SNES Star Fox now runs at 60fps thanks to a new hack

Demo of the 60fps hacked version of fox star It was released this week (although this demo is not much higher than 30fps, as noted in the lower left corner).

If you were a Nintendo kid in the ’90s, you would have probably been amazed at how fox star And the SuperFX chip It could offer full 3D worlds on 1993-era SNES hardware. If you go back to playing the game today, you’ll likely be frustrated with the game’s choppy frame rate, which comes in at a maximum of 20 frames per second.

Enter long time fox star ROM hack kandontoresponsible for full features Star Fox Exploration Show hack. This week, Kando patch released Opens 30 or even 60 fps in simulated mode fox star (or Star Fox 2M) ROM. The result is a very smooth experience that will likely come close to matching the pink-tinged memories you had in the early ’90s fox star More than the original game could.

design problem

acceleration attempts fox star It’s nothing new in the hacking and simulation communities. For years players SuperFX chips overclocked or Run emulators at higher speeds To try to increase the frame rate of the game.

Zoom / The SuperFX chip is just one of many cartridge processors that the SNES emulator has to handle properly.

But while these methods make fox star It runs faster (and smoother), and it also speeds up the game’s internal logic to the same degree. This means that enemy ships and your Arwing are flying much faster than Nintendo intends, an effect that also causes the game’s excellent music to not sync up with the automatic scrolling action on the screen. Tripling the game’s speed to reach a 60fps experience makes it incredibly fast, by all accounts.

The design and limitations of the original SuperFX chip make this problem difficult to solve. in a game like fox starSuperFX chip It can take two full frame cycles to transfer its 3D images to the system’s video RAM (despite using only 75 percent of the available screen space). Add the computation time for game logic, enemy movement, etc., and the game renders a new frame at a third of the SNES’ 60 fps rate.

“SuperFX games are a kind of special case,” author of Nearby Emulator (aka byuu) He told Ars in 2019 While discussing the update focuses on overclocking on Focuses on precision bsnes emulator. “Since they tend not to run at 60 frames per second due to the requirements of software that rasterizes entire screens on SNES, the game logic is built around frame rates. So even if you speed up fox starIt will show that the game engine is running really fast now.”

slow down

To get around this issue, the kando hack first reprogrammed the game to run three-frame instructions (as measured in IRQ Procedures) in the space of one frame cycle (or two game cycles for 30 frames per second mode). But to prevent the gameplay itself from accelerating, kando programmed its version to only recompute game logic (or “layers”) every third frame (or every other frame for a 30fps mode). “This slows the game down to its original pace,” Kando writes.

Unfortunately, Kando notes that this is a hacked version of the game Still need help from overclocked SNES CPU And therefore , WILL NOT WORK ON STOCK SNES DEVICES. Even in emulators that are configured to run in overclocked mode, kando Warn that, in 60fps mode, “when there are few objects on the screen, the frame rate per second becomes very variable between 30-60fps (it also seems to have some issues with music speed when playing 60fps). ).

Star Fox 2 It looks smoother than ever

No matter the limitations, it’s great to live again fox starThe action-packed gameplay without the nauseating frame rates inherent in 3D graphics of the early ’90s (or the nauseating game speeds of earlier frame rate hacks). We’ll be playing it together this weekend Our improved version of SA-1 lag free Gradius III Trying to recover the best version of our childhood.

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