SNES Clone

Discussion of hardware and software development for Super NES and Super Famicom.

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Fisher
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SNES Clone

Post by Fisher » Sat May 16, 2020 8:12 am

Hi.
After many years of hearing about them, I finally could take a look at a SNES clone!
Unfortunately, I'm in a hurry and won't stay with this clone for long, since the owner just asked me to test it and fix some minor issues.
But I got some pictures or it on my Google Drive.
If someone would like more pictures, some pictures from a particular angle, or some continuity tests you're free to ask, but keep in mind that I won't have this in my possession for long.

I also would like to know how can I test the CPU/PPU1/PPU2 version, since I made a quick repro of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest to try to find it but it's not booting.
Probably it's because my test board has no SRAM backup circuit...

calima
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by calima » Sat May 16, 2020 10:37 am

Here's one I made for that purpose. lorom, no sram, slowrom.
Attachments
snes-printver.sfc.gz
(56.75 KiB) Downloaded 38 times

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Fisher
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by Fisher » Sat May 16, 2020 1:06 pm

Thanks!
That's great! :-)
It's a 2/1/3
Resultado
Resultado
So far the only flaws I could identify is that it can't run SA-1 games.
Possibly it can't run SDD-1 games too, but since I have no game with this special chip I can't confirm.
Super Mario Kart ran fine, as Starfox, Yoshi's island and Rockman X2.
I didn't played much longer these games, so I'm not sure if they won't crash or lock later in game...

It also has this glitch at Tiny Toon's Adventures title screen:
Tiny Toon Bug
Tiny Toon Bug
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs starts without sound and locks on a black screen when I start a new game, not sure this bug happens because the game is a pirate copy or it's a clone bug.

Not 100% perfect, the SVideo output is not enabled and looks like that neither the RGB is, but most popular games ran without a glitch.

creaothceann
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by creaothceann » Sun May 17, 2020 1:33 am

Fisher wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 1:06 pm
Tiny Toon Bug
Looks like either the game or the clone switches to regular Mode7 halfway through the screen (the game uses EXTBG to show the colored rings in front of the sprites).

Super Mario World uses the same effect in the last boss fight to show Bowser in front of Mario and the castle. Contra 3 uses it in level 2 to hide the player character when you go below the street.
My current setup:
Super Famicom ("2/1/3" SNS-CPU-GPM-02) → SCART → OSSC → StarTech USB3HDCAP → AmaRecTV 3.10

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Fisher
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by Fisher » Sun May 17, 2020 5:03 pm

creaothceann wrote:Contra 3
That's interesting, I took some pictures of Contra 3:
Stage 2:
20200516_175445.jpg
Stage 2's Boss
20200516_175650.jpg
Stage 5:
20200516_181244.jpg
Stage5's Boss
20200516_181429.jpg
Looks like the clone had many timing issues.
Sunset Riders ramdomly crashes, Battlemaniacs started after a few tries but crashed on the inter stage demo.
F-Zero crashed too.
Didn't finhsh Super Mario World to see the last boss, but I could finish Rockman X2 without a glitch.
I did hear about other clone kinds, some even had users claimed it plays games with the SDD-1 and SA-1 chips, and also pirates without the CIC's key.
Hopefully I'll be able to at least have one for few hours just so I can take a look out of curiosity.

dink
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by dink » Mon May 18, 2020 5:13 am

I wonder how they cloned the ic's way back when..

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tokumaru
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by tokumaru » Mon May 18, 2020 5:29 am

dink wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 5:13 am
I wonder how they cloned the ic's way back when..
Poorly, if this clone is any indication. :mrgreen:

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Memblers
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by Memblers » Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 am

I have an SNES clone also, it was given to me about 20 years ago. One of the chips is marked VS250, and the others are blank. It's a "Gamestation", said to be made by Xinga (from what I've heard, as there's no identifying info on it anywhere). Instead of a cart port, it has a Game Doctor SF7 plugged in, with special v7.20 firmware and extra hardware added on to make an ATAPI CD-ROM interface. "Official" Game Doctors used an MKE CD-ROM.

But it seemed really good as a clone. I got a lot of use out of it, and I never had any graphical issues or non-working games (other than the occasional copy protection). Except for Super Fire Pro Wrestling Premium X (what a name), with a translation patch, where the saving didn't work but it played normally otherwise.

I kind of remember hearing that the game Dragon's Lair had some kind of audio differences on a clone. It's something that I would have tested, but I don't remember noticing any difference.

The system did have one strange quirk. It came with a special "Fighting Back" controller. If you use one official controller, or one official + Fighting Back controller (in either port), everything is fine. But when you plug in two official controllers, pressing anything on the second controller makes it flip out and act like you're pressing random buttons (I think on the first controller too?), often pausing and un-pausing the game.

Unfortunately the system doesn't seem to work anymore. It powers on and looks fine in the Game Doctor menu, but only responds to the B button on the controller. I reflowed the port pins and they have continuity. I haven't put it on the scope, but it sounds like maybe the CPU isn't clocking the controller anymore.
dink wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 5:13 am
I wonder how they cloned the ic's way back when..
I think they must have stripped the chip down, photographed every layer, and reproduced it. But there are some surprising clones out there, there is this one Korean arcade bootleg of SMB, where the game was hacked to run on a 6502 and a PPU out of standard parts, a partial one that only does enough to play SMB. kevtris reverse-engineered it. http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=16883

dink
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by dink » Mon May 18, 2020 4:35 pm

Memblers wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 am
dink wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 5:13 am
I wonder how they cloned the ic's way back when..
I think they must have stripped the chip down, photographed every layer, and reproduced it. But there are some surprising clones out there, there is this one Korean arcade bootleg of SMB, where the game was hacked to run on a 6502 and a PPU out of standard parts, a partial one that only does enough to play SMB. kevtris reverse-engineered it. http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=16883
Ahh wow, I didn't think of that! :)

People did some amazing things back then, and that TTL SMB arcade board was one of them, even the apu was reproduced in TTL+Z80. Of course, it has it's glitches, but still.. :)

best regards,
- dink

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Fisher
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Re: SNES Clone

Post by Fisher » Wed May 20, 2020 6:07 am

creaothceann wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 1:33 am
Super Mario World uses the same effect in the last boss fight to show Bowser in front of Mario and the castle.
Intertingly, I finished SMW and noticed no problems.
That's weird!!
CPU / PPU
CPU / PPU
Looking at this picture seems that the S-WRAM was exchanged by LH5P8128 IC, an SRAM.
AFAIK the S-WRAM, among other things, has some connections to the PPU.
Could this be one of the causes of the bugs?
Memblers wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 am
I have an SNES clone also, it was given to me about 20 years ago.
I find that and the TTL clone amazing!!
Pirates really did some nice RE back them, even with this clone's and SMB's bugs it's still a great achievement!!

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