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make your own nes game

SMB Cart

i’m really liking this one. A game modder who’s not even very good at programming (he keeps mentioning this) decided to make his own game out of the Super Mario Brothers (SMB) NES cartridge. He wrote the assembly (god help us all) to basically make clouds scroll across the screen and just clouds. The process shows how the graphics are contained on one chip and the code is on another. Also shown, is how to rip the chip out, re-program it with your code, and then how to shove it back in and make it work. You can see the final result by clicking here. We’d also love to see someone take a shot at this and to see what they could come up with.

Comments

  1. slice n dice says:

    cool, cant wait to see a practical application

  2. Dax says:

    That’s an amazing amount of work, but it’s something very cool.
    Just solder on two of those chip holder thingies, then you don’t have to keep soldering/snipping the chip back and forth.
    It’s a real shame that the hardware isn’t great for today’s standards..
    How does one burn the program to the chip? The last time I checked, my computer lacked the needed hardware to do so :(

  3. acidrain says:

    Agreed. I wish they would have said something about what is required to burn your own chips and how cheaply it can be done.
    #1, a more practical application? With the right setup, you can burn NES games.

  4. -Pat says:

    Actually, if you look at one of the last photos, there is a chip socket, and as he’s only swapping the program memory, not the grapic memory, he only needs the one. To write the program to hardware, you would need an EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory), and the chip is only about 5$. The expensive end is the programmer, which hooks up to your computer to put the code on the actual chip. These things are considered “low cost” when they hit 250 USD.
    -Pat

  5. Raiku says:

    If you do much hardware tinkering, an EPROM programmer might not be a bad investment. I have a Pocket Programmer (can’t remember the URL), I think they’re still less than $150. If you want to be super cheap, stick with 28xxx series EEPROM, and you can build a $5 programmer yourself. A few minutes with google turned up this link: http://www.miranda.org/~jkominek/hardware/eeprom.html

  6. Scott says:

    The programmers don’t have to be $250, you can build your own with this guide: http://www.zws.com/products/epromr2/ and you can buy sub-$100 programmers at http://www.ustr.net/epromer5/index.shtml

  7. BoomBoX says:

    Why using such old eproms with UV capable windows? They are old old old.
    Why not use 29XXXXX series flash rom’s?
    And there is one great source of these chips… Dead mainboards, just look up the datasheet how the programming cycle goes, and write a small program for a microcontroller.

  8. ekvetch says:

    This guy teaches a class at Carnegie Mellon on how to program nes games:

    http://bobrost.com/nes/

    I haven’t actually read any of his lessons, but it sounds pretty cool.

  9. dalangalma says:

    Yeah, Bob Rost (link above) developed his own NES game (and the compilers and other tools to create it) and installed it on a hacked cartridge. I was in that class, and it was really cool, though my game (Grave Digger) wasn’t the most impressive.

  10. crispin webb says:

    Yeah this guy was in the whitney biennial .. the one who moded the cartrige.. glad you guys posted this its pretty fun…

  11. Radioeyes says:

    programming with that language is old news:

    http://www.grandtheftendo.com

    all this guy needs are the hardware tricks listed above, and we have a most excellent NES game!!!

  12. chris says:

    I’m actually working on a project very similar to this (in fact, I referenced that site, and some other Cory Arcangel/Beige work in the proposal). I’ll post when I’m finished, if anyone cares to see it.

  13. angelo says:

    Here is a page with alot of info on this kind of stuff. This guy (memblers) and his crew are really hard core. They have been hacking roms for years. They got heavily into the NES sound chip. Be sure to check out the music files composed through 6502 assembly coded composition tools. (I did “No Quarter” and “Land of Confusion”) : )
    Enjoy

    http://nesdev.parodius.com/#HardwareCartridges

  14. jose says:

    I hope this is alright to post here. This site has a deal on the 27C256 Eprom and programmer required for this project.
    The programmer has both USB and Printer Port adapters and only runs for $75.
    The Eprom’s are $3.99 each.
    http://www.gameboymall.com
    Hope this helps you guys. I bought a pair myself.

  15. M. chase whittemore says:

    thinking, dont they have ir ram? if they do, all you need is an ir capable computer, (there is a hack on this site for that) and a compiler.

  16. ryan says:

    this was actually part of the 2004 whitney biennial as a video art installation… it was linked earlier today in a wired article…

    a little blog thing about him installing this work at the whitney:
    http://www.nyfa.org/level3.asp?id=213&fid=6&sid=17

  17. big bandit says:

    this cartridge actually comes from a body of work of two artists from the beige collective – cory arcangel and paul b. davis [there are four in the collective.] they are also known for their album 8-bit construction set which features tracks – some programmed in assembly language on atari and commodore 64. check all this out here http://www.post-data.org/beige
    paul b. davis has gone on to do other stuff – more circuit bending and mobile phone stuff. he will be giving a workshop on the nintendo nes game cart hacking on 30th april at the bent 2005 festival in new york http://www.thetanknyc.org/bent2005/schedule.html

  18. cory says:

    how dare you do that to such a good game ************

  19. David says:

    nice but im actually building my own nes clone system to be better than all clones out there today and to succeed in which the nes did not but i will be including my own unique games made by me and my buddies :P if anyone wants to see it when i relese it e-mail me at nukesjoy666@gmail.com

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