Homebrew PicoDrive TWL - SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive emulator for Nintendo DS(i)

RocketRobz

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With a bit of knowledge of the SEGA Gen/MD hardware, I decided to improve upon the original source code of PicoDriveDS by Ryan FB, and release it with a new name, PicoDrive TWL!

IMG_20200413_231546_958.jpg

Like with the original PicoDriveDS, PicoDrive TWL is a SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive emulator for Nintendo DS, and now for Nintendo DSi as well!

New Features
  • DSi compatibility!
  • SSF2 mapper emulation for users with a Memory Expansion Pak or a DSi console.
    Makes Super Street Fighter 2 and other ROMs (such as hacks) that uses the mapper, compatible.
  • Screen filtering. The screen now looks less pixelated.
Todo
  • Sound playback (WIP)
  • DSi: Move screen drawing to DSP
Download
Requires either nds-hb-menu or TWiLight Menu++

Credits
  • Ryan FB: Original PicoDriveDS source code
  • Me: New features
  • @Pk11: Fixes to make it build in a modern dev environment
  • @maorninja: Creating the GitHub repo
  • devkitPro: Use of devkitArm and libnds, and file browsing code from nds-hb-menu
 
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Wow, it is actually possible to add sound support!?:grog:
 
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Solid One

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What about the screen being cut due to screen size differences? Original genesis has resolution of 320x240 and DS lite has 256x192 (or 384 if you count both screens). Previously, I remember I had to press L and R buttons to side-scroll the screen in order to see the other borders. Is that fixed on this improvement?
 
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With a bit of knowledge of the SEGA Gen/MD hardware, I decided to improve upon the original source code of PicoDriveDS by Ryan FB, and release it with a new name, PicoDrive TWL!


Like with the original PicoDriveDS, PicoDrive TWL is a SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive emulator for Nintendo DS, and now for Nintendo DSi as well!

New Features
  • DSi compatibility!
  • SSF2 mapper emulation for users with a Memory Expansion Pak or a DSi console.
    Makes Super Street Fighter 2 and other ROMs (such as hacks) that uses the mapper, compatible.
  • Screen filtering. The screen now looks less pixelated.
Todo
  • Add sound
  • DSi: Move screen drawing to DSP
Download
Requires either nds-hb-menu or TWiLight Menu++

Credits
  • Ryan FB: Original PicoDriveDS source code
  • Me: New features
  • @Pk11: Fixes to make it build in a modern dev environment
  • @maorninja: Creating the GitHub repo
  • devkitPro: Use of devkitArm and libnds, and file browsing code from nds-hb-menu
:yay:

I knew you can do it.:)
I hope it makes also that Fun as with TWiLight Developement.

Great work,my Friend.
Thank you.:)
 

RocketRobz

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Wow, it is actually possible to add sound support!?:grog:
Yup. The source has code for sound, but doesn't work properly for now, and makes emulation slow.
The code would have to be moved to arm7.
What about the screen being cut due to screen size differences? Original genesis has resolution of 320x240 and DS lite has 256x192 (or 384 if you count both screens). Previously, I remember I had to press L and R buttons to side-scroll the screen in order to see the other borders. Is that fixed on this improvement?
If you checked the screenshot, the whole screen is fit into the console.
Amazing job! Finally a mega drive emulator that saves. I have one relevant issue, at least for sonic 3 and knuckes, the frame rate is very low. Note that it isn't slow, just very choppy
That's because the frame drawing code needs to process what to display on the screen, such as the BG/FG, window, and sprites.
 

Solid One

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If you checked the screenshot, the whole screen is fit into the console.

I've checked the images, and judging by the SF2 screenshot, I can see both life bars, and they aren't too close to the borders. But the screenshots are for DSi, which may be a bit bigger than DS Lite's screen. Will the image be uncut both on DSi and DS Lite?

And yet talking about PicoDrive's performance, will those changes make it slower to run Genesis games on a DS Lite? Or only for some games (such as Sonic 3, as reported by Artmagic3318)?

Anyway, that's a great improvement. I'll test your new PicoDrive version on my DS Lite to see how it performs. Playing Kid Chameleon without having to keep scrolling screen whenever I'm going to one side of the screen to another is much better.
 

Zense

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I've checked the images, and judging by the SF2 screenshot, I can see both life bars, and they aren't too close to the borders. But the screenshots are for DSi, which may be a bit bigger than DS Lite's screen. Will the image be uncut both on DSi and DS Lite?

And yet talking about PicoDrive's performance, will those changes make it slower to run Genesis games on a DS Lite? Or only for some games (such as Sonic 3, as reported by Artmagic3318)?

Anyway, that's a great improvement. I'll test your new PicoDrive version on my DS Lite to see how it performs. Playing Kid Chameleon without having to keep scrolling screen whenever I'm going to one side of the screen to another is much better.
The DS and DSi have the same resolution on their screen so you'll have just as much shown on both systems. The difference is that the DSi has a dimensionally larger screen but again the resolution is the same.
 

Solid One

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Just tried testing PicoDrive TWL on my DS Lite with an AceKard 2i flashcard. It didn't worked. When I try running "PicoDriveTWL.nds", it shows some text messages (possibly error), and then my DS Lite turns off.

It worked fine when I tested it on jEnesisDS. Is this emulator exclusive for Twilight Menu? And if true, is TWL compatible with DS Lite w/ any flashcard combinations?
 

RocketRobz

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Just tried testing PicoDrive TWL on my DS Lite with an AceKard 2i flashcard. It didn't worked. When I try running "PicoDriveTWL.nds", it shows some text messages (possibly error), and then my DS Lite turns off.

It worked fine when I tested it on jEnesisDS. Is this emulator exclusive for Twilight Menu? And if true, is TWL compatible with DS Lite w/ any flashcard combinations?
As stated underneath "Download", you need either nds-hb-menu or TWiLight Menu++.
Also, yes, you can use it on any flashcard.
 

Solid One

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As stated underneath "Download", you need either nds-hb-menu or TWiLight Menu++.
Also, yes, you can use it on any flashcard.

Thanks for the reply. That being the case, I decided grabbing another old flashcard I had here (a R4i-SDHC), whose firmware worked only if I put the system clock to an older date, and replaced its default firmware to Twilight Menu. Luckily, it worked fine, and I'm impressed about how much better it is, when compared to the older one. Gotta fiddle with it, to see its new features.

After that, I tested PicoDrive TWL. Now it worked, however I'm getting no sound from any games. Besides, the game is performing slower than on jEnesisDS. Is that normal?
 
Last edited by Solid One,

Zense

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Thanks for the reply. That being the case, I decided grabbing an old R4i-SDHC, whose firmware worked only if I put the system clock to an older date, and replaced its default firmware to Twilight Menu. Luckily, it worked fine, and I'm impressed about how much better it is, when compared to the older one. Gotta fiddle with it, to see its new features.

After that, I tested PicoDrive TWL. Now it worked, however I'm getting no sound from any games. Besides, the game is performing slower than on jEnesisDS. Is that normal?
Yep, that is how it performs at the moment but hopefully we'll see some improvements in the future :)
 

RocketRobz

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Thanks for the reply. That being the case, I decided grabbing an old R4i-SDHC, whose firmware worked only if I put the system clock to an older date, and replaced its default firmware to Twilight Menu. Luckily, it worked fine, and I'm impressed about how much better it is, when compared to the older one. Gotta fiddle with it, to see its new features.

After that, I tested PicoDrive TWL. Now it worked, however I'm getting no sound from any games. Besides, the game is performing slower than on jEnesisDS. Is that normal?
Yes, that's normal, as the sound emulation makes it run slow.
A workaround will be implemented, but it'll only be for DSi consoles.
 
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