Mairtrus release his SMB recompiled for MD, last week. Its news making its rounds on the internet.
He recompiled Doppel’s SMB source code. Doppel sent like over a year disassembling the game by hand in a debugger, commenting and figuring out what all the functions do, etc. Even gave variables label names (meaning full names) and documented what they do. And incredible job that I’ve never seen anywhere else before (the metroid disassembly floating around the ‘net is supposedly machine done with some hand tuning, but not like Doppel’s stuff). Last I heard from Doppel on IRC’s nesdev channel, he was attempting Final Fantasy 1 for NES. Not sure if that’s still active or not.
Anyway, back to Mairtrus. He used said source code and ran it through a source code translation utility (presumably his own, from what was posted at on the forums). The sound was translated as well, to use a native sound player (his own or SMSP, not sure). SMB has not mappers, so nothing to take of there. SMB also uses VROM, so no worrying about converting NES tile format on the fly (planar to packed pixel). Just a quick conversion at runtime before the main code starts. That leaves handling the tilemap, attribute, sprite table, sprite 0 fixed scroll, and scrolling on the fly (possibly gamepad, but not sure). No small feat, considering how convoluted the NES PPU is (no offense veteran nes dev’rs. Convoluted can be fun). But it’s been done before, and not just by me.
The real surprise, IMO, is the attention this has gotten. Yeah, the usually ‘can you do this’ and ‘can you do that’ requests and expectations (i.e. automatically expected it *will* happen). People are fairly impressed. People are already talking about upgrading the graphics, sound, levels, etc. This is considered huge.
Am I on the wrong platform??? I did this back in 2007 on a more complicated rom and much more real time emulation. I did this on quite a few titles with different PPU requirements: Megaman, SMB (yeah, SMB), Contra, Ducktales, Dragon Warrior, Castlevania, RoboWarrior. I guess TG16/PCE isn’t popular enough to matter. I actually anticipated this very excitement. I thought people were going to want upgrades and hacks, etc. Exactly what is happening now. I even advertised on the most famous romhacking site in the world, RHDN. I even released the source code and full project files. Hahaha. I’m totally developing on the wrong platform or something 😉