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Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread


Nathan Wind
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Following on from a recent discussion about FPGA vs real hardware in modern times (I am in the latter camp generally) I thought I would see what the state of play currently is with a real SNES. I bought a cheap Super Famicom off ebay (2 controllers, no PSU or video cable, 33 quid) and it turned up the other day:

 

383501310_IMG_0256D(1).jpeg.3a57cd72a93b0022a7a9fc4c508438dd.jpeg

 

It is very yellow and I had forgotten how short the Japanese controller cables are, so it would need immediate investment if you wanted to sit more than a metre or so from the screen. I plugged in a Mega Drive PSU, an RF cable and a copy of Street Fighter 2 I had laying around and got a very snowy picture that it couldn't really tune in, so ordered a cheapo RGB cable off eBay and set it up on an old CRT to act as a baseline:

 

IMG_0257.jpeg.dde71b88c01e404381d24c7e7be8f324.jpeg

 

It looks pretty nice on the tiny screen and my "test" ended up with me playing it for ages. As above I will be trying to return it to its original colour (hopes are not high with this one) and I'll test it on a variety of modern displays with a Retrotink2X-SCART and native SCART connectivity where it exists.

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4 hours ago, mikejenkins said:

Following on from a recent discussion about FPGA vs real hardware in modern times (I am in the latter camp generally) I thought I would see what the state of play currently is with a real SNES. I bought a cheap Super Famicom off ebay (2 controllers, no PSU or video cable, 33 quid) and it turned up the other day:

 

383501310_IMG_0256D(1).jpeg.3a57cd72a93b0022a7a9fc4c508438dd.jpeg

 

It is very yellow and I had forgotten how short the Japanese controller cables are, so it would need immediate investment if you wanted to sit more than a metre or so from the screen. I plugged in a Mega Drive PSU, an RF cable and a copy of Street Fighter 2 I had laying around and got a very snowy picture that it couldn't really tune in, so ordered a cheapo RGB cable off eBay and set it up on an old CRT to act as a baseline:

 

IMG_0257.jpeg.dde71b88c01e404381d24c7e7be8f324.jpeg

 

It looks pretty nice on the tiny screen and my "test" ended up with me playing it for ages. As above I will be trying to return it to its original colour (hopes are not high with this one) and I'll test it on a variety of modern displays with a Retrotink2X-SCART and native SCART connectivity where it exists.

Love this. I had the exact same SF experience when setting up my SuperNt.

 

SF2 and Hyper Fighting are peak SNES nostalgia for me, even though I've got the Saturn versions there's something really special about the SNES ones.

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Super Famicom on Various Displays - Unscientific Ramblings

 

I've tried getting photos of SFC on the various displays which aren't 100% but give the general gist. My SFC is a first rev one so has the "soft" RGB output compared to a 1-chip or a modern emulated or FPGA equivalent.

 

Direct RGB to Philips CM8833-II CRT monitor:

 

With proper scanlines and small screen it looks great on this monitor, you don't notice any lack of sharpness, and it obviously plays perfectly with no lag. The screen is too small but I can't move more than 1m from it due to the tiny controller leads so not too bad (probably an overall negative).

 

IMG_0278.jpeg.558d79c2402d060bfa3c43f9095ab0e4.jpeg

 

Pros: Looks great, plays 100% as intended

Cons: Small screen, CRT will die eventually and be hard to replace

 

RGB SCART to Dell P1917S IPS LCD via Retrotink 2X-SCART

 

The Dell panel is a 5:4 ratio 1280x1024 panel and looks pretty good when running at native res over HDMI. There is no noticeable input or display lag, but contrast levels aren't great compared to a CRT or plasma. When connected via the Retrotink which only does linedoubling and therefore runs at a non-native 720x480 res, it's using the display scaler which softens the image considerably. When it's running it looks pretty good with no artefacting. The 19" screen is a good compromise between size and quality with the pixels not looking too enormous.

 

IMG_0290D.jpeg.71b654a2cbc625731e1c06c9d31feec5.jpeg

 

Pros: No lag, looks decent

Cons: Overly soft and washed out image, aspect ratio slightly off

 

RGB SCART to Samsung LCD TV via Retrotink/direct SCART

 

My secondary TV is a c. 5 year old 32" LED backlit mid-range job so not really modern but I thought I would give it a go. Connected via the Retrotink the picture (left) is much sharper than on the Dell monitor, almost overly so, and the approx. 6" larger screen on the diagonal shows up the chunky pixels. Again no lag.

 

I've put a pic of the built in SCART connection on the right , which looked pretty poor in comparison and added noticeable input lag, so a definite benefit to the Retrotink here.

 

IMG_0292D.jpeg.5c21291456781f9a55d56871b7b50fb2.jpegIMG_0295D.jpeg.6a7b9aa4088cb201cc86d6633a61c6c3.jpeg

 

Pros: No lag, looks technically good

Cons: Big screen shows up large pixels - would be better on a big CRT

 

RGB SCART to Panasonic Plasma via Retrotink

 

Pushing the definition of modern even further, I tried it on my main telly which is a 50" c. 10 year old plasma. It has very good black levels and contrast and generally undetectable input lag - a SNES Mini looks pin sharp on it. It didn't really get on with the Retrotink's output and doesn't let me switch HDMI sources to 4:3 so coupled with the big screen making everything look like lego bricks it was a poor experience.

 

IMG_0291D.jpeg.187b8d7b447f5dea2e96331191053cbc.jpeg

 

Pros: No lag, good black levels

Cons: Wrong ratio, looks generally poor, pixels as big as your fist

 

In conclusion:

 

If you want to play on a modern display, are not fussy about real hardware, value image quality and you want to play carts, by the time you spend ~£150 on a SNES and a Retrotink/similar decent scaler (the scaler can obviously be used on multiple devices) you are probably better off with a Mister or a Super NT if you can find one for its retail price.

 

The massive pixels on large screens are unavoidable on any solution (I don't count smoothing or interpolation as solutions), so to me most of this and the next generation look terrible no matter how technically good the display is on such displays. I value sharpness over blurriness however so I will get an OSSC and see how that is - the Retrotink's simplicity makes it generally average at best when it comes to quality.

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Got an FX Pak Pro. It'll be a great opportunity to finally get around to playing the recent translations of the Majin Tensei games, SMT If... and various others, but I've slipped into spending most of my time revisiting childhood favourites, or just stuff I had lying around back then (Joe & Mac is still great fun - Data East forever). This really isn't why I bought it, though, so please give me some of your "best with an everdrive" must-plays so that I can start getting the most out of it... :D

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, ulala said:

Why doesn’t Nintendo do this

 

Because they would then need to rework parts of their games instead of just charging people for ROM dumps.

 

From Wii Classic Console to Switch Online, and everything in between, you're paying for software emulation. They make tons of money from doing this over and over, so there's really no added incentive for them to change things.

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On 18/05/2021 at 17:42, mikejenkins said:

Super Famicom on Various Displays - Unscientific Ramblings

 

I've tried getting photos of SFC on the various displays which aren't 100% but give the general gist. My SFC is a first rev one so has the "soft" RGB output compared to a 1-chip or a modern emulated or FPGA equivalent.

 

:o Good to mention this. I sold my modded SNES years ago, bought a new modded one recently, and only discovered this fact recently! It's crazy that for decades I had been reading about how RGB SCART gave the sharpest picture, but for the absolute sharpest you needed the revised model of SNES which is then RGB modded.

 

My recent purchase was the first rev, modded, just like the one I had years ago. Using a Retro Game Cables SCART it looks decent on my Sony CRT and I'm very happy with it. But I do sometimes wonder, what am I missing out on? :unsure:

 

On 18/05/2021 at 17:58, Klatrymadon said:

Got an FX Pak Pro. Please give me some of your "best with an everdrive" must-plays so that I can start getting the most out of it... :D

 

If you've got a few fan-translations already then you're off to a good start. RHDN had 228 English-translations for SNES games.

 

They also have hacks which fix up games or make them easier (Contra III for example - there's no shame in tweaking the difficulty in today's age).

 

There's also a website which contains unreleased or prototype games. It has the word "Palace" in its name, and the word "Hidden". A cheeky Google should yield it. Do not mispell "palace" as "pants" - that's an entirely different kind of website. 

 

They claim to have between 239 and 241 prototypes of SNES games. The protos are not that interesting (just buggy versions of retail games), but they do have some unreleased games! Rayman, Mr Tuff, Lobo, etc.

 

Also, with an FX Pak Pro you can put files on to emulate and run the Super Game Boy. Without a SGB cartridge. It does it all in chip. It's fiddly to set-up but a chap on here sent me the set-up files. You then just include your own private folder of GB games, and it runs exactly as it would if you had actual SGB with GB game inside, or a GB flash cart.

 

As for fun cool obscure-ish games, I like these:

Spoiler

Skyblazer

Hagane

The King of Demons / Majyuuou

Metal Warriors

SeaQuest DSV

Wild Guns

Macross: SDF Scramble Valkyrie

Shadowrun

Ghost Sweeper Mikami

Psycho Dream

 

Great channel on SNES games.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfBLXTwLoUpDAkHcHizW3Jg

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Thanks a lot, Sketch! I'm familiar with all of those (Skyblazer in particular was a big childhood fave and I'm glad to see it isn't completely unknown!), but I was unaware of the SGB capabilities, so I'll be looking into that ASAP. The protos, too!

 

I haven't spent much time with the Pak yet but I've been enjoying Alcahest, which is unexpectedly arcadey, presenting you with a series of action-RPG gauntlets to be surmounted with help from your Magic Sword-style travelling companions. It's a lot of fun!

 

I'm also fascinated by the really impressive late releases on the console. Looking forward to digging deeper into the Story of Llylgamyn remakes, Fire Emblem: Tracia 776 and Gundam Wing: Endless Duel, an astonishing piece of work.

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34 minutes ago, Sketch said:

My recent purchase was the first rev, modded, just like the one I had years ago. Using a Retro Game Cables SCART it looks decent on my Sony CRT and I'm very happy with it. But I do sometimes wonder, what am I missing out on? :unsure:


There is a definite difference. The original SNES RGB is a bit blurrier, close to S-Video. Worth it if you can get one, but not a huge gulf. 

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Just now, Colonel Panic said:

There is a definite difference. The original SNES RGB is a bit blurrier, close to S-Video. Worth it if you can get one, but not a huge gulf. 

 

I'm happy to have gotten the system at such a good price (from this forum!), so as long as I don't actually play on one of the revised boards, I will just convince myself that the original revision is how Nintendo wanted the games played.

  

6 minutes ago, Klatrymadon said:

Thanks a lot, Sketch! I'm familiar with all of those (Skyblazer in particular was a big childhood fave and I'm glad to see it isn't completely unknown!), but I was unaware of the SGB capabilities, so I'll be looking into that ASAP. The protos, too!

 

o/

 

Skyblazer is in my top 5 SNES games of all time. Bought it from Choices Video for a fiver when they cleared out their SNES stock in the late 1990s. Loved it to bits. So much so I even paid over the odds for an old issue of Manga Mania that had a Skyblazer supplement comic (it's extremely bad - it's just the opening cut-scene turned into a short, cheaply made comic with terrible art - looks like it was slapped together by a PR rep in an afternoon). I've never actually come across anyone else who played it.

 

Everyone in this thread should play Skyblazer. [do-it-do-it-now.gif]

 

If you have trouble with the Github files for SGB (last time I checked it was still in beta testing, and not incorporated officially yet), drop us a PM and I'll send the configuration files over. You just drop them in the main config folder.

 

 

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Double posting because I'm currently scanning the Skyblazer comic. At 300dpi it should land around 50mb all in. I am super lazy however (already regretting starting this), so rather than upload to the web archive or some crap, if someone will PM their email I will send them a single zip file via WeTransfer to then disseminate this. Or preserve it somewhere.

 

@Klatrymadon - do you want it? It exists nowhere on the internet that I can see.

 

EDIT:

 

SKYBLAZER COMIC IS BELOW

 

Got bored. So here it is. I used File.io which apparently deletes it after just 1 download. So if you DL it, you have the responsibility of sharing it. Now that it's lunch time I'm going to pour a drink and might not return to this topic for months. Fly free files, fly free!

 

Quote

Please note: once the download is complete, the file will be deleted from our servers.

 

https://www.file.io/download/CIFFL4beBv8D

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On 18/05/2021 at 17:42, mikejenkins said:

Super Famicom on Various Displays - Unscientific Ramblings

 

I've tried getting photos of SFC on the various displays which aren't 100% but give the general gist. My SFC is a first rev one so has the "soft" RGB output compared to a 1-chip or a modern emulated or FPGA equivalent.

 

Direct RGB to Philips CM8833-II CRT monitor:

 

With proper scanlines and small screen it looks great on this monitor, you don't notice any lack of sharpness, and it obviously plays perfectly with no lag. The screen is too small but I can't move more than 1m from it due to the tiny controller leads so not too bad (probably an overall negative).

 

IMG_0278.jpeg.558d79c2402d060bfa3c43f9095ab0e4.jpeg

 

Pros: Looks great, plays 100% as intended

Cons: Small screen, CRT will die eventually and be hard to replace

 

RGB SCART to Dell P1917S IPS LCD via Retrotink 2X-SCART

 

The Dell panel is a 5:4 ratio 1280x1024 panel and looks pretty good when running at native res over HDMI. There is no noticeable input or display lag, but contrast levels aren't great compared to a CRT or plasma. When connected via the Retrotink which only does linedoubling and therefore runs at a non-native 720x480 res, it's using the display scaler which softens the image considerably. When it's running it looks pretty good with no artefacting. The 19" screen is a good compromise between size and quality with the pixels not looking too enormous.

 

IMG_0290D.jpeg.71b654a2cbc625731e1c06c9d31feec5.jpeg

 

Pros: No lag, looks decent

Cons: Overly soft and washed out image, aspect ratio slightly off

 

RGB SCART to Samsung LCD TV via Retrotink/direct SCART

 

My secondary TV is a c. 5 year old 32" LED backlit mid-range job so not really modern but I thought I would give it a go. Connected via the Retrotink the picture (left) is much sharper than on the Dell monitor, almost overly so, and the approx. 6" larger screen on the diagonal shows up the chunky pixels. Again no lag.

 

I've put a pic of the built in SCART connection on the right , which looked pretty poor in comparison and added noticeable input lag, so a definite benefit to the Retrotink here.

 

IMG_0292D.jpeg.5c21291456781f9a55d56871b7b50fb2.jpegIMG_0295D.jpeg.6a7b9aa4088cb201cc86d6633a61c6c3.jpeg

 

Pros: No lag, looks technically good

Cons: Big screen shows up large pixels - would be better on a big CRT

 

RGB SCART to Panasonic Plasma via Retrotink

 

Pushing the definition of modern even further, I tried it on my main telly which is a 50" c. 10 year old plasma. It has very good black levels and contrast and generally undetectable input lag - a SNES Mini looks pin sharp on it. It didn't really get on with the Retrotink's output and doesn't let me switch HDMI sources to 4:3 so coupled with the big screen making everything look like lego bricks it was a poor experience.

 

IMG_0291D.jpeg.187b8d7b447f5dea2e96331191053cbc.jpeg

 

Pros: No lag, good black levels

Cons: Wrong ratio, looks generally poor, pixels as big as your fist

 

In conclusion:

 

If you want to play on a modern display, are not fussy about real hardware, value image quality and you want to play carts, by the time you spend ~£150 on a SNES and a Retrotink/similar decent scaler (the scaler can obviously be used on multiple devices) you are probably better off with a Mister or a Super NT if you can find one for its retail price.

 

The massive pixels on large screens are unavoidable on any solution (I don't count smoothing or interpolation as solutions), so to me most of this and the next generation look terrible no matter how technically good the display is on such displays. I value sharpness over blurriness however so I will get an OSSC and see how that is - the Retrotink's simplicity makes it generally average at best when it comes to quality.

Ive got an ossc and don't really bother with real hardware anymore. Retro arch , screen filters and run ahead latency reduction are great. I think it can actually produce less latency than a real snes.  I once did a real comparison switching between retro arch nes emu and real NTSC NES, I preferred the emulator.

 

That said I'll never sell my real hardware :)

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Cheers! :)

 

Spread it around. I'm not on social media so not sure how best to get the word out.

 

Speaking of SNES comics, does anyone else remember the Donkey Kong Country comic in the UK from around the time of the game? This guy on Reddit remembers it too. I've trawled the internet but can find nothing on this! I have it, but I don't feel like scanning the 50 pages or so. It's pretty big. :(

 

 

DKC_comic.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Bloody hell... Sorry for the bump.

 

But have there been any firmware updates for the FX PAK PRO? The last unofficial one seems to be from 2020.

 

Mainly I'm hoping someone introduces the option to delete games from the SD card, while in the menu. Like you can with the Mega Drive.

 

Has anyone been using the save-state custom firmware?

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On 30/07/2021 at 13:59, Sketch said:

Bloody hell... Sorry for the bump.

 

But have there been any firmware updates for the FX PAK PRO? The last unofficial one seems to be from 2020.

 

Mainly I'm hoping someone introduces the option to delete games from the SD card, while in the menu. Like you can with the Mega Drive.

 

Has anyone been using the save-state custom firmware?

 

On 30/07/2021 at 14:35, Colonel Panic said:

No and no. 

 

Yes and no

 

https://sd2snes.de/blog/archives/1157

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Thanks Colonel! :)

 

Glad to see some sort of update for this.

 

Dumb question: does this work on the FX Pak Pro? There seems to be two divergent forks, one for sd2snes and another for FX Pak Pro,and they're seemingly distinct? Maybe. I keep reading the threads and FAQs and it's all quite murky.

 

I might wait for this to be finalised. The save states are nice but not essential.

 

The delete from the menu though is a must have!

 

I have a master folder with every game, then a curated folder. And I like to delete stuff from it as I finish games or decide I never want to replay something again.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 18/06/2021 at 22:17, Colonel Panic said:
The guy who did those awesome SA-1 patches for Gradius etc has made a widescreen patch for Super Mario World. 

 

Regarding those SA-1 patches. What is the cheapest SD cart you can get that would run these patched games?

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11 minutes ago, Tomdominer said:

 

Regarding those SA-1 patches. What is the cheapest SD cart you can get that would run these patched games?


what are you going to run it on, that’s the question 

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1 hour ago, Tomdominer said:

 

Regarding those SA-1 patches. What is the cheapest SD cart you can get that would run these patched games?


An original SD2SNES is the minimum flash cart to play SA-1 games. 
 

Don’t you have a MiSTer? It’s SNES core plays SA-1 games too, apparently. 

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2 minutes ago, Colonel Panic said:


An original SD2SNES is the minimum flash cart to play SA-1 games. 
 

Don’t you have a MiSTer? It’s SNES core plays SA-1 games too, apparently. 

 

Yeah, tried them on the MiSTer. I just fancied trying them on real hardware, if it was financially reasonable.

 

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I have one of those SD2SNES things sat right infront of me, keeping dust out of my Analogue machine, how do I check the guts to see if it's official or a knock off?

 

** EDIT ** It's official, after getting in there, it's  a Krikzz board, assembled in Ukraine, sooooo, anyone know what a fair price to offer it to @Tomdominer would be? I've also got a Super Everdrive China Version, so I'll just keep that one and shift the SD2SNES to someone who will actually use it ;) 

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