Questions tagged [nintendo]

For questions about the different versions and products released by Nintendo

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What type of memory was used in N64 and GBA cartridges?

I would like to know if consoles like the N64 and GBA used masked ROMs or some kind of eFuse based ROM, or if they were some kind or flash or EEPROM based memory. I've read that both consoles had ...
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  • 173
27 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why did Nintendo name its console the "Famicom"?

The NES was known as the "Famicom" in Japan, short for "Family Computer". But why was it given an English name in Japan, given (I assume) most people wouldn't know what the words &...
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  • 1,004
28 votes
3 answers
21k views

Why do Game Boy Colors not want nickel-cadmium batteries?

This is a page from the manual for the Game Boy Color: There is no explanation as to why this is, or how this can be, but it claims that one must not use rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. Why is ...
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  • 281
4 votes
1 answer
552 views

Why was the original Legend of Zelda initially released on floppies?

The Legend of Zelda for the Famicom was apparently released in 1985 on floppies as a launch title for the "Famicom Disk Station" peripheral, only used in Japan due to the high prices of ...
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5 votes
2 answers
764 views

What was the reason that the original Western NES console had a "cartridge bed" that had to be pushed down to play?

In Japan, they had the Famicom. You put in the cartridges on the top, just like with the later SNES and other consoles. But for Europe and the USA (and the entire "West"), the "NES"...
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  • 77
72 votes
2 answers
14k views

Why does the infamous "ENGAGERIDLEYMOTHERFUCKER" Metroid password break NES emulators?

For those who are unfamiliar, the original NES Metroid was one of many NES games to use passwords as a means to save progress. Later, this password system was leveraged to create unusual effects in ...
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1 vote
0 answers
222 views

Problem with hackrom on real GBA cartridge

This is a problem that has brought me headaches, so I will try to explain as best as possible. I have flashed with a Gbxcart several GBA ROMs in real cartridges (repro), working without any problem, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
448 views

Was the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 ever released in Europe?

The well-known story goes like this: When Nintendo had made Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, they for whatever reason decided to not release that game in the West. Instead, they reskinned an existing, ...
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  • 99
6 votes
3 answers
843 views

Was there anything about the "power of the NES" that made Super Mario Bros. have "realistic physics"?

If you look at older platformers, and even many later ones for other platforms and even the NES, there is typically no "momentum" and "realistic" physics for the main character ...
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3 votes
0 answers
264 views

How did commercial GBA games sample the button state?

For the GBA, I am under the impression that there are two ways to detect a button event: Enable IRQs and set up a handler for the button event Get a button's state (via the input bitmap) during the ...
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0 votes
3 answers
637 views

How was “Super Mario Bros” made with Assembly if the DASM compiler came out in 1987?

Would somebody care to explain how "Super Mario Bros." was released in 1985. But the DASM Assembler came out in 1987? The 6502 Assembly language was introduced in 1975. How would you compile/...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Did any SNES games use the fast ROM?

According to the transcript at https://fabiensanglard.net/another_world_polygons_SNES/ ... I could get the software running again to run at about 30 frames per second if of course I'm using a fast ...
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4 votes
0 answers
470 views

What data compression did Donkey Kong Country use?

Donkey Kong Country was among the most ambitious, popular and influential of Super Nintendo games. Technically, its big trick was taking animations rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations and ...
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20 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why didn't SNES Doom use mode 7?

Doom was ported to the Super Nintendo using a Super FX 2 chip on the cartridge. It has most of the features of the full game, though with a few omissions, such as absence of sound propagation, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
871 views

Did the Nintendo S-SMP really contain 3 million transistors?

According to http://www.vgmpf.com/Wiki/index.php?title=S-SMP The S-SMP (perhaps: Sony - Sound & Music Processor?) is the audio CPU used by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It consists of ...
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11 votes
3 answers
3k views

In Tetris on Game Boy, does the speed increase depend on time or on the number of points?

I always start at level 9, game mode A. At some point, whether it's based on time or the number of points, the blocks start falling so fast that the "down button" feature loses all meaning; ...
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0 votes
4 answers
303 views

How did graphics processing for old 8/16bit consoles work & what are the differences between an FPU/maths co processor & a graphics card? [closed]

When looking on the internet at information about old consoles it's pretty easy to find out information on CPUs like the 6502, 65816, 68000 & Z80 used in retro computers & consoles like the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
637 views

Why doesn't Nintendo fire up the old factories and re-produce *exact* copies of many of their most popular games, controllers and consoles? [closed]

Let's suppose that Nintendo announce tomorrow that they are going to create exact re-releases of the American and European NES, SNES and Nintendo 64 consoles, exactly the same as when they were ...
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  • 43
5 votes
1 answer
938 views

Why was the golden game Ocarina of Time not given a golden cartridge in the PAL region?

Note: I'm unaware of the exact details for each region, but I vaguely remember people claiming that other region(s) got a golden cartridge. I'm talking about PAL/Europe primarily, since that's where I ...
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57 votes
8 answers
14k views

Could you reverse engineer silicon just by looking at it?

I was interested in a recent interview of Masayuki Uemura, one of the engineers who designed the Nintendo Famicom in the early 80s. During initial design phase of the Famicom, one of the first things ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How does the RST operation of GameBoy (SHARP LR35902) work?

The GameBoy CPU Manual talks about restart operations on page 116. Each of these operations push the current address onto the stack, and then jumps to a specific address (0x00, 0x08, 0x10, etc, ...
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  • 151
11 votes
1 answer
903 views

Did Nintendo pay WDC for their use of the 65816 core?

When Nintendo used the 6502 core in the NES (as part of the Ricoh 2A03/2A07 microprocessor and sound generator), they circumvented the 6502's patent protection by disabling the BCD arithmetic. As a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
311 views

Original NES from UK, that I want to work in the US

I have an original NES from England that I bought in the early 90s. I just found it again in the attic, and I want to hook it up and start playing it again. However, I now live in the USA and it's ...
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  • 51
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

How is memory allocated in Super Mario World?

Super Mario World (SMW) is known to have several bugs relating to re-use of memory for multiple purposes. For example some memory items are used for more than one type of item, and the designers are ...
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10 votes
2 answers
852 views

Can the Nintendo 64 run code directly from ROM?

I've read that the usual way to execute code on the N64 is to use DMA to copy it from ROM into RAM, and then run from RAM. However, it seems that the contents of the ROM are directly visible to the ...
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11 votes
2 answers
931 views

How does ‘Trent’s circuit board strategy’ work?

For those of you who are unaware, professional speedrunner Trent Hall discovered a now-banned speedrunning trick in GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. The trick (called ‘Trent's circuit board strategy’...
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8 votes
2 answers
5k views

What was the point of the label on the bottom of the NES? [closed]

The original NES has a label printed onto it that the device would not "cause harmful interference". Why would they write that? Did people think the NES might be dangerous? Is this some kind of legal ...
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9 votes
1 answer
4k views

How do parallel universes exist in Super Mario 64? [closed]

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Super Mario 64 is an extremely competitive speed game, and because glitches are allowed on most major leaderboards, many very talented glitch hunters have torn the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
425 views

Connecting Computer to GameCube Controller Port

I want to have my computer listen to messages between my Nintendo GameCube and a controller. (This is just for fun, not for streaming or anything.) I've spliced into the cable as described here in ...
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  • 133
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did Nintendo change its mind about 68000 SNES?

Compared to its main rival from Sega, the Super Nintendo has a weaker CPU but a more powerful graphics chip. According to http://web.archive.org/web/20080505070423/http://www.eidolons-inn.net/tiki-...
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is the NES controller port identical to the port on a Wii remote?

I was recently playing on a friend's NES Classic, and noticed that the controller ports look similar to the ones on a Wii remote (where you can plug in the Numchuck or Class Controller). Keep in mind ...
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  • 3,733
3 votes
0 answers
349 views

Who developed the Super FX co-processor?

The Super FX co-processor was, according to Wikipedia and every other source I can find, a custom designed RISC chip made by Argonaut Games. Argonaut was a small British company and back in the late ...
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4 votes
0 answers
427 views

How many transistors in the Nintendo Super FX chip?

The Super FX coprocessor, released with Star Fox in 1993, provided 3D rendering capabilities that were absent from the SNES itself. Given that 3D gaming was quite widespread by the late eighties, it ...
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42 votes
1 answer
6k views

How did Super Mario Bros. 3 create this tunnel vision effect?

In a certain section of World 8's map, the screen is black except for a small circle surrounding Mario (as seen below during this speedrun). After doing a little research, I discovered that the game'...
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5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why are the internals of NES Gamepaks so small compared to the case?

As you probably know, in the technology world, smaller is generally considered to be better. Companies compete to make the most portable phone, or the smallest laptop, but apparently Nintendo didn't ...
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  • 3,733
2 votes
1 answer
615 views

Why did Nintendo commission Sony to create a disk reader if the Famicom already had one?

The way I understand it, Nintendo's engineers couldn't figure out how to design a disk system for the SNES, so they commissioned Sony to do it for them. Why would Nintendo do this if they already had ...
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  • 3,733
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is the N64 incapable of 2D graphics?

So as many fans are aware, the N64 era was a jump for many games into the third dimension. Games like Mario and Zelda were impacted in a positive way. Others... not so much. While it may seem odd that ...
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4 votes
1 answer
675 views

Is screen wrap on the NES a fault of the OAM?

On NES games such as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, entities that get to close to the edge of the screen, whether that be the top, bottom, left, or right side wrap around to the other side of the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
400 views

Was the character in the Game & Watch series supposed to be his own unique character?

For those of you who don't know, the Game & Watch handhelds were a series of LCD handhelds released prior to the Gameboy that featured one (and sometimes two) player games. Some of these games (...
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42 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why does the original Donkey Kong update the screen in a curtain closing pattern?

For those of you who don't know, Billy Mitchell, the former Donkey Kong world record champion was caught cheating due to differences between the original Donkey Kong format, and MAME. In other words, ...
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  • 3,733
6 votes
1 answer
4k views

How do N64 controller deadzones work?

For those of you who don't know, dead zones are a (usually) intentional effect with most controllers' analog sticks, where if the amount that it's being moved is too small, the controller doesn't ...
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17 votes
4 answers
7k views

Are NES turbo buttons internal to the controller?

As you may know, the classic NES controller was not the only NES controller that Nintedo released with the NES. These included the NES advantage, the NES Max, and the Dogbone. All of these new ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does the NES handle unlisted processor instructions differently from the Famicom?

As you may be aware, developers used unregistered machine codes in their games, as discussed in this thread. My question isn't why they would do this, but instead if these instructions yielded a ...
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4 votes
2 answers
785 views

Why does R.O.B. wear "glasses"?

So recently, I've been playing Gyromite (which sucks), with R.O.B. (which also sucks), and I noticed that he comes with sunglasses that he doesn't actually need to work properly. This was the case ...
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9 votes
2 answers
532 views

Can 6502 programs be transliterated to the SPC700?

The SPC700's instruction set is derived from the 6502's, but moves the instructions around and adds a few. But is it fully backwards compatible? Assuming that the program fully separates data and ...
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  • 17k
6 votes
2 answers
744 views

Do the cartridges lose your saved games without batteries?

I was watching a channel about living in China. And the host present a Jacky Chan Nintendo Fake. System looks like a Famicom. But when show the cartridge Video, looks they need batteries. Then it ...
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8 votes
2 answers
643 views

NES/Famicom CPU address range allowable for cartridges

The postulated address range for CPU ROM (so-called "PRG-ROM") in cartridges is $8000..$FFFF, that is pre-decoded in NES/Famicom and the chipselect is fed to the cartridge. However, it is quite ...
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18 votes
5 answers
5k views

Was Family BASIC for the NES/Famicom powerful enough to create full games and applications?

"Family BASIC or Famicom BASIC is the consumer product for programming Nintendo's Family Computer video game console of Japan." wikipedia I can't seem to find much info about Family BASIC ...
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5 votes
1 answer
624 views

Why did Nintendo change their copyright title between Donkey Kong Set 1 and 2?

Early American Donkey Kong arcade machines used US Set 1 and the game title had "1981 Nintendo" as the copyright. Later US boards used Set 2 and Nintendo changed the copyright title to "1981 Nintendo ...
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  • 2,317
18 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does anyone know the specific differences between the NES-001 (NTSC) motherboard revisions?

On each Motherboard of an NES-001 (NTSC) there is a code: NES-CPU-xx These range from 04 to 11 (I think) I would like to know if these are all of the revisions of the NES and what major differences ...
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