In Snesfreaks, hacking happens.

A few days ago ChronoMoogle invited me into the euIRCnet chatroom #snesfreaks. Being the curious person I am, I accepted. #snesfreaks is the official chatroom of, a German SNES fansite. NOTE TO SELF: Google Translate is your friend. Sometimes.

There, I learned that ikari – the same one byuu dubbed “Hero of the month”. Dawww, I want a title like that! – was working on… some stuff. *coughcough*
Yes, I got vague there. I’ll just say “A method to load Satellaview Homebrew onto an actual Satellaview/SFC” for the time being, although I’m certain the folks who pay attention to the blog’ll put two-n-two together.

Potential fears aside, though, seeing the attempt as it unfolded was interesting, and we learned quite a bit more about the Satellaview’s technical aspects. The articles on things such as the Satellaview Header format are being updated as we speak with bits of new technical info.
Among one of the more significant things; To start, it appears another way to invoke error 41 has been found. Error 41, apparently, happens when an 8M pack fails to “finish” writing properly (There is a piece of code in BS-X itself to finish up a write in some manner.)
Also, the header value previously identified as “ROM size” apparently is a bit more than that – both the Size -and- the file allocation in the 8M Memory pack. The current draft (where a graph of the exact details hasn’t been ironed out yet) looks like this;

“The value can be regarded as an allocation map, i.e. where the data is actually stored on the Data Pack. One bit corresponds to one megabit block on the Data Pack, with the MSB being the last “page” ($ce0000-$cfffff) and the LSB being the first ($c00000-$c1ffff).”

On a real-life memory pack, if the filesize/allocation isn’t correct, the ROM will pew an “error 09” as if it’s checksum was bad.
This info should be helpful in future ROM dumps and emulator releases.

Ikari also has a 8M Pack ROM dumper, meaning there could be more ROMs coming around soon. Whew! I had such a dry spell, I was dying of thirst!

Luigiblood and Callis have popped into the chat to listen to the conversations as well… speaking of which, LuigiBlood’s BS-X Project is still going, and is having a level of progress which honestly has surprised me. I can’t wait to see it in action!

Oh, and MadHatter? That Wikia contributor was me. Sorry for being really lazy on the Wiki, honestly. I’ll edit some of the articles with some extra details here n’ there.

Ahh, it’s been a while since I’ve actually felt this active with the Satellaview developments…


  1. Vehiek said,

    May 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Hmm, I knew that about the size byte.

    I think you’ve gotten rather lucky with 4Mbit games in the past. Most of the 4Mbit programs ended up either starting at the beginning of the data-pack or at the beginning of the second half of the pack. From what I understand, BSNES mirrors data when you load a below 8-Mbit data pack, so it ended up seeing the game’s data in the place it wanted.

    What will you and Callis do if you encounter another fragmented data pack like the “Kouryaku Casino Bar”/”Game Tora no Ooana Special 2/24″? Since you said earlier Callis’s preference is to split data packs.
    What I can think of are:
    * Alter the size byte in the headers to reflect a contiguous arrangement of their parts.
    * Keep the current arrangement, but blank out the parts belonging to other games/programs/data.

  2. SmashManiac said,

    May 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Awesome, keep up the good work everybody!

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