New firmware 1.10.3 for SD2SNES released (S-DD1 support)

Earlier in the month the 3rd revision of the newer 1.10 firmware for our beloved SD2SNES flash card was released. Highlight in this firmware version is of course support for the S-DD1 chip, which is an ASIC decompressor made by Nintendo. This chip is used only by two games: Star Ocean and Street Fighter Alpha 2.

More over about S-DD1 at wikipedia here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_NES_enhancement_chips#S-DD1
or more technical at https://wiki.superfamicom.org/s-dd1

Download it directly from the SD2SNES.de site.

Here is the full change log directly from the SD2SNES Team’s github site:

v1.10.3
=======
* fixes:
– [Mk2] Revert S-DD1 bitfile to earlier build which happens to less expose a
timing hazard. This will need further examination for a proper fix.
Fixes severe glitches with S-DD1
– [All] Fix swapped logic terms in SA-1 and SuperFX RAM write cycles. Fixes
severe glitches on SA-1 and SuperFX on Mk.II units; The bug was also
present in the Pro firmware but didn’t seem to have much of an effect
– [All] Fix game video mode setting in SuperCIC pair mode

v1.10.2
=======
* fixes:
– [Pro] fix wrong data ROM size on uPD96050 core -> F1 ROC II track is shown
properly.
– [Pro] fix S-DD1 address mirroring -> Star Ocean works
– [Pro] correct Cx4 core speed from 96MHz to 80MHz
– [All] apply volume boost after FPGA reconfiguration
(fixes MSU1 volume boost on Cx4, OBC1, SuperFX, SA-1, S-DD1)
– [All] fix S-DD1 writes going to the wrong address on concurrent MCU
accesses (saving not working in Star Ocean)
– [All] avoid potential data corruption on MCU writes (e.g. SPC loading)
– [All] Workaround for Super Nt not booting when CIC enters pair mode
successfully

v1.10.1
=======
* fix bug preventing boot on sd2snes Mk.III…

v1.10.0
=======
* add S-DD1 support by magno
* initial firmware release for sd2snes Mk.III (“sd2snes pro”)
* fixes:
– fix memory corruption on BS-X loading
– reset S-RTC read state on all load and reset occasions

OSSC Firmware 0.88 released

OSSC (Source: manual)

The new 0.87, resp. 0.88 firmware for our beloved OSSC (Open Source Scan Converter) was released earlier this month with the below changes. 0.88 fixed a bug with profile imports as per following change log:

  • New OSD
  • Mode preset selection improvements
  • Selection made independent of physical input
  • 480p preset defined by hsync length in auto mode
  • Added 720p_50, 1080i_50 and 1080p_50 presets
  • Minor clamp/alc related improvements
  • Profile import fixed in v0.88.

I used the opportunity to update the OSSC Firmware Upgrade Tutorial, as the Firmware Update function is now a sub-menu within the “Settings Opt” menu.

Click here for the tutorial on how to upgrade to the latest version.

Pixel perfect video in RetroArch

I love pixel perfect video when playing my retro games. If you are like me, then you probably do not like the default setting in RetroArch which adds some blur to the image. Let’s change that.

This is what you get by default (Game Boy Color in this case):

This is what you get when you disable the blur filter. Pretty nice, isn’t it?

And these are the simple steps you have to follow:

  • Start Retroarch
  • go to “Settings”
  • Select “Video”
  • Disable “Bilinear Filtering”
  • Enjoy your pixel perfect games

 

Wiimms Mario Kart Fun – Tutorial

Here is a short tutorial on how to create a copy of “Wiimms Mario Kart Fun” ready to play on your Wii (or emulator)

What you need before you start

– Latest release of Wiims Mario Kart Fun files from here: http://wiki.tockdom.com/wiki/Wiimms_Mario_Kart_Fun

– Mario Kart Wii ISO file NTSC or PAL version (as example PAL version might be called something like “Mario_Kart_PAL_Wii.iso”)

How to patch your ISO file

  • Extract the Mario Kart Fun archive you downloaded; at the point of writing the file was called mkw-fun-2019-10.v1.txz.
  • Copy the ISO file into the extracted folder
  • if you are using Linux (or Mac) make sure you run “sudo chmod a+x *.sh” to make the scripts executable
  • Then you start the “create-image” scripts
    Windows: “create-image.bat
    Linux/Mac: “./create-image.sh
  • 1st question asks about language during the creation process, type “de” for German, “en” for English, “es” for Spanish. Default is English. Input your preferred language or directly press Enter.
  • 2nd question is about language within the game itself.  The following options are available:
    G : Deutsch
    U : English (America)
    E : English (Europe)
    M : Español (América)
    S : Español (Europa)
    Q : Français (Amérique) => aucun message de chat
    F : Français (Europe) => aucun message de chat
    I : Italiano => messaggi di chat
    J : 日本人 (Japanese) => no chat messages
    K : 한국의 (Korean) => no chat messages, no Wiimmfi texts
    If you don’t want to force any changes in-game language related, select “-“, as I do here. Type “-” and Enter.
  • 3rd question is about fallback language. Not sure why this is required as we selected no changes just before, but nevertheless, we type “E” for English (Europe), as I am using the PAL version here, and then Enter.
  • 4th question is about track language; many options to choose from, let’s go for the default option, which is the native language related to each track. Type “x” and Enter.
  • 5th question is about translating names of custom tracks. As we have just chosen native language names before, lets select “no” and press Enter.
  • 6th question is about the output format, various options possible. I go here with a standard ISO format. Type “iso” and press Enter.
  • 7th question is about if you want to shared the existing save game from your Mario Kart Wii or a new dedicated, unrelated save game. I prefer a new save game so lets type “yes” and press Enter.
  • The script shows you then a summary, here is ours::
    ==========
    Summary
    ===========* Language (de,en,es): en
    * Force game language or ‘-‘ (G,U,E,M,S,Q,F,I,J,K,-): –
    * Fall-back language (G,U,E,M,S): e
    * Language of track names:: x
    * Translate also names of custom tracks (no,yes): no
    * Image file format (iso,ciso,wdf,wbfs,gcx,wia,riiv): iso
    * Use private savegame (no,yes): yes* Continue with these settings? (no,yes) [yes]:

    Yes, looks good, let’s press Enter.

  • Then the script is doing its magic this might take a while….. if everything went well, it should output something like1 iso image(s) created
    2019-11-03 19:14:00 .. 19:23:51 (9m+51s)
  • That’s it. You can now either copy the ISO on a SD or harddrive connected to your Wii and load the game via USB Loader or load the ISO directly in an emulator like Dolphin. Have fun.

Lakka 2.2 Christmas Release

Happy new year everyone!

The team over at lakka.tv released their new version 2.2 over the holiday season.  This includes RetroArch 1.75, which comes with the new menu “Ozone” (highly recommendable), a fixed PPSSPP core and many more changes.

To update your Lakka box simply use the online updater, download the new release package, reboot, let it install and enjoy the new release. I updated mine and it worked flawless. Big thanks to the team.

Head over for more Lakka news to the project’s website.

New firmware 1.9.0 for SD2SNES with SA-1 support released

Early christmas for all the owners of a SD2SNES card: The team over at www.sd2snes.de just released their new firmware version 1.9.0 ready for download. Highlight in this release is for sure SA-1 support again by RedGuy.

There is obviously much more into it. Here is the summary:

  • SA-1 support by RedGuy! Big thanks to RedGuy again 🙂 This was a really tight fit for the FPGA so there’s a little catch – MSU1 is not available for SA-1 games.
  • Also from RedGuy comes partial SRAM detection for some known games (SuperFX & SA-1). This calculates a ROM CRC and chooses to monitor only specific regions in cartridge RAM for changes. This enables automatic saving without having to resort to periodic saving, reducing wear on the SD card.
  • SNES CPU <-> PPU clock phase alignment. This is a long standing issue on a sub-CPU-cycle base inside the SNES. HDMA to certain registers can cause flickering sprite slabs to appear when CPU and PPU are out of phase after a cart-side reset (which does not reset the PPUs). This fixes the notorious flickering of characters with the giant frog attack in Chrono Trigger, sprites in Kirby Super Star, characters behind the text box in Star Ocean, and probably more. See https://github.com/RedGuyyyy/sd2snes/issues/6 for technical details.
  • Added an option to always go back to menu on reset, regardless of whether it’s a short or long reset.
  • LED brightness setting (16 levels)
  • Added an option to choose whether you want to start a game with or without cheats enabled (of those that are marked as enabled in the YAML file). You can enable / disable them later using the L+R+Start+A / L+R+Start+B button combinations if you have in-game buttons enabled.
  • Disable Satellaview emulation when a real Satellaview base unit is detected to avoid bus fighting and facilitate Satellaview development
  • System Information now shows the currently effective video mode (50 or 60 Hz).
  • Fixes:
    • Control signal edges are detected a bit earlier, improving stability on some consoles (Github Issues)
    • Fix timing of auto region patching. This should solve cross-issues with Super Scope games because they rely on the same register that is also used to read the console region.
    • Fix brightness patching / limiting for games that use HDMA to alter the brightness register. (e.g. Star Fox)
    • Fix an occasional imaginary access cycle carried out by the FPGA after reconfiguration. This fixes lockups when loading games with dedicated FPGA files, i.e. SuperFX, SA-1, OBC-1.
    • Fix SuperCIC pair mode entry for consoles with ≤ 3.072MHz CIC clock (notably GPM revisions). (Github Issue)
    • S-RTC register state is reset when the console is reset.

Source:  SD2SNES Blog

RetroArch 1.7.5 released

The latest article from the libretro team announces a new version of RetroArch: RetroArch 1.7.5 has just been released! Grab it here. or via Google Play Store (32bit) or for users with 64bit capable devices you can grab the new version here.

So what is new in this version?

  • Launch of Nintendo Switch version

This is definitely THE highlight of this release. The libretro team got a dedicated article for this:

https://www.libretro.com/index.php/retroarch-1-7-5-introducing-libnx-switch-version/

In short: Installation instructions and all the feature included in this first release for the Switch like

  • OpenGL support
  • Touchscreen support (for MaterialUI/etc)
  • Full networking support
  • RetroAchievements support
  • Game scanning
  • Split Joy-Con support
  • Core downloader
  • Runahead support
  • and 44(!) cores supported already

 

Further there are the following improvements in this new version:

  • Menu improvements: dropdown lists
  • Adaptive V-Sync implemented for OpenGL (Windows/Linux)
  • Improved Vulkan performance (especially for Nvidia cards): mailbox emulation: More details in  this blog article.
  • Easy recording/streaming options (for versions with ffmpeg support)
  • UDP Streaming to another RetroArch instance

For all the details and changelog read the full blog post here.

 

OSSC Firmware Upgrade Tutorial

If you are the lucky owner of an OSSC (Open Source Scan Converter) to scale up your retro games on your modern TV, then you like to ensure to keep your firmware of your device up to date to profit from fixes and enhancements which are constantly released. Great support on the OSSC here.

OSSC (Source: manual)

What do you need?

These are the steps to follow:

  • Grab the latest firmware from here: https://www.niksula.hut.fi/~mhiienka/ossc/fw/
  • Write/Restore the downloaded file to the Micro SD Card with the help of your image writer software
  • Put the Micro SD card into your OSSC (slot is on the left side of the display)
  • Switch the OSSC on
  • Press “Menu” on the remote control
  • Press “Down” until the menu says “Settings opt”
    Press “OK”
  • Press “Down” until the menu says “Firmware Upgrade”
  • Press “OK”
  • Confirm to flash by pressing “1”
  • Wait until the OSSC finished to verify and flashes the new image
  • When it says “FW update ok” you can switch the OSSC off, remove the SD card, wait a few seconds and turn it on again
  • It should now work with the latest firmware

Experienced some issues? Comments and feedback welcome.

Remark: If you are on an even elder version then I was, the “Firmware Upgrade” menu entry is in the menu root directly, and not within the “Settings Opt” sub-menu.

 

 

FAQ Chimp-Tools (Xbox Classic)

Having used the Chimp-Tools lately to clone an Xbox-Harddisk to replace it with a bigger sized disk, I put together all possible errors that I came across while trying solve my issue:

  • Ensure you use the latest Chimp build: https://github.com/Rocky5/Chimp261812
  • Verify to use the path Chimp expects:
    E:\applications\chimp
    E:\applications\chimp loader
    E:\apps\chimp
    E:\apps\chimp loader
    E:\chimp
    E:\chimp loader
  • Use standard RGB cable and not the Component or any other 3rd party video cable
  • Disable the widescreen option in your Dashboard and use normal aspect ratio
  • Disable 480p, 720p or 1080i options
  • Linux users: Use a Windows machine to FTP transfer your files over to the Xbox; for some reasons the permissions attributes don’t work with Chimp (this was for example the issue I experienced and with Windows it worked without any problem)

More to come….

 

From Youtube.com

RetroArch 1.7.4 released

New RetroArch 1.7.4 is available for download. Grab it here.

What is new in a nutshell?

  • 64bit version of RetroArch Android
  • Discord integration
  • WIMP Desktop UI massively improved (Windows and Linux)
  • Sync To Exact Content Frame Rate (G-Sync/FreeSync users)
  • Cheat code searching/creation interface with rumble features
  • and many more improvements on the various platforms

Head over to the original article to see all the details on the changes.

Source: https://www.libretro.com/index.php/retroarch-1-7-4-released/