New Video – K6-2 Build

A new video just went live featuring an AMD K6-2 build. It includes a pretty bone headed mistake so keep an eye out! This machine came from a business primiarly used as a voicemail or fax server based on where I found it. Specwise it’s not super exciting but I thought hey this would make a good build using primarily parts from 1998. So this is part 1 which focuses on the teardown, cleanup and build. The next part will be more about finishing it up, loading up the OS and then of course playing some games.

Livestream 3/11/2021 – Sega CD on the MiSTer

Last night we took a whack at exploring some of the library on the Sega/Mega CD thanks to the MiSTer. I didn’t have any exposure to Sega CD when it was out but I really like the 16 bit+ appeal to it that it seems to have. We tried some FMV games and they were alright (it can’t really output “good” quality FMV like some later systems) but I think where it truly shines are the 2d games that have been enhanced. Such as Sonic CD, Snatcher and Lords of Thunder. All games that we tried out last night so if you are curious check it out below. I sure had a blast trying out some of these.

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!

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.