Posted on March 8, 2021
SNES Speed Rom Hacks
Something that seems to have totally exploded as of late is an interesting side of rom hacks for old games. Rom hacks are nothing new but above all a SNES rom hacker by name of Vitor Vilela decided to see what would happen if you took one of the later enhancement chips from the SNES life, the SA-1, and applied it to a game that generally ran really slow. The SA-1 is the same principle as the well known Super FX chip in that it’s an expansion chip that normally sat on the cartridge of the game. The SA-1 is the last and most powerful of these enhancement chips that was produced.
It’s been great seeing this unfold and he seems determined to keep working through other games as well with different patches but this is a great boon for retro gaming. Gradius 3 for example on SNES was a slow mess on launch during really heavy screens but after patching the game it runs much, much faster. So fast the difficulity level is increased considerably!
I’ll likely write this up in greater detail and highlight all the hacks he’s done but here is a video showing the stark difference in the game Race Drivin’ using the SA-1 patch.
Here is the effect of Gradius 3 getting the patch and if you ever played this part it’s normally brutally slow.
All in all this is great news for the retro community at large that get to experience perhaps some of their favorite games in a totally new way.