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Nintendo Games Too Large for PowerPak/Everdive


JamesRobot
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I've been thinking about this recently trying to remember some games NES games/hacks/homebrews that will not run on the PowerPak due to the fROM file size being too large.  A couple that come to mind are the FF VII demake and the Legend of Link.  Are there any others yall can think of?  Does the Everdrive have the same issue with file size?

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9 minutes ago, JamesRobot said:

I've been thinking about this recently trying to remember some games NES games/hacks/homebrews that will not run on the PowerPak due to the fROM file size being too large.  A couple that come to mind are the FF VII demake and the Legend of Link.  Are there any others yall can think of?  Does the Everdrive have the same issue with file size?

It does, but IIRC, the Pro version takes care of that, as it ups the ROM size from something like 256K on the original cart to like 1-2MB on the new one, allowing things like Action 52 and a bunch of much newer homebrews to load and work properly on a flash cart versus requiring a software emulator or a real cart.

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I can guarantee you that Infidelity's Super Mario All-Stars MMC5 hack of SMB3 most definitely won't work on the older kits as the ROM is huge.  It's like 2MB in size if I remember right, brand new title and menu system, independent 4 save slots(related screens, pop ups, etc) per title, and there are 5 games (Mario Bros arcade, SMB1-3, and 2j/FDS as well) all on one cart -- totally amazing release compared to the legit SNES title.

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MSG is 1.5 MB with the English patch, so it won't work on the regular one.  Repros are also pricey due to it being an MMC5 game, making donors a pain to acquire.  It also uses the expansion audio...not much of it mind you, but enough to be noticeable.  If you don't have a Pro and want a repro, feel free to message me as I have already successfully made MSG, including enabling the expansion audio on the cart (you'd still have to mod your system to hear it though, but that's a 10 minute job if you can solder and have a 48K resistor on hand).  Just know that I have around $50 into the game in parts, so it won't be an inexpensive repro

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On 11/7/2021 at 9:37 PM, JamesRobot said:

I've been thinking about this recently trying to remember some games NES games/hacks/homebrews that will not run on the PowerPak due to the fROM file size being too large.  A couple that come to mind are the FF VII demake and the Legend of Link.  Are there any others yall can think of?  Does the Everdrive have the same issue with file size?

The problem with Legend Of Link isn't the size, it's that it uses a MMC5 mapper which isn't supported by the PowerPak.

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2 minutes ago, Code Monkey said:

I also don't understand the question because both cartridges have removable media so if a game is too large, just get a larger card. No NES game is multiple tebibytes in size.

Some mappers cannot be used beyond some sizes.  UNROM, for example, can only go to 256K.  That's why mapper 30 (UNROM-512) was made - homebrewers essentially made up their own mapper so they could make bigger UNROM games instead of using an MMC1, as UNROM uses off-the-shelf logic chips instead of custom ones.  Maybe that's where the confusion lies?

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That's pretty nice and generous there with MSG.  I have been hoping more people would crack into making Sim City carts, as that one will work on the older hardware so the requirement (other than MMC5) is a little less hefty. Second(or not) to that I've been curious if anyone has tried to take a look at the game at a code level and tried to repair any bugs or button up any (more or less if not 100% coded in) buttoned up disabled items to activate them.  I know the game largely is done and works, but it has a few oddities that don't seem out of the realm of reasonable given time and skill to do it.

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51 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

That's pretty nice and generous there with MSG.  I have been hoping more people would crack into making Sim City carts, as that one will work on the older hardware so the requirement (other than MMC5) is a little less hefty. Second(or not) to that I've been curious if anyone has tried to take a look at the game at a code level and tried to repair any bugs or button up any (more or less if not 100% coded in) buttoned up disabled items to activate them.  I know the game largely is done and works, but it has a few oddities that don't seem out of the realm of reasonable given time and skill to do it.

Theoretically, I could do SimCity.  The problem is that it requires a battery, which means either farting around adding battery support to Laser Invasion, or sacrificing a Koei game.  There are a few cheaper Famicom options, but after adding a converter, it may or may not actually fit in an NES shell (I haven't yet tested to find out).  As for a bug fix, I have no idea.

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On 11/8/2021 at 7:02 PM, Tanooki said:

I can guarantee you that Infidelity's Super Mario All-Stars MMC5 hack of SMB3 most definitely won't work on the older kits as the ROM is huge.  It's like 2MB in size if I remember right, brand new title and menu system, independent 4 save slots(related screens, pop ups, etc) per title, and there are 5 games (Mario Bros arcade, SMB1-3, and 2j/FDS as well) all on one cart -- totally amazing release compared to the legit SNES title.

I can't get it to work right on my Everdrive N8 Pro for some reason...how am I suppose to set it up properly?

Even at the time Mario All-Stars came out I was hoping they'd also do a Zelda All-Stars...but I guess they figured just upgrading two games as opposed to four wouldn't be worth it. 😞 

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15 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Theoretically, I could do SimCity.  The problem is that it requires a battery, which means either farting around adding battery support to Laser Invasion, or sacrificing a Koei game.  There are a few cheaper Famicom options, but after adding a converter, it may or may not actually fit in an NES shell (I haven't yet tested to find out).  As for a bug fix, I have no idea.

A converter would be utterly pointless for me.  I use a handheld famicom system anyway (fc mobile 88) and a nes top loader with the hdmi kit along with an old school honeybee adapter, so having to kill 2 carts to cobbled together a MMC5 battery board and the adapter would be overkill.

@Estil Not sure, I've never actually compiled the ROM.  I do have a working copy of it though for backup purposes as I have an original cart someone made in this beautiful somewhat translucent red famicom shell so I basically play the real deal as I can.  Not the most helpful, but this is the board it uses.  It's a modern board/chipset mimicking the full MMC5 setup.  I wish I knew where to source this then someone like @the_wizard_666 could use it to make something like that SimCity game I brought up as it's large and uses the same MMC, battery too.

SMAS-FC-Infidelity2017a.jpg.54aa36d26f995071a726ac568b12944d.jpg

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5 hours ago, Tanooki said:

A converter would be utterly pointless for me.  I use a handheld famicom system anyway (fc mobile 88) and a nes top loader with the hdmi kit along with an old school honeybee adapter, so having to kill 2 carts to cobbled together a MMC5 battery board and the adapter would be overkill.

@Estil Not sure, I've never actually compiled the ROM.  I do have a working copy of it though for backup purposes as I have an original cart someone made in this beautiful somewhat translucent red famicom shell so I basically play the real deal as I can.  Not the most helpful, but this is the board it uses.  It's a modern board/chipset mimicking the full MMC5 setup.  I wish I knew where to source this then someone like @the_wizard_666 could use it to make something like that SimCity game I brought up as it's large and uses the same MMC, battery too.

I try and use new parts whenever possible, including converters, which I get from Muramasa.  The only thing that sucks is having to cut the screw hole in the middle of the case, but that can't be avoided.  But yeah, I only use donors whenever I have to, so it would only cost one MMC5 cart no matter how I do it.  I could even make it as a Famicom cartridge if you prefer, although I'm not in a place to buy custom shells for it so you get whatever colour case the donor came in 😛

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2 hours ago, Tanooki said:

@the_wizard_666 Do you have any idea about what I've got here in that picture I showed?  I've been curious what it is and who makes the things because that there would stop the need for donors entirely for MMC5 level stuff, maybe more, depending on the complexity of the parts there.

I haven't got a clue.  The parts look pretty basic, but the board is a complete mystery to me.  Doesn't look like a game cart to me though.

EDIT: That is, a legit cart.  I'm guessing it's a boot of some kind.  Looks like they used off the shelf logic chips and rewired the pins to make it work.  Not sure I'd even want to attempt that without knowing what I was doing though...cutting traces isn't exactly recommended procedure 😛

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On 11/9/2021 at 11:38 PM, Code Monkey said:

The problem with Legend Of Link isn't the size, it's that it uses a MMC5 mapper which isn't supported by the PowerPak.

There aren’t multiple different versions of the same mapper.  Newer revisions which got better, but not variations where one version does one thing and another does something different.  The PowerPak and EverDrive have had a proper MMC5 mapper for years now.

On 11/10/2021 at 12:44 AM, Code Monkey said:

I also don't understand the question because both cartridges have removable media so if a game is too large, just get a larger card. No NES game is multiple tebibytes in size.

It refers to how much onboard memory the ROM has to be loaded into, which is how they’re played.  You can store as many files as you have space on your flash media, but there’s an upper limit of 256-512K of RAM to load ROM images into by the respective flash carts.

On 11/10/2021 at 10:22 AM, Code Monkey said:

From the RetroUSB website:

Current Known Bugs:
MMC5 support not implemented yet. The PowerPak DOES have enough hardware to do it.

That’s because bunnyboy never created a mapper for it himself, someone else did.  I can’t recall which was the “final,” definitive set of mappers for the PowerPak, but it was absolutely community created and something you had to go get and install yourself.

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