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Author Topic: SNES can now play NES games!  (Read 3717 times)

Nokia3310

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SNES can now play NES games!
« on: May 03, 2021, 11:21:28 am »
This is an emulator tool called Project Nested and v1.3 was recently released. Great for SNES Everdrive owners or for anyone that wants to see emulation that was never thought possible.

It creates working SNES roms by patching NES roms with the emulator program. The new update has increased the list of working games and fixed other issues. It doesn't run all NES games perfectly but the progress so far is very impressive.

The list of compatible games has grown with the new update. It runs Super Mario Bros. 1, Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Tetris very well and there are many others.

I'll put the link below to download the program and for the further info. The page includes a link to a compatibility spreadsheet too. This is essential for entering the correct program settings and includes patch code (if required).

https://github.com/Myself086/Project-Nested

Top tips:

The first spreadsheet tab (Summary) shows the compatibility colour scheme. It's important to know which colours relate to compatibility before delving into creating any roms to play.

The game list and settings for the program are on the second spreadsheet tab. The tabs will appear on the top or bottom, depending what you're viewing it in.

Follow the instructions on the compatibility sheet. Patch code is in field E, which doesn't appear on screen unless you scroll right.


Supporting the developer:

Myself086 has now set up a Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/Myself086


« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 11:41:38 am by Nokia3310 »

Jorpho

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2021, 12:21:11 pm »
It's astonishing no one managed to do this sooner. It doesn't require any particular features specific to the Everdrive, does it?
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Nokia3310

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2021, 01:46:29 pm »
It doesn't require any particular features specific to the Everdrive, does it?

No, the roms will work on the most basic everdrive/flash cartridge or on a SNES emulator. No enhancement chips or anything extra needed to run them  :thumbsup:

CaptainHIT

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2021, 05:58:29 pm »
I always asked myself why it wasn't possible to do something like a NES addon just like the Super Game Boy for the SNES. Basically the Super Game Boy is a Game Boy without the screen/speaker/buttons. I always thought Big N could do something like that if they wanted to. But the SNES resolution could be a problem because it was a little bit smaller (256*224 instead of the NES 256*240)

nesrocks

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 06:00:53 pm »
This is ultra amazing. Agreed, the fact that it had never been done is a testament to how hard this must have been.
Okay, now the main event question: can the new ROM be hacked to take full advantage of the SNES' graphical capabilities?

niuus

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 07:24:52 pm »
I always asked myself why it wasn't possible to do something like a NES addon just like the Super Game Boy for the SNES. Basically the Super Game Boy is a Game Boy without the screen/speaker/buttons. I always thought Big N could do something like that if they wanted to. But the SNES resolution could be a problem because it was a little bit smaller (256*224 instead of the NES 256*240)
256×224, 512x224, 256x239, 512x239, up to 512×448 (NTSC), 512×478 (PAL).

Nokia3310

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 07:59:54 pm »
Okay, now the main event question: can the new ROM be hacked to take full advantage of the SNES' graphical capabilities?

I think I see your thinking. Basically, take the Mario All-Stars approach with an existing NES game template that already works on the SNES. The program isn't creating ports though. This is the SNES, emulating a NES.

The main reason this is possible is because the SNES inherited some hardware from the previous console. Beyond that, it utilises its other hardware and lots of clever maths to make this happen. Running NES games is a massive achievement. I have my doubts about the feasibility of adding further SNES features into the games too but I could be wrong.

Existing and new NES hacks can work though, depending on what has been modified. I've got Donkey Kong Redux (NES graphics hack) working. It runs as well as the original emulated NES rom does on a SNES console.

niuus

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 08:15:30 pm »
Existing and new NES hacks can work though, depending on what has been modified. I've got Donkey Kong Redux (NES graphics hack) working. It runs as well as the original emulated NES rom does on a SNES console.
I am beyond amazed, super cool news.

Do you happen to know if there is anything special that needs to be used as a flag in order to force the program to make the rom? Some games like Zelda state that the Mapper is not suppported, even though the game is reported as working on the list.

CaptainHIT

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 08:53:42 pm »
256×224, 512x224, 256x239, 512x239, up to 512×448 (NTSC), 512×478 (PAL).
Ah, I always thought it was 224 lines horizontally because every PAL game I've played was in this height. Though I realized that NES games used MMCs which are special chips that might be not emulated at all on the SNES. Big N could have done this in hardware like the Super Game Boy, putting a special chip which combines all in-house and third-party MMCs in one to play all official released games. Of course this is possible with an Everdrive/SD2SNES which has the horsepower to do this.

nesrocks

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 10:25:22 pm »
This is the SNES, emulating a NES.
I thought "emulated" was just a word to make it easy to understand for the wide audience, while the roms were actually converted into a basic snes rom.
So, it's really emulated? Wowzers, that's even more impressive.

Nokia3310

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2021, 03:21:09 am »
Do you happen to know if there is anything special that needs to be used as a flag in order to force the program to make the rom? Some games like Zelda state that the Mapper is not suppported, even though the game is reported as working on the list.

I don't know how that works but the compatibility list shows that both Zelda games use mapper 1, which is supported. I haven't tried Zelda 2 but Legend of Zelda works fine with the settings on the list. I haven't played that very much but there's a brief hang when entering different screens in the game (although it may play more seamlessly on NTSC hardware). It hasn't crashed on me and I can see on the list that the game has previously been beaten. I followed the settings that the compatibility list shows and it works  :thumbsup:

On the subject of the currently unsupported mappers, as far as I'm aware the developer is intending to return to those but is currently focusing on other aspects of performance.

Edit: I tried Legend of Zelda on both a SNES (PAL) and SFC (NTSC) and it works well in both. The hang when entering screens exists in the original game.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 12:48:34 pm by Nokia3310 »

Jorpho

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2021, 11:29:32 am »
I always asked myself why it wasn't possible to do something like a NES addon just like the Super Game Boy for the SNES. Basically the Super Game Boy is a Game Boy without the screen/speaker/buttons.
Have you heard of the Super 8/TriStar?  That is indeed similar to the Super Game Boy in that it has its own NOAC inside. (There are other modern devices like the Super Retro Advance, but considering they use their own AV-out, they hardly seem comparable.)

The last time this came up it was also noted that people have already converted NES roms to the Genesis and TG16.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 11:34:45 am by Jorpho »
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niuus

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2021, 11:40:52 am »
I don't know how that works but the compatibility list shows that both Zelda games use mapper 1, which is supported. I haven't tried Zelda 2 but Legend of Zelda works fine with the settings on the list.
Okey, this is weird now. The games get reported as Mapper 17 in the program, Zelda is the perfect example.  :o

Another case i discovered minutes ago: i wanted to try P.O.W., but again, Mapper 17 not supported. Then, i tried, by pure luck, a patched P.O.W. with 2 players support. This time, the Mapper reported is #1 and lets me make the rom.  :banghead:

I have definitely tried and made profiles based on the compatibility list, but it won't let me patch them.

EDIT: problem fixed.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 04:07:08 pm by niuus »

Nokia3310

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2021, 04:39:37 pm »

Another case i discovered minutes ago: i wanted to try P.O.W., but again, Mapper 17 not supported. Then, i tried, by pure luck, a patched P.O.W. with 2 players support. This time, the Mapper reported is #1 and lets me make the rom.  :banghead:

I have definitely tried and made profiles based on the compatibility list, but it won't let me patch them.

EDIT: problem fixed.

I'm glad you've fixed the problem (just seen your edit). POW is a game that I hadn't tried and my SNES rom didn't work either. I increased VramQ to 2000 and it now works on my Super Famicom and in SNES9X. It suggests this in the compatibility notes to fix the SNK logo but it seems essential to make the SNES rom work


KingMike

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2021, 12:59:35 am »
Okey, this is weird now. The games get reported as Mapper 17 in the program, Zelda is the perfect example.  :o

Another case i discovered minutes ago: i wanted to try P.O.W., but again, Mapper 17 not supported. Then, i tried, by pure luck, a patched P.O.W. with 2 players support. This time, the Mapper reported is #1 and lets me make the rom.  :banghead:

I have definitely tried and made profiles based on the compatibility list, but it won't let me patch them.

EDIT: problem fixed.

Then the program is setting the mapper number wrong (it would be setting the 0x10s digit, in the second byte).

Mapper 1 = 0x01
Mapper 17 = 0x11
Mapper 17 is a depreciated Mapper, one of a few very old HK copiers ("Front Far East") nobody else has probably seen. :P
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Nokia3310

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2021, 04:06:02 am »
Have you heard of the Super 8/TriStar?  That is indeed similar to the Super Game Boy in that it has its own NOAC inside. (There are other modern devices like the Super Retro Advance, but considering they use their own AV-out, they hardly seem comparable.)

I just looked into this. The Super 8 doesn't display from the SNES AV-out. It's much the same as the more modern RetroPort (NES) and the GBA device for SNES that you mentioned with its own AV port on the back (flick to 2:30 on this video: https://youtu.be/7brM4l3wT9).

The main advantage that I see over the RertoPort is that a Super 8 uses the existing SNES-AV cable in its own AV socket, so you don't need a second cable running to the TV to use it. It's still a 'parasite' device rather than an adapter though, using the SNES for power and controller inputs only. It also has compatibility problems with certain NES games.

Don't get me wrong, Project Nested is far from a perfect way of playing NES games, but it is the SNES actually running them, unlike the devices that came before. New progress unfolding! The closest thing before were the experimental A&S NES hacks (created using a conversion tool in the 90s). The results were games with no sound and strange colours. Making the SNES emulate such games instead, doing so more accurately and with sound, is a big leap from that. I'm aware that there has been some progress with other conversion tools since.

I'd like to see a progress race between ports made with a conversion tool and emulated versions haha. If there was such a thing, Project Nested is winning  :)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 04:18:49 am by Nokia3310 »

Jorpho

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2021, 02:12:25 pm »
It's much the same as the more modern RetroPort (NES) and the GBA device for SNES that you mentioned with its own AV port on the back (flick to 2:30 on this video: https://youtu.be/7brM4l3wT9).
Oh, okay then. (Seems my link was not adequately informative.) Unfortunately that video comes up as "unavailable".

There are also developments like the SuperRT which I imagine ought to be capable of targeting NES emulation, akin to the NES "reverse emulation". But that's kind of cheating.
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Nokia3310

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Re: SNES can now play NES games!
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2021, 07:20:20 am »
Unfortunately that video comes up as "unavailable".

This link should work (below). Sorry, I deleted a character off the end of the last link

https://youtu.be/7brM4l3wT9c

Edit: I just checked out the SuperRT chip stuff. Very impressive!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 07:02:40 pm by Nokia3310 »