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A new and improved Donkey Kong port
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=16688
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Author:  tokumaru [ Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

DRW wrote:
[But ultimately, I don't really care. I have my NES, my Super Nintendo and a CRT TV.

Which are all bound to fail some time in the next, hum, 20 years? I do think now is the time to think about alternative ways to keep playing and developing the games we like, because all this 30 year-old tech isn't gonna last much longer.

Author:  Espozo [ Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

tokumaru wrote:
Which are all bound to fail some time in the next, hum, 20 years?

Oh, yes, all the mechanical parts in my SNES are really starting to show signs of fatigue. :roll: This stuff isn't going to last forever (neither are we until the government ever pours money into research about stoping aging, "wink wink") but can we really give any sort of meaningful estimate? Most of the time people complain that their old electronic device has stopped working, it's just that the capacitors have gone bad, which is relatively easy to fix.

Author:  gauauu [ Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

tokumaru wrote:
DRW wrote:
[But ultimately, I don't really care. I have my NES, my Super Nintendo and a CRT TV.

Which are all bound to fail some time in the next, hum, 20 years? I do think now is the time to think about alternative ways to keep playing and developing the games we like, because all this 30 year-old tech isn't gonna last much longer.


A few months ago I had a bunch of friends over to play Street Fighter 2 on my SNES. Halfway through a match, there was a POP sound, and the SNES was dead. Such a sad day.

(I really need to open it up and look for any obviously blown caps, but haven't gotten around to it yet)

Author:  Bregalad [ Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

tokumaru wrote:
DRW wrote:
[But ultimately, I don't really care. I have my NES, my Super Nintendo and a CRT TV.

Which are all bound to fail some time in the next, hum, 20 years? I do think now is the time to think about alternative ways to keep playing and developing the games we like, because all this 30 year-old tech isn't gonna last much longer.

To be honnest, I expect my NES and SNES to still have a much longer lifespan starting today than any iPhoneX just being released ^^

Author:  tokumaru [ Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

Bregalad wrote:
To be honnest, I expect my NES and SNES to still have a much longer lifespan starting today than any iPhoneX just being released ^^

Or any current video game console, for that matter... Things really aren't built to last, and no game company wants you to hold on to old consoles and games instead of continuously buying consoles, collections, remakes, or their own emulated versions of games you used to own.

Crap, I just noticed this discussion is taking place in the Donkey Kong thread! I'm really sorry for continuing the off-topic talk in the thread of such a cool project!

Author:  Sumez [ Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

It's cool :)

Author:  Great Hierophant [ Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

The Analogue Nt Mini's 16 sprites per line option removes virtually all flicker in the barrels and rivets stages. The irony is that the game does not work with its built-in flash cart feature (due to the Mapper 0 8KB of SRAM most likely, 4KB was the maximum used by a licensed cart (Family BASIC v3.0) without other memory controller hardware). Fortunately an EverDrive N8 or NES PowerPak solves that issue.

Author:  Sumez [ Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

That's a good thing to know! I'm not even using anything close to 8KB. Haven't seen any emulators giving problems with it.

Next version will probably have some sort of actual mapper though, as any major addition will require more CHR ROM.

Author:  Great Hierophant [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

Sumez wrote:
That's a good thing to know! I'm not even using anything close to 8KB. Haven't seen any emulators giving problems with it.

Next version will probably have some sort of actual mapper though, as any major addition will require more CHR ROM.


I got it to work in the Nt Mini by changing the mapper to 1 and copying the CHR-ROM three times over. It is good enough to work with the Nt Mini! I would suggest that if you decide to add more CHR-ROM, you should use a mapper that ordinarily supports save RAM like 1 or 4.

Author:  pcfreak324 [ Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

Sumez, thank you very much for this great port. It must have been a lot of work.

I just got it to work on my Analogue Nt mini with the instructions provided by Great Hierophant and I'm really looking forward to your next version of the arcade conversion.

As already mentioned, it would be nice if the sounds could be made even more Arcade accurate. Furthermore, the flickering could be reduced by using tiles whenever possible instead of sprites.

Maybe you would also be interested in porting the inofficial sequel, Donkey Kong II: Jumpman Returns, which is based on the same hardware as Donkey Kong. The Arcade rom is included in the MAME romset (dkongx.zip).

Author:  Sumez [ Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

pcfreak324 wrote:
As already mentioned, it would be nice if the sounds could be made even more Arcade accurate. Furthermore, the flickering could be reduced by using tiles whenever possible instead of sprites.

We have a few things we want to fix, but I'm not too focused on the project right now. Everyone who's been playing it has been praising how close it plays to the original, so surprisingly there's not really anything I'd classify as a bug left in the code.
However, the two most important aspects to fix right now is #1: The hammer music resetting every time the smash effect plays, doesn't sound too important, but it can affect people's intuitive idea of when the hammer is about to end, and #2: The point display appearing when jumping over or next to an enemy is slightly misaligned. Both of these issues confused Wes Copeland, the current world record holder of the arcade game. They were the only "major" issues he had, so gameplay wise I feel those are the only things that need to be fixed.

Conversely, no one has had a problem with the flickering. It's definitely not a high priority for me to "fix" it, and I have gone into details explaining why earlier in the thread. Or maybe it was in this thead. Anyway the gist of it is that there are very few sprites left that can still potentially be translated into background tiles. The only thing that could truly help the sprite count is Donkey Kong himself, and turning him into background tiles will cause a lot of additional issues, since he's not aligned to the background grid, and is aligned differently between the barrel/elevator stages and the rivet stage. And on the pie factory stage (probably the most flicker heavy) it wouldn't even be possible.
Furthermore it would require CHR bank switching (or CHR RAM - and probably PRG bank switching too, since I'm approaching the size limit as it is, due to the sounds and DPCM samples) and require me to move around almost every graphic in the game to make room for multiple versions of Kong. Not a problem as such, but the game would require mapper chips which is an issue for people wanting to build carts with it. If you're playing the game on a CRT screen the flickering honestly isn't jarring.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and the support. :) I'm glad you're interested in the port.

Author:  Great Hierophant [ Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

Sumez wrote:
Conversely, no one has had a problem with the flickering. It's definitely not a high priority for me to "fix" it, and I have gone into details explaining why earlier in the thread. Or maybe it was in this thead. Anyway the gist of it is that there are very few sprites left that can still potentially be translated into background tiles. The only thing that could truly help the sprite count is Donkey Kong himself, and turning him into background tiles will cause a lot of additional issues, since he's not aligned to the background grid, and is aligned differently between the barrel/elevator stages and the rivet stage. And on the pie factory stage (probably the most flicker heavy) it wouldn't even be possible.
Furthermore it would require CHR bank switching (or CHR RAM - and probably PRG bank switching too, since I'm approaching the size limit as it is, due to the sounds and DPCM samples) and require me to move around almost every graphic in the game to make room for multiple versions of Kong. Not a problem as such, but the game would require mapper chips which is an issue for people wanting to build carts with it. If you're playing the game on a CRT screen the flickering honestly isn't jarring.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and the support. :) I'm glad you're interested in the port.


If you use a common NES mapper board, such as MMC1, UNROM, CNROM, GNROM or MMC3, you can easily find donor boards or reproduction boards that support these mapping schemes. You can get 64KB with CNROM (easily expandable to 160KB), 128KB with UNROM (easily expandable to 512KB), 160KB with GNROM, 384KB with MMC1 and 768KB with MMC3. Lots of people, myself included, use flashcarts, so that issue is irrelevant for us.

Author:  Sumez [ Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new and improved Donkey Kong port

Yeah I know :) my own dev cart is MMC3 (tkrom) too so I actually made an MMC3 version of the rom... Just with a bunch of blank banks

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