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Ziggy587
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by Ziggy587 Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:35 pm

MrPopo wrote:So let me ask a clarifiying question or two. Let's say I had a bunch of SFC carts on hand that I would love to have english versions of. If you had the original SFC cart for Bahamut Lagoon or Shin Megami Tensei and a translated ROM would it be fairly easy to get the translated ROM on the cart?


It wouldn't be any easier or harder, it would be the same amount of work as far as the game PCB and EPROM go. There are some pros and cons to using the original game versus a donor cart though.

Let's say I wanna make Bahamut Lagoon. I could use Illusion of Gaia (just an example, other games could be used) as a donor cart, but then I'd be destroying a copy of Gaia from existence. If I use an original SFC Bahamut cart, no games are lost. However, most people like to have them in an American cart case. If I use Gaia, I'll already have one. If I use the original game, I'll have to get one. Of course, I could use any generic sports game that no one will miss for the case. The "donor" game also wont be lost, it'll just end up in a SFC Bahamut case.

Not that I would use Gaia as a donor cart, I believe it was NHL 95 or 96 that are the same specs. There's probably a lot of sport games and just really BAD games that I can use for donors, I actually found a nice list for that. I'm sure not too many people would care if there was one less NHL 95 in the world.

Now I'm just rambling on here, but... If you use the original game it's perfectly legal. You're just modifying that game to display English instead of Japanese. You're also not destroying a game to make another one.

MrPopo wrote:Also, something that just occured to me. I know when the Mother 3 translation project got underway they had to do some crazy things when hacking the text because the Mother 3 ROM was at the max size supported by the GBA ISA. All the SNES translations don't have to worry about that, because no ROM got that big. However, I wonder if any of the translations would have bumped a game from one size to another, and what difficulties that might cause for you.


I'm not sure that they do. Star Ocean came out the same exact size to the byte after being patched. I really know nothing of hacking and all that, so I couldn't even tell you. If the game came out bigger, and the donor cart only uses one mask ROM, than I'm not sure it would be a problem actually. Although, I really don't know.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by MrPopo Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:45 pm

I'm not sure that they do. Star Ocean came out the same exact size to the byte after being patched. I really know nothing of hacking and all that, so I couldn't even tell you. If the game came out bigger, and the donor cart only uses one mask ROM, than I'm not sure it would be a problem actually. Although, I really don't know.

Fair enough. The only reason I even asked is I knew it was an issue for Mother 3. It may be that the guys who've done the SNES translation patches have to work within the constraints of the ROM file for every game, even though the SNES could address more space than the original ROM. And anyways, it would have to be something like the ROM sitting at the max size for it's chip, which isn't always going to happen anyway. Mother 3 was at the max addressable size for GBA games, so when the devs programmed it originally they probably had to cut some things down to fit. With most SNES games there was the possibility of using a bigger chip, so it's unlikely they would have done as much attempting to match the chip size. So there probably won't be an issue, but it is something to remember of a particular translated ROM won't burn.

It wouldn't be any easier or harder, it would be the same amount of work as far as the game PCB and EPROM go. There are some pros and cons to using the original game versus a donor cart though.

So I have several SFC carts that I picked up to satisfy my own personal ethics, and now that you've started this I would love to have them all instead house english versions of their respective games. Once you are feeling confident in your process I'd be interested in sending them to you to get the english-patched roms onto them. For a nominal fee, of course.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by Ziggy587 Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:03 pm

I had another idea for a SNES repro cart I'd like to make, the pirate game Sonic the Hedgehog. Not that great of a game, to say the least, but I think it'd be cool to own one. Also, since the game was a hack of Speedy Gonzalas, I can use that cart to make one (which is great because that game is of little value). Another plus, the game is only 8Mbit so I only need to use one EPROM for it.

MrPopo wrote:It may be that the guys who've done the SNES translation patches have to work within the constraints of the ROM file for every game, even though the SNES could address more space than the original ROM.


Possible. I always figured that substituting English characters for Japanese ones is equal in size. So if that's all you're doing is a translation hack, the ROM should end up the same size. This is at least what I figured.

MrPopo wrote:So I have several SFC carts that I picked up to satisfy my own personal ethics, and now that you've started this I would love to have them all instead house english versions of their respective games. Once you are feeling confident in your process I'd be interested in sending them to you to get the english-patched roms onto them. For a nominal fee, of course.


I'd be more than happy to. The thing I find to be the most problemastic is finding the time to make these. When I'm ready, I'll definitely let you know. What games are you looking do get done?
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by MrPopo Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:38 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:
MrPopo wrote:It may be that the guys who've done the SNES translation patches have to work within the constraints of the ROM file for every game, even though the SNES could address more space than the original ROM.


Possible. I always figured that substituting English characters for Japanese ones is equal in size. So if that's all you're doing is a translation hack, the ROM should end up the same size. This is at least what I figured.

All my time spent following the Mother 3 translation project has helped make me much more knowledgable about the process, so I can tell you that what you said is not the case. First off, Japanese and English are very different languages. If you're using Kanji (which most RPGs use) you can say a lot more with fewer characters than in English. So while you can save space on the fact that English just needs about 40 characters to display all RPG text and Japanese can need hundreds, you lose a lot in that you now have more characters in the script. And since most RPG scripts are huge you generally get a bigger file afterwards than what you started as. There are some tricks you can use, though. Many ROMs have sections that aren't actually being used. Think of it like a game folder on your harddrive, but the devs accidentally left some image files in the folder that don't get used by the game.

MrPopo wrote:So I have several SFC carts that I picked up to satisfy my own personal ethics, and now that you've started this I would love to have them all instead house english versions of their respective games. Once you are feeling confident in your process I'd be interested in sending them to you to get the english-patched roms onto them. For a nominal fee, of course.


I'd be more than happy to. The thing I find to be the most problemastic is finding the time to make these. When I'm ready, I'll definitely let you know. What games are you looking do get done?

Totally understandable. There's no rush for these. The ones I'm interested in are Bahamut Lagoon, Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu, Front Mission Gun Hazard, Romancing SaGa 3, Seiken Densetsu 3, Shin Megami Tensei, Shin Megami Tensei 2, and Terranigma (PAL rom patched to run as NTSC). I can provide you all the patched roms.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by Ziggy587 Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:00 pm

If there's a SNES game that's translated, I already have the ROM. One thing I would like to let you know, the 27c801 EPROM that would be used for all (I'm pretty sure all) the above games are about $10 a pop. Since most RPG and RPG type games are usually bigger in size than other games, they require more than one chip. While Star Fox 2 uses only one, Secret of Mana 2 needs 4, so that'd be about $40 just for the chips.

Using SFC games is great, there's no region lockout. Terranigma, being a Pal game, you wouldn't be able to use the original cart. You would have to get an NTSC donor cart. I think you're able to convert a Pal game pack to play on an NTSC system (I think you just have to swap the CIC chip) but this presents some problems. First off, you have to rob the CIC from another game. Secondly, if and when you get the Pal cart to work on an American SNES the ROM is still in 50Hz, which case you need the region patch for it, in which case you need to replace the mask ROM. In which case, if that's what you're doing, you might as well use an NTSC donor cart that already has the right CIC chip.

Like I said a few times in this thread already, you might want to get a flash cart. Those games in EPROMs alone exceeds the cost of a Super Flash Cart from ToToTEK. I have one, it's great. In fact, I'm thinking about picking up a second one. The only downside to them is they do not support special chips, so games like Star Ocean and Star Fox 2 are out. Other than that they're great. I know the item description is in a bit of Engrish, so feel free to ask me any questions about them.

But I'd still be more than happy to help you out if I can. If you wanna just do one every once in a while... I don't plan on leaving the forums any time soon.


An update for the labels now... I found some nice Avery labels. They're a little bit bigger than SNES labels so I'd have to trim them, but they're an adhesive label so that's half the battle. I was gonna get some kind of laminate but the place I was in didn't have any of the self-adhesive kind. I'm gonna go into an Office Max on Thursday and hopefully they'll something perfect. But until then, I'm gonna experiment with a few different tapes I got. I also got one of those cheap straight cut tools, been wanting to get one of those for years.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by MrPopo Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:37 am

Ziggy587 wrote:If there's a SNES game that's translated, I already have the ROM. One thing I would like to let you know, the 27c801 EPROM that would be used for all (I'm pretty sure all) the above games are about $10 a pop. Since most RPG and RPG type games are usually bigger in size than other games, they require more than one chip. While Star Fox 2 uses only one, Secret of Mana 2 needs 4, so that'd be about $40 just for the chips.

Hey, it happens. I'm willing to pay for quality.

Using SFC games is great, there's no region lockout. Terranigma, being a Pal game, you wouldn't be able to use the original cart. You would have to get an NTSC donor cart. I think you're able to convert a Pal game pack to play on an NTSC system (I think you just have to swap the CIC chip) but this presents some problems. First off, you have to rob the CIC from another game. Secondly, if and when you get the Pal cart to work on an American SNES the ROM is still in 50Hz, which case you need the region patch for it, in which case you need to replace the mask ROM. In which case, if that's what you're doing, you might as well use an NTSC donor cart that already has the right CIC chip.

Well, I actually have the NTSC-J cart (Tenchi Souzou), since I knew that the PAL release wouldn't natively work on my SNES. As for the ROM, there was a patch released a while ago to make it run in NTSC mode (you can get it from zophar.net). The game was never properly reprogrammed for PAL, like so many games back in the 90's. They just slowed everything to 50 Hz.

Like I said a few times in this thread already, you might want to get a flash cart. Those games in EPROMs alone exceeds the cost of a Super Flash Cart from ToToTEK. I have one, it's great. In fact, I'm thinking about picking up a second one. The only downside to them is they do not support special chips, so games like Star Ocean and Star Fox 2 are out. Other than that they're great. I know the item description is in a bit of Engrish, so feel free to ask me any questions about them.

I'm personally not a big fan of flash carts. I'd rather spend extra money on a few repros. It looks nicer on the shelf and adds authenticity to the experience.

But I'd still be more than happy to help you out if I can. If you wanna just do one every once in a while... I don't plan on leaving the forums any time soon.

Awesome. Let me know when you think you'd be ready for them. I have no problems with having them all done at once (but not to rush you), and I'd save on the shipping and having to find packaging.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by Ziggy587 Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:03 am

MrPopo wrote:Hey, it happens. I'm willing to pay for quality.


As am I. I just wanted to make sure you understand the cost. Some one complained about these being too expensive, I can't help how much they cost to make or the work involved. Of course, I'd be giving you a discount rate to what I was looking to charge per cart since you want a few done.

MrPopo wrote:Well, I actually have the NTSC-J cart (Tenchi Souzou), since I knew that the PAL release wouldn't natively work on my SNES. As for the ROM, there was a patch released a while ago to make it run in NTSC mode (you can get it from zophar.net). The game was never properly reprogrammed for PAL, like so many games back in the 90's. They just slowed everything to 50 Hz.


Oh good, you have the Jap cart. I already have the patched ROM too.

MrPopo wrote:I'm personally not a big fan of flash carts. I'd rather spend extra money on a few repros. It looks nicer on the shelf and adds authenticity to the experience.


Yes, I can agree with that. I'll probably end up with a ton of repros myself, more or less just because I can. I cherish my SNES collection, which would be the biggest reason.

But I do love the flash cart. For example: Punch Out for Wii came out made me realize I never played Super Punch Out!! Of course, tons of other people want to pick up a copy on eBay besides myself, so I don't wanna pay the inflated price. So I flashed the game onto my flash cart and started playing it. Now eventually, I'm gonna wanna get a real Super Punch Out!! cart for my collection. Once I do, I can read the game save data from the flash cart to the computer then flash it onto the original cart.

The reason I got the flash cart in the first place was to play games that have been translated into English. But since I couldn't play Star Ocean, it got me into making the repros.

MrPopo wrote:Let me know when you think you'd be ready for them. I have no problems with having them all done at once (but not to rush you), and I'd save on the shipping and having to find packaging.


Well I mean, if we're real careful opening the box we'd be able to reuse it forever. I can see you wanting to save on shipping though, but shipping should be less than $5 each way. If you sent me them all at once, I wouldn't be able to do them all at once anyway, and it might be a while in between the completion of each cart. I'd just feel funny having your carts for that long.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by MrPopo Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:29 am

Ziggy587 wrote:
MrPopo wrote:Let me know when you think you'd be ready for them. I have no problems with having them all done at once (but not to rush you), and I'd save on the shipping and having to find packaging.


Well I mean, if we're real careful opening the box we'd be able to reuse it forever. I can see you wanting to save on shipping though, but shipping should be less than $5 each way. If you sent me them all at once, I wouldn't be able to do them all at once anyway, and it might be a while in between the completion of each cart. I'd just feel funny having your carts for that long.

Fair enough. I'll poke around my office to see if I can snag some packaging that would be good for a cart or two. I know boxes of that size come in every once in a while, I just need to remember if I still have one at my desk or if I threw it away.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by Ziggy587 Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:43 pm

I got a Star Fox 2 cart made!

I was playing it on my SNES before, I wasn't playing it for too long, but it ran just fine on the Stunt Race cart. There was some minor slow down on certain areas, but it didn't feel awkward at all. It's the same as the slow down issues on the first Star Fox. Tomorrow I'll put the battery back on and fit it back in the case and play through the entire game.

I would have had two made already but the EPROMs (or the programmer) were giving me shit. The chips didn't burn correctly, I had to erase them a few times. The one chip programmed, than verified. I verified the write again just to make sure. Both times it told me it was OK. Turns out it wasn't. The other times the chip programmed but than got an error when verifying. I guess this is the difference between my programmer and a $500-1000 programmer. Anyway, my new method is to let the chip verify after the burn (which it does automatically) than instead of verifying it again, read the chip back into a computer file and test it in an emulator. If I can read it back to a ROM and it works in an emulator than it HAS to be good.

The bright side is that the chips are only 8Mbit, as oppose to the 32Mbit chips for Star Ocean. They take a LOT less time to program, verify, and erase. I'll post some pictures tomorrow if I get the time to take them.
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Re: Zig's SNES Repros

by RadarScope1 Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:34 pm

Great news, man.
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