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Author Topic: Running patches on original consoles?  (Read 469 times)

AnimeOtakuDrew

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Running patches on original consoles?
« on: October 20, 2017, 09:48:32 pm »
I recently watched a few reviews of a console called the Retro Freak, and was particularly fascinated by it. I'm addition to the many consoles' games it is able to play, there was a nifty little feature that two of the reviewers pointed out which especially caught my interest: apparently, the Retro Freak has an SD card slot where you can insert an SD card with a patch and the system will be able to run the game with the patch enabled (the example one reviewer used is running a Japanese Chrono Trigger game with an English translation patch as the Japanese cartridge of the game costs significantly less than an English one). This feature interested me because I tracked down quite a few Super Famicom games to play over the years, but could never get the full enjoyment of them because of the language barrier. Unfortunately, on my SSD, I don't get enough money to afford a Retro Freak (plus, my brother insists that emulation-based consoles are extremely laggy and generally terrible). But, my brother also insists that adapters are available for some of the older consoles (like NES, SNES, and Genesis) that allow you to plug a SD card with a patch into them and will then run the patch with the game on the original consoles, and that these adapters only cost a fraction of the price of a Retro Freak. The trouble is that I am unable to find any such adapters. I just keep finding standard Famicom-to-NES adapters and directions on how to mod a SNES to play import games (which I did to mine at least 20 years ago). So my question here is twofold. First, do such adapters really exist (or is my brother just full of crap)? Second, if these kind of adapters are real, where can I get one? I hope you guys can help me out so I can find a way to play translations of the Super Famicom games I've acquired over the years (without having to download any illegal ROMs or run them on my laptop with an emulator), and maybe even try out some of the awesome ROMhacks you guys have made on a real console (if it can indeed run patches, why not hacks as well as translations after all; how cool would that be?)! Thanks in advance to anyone and everyone who can help! You are all very much appreciated!

KingMike

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 11:05:31 pm »
The "adapter" he is referring to is probably the same thing as a Flash cart.

I don't think it would be within the rules to link to Flash cart sales.

Using patches however to say run the official English version of Chrono Trigger with a Japanese Chrono Trigger however is a roundabout way of playing an illegally downloaded ROM. Unless you own the English version of Chrono Trigger, which defeats the point of having a patch.
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Jorpho

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 01:20:15 am »
Quote
adapters are available for some of the older consoles (like NES, SNES, and Genesis) that allow you to plug a SD card with a patch into them and will then run the patch with the game on the original consoles, and that these adapters only cost a fraction of the price of a Retro Freak.

It is entirely possible to, say, use a patching program to generate a patch that will turn a Super Mario World ROM into Tales of Phantasia – the resulting patch will basically say "replace the entire contents of the ROM with this completely different 6 MB of data".

So, any such adapter would be pretty much indistinguishable from a Flash cart and there's no reason it would cost any less.
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Psyklax

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 05:03:04 am »
So lemme get this straight...

This thing lets you put real cartridges in, then it downloads it to a ROM file and emulates it. Like a Retron 5. And you can softpatch these ROMs.

I really don't see the appeal of these things. If you want to play an emulation, why do you need the cartridges? Maybe people want such things because they feel guilty about using ROMs dumped by other people, despite the fact that the cartridge they're using was usually bought third hand and the original company thus earned nothing from it. You could buy an Android TV box for $25 and promise yourself that you'll only use the ROMs that you own physical cartridges of.

If you want to play on real hardware, that's a different kettle of fish, but even then there are flash carts.

I'm sure things like this appeal to people but I just can't understand how playing cartridges you didn't buy at retail on totally unofficial consoles is any more moral than playing a ROM on an emulator. Feels like something people tell themselves to help them sleep at night. :D

It is entirely possible to, say, use a patching program to generate a patch that will turn a Super Mario World ROM into Tales of Phantasia – the resulting patch will basically say "replace the entire contents of the ROM with this completely different 6 MB of data".

So, any such adapter would be pretty much indistinguishable from a Flash cart and there's no reason it would cost any less.

Well, exactly. :)

Jorpho

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 01:36:09 am »
I'm sure things like this appeal to people but I just can't understand how playing cartridges you didn't buy at retail on totally unofficial consoles is any more moral than playing a ROM on an emulator. Feels like something people tell themselves to help them sleep at night. :D

There are other considerations aside from the "moral" ones, I suppose.  There is a certain satisfaction to taking something clunky physical off a shelf and plugging it into a console.  Also, by restricting one's choices to what is physically available, one may avoid the decision paralysis that comes from trying to select from the entire emulatable history of gaming.
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AnimeOtakuDrew

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 09:50:28 pm »
I looked up flash carts and they don't seem to be what my brother was describing. The flash carts I found all just let you load ROMs into them from a computer or SD card. What my brother was talking about is something that you can plug a physical SNES or SFC cart into that also has a slot for and SD card so you can run patches on games you physically own, not ROMs of questionable origin downloaded to computer or SD card. Also, if I personally were to run a translation patch on a game that already has an official translation, it would be specifically for games reported to have significant changes or omissions in their translation (Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy IV or VI, etc.) so I could get a more accurate translation (in other words, I would not use a translation patch that just gives me the same translation as the official release).

Jorpho

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 12:07:11 am »
What my brother was talking about is something that you can plug a physical SNES or SFC cart into that also has a slot for and SD card so you can run patches on games you physically own, not ROMs of questionable origin downloaded to computer or SD card.
Like I said, even if such a thing exists, there's no reason it would be cheaper than a flash cart.  With the additional mechanical complexity of an extra cartridge slot, it would probably cost substantially more.

Also, a ROM is a ROM and there's no particular need to worry about it being of "questionable origin".  Most patches will only apply to exactly one byte-specific, well-circulated version of a ROM anyway.

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Also, if I personally were to run a translation patch on a game that already has an official translation, it would be specifically for games reported to have significant changes or omissions in their translation (Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy IV or VI, etc.) so I could get a more accurate translation (in other words, I would not use a translation patch that just gives me the same translation as the official release).
That's reasonable, although the point remains that there's no reason not to just go with a Flash cart.
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AnimeOtakuDrew

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 09:11:46 pm »
If such a device does exist, I am sure it would cost more than a flash cart; the point my brother was making was that this device cost far less than the Retro Freak, which sells for just over $200.

But, I do see your point and I will look into getting a flash cart.

goldenband

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Re: Running patches on original consoles?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 06:03:27 pm »
The one thing a device like this could help with is patching enhancement chip games that aren't supported on the Super EverDrive or SD2SNES. If there were a way to soft-patch a game like Daikaijuu Monogatari 2 or Tengai Makyou Zero, so that you could do the equivalent of IPS-patching your cart, it'd be awesome.

But all the devices I know of are essentially hardware-based emulators that don't actually play from your cart, but instead dump its contents to memory on startup. Instead you'd need something like a super Game Genie, that could intercept all reads from addresses affected by the translation patch, and replace them with values supplied by the patch -- and do all this without interfering with the timing of the ROM or the address lines of the enhancement chips.