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Last updated on Oct-18-2019 Download

Issues w/ NTRQ, PR8 and Pulsar on NTSC NES Devcarts.

Issues w/ NTRQ, PR8 and Pulsar on NTSC NES Devcarts.
by on (#93833)
Hey everyone,

This is my first post here (lurking NesDev since 2003...I think) and it wasn't until very recently that I had the bug up my ass to actually post something. This site has always been a fantastic way to kill the drunken, post-bar boredom. Thank you for that, NesDev. 8)

Anyway, a buddy of mine and I are having boot issues when following the instructions for putting Neil Baldwin's NTRQ, PR8 and Pulsar software on the SNROM and hacked SXROM devcarts (respectively).

Some of you may already be familiar with the issues ne7 ran into a while back with getting these to run on the Famicom boards. After my friend posted our progress/problems over in this thread, ne7 mentioned a potential solution on NesDev. Here I am.

I'll try to cut/paste the previously posted text from into something a little more succinct. Hopefully someone here can point me in the right direction.

I tested the NTRQ ROM with a modified NES Open cart, Shingen the Ruler cart and Ultima Exodus cart and they all had the same exact behavior: no audio, the pattern editor is filled with random values and when I go to change a note the screen goes black and freezes - except for the current note and NTRQ logo in the corner. I soldered both sides/used the correct eproms/etc. No luck.

I discovered an odd fix where you insert the hacked cart and power the NES like normal, wait for the ntrq logo, but instead of letting the program load, pop the cart back up for one flash (or one second) with the *power still on*, press the cart back down and hit power off/on *once* very rapidly. A blank song (or song saved in ram) should be loaded. Your tune automatically saves to ram. Works like a charm. If you don't use this method, the program will not work properly.

I later went ahead and followed ne7's instructions on building the proper SXROM hack, and here's what happened:

PR-8: The main screen comes up but nothing happens. It's basically a static picture; no cursor, no values, nothing. I went to test PR-8 in Nestopia and oddly enough I get the same exact behavior.

After some tinkering around I realized that if you drop a save file on the "frozen screen" in Nestopia it works perfectly. This is obviously a problem on a hacked NES cart, as you cannot just drop a save file on the NES. After even more tinkering I realized that if you jam the power button a few times you will eventually get a bunch of random values for your instruments/songs/etc. It basically opens a save file which never existed. Clear the data and you're set. Just don't "clear all" otherwise you're back to square one.

Side note - the Reset button doesn't really work with PR-8. It will basically turn the NES off.

Pulsar: Works in Nestopia, does not work on the hacked NES cart. The main screen/cursor/tempo section displays fine, but the whole center sequence/value section is a solid color with no values. Oddly enough you can program sounds/sequences, but it freezes after about two seconds...and you may as well be blindfolded.

Unlike NTRQ and PR-8 which can work after some power reset fuckery, Pulsar just gives random garbled screens.

Any thoughts? Everything was soldered correctly/ROMS were latest releases/etc.


by on (#94174)
Perhaps it has to do with the different variations of MMC?