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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:27 pm 
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Including attributes? I vaguely recall something about the attributes not correctly shifting on [fine-]vert-split.


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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Bregalad wrote:
That means, that the Dish docs as well as the wiki document wrong behaviour (each being based on eachother, it's impossible to tell where the "wrong info" comes from). They say the last set written to is used to display graphics, when in reality it's only used when reading through $2007.

Correct.

AWJ wrote:
Sour wrote:
Based on the "large sprites+exram+last bank written is $512B" screenshot, it looks like turning on exram mode makes the $2006 reads always use $5120-5127, no matter which register was last written to? The updated wording on the Wiki doesn't seem to mention this. Am I misinterpreting this?

Yeah, you're right. It looks like $5128-512B are only used when 8x16 sprites are selected and extended attributes are not enabled.


No, it has nothing to do with EXRAM. When you switch to 8x8, $2006 reads use $5120-27. Switching back to 8x16, it still uses $5120-27 (until 5128-2B is written again) - so being in 8x8 resets what set of registers was written last, apparently. ...Unless there's something else going on in your code I don't know about.

8x16 + EXRAM
Image

Push select (8x16, no EXRAM)
Image

Push start (to 8x8)
Image

Push start again (back to 8x16)
Image

Myask wrote:
loopy wrote:
AWJ wrote:
Has anyone verified that the jumper setting for mapper-controlled CHR A0-A2 actually works? Maybe it was errata'd and that's why no cartridges were shipped that way.

Yes, it works.

Including attributes? I vaguely recall something about the attributes not correctly shifting on [fine-]vert-split.

I don't remember, it's been years since I played with it.


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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:45 pm 
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AWJ wrote:
Attached is an updated test program that lets you switch to the fill mode nametable by pressing up. Here's what to test: select the fill mode nametable, and then press Select to toggle extended attributes. Do the hex digits filling the screen change, and do they go rainbow-y or all the same color?

Yes, toggling extended attributes makes it fill with a rainbow-y "C".


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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Thanks once again, loopy.

Now I just have to figure out a ROM patch to jump directly to the ending in Bandit Kings to see what's going on with that mountain/textscroll screen.

Also, I recently noticed that all the Koei games contain identical code to set up split screen mode. In fact they contain a lot of identical code, period. According to some discussion on romhacking.net, it sounds like they're all based on a common engine and the game-specific logic is in some kind of interpreted bytecode.

As an aside, there seems to be some kind of widespread sentiment that MMC5 was "wasted" on Koei strategy games, that those games don't really take advantage of its features, but if you play any of them further than the initial menus or even look at screenshots you can see that's not the case. The "hex" maps on which battles take place in these games (example) use extended attributes so each "hex" can have its own palette (the "hexes" are really 16x16 squares, but they're in staggered columns). Also, the Japanese versions of most of the Koei ExROM games have extensive kanji fonts. The early Koei games on SOROM boards had to use 32x32 "hexes", which sharply limits how much of the battle you can see at once (example) and they can only display a few kanji at a time using CHR RAM. The first Nobunaga's Ambition doesn't use kanji at all, and the first ROT3K only uses them for character and place names, and falls back to hiragana whenever it has to display more than one or two names at once, e.g. when selecting which of your generals to send to battle (Chinese names written in hiragana are not too easy to read or remember...)


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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Doesn't Uchuu Keibtai SDF use the split screen mode during the attract mode/demo screens and at the very beginning of stage 1? Surely that would be easier to test than the end of Bandit Kings of Ancient China.

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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:26 pm 
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Yes, but it doesn't have the appearance of having a different fine Y scroll on the left and right sides.

... at least, I'm pretty certain that the objective was figuring out how BKoAC does the credits, rather than just finding an example of left-and-right spit screen?


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 Post subject: Re: MMC5 test program
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:30 am 
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Great Hierophant wrote:
Doesn't Uchuu Keibtai SDF use the split screen mode during the attract mode/demo screens and at the very beginning of stage 1? Surely that would be easier to test than the end of Bandit Kings of Ancient China.

Uchuu Keibitai SDF does not use ExRAM "mode 1" and split scrolling simultaneously as far as I know.
Quote:
As an aside, there seems to be some kind of widespread sentiment that MMC5 was "wasted" on Koei strategy games, that those games don't really take advantage of its features, but if you play any of them further than the initial menus or even look at screenshots you can see that's not the case.

I can't speak for everyone else, but I think you misunderstood the reasons being the claims that the MMC5 was mostly "wasted" on Koei strategy games. We don't pretend the MMC5 was not useful to implement those games, in fact it most certainly was very useful for them. What however is sad, is that:
  • Koei strategy games are very much alike to eachother - basically it's just the same game over and over but you're leading a different country in a different time period, but the gameplay is always the same. (Only Gemfire differs significantly I think, and not even by that much)
  • Those games are not specific to the NES - in fact they were released on numerous platforms and their NES versions is just yet-another-port of them, and often an inferior port as opposed to versions released for computer machines. As such they are not really representative to how the MMC5 is used to push the NES to its limit - on the other hand it was just used to port multiplatform games that wouldn't be portable to the NES otherwise. Basically Koei strategy games on the NES are "demakes" before this word was invented.
  • Those games are very difficult to access. Unlike a SMB or a Rad Racer wher you can just insert the game and enjoy playing right away, you need to build your army and learning how the game mechanics works is a long, difficult process. I barely played those games but most of the times I had absolutely zero idea what I had to do, and most often if you don't do the good thing there'll soon be hunger-revolts in your armies and then game over

So while they are not bad games per se, Koei strategy games are difficultly accessible to a very limited public, and their NES version are just demakes of supperior versions for other platforms. While techniqually they might "put the NES to it's limit" in term of computational complexity, they do not do so in fun nor graphical view, and as such, we cannot appreciate it. Fans of the NES console and games in general will find those games weird, bland and uninteresting, and fans of the Koei strategy games themselves will not want to play the inferior NES versions.


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