sent back in time for unknown reasons by Cara (or Karla, in Japanese. I guess they changed her name since they didn't want to give a demon a real human name? Then again, she was once a non-evil human.)

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