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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:40 pm 
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The translation actually checks to make sure it's running with more-than-6-bit PRG registers and gives you a nastygram if it's not.

I'm kinda torn about legitimizing oversize MMC3. It's not like most flashcarts can use more than 512KiB PRG anyway, and nor can the original hardware. In hardware, only modern FPGA or CPLD reimplementations can exceed the 512KiB limit.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Hm, so ETROM is completely useless for this task. Disappointing, but not totally unexpected or someone else would have done this already. Sorry, I thoguth the hack was newer than it is. I had an old build with the dashing, but it seemed different from the one that was put on rom hacking in 2011.

Dwedit wrote:
I wonder if it's possible to hack the game to Mapper 245? Mapper 245 is a MMC3 pirate variant uses CHR bit 2 to switch between two sets of 512k PRG. This could be done with an existing MMC3 chip, and a slightly different board layout (maybe moving a wire or something).


That idea sounds promising. What board type would be the most likely donor for such a reproduction?

infiniteneslives wrote:
Then presumably they just expanded the 6bit prg bank registers to 7+bits. Should be an easy setup, I've just got to get some 1MB roms to test it out. I'll post the results when I get my hands on some chips, I don't feel like messing around with two 512KB roms.


I'm eager to hear what you find out. Thanks for everyone who takes interest in this.

lidnariq wrote:
I'm kinda torn about legitimizing oversize MMC3. It's not like most flashcarts can use more than 512KiB PRG anyway, and nor can the original hardware. In hardware, only modern FPGA or CPLD reimplementations can exceed the 512KiB limit.


This is precisely the problem. To play FF3J, I need to rely on emulation, and I'd really rather not. I want to have that connection to the real hardware if at all possible. So if there's some way to hack MMC3 to work with this or change the mapper to MMC5 (which given Metal Slader Glory, can run 1 MB?) then that's what I'm seeking.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:35 pm 
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lidnariq wrote:
It's not like most flashcarts can use more than 512KiB PRG anyway

Personally, I wish there were more interesting 1MB games out there so that the guys making flashcarts would consider going over the 512KB limitation.

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and nor can the original hardware.

The original hardware supports only 32KB of PRG and 8KB of CHR. If everyone considered that the maximum amount of memory the system could handle the NES would have died much sooner than it did. I see nothing wrong in creating new mappers to support more memory, even if one of these "new" mappers is 99% identical to the MMC3.

SatoshiMatrix wrote:
That idea sounds promising.

Depending on how the game combines switchable banks at run time, this conversion might not even be possible. If it is, it will probably be harder than converting to MMC5, since the MMC5 can do everything the oversize MMC3 can, it just does it differently.

Anyway, is there any reason for this task (converting to MMC5, I mean) to be any harder than the typical mapper hack? Since the MMC5 can do everything an oversize MMC3 can, wouldn't it just be a matter of patching all mapper writes?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:08 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
lidnariq wrote:
and nor can the original hardware.
The original hardware supports only 32KB of PRG and 8KB of CHR.
Big N released the MMC3, therefore it counts as "original hardware". Enforcing the limitations of this original hardware enables us to continue ... repurposing original hardware, I guess. Kinda lousy, when one puts it that way.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:22 pm 
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In any case, the proposed extensions would be backward compatible with all existing mapper 4 ROM images, so there wouldn't even need to be a new mapper number.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:36 pm 
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SatoshiMatrix wrote:
If all 1 MB is PRG, does that mean the CHR is combined into that PRG chip?
Yes, this is how all CHR-RAM games work including all versions/patches of FF3 that I'm now aware of.

Yeah, at this point it doesn't get much more legitimate than having built in support by a large number of emulators and a desirable game/translation that requires it. Putting it on real hardware and fully documenting it just formalizes it. Nothing about any of this is or ever will 'legitimate' IMO (at least how I define the word)...

tepples wrote:
Want me to make a big-MMC3 test ROM like the one I made for mapper 28? And while we're at it, I thought of the obvious back-compatible extension to larger PRG RAM using bits 5-0 of $A001.
Test roms are always good. Although if the user already has this rom then as linariq pointed out it tests the 1MB prg capability for you. However that's not the case for extra PRG-RAM though. With that being a motive for people to make the leap to MMC5 it seems like a worthwhile addition. If we were to take it one step further it might be useful to have one of those bits designate a means to put PRG-RAM in $8000-FFFF. Possibly use bit 4 to swap out the last PRG-RAM bank with the ROM bank that is otherwise fixed to the 2nd to last bank? Then use bits 3-0 to specify which bank is at $6000-7FFF. Yes, a bit extreme but may as well build support for 128KB since it fits and is cheapest SRAM in large quantities. Don't need to have it in hardware if not desirable. Might be a good idea to use bit 5 to designate the bank in ROM as read only or r/w. ALL of this is back-compatible. If the sky is the limit and we're already on this path, there could be additions utilizing $A000 unused bits for added CHR capabilities.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Good luck to you guys (if this is still happening).

I just beat FFIV last night (yeah, I know, only took me like 22 years), so I'm thinking I might try III next. I tried putting this translation on my GBA, via PocketNES, but after patching the font, I find that all of the text is touching, vertically, so it's kind of difficult to read. Oh well.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:06 pm 
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Yeah I just got the 1MB chip last week. I'll post results when I make time to set things up in the next couple weeks hopefully.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Any word? This is a fascinating project!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:23 pm 
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I am curious if there are any updates on this project as well


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:43 am 
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A couple of years ago I got a chinese repro of FF3 in Aliexpress which is translated to English. I wonder which version it is. Any way to check it? I can also try and open the cart to see what's inside, in case you are interested.

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