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Author Topic: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion  (Read 20829 times)

FAST6191

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2015, 01:53:31 pm »
Adding goodies like savestates, graphics filters, etc is also important, as they are pretty much expected of any emulator these days.  Plus they're largely non-invasive, so they can always be slipped in as an afterthought.

For the record the only people I have seen complain about such things or otherwise note them in a negative, either did not have a clue, were puzzledude in said topic, were some flavour of ultra purist or lacked the self control to play on emulators without features that could be used to cheat. Features transparent to the client system like this I do not think anybody really worth listening to is inclined to question. Lua and directed texture replacement can alter things here, at least until we get into some of the fun aspects of wii texture replacement for things that have actually happened and basically anything with a remotely modern 3d system for the more theoretical, but I would argue that is not really an issue either.

Emulation accuracy (my two choice links for others in these discussions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP1gWg5ezyY and http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2011/08/accuracy-takes-power-one-mans-3ghz-quest-to-build-a-perfect-snes-emulator/ , and I suppose these days I will also add the CRT emulation http://bogost.com/games/a_television_simulator/ ) is a fascinating subject and I both eagerly await the discussions that will happen when programmable chips become more commonplace, and dread the discussions of silicon tolerance that will also arise at those points (the closest I have seen before now was on the original xbox where various lower binned ram modules might have been used and thus introduced a variability in the "standard" but enough of that as it was not all that interesting).

"It works" is no doubt a key component, however I have also observed that people like to multitask a bit -- if one emulator is pegging my CPU and thus preventing me from alt and tabbing around or playing music in the background*, or... then it becomes a less appealing prospect. Whether you want to bundle that under "not as friendly to use" I do not know but I will note it in passing.

*or having a 1080p "animated"/slideshow youtube stream of an audio track playing the background if the kids are anything to go by.

With that said there is scope for something -- earlier I used a hypothetical where I might have simply allowed for two once virtual banks to be used. I would much prefer hacking, hardware devs and emulator authors to reach a consensus but "get on board or be left behind" is not entirely without merit.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 02:54:46 pm by FAST6191 »

Gemini

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2015, 01:56:47 pm »
Emulator only as some kind of anti repro measure... fuck that, possibly with the proverbial rusty spork. You want to put up screens saying "if you paid for this you...", protect those screens by in hardware capable technical means (so probably some kind of checksum or simple compare check), put in text in the game saying the same, possibly have your own kind of anti piracy game breaking/tweaking thing (enemies 10 times harder, no rare drops....), some kind of hardware capable obfuscation (I have seen people trash lookup tables and rebuild them during runtime)... it is all good.
The old disclaimer trick always works, and hidden code traps are probably my favorite method to avoid dumbasses from trying to hack that data out for a cheap repro.

Speaking of protections, has any hack ever tried adding some obscure chip or mapper functionality? Relying on stuff that simply doesn't exists or that it's not supported anywhere is just cheap and reduces your audience to a sounding zero. I mean, if you add some really hard to find chip in a hack (key part: add some code trap that requires that chip to do something), I doubt repro makers would go through all the hassle of trying and creating a cart. That way you most certainly can get the game to work on pretty much every emulator and on real hardware with some advanced copier.
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obscurumlux01

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2015, 02:01:32 pm »
This is why the MSU-1 chip thing would be useful to have, especially if ZSNES and SNES9X get on board with coding in support for it.
The SD2SNES supports it on actual hardware if you use their flash cart, thereby completely cutting out the repro market and making it cost-prohibitive to duplicate the functionality cheaply.
Throw in some CD-quality audio and mandatory MSU-1 chip hooks and you have your anti-repro ROM hack without messing up other emulators.

But this depends on someone to fork ZSNES and/or SNES9X with extended mappers and this MSU-1 chip hook AND keep it up to date with the latest bugfixes so that it can become a viable alternative to the performance hog that is Higan.

I realize that trying to get ZSNES team to do anything is like trying to cut a mountain with your sword.  Something that only happens in the cutscenes ;)
Perhaps the SNES9X team would be more on board with this.

FuSoYa and puzzledude could get together and fork the source code for ZSNES and SNES9X and make the source code publically available.  Then there'd be far less question about what is being done and WHY with extended mappers and MSU-1 and other custom-chip support.  Bingo.  Done.  Problem solved maybe?

I'd be perfectly ok if ZSNES support went the way of Nesticle.  Let it die off so we have at least 2 different options.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 02:13:03 pm by obscurumlux01 »

AWJ

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2015, 02:12:17 pm »
*Sigh*. We shouldn't be starting this debate up again, but as the one who mentioned the ZIP thing in that thread, I feel like explaining it. It has nothing to do with the format of the source file, and I don't think xdelta cares anything about file extensions, only checksums. The patch turned a Zelda 3 ROM into a ZIP with a lot of pre-padding that hides its ZIPness by pushing the PKZip header down and inflates the filesize to reach the 8MB mark. Knowing how to either extract it out or just renaming the patched file, it seems to boot up just fine in snes9x 1.53. It's not really even 8 MB, just 6.

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't bother downloading and inspecting the patch but I had a feeling that was more or less what he had done. Needless to say, that's complete bullshit and such behavior shouldn't be encouraged in this community. Removing the hack for noncompliance was absolutely the right decision.

Also, on the other site he's flogging his hack on, someone has already uploaded a photograph of a Zelda 3 cartridge converted to his hack using wire mods. So much for his "protection" :laugh:

FAST6191

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2015, 02:40:48 pm »
Obscure chips/mappers as protection... I can not say I have. I have met it coming the other way several times (the description of that being almost exactly what some of the later stage N64 CIC chips were about)*, and in things like that (the pokemon DS games with the pokewalker which stuck its IR comms on the save bus behind a selection chip). On the other hand it probably would not have changed anything as far as cheats and such go and there are not really any mappers and obscure functionality you can lean on for the GBA or DS, not to mention repros/clone games on said consoles take a slightly different route to the NES and SNES stuff, so I would not have really met it there. Most "protections" I ever meet are for those not wanting other hackers, or hacking tool users, to edit their work further -- it is where I saw the trashed lookup table I mentioned, though most are simple flags added to "junk" parts of the ROM (usually a single solitary thing in the header, the really advanced stuff using multiple locations).
I wonder if I could build an automated tool for this sort of thing.

* NFO/release notes for Banjo Tooie USA Crack and Save Fix as it has some good info
Code: [Select]
Title : Banjo Tooie USA Crack and Save Fix
Start-date : 10.20.2000
Release-date : 09.23.2011
Coder : LaC
Type : Crack+SaveFix
Platform(s) : N64 APS format)

Release-note :
I'm back! This crack was started in 2000 but I never finished due to real life and almost 0 interest. This game's protection is very similar to Jet Force Gemini, except much worse. It uses an unknown feature that was introduced in the 6105 CIC chip.

Jet Force Gemini was the first to use this feature even though Zelda: O.O.T. was the first game to have the chip. I can only guess the reason was because it was requested by Rare to use in JFG, they must not have had time or didn't care on Zelda. Basically the new feature was an excryption key. You send the chip a 128bit string and it responds with a 128bit key.

On JFG they only sent 1 string which was easy enough to write a crack for. Back when I first worked on the Banjo Tooie crack I noticed they sent lots of strings and got lots of keys back that they used to decrypt the data they were loading from the cart. I was determined to figure out how the key generation worked. So I spent many weeks trying to figure it out. Eventually I gave up and started recording the decryption keys as I played through the game. I stopped at about 43 because I got bored and real life got in the way. Apparently there were only 224 left to find. I never did figure the actual algorithm out so this crack had the final version with all 267 strings, which Tooie and Azimer found.

When I made this, I also challenged some dudes in #n64dev to find the actual algo. X-Scale figured it out here: http://goo.gl/Ub9FG So this crack actually includes the algo instead of a lookup table. Please note this release date is over a year ago because I was too lazy to send Acey the crack to actually release. Ha. I gave it to some people to test and no one leaked it? WTF?

Special thanks:
Acey for 64scener!
Marshall for the 64drive.

Jovis

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2015, 06:11:39 pm »
Speaking of protections, has any hack ever tried adding some obscure chip or mapper functionality?

This was my argument in the other thread: if you're that freaked out about the idea of someone making a repro of your SNES hack, just add some code that requires the CX4. Problem solved. No one's going to hack up a Rockman X2/X3 for that, let alone a Mega Man X2/X3, but people with the SD2SNES will still be able to play it on real hardware.

BTW the claim that savestates and cheats are an emulator thing is kind of funny for those of us who remember using the Game Genie and Nakitek Game Saver back in the 1990s.

I personally have no interest in playing any hack or translation that doesn't work on real hardware -- whether deliberately or by accident -- let alone one that requires specific emulator features. Fortunately most translations seem on the ball with that sort of thing, and that's where my interests lie anyway.

Disch

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2015, 06:24:49 pm »
Fortunately most translations seem on the ball with that sort of thing, and that's where my interests lie anyway.

Yeah.

IMO, there's a distinct difference in attitude between the general ROM hacking crowd, and the translation crowd. The translation crowd seems to be more.... "mature" for lack of a better word.  They seem to "get it" more.

There seems to be an understanding that they're producing something that's important... and they're happy to see it get out.  And even though they're far more often the victim of things like repro-cart ripoffs, they don't seem to really care.  Or at least, it doesn't impact them so much as to try obfuscation tricks to prevent it... or to ragequit the scene.

Contrast this with the attitude illustrated quite well in that other thread -- where there are more than a few prima donnas who want it to be "mine mine mine" at any cost.

SunGodPortal

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2015, 06:38:35 pm »
Quote
*Sigh*. We shouldn't be starting this debate up again, but as the one who mentioned the ZIP thing in that thread, I feel like explaining it. It has nothing to do with the format of the source file, and I don't think xdelta cares anything about file extensions, only checksums. The patch turned a Zelda 3 ROM into a ZIP with a lot of pre-padding that hides its ZIPness by pushing the PKZip header down and inflates the filesize to reach the 8MB mark. Knowing how to either extract it out or just renaming the patched file, it seems to boot up just fine in snes9x 1.53. It's not really even 8 MB, just 6.

It appears that I have misunderstood your previous post. But now that I have an actual understanding of what you were trying to say I don't have anything to counter it because I don't have enough technical knowledge in this area to respond appropriately. I'll just take your word for it.

Regarding anything else I may have said here: I give up. I don't have enough invested in this to care. There aren't enough hacks that use ExLoROM or ExHiROM and I don't plan on releasing any hacks in said formats. Therefore, it's not really my battle.

Quote
IMO, there's a distinct difference in attitude between the general ROM hacking crowd, and the translation crowd. The translation crowd seems to be more.... "mature" for lack of a better word.  They seem to "get it" more.

I think it's more that what they are doing is geared toward providing the community with a service. Non-translation ROM hacking on the other hand is more self-serving. Someone does that because they want more from their favorite game or want to express creativity. Translations are done to provide people with a chance to play something that before was out of reach to them. In their case it wouldn't make any sense to want the work protected.

Quote
Contrast this with the attitude illustrated quite well in that other thread -- where there are more than a few prima donnas who want it to be "mine mine mine" at any cost.

I'm not going to suggest that Puzzledude is without fault but I still believe that the general tone of the community response to his hack was both childish and disgusting.

EDIT

Quote
BTW the claim that savestates and cheats are an emulator thing is kind of funny for those of us who remember using the Game Genie and Nakitek Game Saver back in the 1990s.

Let's not forget that the Game Genie was an unauthorized hardware add-on that Nintendo hated. Therefore, that kind of nullifies your argument here because it was unofficial.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 06:57:45 pm by SunGodPortal »
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Disch

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2015, 07:14:42 pm »
I think it's more that what they are doing is geared toward providing the community with a service. Non-translation ROM hacking on the other hand is more self-serving. Someone does that because they want more from their favorite game or want to express creativity. Translations are done to provide people with a chance to play something that before was out of reach to them. In their case it wouldn't make any sense to want the work protected.

If you mean to say that translation hackers are more self-less, then yeah I agree.

But I don't know if I agree with the overall point it seems like you're trying to make.  It's almost like you're depicting translation as if it's some lesser form of art... or somehow takes less creativity or ingenuity.  If anything I'd argue it's the exact opposite.

Translations are often times much more complex than a simple extract/translate/insert... there's often a lot of technical reworking that needs to be done.  Nevermind that the games translators work on typically do not have game-specific tools to help them.  Plus, often, they're group/collaborative projects -- which goes a long way to explain why they're focused less on individual praise than on accomplishing a goal.  And lastly, a lot of translations are much more technically complex and difficult to make than your average "I spent 2 months playing around in Lunar Magic" hack.

Not that that's indicative of all ROM hackers... but it's certainly the majority of them.  I'd claim the median level of not only talent, but also maturity is way higher among translation hackers than among the rest.  It simply is a more demanding field to be in.

For some popular examples, take a look at Der Langrisser, Star Fox 2, and Seiken Densetsu 3.  These are 3 well-known English translations that were huge technical accomplishments.  Hell, Star Fox 2 effectively patched together a complete game from a scrappy prototype.  AND it heavily used the not-as-widely-understood SuperFX chip.



Quote
I'm not going to suggest that Puzzledude is without fault but I still believe that general tone of the community response to his hack was both childish and disgusting.

I didn't want to single out Puzzledude specifically... but more the general attitude that exists among that crowd.

The ROM hacking world is largely communal.  Software and information is exchanged freely.  People dedicate months of their life reverse engineering games, making editors, making emulators, coming up with asm hacks to add new shit, documenting findings, answering questions on forums, etc.  And it's all available to anyone for free.

The "mature" hackers -- the ones that actually know what they're doing, and have been doing this for years -- understand that concept.  They have stuck around for so long not because of the praise they receive, but because they genuinely love the work.  There's a real passion to it... and part of that passion is giving back to the global community.


But then you've got those other guys... puzzledude included... who stand on the shoulders of countless others... who would be nothing without the free and selfless dedication and hard work of those before them... who come along and make a hack... and insist that "This hack is MINE.  I put a lot of hard work into it, and nobody else can do anything with it without my permission!"

That attitude cheeses me.  It's incredibly selfish, hypocritical, immature, and counterproductive.

It doesn't surprise me (or bother me) at all that he and his hack were effectively dismissed once his attitude surfaced.



EDIT:

It dawns on me that I'm steering the conversation away from the original topic and possibly entering "flame war" territory, so at this point I will simply stop replying and leave the thread  =P
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 07:37:58 pm by Disch »

SunGodPortal

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2015, 07:53:44 pm »
Quote
But I don't know if I agree with the overall point it seems like you're trying to make.  It's almost like you're depicting translation as if it's some lesser form of art... or somehow takes less creativity or ingenuity.  If anything I'd argue it's the exact opposite.

That's not what I meant. It's just what you read into it because people tend to read to much into things sometimes. I almost put in an extra sentence to prevent such a depiction but decided not to because I figured I was just being weird. LOL

Quote
Translations are often times much more complex than a simple extract/translate/insert... there's often a lot of technical reworking that needs to be done.

Don't I know it. I'm working on a translation and need the font re-sized. I'm prepared to do all of the other stuff that I need (besides the menus, which I'll deal with later) but am admittedly lost on that one as it is going to require knowledge of ASM and debugging that I do not currently possess. I would learn it myself but even the beginner docs I've read seem to assume that you already have a good deal of knowledge beforehand whether they intended to start from square-one or not. Having to look up terms for every sentence you read and then having to look up even more terms to understand the explanation you find is not exactly beginner friendly.

EDIT: Parts were removed because this part of the conversation moved into PMs.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 08:23:47 pm by SunGodPortal »
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KingMike

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2015, 08:12:32 pm »
This was my argument in the other thread: if you're that freaked out about the idea of someone making a repro of your SNES hack, just add some code that requires the CX4. Problem solved. No one's going to hack up a Rockman X2/X3 for that, let alone a Mega Man X2/X3, but people with the SD2SNES will still be able to play it on real hardware.

BTW the claim that savestates and cheats are an emulator thing is kind of funny for those of us who remember using the Game Genie and Nakitek Game Saver back in the 1990s.

I personally have no interest in playing any hack or translation that doesn't work on real hardware -- whether deliberately or by accident -- let alone one that requires specific emulator features. Fortunately most translations seem on the ball with that sort of thing, and that's where my interests lie anyway.

I get the feeling we're past the days of repros only being made by fans who care about the original games and don't want to hack up rare games. If they feel they could make a buck off it, they probably would.
It was why NES fans recommended cannibalizing Famicom adapters off Gyromites and not Stack-Ups. And now what do you see on ebay? Overpriced Stack-Ups being sold for the converters.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2015, 08:22:01 pm »
Quote
I get the feeling we're past the days of repros only being made by fans who care about the original games and don't want to hack up rare games. If they feel they could make a buck off it, they probably would.
It was why NES fans recommended cannibalizing Famicom adapters off Gyromites and not Stack-Ups. And now what do you see on ebay? Overpriced Stack-Ups being sold for the converters.

I also believe this. It would actually be profitable to destroy one of those games for a pirate cart. No matter how expensive the donor cart is, you can charge whatever you want for the pirate and someone will pay it because where else are they gonna get it?
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goldenband

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2015, 01:19:05 am »
Let's not forget that the Game Genie was an unauthorized hardware add-on that Nintendo hated. Therefore, that kind of nullifies your argument here because it was unofficial.

My point is simply that savestates and cheats predate emulators, and have been perfectly possible on real SNES hardware since the mid-1990s (savestates and cheats being "unsupported" on a real SNES was a recurring theme in puzzledude's arguments at one point).

This has nothing to do with arguments about copyright, etc., assuming that's what you're referencing.

I get the feeling we're past the days of repros only being made by fans who care about the original games and don't want to hack up rare games. If they feel they could make a buck off it, they probably would.

Oh, my argument isn't based on caring, but simple economics. The cheapest way to get a CX4 is Rockman X2, and that's rapidly climbing in price. I can't see anyone sacrificing a $25-30 cart for a ROM hack, myself; if there were a translation or unreleased game like Starfox 2 that required the chip, maybe, but who's going to pay $75+ for a Zelda hack?

(And if people are paying that much now...then, er, who's going to pay $100+? ;) )

SunGodPortal

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2015, 02:10:36 am »
Quote
My point is simply that savestates and cheats predate emulators, and have been perfectly possible on real SNES hardware since the mid-1990s (savestates and cheats being "unsupported" on a real SNES was a recurring theme in puzzledude's arguments at one point).

This has nothing to do with arguments about copyright, etc., assuming that's what you're referencing.

My point was that it's unofficial, just like ExLoROM and ExHiROM are unofficial, yet it's not unusual for an emulator to have GG support.

Either way, I don't care about those formats. I just wanted to point that out.

Quote
Oh, my argument isn't based on caring, but simple economics. The cheapest way to get a CX4 is Rockman X2, and that's rapidly climbing in price. -snip-; if there were a translation or unreleased game like Starfox 2 that required the chip, maybe, but who's going to pay $75+ for a Zelda hack?

Pretty much everything has fans or collectors somewhere with too much cash. I mean, how much did the vomit known as Cheetamen II go for on eBay in recent years? LOL And I don't think that game can even be finished.

Quote
I can't see anyone sacrificing a $25-30 cart for a ROM hack, myself

Have you not seen how much some of these pirate carts go for? $25-30 is a small investment in some cases. Right now there's some of these scams listed on eBay for in box copies of Zelda - Parallel Worlds for $500 and Goddess of Wisdom for $200. Without boxes I think they're still $50, which is a good profit. Seems like I remember a certain Puzzlefellow who worked on one of those. I wonder why he was so concerned about repro makers? Fuck those guys (with a baseball bat covered in nails).
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mziab

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2015, 04:53:49 am »
My point was that it's unofficial, just like ExLoROM and ExHiROM are unofficial, yet it's not unusual for an emulator to have GG support.

ExHiROM was used in Tales of Phantasia, so it's not really unofficial. That's the biggest commercial SNES game without special chips.

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Re: legalities are not the topic
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2015, 05:56:35 am »
The best way that I see to get extended/custom stuff added in is to either FORK the original repository AND KEEP THE CODE OPENLY ACCESSIBLE AT ANY TIME (which is what GitHub and other source code respositories do pretty well) or to submit a PULL/MERGE request where you submit patches/updates to the original code for approval by the original authors of ZSNES/SNES9X.

Just so you guys are aware, restoration of Snes9x's 8MB ExLoROM support along with the fix for the SA-1's MMC register from my build were both added to the Snes9x repository a couple years ago.  So unless something changes, they'll be in the next official release of Snes9x (whenever that is).

I flagged that hack and the 'Best Hack Ever' for Super Mario World since both are emulator-specific hacks.

Demo World TLC for SMW does *NOT* use an emulator specific hack.  The 6MB ExHiROM map was already used in Tales of Phantasia.  DWTLC can and has been used on the real SNES.




As far as accuracy goes, it's already been explained that the real SNES has no concept of LoROM/HiROM/etc.  The console itself couldn't care less what kind of map you want to use so long as you stick to cart mappable addresses.  Which means there's really nothing stopping someone from adding support for a map like ExLoROM to a flash cart and playing it on their SNES.

The coprocessors have their own limits regarding ROM size, but that's already been touched on.

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Re: legalities are not the topic
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2015, 06:03:57 am »
As far as accuracy goes, it's already been explained that the real SNES has no concept of LoROM/HiROM/etc.  The console itself couldn't care less what kind of map you want to use so long as you stick to cart mappable addresses.  Which means there's really nothing stopping someone from adding support for a map like ExLoROM to a flash cart and playing it on their SNES.

The coprocessors have their own limits regarding ROM size, but that's already been touched on.

Thanks, it confirms what I thought.

Disch

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2015, 04:26:32 pm »
Returning to thread per request of obscurumlux01

Quote
What's the deal with the 'Original Xbox' emulation and why hasn't it advanced like at all?

Beats me.  Lack of interest maybe?  Does anyone actually care about the original XBox?

Quote
I'd like some more details on how 'hacky' SNES9X is compared to a more 'accurate' emulator [snip] I'd also love if you were able to find this 'internal list of popular game-specific hacks' that byuu mentioned within the SNES9X Git Respository

Most of it is highlighted in memmap.cpp. If you Ctrl+F that file for "(!Settings.DisableGameSpecificHacks)" it will cycle you through hacks for individual games (listing the relevant games), as well as roughly showing what that hack entails.

Doing a larger search for 'Hack' among the entire source code base reveals even more hacks related to APU and HDMA timing, with vars effectively named "timing_hack_numerator", "HDMATimingHack", etc.

But like I said before... Snes9x has come a long way and it's a lot less hacky than it used to be.  And it's miles better than something like NESticle was.

As far as accuracy goes, it's already been explained that the real SNES has no concept of LoROM/HiROM/etc.  The console itself couldn't care less what kind of map you want to use so long as you stick to cart mappable addresses.  Which means there's really nothing stopping someone from adding support for a map like ExLoROM to a flash cart and playing it on their SNES.

I'm sorry... but IMO fabricating your own mapper for purposes of ROM hacking is bullshit.

The only technical graphical limitation on the NES regarding BG graphics is that there can only be 13 different colors on screen at a time, and that each 8x1 pixel area cannot have more than 4 colors.  With the right hardware on the cartridge, that is fully exploitable.  There's nothing stopping someone from making a mapper which exploits that and allows for high[er] quality and detailed graphics on the NES.  But putting that in an emulator so that ROM hackers have an easier time would be retarded.

Technically PowerPaks are cartridge hardware and allow for a lot more than the typical 4MB of ROM.  Should emu devs try to emulate that, too?  IMO there's more reason to... since it's hardware which actually exists... but it's still an absurd idea.

Emu devs shouldn't have to keep pace with the whimsy of ROM hackers -- or even modern flash cartridge designers -- who simply don't want to work within the restrictions of existing hardware.

obscurumlux01

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2015, 04:55:18 pm »
Thank you for responding Disch.  I absolutely appreciate it ^_^
Holy cow that's a lot of game-specific hacks.  Wish they'd replace those with actual emulation accuracy as much as feasible but I see the comments on a few of them.

I guess they're trying to be able to be accurate without compromising performance too much or we get the Higan situation all over again.
An emulator that very few (or no) people can use will not do much good no matter how accurate it is.

In the arstechnica article linked earlier, byuu calls upon people to use more accurate emulators and not the 'hacky' ones like ZSNES and yet doesn't do anything to improve the end-user usability and design of his own Higan emulator (even years after that article was created).  Ah well.

I do have to hand it to byuu and the good 'Doctor' that worked to do deep scanning of the actual chips & hardware so that we could understand and emulate them better.

I almost feel bad for the original Xbox but I doubt that Microsoft really cares.  Games are works of art so let the games of an entire console remain unpreserved in any form.  >_>

I mean we even have a pretty decent working Sega Saturn emulator after one of the creators of it anonymously contributed some open-source code to the emulation community so that those games would be preserved.  That's absolutely awesome ^_^



For the sake of emulators it wouldn't hurt to support ROM-specific custom mappers as long as the mappers aren't doing anything that isn't possible on REAL hardware using custom hardware chips.  The MSU-1 chip thing is a prime example.  It isn't possible on real hardware without the SD2SNES (or your own replica of it) but once you get the pieces in place then it can be a really awesome boon to expand the boundaries of what is possible.

Requiring custom chips could deter carters, and they'd be even more deterred if they required custom mappers as well.  Flash carts can support this (and let people play on real hardware) but trying to 'cart' them using existing released games would be futile and they would likely have to manufacture them from scratch (or invest in heavily modifying certain specific existing cartridges).

So we already have the MSU-1; why not create one or more additional chips for older consoles that could be replicated into a flash cartridge and work on real hardware but NOT work for carters?  The emulator authors would only need to add in support for these chips just like Higan has already added in support for MSU-1 (a custom chip that never existed for the official hardware).

I'd like to understand the reasoning behind NOT supporting custom chips.  The SuperFX and various SNES-specific cartridges had custom chips to do what the hardware could not do.  So why not take it a step further and make updated/improved versions of those custom chips?

At the very least on the emulator side we could do like FCEUX and have an 'extended mappers' fork for such things.

SunGodPortal

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Re: ExLoROM & ExHiROM & extra emulated mappers discussion
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2015, 06:57:22 pm »
Quote
Emu devs shouldn't have to keep pace with the whimsy of ROM hackers -- or even modern flash cartridge designers -- who simply don't want to work within the restrictions of existing hardware.

The theme of what you've been saying about this issue is justifiable, but I still feel that your position may be biased by you being an emu dev with a purist streak.

In my opinion (and keep in mind that this is the opinion of a ROM hacker), an emulator developer shouldn't just focus on creating an accurate emulator, they should try to keep up with the needs of the ROM hacking and playing community. I hate to keep going back to this, but if emu devs were too obsessed with accuracy we wouldn't have debugging features or save states. Things like that make ROM hacking easier and by including features like this, emulator developers have made it easier to hack ROMs. True, emulators were not designed just so people could hack ROMs, but without emulators there would likely be no ROM hacking.

You owe it to us! *just kidding*
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