SNES hacker hastens a recreation that initially ran at 4 frames per second

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

The Atari arcade cupboard recreation Race Drivin’ was ported to the Atari ST in the summertime of 1991, after which ported once more to the SNES a yr later. It was the sequel to 1989’s Exhausting Drivin’, and whereas it boasted quite a few enhancements over its predecessor — it might mannequin a automobile with 4 wheels, versus Exhausting Drivin’s two — it was nonetheless not significantly quick.

The SNES console port ran at a slideshow-y 4 frames per second. And when the Genesis port arrived in 1993, Digital Gaming Month-to-month’s January 1994 subject gave the sport a capsule assessment. It reads in full:

That is one other so-so entry within the driving scene the place the really modern titles (Chase H.Q. II and Rock & Roll Racing) have a tendency to face out, whereas others like this get misplaced within the crowd. The scrolling may be very uneven.

It obtained largely fours and fives (out of 10) from the journal’s workers. (This in a problem with an editor’s letter in regards to the California legal professional normal threatening to do one thing about violence in video video games! Evening Lure was terrifying on the time!)

Anyway, Race Drivin’ ran at 4 frames per second on the unique Atari ST {hardware}. Software program engineer Vitor Vilela thought that wasn’t ok and determined to do one thing about it utilizing contemporaneous {hardware} — the Nintendo SA-1 processor. As Kotaku reviews, the outcomes present precisely how far more highly effective the SA-1 chip was; Vilela managed to get round 30 frames per second utilizing a conversion they developed particularly for it. Right here’s what that appears like in motion.

Within the description of the video on YouTube, Vilela writes a bit about how they managed to get this frankly very spectacular feat working. “Similar to my different conversions, this one strikes your complete reminiscence to the SA-1 facet and strikes virtually the entire processing to the SA-1 CPU facet,” they write. “With all optimizations included, the sport runs as much as 1000% sooner in contrast with authentic.”

All of the code Vilela wrote for this hack is on the market on Github, together with the supply code for the opposite hacks they’ve pulled off. It’s a disgrace that EGM couldn’t have gotten its fingers on this model of the sport — it seems to be like one thing ported straight from an alternate future.

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