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TwentySixHundred

Mesen Development discontinued

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So as an avid Mesen user i had been wondering why no further build releases have come through for awhile, thought my auto-updater was having issues. As anyone would i started to search the webs and have found out Sour has decided to sign off the project. AFAIK has mentioned he got burnt out and isn't saying he will never return to the project but it looks very unlikely.

 

Very sad news indeed as this emulator was really solid and perfect for my needs. On the other hand as a homebrew dev myself i know that burnt out feeling all too well and completely understand.

 

That's another great highly accurate emulator to bite the dust. First Steve Snake with Kega Fusion, Byuu is only developing at a snails pace and was obviously burnt out a long time ago. Snes9x development team has really slowed down on new build releases. Now Sour with possibly the best NES emulator going around has burnt out.

 

I do believe these emulators are classed as "good enough" however it's always sad to watch these near perfect projects hit the dust so close to the finish line. Well i shouldn't say finish line as there will always be improvements but you get where im coming from.

 

Hopefully there will be some fresh blood in the future with the same enthusiasm and passion.

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I guess it's sad, but is there really anything it can't do correctly at this point which is not just utter fluff?  I use it and quit using a few others because it was just that clean and excellent.

 

One I will admit being amused by and this is going on nearly 25 years now is iNES.  I remember having picked up a copy between myself and a couple friends since it was a pay thing as we knew it was one of the best contenders back in the day, but it did have its one glaring problem, the audio, it was just awful, so awful that the optional MIDI music conversion it did sadly tended to sound better.  It was good though to watch the slow ever present development and still just wonder...why why why did the audio never get fixed.  Life went on, things moved, years changed, somewhere in I guess more recent times, the audio was fixed and damn did Marat do a good job.  I never wanted to seem like a total dick considering he's an active member here, but I always did wonder what was up with the audio for so long and what finally inspired it to become excellent and what did it take?  I actually do keep it installed, usually don't keep emulator dupes but that one I do.  It and Magic Engine are the only ones I ever threw some coin at, have my keys for both, not that iNES is pay anymore.  Sad that the PCE/TG emulation stopped progressing outside of that retched mednafen that is a hellish pain of a command line mess to use.

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16 hours ago, Tanooki said:

Sad that the PCE/TG emulation stopped progressing outside of that retched mednafen that is a hellish pain of a command line mess to use.

Ootake - last updated Aug 30, 2020.

Grab the latest here.  The what's new can be read as well, though it does require scrolling a bit ("2020/08/30 2.98 released" section).

 

I use it for Turbo Grafx-16 emulation exclusively.  Though, like you, I still retain Magic Engine and my registered key as well.

 

I leverage Mednafen for Turbo Duo emulation; my command line argument looks like this:

-cd.image_memcache 1 -fs 1 -pce.shader goat -pce.stretch aspect -pce.special nn2x -pce.videoip 1 -pce.cdbios "C:\Path to\BIOS\Super CD-ROM2 System V3.00 (J).pce" "Name of CD ROM game image.cue"

It is a bit much. 

 

However, I use the Attract Mode front-end for all my console, handheld, and computer emulators.  So it's a one time setup and done for any emulator.

 

As for NES emulation, pretty much with Nestopia, I was happy with the console portion at that point.  Sure, I tried and utilized puNES after, and currently Mesen, but that's more for the screen filters available than anything else.  I also keep (track of) iNES for old times sake.  If I'm really feeling nostalgic, Nesticle can run under DOSBox too.

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I really don't get why after so long neither Mednafen or someone with a care hasn't made a very well done GUI for it as it's a real pain in the ass.  I don't mind command line, but as your line there shows, it's a really unnecessary pain in the ass.  I did forget about Ootake existing.  I'll have to read that over, thanks.

 

 

Nestopia is something I haven't touched in a long time, kind of felt lacking eventually and stuck with a FCEUX variant until I came across mesen.  NESticle I was never a fan of other than its crazy ability to run on ancient hardware as it was happen on a moderate 486.

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17 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I really don't get why after so long neither Mednafen or someone with a care hasn't made a very well done GUI for it as it's a real pain in the ass...

MedGuiReborn

Medlaunch

Mednaffe

 

17 hours ago, Tanooki said:

...NESticle I was never a fan of other than its crazy ability to run on ancient hardware as it was happen on a moderate 486...

Must have been a late(r) arrival to NES emulation.  ;)

 

Back in the mid 90's, it was four colors with MIDI sound for NES emulation that many were accustomed to utilizing.  It pales in comparison to anything from mid 2000's onward, but circa 1997, there was nothing close to it in comparison of features and abilities.

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On 12/29/2020 at 11:16 AM, Trebor said:

MedGuiReborn

Medlaunch

Mednaffe

 

Must have been a late(r) arrival to NES emulation.  ;)

 

Back in the mid 90's, it was four colors with MIDI sound for NES emulation that many were accustomed to utilizing.  It pales in comparison to anything from mid 2000's onward, but circa 1997, there was nothing close to it in comparison of features and abilities.

I'll look at those three.

 

But...umm...no.  This isn't my original online name, the other one I dumped because it is tied to stuff I did in the 90s that well Nintendo and various third parties wouldn't have been happy with back then.  My first touch into emulation on the NES was actually the non-translated Japanese rendition of Pasofami, and then the very buggy early iNES too.  NESticle came later, thought it was childish and stupid, but it at least did run on a slower machine.  Back in those days I was one of the few that would hex edit various better updates of Pasofami, gut the Japanese from the drop down menus and translate it into English.  Also was involved in putting a few dozen titles out in proper form for that emulator to use too, then moving more widely into .NES format ROM releases, ran a group, then merged it into Vertigo2099.  So yeah, I remember terrible MIDI audio among other blemishes. :)

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20 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

...merged it into Vertigo2099...:)

Holy crap...I completely forgot about Vertigo2099, an almost lost memory from Archaic Ruins / Damaged Cybernetics days.  From that era, all seems nearly completely gone for years now; though Zophar's Domain - granted a shell of its former self - is still kicking.  Kudos for the achievements, those were some of the best (golden) days for emulation, IMHO.

 

Anyhow, to stop the train from derailing further, puNES just saw an update, but it still does too much screen narrowing when leveraging the NTSC filters, the screen aspect ratio is way off.  Despite its discontinuation, Mesen is still my go to for NES emulation now, besides its excellent console emulation, there are no issues with the (NTSC) filters setting an improper SAR.

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Yeah that's my era, used to hang out on occasion in person with TyphoonZ as he was local, him, mindrape and a few others we hung out on efnet irc too nightly. Beyond the ROM junk I'm sure you now remember Dave(conjurer irc) of Daves VGC that largest emulation site then and forum, I was a silent news editor there when he was busy or vacationing, administered the forums for years.  FanWen was a friend too, helped him with FWNES in testing his FDS format he created we all use today that started there.  I'm sure if you think hard you'll probably figure out my old nick. :D

 

Yeah wrong subject and it is derailing.  I'm not familiar with puNES, but I also don't keep up anymore really as my time is limited so I use what I have already on my shelf or slowly add to it.  If the only gripe with mesen is some filter, I'll live since I'm pretty vanilla and don't mess with fluff, never did.

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On 12/31/2020 at 4:55 AM, Tanooki said:

But...umm...no.  This isn't my original online name,

Off topic, however Tanooki rings a bell from Byuu's forum although it may not be you as you mentioned this isn't your original online handle. Personally i would stop by Byuu's forum every so often as a silent reader checking for news ect. Not sure but could be confusing you for 'Tales' a frequent user on the site.

 

Anyway as for the older NES emulation i can't input much. I always knew about it in the 90's yet never delved into emulation seriously until later around mid 2000's

 

And well after trying to log in it looks like Byuu too has quit the emulation scene... I do know there was some politics going on between developers, so in a way it doesn't surprise me if that's the case.

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That would have been me at that time but I don't remember making an account on his site, the other name is from the 90s and early 00s.  I used to talk with him off and on over chat or email though.  And yeah I have no idea why but byuu packed it in and I have not seen an explanation why.  bsnes still is 100% the best for accuracy, so it's not a problem, but it is left hanging in case new developments pop up and they don't get added down the line, or some mass change in OS's where things end up stop working in time.

 

I've seen childish self important fart sniffing level developer antics for 25 years and it rarely changed, same lines of senseless fragile ego vs  arrogant ego type garbage that causes splits, quits, and deaths of projects where things will just get not just locked down, but erased entirely.  MAME drama 20 years ago was peak arrogance among a few other gems.

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After looking into it further byuu has mentioned someone had doxed him ,the list of friends and developers from the emulation list he maintained. Was saying they released personal information about his friends leading him to feel responsible. This and health issues is the reason he has given, however from those who seem to know him well are saying he's just being hard on himself. Others have said it's not the first time he's thrown in the towel and returned.

 

From my conclusion after reading one his write ups, it does look like he was at a stale mate. Everything other then the PPU's cycle accurate emulation is complete (the missing piece of the puzzle). And obviously LLE transistor emulation however as he mentioned on another write-up LLE transistor emulation will probably never happen in our lifetime due to the amount of computing power needed.

 

I guess all we can hope for is a breakthrough and his return to finish of cycle accurate emulation of the PPU's. I feel once that's done we can basically say the emulator is 100% cycle accurate. AFAIK transistor level really isn't that important as it's just an event, cycle accuracy and timings of the chips seems to be the most important part. From what i understand of byuu's write-ups.

 

All this talk about SNES development is leading me to wonder what level of accuracy Sour was going for with Mesen. I mean i know it's one the most accurate, but is it anywhere near byuu's LLE level.

 

Off topic and another group all together however this also has my mind ticking about Steve Snake's Kega Fusion emulator. It's 11 years old now and he claimed it was accurate, however the emulation scene nowadays aims for cycle accurate. I highly doubt Fusion was on that level. I feel Genesis emulation really hasn't progressed anywhere near SNES and it's sad. I mean i try these new prommising Genesis emulators that pop up from time to time and the developers just seem to go AWOL shortly after.

 

There isn't many that seem to have the passion and dedication like byuu, Steve Snake and Sour :(

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I recall Kega quite well and it seemed to strive for accuracy, not that he ever went exactly into detail what he considered accurate.  I doubt it was on the level of byuu, but perhaps he was trailblazing enough say like mesen did.  I remember back when there were quite a few try hards and he shows up and nails the hell out of the Genesis, then had to rub the noses of others in it (unintentional I would think) when suddenly it expanded into other things such as the add-on devices too just killing it.  And it had to be pretty hard core accurate to have those devices, say like the CD and 32X to sync up correctly and not have those cores have a fit with the original one.  Him on the PC level had my trust as the only emulator to really mess with as it handled things right, even the typically crap audio most emulators (including years of atgames ear atrocities) wasn't an issue on Kega Fusion and that went miles as back then I had a decent smaller(sub 50) game Genesis setup, a Nomad too, and it was solid on TV or portable and Steve's work the audio lined up, nothing more pitchy, scratchy, or off key.

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Yeah at the time Steve was really in a league of his own, and seemed for a long time following there wasn't a need for anything else. I guess the question these days is how accurate is it and how does it stack up against cycle accurate. I agree to be compatible with MegaCD and 32x it would have needed to be pretty spot on. I have heard many times even to this day "it's good enough".

 

I guess im curious as to how much further the accuracy could be improved. I mean byuu had gone to all the trouble of decapping IC's to get a full understanding. I just can't help but think 11 years have past and emulation has gone a long way. I know Steve has mentioned the project is finished with nothing left to do, however i really feel after all this time there's definitely room to improve.

 

Even if Steve decided to make a build for atleast Win10 as there has been compatibility issues reported (personally runs fine on my Win10 rig). He had mentioned a Win10 compatibility build in an interview. Problem is being closed source no one has the ability to release a new build to fix compatibility issues. Anyway im super interested as to how far Steve went into the accuracy side of things. Wonder if he atleast went into cycle timed accuracy emulating the 68000 or other components.

 

Guess we will probably never know as Steve has been silent for many many years now.

Edited by TwentySixHundred

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If you happen to be using Android/Chromebook/Amazon or Pi 4, we have a new kid on the block for NES games... Argon... We added NES support earlier this month, and it came to the public beta channel yesterday... It is based on the MAME NES core, with fixes and enhancements. The one I like the most is that we added simulated stereo. The APU sampled sounds are panned center, and the other 4 channels are spread varying amounts of left and right.

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I know I'm necro'ing this, but I did some reading and it seems that both perhaps Mesen and Mesen-S(SNES emulator) are not in fact dead, but got forked, by at least 1 or 2 no less.  Has anyone been able to follow this to see if those forks have gone anywhere to produce some published usable results?

 

With bsnes due to the authors demise being finished, and mesen not having an equal at all in quality both have suffered and I'm curious if something positive has developed in a years time.

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I did hear shortly after Byuu/Near took his own life, that someone close in the development team had continued the project. I haven't checked for awhile although there was fairly consistent nightly builds that followed. I know the source was released though and haven't followed what's happening lately.

 

As for Mesen that's interesting it's been forked, i hadn't known the source was released. Haven't really checked either so i can't say much. I really need to look into these projects to see where they're at now. However unless it's someone reputable from the existing community i tend to except the project as a write-off.

 

Thanks for the heads up Tanooki

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I thought bsnes was dead, that's good to know as I have the last compiled copy from when he was living.  It's quite complete, but I mean even complete things still can stagnate and be left a little incomplete.  Mesen-S looked fantastic, but I can't tell if it got updates.  It appears one person intends to but hasn't, while it looks like two persons have forked Mesen(NES) and one of them (the one not also doing Mesen-S) has actually done more work and published it with compiled binaries.

 

@TwentySixHundred No problem, and if you (admittedly I was bad keeping up as I don't emulate like I used to) figure out what all has been done maybe we can wake this thread back up as the Mesen project(s) were fantastic pieces of art I'd say had to have drawn some inspiration given the cycle accuracy being shot for that byuu did with his baby.  I'm curious to know who kept that going so I can take a peek as I figured it was lost.

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