Friday, September 12, 2008

Emulation News

This isn't strictly CFC2English-specific, but there is some news about new developments in NGPC emulation that I thought I should mention.

First of all, a guy called FluBBa has been working on a new NGPC emulator that runs on the GBA. That's right, Neo Geo Pocket on the GameBoy Advance. My hope is that he will use the same emulation engine and build a version for the Nintendo DS. Based on what I know about the design of his emulator, I think it has a good chance to run near full speed on the DS. FluBBa's site (with downloads of his emulators) can be found at

During development of his emulator, FluBBa noticed that certain games check a (previously thought to be unused) bit in the input status byte. Basically, there's a byte (8 bits) in the NGPC that contains the status of all the inputs. On a normal NGPC, there are 7 inputs (up, down, left, right, A, B, and Option). That leaves one bit unused. It seems that it's not totally unused after all. This bit seems to be the "D" button for debugging. Perhaps it is included as an input on the development hardware.

I made a quick hack to RACE! so that I could test this find. I tested it with several games, but I only found 3 that seemed to respond when I hit the "D" button. These games are Card Fighters' Clash, Card Fighters' Clash 2, and Dokodemo Mahjong. So, this news does relate to CFC2English. At the right, you should see a screenshot of CFC2English running the debug menu (which pops up when the "D" button is pressed). also has a post about this find which has a link to download screenshots of all 3 games' debug features.

Speaking of RACE!, there is a new version of RACE! for the PSP. A guy named Akop (AKA Uberjack) has continued the RACE! project. He is known for porting emulators to the PSP. Here is his blog post about the release. Here is the link to download RACE! PSP. This new version has a nicer menu system among other user interface improvements. I don't plan to compete with Uberjack for RACE! updates. My current feeling is that Uberjack's version of RACE! is the official PSP version. If things (like the "D" button) need to be added to RACE!, they should show up in his version. At this time, I don't plan to release new versions of RACE! on my own.