Discussion of game backup, reproduction, burning, and ripping. Covers ROM backup, cartridge reproduction, optical disc ripping, burning, and storage. Focus on archival purposes and not deceptive selling.
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Ziggy587
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by Ziggy587 Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:07 am

sp957 wrote:Just got a Mega Everdrive. For anyone who has one, does it play roms the same as original carts?

I own a GBA and DS Flash cart that play roms the exact same as the original carts. There was one game on GBA that stuttered, but that was about it. I was wondering if this Mega Everdrive is the same?


For the most part, flash carts will play game ROMs exactly the same as playing the actual cart. Since all the console is essentially doing is reading the game data from a memory chip, it makes no difference. There's the rare case of a particular game not running because of a bug in the flash cart, but that's usually remedied with either a firmware/OS update or a fix for the ROM.

The only thing you have to watch out for is the compatibility with carts that are non-standard, unsupported mappers, and carts with extra hardware.

For example, the NES has a million mappers and they're not all supported by the N8 and PowerPak. There's always the possibility for software updates to add support, assuming there's the hardware capability. For example, the Famicom Final Fantasy 7 cart will never be able to run on the PowerPak simply because the ROM size is larger than the available memory inside the flash cart.

If I recall correctly, the only Genesis game that is not able to be played on the Everdrive MD is Virtua Racing. That's because the Virtua Racing cart had a processor. Same goes for SNES games with extra hardware (except where I noted in my guide). And Pokemon Gold/Silver uses a RTC, which the Everdrive GB does not have.

But for the most part, games that don't use any special hardware and whatnot, 99.9% of games run 100% flawlessly from a flash cart.

As for ROM hacks, translations, etc... They might have bugs that cause problems when played on real hardware. It's not a problem with the flash cart, it's a problem with the game ROM.
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retrosportsgamer
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by retrosportsgamer Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:09 pm

Pretty excited for the N8 (my first of four to be fired up). Anyone know if there is a FAQ or something to answer some of the more basic questions?
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Ziggy587
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by Ziggy587 Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:04 pm

Actually, my one real complaint with Everdrive carts is the lack of documentation that comes with it or is available straight from Krikzz.com. I'm still not exactly sure how to use the memory card feature on my Everdrive 64. There should be a PDF or something for each cart that clearly explains how to do everything. There's the support forum on Krikzz.com, but that's only helpful if some one already asked the question you have (or you have to post).

I've come across guides here and there on various forums. Sorry, I don't have any links handy. If anyone knows of some good guides, please link them here, I'd like to add them to the first post.

Otherwise, ask your questions here.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by retrosportsgamer Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:43 am

ninjaspandex answered my main question, which was around PAL NES games not working on a NTSC machine.

I was looking forward to playing Aladdin and The Lion King.

My other question was around the button combo for a save state in the newest N8 firmware. I have to re-watch the youtube video. I didn't catch at first what U + T or D + T meant (other than up and down).
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by retrosportsgamer Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:28 am

I will say - I was very happy that custom roms like Tecmo Super Bowl 2014 and RBI Baseball 2014 fired up without issue (RBI '14 is 30 teams in the orig RBI Baseball). That was one of my main reasons for wanting the N8 - I'd rather play those on the CRT than emulate on my laptop.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by ninjainspandex Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:03 pm

retrosportsgamer wrote:I was looking forward to playing Aladdin and The Lion King.

:lol: your not missing much, those games are not worth playing over the SNES versions, they are just watered down ports that make pirate games look good.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by Anapan Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Aladdin - make sure you apply the Music Replacement patch.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by ninjainspandex Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:21 pm

Anapan wrote:Re: Aladdin - make sure you apply the Music Replacement patch.

Heh that is the unlicensed Aladdin game, which is somewhat playable compared to the official Virgin game.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by IrishNinja Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:58 pm

fantastic OP, was just reading up the differences in the Super Everdrive vs SD2SNES: the latter does region-patching, does this mean the Super will have issues with SFC/other region games, then?

looking into them, i was bummed that some minor stuff wasn't there for technical reasons (SG-1000 support on the mega everdrive, 64DD on that respective one, etc) but with prices getting stupider by the day, i really am thinking of getting more of these.
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Re: [GUIDE/INFO] for Flash Carts, Retrode, repros, and more!

by Ziggy587 Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:19 pm

IrishNinja wrote:fantastic OP, was just reading up the differences in the Super Everdrive vs SD2SNES: the latter does region-patching, does this mean the Super Everdrive will have issues with SFC/other region games, then?


There's two types of region locking with the SNES. Hmm, well maybe three. I'll just try and explain everything...

One is the physical difference between the NA SNES and PAL SNES and SFC cart shells and their respected console's cart slots. NA SNES carts will not fit in a PAL SNES or SFC cart slot because it is too wide. This can be overcome by either physically widening the cart slot to accommodate, or using an adapter (or possibly a GameGenie or Action Replay). SFC and PAL SNES carts can fit in the NA SNES cart slot, however, there's these two tabs in the cart slot that prevent you from inserting the cart. NA SNES carts have two slots that these tabs fit into. See the following pictures to understand...

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The tabs found in the NA SNES cart slot can easily be removed, thus allowing you to insert a SFC or PAL SNES cart. However...

There's two different lockout chips found in SNES/SFC carts. Well, there might be revisions so technically more than 2, but for our purposes, there are only two. One found in NA SNES and SFC carts, and the other found only in PAL SNES carts. The SNES/SFC console has a lockout chip "lock" and the carts have a lockout chip "key". If you remove the tabs in a NA SNES cart slot (highly recommended) you can play any SFC cart without issue, since SFC carts have the SAME lockout chip found in NA SNES carts. However, if you break the tabs out of a NA SNES cart slot, you cannot play PAL SNES games because of the different lockout chip.

That being said, this problem was overcome. There's a number of ways to get around the PAL/NTSC lockout chip difference. But since ways to get around it were discovered when the SNES was still relevant, developers figure out another way to imploy a region lockout. By putting something in the game code that checks to see if the PPU (picture processing unit) is set to output 60Hz (NTSC) or 50Hz (PAL). Not all games have this. I'm not sure how many games have it, but it's not a lot I don't think. But a game that does have this, if you try to boot a cart on the wrong region console, even if you defeated the lockout chip, the game will refuse to boot. Instead, you'll get a message that says, "This game is not intended for this SNES or SFC" or something to that effect.

It might be worth noting that one way found to get around the different lockout chips was to deactivate the lockout chip in the console. Once deactivated, you can boot any region cart on the console. But because of this, developers came up with another way (in addition to the PPU check). Certain enhancement chips have a lockout chip built into them. The SA-1 (found in Super Mario RPG, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dreamland 2) and the S-DD1 (Street Fighter Alpha 2, Star Ocean) have it. They work as a normal lockout chip would, but they MUST handshake with the console's lockout chip. If the lockout chip in the console is deactivated, these carts will not boot. There's a way to modify these carts so that they'll work in the other region. This has nothing to do with flash carts, but I just figured it's worth a mention since we're on the topic.


For games that check to see if the console is running at 50 or 60Hz, there's two ways to get around it. Some people mod their consoles so they can switch between 50 and 60Hz. If you have this switch you can (for example) set it to 50Hz, boot a PAL game game, then after a few second switch it to 60Hz. This works because the game check, sees the correct output, then boots the game. So once the check has completed, you can switch it to the other output.

The other way to get around this is to patch it out of the ROM. If you have the ROM file on a computer, you can run it through a program to take the region check out. This would be considered a "hard" patch. The Sd2snes does this on the fly, which is known as a "soft" patch. The ROM isn't altered, but the Sd2snes will apply the fix to allow the game to run. It's like using a GameGenie code.

ALL of the SNES flash carts, at this point, will have the cloned lockout chip installed. Just be aware of SNES flash carts that were made before the cloned lockout chip was made. If the SNES flash cart has the cloned lockout chip, then you don't have to worry about THAT particular implementation of region locking. You only have to worry about the physical difference of the carts and cart slots, and IF the game checks to see if the console is set to 50 or 60Hz (except for the Sd2snes since it auto detects this and fixes it for you).

So just to be clear, if you own a Super Everdrive (and live in North America) you'll be able to play all SFC games with out issue (not included games that aren't compatible with the flash cart). You'll be able to play most PAL games. The only ones you'll have an issue with are the ones that check the video output of the console. For such games, you can hard patch the ROM to remove this check.

edit: As far as flash carts are concerned, this might also be worth mentioning. Some SNES games have a check against pirated games. Back when, game copier systems for the SNES would often create an SRAM file that was larger than the SRAM found on the authentic cart. Some games check the SRAM size, and if they find the wrong size, they will give you a message, freeze, etc. Pirates caught onto this, and hacked some games to remove this check. Earthbound is a good example of this. Apparently Earthbound can check to see if the original check was removed (or something like that - it's been a while since I read this info), and apparently it'll spit out tons of more enemies on the map and freeze during the last boss and delete all your saves.

There's two ways to avoid this SRAM check problem. One, try and only use verified good dumps (there will be a [!] at the end of the game title). Really, you want to be using verified ROMs all the time anyway. If it's a verified good dump, that means there's no hacks to remove pirate checks. And two, make sure the SRAM save file size matches what the game is. I think the Super Everdrive and Sd2snes do this automatically, but I know the SNES PowerPak just has a generic save file for each game - this might cause an issue with such a game. To get around this, you can create a save file for the game in an emulator (an emulator that creates correct size SRAM files) and then copy it to the save directory on the flash cart's memory card (you may or may not have to convert the emulator save file for it to work on your flash cart).

IrishNinja wrote:looking into them, i was bummed that some minor stuff wasn't there for technical reasons (SG-1000 support on the mega everdrive, 64DD on that respective one, etc) but with prices getting stupider by the day, i really am thinking of getting more of these.


SG-1000 support on the Mega Everdrive was something I was oblivious to. Since I don't care about the SG-1000, I might have read it but filtered it out. It seems like a cool feature of the cart though, I'll have to add that in the next time I update the guide.

Which N64 flash cart has 64DD support? I wasn't aware of this at all, and I'd be very interested in knowing. Any relevant links?

I'd also like to point out that I encourage input from the community. Let me know what I'm missing, what I should explain better, etc.
Last edited by Ziggy587 on Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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