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Enhancement chips nobody's thought to use
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Hi. I'm definitely not an expert at ASM or anything else of the sort, and I most certainly don't know how we could utilize anything I'm about to talk about, but I just wanted to share an idea that I thought was interesting.

To start off, SMWcentral's community has made ROMhacks utilizing the SA-1 chip to make SMW faster and make amazing patches like No More Sprite Tile Limits. Others have used the Super FX chip for, well, cool effects.

I was googling "sa-1 snes" to find out more about it, because curiosity and stuff, until I found a list of SNES enhancement chips.

I haven't seen anyone mention half of these chips on this site, and I wanted to just show everyone what they haven't used yet.

Originally posted by Wikipedia
The Cx4 chip is a math coprocessor that was used by Capcom to perform general trigonometric calculations for wireframe effects, sprite positioning and rotation. It is known for its role in mapping and transforming wireframes in Capcom's second and third Mega Man X series games.[2] It is based on the Hitachi HG51B169 DSP.



This is an image of what the Cx4 chip is capable of. This is a test screen with basic, differently-colored wireframe models. I actually don't know if the Super FX chip can do this too, but it looks pretty cool nonetheless.

Originally posted by Wikipedia
The DSP-1 is the most varied and widely used of the SNES DSPs, appearing in over 15 separate titles. It is used as a math coprocessor in games such as Super Mario Kart and Pilotwings that require more advanced Mode 7 scaling and rotation. It also provides fast support for the floating point and trigonometric calculations needed by 3D math algorithms. The later DSP-1A and DSP-1B serve the same purpose as the DSP-1. The DSP-1A is a die shrink of the DSP-1, and the DSP-1B also corrects several bugs.



Okay, so it's a coprocessor that makes for whatever mode 7 scaling is and rotation. From what I understand and can see from the screenshots, you can have quite a few models with textures, however simple they may be.

Originally posted by Wikipedia
The DSP-2 can only be found in the SNES port of Dungeon Master. Its primary purpose is to convert Atari ST bitmap image data into the SNES bitplane format. It also provides dynamic scaling capability and transparency effects.



It makes for dynamic scaling capability and transparency effects. I don't know what "dynamic scaling capability" is but I'm assuming it has to do with the scale of the size of a model or sprite? Transparency effects is pretty much self-explanatory, though.



So, now that you know what different chips were used for the SNES, aren't you kinda bummed out that nobody's inserted these chips into SMW yet? Sure, we have SA-1 and Super FX, but I've only seen one forum showing off things that we've seen from the screenshots we saw earlier, and it doesn't even have detailed/textured models like the other chips pulled off.

As I said earlier, I have no idea how anyone would make a patch or something to add these chips, but when that day comes you know a lot of amazing ROMhacks will be made.

What are your thoughts?
Quote
SMWcentral's community has made ROMhacks utilizing the SA-1 chip to make SMW faster and make amazing patches like No More Sprite Tile Limits.

Actually, the NMSTL patch was around way before the SA-1 pack was released, and it's not SA-1 exclusive either. But yeah, it IS more useful when it's combined with processing enhancement chips.

I'm guessing many people here already know about the other chips (myself included), but we don't give most of them much attention since the SA-1 and Super FX are probably the most useful for SMW hacking for their overall performance boost. While other ones provide some neat effects with pseudo 3D, mode 7 and stuff indeed, those things aren't really what most SMW hackers are after for their hacks, and most importantly, the great majority of them lack the necessary ASM knowledge to use them properly. Heck, that's still a problem even with the SA-1 and Super FX, which have been around in the SMW hacking scenario for quite a while at this point.
The SuperFX made Star Fox possible, so it definitely is able to render a few simple geometric shapes onto the screen. Even the SNES itself can do that without any chips, albeit very slowly.
Scaling and rotating some sprites on the screen is also clearly not a problem for the Super FX, as Yoshi's Island shows.

Those things you claim the DSP chips to do are literally possible without them, by the way.
Rotating and scaling layer 1 is pretty much what mode 7 exists for, the DSP just speeds up 3D calculation so the game won't lag, something I'm pretty sure the SA-1 can easily achieve as well, even though it's not specialized to do that.
Scaling and rotating is achievable with it as well, just take a look at Vitor's Touhou Mario 2, there's dozens of rotating bullets on the screen sometimes.


Originally posted by ThePat
Sure, we have SA-1 and Super FX, but I've only seen one forum showing off things that we've seen from the screenshots we saw earlier, and it doesn't even have detailed/textured models like the other chips pulled off.

Uhh, no, none of the screenshots you showed off in this thread have any kind of detail on a 3D model, in fact the only actual models are the wireframes.
What you see in Mario Kart, Pilotwings, F-Zero and some places like the world map in Secret of Mana is just mode 7, the same technology most bosses in SMW use.
The floor is one big, completely flat surface that is stretched and rotated around the player to allow the illusion of 3D (no model to speak of there) with flat 2D sprites overlaid in places (the positioning of these sprites is what the DSP helps doing).
All the players are just sprites with a buttload of frames to allow viewing from any angle at any distance, similar to how Mario has a buttload of frames in SMW, while things like the pipes (which are conveniently cylinders, meaning you can't tell that they aren't actually rotating) are just completely flat images.

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If I had the skillz I would make a game that utilizes tons of custom chips, but I just dont have the programming skills required for it.

Also with the sd2snes, that cartridge contains lots of custom chips and if you could utilize all of those chips in on in a single game then you could make probably one of the most fascinating games ever made since I don't think any of the original snes games contained all of those such custom chips in a single game.

Again if I were a super savant programmer here I would be all into these custom chips.

Also I think the super FX is really the best one we should all be working on with getting it to work on our hacks. Its like 20 MZ right? So as far as I know, its the single most powerful chip that ever existed on the actual snes.
Many of these chips aren't used because other chips are simply better at the same job. You'll note a lot of them say "math co-processor"; the SA-1 or Super FX is sufficient for that.

I have tried to use the C4, but due to the lack of information about it, I could only get it to multiply. In fact, that is what is preventing most work on these chips. Additionally, as previously mentioned the SA-1 and SuperFX are much more flexible than the others which are mostly just mathematical coprocessors.

Also, I believe that there is some 20MHz ARM processor which is only used in one game for AI, but it's very obscure. I would like to see if anything could be done with that.

something is supposed to go here

^ you mean the one is street fighter alpha for snes?

Originally posted by Final Theory
^ you mean the one is street fighter alpha for snes?


No, it's Hayazashi Nidan Morita Shougi 2 (apparently), which a search tells me is a card game of some sort.

something is supposed to go here

Originally posted by IDidMakeThat
Also, I believe that there is some 20MHz ARM processor which is only used in one game for AI, but it's very obscure. I would like to see if anything could be done with that.


I'd love to see a boss with an AI in a ROMhack. That'd be awesome!
Originally posted by ThePat545
I haven't seen anyone mention half of these chips on this site, and I wanted to just show everyone what they haven't used yet.

Originally posted by Wikipedia
The Cx4 chip is a math coprocessor that was used by Capcom to perform general trigonometric calculations for wireframe effects, sprite positioning and rotation. It is known for its role in mapping and transforming wireframes in Capcom's second and third Mega Man X series games.[2] It is based on the Hitachi HG51B169 DSP.



This is an image of what the Cx4 chip is capable of. This is a test screen with basic, differently-colored wireframe models. I actually don't know if the Super FX chip can do this too, but it looks pretty cool nonetheless.

Cx4 has been used
Originally posted by HuFlungDu


My life is complete
Originally posted by Final Theory
If I had the skillz I would make a game that utilizes tons of custom chips, but I just dont have the programming skills required for it.

Also with the sd2snes, that cartridge contains lots of custom chips and if you could utilize all of those chips in on in a single game then you could make probably one of the most fascinating games ever made since I don't think any of the original snes games contained all of those such custom chips in a single game.

Again if I were a super savant programmer here I would be all into these custom chips.

Also I think the super FX is really the best one we should all be working on with getting it to work on our hacks. Its like 20 MZ right? So as far as I know, its the single most powerful chip that ever existed on the actual snes.


You could still do a lot of cool things on stock hardware just by CPU tricks. I want to see more people try to do stuff like this on the SNES.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe_NSqiu2X4

http://bin.smwcentral.net/u/28835/Alisha%2527s%2BAdventure%2BSource.zip
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