There is no sound or music yet.
It does not yet keep track of which levels you have cleared.
Puzzle mode is basically complete.
Stage Challenge mode isn’t finished:
* Missing the 30 second time limit
* The 100 mice and Cat Soccer levels don’t do anything.
There is no multiplayer mode yet.
* Start or A: Confirm or select something
* B or Select: Cancel or go back
* A + Arrow: place an arrow, replace an arrow, or pick up an arrow
* B: Take back the latest placed arrow
* Select: Quit, or return to puzzle mode if the game is running.
* Start: Set the game in motion! Also toggles double speed mode while the game is running.
* A + Arrow: place an arrow. You can only have 3 on at a time, and can not place arrows on top of another. Arrows last for 10 seconds before they expire.
* Select: Quit
Works great in FCEUX, Nintendulator, Nestopia, VirtuaNES, QuickNES, Mednafen.
Grab it here.
OK, not so much from, but definitely inspired by:
(And no, Fei, just because I’m saying nice things about these particular NES-inspired chiptunes, that does not free you to go running back to its warm embrace!)
1 Which worked out to be a moderate success, despite the sad lack of Hammer pants.
It isn’t too often that you stumble across a DIY game console, but that’s pretty much exactly what the Uzebox is:
The Uzebox is a retro-minimalist open source game console. It is based on an AVR 8-bit general purpose microcontroller made by Atmel. The particularity of the system is that it uses an interrupt driven kernel and has no frame buffer. Functions such as video sync generation, tile rendering and music mixing is done realtime by a background task so games can easily be developed in C. The design goal was to be as simple as possible yet have good enough sound and graphics while leaving enough resources to implement interesting games. Emphasis was put on making it easy and fun to assemble and program for any hobbyists. The final design contains only two chips: an ATmega644 and an AD725 RGB-to-NTSC converter.
The games are all in the ballpark of the NES, graphically (Hell, there’s even an unofficial port of The Adventures of Lolo), and you can get one of these–fully assembled–for $35 right here.
As for me, I’m interested but not really interested enough to be bothered with the actual box you hook up to your TV (though I admire the homebrew nature of the project itself) as it would, invariably, become another victim of 90 seconds of use followed by a lifetime in cold storage1:
ECM’s superfluous gaming gear overflow facility.
1 If you look closely, back in the left corner, you can spy a SuperGrafx, an M2 dev kit and my pride.
Points for being a super nerd?:
That said, even with a 5-second delay, that means it now has better games than 95% of the iPhone/iPod Touch library.1
1 Am I joking? Perhaps…
I think this is interesting (at least what some of the interviewees say) but it does set off my art doofus, navel-gazing, alarms at full blast:
Worth a view, however, if you have any interest in pixel art and/or chiptunes.
Unicorn in the wild
I have to imagine the market for this device is pretty slim, but I’m willing to bet one Arch Nerd would be most interested indeed:
It has been almost 4 years since Neo Flash announced their 9th project: the Neo SNES Myth Cart. Many have been long awaiting its arrival and it is finally here.
This is no ordinary type of flash cartridge. It comes in two pieces that need to be combined together with an additional original SNES cartridge when running backup ROM images in the SNES console. The larger piece contains the logic chip, RAM, USB port, SNES cartridge slot, and GBA cartridge slot. A smaller cartridge containing the flash RAM chip is inserted into the GBA cartridge slot for storing and playing games.
There are a few differences between this and SNES backup solutions we have seen come about in the early til mid 1990s. The device is much more compact and almost the size of a typical SNES cartridge. It also does not have a plug for a separate power supply which means that you will need to use it in a deck that supplies enough power to run the cartridge on its own. On the top you will find a USB port to program the device. Most old copiers used a floppy drive and some had a parallel port built in or an external parallel attachment to program their built in RAM. Onboard, you will not find a handful of RAM chips or a microprocessor like in old copiers. There is one memory chip that you load the games to and a programmable logic chip that controls the device’s functions as well.
What it boils down to is this is a giant flash cart for your SNES that allows you to take ROMs and play them on said SNES rather than on an emulator. (I’m sure at least 80% of the people are now thinking ‘what’s the point, then?’, but it’s for the purists who want to play the games running 100% as-intended, since emulation is just that: an emulation, i.e. an approximation of the real thing, and not the actual, well, real thing.)
Anyway, the actual review is LONG but (extremely) informative if you’re in the market for one of these doodads. (Naturally, I’d guess Nintendo wouldn’t be a big fan of such a unit but in a world of rampant emulation, this is probably not going to give the Big N many sleepless nights.)
One important caveat should you fail to read this in its entirety: virtually1 none of the games that use special, on-board, co-processors, work, e.g. the various FX/C4/Etc. chips (StarFox, Megaman X 2, etc.) will not, as yet, function, so caveat emptor. ()
1 The DSP1 games like Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, etc. do work.
Breakin’ up is hard to do
Mr. Neko mentioned this a week or so ago and, wouldn’t you know, there’s an update to it today:
• New EGA 640x350x16 and VGA 640x480x16 graphics modes.
• The NDS shoulder buttons scroll the zoomed screen left/right (as before) when not already at the edge, and up/down after that.
• Fixed Master of Orion SB digital audio problems.
• Changed EGA text output to use INT43 vector (fixes text problems in Space Quest I, etc).
• Fixed EGA Read Mode 1 handling (DOUBOLO).
• Improved EGA palette handling (ZOOL).
• Fixed WC2 savegame handling, which was broken by the DUNE2 savegame handling fix. They call the same DOS function, but expect it to behave differently. Argh!
• Added support for INT03 (see previous blog post) and INTO (overflow interrupt).
• Implemented Mode-X VGA offset handling (Alien Breed, Traffic Department 2192).
• Implemented diskette motor counter handling to INT8 (should fix Civilization hang problem).
• Added about a dozen new EGA graphics opcodes.
• Added about a dozen new Mode-X graphics opcodes.
• Added support for several new DOS and Mouse interrupts.
• Added support for several new I/O ports.
• Added most of the previously missing characters to the 6×8 text mode font.
• Attempt to avoid writing duplicate entries to the debug log.
• Ignore SB Direct DAC output for now, pending proper implementation.
Oh, what is it? It’s DSx86: an x86 (i.e. DOS) emulator for the DS, allowing you to play such fondly-remembered classics as most of Sierra’s library, some non-SCUMM Lucas games (Night Shift rules!1) and, literally, thousands of others–you can grab the latest build here.
1 Pointless Night Shift Trivia: I was once at the Lucasfilm ranch in Marin, CA, and they have a roomful of the games that LucasArts has produced and wouldn’t you know, ATD’s classic, Night Shift, wasn’t actually in the room. It was, literally, the only one any of us there couldn’t find. (It didn’t help that the only person that had ever apparently played it was me, but there you go: a game so obscure even its publisher didn’t have a copy in its trophy case.
Less anime, more pixels
(OK, technically it’s Rockman 8 FC, but this being the land of Megaman and NES, well, you get the idea…)
So, yeah, basically it’s Megaman 8 (late of the Saturn and PlayStation) tossed into the oven until it came out, Shrinky-Dinked, as a Famicom2 game.
It’s not complete yet, but it is on ‘beta’ 2.5 which you can grab here. (NOTE!: it’s beta and it may not work or may crash or whatever, so use at your own risk!) And there’s lots of chit-chat on 7 and 8 here.
1 When you take a game from a newer platform and redo it based on the limitations of an older one, you have what is known as a demake.
2 That’d be what the NES was known as in Japan, people with lives.
Eat your heart out Megaman 9 & 10!
“His Dark Majesty” is a story-driven turn-based strategy game that takes the core elements of Advance Wars and The Battle for Wesnoth. The game is free to download.
*Single player campaign with interesting story in 23 chapters.
*Challenging and fast artifical intelligence.
*26 different units with unique features and abilities, including flying units, water units, mages and beasts.
*10 characters that help you or challenge you during the game.
*Graphics, music and sound effects by the best 8bit artists.
*Intro and outro scenes.
*Intuitive user interface.
*In-game hint system that teaches you how to play.
*Works on a 8-bit Atari computer which has 64KB of memory and 1.77 MHz CPU!
I’ll take their word for it running on an actual Atari computer, but it certainly was inspired by some good games, though I’d say Wesnoth1 was inspired by Master of Monsters2 and, thus, so was this game to make it a bit more
1 Solid game but not as good as those that inspired it.
1 Master of Monsters (on Genesis) is still a good game, even today–go play it! (And when you’re done w/ that, grab Dark Wizard on SegaCD.)