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So what's melonDS?
Jan 17th 2017, by StapleButter
melonDS is a new emulator project. My goals for it are to do things right and fast. Time will tell how far we can get in that direction.
If you know me, I'm not new in the emulation scene. I'm responsible for lolSNES/blargSNES, among others. I'm not new in the DS scene either, I worked a lot on DeSmuME back in the days. Why I'm straying away from DeSmuME is not something I will get into here.
So here I am, writing my own emulator for the second time. The hardest part in starting an emulator project from zero is managing to build something that resembles an emulator. It takes a fair amount of work before you can start getting results.
To this day, melonDS has gotten over the initial stage and does give some results. Nothing actually works aside from the very simple ARMWrestler CPU test, but hey, it's a start. melonDS has a 'good enough' subset of the ARM instruction set implemented, as well as a few hardware features, so getting things to run is mostly a matter of implementing the rest of the DS hardware.
One thing I want to do is being able to boot from the BIOS, like an actual DS. I was unable to get it to work in DeSmuME back then, but manually loading a DS firmware and booting it (thus skipping the BIOS) did work.
The progress of melonDS in regard to this is encouraging. The BIOS loads the firmware into memory and boots it. The firmware gets to the point where it tries to use the IPC FIFO, which I haven't implemented yet. Interesting things ahead!
Of course, melonDS will later have the option to boot a game directly, like all the emulators out there do. But for the sake of accuracy, I want to be able to boot from the BIOS.
The holy grail would be wifi emulation, especially local multiplayer, which I could never get working in DeSmuME. Time will tell if that goal is achievable.
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