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The End-All Topic For - How to Make a Final Fantasy III Reproduction Cart

Aug 11, 2012 at 11:35:31 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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NA,

I've spent many a night trying to find the proper way of doing this, as the eprom conversions on NESDEV were not working for this game. Numerous people have FFIII repros on sale for horrendous prices, so I thought I should make this topic, so 5 years from now, people can make their own game and be happy with what they made with their own two hands. Good Luck. I'll review and update soon with better pictures. This does work, as I've done it about 10 times already.

WARNING - Follow this at your own expense. It worked for me.

Required Parts:
(1) Super Mario Bros 2 Cart
(1) 27C4001 (or similar) eprom
(2) N4148 Diodes
(1) Battery from another game, or a battery holder from Radio Shack)
(1) 10 ohm Resistor
(1) 2.2uF 16v Capacitor
(1) CXK5864APS-12LL CHR-RAM

I pulled alot of these parts from a TKROM based game.

Choosing your Cart:



You must choose the Super Marios Bros 2, that does not have the seal.

NOTE: Some people do remove the "rare" board from inside and replace it with the other REV of the board. Beware.

Choosing your Eprom:

Verify your eprom burner can burn M27C4001 , or 27C4001 eproms (similar pin layout). I use a simple USB Top853 to do my NES games.

Burning the Eprom:

This guide assumes you know how to split a rom image and burn an Eprom properly for a NES repro.

Choosing the CHR-RAM:

Choose a CXK5864APS-12LL (See Bootgod web site for games that have this)



Setting up the PCB:

On the Super Mario Bros 2 Board, desolder the PRG and the CHR chip.

How to Solder PRG:



PRG socket: (NESDev)
Bend up pins 1, 2, 24, 30 and 31 (or cut tracks 2, 24, 30 and 31)
Solder pin 2 to hole 24 (A16)
Solder pin 24 to GND (OE)
Solder pin 30 to hole 1 (A17)
Solder pin 31 to hole 2 (A18)

How to Solder CHR-RAM:

(Remeber this is a 28 pin CHR-RAM on a 32 pin area, so pin 1 of the RAM should be set in socket 3 on the board)
Bent up Pins 1, 20, 22,26,27 and 28
Solder pin 22 to hole 2 (on socket not your chip's hole)
Solder pin 20 to hole 31
Solder pin 26 to pin 28, then a wire from pin 28 to pin 1. After that solder a wire from pin 1 to hole 32 on the board.
Solder pin 27 to the 56th pin on the back of the PCB for CHR-RAM functions.

Alternative Layout for CHR-RAM for (From Lincoln)

Using a CXK5864PN-15LL

pin 20 (/CE1) -> hole 31
pin 22 (/OE) -> hole 2
pin 26 (CE2) -> hole 32 (5v)
pin 27 (R/W) -> cart 56
i left pin 28 (Vcc) down as hole 30 is 5v.
i bent pin 1 up and left it unconnected, but I'm pretty sure it would be fine down as it is NC.

Battery:

The symbols in this diagram are similar to what you'll see on the board, especially where the Capacitor connects (negative side).
Also I used a 2.2uF 50v Capacitor, instead of a 16v



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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters


Edited: 08/17/2012 at 12:59 PM by Gorillazero

Aug 11, 2012 at 11:37:06 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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Updates coming soon. I couldn't make the other format work for FFIII, so this is what I did. I think many people following NESDEV are making them incorrectly and thus having Blue Screen issues with their carts.

Gorilla

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 12, 2012 at 9:53:53 AM
leatherrebel5150 (180)
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(Kyle ) < King Solomon >
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Do you really have to cut traces? I often read to cut traces but you don't usually have to since you bend up the legs anyway.

Aug 12, 2012 at 10:11:31 AM
FancyPantsGamer (19)
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(Dave ) < Eggplant Wizard >
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It's nice that someone is finally putting up a good tutorial, I have about 10 unused copies of SMB2 that can be used as donors but never went about making one. Could you add a pic of a finished board when you get a chance? That may help clarify some of the diagrams and directions once you get the final pictures on there.

Aug 13, 2012 at 2:02:50 AM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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I updated the cutting the traces, but ended up just removing everything from that section.

I don't plan on adding a complete picture, as I tell you what CHR-RAM to get, and how to wire the PRG and CHR, plus how to wire the battery, so you can't get anymore straight forward than that.

Gorilla

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 13, 2012 at 3:09:56 AM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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from what I can tell pin 1 on the ram chip is no connection (NC). is that right? if so why connect pin 28 to pin 1? seems like we could skip that.

and also wouldn't that mean we can leave pin 28 down where it is (hole 30, 5V) and just jump pin 26 to it? alternately we could jump pin 26 right to hole 32.

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Aug 13, 2012 at 11:56:40 AM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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Lincoln,

I understand what you're saying, but that's how I made it work. I've read all over the internet and no one has an actual fully identified working way of creating this game. So I created it based on what I would call "research".

What you mentioned, is similar to why I removed the cutting traces part, as I originally cut traces following NESDEV's guidelines, but when I realized that was incorrect, I moved on with just lifting the pins.

Thanks.

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 13, 2012 at 12:17:56 PM
Moothead2 (2)

(Jordan ) < Eggplant Wizard >
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Thanks for this, it's one of those games that have always confused me. I wouldn't mind seeing a sub forum in The Brewery dedicated to tutorials for Repros. Not sure if some people would get pissy about it though considering they make money from doing them.

Thanks again .

Aug 13, 2012 at 12:31:59 PM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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where does the negative leg on the capacitor connect? is that just any ground?

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Aug 13, 2012 at 1:11:18 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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No, it's the point to the right of the LN-3364N-12 chip, at the end of the board. The picture has the shapes as well, similar to the board.


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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 13, 2012 at 1:13:06 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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I'm actually going to be creating similar guides to this one here at the repro.

If no one cares, I don't care about stopping some nes repro businesses, as there are toooo many now lol.

I do care about fake reproductions, my brother actually did a few, and I had to cut his hands off (not literally) to have him stop it.


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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters


Edited: 08/13/2012 at 11:56 PM by Gorillazero

Aug 13, 2012 at 1:23:09 PM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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can you put up a photo of a finished unit? i would like to see how you arrange the battery circuit parts and keep them in place in the cart.

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Aug 13, 2012 at 1:28:47 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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I can when I get home. The cap 2.2uf I used was bigger, it was a 50v, so it gave the whole battery "setup" a stronger foundation. I taped the battery (radio shack batter holder) down inside the case. You can use hot glue or black tape. This allows me to change the battery whenever I want.

Everything besides the chips, I found at radioshack, so I was pretty happy.

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 14, 2012 at 3:23:35 AM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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I built a socketed cart tonight. The prg side is good for sure. I can put the prg eprom in and the game will run with garbage graphics (as expected). I only have 1 random '64 ram chip floating around at the moment, and it's not the one specified. trying that one gives me a solid gray screen. i have a deja vu cart with the right ram chip so I'll see about pulling that tomorrow.

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ebay auctionsrunning FS thread famiROM thread for .nes info and splitting / rom hacks link/discussion

Aug 14, 2012 at 11:01:45 AM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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If you use the chips I wrote up, I bet ya it will work. Try hitting up your local Good Will or retro shop to find the right game with the chip.

The only difference, is before I bent the pins up, I had cut traces for everything on the CHR-RAM per nesdev, bending the pins worked better.

thanks

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 14, 2012 at 4:10:31 PM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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got my test cart working. i used a CXK5864PN-15LL for chr-ram, pulled from a little mermaid cart.

and just to confirm my wiring assumptions, I went with a simplified scheme for the ram.
pin 20 (/CE1) -> hole 31
pin 22 (/OE) -> hole 2
pin 26 (CE2) -> hole 32 (5v)
pin 27 (R/W) -> cart 56

i left pin 28 (Vcc) down as hole 30 is 5v.
i bent pin 1 up and left it unconnected, but I'm pretty sure it would be fine down as it is NC.


so the next question is, what's the best translation to use? these roms are available in goodnes 3.14

Final Fantasy III (J) [T+Eng0.1_toma].nes
Final Fantasy III (J) [T+Eng3.1_AkIlLa].nes
Final Fantasy III (J) [T+EngR2_AWJ+NCorlett+SoM2Freak].nes

plus a bunch that i think are older. i tried the third one but it's got some dumb messages after you get the crystal about nesticle and the guys that did the translation.

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ebay auctionsrunning FS thread famiROM thread for .nes info and splitting / rom hacks link/discussion

Aug 14, 2012 at 4:38:53 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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(Well That's Just Prime) < Lolo Lord >
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I always use a fresh rom image FFIII and then download and patch it from romhacking.com with the fully playable translation there. Always verify your patch works by playing for a minute or two in an emulator.

After you get the Crystal, those names will come up. It's there way of denying theives .

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 14, 2012 at 5:11:45 PM
leatherrebel5150 (180)
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(Kyle ) < King Solomon >
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Would building a socketed cart without the battery setup work? I assume it would right? I have the stuff needed other than the battery setup but I don't need to save as a test cart so no battery should be ok.

Aug 14, 2012 at 5:38:21 PM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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Originally posted by: leatherrebel5150

Would building a socketed cart without the battery setup work? I assume it would right? I have the stuff needed other than the battery setup but I don't need to save as a test cart so no battery should be ok.


that's what i did. i have socketed both the prg and chr ram so i could try different ram chips.

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ebay auctionsrunning FS thread famiROM thread for .nes info and splitting / rom hacks link/discussion

Aug 15, 2012 at 5:58:32 AM
SnoopKatt (16)
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(Anthony B) < Eggplant Wizard >
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Thank you thank you thank you. This is the only concise, consistent, and coherent guide for doing this that I've seen. Just figuring out the battery part was driving me crazy. My brother is a big Final Fantasy fan, and for Christmas I would like to give him this.

Aug 17, 2012 at 12:40:50 PM
Gorillazero (51)
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haha, that's the kind of answers I was looking for thanks Snoop.

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Bounty: Neo Geo Pocket and Color Games PAL/UK. Dive Alert, Pocket Reversi, Puzzle Link 1 and 2, Gals Fighters

Aug 19, 2012 at 4:25:58 AM
SnoopKatt (16)
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(Anthony B) < Eggplant Wizard >
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Quick question: is the 12LL the only chip that will work, or will something different with the same pinouts be okay? I have a junky game that has a 8464A-15L that I can harvest. I think it has the same pinouts, but all of the data sheets I found online were too pixelated for me to read some of them, although the ones I could read lined up.

Aug 20, 2012 at 1:29:37 PM
Lincoln (138)
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(Frank W. Doom) < Bowser >
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i think all the 8K ram chips you find in nes carts, either wram or chr-ram, have the same pinout. it appears that not all of them work as chr-ram for this game though. i got my test cart working with a CXK5864PN-15LL which is not exactly the chip recommended, but is from the same manufacturer and family. you can try whatever chip you have handy, but i would look for CXK5864* chips to harvest if i didn't have anything else ready.

I pulled mine from a Little Mermaid cart, and a 2nd copy of that has the same chip when I'm ready for it. I'd say there's a good chance of finding a compatible chip in any little mermaid cart.

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Aug 20, 2012 at 1:43:18 PM
SnoopKatt (16)
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(Anthony B) < Eggplant Wizard >
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Thanks Lincoln! Good to know. I do have a spare game that has a CXK5864BPX-12LL, so I will give that a try. If that doesn't work out, I'll go out and buy a copy of the Little Mermaid.

By the way, looks like someone is going to start manufacturing brand-new boards for TNROM games like this! Here's the link: http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopi...

On the last page, he confirmed that TNROM will be supported.

Aug 20, 2012 at 6:00:14 PM
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rokubungi (164)
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(The Guardian) < Ridley Wrangler >
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I can confirm that it works with a NEC D4364c-15L