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Author Topic: Sega Master System games converted to NES?  (Read 4180 times)

herno

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Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« on: November 26, 2017, 02:43:15 am »
I'm new to all this hacking stuff, and I find it very interesting to say the least.  However, I have been pondering some ideas and wanted to throw this out there and see if this is something feasible or if it's just a dream that I can keep on having.

Anyway's, how difficult would it be to program Sega Master System games to work on an NES console?  Would it be an impossible task or something that could be done?  I think it would be fun to see some of those old classics ported over to the NES, stuff like Alex Kidd, Monster World, etc.  Or am I just living in a fantasy and this could never happen?

After playing the awesome homebrew Sega Master System Brawl on the Genesis, at least we know it is possible to do something like this.  Whether it's NES or just converting Master System games to play on a Genesis without a Power Base Converter, it seems intriguing to me and I'd love to see someone attempt it.  Wish I had the know how to do it myself, but I can only do basic hacking and am just starting to learn how to do simple things myself.

Anyways, sorry for the long-winded post.  Will be fun to read the answers.  Take care!  You guys do an amazing service keeping retro-gaming alive and well!

FAST6191

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2017, 09:41:53 am »
Why would I want to do this? Neither master system nor NES emulators are hard to come by in the modern world, and hardware is still well within the realms of reasonable prices (to say nothing of hardware clones of various ability).

Anyway there use fairly different processors ( http://nesdev.com/6502.txt vs http://www.smspower.org/Development/Z80-Index ) and use code of sufficient complexity that some kind of static analysis/conversion is not going to get too far (games almost by definition use a lot of branching and interrupt driven coding styles, compared to my nice business software that takes each line in a table, calculates sales tax and spits that out into a new file with no input from me beyond the initial inputs), and at the same time the processing power is unlikely to give you enough to overcome the overhead of higher level emulation. If you wanted to you could probably do a high level analysis of the mechanics of the game ( https://killscreen.com/articles/meat-boy-mario-and-the-perfect-platformer-jump/ https://www.dragonflycave.com/mechanics/gen-i-capturing ), and also extract resources (depending upon sprite counts, transformation functions available, colour uses, audio functions available and such you might run into a few roadblocks but nothing too insurmountable in most cases) you could build a version of the game on a new system.
Still not sure why you would want to restrict yourself to a similar vintage system if your goal was not to learn that system (far better to put the effort into something which could appear on http://osgameclones.com/ one day).

If the system was similar to an arcade system (and home ones of that time were variously cut down versions of those, or used as bases for slightly more potent arcade boards, possibly in a somewhat cyclic nature), generally similar, or basically the same system with a tiny bit more potency (in the modern world the 3ds vs the n3ds) I could see doing something with a port.

nesrocks

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 11:32:19 am »
It is a fun project to do one static screen, but a full working game, FAST said everything there is to be said. It is just too much tedious work that would only be worth to do by the original developers trying to reach a wider audience (increase profit), but for us it doesn't seem worth it at all.

KingMike

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #3 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.
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goldenband

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 01:52:08 pm »
OP, you do realize that the Genesis essentially contains a Master System, right? The Power Base Converter is a glorified pin adapter, with no CPU or anything else. I don't know whether Sega Master System Brawl runs in SMS or Genesis mode, but all the hardware is already present to run anything for either system (minus a few oddball SMS games), with no conversion needed.

The number of systems that can meaningfully run each other's code without porting from scratch is quite small. Outside of backwards-compatible systems like the Atari 7800 and Genesis, there's the Intellivision, which can run an interpreted form of RCA Studio II code with major intervention (the reasons are complicated); the ColecoVision and Sega SG-1000, which have near-identical architectures, but still require significant rewriting for any given title; and one or two other similar examples, including some amazing work done on NES > PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) ports.

But that's it. Any other conversion, especially between consoles of the same generation, will require a rewrite from scratch -- as much work as making the game in the first place, if not more (since you don't have source code, etc.).

Psyklax

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 06:40:59 pm »
Everyone's said everything necessary already - namely "what's the point" and "the systems are chalk and cheese so you'd be writing a port from scratch".

Incidentally, if you want to play SMS games on the Genesis without the converter, the Mega EverDrive will do it for you. Hell, you can patch Game Gear games to play on the Genesis using that, too.

It would probably be easier (yet equally pointless) to make a port with modern programming resources - but make it look like a NES game for some reason. :D Again, I really don't get this idea at all...

nesrocks

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 07:10:21 pm »
I figure it's more like "out of curiosity, what would alex kidd in miracle world look like on the NES?". But with a single, non interactive screen you can get a pretty good idea without all the work involved in making a full game.

herno

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 08:32:31 pm »
I figure it's more like "out of curiosity, what would alex kidd in miracle world look like on the NES?". But with a single, non interactive screen you can get a pretty good idea without all the work involved in making a full game.

Exactly my point, just a total curiosity. I've seen some crazy things out there in hacking land, some stuff I never thought would be possible.  There's even a guy porting NES games to Genesis, so it's not like it can't be done.  We've seen Super Mario Bros. on the Genesis, which I assume is much easier to do, but I know nothing about how it was done.  Just a question to pose.  It's not like I'm a Nintendo fanboy that also wants to play Master System games on my NES (nevermind, yeah I kinda do).  Hell, even if someone was to come up with some crazy adapter that worked on an NES to play MS games, that would just blow my mind.  But, as I said in my previous post, one can dream I suppose.  Whether the dream comes to fruition or even if it's worth it at all, it's fun to think about.

chillyfeez

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 08:04:09 am »
The number of systems that can meaningfully run each other's code without porting from scratch is quite small. Outside of backwards-compatible systems like the Atari 7800 and Genesis, there's the Intellivision, which can run an interpreted form of RCA Studio II code with major intervention (the reasons are complicated); the ColecoVision and Sega SG-1000, which have near-identical architectures, but still require significant rewriting for any given title; and one or two other similar examples, including some amazing work done on NES > PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) ports.
Isn't the SNES processor capable of running like  a 6502 when the emulation flag is set?
I always figured that was something they threw in to allow for backwards compatibility which they never used (presumably because SNES itself ended up being far more profitable than they ever imagined).
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Jorpho

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 12:06:54 pm »
There's even a guy porting NES games to Genesis, so it's not like it can't be done.  We've seen Super Mario Bros. on the Genesis, which I assume is much easier to do, but I know nothing about how it was done.
Have there been further developments in that area?  Last I heard, SMB4MD was the only project of its kind – but that was years ago, and no one has attempted a similar NES port since.

Isn't the SNES processor capable of running like  a 6502 when the emulation flag is set?
I always figured that was something they threw in to allow for backwards compatibility which they never used (presumably because SNES itself ended up being far more profitable than they ever imagined).
I'd say it's more like they were hoping to have backwards compatibility at some early point in the development of the hardware, but then abandoned that idea.

Needless to say, if there was still some way of actually exploiting those backwards-compatibility features in the hardware we know, we would have seen dozens of bootlegs and Chinese devices by now – there would have been far too much money to be made.  (Even devices like the TriStar or Super-8 effectively contain a separate NES-on-a-chip within rather than using the SNES hardware.)
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chillyfeez

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 01:59:00 pm »
It definitely HAS a 6502 emulation mode, which according to superfamicom.org seems to be actually functional...
https://wiki.superfamicom.org/65816-reference
But they give very little information as to what the processor can do when in emulation mode.
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nesrocks

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2017, 02:30:48 pm »
That's just the CPU, there's still lots of other parts to the console that aren't there.

Psyklax

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Re: Sega Master System games converted to NES?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 03:21:47 pm »
That's just the CPU, there's still lots of other parts to the console that aren't there.

Exactly. And given a NES on a chip can be bought for a few bucks, it doesn't seem worth it. Forgive me, but none of this seems worth the effort. :D Super Mario All-Stars was worth it, and I can see how projects I've seen on here like making a GBC version of SML2 can be worth doing. But not porting 30 year old games to 25 year old hardware. :)