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Duckstation - PS1 emulator

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previously tried to get Retroarch to run scaled up PS1 games on my Mac. I've given up on it.

 

I learned about Duckstation (builds for Android, Libretro, Linux, Mac, and Windows) a few weeks ago. Tried it out but it crashed a lot, even locked up my Mac mini a number of times requiring me to hold down the power button to restart it. There was also a strange grid pattern overlaid on top of the image.

 

I installed the latest build this weekend and it's working much better - it still crashes on occasion when changing settings, but no longer locks up my Mac mini.  With the default settings there's still the strange grid pattern:

 

1x (240p)

 

1217442335_ScreenShot2021-01-04at10_26_47AM.thumb.png.017a1becd545f51da31ebb126d373034.png

 

 

5x (1080p)

939373259_ScreenShot2021-01-04at10_27_11AM.thumb.png.881c683423f3e41769d28def829deabf.png

 

I was able to clear that up by checking the True Color Rendering option for 24-bit color:

372735195_ScreenShot2021-01-04at10_29_55AM.thumb.png.6e70187724c0465a1e614516f1ef1f44.png

 

1x (240p)

46082820_ScreenShot2021-01-04at10_28_10AM.thumb.png.2b9dd45ea42a8f4e55239de103de6a88.png

 

5x (1080p)

1529044194_ScreenShot2021-01-04at10_28_28AM.thumb.png.970e16f575259cd870c83641c71cd652.png

 

I've mostly play Spyro 1 and it does fairly well with 5x scaling on my Mac mini, though I suspect I'll drop it down to 4x.

 

I also tried Einhänder which looked great, but for some reason it stopped spawning enemy ships partway into a level. Haven't looked into this yet.

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FINALLY!  Another vote of approval for this recent technical masterpiece!

 

The ONLY thing I see wrong with it is the lack of physical disc support.

 

I'm barely lucky as-is that I found a source of images at a certain archive site (DO NOT ask for specifics)...

 

I was mainly attracted by the PGXP feature that minimizes texture warping, bringing new life to those old gems!

 

And the auto-updates are a nice feature!

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I've never heard of this before, is it really that good?

 

I will not touch retroarch, period.  And it seems most emulator just don't happen anymore or people don't bother unless they can shoehorn it into that real pain in the ass mednafen with no GUI or the far more atrociously bloated MAME and its inane quirks.  I try and find that alternate route but they're running more thin these days sadly.  As far as PS1 goes last I really saw of value was epsxe to give an idea. :P

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6 hours ago, JFD62780 said:

FINALLY!  Another vote of approval for this recent technical masterpiece!

 

The ONLY thing I see wrong with it is the lack of physical disc support.

 

I've ripped my own CDs - 

 

 

Quote

I was mainly attracted by the PGXP feature that minimizes texture warping, bringing new life to those old gems!

 

And the auto-updates are a nice feature!


I've only changed the options for True Color Rendering and Internal Resolution Scale so far, plan to check out PGXP and other features next. 

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3 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I've never heard of this before, is it really that good?

It's quite rough around the edges, but is the only option I've found so far for outputting higher quality PS1 graphics on a Mac. 

 

3 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I will not touch retroarch, period.  And it seems most emulator just don't happen anymore or people don't bother unless they can shoehorn it into that real pain in the ass mednafen with no GUI or the far more atrociously bloated MAME and its inane quirks.  I try and find that alternate route but they're running more thin these days sadly.  As far as PS1 goes last I really saw of value was epsxe to give an idea. :P


my emulators of choice are Stella for 2600 and OpenEMU for everything else. It does PS1 quite well, though doesn't support any up scaling. 

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8 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I will not touch retroarch, period.  And it seems most emulator just don't happen anymore or people don't bother unless they can shoehorn it into that real pain in the ass mednafen with no GUI or the far more atrociously bloated MAME and its inane quirks.  I try and find that alternate route but they're running more thin these days sadly.  As far as PS1 goes last I really saw of value was epsxe to give an idea. :P

Ditto.  Which is why I jumped on the Windows version once I learned it was a standalone!

 

Would you believe I even submitted one or two entries in the built-in compatibility database?  Namely Tempest X3, based on LP footage from our own Austin played on actual hardware!  Weirdly if one stays in Attract mode, there's an actual pixelshatter logo effect at the Credits screen!  Even works in PGXP!

Edited by JFD62780
Inserted appropriate links...
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On 1/5/2021 at 1:53 AM, SpiceWare said:

my emulators of choice are Stella for 2600 and OpenEMU for everything else. It does PS1 quite well, though doesn't support any up scaling. 

That sounds vaguely familiar and I went to that site for the thing and it looks familiar too like I saw something about it years ago.


I take this is like the GUI and friendly version of the text line headache mednafen?  But how honestly is the compatibility?  I can see thankfully it uses bsnes core for that side of things, kind of wish it used sameboy(instead of gambatte), yet I see other gems in there that are more emulation obscure like NGPC, Virtual Boy, etc.  This may be an answer to a few questions.  Thanks.

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DuckStation is strictly PSX-only; it just happens to have a lot of cool features; for example, TWO GUIs.  QT flavor, which Spice and I use, and an SDL flavor which is slightly more simplified.

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51 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

That sounds vaguely familiar and I went to that site for the thing and it looks familiar too like I saw something about it years ago.

 

I posted about it back in 2013, and there's quite a few other mentions about it around AtariAge.

 

51 minutes ago, Tanooki said:

I take this is like the GUI and friendly version of the text line headache mednafen?  But how honestly is the compatibility?

 

The GUI is awesome. I'm not that familiar with the various cores it uses behind the scenes.  What I've played on it works fine but I know they are way behind on the Stella core, it's based on 3.9.3 which was released back in 2014 while Stella 6.4 was released a couple months ago, so wouldn't be surprised if the other cores are likewise outdated.

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40 minutes ago, JFD62780 said:

DuckStation is strictly PSX-only; it just happens to have a lot of cool features; for example, TWO GUIs.  QT flavor, which Spice and I use, and an SDL flavor which is slightly more simplified.

 

There's only 1 GUI option for the Mac. We also don't get the automatic updates you mentioned earlier:

 

2034397872_ScreenShot2021-01-06at10_44_28PM.thumb.png.9442ab85b8d49506748187aa3e233f29.png

 

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7 hours ago, SpiceWare said:

 

There's only 1 GUI option for the Mac. We also don't get the automatic updates you mentioned earlier.

. . . I don't know what to tell you then, other than visiting the page at a suggested interval of once a week.  Otherwise the app could be updated as often as daily!

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On 1/4/2021 at 11:25 AM, SpiceWare said:

I've mostly play Spyro 1 and it does fairly well with 5x scaling on my Mac mini, though I suspect I'll drop it down to 4x.

 

Actually I ended up increasing it to 8x. During my earlier tests I probably had antialiasing turned on.

 

IMG_1498D.thumb.jpg.f05c8dc201d20cd9da475cb55472f831.jpg

 

Also tried the 16:9 output:

 

IMG_1499D.thumb.jpg.cd54dca92867c13a40ad449f2055800c.jpg

 

Can see a bit more on either side which initially looked great, but when moving around I could now see objects getting loaded/unloaded from memory in the extra screen space and I found that to be too distracting so its back to 4:3.

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Emulation works quite well, I managed to finish Spryo!  Some stutter did occur on later levels, I fixed that by decreasing the scaling to 7x, which still looks great on my 4K TV.

 

1875267629_ScreenShot2021-01-10at9_30_30PM.thumb.png.781e1ef69033628d810f9a135cbe1732.png

 

1087108652_ScreenShot2021-01-10at9_30_23PM.thumb.png.465494e9c508bec26bb7ec4d39d0ab50.png

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52 minutes ago, Class316 said:

I use mednafen. Best emulator for the first Playstation. 

 

I'm interested in rendering the PSX 3D graphics at higher resolutions, resulting in very detailed graphics as seen in the many screenshots I've posted above. Checking Mednafen's documentation it appears to only support upscaling, which is not the same thing.

 

Additionally I use a Mac, but on Mednafen's site I see:

Quote

Mednafen has been successfully compiled on:

  • FreeBSD
  • Linux
  • NetBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • Windows

 

so it doesn't sound like the best PSX emulator for me.

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Almost done with Ripto's Rage!, just a couple more skill points to knock out (2 of the speedways).

 

Started in on Year of the Dragon and the emulation of it is a bit rougher. "Cracks" sometimes appear in the 3D world, and the Atlas "shimmers". If you open these two images into tabs then switch between them you'll see the issue on the left page and book cover.

 

1639604132_ScreenShot2021-01-24at5_53_35PM.thumb.png.1c9dc371cf82718c6b599fa356113328.png

 

692076174_ScreenShot2021-01-24at5_53.35PM1.thumb.png.74040b5e699a6bba7a5694ee6a7e5968.png

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20 hours ago, SpiceWare said:

"Cracks" sometimes appear in the 3D world, and the Atlas "shimmers".

 

Turned out to be the Geometry Correction feature, turning it off fixed the issues.

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Mednafen isn't the best emulator for a lot of people, if not for the patchwork design of being a catch all but for the obtuse design choice of command line operation only, no GUI, which is just incredibly stupid at this day and age.  I know you can find a GUI but that's just more work and trying to find one that may get what you need to get done in the program so it's kind of an annoying way about setting it up unfortunately.  Not sure why they won't get with the modern era.

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Finished Ripto's Rage! and unlocked the Faunus Mortas.

 

1641131547_ScreenShot2021-01-27at7_03_26PM.thumb.png.e25a72b42d45a16bdca4b56d7edbcc3f.png

 

185879161_ScreenShot2021-01-27at7_04_04PM.thumb.png.07b80e125356082062ca6511b2079d40.png

 

 

I've noticed the character textures are not as detailed in the later games, like the pixelated eyes below (may need to click image to see it better). Another example would be Spyro's wings. It's not noticeable at 1x, but is when rendered at higher resolutions. I suspect they made them smaller to free up space in RAM and/or on the CD for other things. Still looks better than 1x so not a complaint, just an observation.

 

1712098186_ScreenShot2021-01-27at7_08.03PM1.thumb.png.7ba4b1aa15d0de00d7b53415ceeb6a4c.png

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Drat! Forgot about the speedway bug in the original release of Year of the Dragon; I won the race, but didn't receive the dragon's egg.

 

Was able to track down the Greatest Hits version, which fixes this and other bugs, and was able to earn the egg using it. 

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So I'm curious is this more about Spyro or the emulator?  Been kind of curious how it works beyond that one game.  I guess I'll dig some, curious if it's just piracy ISO stuff or real media.

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The speedway bug is in the game code, not the emulator. The bug was fixed when they rereleased it as a "greatest hits".

 

I've never heard of the spawning issue in Einhänder, bottom of initial post, so I think that is an issue with the emulator.  I haven't retried it yet, plan to do so with the latest version of DuckStation after I finish Spyro 3.

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On 1/30/2021 at 4:04 PM, Tanooki said:

So I'm curious is this more about Spyro or the emulator?  Been kind of curious how it works beyond that one game.  I guess I'll dig some, curious if it's just piracy ISO stuff or real media.

I tried real media the instant I got the emulator.

 

It's the only thing that doesn't work.

 

I can only suggest getting a GitHub account and suggesting the feature...

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