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"Wasted" mappers

"Wasted" mappers
by on (#71309)
I don't know about you guys but I get mad when I see mappers with cool possibilities which are only used by very, very crappy games.
This includes :

- CPROM / mapper 13 : OK it's one of the only mapper able to bankswitch CHR-RAM (alongside with mapper 96), and the only cart that uses it isn't even a video game but just allow you to draw on the screen. What a waste. There is so much better things you could do with bankswitched CHR-RAM. But with only 32k of ROM this is pretty limitating.

- TQROM / mapper 119 : This is one of the only mapper able to use both CHR-RAM and CHR-ROM. Again you could do amazing stuff with this, taking advantage of both, with some very customizable tiles (RAM) and some fast switching tiles (ROM), however, the only 2 games using this are crappy pinball games that doesn't take any advantage of this. Even a bigger waste than above.

- Mapper 77 : This is the other mapper that support both CHR-RAM and CHR-ROM, and I love how it wastes nothing, the area of CHR-RAM which is "eaten" by the CHR-ROM portion is re-used in another adress range to get 4-screen mirroring. Like mapper 119 you could have the advantage of CHR-ROM and RAM at the same time, plus the advantage of 4 nametables.
Too bad the only game to use this mapper is incredibly crappy.

- SXROM (mapper 1) : 32 KB of battery backed RAM could be used for more complex games than only 8 KB. However this was just used for multicarts. (applies to mapper 5 too)

Maybe I forgot a few of them.
So yeah someone MUST do games or demo taking advantage of these mappers that were in my opinion wasted.

by on (#71330)
Doesn't Namco 106 allow for both CHR-ROM and CHR-RAM too? I think that's the one, and that it allows the standard eight 1k CHR registers, each I think can pick either a CHR-ROM page or a CHR-RAM page.

by on (#71338)
Allowing both CHR ROM and CHR RAM on a board is more a function of the board than the mapper, unless the mapper IC includes one or more built-in banks of CHR ROM. I seem to remember that one of the Chinese MMC3 clones has this. The biggest problem with TQROM is the limitation to 128 KiB PRG ROM.

Mapper 77: If only "Senki" were "Dynamite". But 77 doesn't appear to be on the wiki's list, and Google wasn't much help; have you any references? It's also glop-top, meaning one can't just burn an EPROM. One would have to make a new board, but that should be straightforward because there aren't any ASICs.

More useful than CPROM would be GPROM, which would extend CPROM in the same way that GNROM extends CNROM.

SXROM is probably the most likely to see homebrew, as retrousb.com sells an SXROM repro board. But first, we'd have to have solid support in emulators and PowerPak for testing. Have they fixed SOROM and SXROM yet?

by on (#71339)
Quote:
More useful than CPROM would be GPROM, which would extend CPROM in the same way that GNROM extends CNROM.

I agree. However, it doesn't oficially exists in iNES, which means it's not a wasted mapper since it doesn't exists ! Or is there a way to make mapper 13 "officially" support PRG ROM switching in higher bits ? If there is I'm all for it.

Quote:
Mapper 77: If only "Senki" were "Dynamite". But 77 doesn't appear to be on the wiki's list, and Google wasn't much help; have you any references? It's also glop-top, meaning one can't just burn an EPROM. One would have to make a new board, but that should be straightforward because there aren't any ASICs.

The mapper is very simple and can be done with a few 74xx chips. I think with a 74HC377, 74HC00 and a 74HC139 you can do something similar but with SRAM decoding and bus conflicts preventing (that the only current mapper 77 game both lacks) which could be even more useful for RPGs.
Quote:
Doesn't Namco 106 allow for both CHR-ROM and CHR-RAM too?

I guess some variants of this mapper does. Those Namco mappers are evil as they are basically the same, but some features are existing/lacking in different variation of them (such as extra sound :roll: )
Since all games are made of epoxy blobs it makes it hard to imagine what chip is below if it's not noted.
Also this mapper is definitely not wasted, pretty much a lot of games (including a few good ones) were released for it.
There is mapper 194 too but it's basically a pirate TQROM, so you'd as well go with the real TQROM.
Re: "Wasted" mappers
by on (#71392)
Bregalad wrote:
- SXROM (mapper 1) : 32 KB of battery backed RAM could be used for more complex games than only 8 KB. However this was just used for multicarts. (applies to mapper 5 too)


I was actually looking into using this mapper for the game I'm working on. Some of the other mappers you've listed sound awesome too, but I would be hesitant to try to make something for them unless I could make a cart (without destroying games- I actually like pinbot...)

by on (#71402)
Me too. It'd be great for storing one huge map, like on Animal Crossing, and just have stuff happen over time. But it was just a cool idea. I doubt anything could be made that great. :P

by on (#71409)
I can't imagine that Rare would have programmed Pin*Bot and High Speed using that weird mapper if they didn't need to. I don't know how they used the CHR-ROM/RAM switch exactly, but I thought those those games were pretty good, myself. Maybe I'm biased because I used to play a Pin*Bot machine that was down the street from me when I was young. Porting a real pinball table to an NES game and having it look decent would not be easy to do, in fact I can't think of ANY other examples from other consoles that tried to port a 'real' pinball table.

by on (#71411)
Animal Crossing clone on NES? I've investigated it.

The huge 64x64-tile map of Animal Crossing: Wild World is actually rawther sparse, and they could be compressed into fewer than 3000 bytes as long as the player doesn't litter. The key is to store things as 3-byte records consisting of x (4 bits), y (4 bits), and item id (16 bits), and possibly give trees and flowers shorter codes. Allow up to 32 things in an acre (1536 bytes), 32 things in each room of the players' house (480 bytes), and 16 things in each of eight NPC neighbors' houses (384 bytes).

What really takes up space in AC are the letters. Each player in the GCN/DS/Wii games can hold ten letters, each NPC neighbor can hold one, the town hall's outbox and the players' house's inbox hold several more, and compressing them with a static Huffman table isn't likely to guarantee keeping them below 128 bytes each.

by on (#71434)
Well, animal crossing was just a thought and I agree, too hard. But a indie game on 360 called Miner Dig Deep would be so much better to happen. Look it up, it's very interesting. :)

by on (#71838)
SA-1 for the Snes is kind've a "wasted mapper" since the games that used it barely even touched the chip.