Author Topic: Some suggestions for the cart...  (Read 6317 times)

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Offline timofonic

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Some suggestions for the cart...
« on: July 15, 2006, 03:58:18 PM »
Hello,


I'm quite interested in this product, a friend gave me a N64 PAL and this cart seems the perfect complement for it. Here are some feature requests...


USF player

I think it could be nice if adding a USF player to the cart, this could make the product even more interesting.

Here is the USF format specification.



Taking advantage of the USB on cart

The cart has the USB connector, so not needs a programmer card. What about using this as an advantage for some interesting features? Like those:

- Sending/receving data without disconnecting the cart: The cart can be always connected to your N64. You can have the cart connected and the console ON, and then when receiving data a progress menu can be showed.

- Interactive menu with directory explorer: Select on the neoflash cart app the N64 roms directory, select the "explorer mode". The app will run and you can minimize it. When you connect your N64 with the neoflash cart plugged, a menu will be shown with a directory list (or the roms' name using databases like GoodN64), you select the rom and the rom will be received by USB.

(this feature is already requested for Sega Genesis cart, PC Engine and SNES, but it can be interesting for this product too)


Expansion Pak

Emulate the 4Mb of RDRAM included in the Expansion Pak. Few games uses it fully, but a lot of them uses it for small improvements in the game.

Quote
The Expansion Pak is a RAM add-on for the Nintendo 64 game console, released in 1998. It gives the Nintendo 64 8MB of RDRAM, twice the original 4MB of on-board RAM. This allows for greater screen resolution, more detailed graphics, and a higher framerate. The Nintendo 64DD was the initial reason the pak was made, because the extra RAM would be required to run the add-on. It replaces the Nintendo 64's Jumper Pak.

The only games that require its use are The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Donkey Kong 64 (originally the Expansion Pak was included with purchase of the latter). The Expansion Pak was utilized in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for more onscreen characters at one time, as shown in Clock Town. Also, without the add-on, most of Perfect Dark is inaccessible (including the single player mode). It was also used in Starcraft 64, to unlock levels from the popular Brood War add-on for the PC-version of the game. It was utilized for more minor improvements early on, as in Turok 2, Star Wars: Episode I Racer, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, Vigilante 8, NFL Quarterback Club '98, Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, 007: The World is Not Enough, Pokemon Stadium 2, Turok: Rage Wars , Hybrid Heaven, Gauntlet Legends, Rayman 2, Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, and Resident Evil 2.

Several third-party substitutes were released. However, complaints arose regarding stability and overheating issues, in addition to often being larger than normal size, causing them to stick out of the system.
(Taken from Wikipedia HERE)


64DD emulation

What about emulating 64DD? The cart has 1GB, so it has enough space for 64DD roms. Having Expansion Pak or emulating it seems the main requeriment.

Quote
The N64DD has a 32-bit coprocessor to help it read magnetic disks and transfer the data to the main console. It was supposed to be Nintendo's answer to the Compact Disc that was used for Sony's PlayStation, which was cheaper to produce. The CD could also hold approximately 650 megabytes of information compared to Nintendo 64's 32 to 512 megabit (4 to 64 megabytes) cartridge.

The new media for the N64DD was rewriteable and allowed for a storage capacity of 64MB (megabytes). The games on normal N64 cartridges could also hook up with DD expansions, for extra levels, minigames, even saving personal data.

The drive works almost like a Zip drive, and has an enhanced audio library for the games to use. The main N64 deck uses its RCP and MIPS4300i to process data from the top cartridge slot and the I/O devices. To hook up with the 64DD, it needed an extra 4 Mb of RAM for a total of 8 Mb. Unlike the N64, the 64DD can boot up on its own, without the need of a cartridge on the top deck because it has a standard OS. This would later be carried over to the Nintendo GameCube and even the Nintendo DS.

The 64DD had its own development kit that worked in conjunction with the N64 development kit.

Maybe you can do some kind of special dump for running it directly in the N64 with an Expansion Pak directly with some special patching methods?


Best regards,
timofonic
« Last Edit: July 15, 2006, 04:34:04 PM by timofonic »

Offline Ex-Cyber

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2006, 05:32:36 AM »
The Expansion Pak RAM must be connected to the RDRAM bus; you can't put it on the cart slot (which is far too slow for that sort of thing). As far as I know, there is no shortage of either clone or original Expansion Paks, so I don't think this is a big problem.

Offline Dr.neo

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2006, 12:44:16 PM »
yeah,i agree with Ex-Cyber totally. ::sm-10.gif::
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Offline timofonic

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2006, 04:20:07 PM »
yeah,i agree with Ex-Cyber totally. ::sm-10.gif::

OK, what about the other suggestions? ;)

Offline LittleFreak

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2006, 06:53:32 AM »
Nintendo sells the expansion pak on their website

Offline timofonic

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2006, 04:38:33 PM »
Nintendo sells the expansion pak on their website

But not the 64DD  ^-^

Offline arablizzard2413

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2006, 11:44:09 AM »
What would be the point of emulating the 64DD? For one, you'd need to actually own a 64dd in order to get backups legally. Second, there are no 64DD roms available anywhere (the ones that have been dumped are not publicly available). Finally, do you speak Japanese? Because that's the only language any of those carts are in.

I just don't see it as being needed at this point.

Offline radorn

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2006, 05:42:59 PM »
I'm all for the USF thing, but this is not up to Neoflash or the hardware to make.
You know, USF's are in fact N64 roms without all data that is not for sound, accompained by minimal state saves to make the USF player (in fact, a minimal emulator of the N64 hardware) to make the songs load and run.
A USF player on hardware would be just a way to rejoin a USF set in a ROM and add code for a menu and some glue to put it all toghether.

Now, for the 64DD thing.
Short answer. It is not possible.

Not only there are no roms as arablizzard told you, but also the 64dd was not just a cart, but had is own processor, its own IPL (think of it as a bios) and disk's are not part of a system's memory map, but external storage, so they are not addressable memory, but I/O resources.
This means you can't put a 64DD image on the cartridge and expect it to run, not even trough "emulation", whatever you meant with that.
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Offline timofonic

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2006, 06:07:56 PM »
Now, for the 64DD thing.
Short answer. It is not possible.

Not only there are no roms as arablizzard told you, but also the 64dd was not just a cart, but had is own processor, its own IPL (think of it as a bios) and disk's are not part of a system's memory map, but external storage, so they are not addressable memory, but I/O resources.
This means you can't put a 64DD image on the cartridge and expect it to run, not even trough "emulation", whatever you meant with that.

The processor was used for reading the disk, not for games. 64DD was just an interface to that kind of disks, all the code is executed on the N64.

Offline Ex-Cyber

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 08:13:18 PM »
Quote from: radorn
its own IPL (think of it as a bios)
Isn't this mapped to the same address space (or at least the same bus) as the cartridge and run by the N64 CPU?

Quote from: radorn
disk's are not part of a system's memory map, but external storage, so they are not addressable memory, but I/O resources.
If the appropriate 64DD library/BIOS routines can be located and hooked (which I think is the sort of approach timofonic was getting at), it shouldn't really matter how you get the data as long as it ends up in the expected place in RAM. If it was the reverse (emulating addressable  data with a non-addressable medium) you'd be in trouble without an MMU, but with one it could still be done, albeit slowly.


Offline sven

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2006, 08:09:43 PM »
whats the point if there aint no roms for it anyway ::sm-16.gif::
O hai

Offline radorn

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Re: Some suggestions for the cart...
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2006, 08:22:13 AM »
timofonic:

I know the processor was used to read the disc. I know the 64 was just as any other removable media reader (ZIP, CD, DVD, Floppy). And, finally, I know the IPL was N64 code intended to be run by the console.

And for these very reasons, what you propose is not really feasible at all

Ex-Cyber:

Yes, the IPL is mapped to the same memory address space as the memory on a cartridge, and the EXT bus on the bottom of the console to which the 64DD hooks is just a mirror connector of the main cart slot. In fact, they are connected to the same pins, just in inverted order.
Now for the boot sequence: If there's no cart on the main deck, the 64DD IPL kicks in as the code to load. I suppose there's some mechanism for the 64DD to detect if it is "alone" on the and decide whether or not to respond to "read" commands from the N64. This is neccesary because if the cart and the 64DD replied at the same time there would be a collision in the wires.
Now. A 64DD disc can't boot the N64 because it is secondary storage, so it is not accessible for the CPU until it is running some code to send read commands to it. This code can be the IPL, but normally this is done by code on a 64DD compatible game cart (F-Zero and others).
Also, and I should have said this earlier, to my knowledge, the IPL on the 64DD has code for both N64 and the 64DD itself, not just N64. Remember it has a CPU inside, it needs code to run, unless it was a microcontroller, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

So. The only way to make this thing work would be to make a "hardware based DAEMON-Tools" style device that had 64DD disc dumps on some media and replied to I/O commands (read, write...) sent from the N64.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 03:47:43 AM by radorn »
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