The SNES is a legendary console, and that’s no doubt. However, compared to its main rival, the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis, it had a considerable weakness in terms of CPU clock speed.
The Ricoh 5A22, which powers the console, runs at 3.58MHz, and Sega’s 16-bit system features a Motorola 68000 running at 7.6MHz (even the 8-bit TurboGrafx-16 / PC Engine is better than the SNES with custom Hudson. It also has a high-speed CPU software HuC6280CPU that operates at 7.6MHz).
What is the final result of this? Many of the early SNES titles show a catastrophic level of slowdown because the CPU isn’t keeping up with the on-screen actions. Nintendo has addressed this shortcoming by introducing a chip that can be included in the cartridge and removing some of the processing tasks from the console CPU. One of them was the SA-1 chip, also known as “Super Accelerator 1.” The chip includes a unique processor running at 10.74 MHz and boasts other improvements such as faster RAM and memory mapping capabilities.
What does this have to do with the 2021 development?Well, remember when you reported in 2019 Gradius IIIWas one of the earliest SNES shooters, completely plagued by slowdowns, patched to take advantage of the SA-1 chip?Now, the person responsible for the hack, the Brazilian coder Vitor VilelaSince, we have released the SA-1 patch Contra III And Super Mario World.. During Christmas, Vilela added another hack to this collection: Super R type..He also released a “Fast ROM” hack Super Castlevania IV Almost at the same time First step For a complete SA-1 update.
All of these games are relatively early releases of the SNES library. The main reason is that the life of the console is too early to harness the power of the SA-1 chip (or the more powerful and deployed Super FX chip).For excellent use in the following games Star fox, Stunt Race FX And Yoshi’s Island). All of these games can be played via emulation, Also It works on the original hardware, assuming you have access to compatible flash cartridges.
I have plans to do the same trick with titles like Axelay And United Nations squadron.. However, this hack does not bring all SNES games back from the brink.Villera Report It Race drivinEarly attempts to create 3D visuals on the system would require a complete coding overhaul to speed up the process. Obviously, this is not a silver bullet that can solve all the problems of SNES slowdown.
Developing these patches is a time-consuming process (It took more than 70 hours to complete the Super R type hackTherefore, if you want to support Vilela’s work, you should consider helping his Patreon. Vilela’s currently available hacks can be downloaded here.