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Post subject: SNES: Neviksti's X-Band Revival project  PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 03:46 PM








Highscores in 12/2019

From: http://board.acmlm.org/thread.php?id=14914

"Hello, for those that don´t know of me, I love playing with old hardware. Half the fun is learning how it works ... or in some cases, just getting it to work.

I have considered this for quite some time now, and decided I want to work on the SNES X-Band. I am looking for people to help."


Quote:
For those that don´t know, the X-Band was a device for the SNES that:
- in essence was a massive "Game Genie", it is a hacker´s dream come true, allowing fairly massive patching of almost any game
- the "main program" on the device itself was updatable
- it contained a modem
- there used to be a service that you could call into and download updates, and hacks ... Which allowed many games to be turned into multi-player modem games!
- the US user base was fairly large and enthralled with it, but when the company was bought out the service was shut down (I´m probably getting history a bit wrong here, but they were bought out ... eventually leading to Qualcomm as the owners I think)
- From the sounds of it, the programmers were a close knit group of hard working youngsters just out of college. They disassembled and gutted many a game to hack it and over came the obstacles to make games 2-player modem games ... which they obviously weren´t originally designed to be!
- You could also send mail and read news "online".

and finally
- There is actually a secret built in memory viewer/hexeditor! (This means if we can get something working, by making just a couple changes, ie the dialup number in memory, anyone with an X-Band could try out what we create... they don´t need a copier or any other special equipment.)


This thing has plenty of potential. Who´s interested in helping?

What would really help:
- If you own an X-Band, check if the memory (battery backed SRAM) is still good by starting it up. If so, I´d love to get a copy of some real patches (haven´t found any X-Bands with good bateries yet).
- Try checking local used game stores and seeing if they have some X-Bands that still have the saved memory.
- If you have an X-Band and can´t help, but would like to donate it ... well, it would be very much appreciated

Side oddities that would be fun to fiddle with:
- If you own an X-Band keyboard (or know where to get one), I´d be interested seeing how it works. (This was added later in its life, and I´m not sure if it got beyond the proto-type phase.)


For those interested in helping with the hacking, some skills that would be helpful (not required though):

Code readers:
- understand SNES asm
- understand C at a low level (We will be looking at the code in asm, but it was originally written in C and then compiled ... so it looks kinda weird unless you understand C at a low level.)
- goals are to figure out software protocals and hardware features so that we can make this puppy do whatever we want

Code writers:
- can write a modem program for a PC (I have done this in DOS in C with asm thrown in as well, but I used direct register writes and swapped interrupt vectors ... I´m not sure how to do it "the modern way" in Windows)
- this is for eventually making a new "server" ... which will depend on info from the code readers above, but I´d like to have at least the fundemental communication routines setup so we can play with / test info as it comes in.

- also plenty of test programs to figure out the hardware will be necessary (SNES programs)
- ultimately, it would be fun to do a proof of concept with MarioWorld (It´s two player, but you take turns ... so there are no synchronizing issues). Then try out MarioKart.

- maybe someone that could write a crude "decompiler" to turn the X-Band code back into a crude form of C (would make reading it much quicker).


Hardware skills:
- even if you don´t understand asm, you may be able to help interpret strange findings from the code ... a good understanding of the memory map and chips involved will help us figure out the hardware (I already have a rough sketch of the memory map, and have a datasheet explaining the modem chip used in this cartridge)
- For testing purposes, it would be nice to connect the X-Band directly to the modem of a PC. There appears to be a mode of the modem chip on the X-Band that supports this ... however, I have no idea how to get the PC modem to do this. Help here will be nice as well.
- help with understanding the theory behind how they overcame the lag in a phone line to make a synchonous multiplayer modem game


Basically, there are plenty of fun things to work on.
After this progresses a bit, I can supply the following to big helpers that need it:
- a SF3 or SF7 (an SNES copier) which is versatile enough to use the XBand on pass through and still allow modifying the ROM
- an X-Band for testing


So who´s up for the thrill of conquering this rom hacking challenge?
People with all ranges and levels of interest are welcome!

Thanks,
-nevisti...




Related links:

[ SNES Emus ][ SNES Infos ][ Nintendo Infos ]

 
 
 
   
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retroKOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 03:54 PM
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Sounds very interesting - hope to see something soon out of this project.
Thanks for submitting this news!
 
 
 
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Matze2005Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 03:56 PM
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Und jetzt bitte auf Deutsch. Smile

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retroKOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 04:01 PM
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Schnapp Dir ein Wörterbuch und schlag nach. Haste kein Englisch auf der Schule?
 
 
 
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ROHGAOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 04:10 PM
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Jugend von heute... echt armseelig... genau so wie dieser Post *spöm* -_,-
 
 
 
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Matze2005Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 04:28 PM
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Ich bin noch in der schei.. Schule, aber jetzt habe ich SOMERFERIEN. Smile

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retroKOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 04:32 PM
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Schei.. Schule... wenn ich das lese. Schule ist neben dem Studium die schönste Zeit des Lebens ...

Wart ab bis Du arbeitest, dann denkst du anders darüber.
 
 
 
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adventureFANOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 05:46 PM
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Soweit ich verstanden will er ein SNES-Modem (was es wirklich gab) programmieren, womit man wohl leichter hacken und Online spielen kann... ist das richtig?

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Q-MarineOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 06:02 PM
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retroK wrote:
Schei.. Schule... wenn ich das lese. Schule ist neben dem Studium die schönste Zeit des Lebens ...

Wart ab bis Du arbeitest, dann denkst du anders darüber.


Dann denkst du schei.. Arbeit. Wink

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JezzeOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 06:32 PM
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Ach Matze ... Du schaffst es aber auch immer, zu einem interessanten und sinnvollen Thread, einen weniger interessanten und vollkommen sinnlosen Post zu verfassen. Rolling Eyes

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Matze2005Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 07:36 PM
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Also ganz sinnlos ist er ja wohl nicht und außerdem wollte ich eigentlich nur wissen über was sie zum Anfang reden. Auf DEUTSCH.

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JohnPlayerOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 07:46 PM
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What is english?
 
 
 
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Matze2005Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 08:11 PM
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Wie jetzt? Willst du mich jetzt verarsch..? Das heißt übersetzt Was ist English.

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JohnPlayerOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 08:32 PM
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Na, siehst Du! Dein Englisch ist perfekt!
 
 
 
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Matze2005Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jun 22, 2005 - 08:36 PM
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Toll aber ich kann nicht den ganzen Text von Anfang übersetzen.
 
 
 
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