CC65 Won't boot

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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tokumaru
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by tokumaru » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:24 pm

That happens if ca65 isn't in the same folder where you're typing the command from (Windows doesn't know where ca65 is!). You have to either put everything in the same folder (not recommended) and run the command from that folder, or type the whole path to ca65 and run the command from anywhere (e.g. c:\programming\tools\ca65 game.asm from the folder where game.asm is).

Nicole
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by Nicole » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:34 pm

Another option is adding it to your PATH, the list of folders that Windows looks for programs in. Doing that will let you run ca65 in any folder, but it's a bit more advanced. Take a look at this guide if you're interested.

I also notice that your error message has two sets of quotes in it, which might mean you typed the command with quotes around it by mistake. Make sure to type ca65 filename.txt, not "ca65 filename.txt".

Tyler8x
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by Tyler8x » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:31 am

I'm still having no luck, I've added the PATHs to both the game and ca65, and it still says the mesaage 'Fatal error: Cannot open input file `filename.asm': No such file or directory'. I've tried this for both an asm and a txt file, but it still isn't working. I can send screenshots if you need them. Any ideas?

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tokumaru
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by tokumaru » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:39 am

It looks like Windows can find ca65 now, but ca65 can't find "filename.asm". You have to run the command from the folder where "filename.asm" is.

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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by Tyler8x » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:00 am

how do I do that?

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tokumaru
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by tokumaru » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:03 am

Say that the path to the .asm file is c:\Projects\AwesomeGame\game.asm. After you open the command prompt, enter cd\Projects\AwesomeGame ("cd" stands for "change directory", BTW). Then you can enter ca65 game.asm.

To avoid having to type commands all the time, you can create a file named "assemble.bat" in the same folder as the source .asm file, and then write the following in it:

Code: Select all

ca65 game.asm
pause
Then you can just double click that .bat file to assemble the code, no need to type anything. When you double click a .bat file, a command prompt opens up in the folder where the .bat file is and the commands inside the file are executed as if you were typing them. The "pause" at the end is necessary to keep the command prompt open after ca65 is done, otherwise you wouldn't have time to read the messages the assembler outputs.

Tyler8x
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by Tyler8x » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:57 am

Ok I've done that and a .o file has appeared, is there anything else I need to do?

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dougeff
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by dougeff » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:32 am

Make a linker file. Usually called something like NROM.cfg. Run the linker, something like this.

ld65 -C nrom.cfg -o %name%.nes file1.o file2.o file3.o

replace %name% with the final filename.

Here's a cfg file I use.
https://github.com/nesdoug/01_Hello/blo ... k_vert.cfg

but you will probably want to edit it to your needs.
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

Tyler8x
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by Tyler8x » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:43 am

I'm confused, can you explain that a little slower, and tell me what I should make and where to put it. I'm relatively new to programming and IT, so this is still a bit confusing for me

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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by dougeff » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:53 am

So, the object file has the machine code and a bunch of metadata, but it hasn't arranged all the peices together yet in a way that the NES emulator can read it.

For example, the emulator expects the header to come first, then the code, then the graphics.

Also, you might have multiple source files, which can turn into multiple object files. The linker will peice it all together and resolve any external references, and such.

The cfg file is like a recipe for how to organize the segments into a final file.

The -C directive tells the linker which file is the cfg file.

The -o directive tells the linker what to name the output file.
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

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tokumaru
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by tokumaru » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:56 am

It's worth noting that ca65 is more complicated to use than other popular assemblers. If you were using NESASM or ASM6, just the one command ("nesasm source.asm" or "asm6 source.asm") would already spit out a working ROM file (provided there were no errors in source.asm, of course) ready to be used in emulators or flash cartridges. Unfortunately, ca65 is more complicated than that.

When you assemble with ca65, it spits out an object (.o) file, which contains assembled code that hasn't yet been assigned an address. To finish the job you need to link one or more object files using ld65 (another tool in the cc65 package) and a configuration file, which specifies the structure of the final ROM file and where all the segments go in that file.

Configuration files for ld65 are way too complex for me to cover in a forum post (if you're really interested you can read the official documentation). Several things have an impact on the structure of a config file, such as the mapper being used, the number of banks you have, how you declare your variables... If you're not already using someone else's configuration file (like from a tutorial or example code), you may be better off starting with a simpler assembler, such as NESASM or ASM6.

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Jarhmander
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Re: CC65 Won't boot

Post by Jarhmander » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:26 am

... you can use cl65 to assemble and link in one step however. That doesn't save you of making a working linker script though.
((λ (x) (x x)) (λ (x) (x x)))

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