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I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator
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Author:  Mr. Blah [ Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

And the last release was a little over five years ago.

The reason being is that the sprites stay solid in all the games (or at least most) compared to every other emulator I've tried.

Author:  3gengames [ Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

That's cool. Nobody cares here, though, as we need real results and not blind belief.

Use NEStopia with sprite limit turned off then. (This disables the sprite overflow flag, which it should not, but whatever.)

Author:  rainwarrior [ Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

A lot of NES emulators have this option.

Author:  blargg [ Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

I admit that I've often disabled sprite limit in whatever emulator I'm using when the flickering was getting annoying. Nostalgia has its limits :)

Author:  koitsu [ Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

Be aware that disabling the sprite limit option will cause some "visual artefacts" in some games. If you want a list and/or want to see some examples of what happens, I can happily provide such. Otherwise yes it's a convenient option, but if you aren't sure if it'll cause issues, don't use the feature.

Author:  Movax12 [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

And some games flicker anyway.. Super Dodge Ball. :evil:

Author:  Bregalad [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

I use VirtuaNES whenever I need an emulator for playing, because it has really the nicest setup and all, and is small and quick.

I'd never use this for any testing or debugging, of course, as it is very inaccurate - still 100 times more accurate then nesticle though.

Author:  James [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

koitsu wrote:
Be aware that disabling the sprite limit option will cause some "visual artefacts" in some games. If you want a list and/or want to see some examples of what happens, I can happily provide such.

It's probably worthwhile to put together a list. I'll start. Here's a couple off the top of my head:

Castlevania II - Simon's legs are visible while standing in the marsh
Gimmick - When starting a level, the character is visible before he drops out of the "window"
Majou Densetsu II - Character isn't masked properly when going through doors

FWIW, I disable sprite limiting by default since it looks better and, for the vast majority of games, there are no consequences.

Author:  Bregalad [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

You'd want to add to your list :
- Many cutscenes in Nija Gaiden games
- The legend of Zelda when you go through top and bottom doors in dungeons

Author:  Dwedit [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

Solstice: The main character's face shown in the cutscenes contains a bunch of stray sprites for no good reason. If the sprite limit is disabled, you will see them, otherwise they are hidden by the 8-sprite limit.

Author:  Mr. Blah [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

Okay, NEStopia with sprite limit off seems to do the trick. Excuse the ignorance. With that, I'll use NEStopia from now on.

Is this some kind of hack or something? Because it's not enabled by default and I personally think the games are better with it on. TMNT II: The Arcade Game is one game where I need it on.

I presume real hardware flickers a lot more, which is why it isn't. I haven't actually had an actual physical NES since it was active.

>Nostalgia has its limits

Yup.

>If you want a list and/or want to see some examples of what happens, I can happily provide such.

Yes, please.

The above-mentioned are welcomed. Thanks.

Author:  tepples [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

Yes, it is a hack.

OAM in the PPU has room for 72 sprites: the ordinary 64 sprites plus 8 more to hold the results of a search for sprites on the next scanline. This extra area can be called "next line OAM" or "secondary OAM". Here's what the sprite unit does on each of the 341 dots of an OAM:
  • 0-63: Refresh OAM 0-63 (because it's DRAM) and clear next line OAM
  • 64-255: Scan through OAM and copy the first 8 sprites that are in range to next line OAM
  • 256-319: Fetch pattern slivers for all sprites in next line OAM from CHR memory and load up the counters and shift registers that actually draw the sprites
  • 320-340: Rest

Each pattern sliver fetch (2 bytes, 8x1 pixels) takes eight dots, though it could have been optimized to four by omitting the unused nametable fetch that occurs before each pattern sliver fetch. The real limiting factor is scanning time. It takes two dots to read the Y coordinate and determine whether a sprite is or is not "in range", that is, whether Y through Y+7 (or Y+15 depending on the size flag) stretches across the next scanline. If a sprite is in range, it takes six more dots to read the tile number, attributes, and X coordinate and copy them to next line OAM. In the theoretical worst case, where the eighth sprite is #63, the entire scan takes 2 * 64 + 6 * 8 = 176 dots, leaving 192 - 176 = 16 dots of idle time before pattern fetching. At this rate of scanning OAM, only two more in-range sprites could be fetched.

Author:  WedNESday [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

Why is it 99% of nesdev threads go off-topic by about post #4? :lol:

Edit: Spelling.

Author:  koitsu [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

Mr. Blah wrote:
>If you want a list and/or want to see some examples of what happens, I can happily provide such.
Yes, please. The above-mentioned are welcomed. Thanks.

The games listed above (by multiple people) are the ones I know of, with the addition of one:

Castlevania - Simon's body is visible when walking through certain doors (such as at the entrance to the castle), rather than walking "into" (and thus "behind") the door

I can assure you 100% that there are many, many others.

Bottom line: feel free to use said feature, but if you encounter any oddities in the game with sprites, turn it back off (default). I say this based on my own experience with it (I used to rely heavily on said feature until I kept finding more and more games with "weird sprite-related problems" and eventually said f-it).

Author:  James [ Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I still think VirtuaNES is the best NES emulator

koitsu wrote:
Castlevania - Simon's body is visible when walking through certain doors (such as at the entrance to the castle), rather than walking "into" (and thus "behind") the door

That's a sprite priority issue.

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