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Thread: Super Castlevania IV FastROM Patch - Improves performance

  1. #16
    Hero of Algol
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    has anyone ever tried converting MD games over to the System 16A? That would open up a ton of possibilities for ROM hacks with a faster CPU, more colors, more sprites, scaling, translucency etc and it's still authentic to hardware that actually existed back in the day.
    I don't think anyone has tried that yet, probably due to three factors: 1) Lack of debugging tools for platforms such as System 16, 2) Lack of interest since part of the appeal is to be able to run stuff on real hardware and who owns actual arcade PCBs these days?, 3) No everdrive for such boards.

    2) and 3) can be mitigated if stuff such as MiSTer gets really popular.

  2. #17
    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I don't think anyone has tried that yet, probably due to three factors: 1) Lack of debugging tools for platforms such as System 16, 2) Lack of interest since part of the appeal is to be able to run stuff on real hardware and who owns actual arcade PCBs these days?, 3) No everdrive for such boards.

    2) and 3) can be mitigated if stuff such as MiSTer gets really popular.
    I mean...there's the MAME debugger right?

    Ideally something like the Mega Sg could be updated to run games from Sega arcade boards. That was always Sega's goal, wasn't it? Bring the arcade home? They could have made one of their boards into a home console like SNK with the AES, they just chose to make a few downgrades to reduce cost. I agree though there's no interest in that kind of thing. But if people want an enhanced Genesis it's been there since 1985.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    I mean...there's the MAME debugger right?

    Ideally something like the Mega Sg could be updated to run games from Sega arcade boards. That was always Sega's goal, wasn't it? Bring the arcade home? They could have made one of their boards into a home console like SNK with the AES, they just chose to make a few downgrades to reduce cost. I agree though there's no interest in that kind of thing. But if people want an enhanced Genesis it's been there since 1985.
    If arcade home means playing on flat panels without the proper bloom, contrast, definition and gamma ramp the game was designed for, then, yes.
    Seriously though, MiSTer seems to be a far better option and there is more work and knowledge accumulated on that front.

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    Contrary to popular belief, MD and System16 are quite different things, especially concerning graphical abilities.

    A simpler idea would be to hack some emulator (or ideally FPGA code) to implement simple enhancements of the MD hardware :

    1) backgrounds palette and sprites palettes dissociated (4+4)
    2) 12 bits colors for master palette
    3) 128 KB VRAM (like the Teradrive)

    Hacking games for this ideal platform would be really easy (simple palette hacks would beneficiate from 12bits colors, and hardly trickier would take part of the dissociated sprites/bg palettes).

    I'm dreaming of such a think for several years now

  5. #20
    Underground Sega Nut BonusKun's Avatar
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    This is a great thread. Loving all the comments.

    Just a head ups, If anyone decides they want to do some off topic thread shitting, I'm letting Barone decide who gets a foot in their ass.~
    05/05/15

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tryphon View Post
    Contrary to popular belief, MD and System16 are quite different things, especially concerning graphical abilities.

    A simpler idea would be to hack some emulator (or ideally FPGA code) to implement simple enhancements of the MD hardware :

    1) backgrounds palette and sprites palettes dissociated (4+4)
    2) 12 bits colors for master palette
    3) 128 KB VRAM (like the Teradrive)

    Hacking games for this ideal platform would be really easy (simple palette hacks would beneficiate from 12bits colors, and hardly trickier would take part of the dissociated sprites/bg palettes).

    I'm dreaming of such a think for several years now
    That would be cool. The bigger master palette would have opened up Game Gear compatibility. If I'm doing a wishlist of features, I'd like to see widescreen hacks, which have already been done in Higan for Super Mario World and Link to the Past. I am unaware of any Genesis emulator with such a feature. The Genesis was the first console to have widescreen support (via 32X Virtua Fighter) so it's only fitting.

  7. #22
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    One thing that I would like to see implemented in these FPGA-based MDs is a CLUT feature.

    It could benefit several games without the need to hack them.

    You could have different color profiles linked to games.
    Default one should always be the original MD colors but some specific profiles could be applied to dozens of games by the user without many cons.

    A lot of games suffer with the lack of proper brown tones (especially the dark ones), since the MD's palette tend to be too red-ish in that side of the spectrum.

    One of the many examples:


    What it was supposed to be (ignore the extra shading):


    Even when you try to hack the colors it still looks bad and to redo the whole artwork to workaround that simply isn't feasible, even if you had all the knowledge and tools necessary to edit all the tiles and sprites.

  8. #23
    Death Bringer ESWAT Veteran Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Wow, I had no idea the Teradrive had that. Mentioning the arcade hardware gives me an idea, has anyone ever tried converting MD games over to the System 16A? That would open up a ton of possibilities for ROM hacks with a faster CPU, more colors, more sprites, scaling, translucency etc and it's still authentic to hardware that actually existed back in the day.
    System-16 has crappy color rules for background tiles. Judging from existing games it looks like each tile can only use 4 visible colors and few palettes. The Mega Drive can and has already done much better overall backgrounds. The trade off wouldn't be worth it.

    But I'm also not interested in fake Mega Drive games. The limitations are what the hardware and software's identity and charm are built from.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    System-16 has crappy color rules for background tiles. Judging from existing games it looks like each tile can only use 4 visible colors and few palettes. The Mega Drive can and has already done much better overall backgrounds. The trade off wouldn't be worth it.

    But I'm also not interested in fake Mega Drive games. The limitations are what the hardware and software's identity and charm are built from.
    Wow I never knew it was that bad at backgrounds. I know Cotton has some areas that look almost monochromatic but in that type of game it's a good thing to see all the stuff flying at you. Golden Axe, Wonderboy III and Dynamite Dux only have 4 colors per BG tile? I would never have noticed that.

  10. #25
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonusKun View Post
    This is a great thread. Loving all the comments.

    Just a head ups, If anyone decides they want to do some off topic thread shitting, I'm letting Barone decide who gets a foot in their ass.~
    Woah!


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    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



  11. #26
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    lol Thanks eric. I needed the laugh.
    05/05/15

  12. #27
    Death Bringer ESWAT Veteran Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Wow I never knew it was that bad at backgrounds. I know Cotton has some areas that look almost monochromatic but in that type of game it's a good thing to see all the stuff flying at you. Golden Axe, Wonderboy III and Dynamite Dux only have 4 colors per BG tile? I would never have noticed that.
    Golden Axe is particularly bad. It does full detail across the screen and bleeds colors between assets. The end result is mostly monochromatic elements, but something bluescale will have a brown running through it.

    Altered Beast went for a clean look and when you examine it you can see how they designed the backgrounds to have assets share colors and assets that don't stand out as low color. It also looks like they might have used a tile layer for the larger bosses and had the background turn to greyscale to free up the palettes.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    Golden Axe is particularly bad. It does full detail across the screen and bleeds colors between assets. The end result is mostly monochromatic elements, but something bluescale will have a brown running through it.

    Altered Beast went for a clean look and when you examine it you can see how they designed the backgrounds to have assets share colors and assets that don't stand out as low color. It also looks like they might have used a tile layer for the larger bosses and had the background turn to greyscale to free up the palettes.
    Wow, you're right. Now it makes sense why Altered Beast fades the backgrounds during boss fights.

  14. #29
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    Pretty cool, games like Biometal, EDF, Area 88, Phalanx, Return of Double Dragon + Kunio and other early stuff would benefit a lot from this. Also Konami games like Parodius, Axelay and Turtles in Time seem to run on SlowROM which is kinda impressive, those games have nice performance as is, same with Super Aleste.
    edit: also in awe that all Natsume games use SlowROM
    Last edited by Vludi; 01-20-2021 at 11:07 PM.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Sort of, the PCE can run at the same speed as the NES and some games have been converted from NES to PCE.

    The PCE CPU is much faster than the SNES at 8-bit operations, but it would need more cycles for 16-bit stuff.
    Not true, actually. Even in 3.57mhz mode, the SNES cpu has extra cycle penalties for 16bit mode operations, not to mention that work ram is always 2.68mhz - and the 65x pretty much being a Read-modify-write type processor hits ram for already every instruction and for multiple bus cycles. It pretty much brings it down to 3.05mhz range. I clocked full 16bit and 16bit -> 16bit operations (not half cheating with early exit branches) on the PCE to be faster than the SNES. The only thing faster really is the multiply unit, but that's not the processor itself, and shift instructions.

    Honestly though, I wish someone would run a cpu analysis on these games when they're running, just to see how much the cpu overblows the vsync flag 'window'. For some of these games, it literally just could be like 2-3% cpu resource over the limit, because it's an all or nothing thing for the frame rate for the game logic.


    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    Sort of, the PCE can run at the same speed as the NES and some games have been converted from NES to PCE.
    If you're talking about the nes2pce games I did, they run at PCE's full speed because they emulate/simulate the NES video and audio hardware in realtime. Even with that overheard, the slowdown is removed from the games running on PCE haha. Vsync keeps the games running in sync, but special timed code for sprite detect 0 has to be manually fixed in the rom to compensate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    System-16 has crappy color rules for background tiles. Judging from existing games it looks like each tile can only use 4 visible colors and few palettes. The Mega Drive can and has already done much better overall backgrounds. The trade off wouldn't be worth it.
    System16 tiles are 3bit (7colors + 1), but it literally has hundreds of palettes for the background. Sprites are 4bit, but only 14 showable colors instead of 15 because of how they are encoded.


    @Barone; here's hoping he does some original homebrew stuff with the SA-1, with all that experience. I believe he has a youtube video of a hack for SMW, where he uses the SA-1 for dynamic cell removal for overlapping sprites (ala what Paprium was supposed to do at one point IIRC) showing a bunch of big boo sprites. Cool stuff!

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