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 Post subject: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:47 pm
Posts: 336
Location: FL
Some recent discussion about official Nintendo test cartridges reminded me of one that doesn't seem to be discussed as often, the SNSP "Aging Cassette". It's basically an earlier Japanese version of the "burn-in test" from a couple of the other test carts (and get a load of that totally non-copyright-infringing background music!)

In addition to the normal test routine that runs on a loop when you fire up the cartridge, there's also an additional routine at CPU address $00B0D6 that does not seem to actually be called anywhere. Running it displays this screen:

Image

which runs infinitely and reads some hardware measurements using registers at $21C0-1, $21C8-9, and $21CB-D. The text shown in this screen doesn't occur in any other test ROMs that I have.

Could there be some way to access this screen normally (i.e. without patching ROM) that I'm just somehow not able to find? Is this something from yet another test cartridge that I don't have / isn't dumped? Is anything known about the specific hardware that this screen uses to perform the measurements? I couldn't really find any info online about this particular cartridge, aside from the fact that it exists.


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 Post subject: Re: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:11 pm 
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Somebody at Nintendo must've been a Disney fan.


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 Post subject: Re: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Actually, is it even accurate to call this a Japanese cartridge? It obviously uses mostly Japanese terminology (including Nintendo's strange long-running practice of using the word "aging" to refer to hardware test programs), but "SNSP" is the abbreviation used for product codes released in PAL territories, and d4's website also has this photo of a PAL cartridge with the same title.

I still suspect it was made earlier than the other known/dumped carts that have the same test, since it lacks the other things like controller/sound tests.


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 Post subject: Re: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:08 pm 
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It doesn't seem to have an actual cartridge header at $00ffc0 (ROM offset 0x7fc0), so the region code at $00ffd9 being $00 (International/Japan) seems to be just a coincidence. Since the actual SNES never reads the header, it could very well be intended for Europe instead.


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 Post subject: Re: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:41 pm 
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Location: NE Indiana, USA (NTSC)
Psycopathicteen must be referring to a cover of "When You Wish Upon a Star" (originally from the film Pinocchio) with what appears to be the brass sample from SimCity. (The track sounded quite different when actually released: video; SPC.) Is this evidence for what samples were included in the official SDK? Has sample reuse been correlated across games?

In any case, the $00B0D6 routine prefigures my NES overclock test.


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 Post subject: Re: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:47 pm
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Location: FL
Nicole wrote:
It doesn't seem to have an actual cartridge header at $00ffc0 (ROM offset 0x7fc0), so the region code at $00ffd9 being $00 (International/Japan) seems to be just a coincidence. Since the actual SNES never reads the header, it could very well be intended for Europe instead.

Yeah, I had already noticed the missing header after finding my way to that voltage/clock test screen, but I had just assumed it was a Japanese cart due to using different terminology than other test cartridges from North America. I later remembered what "SNSP" stood for and it caused me to remember having found that picture of the PAL test cartridge which this ROM may have been taken from.

tepples wrote:
Is this evidence for what samples were included in the official SDK? Has sample reuse been correlated across games?

There are definitely some recognizable samples like that which got reused over the years (not just by Nintendo), especially in games that continued using Nintendo's official sound drivers, but I don't think there has been a serious effort to catalog them all.

We can probably assume all the samples used in this cart, as well as the samples in the SMB1 and Zelda II themes and all the other unused audio from other test cartridges, are from the official SDK. They probably date to around the same time as the early Super Mario World graphic assets that can be found in all three versions of the test.

On that note, I don't remember if I ever checked for any similar unused audio back when I dumped the Disney music from this cartridge. I already plan to create an article on TCRF for the "Super Famicom Measurment System" [sic] screen, since it does seem like an inaccessible remnant from an earlier test program.


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 Post subject: Re: SNSP Aging Cassette
PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:28 am 
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Revenant wrote:
On that note, I don't remember if I ever checked for any similar unused audio back when I dumped the Disney music from this cartridge. I already plan to create an article on TCRF for the "Super Famicom Measurment System" [sic] screen, since it does seem like an inaccessible remnant from an earlier test program.


You did. You also provided a music modifier code.


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