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The Question of Snes9X


Much of the content of article was retrieved from the SNES Emulation Centre's Snes9X Pure Gossip section. The type is in blue. I have added my own comments and speculation in white.

What follows now is pure speculation, but its all fun and gets us in the mood for when this thing gets released, if ever.

OK, quite a few people belive that Sbes9x was never canceled due to pressure form Nintendo, but rather the team got sick of lamers etc and decided to go undeground for a while. With the new 'anonymous' coders, no one has to put up with the hassle of junk mail asking for ROMs are begging for a new release date. This theory also reckons that Silhouette was a later version of Snes9x released under another name to go along with the canceling story. The Nintendo ex-employee story made perfect sense to those that belived thar Snes9x was forced to stop by the big N. This idea is credible when you remember that towards the end of Sbes9x the latest version always came out on the Mac.

The Silhouette story does have it's flaws.. I'll point them out here, along with other clarification comments:

  1. "The first batch of games for the Super Famicom were developed around 1988 and 1989."
    • This is a little bit hard to believe because this would mean SMB3 and SMW were being developed at the same time, however, Shigeru Miyamoto said that it took about three years to make, and having it released in 1990 in Japan makes it very correct. (88-90)
  2. "Nintendo was forced to include this 3D chip on the PilotWings board in order to keep the game on schedule."
    • This, I believe was the DSP chip also used in Super Mario Kart.
  3. "the 65816 processor, a cheap toy with inadequate processing power that was stuck in the Super Famicom to smooth over the early development process (since it is backwards compatible with the 6502, the NES' processor)."
    • Nintendo was going to release a NES->SNES adapter. This compatibility would have made it fairly easy to construct one, however, they canceled the product for some unknown reason. The Super 8 (A NES/FC/SFC->SNES adapter) took it's place.
  4. " the Apple IIgs was chosen as a quick if inelegant solution"
    • I am not sure if this is true... I believe that most SFC/SNES development was on the Mac, but of couse Silhouette is for Mac...
  5. "In late 1996, a high-level executive (who will remain anonymous) at Nintendo came to the Rare labs one day, and saw a coder working on his game using Mirage."
    • Of course everyone is anonymous, so there is no proof of anybody real in this whole thing. In late '96, they would have been using one of the SGI workstations in Rare labs. Also, I don't think any one person would be working on 'his' game.
  6. "Silhouette includes a full SPC700 APU emulator, designed by myself and my partner from the ground up."
    • Hmm, 'my partner and myself'... Henderson and Koot? A possibility.
  7. "The entire SNES9X cancellation story is a huge mess of bad PR for Nintendo, but it couldn't be helped"
    • Funny how the author should mention Snes9X.. Nintendo never officially has.
  8. "Within the past few months, Nintendo of America has undergone some extensive reorganizations and layoffs....After that, it was only a matter of time before the word came down from NOJ to axe the Silhouette project, still unfinished."
    • A few things are wrong here. First of all, is this layof thing a fact? I haven't heard it from anywhere but here. Also the author seems to work for NOA, yet he says NOJ cancelled the project.. And third, would an ex-NOA employee use the term 'NOJ'? They are not Nintendo of Japan. They are Nintendo Co., Ltd.
  9. "I'm pretty sure that Silhouette is dead at Nintendo. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they denied that it ever existed, at this point."
    • Well if Gary was the one that actually made Silhouette, and not NOA, then I'm sure they'd deny it.
  10. "Due to the facts behind this program's development, and the confidential nature of Silhouette, my colleague and I chose to release Silhouette only under anonymity.
    • Or, the Snes9X team is keeping anonymity.
  11. "I know there's a lot of rough edges--transparency masking, for example, is all wrong, and the SPC700 really needed a little more testing"
    • This was the exact state of the final version of Snes9X.
  12. "Future versions of Silhouette may emerge from time to time. No promises, and no release dates"
    • Hmm, funny, no new versions have emerged yet. And exactly where was this emulator first released at?
There, just some comments about Silhouette. Remember though, everything could be completely valid and I could be wrong, but I am starting to think not. I plan to start comparing the Silhouette to Snes9X Mac and see exactly how close they are. (I just need a Mac to test on.)

Many people simply do not belive the 'Nintendo forcing Snes9x to stop thing' because how come ZSNES and the other emulars where left alone? It doesn't make sense. When Trep thought he had found evidence that Silhouette was a version of Snes9x he suddenly changed his mind. Did memebers of the old team ask him to, in oder to keep the secret.

This is somewhat valid, however they apparently did come down on Y0SHi, for his SNES Documentation. "Due to Nintendo threatening a lawsuit against me if I updated my documentation again, I couldn't fix the bugs." Also, lately Sega has been getting a lot of ROM sites shut down. It is strange that no other emulators were threatened. Of course it is not known if Jerremy was actually threatened. It is because of this quote from his discontinuation message that I say this. "Due to several reasons Snes9X can't continue... One is a possible claim of Nintendo... But you probably all think that that's the main reason, it isn't... Another reason is getting fucked over by other people, this is probably a more important reason... And then there is one more reason which, due to circumstances I can't even explain..." First, he says that it is a possible claim by Nintendo, which he also says isn't the main reason. The second reason would be the MrGrim scandal. The thrid reason, which he couldn't explain could actually be the real reason, which is purely speculation, but it could be that he just wanted out for a while. It is a little strange that Snes9X has been continued if NOA is after them and also because of this excerpt from the discontinuation message: "A small note for all the developers out there who see a chance in getting the Snes9X source, we will not give it away! So don't mail me or Gary about it ! If you want to do something for the SNES emulation 'scene', then help authors like zsKnight, _Demo_, Lord Esnes, NLKSnes, etc." Yet now other authors do have the source and are developing on Snes9X again AND the source is suppossed to be released. Also, Trep's decision change is somewhat strange, I must say.

Some people belive that Snes9x isn't back and its all a sick joke by Koot. I myself find this hard to belive but thats gossip for you. The evidence on the homepage is poor to say the least, and the FX emulation took a lot of people by surprise. Hardly any documentation exists (This is all I could find) for this add'in chip and the Snes9x preview page contains little info on which version of the chip is emulated, as thier where two. Yoshi's Island uses the second generation chip and the screen shots indicate both chips are emulated. However at this stage being this picking is a little silly.

This is way too picky for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think that that doc was written from experimentation by Carlos (Lord ESNES). Also, since Yoshi's Island is presumably running, one could say that FX2 was emulated, but possibly FX(1) was not. The reason for this is that notice that there are no polygons in the StarFox screenshots displayed. Actually, for some reason they took down those shots, I'm not sure why. Nintendo never stated, to my knowledge, exactly what was different between the two chips.. they could be very much alike. Also, I believe it was Chad Kitching (Trepalium) that stated on the Snes9X message board that polygons hadn't been implemented yet. This makes things a lot more credible.

Of course Koot could be telling the truth about the new coders and everything and we may all be reading far too much into this than we should, but thats then power of the internet for you.

I've got my copy of Yoshi's Island ready just in case :)

New info just in. Its seems that Gary did write Silhouette, which is just a later version of Snes9x, so it is thought that he is behind the rest of the new advancements. FX chip technology was mentioned a lot in the last readme file included in Snes9x, and Gary has gone on record as saying that he carrie don developing Snes9x after the Nintedno thing, which he also now things was rubbish.

As the rest of the porters/coders of the old Snes9x team are now working n it wouldn'y Gary be? It makes sense. So who are these new programmers with no names, er possibly Gary and Kook? Who knows?

If this whole thing is a sham, it seems that MrGrim did not know about it. Either Gary made something up against MrGrim as a scapegoat to leave the team, or he truly did think that MrGrim stole source code. I base this on the following statement made by MrGrim last night. "well... I did a miracle, I made that llamah Gary Henderson leave the emu scene" Of course, nobody is sure now if he's actually left the scene.

Latest gossip, Koot has been asking for coders to port Snes9x to other platforms, so possibly a release is due. In other news it appears that zsnight has been responsible for a lot of the fx work in the new snes9x. I think we can expect both fx and dsp emulation in the new future. This is indeed an exciting time in the world of SNES emulation.

In addition to this, the latest version of ZSNES (0.390) had the following statement in What's New: "Sorry, but SuperFX emulation is disabled for this public version." Also, there was this in the Credits: "Lestat and feenix65 of snes9x team for all the great help!" Which means they've all been working on SuperFX together. It seems that zsKnight and _Demo_ implemented it into ZSNES, but disabled it, possibly to allow Snes9X to be released with the capability first. Perhaps ZSNES aand Snes9X will merge, forming ZSNES9X ;) This is a little bit funny because one of the lamer IRC Quotes on Zophar's Domain is "<N0th|nG> i was thinking snes9x, esnes, nlksnes, and zsnes (if someone was daring to) could all combine source code and become nlkzesnes9x"

I do believe that the FX emulation is very real, who the people are who are emulating it is the real question. Finally, I'd like to post a little chat log between me and Deezer a couple of nights ago.

4/10/98 2:50 AM MEGAߥTE²: This story gets crazier every month.....
4/10/98 2:52 AM Deezer: SSF has told me that he thinks the new SNES9X screen shots are fake (pixelation)
4/10/98 2:53 AM MEGAߥTE²: Well, I'm not so sure.... notice that all the StarFox shots have the SuperFX effects missing.... meaning that they weren't dumped from a TV, they were from an emu... but who knows what the emus can run now... (without SFX and DSP) take SMK for instance
4/10/98 2:54 AM Deezer: Yeah
4/10/98 2:55 AM MEGAߥTE²: Anything else is already matched by ZSNES, so it could be from there...
4/10/98 2:55 AM Deezer: Perhaps
4/10/98 3:53 AM MEGAߥTE²: oh, SSF's claim about the pixellation is invalid... that's what happens to JPGs.....

And that's that. I guess we wont find out anything until A. The new Snes9X is released or B. Jerremy or Gary spill the beans (if there are any to spill). We may never know everything behind this, but this will probably be the biggest emulation related conspiracy theory for a long while. Oh well, it really doesn't as long as we remember to have fun ;)

--=MEGAߥTE,
April 12, 1998



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