Recently, I stumbled upon a fantastic hack for the Famicom/NES. After playing the games for several hours in an emulator I decided to build a cartridge for it to play the game on the actaual hardware.
The hack is called “Zelda – The Legend of Link”, made by infidelity.
You can find a lot of info and behind the scenes insights in the official thread: Click!
In this post I’ll show how I built the cartridge. If you got any questions feel free to ask me!
Step 1 – Download the ROM und patch it
I downloaded the ROM file from a dubious site and patched it with “famirom”. I won’t go into detail how to do this, since it’s covered by about a thousand tutorials before 😉 One pretty neat feature of famirom is the splitting of the PRG- und CHR-part of the ROM.
Step 2 – Find a suitable donor
This was tricky. The hack needs a MMC5-mapper which wasn’t used that often by official cartridges. Furthermore, the donor needs 32kb SRAM for savegames. Sure, you could search a MMC5-cartridge and solder in bigger SRAM, but I wasn’t in the mood for that 😀
The games are called:
- Nobunaga no Yabou: Bushou Fuuunroku 信長の野望 武将風雲録
- Aoki Ookami to Shiroki Mejika: Genchou Hishi 蒼き狼と白き牝鹿元朝秘史
- Sangokushi II 三國志Ⅱ
They’re about 20€ each. Not that cheap – but hey, the hack is worth it!
Step 3 – Prepare the dono
Next step: Localize the PRG- and CHR-MASKROMs and desolder them. The battery was flat so I desoldered it, too.
Neat: They printed the location of the CHR- and PRG-MASKROM to the pcb. That prevents mixing up the next step 😉
Step 4 – Get EPROMs and burn the hack to it
Bummer, fitting (1MB) EPROMs are expensive, 15€ a pop!
So I went looking for an alternative and stumbled upon the 29F080.
Since the 29F080 got a TSOP40 package I’d to make an adapter.
If you are planning to do this repro you can fetch the adapter here: Click!
The adapter does the rewiring. So I’d to solder the 29F080 to it and solder the adapter 1:1 to the donor.
But before doing that I wrote the PRG- and CHR-Parts to the chips like this:
This is my trsuty TL866CD-Programmer with a TSOP40 8bit-Adapter.
Next step is soldering the two adapters and a new battery to the donor.
Step 5 – Enjoy!
Close the cartridge shell, jam the game into your console and enjoy the game. It’s awesome.
Step 6 – Print a label!
To finish the repro a label is a must. I just had an image file printed and stuck it to the cartridge.
You can download the label image right here!
… have fun!