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Thread: RetroDuo NES/SNES Clone Official Thread. Castlevania III, StarFox WORK, SMRPG WARNING

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    Default more feedback from new RD user

    --I can't get my SNES Castevania IV to work on my RD. Anyone tried this game?

    --I saw that user Fog had trouble saving his Zelda games. I'm not sure if he's talking about the NES original, or the SNES one. Anyway, I have a copy of the first NES Zelda, which I recently bought used, and it does not save. I'm guessing my battery is dead. But if anyone else out there has had problems saving with this game, maybe it's a compatibility thing. Just checking...can anyone confirm or deny this problem? (I haven't had any problems saving on Zelda II or other battery games though.)

    Frankie: I don't know anyone with a functioning NES, including the local game stores. Good to know your Burgertime works...I'll consider exchanging mine now.
    Last edited by Don Skippy; 05-06-2008 at 06:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Skippy View Post
    --I can't get my SNES Castevania IV to work on my RD. Anyone tried this game?
    Yes, it works fine here. Zelda (NES or SNES) also saves without issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by remowilliams View Post
    Yes, it works fine here. Zelda (NES or SNES) also saves without issue.
    My Zelda also saves (and deletes) games in it's battery backup correctly as well.
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Yeah, I figure I just need to replace the battery on my NES Zelda. And I think I got a bad SNES Castlevania IV, as it doesn't work on an FC Twin at Play 'N Trade, either, and remowilliams says his works on the RD.

    So, the obsessive side of me really wants to know the trade-offs, the nitty gritty if you will, between the RD and the FC Twin, since I just recently started getting back into my old games, and chose the RD based on an all-nighter of online research.

    The obvious benefits of the RD are its ability to play SA-chip SNES games that the FC Twin could not, especially Mario RPG. Also, the NES Castlevania III was a big title that the RD plays, but which the FCT does not. However, with random game incompatibilities cropping up here and there on the RD, I decided to investigate some more. What I'm finding so far is by no means exhaustive, but I think it lends to more of a general idea of the trade-offs we're getting with this console.

    Since it's been confirmed that the NES games Battletoads and Paperboy do not work on the RD, I decided to find out if the FCT would play them. In my mind, these are both big titles, as they are really fun to play, and are obviously classics. I took my carts to Play 'N Trade, since they are the only store in town with an FCT set up. Lo and behold, Battletoads freezes at the exact same point in Level 2 as it does on the RD. And Paperboy is also uncontrollable, as it is on the RD, even though it boots up.

    That evens the playing field a little bit, since both clones do not play these games right. With that said, since the RD plays many SA-chip games, and Euro/Japanese SuperFC games, it clearly wins big points in compatibility. It has also been proven that the RD plays Power Paks, Game Genies, and the Gameboy Advance adapter. I have not seen any reports that the FCT plays SuperFC imports, or any of the latter game packs/devices. Maybe you guys are already thoroughly familiar with the FCT compatibility list, but I'm trying to find out for myself. If these things also work on an FCT (SA chip games excluded, since we know about those), then the playing field would even back out some more.

    **Can anyone report about the above things?**

    Lastly on this issue, having played a few games on an FC Twin at Play 'N Trade, to me, this console clearly has better color on NES games than the RD does. The SNES comparison is negligible, with perhaps the FCT having better saturation. But, the RD's color rendering is by all means tolerable, and still enjoyable, so, if I'm going to pick one clone to own, I'd choose broader game compatibility...hence the RD.

    **Having proven that certain games (Battletoads and Paperboy) are incompatible on both clones, it would be interesting if they have the same incompatibilities with the other few random titles that have been found not to work (or at least work right), ie, Rolling Thunder, Demon's Crest, and maybe a *licensed* version of the NES Gauntlet. Anyone know anything about this?**

    **Also still waiting to hear reports about SNES Kirby games potentially freezing on the RD**

    If you've read everything, thanks for keeping up with me. Hope this is all relevant and not just taking up space.
    Last edited by Don Skippy; 05-07-2008 at 02:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Skippy View Post
    **Also still waiting to hear reports about SNES Kirby games potentially freezing on the RD**
    I think I briefly mentioned it before, I have played 5 or 6 levels of a US Kirby's Dreamland 3 on my Black Retro Duo, no problems at all.

    -GAC-
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    In case that any of you guys happen to have a nintendo R.O.B laying around, the Retro Duo system works great with it, although it depends a lot of your TV screen too...(I have heard rumors that R.O.B himself may have issues with some flat screens)....
    The Retro Duo controllers comands are compatible:
    Select=select, Start=Start, (d-pad)Up=Up, (d-pad)Down=Down, (button)Y=Close(closes R.O.B's arms) and (button) B=Open(you get the idea)....


    http://usera.imagecave.com/capcom2000/hpim6217.jpg

    Now R.O.B. has an extra allied!
    .......
    ......
    These tests were done while playing "Gyromite".
    Last edited by ooXxXoo; 05-07-2008 at 02:23 PM.
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    Default picture quality of Official NES 2 top-loader

    Anyone know anything about the picture quality of the official NES 2 top-loader being inferior to the old original toasters? It does only have an RF...no RCA's I found an article that claimed that the RF on the NES 2 was inferior to that of the original toaster, even though it came out later:

    http://www.nesplayer.com/Editorials/...derfailure.htm

    YouTube comparisons at this point are inconclusive. There was a user review on the same web site as above by someone who was happy with the system. Anyway, just wondering if anyone has any experience with this or knows anything. Thanks..................

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Skippy View Post
    If you've read everything, thanks for keeping up with me. Hope this is all relevant and not just taking up space.
    The FCT plays DSP/FX games but has some issues like weird colors in Starfox. The FCT does not work with the PowerPak (neither does any other clone but the RD).

    I own both an (older) FCT and the RD, and the RD has just as good color representation on the NES. And the RD SNES s-video blows out the FCT composite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by remowilliams View Post
    The FCT plays DSP/FX games but has some issues like weird colors in Starfox. The FCT does not work with the PowerPak (neither does any other clone but the RD).

    I own both an (older) FCT and the RD, and the RD has just as good color representation on the NES. And the RD SNES s-video blows out the FCT composite.
    Cool...good to know on all of that....I thought that Zelda was looking better on the FCT, but then again, I was on a different TV, not to mention, that's only one game out of hundreds. I'll try tweaking my TV settings to see how that changes things.

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    Is there any way to tell which version of Super Mario RPG i have? I will not recieve my Retro Duo until Friday.

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    A BIT off-topic for this thread, but since we're obviously all NES Clone enthusiasts here I thought that you all might be interested in this :

    I just got my "FC Mobile" in the mail today.



    The short list of minor frustrations are as follows:

    1.) It's old-school Famiclone tech, so, no Castlevania III or any other incompatible games.

    2.) Backwards NES button syndrome! I'm really not sure WHEN Hong Kong started making this mistake, but it seems to be RAMPANT in a LOT of current Fami/NES clones coming out of that region lately. The A button is on the LEFT and the B is on the RIGHT. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it makes playing games like Super Mario and Punch-Out kind of difficult.

    3.) No AC output. Modern portable devices can usually get by for a good long while on batteries, but I'd like an option.

    Other than that, the screen and speakers are pretty damned good, and for what I paid for it (around $30), I'm pretty happy, I'm going to do a full write-up on it soon, so keep an eye out!
    "And the book says: 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie_Says_Relax View Post
    I just got my "FC Mobile" in the mail today.

    1.) It's old-school Famiclone tech, so, no Castlevania III or any other incompatible games.
    I actually have one of these too. Yeah, it's old school NOAC for sure, and the cart slot is pickier than it should be as well (though firm). The audio is mono, and the screen is pretty good, as is the AV out.

    Not for the enthusiast per se, But hey for an affordable portable NES it's not bad.

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    Default just had a black RD/white RD/real SNES ABC comparison session, & more on Mario RPG

    So, I just got back from my brother-in-law's. He just got the white RD, mine is black. Our other bro-in-law brought his SNES. We compared picture quality and game compatibility, with all of the TV input channels set to the exact same color/picture settings.

    As would be expected, the SNES generally had the best picture. But, there were a few screens here and there where we actually preferred the Retro Duo, because the reds were not so harsh (specifically, the title screen of DK Country...I also preferred a few of the indoor level screens on the RD, as well, because I liked how it rendered the colors and pixels of the dirt platforms).

    There were early reports of manufacturing and performance inconsistencies between the white RD and the black one. I was pleased to find (and we all agreed) that both units looked and sounded exactly the same. We had two Ninja Gaiden carts, so we were able to pause them at the same place and flip the TV inputs back and forth. We only had one Zelda cart, so it was not as much of a direct comparison for that one, but we all thought it looked and sounded the same on both units. I was also pleased to see that, for some reason, Zelda looked very natural, and a lot closer to the NES's rendering of the game on his TV set than on mine. At least I know the RD is capable of rendering my favorite NES games the way they were meant to be, if not very close. I had also tweaked my own TVs' settings and was able to get similar results at home.

    ****Here is my big compatibility quandary*****
    I mentioned earlier in the thread that I found a Mario RPG that works on my RD. I had brought my RD to the store, popped their cart in, and it worked, so I took it home. At home, I cleaned the Mario RPG, along with all my other newly purchased used games. Since this game has the SA chip, whose silver contact portrudes from the side toward the center of the cart opening, it was a little trickier to reach the Q-tip between it and the gold contacts. I was gentle, but after I was done, the game would not start. My first solution was to simply tilt the cart forward slightly in the RD with one hand, while powering it on with the other. This worked every time, and the game kept playing normally after I let go.

    My theory at the time was that I had likely pushed the SA contact back or flattened it slightly when cleaning it, causing it to miss the connection inside the RD. So, in order to avoid having to hold the cart forward every time I wanted to boot it, I pulled the SA contact back out slightly with a mini non-magnetic screwdriver. This worked temporarily, but after about four or five inserts/reinserts, the problem returned. At this point tilting the cart wasn't working anymore, and adjusting it with the screwdriver was only working about half the time. So, by now it was only booting on random attempts, and even then, I had to pull it out each time and put it back. That is, if I got it to work, then shut it off, left it in, and powered it back on a few seconds later, it would never boot back up twice in a row.

    I know this is sounding complicated, but please hang with me, because it gets even moreso....But I think this will raise some important questions about the SA games (unless, of course, my experience is a fluke).

    There were a couple of times, between my multiple attempts at readjusting the contact and reinserting the game, where the stored games got lost. Before I left for my brother-in-law's, I was finding that the game would boot and reboot more often if I pulled it out and waited a while each time (and I will note that in between those times, all of my non-SA SNES games booted 100% of the time). Also, to my relief, the cart was saving the newly re-created characters/games again. So, it seemed no permanent memory damage was done.

    On to my brother-in-law's....The Mario RPG booted inconsistently in both his white RD, and my black one. It would start about 60% of the time, but only after completely reinserting the cart. And, even though it was starting irregularly, the memory was in tact. However, it booted every single time in the real SNES (memory in tact), whether we pulled it out and reinserted, or simply powered off and back on. At that point I had two theories: the SNES has a better physical/mechanical SA connection on board, so it touches the cart's contact more easily and securely, even if it's slightly pushed in; or...maybe the cart was perfect the whole time, and the RDs are simply inconsistent. Either way, I'm guessing that the memory loss was a fluke, maybe caused by my repeated, though gentle, moving of the SA contact. But, I don't know enough about the mechanics of this device to know for sure. Also, when I look inside my RD, I can't see anything that looks like it's supposed to connect with the SA, given it's location in the cart opening.

    And if that's not enough...one of my brothers had the SNES Kirby All-Stars, that's right with the SA, and guess what....it booted every time on his SNES, but not once on either of the two RDs. Go figure....At this point, I'm not sure what to think. Maybe I slightly damaged my Mario RPG, or maybe the cart is perfect, and the RD is simply more problematic with SA games than we have seen so far.

    **Any and everyone's thoughts/knowledge/experience/research is welcome. Maybe we can reason out what's really going on. Thanks again, everyone.

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    If your concerned about memory loss indicating a problem, don't be. That's normal SuperNes behavior for a battery backup cart when the cart doesn't boot correctly when you start it up or you bump into it during gameplay and cause the game to lose contact temporarily and crash. It's not uncommon at all to have it erase your saved games. I've had had it happen to several carts over the years that have now held their replacement saves for years, indicating it wasn't a battery problem.

    I'm not sure what the SA-1 contact looks like, I'm only familiar with the normal pins and the extras on the Super FX titles. Are you saying there's something else in there for the SA-1 titles, or does it just use the side pins like the Super FX titles contain? I need to buy Super Mario RPG, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby's Dream Land 3 someday. I've enjoyed all three under emulation. Any chance of a picture? I'd be curious seeing what it looks like since I've never owned a SA-1 cart, and I can't imagine having to bend a normal pin on a SuperNes cartridge so I'm guessing this has something of a different design on it.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 05-08-2008 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post
    I'm not sure what the SA-1 contact looks like, I'm only familiar with the normal pins and the extras on the Super FX titles. Are you saying there's something else in there for the SA-1 titles, or does it just use the side pins like the Super FX titles contain? I need to buy Super Mario RPG, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby's Dream Land 3 someday. I've enjoyed all three under emulation. Any chance of a picture? I'd be curious seeing what it looks like since I've never owned a SA-1 cart, and I can't imagine having to bend a normal pin on a SuperNes cartridge so I'm guessing this has something of a different design on it.
    I attached a pic of the Mario RPG cart opening where the contact is (sorry, I don't have an URL to upload to). I thought this was the SA chip contact. Maybe I'm wrong. Is it part of an FX chip? or both?

    I know what you mean about not having to bend any pins in SNES games, because the RPG and the K. All-Stars inserted solidly in the SNES and booted every time (we never touched the Kirby All-Star contact). At this point, I'm thinking the carts are fine, and that the RD has a finicky SA/FX connector (although I can't even see it looking through the slot).

    **Has anyone been able to play Kirby All-Stars on their RD?**

    **Is it possible that some of the Mario RPG carts that have not worked for other people were not a result of the SA revision, but because of an inconsistent RD connector?**

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Skippy View Post
    I thought this was the SA chip contact.
    That's a ground pin contact. Doom, Starfox and other DSP/SuperFX carts have them. The actual extra pin contacts are the smaller PCB connections on either side of the large main regular one.

    What is interesting to note though, is that while a SNES (and the FCTwin) has a metal grounded shield around the cart slot that will make contact with a cart ground pin, the RD does not.

    How important that ground contact is, I couldn't say though.

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    So i got my Retro Duo today. It is a pretty awesome console. The D-Pad on the controller is pretty bad, but that is why i purchased some SNES controllers. My NES games look better on Composite, while my SNES games look better in S-Video. The NES games look kind of washed out with slight distortion in the picture in S-Video. So i pop in Super Mario RPG, and it boots up like normal on the first try. But then i hit reset, and the screen is black. So i power off and then on again, and it is a blank black screen. So i power on again, and the game boots up, but the game saves are all gone? So after screwing around with this, it seems that every other time i power on, the game boots up like normal. I made a new save, and turned it off and on multiple times, and the save is still there, but then i hit reset, which gives you a black screen, then the next time i booted it up, the new save was gone. So it appears that reset does not work on Super Mario RPG, and that it also erases saves. But my game boots up perfectly just about every other time i power off and then on. And so far the save does not erase, unless i hit reset, then power off. Strange Stuff!

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    Buns: Your experience sounds a lot like the one I talked about above. Leo Ames replied to my post, describing some quirky SNES memory issues he's had over the years related to rebooting. I just put Mario RPG in for the first time in about 13 hours and it booted the first time, memory in tact. I played for about an hour. This is a game I have vague memories of because life got me distracted from gaming around the time this game came out. But it's lots of fun to play for the first time.

    (Leo Ames: thanks, by the way, for the memory tip, that sets my mind at ease.)

    Remo: cool info about chips. Thanks a lot.

    Now that we've established that the silver contact is a ground for DSP/FX chips, and that the RD has no ground contact, I wonder if the inconsistent booting of Mario RPG has to do with static or some leftover charge in the cart that is not getting grounded out on shutdown or reset. Maybe the lack of ground outlet is preventing the game from loading if it was recently turned off. Whereas, the SNES does have a ground contact, hence its ability to reboot this game 100% of the time, as I found out last night on my brother's SNES. Thoughts?

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    Yeah, i want to play it, but i need to make sure that as long as i do not reset the game, my save will not get erased, when i have to sometimes power off and on a second time for the game to boot. And hopefully when i recieve Dragon Quest V, i will not even have to worry about this, since those games are long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by remowilliams View Post
    That's a ground pin contact. Doom, Starfox and other DSP/SuperFX carts have them. The actual extra pin contacts are the smaller PCB connections on either side of the large main regular one.

    What is interesting to note though, is that while a SNES (and the FCTwin) has a metal grounded shield around the cart slot that will make contact with a cart ground pin, the RD does not.

    How important that ground contact is, I couldn't say though.
    Fellows,I have a theory......
    After reviewing some of you all posts, I decided to take a closer look into the clip metal that provides ground to the game board....
    That internal ground point in the cartridge board looks to split and be going to different traces...
    And it seems than when it is connected to the original SNES system pin cartridge connector outter ground, every game runs smoothly because ground is present at all times...
    And since,the RetroDuo cartridge connector is just plain plastic, that could be the reason of why some games crash or not boot at all....
    Does anyone happen to have a SNES broken board with a good cartridge connector?
    I'm willing to desolder the native RD connector and attach a metal one to see the results.
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