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NES porting tutorial


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So, let's begin with the tools. The first folder I send you to will include a sample PVR, a sample ip.bin, VMU.bmp, the modified version of NesterDC I use for the autoloading .nes titles, and iNES, a rather nice mapper/header editor that makes swapping mappers so easy I'm pretty sure anyone can handle it.

NES Tools:

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The next two links are not NES specific tools but Dreamcast tools. You need Bootdreams and if you want PVR's you'll want PVR Viewer. My BD is modified to run on Windows 10 without any hassle.

Bootdreams:

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PVRViewer:

This is the hidden content, please

 

What you should have in total is:

0GDTEX.pvr

1st_read.bin

ip.bin

vmu.bmp

iNES Header Checker.exe

Bootdreams.exe

Bootdreams.chm

PVRviewer.exe

folders CDDA, IPlogos, and Tools, they go with Bootdreams.

 

Now, let's begin.

 

Make a folder to work in

The last game I ported was Nessy the NES Robot. Nessy come in mapper 30, which will not work for Dreamcast and a whole bunch of other doodads. We need to change it. Launch iNES. 

iNES is super easy and I'm really glad I found it because it's going to save me loads of time. 

With iNES open you'll see a dropdown menu, and on the bottom three buttons. Open, Save, and Exit.

Hit Open.

Load the rom whose mapper needs changing.

You'll notice the dropdown menu is now moved to select the mapper the rom came with. Click the down triangle to open the menu yourself and select a new mapper. Generally speaking with new NES titles they come in Mapper 30, that's NESMaker's mapper. Usually you can fix it by adjusting to Mapper 2.

Once the mapper is selected hit save. You won't get any prompt telling you success or any change in iNES at all, but it did save. It overwrites the rom so if you want to keep the original safe make sure to copy it before you open it in iNES. If the new mapper isn't working for you try another and another until you find a mapper that does. 

Okay, now we have a rom with a mapper that Nester likes.

We need cover art. Make your cover art 256 x 256 in pixels. I upload 512 in my threads because they're easier to see and Redream friendly but PVRs are 256.

Save you 256 cover art as a bmp, jpg, or png

Open you cover art in PVRViewer.

In PVRViewer you'll see a dropdown menu to the bottom left. Open it and go to your file type. If you save as bmp select bitmap.

Beneath the dropdown menu you should see your cover art. select it.

With cover art selected look to the upper left for File, click it.

Hit Save Selected, then Save. PVRViewer will put out a new .pvr made from your cover art.

Move your new PVR and ROM to your work folder.

Get the vmu.bmp and 1st_read.bin and place them in the folder with your pvr and .nes rom.

You do not need an ip.bin, Bootdreams will create that for you. My sample comes with my MR logo inside. So unless you want to give me credit for games you ported let Bootdreams make your ip.bin for you.

With the PVR, ROM, 1ST_READ.bin and VMU.bmp in the same folder rename the PVR to 0GDTEX.pvr and the ROM to game.nes

now open Bootdreams

drag and drop you working folder to an opened Bootdreems.

Go to Extras if you want dummy files for burning a disc or an MR logo to tag your games. If no dummy files or MR are needed just skip this.

Label the CD.

Click Process.

Just tell it "yes" for whatever it asks. It will error and tell you there is no ip.bin and ask if you want to create one. You do. It may ask other things I forgot about, just hit yes.

A second window will open and show the packaging process. Just let it go. If you've no dummyfiles it may just be a blink.

Once completed you're done. You've ported a NES title to Dreamcast.

Test it in an EMU before you burn it or throw in on an SD. If you're getting a black screen load the rom in iNES and try a different mapper. There's over 100 of them and even though iNES makes it easy sometimes it's hard to find what works. Sometimes you mapper is fine and you need to adjust mirroring. Micro Mages was a case where I went through a ton of mappers, ugh, the old way without iNES, and then went back through changing how it mirrors. Sometimes a vertical game runs better 4 squared, sometimes a horizontal needs vertical mirroring, Twin Dragons did. It's really just guess work. 

 

Even with iNES, not all games can support a different mapper. Sometimes you're just boned.

 

For MR Logos and Game Genie codes built into the rom I'll have to make another tutorial. I did not prepare those tools because I forgot. Mostly folks been wondering how to hack a mapper and that's covered and made easy. MRs and GG are not NES specific anyway so just look out for the next tut or ask me if you're interested in those.

 

I've taught y'all how to port NES, NGCD, Genesis, and OpenBOR and gotten no new uploads for others out of it. Please, if you make something upload it so we can all enjoy it. I don't do this so y'all can increase your private collections. We're stronger together scros. I could easily tell folks asking how these are my tricks and they took me a long time to figure out so eff off. I don't. There are no tutorials for this stuff and I figured it out by mucking around until I got it working so it's right disrespectful to not share back with me and the rest of NGR. This is a very easy process and expect to see some new uploaders.

 

Finally, if you need additional help just ask. 

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6 hours ago, GatorCountry said:

:lol: except friggin ff7. I've gotten nothing working yet

Some of those Chinese "bootleg" roms can have weird mapper. But FF7 demake (Shenzen Nanjing) I think the cart was pretty different to a lot of other famicom carts even other bootlegs. You can read here:

This is the hidden content, please

 

I'll have a dig around... I do remember something about there being at least 2x mapper versions of Bio Hazard (Waixing)... actually there are more mapper versions of that particular game (227, 15, 177, 241).

 

After a bit of reading it seems FF7 uses mapper 163.

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This will probably make commercial NES games with irregular mappers like Castlevania and Pinbot easier to reverse engineer. When I was in the a now-defunct romhacking scene crew I had to resort to developing Java applets and using Assembly language to reverse engineer certain games. I'm going to give this a whirl with NES games that have irregular mappers and see if it will simplify what took so much coding in the past.

edit:

Porting remakes of NES games with improvements and additional levels as ROM hacks to Dreamcast seems like fun to me. Segatendo?

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4 hours ago, Dill said:

This will probably make commercial NES games with irregular mappers like Castlevania and Pinbot easier to reverse engineer. When I was in the a now-defunct romhacking scene crew I had to resort to developing Java applets and using Assembly language to reverse engineer certain games. I'm going to give this a whirl with NES games that have irregular mappers and see if it will simplify what took so much coding in the past.

edit:

Porting remakes of NES games with improvements and additional levels as ROM hacks to Dreamcast seems like fun to me. Segatendo?

It's probably the backbone to my rise as an uploader. NES to DC outpaces everything else I do here. Genesis, Amiga, Gameboy, NeoGeo, OpenBOR, legit titles, modded DC games, none of them get as much love as new NES titles brought to Dreamcast. 

To be fair, this is the first post I put out my tools for. Most people use NesterDC 7.1. Which is fine, it has more features and I use it for disk swapping FDS titles but my Nester is faster and doesn't bother you with menu screens so maybe that's something to it. Or maybe people just really, really love NESMaker games. I don't really know.

Segatendo has definitely gotten loved here though that's for sure. For whatever reason I can't get make to work on this computer so I'm limited to tools I made or found prior but I don't think anyone's really noticed yet.

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1 hour ago, animekai said:

Yeah cant find nothing compactible with ff7 nes demake, who can solve this

Might have to learn assembly bud. 

I think MESEN has a code window. If not, one of the stand alone NES EMUs does. I'll find it and watch the code. Maybe, might be able to get it to work with a simple hexcode. Alwas is in the same boat, I just never found a mapper that works.

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