More Arcade Cores for the MiSTer

If you’ve hung around me long enough you probably know I’m a big fan of the MiSTer project. I have future plans for a video series as well as write ups on this site regarding how awesome this project is. To really summarize it as brief as possible MiSTer is an open source project using an FPGA development board to duplicate, on the hardware layer, old consoles as well as computers. It provides in some cases a near 1 to 1 experience of playing it on the original hardware.

One exciting part about arcade games being brought to it is that they basically play like the original games. One such coming soon would be Mortal Kombat!

Why is this exciting? Well the Mortal Kombat board is shared by many other similar games such as Smash TV and NBA Jam. This means cracking this nut (which involves literally tracing the chips on the original arcade board) opens up other games that used a similar design. It’s a snowball effect at that point which means we are in for a great lineup of games to play on our MiSTers!

New Turtles Game

And like out of the blue a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game was announced from Dotemu the makers of the recently released and well regarded Streets of Rage 4. Watching the video they seem to have hit the nail on the head: Original 80s cartoon style beat’em up following the template of the all time great Turtles in Time.

I’m very excited for this game not just because I grew up on Turtles and have many fond memories of the games not the least the earlier mentioned Turtles in Time but it looks just solid in its own right. We’ll of course have to wait to judge it fully until it’s released and sadly they haven’t announced when that will be. It’ll be a day one buy from me that’s for sure! Turtle… POWER!

https://www.dotemu.com/game/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-shredders-revenge/

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.

Current Video Project

As an update to what I’m currently working on most of the video is shot for the current project but it’s taking a really long time to edit due to the way it was shot. Hindsight is 20/20 of course but hoping to streamline my process even further for the next one.

It is a build project that’ll have 2 parts where part 1 focuses on the hardware as it sits and part 2 will go over some upgrades to truly make it a gaming machine. Expect this to be a very 1998 centric build…

Hoping to keep cranking away at it and have it ready in a few days or at the latest next weekend. If I realize it is just taking too much time I’ll cram another Extra Bit in as well as the last one I did I found was enjoyable and quite a bit quicker to make.

Slowly Updating

As the site is taking shape there are a few areas I wanted to point out that may be worth keeping an eye out on and my idea behind them.

Downloads – Software, tools and updates I’ve used for builds as long as it’s not available commercially to get from a legitimate source. Expect that to build over time as I work on projects.

Random Retro – This will be a big bulk of the site containing:
* Collection information – data on computers, games etc I have
* Articles – If I want to type something up more in detail than what I can cover in a video
* Projects – Things I might be working on

Links – Literally a list of links I find interesting or useful since all the old school websites seemed to have one of these…

Of course all of this with the explicit purpose to keep the site looking like something you might have run into during the 90s. Expect cheesy gifs, clipart and horrible link lists!