115 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

3D games like Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time are time-step-based physics simulators. Their basic design is based on the assumption that nothing goes above a certain speed. Each frame, Super Mario ...
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77 votes
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How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

The main point to understand is that the console is limited. RAM on the console itself is faster than memory on the cartridge (and the cartridge memory was usually read only, with a little non ...
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51 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

I wouldn't say "It's a very specific and subtle kind of behavior." I really think this is the case of undefined behavior that has been reproduced so many times from N64 launch to now that ...
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  • 9,242
48 votes

Why are the Nintendo 64 memory cards' batteries *soldered* on?

It's cheaper and possibly more reliable than providing a connector. These are disposable consumer products designed to be sold at the lowest price and highest margin. Your question assumes devices ...
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42 votes
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Why did Nintendo 64 (1996) memory cards require a battery inside them to retain data whereas the PlayStation (1994) ones did not?

Most likely different acrchitecture comes from idea how memory cards will/should be used and what are the available interfaces to access them. The PS memory cards do have flash memory, but the bus to ...
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31 votes
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Why is a BIOS dump not required to emulate Nintendo 64 games in most modern emulators?

The Nintendo 64 ROM is only 2KB in size and apparently easy to emulate. It seems to only check the validity of the inserted cartridge's ROM and set up a limited environment. Nintendo 64 cartridges ...
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31 votes
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Can a Japanese (or US) PSU for Nintendo 64 be run with 230 V mains?

The supply shown in the video will most likely blow up if you connect it to 230V mains. At 1:08 in the video you see the printing "200V" on the main filter cap. There is no plausible way to ...
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30 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

This is the pinout of a Nintendo 64 cartridge (from here). The Nintendo 64 used a multiplexed address/data bus with a three-stage access protocol: write the high word of the address you want to ...
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  • 8,413
29 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

The short answer is: These games are built on code which is supposed to simulate the laws of physics, at least for motion. But they are also games, which means that that code has to run fast enough ...
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25 votes

Why are the Nintendo 64 memory cards' batteries *soldered* on?

Replacing the battery wipes the memory card, losing all your savegames. Note that if you had a battery clip, there is a potential risk that the battery terminals might become oxidised or be jolted ...
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19 votes

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

The NES can be damaged by software, so removing the cartridge at just the wrong timing could theoretically damage the console. The 2CO2 PPU in the NES normally reads the background color from palette ...
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  • 5,244
19 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

You probably don't encounter these glitches because you play the game as the developers intended. In Oblivion you can pickup plates and stuff to move or throw (which is the intended use), but if you ...
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15 votes
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How does the Everdrive handle all the special chips and stuff that were put in cartridges?

Does it really have every single chip that any game ever used as hardware inside the Everdrive? Or does it actually emulate them somehow? The latter. In the Super Everdrive and SD2SNES cartridges, ...
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15 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

No software is ever bug-free, and games are no exception. The reason most of these bugs seem so crazy is that they're complex and frequently require several things to go right (wrong?) at the same ...
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15 votes

Why did the Rumble Pak for the Nintendo 64 require batteries when it actually apparently doesn't?

According to Willis82 at https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/nintendo_64_forever/rumble-pak-mod-t6706.html Nintendo actually did this to kiosk rumble packs so shop owners wouldn't have to change ...
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14 votes
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Were there any other peripherals that used the Nintendo 64's Memory Expansion Bay besides the Expansion Pak?

No, this is only for RAM. The jumper pack actually just terminates connection of the onboard RAM and adding the expansion pack works just as it sounds. You can even upgrade the capacity to even ...
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  • 156
14 votes
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What kind of software was used to develop Nintendo 64 titles?

It used the same C compiler that shipped with the Indy workstation. See: Nintendo 64 Development Manual: C Compiler Suite It required a few flags not normally used when building C programs for the ...
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14 votes
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Can removing a cartridge from an NES (or any other cartridge-based game system) damage the hardware or software?

Hardware No damage to the hardware should occur (unless by chance removing the cartridge physically damages the hardware contacts). The reason for this is is that loading a cart basically completes ...
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  • 9,242
14 votes
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Nintendo 64 microcode format

As I understand it the GPU’s microcode was written for the RSP (Reality Signal Processor). The RSP’s instruction set is comprehensively documented in the Nintendo Ultra64 RSP Programmer’s Guide, ...
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14 votes

Why are the Nintendo 64 memory cards' batteries *soldered* on?

I doubt you'll find any actual reference here but things that look to be silly from an engineering viewpoint often make more sense from a financial one. N64 memory cards are mass-market consumer ...
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  • 1,614
13 votes

How does the Everdrive handle all the special chips and stuff that were put in cartridges?

Most flashcarts (including the Everdrive) use an FPGA to emulate mappers, which is essentially a programmable ASIC -- a developer writes code in a hardware description language specifying the behavior ...
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  • 5,244
13 votes

Can a Japanese (or US) PSU for Nintendo 64 be run with 230 V mains?

I can supply an anecdote from 1997-8 that might answer your question. A friend and I imported a couple of US units to New Zealand so that we could play US region games. As an aside, because the power ...
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12 votes

How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches?

The Gist Games on the N64 typically did not have a lot of memory to use. Instead of keeping all code and data loaded onto the cartridge at one time, it would typically keep some necessary game code ...
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12 votes
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How do parallel universes exist in Super Mario 64?

This answer is based solely on the information here and the original Parallel Universe video. There is a part of the game's code that detects whether Mario is standing on the floor. This part of the ...
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12 votes

What does "ByteSwapped" and "BigEndian" refer to in the context of video game ROMs?

There’s a detailed thread about this on Jul. Basically, there are three data storage orders used for Nintendo 64 ROMs: big-endian, which is the Nintendo 64’s native order (Z64 in the thread); little-...
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10 votes
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Nintendo 64 Color Depth

The Wiki Entry says that the N64 calculated with 24-bit color, but output 21-bit. Right,that's the way it is. The 15 or 24 Bit colour is what the Reality Display Processor can produce (see Video ...
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  • 174k
10 votes
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Did blowing into an N64 cartridge really affect whether or not the game would run?

Not the blowing but most likely the process of repeated inserting has removed the cause - as so often with connectors, especially PCB connectors. As @Ross Ridge already mentioned, the Question has ...
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  • 174k
10 votes
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Is the N64 incapable of 2D graphics?

While it may seem odd that Nintendo chose for every last one of their properties released on the N64 was transformed into 3D. Why odd? Being all-3D was the USP (*1) for the N64. Since games had to be ...
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10 votes

How is it possible that classic 3D video games such as Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time can contain such bizarre "glitches"?

A good way to think about it is to consider board, card and tabletop games: A board game has rules: who goes first, what happens when you land on a space; and state: whose turn is it, where the pieces ...
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  • 10.1k
10 votes
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How fast was Rambus compared to regular EDO RAM?

What's the question? First problem here is what is to be considered speed. Random access time? Cycle time? Maximum memory thruput? Average memory thruput? Either value per chip or for the whole ...
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