Can someone please explain to me how flashcards "Emulate" DS G

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by shoyrumaster11, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. shoyrumaster11
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    Member shoyrumaster11 GBAtemp Regular

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    I have an assumption that flashcards "Emulate" DS games, but I think I could be terribly wrong, I was told that R4's don't "Emulate" the NDS games, because the NDS is the system that the R4's run on, so it can't be "emulation". I know enough about these systems to know that they use a database that has the data needed to play the games (e.g: How the R4 is going to try to load the game as if it was a legal copy) unfortunately, I think that it's as i said above, "emulation". In other words, does the R4 play downloaded NDS games in realtime or are they all "emulated"? I'm just curious because iv'e played R4's before ( R.i.P R4 Redant [Used since 2011, no more updates or compatibility in 2012] ) i'm getting a bit besides my point now. It's just that I may do a video or something on YouTube about how exactly flashcards load and run games and how most of the time they work. But I don't want to troll the community with crap because I want to know what i'm talking about better than I already do. Plus, my channel may do flashcard reviews. Some flashcards I will test as they update. But as i said before. I might do a special video in which I talk about how flashcards exactly run their games. If you know, please reply!
     
  2. reshx

    Member reshx GBAtemp Regular

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    actualy , a "flashcard" is like a ds cartidge but it has a micro sd/usb for storing data , like games . when you open the FC from the ds menu you can choose various applications or games to play directly from the flashcard.

    No emulation is ocurred, because a flashcard stores more data than a original cartridge , so , it acts like there is various games inside it .
     
  3. Psionic Roshambo

    Member Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    well I guess you could say they emulate the loading process of an original cart, but once a game is loaded there is no software still running on the DS besides the game. (How cheats work and how getting back to the flash carts menu from inside the game, I am semi clueless about. I mean I know some values are patched into RAM/ROM while its being loaded...)

    I guess the brutal answer would be no there is no emulation going on.
     
  4. tbgtbg

    Member tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

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    It's not emulation, it's just a different way of getting the same program data into the system. It's like, if you copy your PC game from CD to the hard drive, it doesn't suddenly mean you're emulating the game, you're just running it from a different medium.
     
  5. The Pi

    Member The Pi Lurker

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    While only certain carts (i.e. DSTWO) have something that can be considered as a microprocessor (or CPU) all flashcards have some called a microcontroller which is basically a very weak CPU. This is what does all the work inside a flashcart. It doesn't emulate DS games (you can't emulate software) nor the DS itself but it does emulate a real DS cart. As for cheats and going back to the menu, the microcontroller does pre-patching of the game before it starts, that is the cause of the small pause before the game starts.
     
  6. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    It is not emulation. All flashcart does is translate read and write command of DS cart into read and write command for microSD. Game is still natively using DS hardware.
     
  7. shoyrumaster11
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    Member shoyrumaster11 GBAtemp Regular

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    I never noticed a slight pause in my games back when I had an R4 device.
     
  8. shoyrumaster11
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    So it's all realtime?
     
  9. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    The slight pause depends on the game, flash cart, MicroSD, and things like that... but it's usually a fraction of a second (most carts display "LOADING" during this period).

    It's all realtime, the DS is actually running the game itself. That's why in most cases you can't get back to the flash cart's menu without resetting the system, because after you start the game the DS is running the game and there's no functions in any official games to go back to a flash cart menu. Now, some carts DO add that ability (like the EZ-Flash V and Supercard DSTwo), but they do it by modifying the game while it's loading in order to insert the additional commands that let it return to the menu (which would not exist otherwise), and this doesn't always work (sometimes you need to run new games without the shortcut functions enabled until a new patch comes out that fixes those games).
     
  10. shoyrumaster11
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    Member shoyrumaster11 GBAtemp Regular

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    Okay then. If it's all realtime, than how come when you load a game on a badly developed flashcard. Anti Piracy shits all over the game you are playing? Or, less likely to happen, but can. Crash the game or the entire system?
     
  11. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    What does that have to do with it being realtime? :P Those routines check for some hardware-level stuff and actively choose to crash the system (or interfere with gameplay) if they think something is wrong.

    This isn't a new concept, anti-piracy has existed to combat flash carts and copiers since the NES days. For example Donkey Kong Country 2 will check how much SRAm (save space) is available on the cart, and if it's "0",the game will present an error message. This is because it KNOWS the original cart should have 2KB of save RAM, whereas lots of copiers didn't include any since they had no reason to (they were meant to copy the game code, not play it). Chrono Trigger for the SNES did the same sort of thing, if it detects a different amount of save space, the first time travel sequence will go into an infinite loop.

    It's not emulation, but it's not the original game cart running at the hardware level, the game code is running from something other than the original cart. In addition games need to be patched/modified in order to run from a MicroSD instead of their original flash cart, and this changes how the game runs in RAM just a bit. Games can do "sanity checks" to see if they've been altered (by hashing certain RAM and comparing the hashes to known good ones).

    Wanna' see some crazy anti-piracy? Check out Earthbound's copy-protection mechanisms (that link has some more info on how it runs, too).

    Anyways flash cart companies release updates to patch out these methods. Modify the hash comparison in RAM to always be true (or just never happen), fake any hardware responses the cart should be giving, report the right amount of save space, shit like that.
     
  12. shoyrumaster11
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    Member shoyrumaster11 GBAtemp Regular

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    I've heard of crazier anti piracy. Look at the PARADOX patched game of Spyro 3: Year of the dragon. Never EVER played S3, but I've heard that the PARADOX copy is really fucked just because of a change in the games CRC In order to run the PAL/NTSC selector + Trainer screen.

    (This is off a YouTube comment on: http://youtu.be/H59_wzbG_qg) [Pg 2]
    1. Zoe (That small, Tinkerbell like fairy) tells you that your copy of the game is illegal! (From that comment, I know Zoe is a psychic)
    2. FMVs are corrupted
    3. Vehicle Glitches
    4. Final boss fight fucks up and has to reset
    5. Random super-bonus world
    6. Midnight Mountain redirects you to Sunrise Spring
    7. Randomly disappearing overworld
    8. Health always set to 1%
    9. World 3 GONE!!!!
    10. Gems glitch and reset back to 0%
    And you thought you heard of crazy anti-piracy errors! Go download a PS1 emulator, find a good Spyro 3 ISO and get the patch from here! This is true anti-piracy! Now let's get back to NDS flashcards!
     
  13. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Because AP checks to see if you are running on flashcart or not. Flashcart redirects read and write command to microSD card, naturally this means games are not running like it supposed to. AP can pick this up if flashcart is not updated to circumvent AP.
     
  14. eggsample

    Member eggsample punahussy

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    @shoyrumaster11 You are interested in programming and avoiding AP or you want to use flashcard for gaming? If gaming, so do not bother yourself about AP, just use flashcard and do sometimes kernel update which includes AP patches. Flashcards are not emulators. Lol.
     
  15. shoyrumaster11
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    Member shoyrumaster11 GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm really just interested in seeing how these devices called R4's work!
     
  16. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    You sure doesn't sound like it.

    Flashcart is NOT emulation period. All it does is to feed data into the DS (and patch some data to circumvent AP, enable cheats, enable soft-rest, etc). Patching does not make it an emulation.

    Say for example I have a DS game with an AP to search for IR sensor built into the real cartridge. Obviously flashcart does not have IR sensor inside, so flashcart with updated kernel patches the response data to let the DS believe it does have IR sensor, thereby passing AP checks. Flashcart without updated kernel would fail the AP check, since DS knows that it lacks IR sensor, hence not the real cartridge.

    Emulation would be something like running GBA ROM on Wii.

    Repeat after me: Flashcart is NOT emulation. Flashcart is NOT emulation. Flashcart is NOT emulation period.
     
  17. shoyrumaster11
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    Member shoyrumaster11 GBAtemp Regular

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    I've repeated it twice now and remember it! Plus! I think i've got enough info on how flashcards run their games now. Thanks!
     

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