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Long time no see
Apr 25th 2018, by Arisotura
Things have been pretty busy real life wise. Apologies for the lack of updates regarding melonDS.
You might know how things went lately. I started coding a JIT recompiler for melonDS, then... lost motivation. Oh well.
Instead, I figured I would work on other things. Like, y'know, homebrew. melonDS runs commercial games all neatly and all, but its homebrew support is still subpar.
For one, DLDI support is one of the things I intend to work on. And not just granting filesystem access to homebrew, but actually attempting to emulate one of those flashcarts. It'd be amusing if melonDS could run a flashcart firmware. Not very practical or useful when you can load your ROM directly, but it'd be a cool feat. Besides, it's something the DS can do, so melonDS should also be able to do it.
Even that aside, there are some technically challenging homebrew games. A prime example would be Dirbaio's Fireworlds which pushes the system to its limits (and is also a cool game, try it).
Dirbaio recently put together a NitroFS build of Fireworlds, so that it can run on emulators that don't support DLDI. To give you an idea:
• NO$GBA: crashes after intro
• DeSmuME: runs okay, but no music (console complains about zero-length channels, likely related)
• medusa: crashes when loading level select menu
• dasShiny: gets stuck on NitroFS init
A quick test revealed that it didn't run on melonDS, but it was a rather silly issue (it tried accessing IPCSYNC via 32-bit reads/writes, which melonDS didn't handle). Dirbaio fixed it in a PR, which means Fireworlds finally runs... but not perfectly, heh.
Fireworlds seems to do some weird partial rendering to reduce the 3D engine load (noting that the most extreme levels do cause lagging-3D-engine glitches on the DS), and using display capture to mix together all the parts, or something like that. But it doesn't work right on melonDS and results in some flickering.
So there's atleast that to fix. That aside, the game seems to run quite well. But hey, it's nice to have technically interesting homebrew like this.
Fun side fact: Fireworlds has code to detect emulators, and it doesn't detect melonDS or medusa :)
Soo... there we go!
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