GBARunner2

Discussion in 'NDS - Emulation and Homebrew' started by Gericom, Dec 4, 2016.

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  1. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Oof. Annoying. I wish I could do automated tests. But 1. it's hard to determine if a game is working and 2. I can't run it faster than real time ofc.
     
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  2. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Okay, some good news. I've managed to make versions of gbarunner2 now that take advantage of the dsi 16MB and 3ds 32MB of memory. I also made the wramicache into a setting now. Note that the dsi and 3ds exclusive versions require the latest nightly of nds-bootstrap at the moment!
    With the 16MB version pokemon emerald works with master for example and also asterix and obelix xxl. V-rally 3 will soon be supported with a build in patch. 32 MB mode makes the mario bros game work in superstar saga and it may also help in making expanded pokemon rom hacks work. There may be more currently unworking games that work with this.
    https://github.com/Gericom/GBARunner2/releases/tag/v20190914-211337_b4dd8d2
     
  3. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    So some games will only be playable on dsi or 3ds model? Is this the end of the line for the base ds model?
     
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  4. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Yeah, well, there probably will be a limited set of games that will only work on dsi or even only on 3ds. But it's really only a small set of games. If you look at the compatibility list there's like 80~90% of the games that at least boot something.
    I will never drop support for the original ds, but it's still nice to be able to have higher compatibility on dsi and 3ds.
     
  5. RaymanTheHedgehog

    RaymanTheHedgehog Member

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    I'm pretty sure the pokemon romhacks will be 3DS only
     
  6. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Would be interesting to see if they work now.
     
  7. Zense

    Zense GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I thought I should congratulate @Gericom on his work which is already starting to surpass Nintendo's very own agb_firm:
    Pokémon LeafGreen in agb_firm(to the left) vs gbarunner2 (to the right)

    As you can see agb_firm has these frames whenever you enter the main hall of the pokécenters during which all sprites are black and the screen is dimmed. Trust me when I tell you this gets annoying after a while considering that this happens in every pokécenter, and it also happens when you look in your bag inventory or your pokéboxes at the pc...

    Again great job and this was only to share my amazement at what you've accomplished considering that what you've made even runs on a DS.
     
    Last edited by Zense, Sep 15, 2019
  8. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Thanks!
    Interesting thing you point out there. Does that problem exist using a real cartridge on real gba hardware?
     
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  9. ber71

    ber71 Member

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    Awesome.
    I wonder if dsi/3ds RAM usage could be enabled through a setting too. This would lead to a single nds build.
     
  10. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Although that would be possible, it would add extra cycles to the abort handler for loading addresses and values from variables in memory instead of hardcoding them in the instructions. It should be possible to like patch the right values into the code at runtime, but that's annoying to do in practice.
     
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  11. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I did a quick test with mgba. It looks like gbarunner2 handles these screen transitions faster than the original hardware.
     
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  12. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    Yeah, I expected something like that. Reading from cached main memory is faster than reading from a gba cartridge.
     
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  13. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I wonder if this could be used to reduce slowdown in some games (Advance Guardian Heroes for example).
     
    Last edited by Dodain47, Sep 15, 2019
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  14. Zense

    Zense GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Unfortunately, I don't have a gba and the cartridge to test at the moment. I found this video on youtube of someone playing firered on a gba and the transition there is actually like agb_firm, so gbarunner2 is actually improving on the game itself, as @Dodain47 pointed out. Still, I'm surprised game freak released a game that does this.
     
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  15. ghjfdtg

    ghjfdtg GBAtemp Fan

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    I can confirm this darkened transition screen is the correct behavior on real hardware. Unsurprisingly AGB_FIRM is more accurate.
     
  16. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Maniac

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    Can this be related to PCM sound getting out of sync?

    Been playing Breath of Fire II lately on whatever came with the newest TWLight, everything works perfect except the gameboy and PCM parts of the music are frequently out of sync. (Although awesome that the gameboy parts are even here now!)
     
  17. Zense

    Zense GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Yeah, though, I'll much rather take gbarunner2's speedier transitions because the accurate one feels extra punishing whenever you enter the wrong menu and have to go out when managing your pokémons on the terminal.

    From an accuracy point of view, I noticed that gbarunner2 manages to run the handful of 2 games that otherwise would have problems/freeze on agb_firm (obviously if you look the other way around more games will be playable on agb_firm, atm):
    Army Men - Turf Wars
    Justice League - Chronicles (U) <- Probably an issue from the injector.
    Rockman EXE 4.5 - Real Operation (J) <- Slowdowns
    SpongeBob SquarePants and Friends Unite! (E)
    Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros. 3 (E)
    Zero-Tours (J)


    I'm not trying to say there's a competition, since they take different approaches to play gba roms. Also, I don't think Nintendo went in trying to make every gba game compatible with agb_firm - they probably focused on getting the few games they released to play as good as possible and maybe make sure that if they decided to release more games that they would play as well.

    Between this and wireless linking capabilities, gbarunner2 will become my prefered way of playing gba on the ds family of systems. Heck, for me it's even better than slot-2 flashcards on the ds. I guess if you really want shaders, save states and cheats then maybe mgba/slot2 flashcards on 3ds is the better way to go. I don't think those things are within the scope nor even possible on gbarunner2 (?).
     
    Last edited by Zense, Sep 15, 2019
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  18. ghjfdtg

    ghjfdtg GBAtemp Fan

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    Are you sure these games are not just bad dumps or (incompatible) patched ones? AGB_FIRM uses actual real GBA hardware. agbbg (ARM11 process) takes the framebuffer, audio and a bunch of other stuff and outputs it through 3DS mode hardware (DSP, GPU and more). There is also hardware cartridge and save chip "emulation" hence why this is so accurate.
     
  19. Zense

    Zense GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I was only going from the compatability list on gbatemp,and sure it might be wrong. However, I would think anyone wanting to play SMA4 - Super Mario Bros. 3 would have tried several dumps, as I see they've done that for other games like for example Pokémon Emerald.

    However, when it comes to saving it is pretty obvious that agb_firm does not support it completely as 99,9% a lot of the incompatabilities stem from that.
     
    Last edited by Zense, Sep 15, 2019
  20. Gericom
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    Gericom GBAtemp Maniac

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    No, that's completely unrelated.
    I believe you just need to set the right values in the rom footer such that the right save type is emulated (by hardware). That list may be outdated.

    Also yeah, things like shaders are basically impossible. I am gonna add a darkening option to somewhat simulate the gba screen though (just with masterbright). I believe save states should be possible, but are a lot of work to implement. I'm not sure how cheats work, but those should definitely be possible seeing as they even worked on real gba hw with a flashcard or so.
    If wireless linking can work well enough that would probably be the feature that makes gbarunner2 stand out most from agb_firm and ds gba mode.
     
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