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Author Topic: If there ever was a N64 mini.....  (Read 5204 times)

A.D.R.I.A.N

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If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« on: September 06, 2017, 03:11:59 am »
.....would you think hackers could reverse engineer the emulator to improve the N64 emu scene?

If you ask me, they could.
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Chronosplit

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 09:30:07 am »
The minis have for the most part used the emus already on the VC, making it mostly a moot point.  Why wait for that when you can work on it right now?

maseter

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 09:51:43 am »
Frankly, N64 emulation isn't that bad, unless you are a purist, most games are playable perfectly fine. I think this is one of those persistent emulation urban myths, like that bsnes requires a very powerful PC, when it doesn't at least since the core duo days. Or the one that Golden Eye is a good game. Which game do you want to play, but can't already?

You better read What's the best N64 emulator thread:
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=24642.msg343056

Edit: I predict we will see a handheld mini next year!

FAST6191

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 05:52:59 pm »
The NES and SNES were unquestioned successes though. Outside of those with a fanboy streak in North America the N64 was not, not to mention it would be missing quite a few games that have since been remade in superior forms (give or take your opinions of the censorship of Conker's bad fur day). Going further many N64 games did not look pretty at the time, never mind today.
To that end I would seriously question the logic of a N64 mini.

Anyway I don't really know any times commercial emulators were reverse engineered to improve a scene as a whole, only for individual systems where things were injected back in or maybe if said emulators had a really cool trick (and I doubt they will have anything here as the only things they might have will be things we have already seen in fceux or maybe a minor scaling/video filter a la http://bogost.com/games/a_television_simulator/ ), possible slim exception if something is unknown about a system and the official method (something like the GBC colourisation schemes for GB games that did not officially get dumped for a while) and another if the would be N64 mini is similar enough to a more common device to allow a port of sorts.

The main thing that would improve the N64 emulation world is the same thing that would improve most others in that it needs a really good, open source, debugging capable emulator which works out of the box (no futzing with config or plugins) for most games, and with scope for things to improve the graphics in various ways. You may or may not want to include support for all those multi gig texture replacement hacks as well.

KingMike

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 06:56:46 pm »
It doesn't sound like we should necessarily expect Nintendo to emulate the N64 better than fans have. Supposedly the emulation on Wii VC (I don't know about Wii U) was filled with hacks.
And I've heard about the SNES games on Wii VC replacing the sound entirely (true that fan-written emulation circa 2005 wasn't perfect but I suppose even ZSNES sound by that time would've been passable for most games and most gamers. Yes, Chrono Trigger's sound was flawed but the errors were something you'd only notice if you had extensively played the original on the original hardware. And very rare was a game like Emerald Dragon where the battle victory music would hang and you could clearly tell something was wrong.)

I've seen video of the Mother 2 ROM ripped from Japanese Brawl, running in an emulator, and it's clear something was going on with the original sound reduced to random bleeps.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 06:59:48 pm »
Frankly, N64 emulation isn't that bad, unless you are a purist, most games are playable perfectly fine.

I gotta disagree with this. Here's how good emulation works: You open an emulator for the first time, configure your controller and other settings, load a ROM and play without issue. When that applies to N64 emulators then N64 emulation won't be shit, but...

Here's how N64 emulation works: Open it up, hope you can get your controller configured without it failing to recognize some of your buttons (even when using a REAL N64 controller!!), load a ROM, maybe have the emulator crash because the plugins or configuration of selected plugins doesn't agree with said game, maybe have screwed up graphics or sound because the plugins or configuration of selected plugins doesn't agree with said game, maybe have the emulator freeze when you try to change screen resolutions or something else stupid, rinse and repeat about 10,000 times until you find the right settings for nearly every game you want to play and maybe be lucky enough to have a handful that don't require going through this just to run or look right. I've tried what seems like a dozen N64 emulators and they were all shit (of the ones I could get working to begin with). I got an ED64 and do my playing there while using a terrible emulator called Nemu just for good debugging features.

It's a shame that there isn't an N64 emulator that avoids all this bullshit (to my knowledge anyway) because when they are working right and properly configured some of these games look almost as good as some PS2 games, which would NEVER be possible on real hardware due to a screen resolution that really isn't much better than the SNES.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 07:07:26 pm by SunGodPortal »
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KingMike

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 08:29:40 pm »
Yeah, plugins probably sounded like a good idea when they were first created (in the PS1 emulation scene, I think?)
But what it seemed happen is you get 10 people writing "plugin" emulators that are flawed in different ways, when you could have those 10 people collaborate on one good emulation core. :P
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Jorpho

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 10:27:24 pm »
As long as we're speculating, I might ponder that in the case of an N64 mini, Nintendo might just go back to the original source code and release something that looks, sounds, and plays like the original N64 ROMs, but is actually entirely different underneath.  They've already done ports of the Zelda games, Super Mario 64, and Star Fox 64, after all.

Edit: I predict we will see a handheld mini next year!
Imagine a handheld capable of playing everything from the original GB Tetris cart all the way up to the latest 3DS game.  I expect they'd have to cripple it to alleviate potential security concerns, though, probably by taking out SD card and wifi support.  (The Wii was originally cracked by exploiting the Gamecube compatibility mode, I understand.)
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SunGodPortal

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 11:25:22 pm »
Yeah, plugins probably sounded like a good idea when they were first created (in the PS1 emulation scene, I think?)
But what it seemed happen is you get 10 people writing "plugin" emulators that are flawed in different ways, when you could have those 10 people collaborate on one good emulation core. :P

Yeah, plugins should be an enhancement option, not something that you are forced to negotiate with just to play Turok without seeing through walls if you get to close to them or to have the water and fog look right in certain games or to run Gauntlet Legends, period.

EDIT: Perhaps I've made a habit of being too harsh on N64 emulation here lately, but the whole experience left a bitter taste in my mouth. At first the games looked so sharp and crisp, like they never could on a real N64 but the more you play the more holes you find in the emulation. It seemed to promise something that in the end it just couldn't deliver on.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 01:50:34 am by SunGodPortal »
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SleepyFist

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 08:48:29 am »
Emulation aside, the Rareware games were a big part of the N64 experience, I'd really like them to negotiate with microsoft for Conker or Banjo Kazooie, I'd also like Pokemon Snap and Tetrisphere.

FAST6191

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2017, 11:58:06 am »
Emulation aside, the Rareware games were a big part of the N64 experience, I'd really like them to negotiate with microsoft for Conker or Banjo Kazooie, I'd also like Pokemon Snap and Tetrisphere.

Even if they pulled off that how many would immediately turn around and say get that nice Rare collection they put out for the Xbone? I know I pulled out my N64 from the wardrobe at various points over the years and tried to play things. Stuff like perfect dark was damn near unplayable and made me question how I ever did it for all those hours (such that my cheapo third party RAM pack overheated if it was not actively cooled). I then went and played it on my 360 (they ported the N64 version as an XBLA game); game was awesome and still had plenty of things to teach game devs of today or that I miss in today's games.

Bahamut ZERO

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 01:22:31 pm »
Quote
You open an emulator for the first time, configure your controller and other settings, load a ROM and play without issue. When that applies to N64 emulators then N64 emulation won't be shit, but...

That pretty much describes the newer versions of Project 64. I've only ever had to fiddle with plugins for perhaps 3 or 4 times, and most of those times was getting HD texture packs to work (which are a lot easier to set up than  they ever used to be.)

Sound plugin's good to go from the start, the input plugin lets you save as many input profiles as you want (I keep seperate ones for shooters, Zelda games, Castlevania, and I have one for Pokemon Stadium). And outside of a handful of games (one of them being some super jacked out hack of Super Mario 64), there's pretty much no reason to ever swap out the video plugin that comes with it.

My plugin setup:

Video - Glide64 For PJ64
Audio - Jabo's DirectSound 1.7
Input - N-Rage Imput Plugin V2.3c
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SleepyFist

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2017, 02:57:51 pm »
Even if they pulled off that how many would immediately turn around and say get that nice Rare collection they put out for the Xbone? I know I pulled out my N64 from the wardrobe at various points over the years and tried to play things. Stuff like perfect dark was damn near unplayable and made me question how I ever did it for all those hours (such that my cheapo third party RAM pack overheated if it was not actively cooled). I then went and played it on my 360 (they ported the N64 version as an XBLA game); game was awesome and still had plenty of things to teach game devs of today or that I miss in today's games.
I actually agree with you about the FPS games, I never had Perfect Dark back then ,but I do now, and it's quite a mess, I was more referring to to the non-fps Rare games which have aged considerably better, in addition XBONE is kinda outta my price range and Microsoft keeps censoring Conker, I really did want Rare Replay though, probably one of the few reasons I'd buy one.

Jorpho

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2017, 10:06:28 pm »
My plugin setup:

Video - Glide64 For PJ64
Audio - Jabo's DirectSound 1.7
Input - N-Rage Imput Plugin V2.3c
I suppose in all these years there's only ever been one RSP plugin?
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A.D.R.I.A.N

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 01:12:15 am »
*sigh*... I can only hope for a decent N64 emulator that doesn't make someone go through all that fuzz.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 02:32:10 am »
That pretty much describes the newer versions of Project 64. I've only ever had to fiddle with plugins for perhaps 3 or 4 times, and most of those times was getting HD texture packs to work (which are a lot easier to set up than  they ever used to be.)

Sound plugin's good to go from the start, the input plugin lets you save as many input profiles as you want (I keep seperate ones for shooters, Zelda games, Castlevania, and I have one for Pokemon Stadium). And outside of a handful of games (one of them being some super jacked out hack of Super Mario 64), there's pretty much no reason to ever swap out the video plugin that comes with it.

My plugin setup:

Video - Glide64 For PJ64
Audio - Jabo's DirectSound 1.7
Input - N-Rage Imput Plugin V2.3c

PJ64 was probably the best one I used but it still wasn't immune to what's wrong with every N64 emulator. You still have to deal with plugins and I was talking about PJ64 specifically when I mentioned Turok and Gauntlet.
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Chronosplit

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2017, 11:22:52 am »
*sigh*... I can only hope for a decent N64 emulator that doesn't make someone go through all that fuzz.
Something to remember with the VC is that for using it in general emulation, usually one must "inject" a game into an existing one.  The success of this depends on which game you're injecting and which game you're injecting into.

This means the VC may not even just use one specific emulator itself or they're all specially configured (more likely than not it's the latter), and it's probably even more true with N64 where hacky stuff is involved.  You'd still wind up in a subversion of Plugin Hell anyway.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 11:30:36 am by Chronosplit »

SleepyFist

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Re: If there ever was a N64 mini.....
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 01:44:00 pm »
Something to remember with the VC is that for using it in general emulation, usually one must "inject" a game into an existing one.  The success of this depends on which game you're injecting and which game you're injecting into.

This means the VC may not even just use one specific emulator itself or they're all specially configured (more likely than not it's the latter), and it's probably even more true with N64 where hacky stuff is involved.  You'd still wind up in a subversion of Plugin Hell anyway.

I did a short burst of VC injection awhile back and I'm pretty sure you're right on the money,
N64 games only function when injected into the wrapper of a game with similar requirements,
some don't work at all, and others just have really bizarre bugs and setup procedures,
so in the end you've wandered right back into plugin hell trying to find the right wrapper to put your game in and it still might not work without doing a ritual dance.