N64 Ports

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Sicgamer
shadow
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N64 Ports

Post#1 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:16 am

Since Super Mario 64 was ported to Dreamcast, i wonder if we will see more ports of N64 games. Metroid, Castlevania, Bomberman etc would be really cool!!

Savlon
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#2 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:14 pm

Not to mention Goldeneye and perfect dark, and smash bros, and body harvest, and space station silicon valley! There is already a Bomberman for DC though I want to say it is Japan only. Anyway, SM64 was a unique case as there had been a dedicated decompilation project for it working for years that finally got a legally usable source done, which is now being ported to everything under the sun. One or two other games might have the same thing going on, but I wouldn't expect a barrage of N64 ports to everything. But yeah I used to dream of that too.

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soniccd123
lithium
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#3 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:31 pm

There are some n64 decompilation projects going on, I think Mario Kart and Perfect Dark are being decompiled from the top of my head, but will probably take some time to mature and be ready for making ports and etc. There is the SNES Super Mario Kart original source code leaked that can be compiled and edited, although alot of people prefer to stay away from leaks. Also, the code is all written in 65C816 assembly as one can imagine, which can be a lot of work to port to the Dreamcast.
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dark
Leonard Nimoy
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#4 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:58 pm

Just chiming in to say there was no Metroid game on N64, and the DC's Bomberman game, Bomberman Online, was actually a US exclusive of all things.

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Anthony817
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#5 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:24 am

Well, we all know that SM64 just BARELY fit into the DC's limited 16mb of RAM and still is not at playable speeds with sound enabled even on my 240mhz overclocked DC. I would say not even 5fps faster with OC mode enabled. So the thing is, it is the largest cart based console, and we want to port games over to the DC and expect it to load the full game into RAM at start. Not super feasible unless you do the 32MB RAM mod on DC. That in and of itself is a whole separate thing not going to get into.

But I feel like even if Goldeneye and OOT were ported over from decompiled source, it may require the double RAM mod to even have a chance of running full speed with sound on. Those larger games sound even less likely. If we want more retro console exclusive games brought over, we have to look for projects that people are already working on and bring to the attention of community developers with the skills. Driver 2 a PSX exclusive game was recently ported over to the PC with a decompiled source, and that would be perfect for the system since the original console it is from was also disc based and loaded each mission separately into memory unlike N64 which is cart based and everything resides in memory when loaded.

So honestly, now as it stands and as I see it N64 ports are not going to be best suited for the DC unless we get the super small early games and somebody implements music from audio files streaming off disc or something since it would optimize way better for the DC.
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cloofoofoo
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#6 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 12:47 am

Anthony817 wrote:Well, we all know that SM64 just BARELY fit into the DC's limited 16mb of RAM and still is not at playable speeds with sound enabled even on my 240mhz overclocked DC. I would say not even 5fps faster with OC mode enabled. So the thing is, it is the largest cart based console, and we want to port games over to the DC and expect it to load the full game into RAM at start. Not super feasible unless you do the 32MB RAM mod on DC. That in and of itself is a whole separate thing not going to get into.

But I feel like even if Goldeneye and OOT were ported over from decompiled source, it may require the double RAM mod to even have a chance of running full speed with sound on. Those larger games sound even less likely. If we want more retro console exclusive games brought over, we have to look for projects that people are already working on and bring to the attention of community developers with the skills. Driver 2 a PSX exclusive game was recently ported over to the PC with a decompiled source, and that would be perfect for the system since the original console it is from was also disc based and loaded each mission separately into memory unlike N64 which is cart based and everything resides in memory when loaded.

So honestly, now as it stands and as I see it N64 ports are not going to be best suited for the DC unless we get the super small early games and somebody implements music from audio files streaming off disc or something since it would optimize way better for the DC.


Some of that is wrong. The n64 assets dont all reside in memory , its called from the cart on demand because the getting stuff from the cart is so damn fast they used it almost as ram. Theoretically if someone took the time to look through the assets and code and see whats gonna be called on it wouldn't be needed for all of it to be in memory. Think about how bangaioh and star wars racers were n64 ports probably bigger than mario64 and had no problems dc. Of course those were commercial endeavours with tens of people behind them.

But i see your point , from a homebrew approach its a huge undertaking that most likely no one would like to rewrite 100% to make its completely native to the dc.

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Ragfish
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#7 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:30 am

cloofoofoo wrote:Think about how bangaioh and star wars racers were n64 ports probably bigger than mario64 and had no problems dc. Of course those were commercial endeavours with tens of people behind them.

A little off topic but I've always been curious how well the DC would be able to handle Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. It was originally released on PC, and PS1 and DC ports were reported to be in development, but in the end all it got was an absolute miracle port to N64 where it had practically no compromise compared to the PC version. To this day I still can't believe it exists.

Factor 5 stated that if it weren't for the N64 cartridge format they never would have been able to get a single level running, and so I've always wondered if it would have been possible on DC. The original PC version required tons of ram and had higher minimum specs than most PC games that got near perfect DC ports (such as Half Life and MDK2).

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Anthony817
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#8 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:35 am

cloofoofoo wrote:Some of that is wrong. The n64 assets dont all reside in memory , its called from the cart on demand because the getting stuff from the cart is so damn fast they used it almost as ram. Theoretically if someone took the time to look through the assets and code and see whats gonna be called on it wouldn't be needed for all of it to be in memory. Think about how bangaioh and star wars racers were n64 ports probably bigger than mario64 and had no problems dc. Of course those were commercial endeavours with tens of people behind them.

But i see your point , from a homebrew approach its a huge undertaking that most likely no one would like to rewrite 100% to make its completely native to the dc.


Well, as you said about the N64 to DC commercial ports those had the benefit of teams of dozens to hundreds of people working on so a lot more feasible. But yeah, something along the lines of those ports needs a lot of stuff rewritten to take advantage of the benefits of the DC hardware.

Still, my want from N64 is the heavy hitters of course the first party games, but 007 on DC would be pretty damn sweet.
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WedgeStratos
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Re: N64 Ports

Post#9 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:09 am

The fundamental problem with porting N64 games is entirely in that dependence on the game assets and the treatment of the ROM as RAM. What has to be done before porting X game to Y platform, under-the-hood modifications must be made to change how the game handles the assets. This has obviously been mentioned already, but it's that it's not happened yet is the problem.

To ever see ports of those other games, as well as to fix the issue of, say, SM64 being fully loaded into RAM, will require these games basically being rewritten to use different memory management, to make it possible to "seek" that data from physical media that has latency in some form. The N64 has always had that distinct advantage, and the reason we aren't seeing that happen with these ports is simple. Most of the efforts to port these games start at the PC, the most powerful and natural platform to port a game to, since you're using that PC to program the game anyway. Modern PCs have almost no limits, the Mario 64 port takes maybe 30MB of RAM, a nickel compared to the 4, 8, 16 GIGABYTES of just *memory* we have access to on a PC. A Dreamcast GD-ROM is roughly 1.2GB total, with 16MB of memory available on the system.

What doesn't help is that the basis for this and many other console ports of Mario 64 has been based on that PC port. It's a natural starting point, yes, but it's not efficient to bring the game up to Mount Everest and then work it DOWN to the shack at the base of the mountain. A whole other branch of the port has to be made not starting from the PC port, after someone else has done the job of getting the game running, but to start at the very beginning, that raw code, and tailor the changes to fit the new criteria. I'm not certain if mrneo is using the PC port as the base, but it seems like a natural starting point, so it wouldn't surprise me.

In theory though, if other games like OoT were based on Mario 64's engine, any optimizations made for vintage/retro systems could be ported with relative ease to that decompilation, and maybe to others.

I wonder how much difference a decompiled 64DD game would have.

mrneo240
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Posts: 636

Re: N64 Ports

Post#10 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:18 am

WedgeStratos wrote: I'm not certain if mrneo is using the PC port as the base, but it seems like a natural starting point, so it wouldn't surprise me.


Based on my psp port which is in turned based on the pc port

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