Today I am going to take a look at Snes9X a Super Nintendo Emulator which has been ported across to Amiga OS4.1 by the very talented HunoPPC whose work in porting a lot of games to the platform means that we are not totally starved of games.
Why, you may ask owning an Amiga with its vast library of classic games, would you want to use an Amiga to play Super Nintendo games? The simple answer is that Nintendo has been responsible for some of the largest games franchises in history such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart, Zelda, Starfox, F-Zero, Castlevania, the list is really endless and in the Snes you have probably the best ever 16-bit console ever made. Certainly nowadays trying to collect for this system requires a hefty bank balance as many of the classic cartridges command prices in the hundreds of pounds.
This is where emulation has its benefits. I for one was never lucky enough to own a Super Nintendo back in the 90’s having been too engrossed in my Amiga hobby during my teenage years and so ignored what was going on at the time, however emulation has allowed me to discover the joy of this great little machine without resorting to selling body parts in exchange for the over inflated prices you find nowadays in retro game stores, trade fairs and on the internet.
Snes9X can be downloaded at one of two sites either at www.os4depot.com or at HunoPPC’s website directly http://hunoppc.amiga-projects.net/content/super-nintendo-super-famicom-emulator-snes9x, however it is recommended that you download the version from the HunoPPC website for the simple reason that on his website, you can then undertake the very honourable act of donating some cash to HunoPPC for his hard work and efforts.
One thing to note here is that for users of other Amiga machines, you will need to ensure that you are running the latest version of the OS in this case Amiga OS4.1 Final Edition Update 1 (or pre-release on the X5000) as the latest version of Snes9x has been compiled with the latest version of the SDK (Software Development Kit) and therefore will not run on previous versions.
The file download is around 172MB and once unpacked to a partition of one’s choosing it is a case of simply going into the folder, allocating the game roms into the universal roms folder.
Upon clicking on Start Snes9X we are presented with the following graphical user interface which allows you to make settings
Providing you have placed all the roms in the correct Universal folder, you will notice that as you scroll through your list of titles that you are presented with a screenshot of each game along with a picture of the cartridge box cover which i think is a pretty neat feature.
The settings tab covers items such as graphics preferences where you can switch between PAL and NTSC mode, or the audio settings.
Option 3 allows you configure your existing joypad settings to run this programme. You can try to use a USB Snes style joypad with Amiga OS4.1, however I would be careful on certain models as a cheap one that I picked up for £3.00 on Ebay one day sadly didn’t work, but I was at least re-assured by the fact that it didn’t work very well on a PC or on my MIST FPGA box either.
The other settings at the top relate to displaying Snes9x in full-screen mode or in a window and also there are settings relating to the quality of the video display. Here you can choose to have a video display which resembles as close as possible the original RF output of a TV to other modes such as HQ2X which make the games look better on modern-day LED displays. There is also the option for a frame skip mode which on an Amigaone X5000 or Amigaone X1000 you will not need to touch as this is more aimed at slower machines such as the Sam 440 or 460 you may need to adjust the frame skip to say every 2nd frame on video modes such as HQ2X.
Once you have chosen a game, it’s just a case of selecting run selected game and away we go.
Below are some screenshots of some classic Snes titles:
Mario Kart which is timeless and still looks and plays well today a full 25 years on from its original release.
The superlative F-zero
or everyone’s favourite beat-em-up Street Fighter 2 which i have to say looked so much better than the Amiga version.
One of the delights of course of emulation is that it allows you to try out and discover games that perhaps were out of your price range the first time round such as the Stunt Race FX. I seem to remember this game had a price tag of around £70 when it was first released which was as a result of game making use of a special Super FX chip.
In terms of performance issues, Snes9X runs really well on the X5000, I tried some of the more powerful games that were released for the Snes back in the day such as Starfox and Donkey Kong Country and noticed no lagging or frame drop issues. As a test both Starfox and Stunt Race FX ran at around 59-60 fps in HQ2X mode with the CPU intensive AmigaAmp running in the background and also Odyssey web browser which was running in the background for the purposes of today’s blog.
For those who are fans of the Super Nintendo or for those who criminally have never experienced the many great games this system has to offer, Snes9X is quite simply an essential addition to your hard drives. I thoroughly recommend that you all download this excellent emulator and more importantly reward HunoPPC for his hard work and efforts here.
Until next time have fun with your Amigas!