TWiLight Menu++ by Robz8 - Play DS Games from SD Card on 3DS & more

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Welcome to GBAtemp Project Spotlight, where we shine the light on the incredible creations and projects from within the GBAtemp community!

For our second issue we're taking a look at TWiLight Menu++ by GBAtemp member @Robz8

TWiLight Menu++

Launch DS(i) ROMs from the SD card and/or flashcard, via nds-bootstrap (comes included with the app)!
For flashcards, the flashcard kernel/firmware can optionally be used to boot the games.
Automatic on-the-fly AP-patching! Drag and drop your ROMs onto the SD card, and play, without any additional steps!
The included AP-patches are loaded for a specific game, by nds-bootstrap, and the patching is done in RAM, leaving your original ROM untouched.
Bring the DSi Menu to your DS Phat/lite, by putting TWLMenu++ on a flashcard!
First DS flashcard UI to show animated icons from DSi-Enhanced, DSi-Exclusive, and DSiWare games!
Set the language to your preference.
10 save slots!
For DSi/3DS/2DS users: Overclock your DS games to 133mhz, faster than normal DS clock speed of 67mhz!
For DSi/3DS/2DS users: Change sound frequency from 32kHz to 48kHz for higher sound quality!
Directly access the flashcard's microSD card, and switch to and from there anytime! (Only applies to the flashcards listed right below the instructions.)
Run the last played ROM on TWiLight Menu++ startup.
Play retro games from these consoles: Atari 2600, via StellaDS (.a26 only); Atari 5200, via A5200DS (.a52 only); Atari 7800, via A7800DS (.a78 only); NES/Famicom, via nesDS; (Super) GameBoy (Color), via GameYob; Sega Master System/Game Gear, via S8DS; Sega MegaDrive/Genesis, via jEnesisDS (or PicoDriveTWL, if ROM is above 3MB) (.gen only); Super Nintendo/Famicom, via SNEmulDS; PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16, via NitroGrafx; GameBoy Advance, via GBARunner2 or the DS' native GBA mode, which the latter requires one of these Slot-2 flashcards: M3, G6, SuperCard SD/MiniSD/MicroSD, EZ-Flash (before Omega) (Saving does not work)
Play videos: Using GBARunner2 or native GBA mode
3DS/2DS users: Play DS games in 16:10 widescreen! Not all games will work with this feature.​


What is TWiLight Menu++?

Developed by GBAtemp member @Robz8 , TWiLight Menu++ is an open-source DSi Menu upgrade/replacement for the Nintendo DSi, the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS flashcards. It can launch Nintendo DS, SNES, NES, GameBoy (Color), GameBoy Advance, Sega GameGear/Master System & Mega Drive/Genesis ROMs, as well as DSTWO plugins (if you use a DSTWO) and videos.

twlmenu on consoles 2 (16;10, fixed, denoised).jpg IMG_20190726_205522_525.jpg
The TWiLight Menu++ discussion thread has been going since May 2017 and has almost surpassed 2,500,000 views!

Q&A with Robz8, lead developer of TWiLight Menu++

  • What is TWiLight Menu++ in a nutshell?
    TWiLight Menu++ is a GUI (or a menu) for DS & DSi games, as well as games that came before the DS(i), and allows launching of those games through a loader or emulator.

  • What features and functionality does TWiLight Menu++ provide?
    It contains themes that change the look of the menu, such as Nintendo DSi, Nintendo 3DS, Original R4, Homebrew Launcher, and GameBoy Color.

    GUI customization, such as hiding files/folders, hiding the splash screen(s), changing music, and more are included.

    It can also launch DS games through a separate homebrew application called nds-bootstrap, and DSiWare games through Unlaunch (which is DSi-Exclusive).

    The user can choose to enable DSi features in DS games, such as TWL clock speed, which doubles the ARM9 CPU speed, and can eliminate lags in some games. The user can also improve the sound quality of DS games by setting the Sound/Mic frequency to 48khz. The change will be noticeable in headphones or earphones.

    If running on a flashcard, the user can switch between either nds-bootstrap/B4DS (usable on both Slot-1 and Slot-2) or the flashcard's kernel (only for Slot-1) to run DS games.

    Past games from the GameBoy Advance, Super Nintendo, SEGA Genesis, NES, and more, are booted through emulators made by other devs.

    For the case of GBA games, they can be booted through either the DS Phat/lite's GBA mode, or a hypervisor called GBARunner2, the latter of which can run on the DS, DSi and 3DS/2DS consoles.

    For the DS Phat/lite's GBA mode, the user is required to use a Slot-2 flashcard, which can run GBA games from it's SD card slot (though an SD card for the slot is not required, if running from Slot-1). An EZ-Flash card (which came before the Omega) will also work.

    Lastly, the user can launch either a DS game inserted in the game card slot (Slot-1) with the optional enhancements, or a GBA game in the bottom game slot (Slot-2) of the DS Phat/lite.

  • What sets TWiLight Menu++ apart from the alternatives?
    TWiLight Menu++ contains more features than my previous app for the 3DS, called TWLoader. TWiLight Menu++ also enables usage of DSi features, which cannot be enabled on DS flashcards (at least without CFW).

  • When did you begin writing software?
    It was back in 2016, when nds-bootstrap first came about. A user-friendly GUI was needed to use nds-bootstrap, so I created a menu/launcher called TWLoader.

  • Any advice for wannabe coders?
    All I can say is, experiment by changing some code in an existing source code, compile, and see what happens!
  • What got you into this project in particular?
    nds-bootstrap, and my nostalgia for the DS and past consoles.
  • Do you have anything else you'd like to say?
    Yes, I do! Thank you for the feedback of TWiLight Menu++, and thank you contributors as well. You all helped improved TWiLight Menu++ (and nds-bootstap), and is looking better since it first came about (previously known as SRLoader and DSiMenu++)!
You can find out more about TWiLight Menu++ the official thread where @Robz8 is very active and continuing to update the software with new features and updates.

Thanks to @Robz8 for taking the time out to share his project with us!

:arrow: TWiLight Menu++ (GBAtemp)
:arrow: GitHub source

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Bl4aze

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Man what robz8 has made has pretty much changed the portable emulation scene. You cant get better preforming emulators and a better way to play pira- i mean backups of ds games. Really exciited to see where this goes next and how far robz can push the DS hardware for emulation and optimization.
 

RocketRobz

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I love twilight menu and have been using it since it was TWLoader, but my god is TWiLight Menu++ a horrible and confusing name. I love the features though, it's probably got the most customization and functionality of any homebrew since the USB loaders for the Wii
The reason why it's called TWiLight Menu++ (and previously DSiMenu++) is because it can be usable as a DSi Menu replacement, and because TWL (short for Twilight) is a codename for the DSi. :P
Nice, but still many games not boot
On flashcards with B4DS, at least. Only a few don't boot with regular nds-bootstrap.
Which ones, btw?
But can it run Golden Sun DD? :(
Still no golden sun 3 for the 3ds :( shame
Unfortunately, it's going to be a while for GSDD (and Pokemon Dash) to work, as well as Cloneboot (for DLP to work in some games), GBA Slot-2 emulation, and proper DSi Mode support to be implemented.
@ahezard and @shutterbug2000, who are the main nds-bootstrap devs, haven't been around for nearly a year now, and I've already used up my coding knowledge in helping out with developing nds-bootstrap.
Said features to be implemented, as well as getting those games to work, are out of my scope.
 
Last edited by RocketRobz,
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Also:

Main Developers
  • RocketRobz: Lead Developer, implementing the auto-reset power button function used in NTR-mode.
  • chyyran: Porting the akMenu/Wood UI to TWiLight Menu++ & adding the ability to load sub-themes off the SD card for DSi/3DS themes.
  • Pk11: Adding the ability to load sub-themes off the SD card for the R4 theme, implemented sorting & made manuals use PNG, improved font rendering, providing a custom background for Unlaunch, and various bug fixes.
App Launchers
Graphics & Themes
Music
  • IkaMusumeYiyaRoxie: General N64 MIDI Soundfont, used for the title splash fanfare
Others
  • profi200: Improved SD code from fastboot3DS.
  • ahezard: NDMA code from nds-bootstrap.
  • Gericom, TrolleyDave, and FAST6191: GBA SRAM-patching code, used in gbapatcher (SRAM patching thread at GBATemp)
  • devkitPro: Code used in nds-hb-menu, and the use of the bootloader, devkitARM, libnds, and libfat.
  • Another World & Yellow Wood Goblin: The original akMenu/Wood UI.
  • NightScript: Code cleanup, added functionality for Acekard theme in regards to flashcarts.
  • SNBeast: Unlaunch patches.
  • retrogamefan & Rudolph: Included AP-patches for nds-bootstrap.
  • fintogive, RadDude McCoolguy, KazoWAR, Vague Rant, gamemasterplc, RocketRobz & ChampionLeake: Widescreen Cheats.
Translators

Thank you very much.:)



And also not forget:

The very,very,very fast,quick and reliable and FREE Support for this Project.:)

AWESOME !!!!!
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maorninja

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AmandaRose

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RacsoSakuraba

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I recently thought, when I found out that the HIV vaccine entered Phase 3 thanks to the Virus, which basically TWLmenu ++ together with nds-bootstrap was a similar case thanks to the 3DS scene (or something like that) to be able to achieve softmod (real, if you understand me hehehe) on the DSi in a way.

Thank you very much @Robz8
 
Last edited by RacsoSakuraba,

Ampersound

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Last time i checked it was super slow to start up. And it wouldn't play the japanese version of Electroplankton.
 
D

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I remember the days when TWLoader could barely play MKDS at all, it would lag and crash for so many roms
Today though, every rom I throw at it works well, every major update is exciting
 
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matpower

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Thanks, that clears up a lot of stuff besides the things you was naming. (Since I don't know much about Apache thunder or bootstrap.) Though my next question would be where to find a good flash cart for my 3DS. All the ones I gotten seam to either stop working, don't fit in the cart slot properly (I had to use folded paper in line with the cart to get it to work) or just seem to break easily. Which is why I kinda gave up buying them years ago. :blink:

As much as I still want a Super DSTWO for all those features, I don't know if is still the most expensive one. $40 was high compared to other options. :unsure:
nds-bootstrap is what powers TWiLight Menu++ under the hood, it is what allows it to run DS games.
Apache Thunder is a member here in the Temp, he was one of the firsts messing with DSi development.

As for a flashcard, if you can find one of the proper R4s with Wood, it is the best bang for your buck IMO, it even has RTS. If you want cheap, any generic timebombed clone will work fine with YSMenu.
DSTWO is good if you are stuck with a DS and want to do GBA/SNES emulation, otherwise it is pricey, rare and sips battery like a fat man sips a cold Coke. Back in the day it was great, specially against AP, but nowadays pretty much every card will run every game out there and there are better devices for its custom features. I still have mine but the SD reader shat itself and the card doesn't get recognized a lot, I ended up replacing it with a R4i Gold that runs proper WoodR4 without tricks or workarounds.

If you still have old DS flashcards (Acekard 2, OG R4, DSTT, etc) that don't work on DSi/3DS, you can get them working with Luma3DS and maybe this.
 
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