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Retron 5
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11258
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Author:  tokumaru [ Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

A script that can identify most mappers sounds like a really cool thing to have.

Author:  rainwarrior [ Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

thefox wrote:
I think it would be possible to detect most mappers by using heuristics. Write to certain registers, and see what happens.


Well, from a maintenance perspective, I doubt they would try this approach.

The implementation of different mappers can be done independently. This is fairly easy, just tackle them one by one. You can assign multiple people to implement different mappers, and they won't need to worry about what the others are doing. Similarly, looking up a mapper with a hash is independent of the other mappers (barring a rare hash collision). The addition of a new mapper and new hashes to the database is not expected to affect anything previously implemented. It's safe and relatively easy to add new mappers.

In contrast, the implementation of an automatic detection requires knowledge of all mappers at once. Every time you add a new mapper to your detector you must consider how all other mappers might conflict with it. Furthermore, to verify correctness, you must not only test that it detects the new mapper, but you must also see that it does not break the detection of any other mapper already implemented. Can you trust an emulator with this test, or do you need to physically attach a large library of cartridges one by one to do the test?

Though, given that we're only talking about trying to support hundreds of games, it may be practical nonetheless, but it may look too risky to the developers at Retron 5 to bother attempting. If they're effective at turning around database updates, or can put that in the user's hands, it seems a bit simpler to just continue that route.

tokumaru wrote:
A script that can identify most mappers sounds like a really cool thing to have.

A script for Retron 5? CopyNES? Kazzo dumper? Or do you just mean a "script" as in an algorithm that should work if it were implemented for these devices?

Author:  infiniteneslives [ Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

Yeah I don't think it's really as complex as one would think. I've been using mirroring as the main indication of mapper detection and it easily breaks up mappers into separate subgroups which can ignore all other subgroups. When adding support for another mapper you only really have to consider mappers which have identical mirroring operation. Beyond that you could split it up further by irq operation etc.

It gets a little trickier with things like fixed mirroring mappers, but most of those are simple discrete one register mappers which are easily distinguished. But eventually you will have to read prg/chr data with various mapper writes to narrow down to the final mapper.

Author:  tepples [ Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

Here's the algorithm used in Holy Diver Batman:

Write mirroring registers as if it were MMC1. Does it mirror like MMC1? If so, it's MMC1.
Write mirroring registers as if it were MMC3 or FME-7. Does it support V, H, 0, and 1? If so, it's FME-7. Does it support V and H? If so, it's MMC3.
Write mirroring registers as if it were TLSROM, setting up inverted vertical mirroring (CIRAM page 1 on top, page 0 on bottom). Then set it back to normal vertical mirroring. Does it mirror like TLSROM? If so, it's TLSROM.
Write mirroring registers as if it were MMC2/MMC4. Does it mirror like MMC2/MMC4? If so, it's MMC2/MMC4.
Write $80 to $5000, and then write mirroring registers as if it were MMC1, except parallel instead of serial. Does it mirror like MMC1? If so, it's Action 53.
Scan the ROM for bytes with bit 4 set and clear. Write to those bytes. Does bit 4 of the bank number control CIRAM A10 like AxROM? If so, it's probably AxROM.
Scan the ROM for bytes with bit 3 set and clear. Write to those bytes. Does bit 3 of the bank number switch between vertical and horizontal mirroring? If so, it's Holy Diver.
If it's not any of those, it's probably a simple discrete mapper with fixed mirroring. Narrow it down to the usual suspects (GNROM, Color Dreams, CPROM, BNROM, UOROM #2, UOROM #180) by scanning for particular byte values, writing to addresses containing those values, and seeing what happens. (Holy Diver Batman cheats by hardcoding $00 and $FF at fixed positions in every bank and putting an "identity" table in the last bank; an autodetecting dumper will have to be more clever.)

The procedure does not yet detect MMC5, MIMIC/Namco 108, or RAMBO-1 because INL does not yet sell such boards.

Author:  MottZilla [ Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

The absolute easiest thing to do would be instead of just saying "unknown cartridge" would be to allow for a mapper selection. Not as smooth as automatic detection but atleast it would work.

Author:  cornsyrup32 [ Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

I work at a game store (WE GOT GAME in Minneapolis, MN), and we have retron 5, but it won't play any of the repros I make. It could just be ours, anyone else get them to work. Only CNROM and NROM work anything else it doesn't recognize, and yes they do work on a regular nes.


Thanks so much,
Brandon
:D :D

Author:  tepples [ Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

Are they exact repros of licensed commercial games, or are they repros of rare unlicensed games, prototypes, hacks, or homebrews? The Retron 5's mapper support paradigm prefers the former.

Author:  chromableedstudios [ Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

best I can tell the 'mapper database' is just a textfile with a crc and some info to identify mapper, as long as the repo's come up with the exact same crc and are on the list they should work

btw: adb with root here

still needs su and superuser.apk but I think /system should be mounted rw

anybody wanna test this out and see if I uploaded the right file? :mrgreen:

bonus: sorta looks like maybe there is/was pc engine support?

Author:  TheNeck [ Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

does anybody have update 1.5 for the retron5 or a link for a mirror for it? retron5's update online is down and i wanted to update to 1.5 from 1.31. Thanks

Author:  chromableedstudios [ Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

for those who haven't followed other r5 threads hyperkin released the emulator source used on r5:

http://retron5.in/node/9

I can't seem to get all the cores to build, maybe I'm doing something wrong or missing a dependency or something

Author:  tokumaru [ Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

chromableedstudios wrote:
http://retron5.in/node/9

And now we know that none of the emulators used in the Retron 5 are particularly accurate. I guess that as long as the games look and sound correct this shouldn't matter much... People just have to keep in mind that the Retron 5 is absolutely useless for game development (not that it will run anything that's not part of its database anyway, but still).

Author:  tokumaru [ Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

Mike Tyson apparently tried to beat himself using a Retron 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfEOHcGFchY

Author:  NESHomebrew [ Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

tokumaru wrote:
Mike Tyson apparently tried to beat himself using a Retron 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfEOHcGFchY

I noticed that as well. Probably the easiest choice for connecting to their video system. At least they used authentic controllers!

Author:  ouso1999 [ Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

so can cartridges be dumped by retrone 5?

Author:  tokumaru [ Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Retron 5

It dumps every cartridge you insert in order to be able to play the games, but I don't think it allows you to keep the file. Also, it can only dump cartridges that have been registered in its database, something that probably only happens to carts that have already been dumped.

The Retron 5 certainly has the hardware necessary to dump games, it just doesn't have the software that will do it in a more useful way. It can probably be hacked though, if someone cares enough to do it.

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