Tech

SNES hacker speeds up a game that originally ran at 4 frames per second

Atari arcade cabinet game Race drivin It was ported to the Atari ST in the summer of 1991 and again to the SNES a year later. It was a sequel to the 1989s Hard dry bin, And it boasted many improvements compared to its predecessor, which, in contrast, was able to model a four-wheeled car. Hard dry bins 2 — It wasn’t particularly fast yet.

The SNES console port ran in a slideshow-y4 frames / sec. And when the port of Genesis arrived in 1993, Monthly electronic gamesThe January 1994 issue of the game gave the game a capsule review. It reads completely:

This is another decent entry in the driving scene, where truly innovative titles (Chase HQ II and Rock & Roll Racing) tend to stand out, while other titles like this get lost in the crowd. is. Scrolling is very interrupted.

It received mainly 4 and 5 (out of 10) from the magazine staff. (This is a matter of the editor’s letter about the Attorney General of California threatening to do something about violence in video games! Night trap It was scary at the time! )

Anyways, Race drivin It ran at 4 frames per second on the original Atari ST hardware. Software engineer Vitor Vilela thought that wasn’t enough and decided to do something with the Nintendo SA-1 processor, a contemporary hardware.So Kotaku Report, The results show exactly how powerful the SA-1 chip was. Vilela was able to get about 30 frames per second using a specially developed transformation. This is how it actually works.

In the YouTube video description, Vilela writes a bit about how this frankly very impressive feat could work. “Like any other transformation, this moves the entire memory to the SA-1 side and almost all of the processing to the SA-1 CPU side,” they write. “The game runs up to 1000% faster than the original game because it includes all the optimizations.”

All the code Vilela wrote for this hack Github, Along with the source code of the other hacks they did.It is a pity EGM I couldn’t get this version of the game — it looks like it was ported directly from another future.

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