N64 Core

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Chris23235
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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

Neocaron wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 8:07 pm

I don't know what point you are trying to make, but you are so full of it. The N64 core is completely open source so why wouldn't it be finished? It's build for FPGA, it doesn't have an expiration date. The whole point of the FPGA community is that all the cores will be passed down generations and preserved forever with ease on the Mister or any other piece of FPGA hardware. There are more chances for an emulator to be broken in 5 years because it's not maintained anymore than any FPGA core. The N64 core will absolutely be finished in a year, two, five... on the Mister or not, who cares. What we have here is a marvel of creation by Robert. And by the way I use my Mister only with CRTs so yeah there is a point, it's a thing, people who can do it and enjoy it.

Don't know if you are addressing me, but I answer anyway. I wrote multiple times here that I talk about the limitations of the core on the DE-10 nano board, I wrote multiple times that I think the work Robert did was great and that he achieved a lot of things that were deemed impossible before he tackled it. But as he also stated himself he can't think of a way to overcome the limitations of the MiSTer so the core - at least from his expectations - will never become as perfect as his other cores.
I don't know what you mean by "There are more chances for an emulator to be broken in 5 years because it's not maintained anymore than any FPGA core." as software emulators as long as they are open source are among the best maintained software projects you will find. Mame is around for close to 30 years and helped with the preservation of Arcade games more then any other project I can think of. SNES9x and Stella are also a projects maintained for more than the quarter of a century. For every abandoned software emulator you will find an abandoned FPGA core (e.g. the Jaguar core) so I don't know what point you are trying to proof here.

About the CRT usage you seemed to not understand what I wrote, maybe I was not clear enough in my wording, I never said usage of CRTs is useless, I said that you can use any PC with a CRT too so the use of a CRT is no MiSTer exclusive feature as some people make it sound here.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by TLPD-AVW »

Is it me, or Cruisin' USA runs too smooth on the N64 core? I played the game on a real console a few years ago and I remember framerate being a bit lower.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:43 pm

The compability list on the Ares website is outdated. I tried some of the games you listed on the latest nightly build. I didn't try WCW and Knife Edge as I don't know if I can tell the correct speed, I never played these 2 games. From the games on your list only Daikatana (JP) and Rugrats in Paris don't work in the latest nightly build of Ares, the other bugs are already fixed.

I said "These are the ones I tried which are listed as problematic on Ares compatibility list, there are others too I haven't tried", so you couldn't say I was relying just on reading the compatibility list.

I tried exactly those games, on Ares v137, and the one I said crashes on start, DO crash where I said they do, and they DO work on Mister, this is a fact, v137 build is just one week old, are all those non-starting games already fixed in the nightly build? If yes, then it is impressive, in fact.

The point is as far as nobody else picks up the development of the N64 core from Robert Peip the core will be as it is while Ares is still in active development

They are both Open Source.

and already showing greater accuracy then the N64 core.

It really doesn't, since there are more non-starting games on it than there are on Mister.

And what about that "already" term? You are making it sound as if Ares N64 is newer than the Mister core, when in fact its first commits on Github dates 3 years ago, and it's not as if it came out of nowhere, it's based on plugins that have been around for many more years before.

In fact, one might say the opposite: the Mister N64 core has "already" achieved in just one year, what N64 software emulation still struggles to do, even if it has been worked on for much longer.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

TLPD-AVW wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:16 pm

Is it me, or Cruisin' USA runs too smooth on the N64 core? I played the game on a real console a few years ago and I remember framerate being a bit lower.

Tried it right now, side by side Mister and real N64, they are identical. There are other games in which timings are off on Mister, like Knife Edge and WCW Nitro, and they show exactly the same issue on Ares.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

virtuali wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:24 pm
Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:43 pm

The compability list on the Ares website is outdated. I tried some of the games you listed on the latest nightly build. I didn't try WCW and Knife Edge as I don't know if I can tell the correct speed, I never played these 2 games. From the games on your list only Daikatana (JP) and Rugrats in Paris don't work in the latest nightly build of Ares, the other bugs are already fixed.

I said "These are the ones I tried which are listed as problematic on Ares compatibility list, there are others too I haven't tried", so you couldn't say I was relying just on reading the compatibility list.

I tried exactly those games, on Ares v137, and the one I said crashes on start, DO crash where I said they do, and they DO work on Mister, this is a fact, v137 build is just one week old, are all those non-starting games already fixed in the nightly build? If yes, then it is impressive, in fact.

I tried the nightly build from here:
https://github.com/ares-emulator/ares/r ... ag/nightly

I am not familiar with Ares development cycles, so I can't say how long it takes for code from the nightlies to be incorporated into a stable version.

The point is as far as nobody else picks up the development of the N64 core from Robert Peip the core will be as it is while Ares is still in active development

They are both Open Source.

Yes the core is open source and it is totally possible that somebody will pick up were Robert ended but from Robert's perspective there was no point in continuing the development because the remaining hurdles can't be overcome. I tend to trust Robert's experience here - if he says it can't be done then I think it can't be done. Any kind of development is limited by the target platform.

and already showing greater accuracy then the N64 core.

It really doesn't, since there are more non-starting games on it than there are on Mister.

And what about that "already" term? You are making it sound as if Ares N64 is newer than the Mister core, when in fact its first commits on Github dates 3 years ago, and it's not as if it came out of nowhere, it's based on plugins that have been around for many more years before.

Where games run on Ares they are more accurate than on the MiSTer (e.g. DK64 attract mode). I say already because at the moment the N64 portion of Ares is in active development while the N64 core on the MiSTer is not in active development. The accuracy of Ares is increasing while the accuracy of the N64 core is stalling at the moment. As I stated before the person who wrote the core Robert himself says the remaining problems can not be overcome.

In fact, one might say the opposite: the Mister N64 core has "already" achieved in just one year, what N64 software emulation still struggles to do, even if it has been worked on for much longer.

Show me something the core does that doesn't work in any software emulator (not only Ares). Robert's core is great and what he achieved in the short time is amazing but it seems this is what we get. I don't see the problem. We have a good core it is just not perfect and I think it will never be. The MiSTer is the best solution if you are looking for playing N64 games on a device with a low power draw. I am pretty sure it will be a long time until the Raspberry Pi is capable of running the N64 at the same accuracy as the MiSTer does it now powered by a 2A power supply. But if you are looking for a more accurate experience you will find better options (that require a computer that consumes much more power than the MiSTer).

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by TLPD-AVW »

virtuali wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:30 pm

Tried it right now, side by side Mister and real N64, they are identical. There are other games in which timings are off on Mister, like Knife Edge and WCW Nitro, and they show exactly the same issue on Ares.

Huh, thanks for checking. I remember the forest stage killing the framerate really bad in particular, but maybe I'm just misremembering.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:43 pm

From the games on your list only Daikatana (JP) and Rugrats in Paris don't work in the latest nightly build of Ares, the other bugs are already fixed.

Tested Ares nightly build right now:

  • Tetris N64 still crashes on start, works on Mister

  • Hybrid Heaven JP still crashes on start, works on Mister

  • Gauntlet Legends still crashes when entering a level, works on Mister

I tried another one listed as not working in v136, Tarzan PAL, black screen on start, works on Mister. This is less of an issue, because the NTSC version works but, it suggests there might be other issues with PAL with Ares.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

virtuali wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:56 pm
Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:43 pm

From the games on your list only Daikatana (JP) and Rugrats in Paris don't work in the latest nightly build of Ares, the other bugs are already fixed.

Tested Ares nightly build right now:

  • Tetris N64 still crashes on start, works on Mister

  • Hybrid Heaven KP still crashes on start, works on Mister

  • Gauntlet Legends still crashes when entering a level, works on Mister

I tried another one listed as not working in v136, Tarzan PAL, black screen on start, works on Mister. This is less of an issue, because the NTSC version works but, it shows there might be other issues with PAL with Ares.

Tetris worked fine for me, played for 10 minutes of so.

Hybrid Heaven worked for me played for a couple of minutes.

Gauntlet Legends finished the first level.

On which hardware did you ran the emulator (OS, etc.)

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:59 pm

Tetris worked fine for me, played for 10 minutes of so.

Hybrid Heaven worked for me played for a couple of minutes.

Gauntlet Legends finished the first level.

As I''ve said, they all crashed in the way I said they did. I was running Ares with all default settings, maybe it might be possible to make them run with some tweaks, who knows. Have you tried Tarzan PAL ?

On which hardware did you ran the emulator (OS, etc.)

i9 10900k, 64GB RAM, Windows 10, RTX 3090 with latest drivers.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

Strange, I didn't tweak any settings. I am using Win11 but this shouldn't make the difference:

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I just tried Tarzan PAL and this crashes on startup for me also.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:12 pm

Strange, I didn't tweak any settings. I am using Winn11 but this shouldn't make the difference:

I said Tetris JP doesn't work on Ares, you are showing me "The New Tetris (USA)", which is a completely different game made by a different developer (Blue Planet), the JP version is made by Seta and it's really a different (way worse...) game.

I said Hybrid Heaven JP doesn't work on Ares, the US version works.

Gauntlet Legends USA (forgot to say I tested the US version, in fact) doesn't work and it surely doesn't for me. The PAL version, in fact, works. At least, I can enter the level.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

virtuali wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:22 pm
Chris23235 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:12 pm

Strange, I didn't tweak any settings. I am using Winn11 but this shouldn't make the difference:

I said Tetris JP doesn't work on Ares, you are showing me "The New Tetris (USA)", which is a completely different game made by a different developer (Blue Planet), the JP version is made by Seta and it's really a different (way worse...) game.

I said Hybrid Heaven JP doesn't work on Ares, the US version works.

Gauntlet Legends USA (forgot to say I tested the US version, in fact) doesn't work and it surely doesn't for me. The PAL version, in fact, works. At least, I can enter the level.

This explains the different experience. With Tetris you didn't mention that you mean Tetris (JP) with Hybrid Heaven your are right, you stated the JP version isn't working. But this even more proofs the point. In general these games are running in one version or the other on Ares (and at least Tetris (JP) is working fine on Mupen64Plus no idea about Hybid Heaven (JP) ). while what's not working on the N64 core is not working because of a fundamental hurdle Robert described in detail when he announced the end of development of the core.

DK64 is already more accurate on Ares than on the MiSTer, Jet Forfce Gemini already works in Ares and still crashes on MiSTer and it will always crash on MiSTer at least on Robert's core.

Again I don't see the problem here, the MiSTer is a great device just not able to recreate an N64 with the same accuracy a software emulation is.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 5:28 am

But this even more proofs the point. In general these games are running in one version or the other on Ares (and at least Tetris (JP) is working fine on Mupen64Plus no idead about Hybid Heaven (JP) ).

It's more proof to my point: if Ares really was "accurate" than Mister, there shouldn't be those differences on games not working "just" because they are of a different region. Let's say software emulation is more affected by bugs, while with FPGA: when you add support for more hardware features in the core, it's very unusual a game which used to work in a previous version won't work in the new one.

while what's not working on the N64 core is not working because of a fundamental hurdle Robert described in detail when he announced the end of development of the core.

This is very well understood. With FPGA, either you fit within the hardware capabilities, or you don't, and you need a more powerful hardware.

DK64 is already more accurate on Ares than on the MiSTer

Only in Attract mode, not in game.

Again I don't see the problem here, the MiSTer is a great device just not able to recreate an N64 with the same accuracy a software emulation is.

I still maintain my previous stance that, what works well in Mister, plays, feels and sounds better.

Some games which are reportedly "accurate" and fully working on Ares, sometimes exhibit crackly audio or micro-pauses. Sometimes you restart them and the problem is fixed, this is very likely due to the fact they run under a complex OS which has so much else to do and forces all apps to share resources, and this is not something you can really fix with software emulation, unless you take some radical approach, like some of the "Bare metal" emulators like BMC 64 on RPI, which works without an OS, but this approach is not really feasible on PCs (even BMC stopped at RPI3, newer devices might be too complex to bare-metal), who might have enough power to do accurate N64 emulation to begin with.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

virtuali wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 9:54 am

Let's say software emulation is more affected by bugs, while with FPGA: when you add support for more hardware features in the core, it's very unusual a game which used to work in a previous version won't work in the new one.

This is neither the way software emulation works nor it is the way FPGA simulation works. Both approaches are interpretations of a given hardware and not 100% identical. Your MiSTer or your PC will never become an N64. The memory modules in the N64 are completely different then what the MiSTer uses, the CPU will not run at the same clockspeed on MiSTer as on the N64 and many things more. To get the FPGA core running Robert had to tweak a lo t of things, For sure it is not as simple as "add support for more hardware features in the core" and be done with it.
The way you describe it is an ideal way that would work the same in software emulation and in FPGA implementation but in reality is in almost no case as simple as that.

It's more proof to my point: if Ares really was "accurate" than Mister, there shouldn't be those differences on games not working "just" because they are of a different region.

Games from different regions can differ very much e.g. PAL and NTSC will most likely use different code because of the different output hardware. But even if both are NTSC there can be vast differences in the code because the game was released later in the other region meaning there was a newer version of the game released. It can also be down to things like copy protection mechanisms implemented for certain regions.
Hybrid Heaven for example featured EEPROM saves in the japanese version and needed a controller PAK in the US version. The game was different on a hardware level.

This is very well understood. With FPGA, either you fit within the hardware capabilities, or you don't, and you need a more powerful hardware.

Wrong, this is not how it works. If it would be this way any attempt to get the N64 running on the MiSTer would have been fruitless. Robert tweaked the system at many points so that the result fit in the DE10-nano.

Only in Attract mode, not in game.

The attract mode is part of the game code. If the attract mode is not 100% accurate the gameplay itself can't be expected to be 100% accurate. It is the same code base.

I still maintain my previous stance that, what works well in Mister, plays, feels and sounds better.

In which way does it "sound" better? In which way does it "play" better? I don't ask in which way it "feels" better, because this is 100% subjective.

Some games which are reportedly "accurate" and fully working on Ares, sometimes exhibit crackly audio or micro-pauses. Sometimes you restart them and the problem is fixed, this is very likely due to the fact they run under a complex OS which has so much else to do and forces all apps to share resources, and this is not something you can really fix with software emulation, unless you take some radical approach, like some of the "Bare metal" emulators like BMC 64 on RPI, which works without an OS, but this approach is not really feasible on PCs (even BMC stopped at RPI3, newer devices might be too complex to bare-metal), who might have enough power to do accurate N64 emulation to begin with.

Audio stutter in emulation is in almost all cases a problem with to weak hardware running the emulator. If you want to tell me you don't think that a software emulator can reach the accuracy of an FPGA implementation we can stop the discussion here, because this is simply false.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 1:35 pm

Audio stutter in emulation is in almost all cases a problem with to weak hardware running the emulator. If you want to tell me you don't think that a software emulator can reach the accuracy of an FPGA implementation we can stop the discussion here, because this is simply false.

"Weak hardware" is a poor excuse for not understanding how much a complex general-purpose OS like Windows, Mac or Linux, which are doing countless of other tasks unrelated to the emulation, can affect things like audio, while on FPGA the OS is not really in the way.

I don't know if my i9 10900K + RT 3090 is too "weak" for Ares, but I surely get the occasional audio micro stuttering I never get with Mister.

You said I described the FPGA as being a close representation of hardware to be an "ideal" that in fact requires tweaking. I never said otherwise, but this is way more of an issue on a normal PC running a typical OS.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Chris23235 »

virtuali wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 1:58 pm
Chris23235 wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 1:35 pm

Audio stutter in emulation is in almost all cases a problem with to weak hardware running the emulator. If you want to tell me you don't think that a software emulator can reach the accuracy of an FPGA implementation we can stop the discussion here, because this is simply false.

"Weak hardware" is a poor excuse for not understanding how much a complex general-purpose OS like Windows, Mac or Linux, which are doing countless of other tasks unrelated to the emulation, can affect things like audio, while on FPGA the OS is not really in the way.

I don't know if my i9 10900K + RT 3090 is too "weak" for Ares, but I surely get the occasional audio micro stuttering I never get with Mister.

You said I described the FPGA as being a close representation of hardware to be an "ideal" that in fact requires tweaking. I never said otherwise, but this is way more of an issue on a normal PC running a typical OS.

Modern OS like WIndows, OS X and Linux are built so that they can handle the tasks quite well without any problems while giving the emulator enough computing capacity so it runs on a cycle exact level if needed. This has been the case for years now and it is some kind of myth amongst FPGA users that the FPGA implementation is superior because of that. That's not the case even less on the MiSTer were a Linux is running in parallel to the FPGA core handling all the USB input/video and audio output stuff. The Linux applies audio and video filters to each frame the FPGA sends. On a modern OS the emulator can put tasks on different CPU cores that the OS will never touch. If you experience stutters today in modern emulators it is most likely a problem with your computer (hardware or software configuration) and not with the emulator.

Last but not least you tend to ignore the main point I made again and again. Ares is in active development, the N64 core on MiSTer is not.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by virtuali »

Chris23235 wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 2:14 pm

That's not the case even less on the MiSTer were a Linux is running in parallel to the FPGA core handling all the USB input/video and audio output stuff.

That is precisely why I said the OS is less in the way in Mister, which surely is, compared to a normal software emulation where the OS is more in the way.

On a modern OS the emulator can put tasks on different CPU cores that the OS will never touch.

The emulator doesn't have total control of what, for example, audio and video drivers do, what the OS power management/throttling does, which kind of interference you are getting from antivirus/firewalls, and so many different things that, your ideal world of how a modern OS might possibly run, never really applies in practice.

If you experience stutters today in modern emulators it is most likely a problem with your computer (hardware or software configuration) and not with the emulator.

It's not, and what I see are very minor micro-stutters or pauses, which are CLEARLY not caused by a "problem" in my computer, because as I've said, they might happen when first starting a game, first time an audio plays you might hear a small pause/stutter, which doesn't happen when restarting the emulator a second time.

It happened with a couple of random games. I tried on Ares, 007 TWINE the first speech in the game I've got a small stutter, reset the game, same speech, no issues. Same with 1080 Snowboard: first speech got a brief stutter, reset the game, problem gone. So, clearly, the hardware IS capable of handling a/v synch normally, but not always because of the milion things happening all at the same time in a "modern" OS.

But that is precisely the point: having to do the same maintenance you do on a gaming PC (to run current games), to run retro games, is absurd in itself.

Last but not least you tend to ignore the main point I made again and again. Ares is in active development, the N64 core on MiSTer is not

I haven't "ignored" it, I said it doesn't really matter, since they are both Open Source, and we have seen issues in cores which looked "abandoned" years ago, which has been fixed by somebody else years later.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by akeley »

Chris23235 wrote: Mon Apr 08, 2024 5:28 am

Again I don't see the problem here, the MiSTer is a great device just not able to recreate an N64 with the same accuracy a software emulation is.

The only problem with this discourse are the quasi-religious/tribal attitudes, so often encountered in the FPGA world (well, in any hobby-world for that matter, including emulation). I'm sure the people who say these things are well-intentioned, but in reality I think they actually might hold back the possible development (by presenting an idealized state of affairs) and certainly making finding some concrete information very difficult - and in worst case scenario misleading casual readers.

In this scenario, for some reason it seems impossible for many people to acknowledge at the same time that N64 core is undeniably a great achievement, but also has problems, and that perhaps alternatives are better. Or, at least try to find out what the reality is, instead of just proclaiming this core as superduperamazing, end of story.

I don't really have a horse in the "which one is better" race, I am just trying to understand what the state of affairs is so I can make informed decisions
about available choices. As for now I'm certainly not getting rid of my real N64 (well, I probably wouldn't even if the emus were 100%, but that's a different story) , but would also like to know what the capabilities/compatibilities of both Ares and Robert's core are.

The only available resources I can see at the moment re MiSTer are on the vampier.net. When you look at the main chart, 4 games are listed as Perfect, 86 as Completable, and 206 as Playable. Given that the latter categories are defined as "having issues" saying that all is hunky dory, or stating with authority that emulation is definitely worse seems really far fetched.

EDIT: I see now these numbers are for the USA set, but the point still stands

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by kathleen »

Everything is said in your text and I totally agree with.

I've the exact feeling as you, I own a N64 and won't get rid of it even if a perfect FPGA core or Emulator sees the light. Same for the others consoles, computers that I own but as you said, this is another story.

For sure, the Robert's core is a piece of art, we've already a lot of luck to have 4 games listed as Perfect, 86 as Completable, and 206 as Playable on the Mister, Robert did an amazing work on this hardware knowing the limitations of the Mister.

It is the same for the emulators, the work behind is also amazing, time consuming, etc etc, and the results thanks to the hard work of the developers and the power of the nowadays computers give us very good results.

Both FPGA and Emulators have their pros and cons. On my side, if I've the Mister switched on and if for any reason, I want to play a N64 game then I try it. If it works, then fine I'll play it on the mister, if not, then I'll jump to my PC and run it on the emulator, I'll never blame the N64 core but I'll be happy to have the emulator :-).
If I'm really motivated and want to play it in the same configuration than back in the days, then I unbox my N64, connect it to my TV and play with the original hardware......

All the options are there. Let's chose the one which suits the best to our needs.

かすりん

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by 16Bittt »

I’ve been using emulators since early 2000s,but since 2019 when I bought the Mister ,In 90% of cases, I no longer use emulators because Mister, connected to a CRT and using matching controllers for each core, offers a superior experience, nearly identical to original hardware.
That's the whole point of Mister FPGA.
However, the N64 core doesn’t come close to that level of accuracy (neither does Saturn, but that’s a work in progress, not hardware bottlenecked).

In cases where Mister FPGA fails to offer accuracy, encounters compatibility issues, or exhibits glitches and other problems, emulators become the superior choice. Simple as that.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Telemachus »

I don't know that it helps comparing to ARES as other people have made lists that show the MiSTer 64 core is fairly incompatible compared to many emulators when it comes to games, it isn't like they are insignificant or just 5 games like certain commentators on Youtube would lead you to believe.

MiSTer 64 Core is around 86.6%. compatible. (50 known problematic games)

Game Breaking Bug/Crash:

Conker's Bad Fur Day (IGN 9.9/10)
Gauntlet Legends (Game Rankings 71.13%)
Iggy's Reckin' Balls (Total! 80%)
Jet Force Gemini/Star Twins (Edge 9/10)
Polaris SnoCross (Gamespot 7.8/10)
Resident Evil 2/Biohazard 2 (Metacritic 89%)
Rugrats in Paris - The Movie (Official Nintendo Magazine 71%)
Star Wars Episode I - Battle for Naboo (IGN 9/10)
Tonic Trouble (Nintendo Power 7.4/10)
Wonder Project J2 (64 Extreme 75/100) [Translation Available]
Nintama Rantarou 64 Game Gallery (Review N/A) [Translation Available]
Pro Mahjong Kiwame 64 (Review N/A) [No Translation]

Bugs/Glitches/Timing/Audio Issues:

Banjo-Tooie (Famitsu 33/40)
Batman Beyond - Return of the Joker (Official Nintendo Magazine 66%)
Beetle Adventure Racing! (Game Informer 8/10)
Blues Brothers 2000 (Nintendo Power 6.8/10)
Daffy Duck Starring as Duck Dodgers (IGN 7.6/10)
Dance Dance Revolution - Disney Dancing Museum (Review N/A)
Donkey Kong 64 (GamePro 4.8/5)
F1 Racing Championship (N64 Magazine 72%)
Flying Dragon (IGN 5/10)
Fox Sports College Hoops '99 (Nintendo Power 6.3/10)
G.A.S.P!! Fighters' NEXTream (Hyper 50%)
Killer Instinct Gold (GameSpot 7.4/10)
Knife Edge - Nose Gunner (Electronic Gaming Monthly 5.5/10)
Legend of Zelda, The - Majora's Mask (GamePro 4.5/5)
Legend of Zelda, The - Ocarina of Time (Edge 10/10)
Madden NFL 2001 (CNET Gamecenter 8/10)
Madden NFL 2002 (GameSpot 8.6/10)
Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. (GameRankings 80%)
Monster Truck Madness 64 (N64 Magazine 66%)
Nuclear Strike 64 (Next Generation 4/5)
Rayman 2 - The Great Escape (Game Informer 7.75/10)
Rush 2 - Extreme Racing USA (Hyper 85%)
San Francisco Rush - Extreme Racing (IGN 8.9/10)
San Francisco Rush 2049 (N64 Magazine 91%)
Waialae Country Club - True Golf Classics (GameRankings 63.4%)
WCW Mayhem (Nintendo Power 7.5/10)
WCW Nitro (GameSpot 4.5/10)
Wipeout 64 (Metacritic 84/100)
Jangou Simulation Mahjong Dou 64 (Review N/A)

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by FPGAzumSpass »

You took your time to list the rating of some old magazines but not to mention what the actual problems are and even leave out the regions when things e.g. only happen in the japanese version?
I mean, it's of course true, all those games have some reported issues, but just listing them without further information is very misleading, as many of them are playable just fine and i would go so far to say that some of the issues most users would never notice.

The quality standards and expectations for mister cores are just much higher and things no one would complain about in software emulation are listed here.
E.g. Ares lists several of these games in the highest category "Completeable" while they have comparable issues to those the core shows.

So if you use the same standards, the list for Ares would be around the same length.
What does that tell us?

a) N64 emulation still needs a lot of research
b) all emulators (and the core) still struggle with true cycle accurate behavior
c) hardware is a concern for both FPGA(at least for the DE10-Nano) and Software (high end PC required)

In terms of accuracy it's a mixed bag

  • CPU timing accuracy is slightly higher in the core, also Ares doesn't emulate the CPU pipeline
  • RSP timing accuracy is higher in Ares
  • DMA/Memory transfer timing accuracy is higher in Ares, but more important: consistent, which the core cannot deliver due to the DDR3 situation
  • RDP timing accuracy is higher in the core, Ares doesn't emulate RDP draw timing at all, it costs zero time to draw (also the reason why Tetris 64 JP is broken)
  • PIF emulation (gamepads, paks, eeprom) is slightly better in Ares, but Ares cannot do SNAC at all

In the end, I would consider both a good, but not perfect solution and as their target platforms(high end PC vs low power device often hooked up to a TV) and audience are different, it makes perfectly sense to have both.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by akeley »

FPGAzumSpass wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 4:22 am

You took your time to list the rating of some old magazines but not to mention what the actual problems are and even leave out the regions when things e.g. only happen in the japanese version?
I mean, it's of course true, all those games have some reported issues, but just listing them without further information is very misleading, as many of them are playable just fine and i would go so far to say that some of the issues most users would never notice.

This list is not perfect, for sure, and should be of course further improved (mostly with which version is affected, as you say) but at least it is something, which is much more than most of the nebulous and positively-skewed posts here offer. It does have a split between serious/glitch so at least there's that.

The resources at vampier.net are great, but also a bit confusing (2 lists) and not easy to read at a glance, so such simplified list could serve a purpose. For example, as I have asked before, what is the actual difference between Completeable and Playable categories (with Perfect being the highest)?

FPGAzumSpass wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 4:22 am

The quality standards and expectations for mister cores are just much higher and things no one would complain about in software emulation are listed here.
E.g. Ares lists several of these games in the highest category "Completeable" while they have comparable issues to those the core shows.

So if you use the same standards, the list for Ares would be around the same length.

Most discussions about emulation in the FPGA world will nitpick and exaggerate even the smallest flaws most people would never notice. But, again, from my point of view at least it's absolutely not about tribal "vs" arguments, and just trying to find some concrete information about your (undoubtedly amazing) core.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by FPGAzumSpass »

The list is just a shortened version of the list that meauxdal has prepared, stripped of all the important information of what is really the issue and which version is affected:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0

If you looks at the information about each game, it suddenly looks much better, because not only are most things minor, but also minor really means minor.
One example:
"Black vertical lines through logo during introduction cutscene (occurs on hardware but is less pronounced) (more prominent in hi-res mode)"
Surely, a game is incompatible when the only issue is that one original bug is slightly more visible for 5 seconds of the whole game in the intro!

Again, the issues exist, but it makes no sense to say that the core is "fairly incompatible" and cut out all the important information of the list to be able to present a low compatibility number, when the issues are often so small that the majority of users wouldn't even notice it.

Also I wouldn't call a game incompatible if it can be played without any issues, but it has slightly less fps drops and slowdowns compared to real hardware.
But maybe some purists would call it unplayable then, I don't know. In any case, software emulators are no solution then as well, because none does emulate the slowdown from rendering properly. (most don't do it at all)

Anway, I'm out of this. I was just disappointed by forcefully cutting out information from a list to make people believe that these games are unplayable(incompatible) when many of them have been completed already.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by akeley »

FPGAzumSpass wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 6:33 am

Anway, I'm out of this. I was just disappointed by forcefully cutting out information from a list to make people believe that these games are unplayable(incompatible) when many of them have been completed already.

I can understand your frustration upon seeing the way this list has been formatted, and some of the wording in the commentary is also rather unfortunate. I'm not sure however whether this has been done deliberately (only the OP will know) and perhaps the tone can be also partially explained by the frustration borne from the overzealous posts made by the core's fans, which in some cases also can be counted as misinformation. I counted approx 23 titles with more than "Minor" ranking in meauxdal's list which is certainly more than "one" or "few".

I hope we could move on from this though and perhaps establish what the ultimate compatibility list is. If it's meauxdal's list then fine, but how does it correlate with the other list on vampier.net (by Moondandy)? There are many uncommented Playable/Completable games on this list, so I wonder what that means.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by MostroW »

FPGAzumSpass wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 6:33 am

Anway, I'm out of this. I was just disappointed by forcefully cutting out information from a list to make people believe that these games are unplayable(incompatible) when many of them have been completed already.

That method is the kind they use on websites like X to get people riled up and then "fighting" ensues.
Don't let them drag you down or into a meaningless conversation Robert, you've done your thing and did stuff many deemed impossible, i'd say that's enough.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by thorr »

There will ALWAYS be passionate people about stuff they care about. It does not mean that everyone cares about it, and it does not mean that any of it is any kind of big deal in the grand scheme of things. As far as I am concerned, today we have an N64 core on the MiSTer. It was not long ago I thought this was impossible. Not only was it possible, it came out much more awesome than any of us could have ever dreamed a short time ago given the constraints of the DE10 nano. Personally, I would rather enjoy what we have, and not worry about what we don't have when there is no way to make it better due to the constraints of the DE10 nano. So, what do we have? Well in my case, an N64 core that plays every game that I care about just fine and works with SNAC and works on my CRT with component video. That is a massive win, and I have absolutely zero complaints. If anything further can be fixed, then great! If not, I can live with that knowing everything that could be done has been done.

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Gadget »

FPGAzumSpass wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 6:33 am

The list is just a shortened version of the list that meauxdal has prepared, stripped of all the important information of what is really the issue and which version is affected:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0

If you looks at the information about each game, it suddenly looks much better, because not only are most things minor, but also minor really means minor.

Thank you for pointing this out and providing a link to the original source!

Shortening the list as above is really misleading and misses the point I think. For me playing N64 with your MiSTer core is the best experience I had regarding N64. Playing with PC emulators never felt right to me. I am so thankful we finally have a N64 core that is so accurate, snappy and easy to use. THANK YOU, Robert!

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Waifu4Life »

16Bittt wrote: Sat Apr 06, 2024 12:31 pm
Waifu4Life wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 2:50 am

No counting regional variants but counting the games that can be played on the the Turbo core, only 8 games or 2.06% of N64 games can't be played on the MiSTer. Out of those 8, 3 of them could be placed on the "Who gives a fuck" list and as for the other 5, who knows, maybe the compatibility can be patched into the ROMs in the future. I say a 98/100 is close enough to 100.

As far as I know, the issues with some games are because of Mister's hardware limitations, so I doubt a patch can fix them. One of the key titles and best games on the system, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, isn’t working properly. That alone is a deal-breaker for me when comparing FPGA to software emulation. I don’t see the point in using FPGA if it’s not more accurate than software emulation or nearly identical to real hardware. Software emulation is out there, and for N64 games, it’s a better way to play.

Well, another one of my predictions came true: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=8078&sid=e2a68c62c ... 9601a2f7cb

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Re: N64 Core

Unread post by Grechy34 »

16Bittt wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 4:55 pm

I’ve been using emulators since early 2000s,but since 2019 when I bought the Mister ,In 90% of cases, I no longer use emulators because Mister, connected to a CRT and using matching controllers for each core, offers a superior experience, nearly identical to original hardware.
That's the whole point of Mister FPGA.
However, the N64 core doesn’t come close to that level of accuracy (neither does Saturn, but that’s a work in progress, not hardware bottlenecked).

In cases where Mister FPGA fails to offer accuracy, encounters compatibility issues, or exhibits glitches and other problems, emulators become the superior choice. Simple as that.

Except that it's been pointed out that even emulators are not 100% cycle accurate for every game. If you look at the list of issues for the N64 as Robert pointed out, many are completely irrelevant. I would say you would be still able to play the majority of your library on this core.

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