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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:36 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
Sure, but I think it's 90% safe to say they downloaded a ROM. If they didn't then they added the iNES header themselves, and they had to download doccuments from what they consider illegitimate pirates in order to have information about how the iNES header works, so it's just as ironic/pathetic in my opinion.

I covered this already: it doesn't matter what they did -- there's simply no way to prove it either way. Legal knows this. I'm not going to rehash what I already said. You thinking it's 90% likely they downloaded the ROM changes absolutely nothing, as would it if someone felt the exact opposite.

Bregalad wrote:
Source please ?

There have been several news articles in the past few years where Nintendo has pulled out old design documents (originals) and went over them. The most recent one was for Zelda, but I believe SMB1 was done sometime in the past as well. All this stuff gets stored in archives within companies (source + files go right along with CHR design, NT layouts, etc. -- stuff on paper, I mean); here's an example (stop and think for a moment: if they've got the time and space to stockpile equipment, what makes you think they don't have the time and space to stockpile original source code, assembled results, development notes, etc.? Be practical). If you want me to *really* dig up some reference material, then I can ask Frank Cifaldi or Nathan Altice.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:02 am 
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koitsu wrote:
if they've got the time and space to stockpile equipment, what makes you think they don't have the time and space to stockpile original source code, assembled results, development notes, etc.?

I don't remember exactly, but what about the NES version of "Donkey Kong" that included the fourth level? Didn't somebody say that the binary code looks like the new level was programmed and then hacked into the existing ROM? And that it didn't look like they simply took the original source code and implemented it from there?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:48 pm 
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DRW wrote:
I don't remember exactly, but what about the NES version of "Donkey Kong" that included the fourth level? Didn't somebody say that the binary code looks like the new level was programmed and then hacked into the existing ROM? And that it didn't look like they simply took the original source code and implemented it from there?

Just because you might have the source code lying around doesn't mean the best solution is to rebuild from scratch. In a lot of ways it's probably much more practical to just patch the existing ROM than to try to rebuild absolutely ancient source code. It's not like they would have had the 30 year old build environment they used to assemble it in the first place still up and running, and on top of that the existing code has 30 years of testing, and it's known to be quite stable-- might as well leave it where it is as much as you can. (Having the source code would likely make it easier to prepare a patch too, even if you're not assembling from it.)

tokumaru wrote:
I find it pretty ironic that Nintendo resorted to using a pirate file format in official releases, regardless of whether the ROM image itself comes from the web or their own archives. If I had to guess, I'd say this is because the emulator they use wasn't created in house from the ground up, but was instead based on something that already used iNES files.

I think it's hypocritical of them to do so given their "stance" on the emulation community, but it's completely practical. Basically every NES emulator in the world uses the iNES format, they probably should too.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:38 pm 
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On the topic of Nintendo still having source code and stuff for their old games, maybe they're different from other companies, but many times I've heard (usually from developers who are porting old games to new systems and are not given any code) about lost source code. The most recent examples I can think of are Capcom, because of the recent Mega Man II mobile fiasco and the cancelled Mega Man collection for GBA, and SEGA because of the Genesis games that received 3D updates for their 3DS ports but are actually emulated and the 3D effects are hacked in.

EDIT: Here's an article about the 3DS port of Sonic 1: http://blogs.sega.com/2013/12/03/sega-3d-classics-–-3d-sonic-the-hedgehog-interview-with-developer-m2/

Apparently they did get some source code, but for the Sonic JAM (Saturn) port of the game.

I'm not finding anything about Capcom at the moment.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Nintendo is perfectly OK to use the .NES format as far as I am concerned. But if they contain a DiskDude header then it does indicate that Nintendo may be doing stuff that is illegal or is at least improper even if it is not illegal.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:20 pm 
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It can't possibly be illegal to download your own product! The illegal part is the guy putting up a ROM file for download, it's not like someone (much less Nintendo) needs to make a download to "seal the deal" and only from then on the activity is considered illegal. It's already illegal before the download, and people who do download are also doing something illegal, but these are completely separate acts. Nintendo isn't helping with anything illegal by downloading their own stuff.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:16 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
It can't possibly be illegal to download your own product! The illegal part is the guy putting up a ROM file for download, it's not like someone (much less Nintendo) needs to make a download to "seal the deal" and only from then on the activity is considered illegal. It's already illegal before the download, and people who do download are also doing something illegal, but these are completely separate acts. Nintendo isn't helping with anything illegal by downloading their own stuff.
OK, but the presence of a "DiskDude" header still indicates that they have done something wrong (if it includes such a header, and I have no evidence that it does), even if what they have done is not illegal. Of course it does not really matter so much that it is wrong, since they are using them only in their own software.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:51 pm 
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zzo38 wrote:
the presence of a "DiskDude" header still indicates that they have done something wrong (if it includes such a header, and I have no evidence that it does)

It doesn't. It's a good clean dump with a correctly formed iNES header, indistinguishable from any other good dump with a correct iNES header.

...which was exactly Frank Cifaldi's point. He wasn't literally saying they downloaded it, he was just trying to point out that it wouldn't matter if they did, in a deliberately headline-catching way, in the context of a speech advocating the legitimacy and importance of emulators.

Here's a twitter thread where he clarified this in response to the article: http://twitter.com/frankcifaldi/status/822186307338149888


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:47 am 
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So he wants people to know that ROM files are the 100% original code and data and not some kind of inaccurate reproduction.

The reason some people don't like emulation is because of the differences from real hardware (and nowdays modern flashcarts makes it very easy to use real hardware with downloaded ROM files), but not everyone understands that and somehow thinks the ROM itself is the inaccurate part I guess.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:44 am 
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That or a perception of an "emulation for me, not for thee" attitude on Nintendo's legal pages.

EDIT: Let me clarify. The impression I get from YouTube comments is that Nintendo's use of a container format developed by the emulation scene, rather than designing its own container format, is hypocritical given its stance toward said scene.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:48 am 
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If you want an instance where a ROM clearly was downloaded from the internet, how about the iOS port of Streets of Rage 2?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:36 am 
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The "released by..." bit? Now that's funny.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:54 am 
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tepples wrote:
... Nintendo's use of a container format developed by the emulation scene, rather than designing its own container format, is hypocritical given its stance toward said scene.
That I agree. (This problem does not exist with GameBoy, however.) In my opinion this mean Nintendo's stance is bad, but their use of the iNES container format is OK in my opinion.

Revenant wrote:
If you want an instance where a ROM clearly was downloaded from the internet, how about the iOS port of Streets of Rage 2?
If whoever released the iOS port is actually named Mr. A (or maybe their surname starts with A), then what is written on the title screen isn't quite untrue.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:51 am 
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[rhetorical]
What's more immoral: Nintendo using the iNES container for ROM images in Virtual Console, or Retrotainment using NES Stripe Image format for update buffers in The Curse of Possum Hollow?
[/rhetorical]


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:40 pm 
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The former, of course.

Former: a specification using nybbles to specify approximately the bare-minimum of required information for an emulator to understand how to interpret the ROMs. It's very well-established and documented and only a few things don't work with it, generally not 1st-party material. This makes it the obvious choice.
latter: a specification for RLE encoding of PPU-RAM data; with two control bits: RLE and increment mode. The BIT instruction is an efficient way to read two (or three) control bits at once, dictating that they be in d6-7. Testing a third bit (or a second but different bit) requires an A-clobber.
The N bit is affected by loading a new tile into A. The V bit is not. This makes it so that one can write one loop for transferring RLE and non-RLE, using a BVS (or BVC) to skip the read-and-incrementing of read-location.
If one doesn't go for this optimization, then there're eight ways to encode, just which bit means what and whether to invert each.

I have a niggling recollectoin of some precedent or rule involving "the straightforward way of doing something not being copyrightable/patentable" but IANAL and can't remember.


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