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Thread: Mysterious origins of Dream Mary (aka Fancy Mario)

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) treismac's Avatar
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    Default Mysterious origins of Dream Mary (aka Fancy Mario)

    While reading Satoshi Matrix's blog, I stumbled across Dream Mary for the first time. For those who don't know, it is a cartridge mod that interferes with the game's mirroring function creating a "a bizarre scrolling effect in which the screen splits in half: the right half is unchanged but the left half of the screen displays whatís way ahead of you, on the next screen" (http://133fsb.wordpress.com/2009/11/...y-on-a-budget/). I wanted to know what if anything noteworthy ya'll might be able to tell me about the lore of this interesting game modding technique. Any and all links are also appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by treismac; 07-10-2013 at 09:21 PM.

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    This was discovered on Famicom World. There's a chinese famicom pirate of SMB1 that's incorrectly wired called "Dream Mary". The result was a copy of SMB that would scroll incorrectly, showing what's about to appear before it does.

    You can do this with any mapper 0 game. That means early NES games that use either the NROM-256 or UNROM boards. Those early games literally have points on the pcbs that control the scrolling. Later, more advanced games used memory mappers (MMCs) that took over this function. I have three games that I've done this simple hardware hack to.

    If you'd like, i can post a video showing them.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Great Puma (Level 12)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    If you'd like, i can post a video showing them.
    I would like to see this, if it isn't a hassle.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) treismac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    If you'd like, i can post a video showing them.
    I would like.

    I've already seen your Castlevania one, but you might as well post it for the benefit of those who haven't seen it.

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Aforementioned "Dream" Castlevania video o'mine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_MX2C9w2mg
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    ugh...Dream Mary....what a crap of a hack that game is...

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    Cherry (Level 1) djshok's Avatar
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    It looks like playing a broken cartridge... am I missing something here?
    Ready to print game covers and cart labels: http://www.mediafire.com/?5gm45wyxr3xvv

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    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
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    What makes anyone think this is in demand?

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    ServBot (Level 11) exit's Avatar
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    Why would anybody want this to happen.

    Breaking Bad 3x02 - Caballo Sin Nombre

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parodius Duh! View Post
    ugh...Dream Mary....what a crap of a hack that game is...
    It isn't a hack in software, but rather in hardware. The physical mirroring points are reversed and this is the result.

    Quote Originally Posted by djshok View Post
    It looks like playing a broken cartridge... am I missing something here?
    It isn't broken as all that's changed is the virtual and horizontal mirroring. What you're missing is just that its a cool novelty one can do with UNROM and NROM-256 NES games.


    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    What makes anyone think this is in demand?
    Who said that? I wasn't even the one to start this topic! lol Again the "Dream" series is only for novelty sake.

    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    Why would anybody want this to happen.
    Because its novel, its interesting, and adds challenge to games you can otherwise breeze though.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_A View Post
    What makes anyone think this is in demand?
    Who said that? I wasn't even the one to start this topic! lol Again the "Dream" series is only for novelty sake.
    The second url in post 1.

    "Dream Mary is quite a unique experience and as such is often sought among Famicom collectors."

    I'm puzzled why anyone would want this. The appeal is certainly lost on me. It's just a game that isn't working right.
    Last edited by Leo_A; 11-01-2011 at 08:37 PM.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) treismac's Avatar
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    Default Add video and further explanation.

    It is the idea of chaos breaking into the ordered world of the video game that appeals to me, I suppose. By performing the Dream Mary hack, you tear a rift in the Super Mario Bros. universe. While this rift won't flip the Mushroom Kingdom on its head to where hammer head brothers sit around and recite beat poetry rather than throwing hammers, it is still novel enough for me to say, "what the hell" and buy an extra Mario/Duck Hunt and mod it. On a final note: I have fond memories of playing video games that "decided" to glitch out on me, bashing numbers and strange shapes across the screen. It was always a strange, interesting, and slightly disconcerting experience that I welcomed.

    As far as modding the Mario Universe, check out this video of Mario's universe deteriorating. It is a collaboration by Paper Rad and Corey Arcangel, and here is a poster for the movie.

    Last edited by treismac; 10-31-2011 at 08:41 AM.

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    Red (Level 21) Jorpho's Avatar
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    There's a great many videos on Youtube of SMB being corrupted in many random ways. See for instance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bgomwomhJ4 .

    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    It isn't a hack in software, but rather in hardware.
    What I don't get is that the link in the OP says it can be found on multicarts. I guess that means it can be done in software after all, if one really wants to.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J'orfeaux View Post
    What I don't get is that the link in the OP says it can be found on multicarts. I guess that means it can be done in software after all, if one really wants to.
    It can be done in software if you deliberately change the values of the scrolling, but that's most likely not what the chinese pirates did. Rather, they would have screwed up the mirroring traces which would affect ALL games on the multicart, but you simply don't notice because the majority of early Famicom games are fixed screen games that don't feature scrolling at all. For those games, screwed up mirroring in the scrolling doesn't mean a hill of beans.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) treismac's Avatar
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    I have something new, inconsequential as it might be, to add to the thread. Evidently there are at least two different types of pcbs inside of Mario/Duck Hunt carts. From the three I have opened, the two with flat-head screws had pcbs that had the H & V mirroring select solder pads, but the cart with the 3.8 security screws did not have them, rendering them unmoddable (at least by me). The other difference is that the connector pins at the bottom of the unmoddable pcb have a gap in them while the moddable one's pins have no such gap. Without question, this discovery will usher in a new paradigm shift in retro gaming. You saw it here first, gang.

    Here are front and back photos of the pcb that is moddable:





    And here are photos of the front and back of the pcb that is not moddable:





    Finally, here they are side by side:

    Last edited by treismac; 11-03-2011 at 09:34 PM.

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Indeed. the globtops conceal the traces, making a SMB/DH cart produced after 1988 impossible to mod for Dream Mary. The best best for finding a cart you can modify in the "Dream" fashion is five screw games.

    I have nine copies of SMB/DH (I got them for free from a game store that was going out of business) and only one of them is the 1987 version with actual mask roms.
    check out my classic gaming review site: http://satoshimatrix.wordpress.com/

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