Questions tagged [nintendo]

For questions about the different versions and products released by Nintendo

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55
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
713 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
501 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
387 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
321 views

What is the cause of Trent's circuit board strategy? [closed]

For those of you who are unaware, professional speedrunner Trent Hall discovered a now banned strategy in Goldeneye 007. This strategy (called Trent's Circuit Board Strategy) consisted of plugging a ...
8
votes
2answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do parallel universes exist in Super Mario 64?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
306 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k 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-...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
303 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
316 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 ...
42
votes
1answer
5k 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'...
5
votes
2answers
623 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
500 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
346 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 (...
39
votes
2answers
9k 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
857 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
580 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
429 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
578 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
447 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
535 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
688 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What ended the Sony console partnerships with Sega and Nintendo?

Sega and Nintendo were the dominant players in the console market at the end of the 1980s and into the 90s. By early in the next decade, Sony shipped the PlayStation 2, leading Sega to exit the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Were any unlicensed games released for the Nintendo 64?

There haven't been many unlicensed games released for Nintendo consoles, partly due to the fact that Nintendo has locked down their development hardware and software. The most famous of Nintendo's ...
28
votes
8answers
9k views

NES cartridge ROM emulation with Arduino or Pi?

I'm looking to buy or make an NES cartridge that can be controlled by a microcontroller or small computer like the Raspberry Pi. I don't want to gut an NES cart and put an NES emulator inside it (as ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the Famicom “Pulse Line” of games? How many games are part of this line?

(This question was inspired by Did all NES "Black Box" games come in carts with five screws?) I've heard of the Famicom "Pulse Line" of games released in Japan shortly after the launch of ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it possible to play Famicom games on the NES and utilize the extra sound channels?

I've seen there are adapters to convert Japanese Famicom games to work on the NES. You may have to remove the lockout chip, I can't remember. Anyway, many Famicom games included extra sound hardware ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Did all NES “Black Box” games come in carts with five screws?

When the NES was released, there were a list of original titles from Nintendo such as Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros. and Metroid. These titles came in a distinctive box that was mostly black. Plus, the ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

Can removing a cartridge from an NES (or any other cartridge-based game system) damage the hardware or software?

On some cartridge-based video game systems (NES, Game Boy Color, etc.) it is possible to remove the cartridge while the game system is still powered on. What kind of damage can this behavior do to ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

What did the Supercard “patch” program actually do to GBA and NDS ROMs to make them playable?

The Supercard is a flash cart for the Game Boy advance which can play ROMs and other files off of assorted flash memory. I recently found my Supercard SD and Superkey for NDS, which acts as a ...
98
votes
5answers
22k views

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

When the N64 cartridge is tilted in Super Mario 64, it reliably produces glitches such as this. Mario's limbs disappear, he rotates 90° and sinks into the floor, and the music gets messed up (usually ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Main board of the original Game & Watch (Ball)

The Game and Watch was a series of single-title games consoles created by Nintendo from 1980 until 1991. Each machine contained a custom LCD screen (containing images related to the software), some ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I use a UK power adapter in NTSC NES

I have an old US (NTSC) NES system which we found in the garage. Sadly the power supply is missing. As I now live in the UK, I was wondering if it is possible to use a UK NES power supply with it. ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

How does the NES Light Gun work?

Modern motion detection video game systems (Wii/Wii U, Xbox Kinect, PS Move, etc.) need sensors to read for motion and user input. However, when you play Duck Hunt (and some other games) on the NES, ...
28
votes
1answer
11k views

Why is a BIOS dump not required to emulate Nintendo 64 games in most modern emulators?

In order to emulate some home consoles (Playstation 1/2, Sega Saturn/CD/32x, etc.) a dump of the system's BIOS is required to emulate the console. Out of the Nintendo 64 emulators I have found online,...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

How Did the 10NES lockout chip work?

One of the differences between the Japanese Famicom and the NES released outside of Japan is that the NES shipped with a lockout chip which prevented bootleg and imported games from working on the ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are the PPU registers on the NES mirrored?

The NES Picture Processing Unit has eight memory-mapped registers to the CPU in registers $2000 to $2007. The are incompletely decoded, so they are mirrored every 8 bytes from register $2008 to $...
16
votes
2answers
14k views

What are the differences between the Japanese Famicom and American NES?

In Japan, Nintendo's first home console was sold as the Family Computer (Famicom), while in the US it was later sold as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Other than the region lock out for ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

How does one bypass the region lock on Japanese Super Famicom?

I recently bought a Super Famicom on my trip to Japan. However, the console is region locked so you can't play American SNES games. It seems to be that the plastic cartridge doesn't fit in the console ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this unused memory range in the Game Boy's memory map?

Here is a basic memory map of the Game Boy's 16bit address bus: 0000-3FFF 16KB ROM Bank 00 (in cartridge, fixed at bank 00) 4000-7FFF 16KB ROM Bank 01..NN (in cartridge, switchable bank number) 8000-...
6
votes
1answer
790 views

How do I find unused content in a Nintendo 64 game?

There are some sites online which contain information on unused content in video games (The Cutting Room Floor being an example). Many of these sites contain GameShark codes to enter to enable or ...