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 Post subject: SMC Header
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:05 am 
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Does anyone have any infomation on the Super Maciard Header or know where I can find this information?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:56 am 
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Nobody knows it, literally only JSI the developer or FFE's ex-employee Fanwen Yang who developed FwNES would have a clue, they're both currently MIA. The current FFE staff doesn't know, I've tried everything. My only hope is to disassemble the SMC's BIOS. I think I know 7 headers for the base image types ("mapper 12"), which means I'm probably missing another 4 ("mapper 17"). All but 3 are useless to everyone because as information everywhere should suggest, Famicom copiers require games to be extensively hacked, they have their own proprietary bankswitching registers. If you want some SMC headers just to have them (:roll:) I gave headers for CN, UO and maybe GN to dbjh which he included in uCON64.

If you're thinking about tracking down a Super *MAGIC CARD* or any other FC copier, don't, as I said there, it cannot dump games. I won't even get started on playing games with it ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:15 am 
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I would really like to make a utility to allow full NES ROM atlering.
iNES and UNIF, and FDS are no problem, I have found out a medium amount about Pasofami. The Famtasia format is going OK as well (not too good really), and the final format is FFE's SMC Super Magicard format.
It's easy to find out that it's basically a standard ROM (a lá iNES) with a certain header on it, rather than an iNES 16-byte header.
It would be easy to convert from FFE, but I would really like to be able to convert to as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:49 am 
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Ah, so you're the one that emailed me a while back I thought it might be you. You really aren't understanding this, I believe I explained it then... It's impossible to convert to the "FFE" format because "FFE" games MUST be immensely hacked, giving a PRG and CHR binaries a header does not produce a working game, the actual game code must be hacked just as those pirate SMB2 games are. Automagically hacking a game will always be well beyond the scope of any ROM productivity tool.

The "FFE" format is something like this:

state 0: CNROM register
state 1: UOROM register
state 2: GNROM register
state 3: 1M PRAM / 256K CRAM space with old GD registers
state 4: 2M PRAM / 256K CRAM space with old GD registers
state 5: 3M PRAM / 256K CRAM space with old GD registers
state 6: 4M PRAM / 256K CRAM space with old GD registers
state 11: 1M PRAM / 1M CRAM with old GD registers and new SMC ones
state 12: 1M PRAM / 2M CRAM with old GD registers and new SMC ones
state 13: 2M PRAM / 1M CRAM with old GD registers and new SMC ones
state 14: 2M PRAM / 2M CRAM with old GD registers and new SMC ones

The values for in the header configure are used by the BIOS to configure the hardware, each memory state is represented by the first two bytes of the header, they don't appear to follow any convention and different values can set the same state. The BIOS detects the mirroring. The most common values for CN/UO/GN games dbjh implemented into uCON64 so that one may convert mapper 0, 2, 3 and 66 games into the "FFE" format, look there for the details.

Mappers 8,12,17 correspond to "FFE" games, mapper 8 being enhanced GNROM, mapper 12 being approximately my states 3-6 and mapper 17 being approximately my states 11-14.

That's all I'm going to get into here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:38 am 
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Hmm, only Lanceman and one of the UCON crew responed to my emails, I think - was that you?
OK, I now understand - so what do you reccomend that I do for conversion to and from FFE? Shuld I miss it out - I really wouldn't like to.
And what was the SMC supposed to do if it couldn't dump ROMs without hacking?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:33 am 
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Er, I think you missed Mapper 6 in that list somewhere...

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P.S. If you don't get this note, let me know and I'll write you another.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:29 pm 
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xensyria wrote:
Hmm, only Lanceman and one of the UCON crew responed to my emails, I think - was that you?
OK, I now understand - so what do you reccomend that I do for conversion to and from FFE? Shuld I miss it out - I really wouldn't like to.
And what was the SMC supposed to do if it couldn't dump ROMs without hacking?

You found my post on some board where I responded to someone with SMC troubles, I don't remember which. To convert from "FFE" (rediculous name for the format BTW) just remove the 512byte SMC header (which no games available on the internet have...) and give it an iNES header of mapper 0,2,3,6,8,12,17 or 66, make sure you keep the trainer, it doesn't make sense to have keep a hacked game without it's trainer. How you detect which mapper is appropriate I don't know, mirroring is irrelevant for the complex mappers. Converting to "FFE" is absolutely hopeless, again the headers for the boards that will work without hacks are in uCON64, if you must implement something go there. I recommend you don't do anything for "FFE" because nobody can make use of it, this "format" has been dead since 1992. The last thing the world needs is another ROM util with bullshit SMC support.

The point of the SMC is to play prehacked games, just like all other Famicom GDs, it's not a backup device.

Quietust wrote:
Er, I think you missed Mapper 6 in that list somewhere...

Yeah, I mixed up 6 and 12, whatever. Honestly there should only be one mapper (or two if you count the expanded GNROM), Marat had the ROMs, clearly not the hardware.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:11 pm 
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But couldn't the SMC be used as a dev station, where one set of compile-time options would generate a build for one of the Nintendo MMCs and another for one of the mappers supported by the SMC?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:42 am 
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tepples wrote:
But couldn't the SMC be used as a dev station, where one set of compile-time options would generate a build for one of the Nintendo MMCs and another for one of the mappers supported by the SMC?


Not very easily, since I think they only load from the FDS. I doubt very many people would want to mess around with rewriting those disks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:57 pm 
SMC loads from FDS disks, PC and 3.5" disks (hence the file header) but all information regarding the SMC was kept private, it wasn't a very dev friendly solution, every last file was released by FFE themselves. The only way to make your own game files would be to dump FDS based Magic Card games to disk which was a function added to a specific SMC BIOS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:58 pm 
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That was me (of course :) Another problem with developing on the SMC is that the SMC works with many simple discrete hardware registers unlike MMC which have few very complex registers, MMC games require trainers (a hunk of subroutines) to decode and manipulate mapper writes and store them into the appropriate discrete SMC registers, of course due to timing issues other aspects of the game may need to be altered. It wouldn't make much sense to develop a legitimate game on a SMC unless you were doing a CN/UO/GNROM game.


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