A Uncommon SNES SA1 Demo Cartridge Has Been Discovered And Preserved

A Uncommon SNES SA1 Demo Cartridge Has Been Discovered And Preserved
© Nintendo / Vitor Vilela

The Bit Wars have been an intriguing time in gaming, significantly within the period of one-upmanship between the Tremendous NES and the SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis. Whereas there could possibly be arguments over sound chips, Enhance processing and so on, we additionally noticed particular enhancement chips produced that’d go throughout the sport cartridges to enhance efficiency or make sure new strategies potential. Particular person video games could possibly be normal bearers with these enhancements, one thing we do not see within the trendy period.

One instance with the SNES was the SA1 chip, which gave boosts in areas like clock pace, sooner RAM and extra. Maybe essentially the most well-known instance of a sport utilizing this chip was Tremendous Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, although the enhancements skipped the PAL territory (Europe / Australia and New Zealand) on the time. Mainly, the chip made video games run higher.

There’s been some buzz within the retro neighborhood over the weekend as particulars and pictures have been shared of an SA1 Demonstration Program, which runs off an especially uncommon cartridge demo board that options the chip. One of many boards made a uncommon look on eBay (the place else?) and a sort benefactor with some cash to spare picked it up for Vitor Vilela, who creates software program and {hardware} mods and specialises within the SA1 chip. For instance they’ve produced ‘SA-1’ enhanced variations of some SNES video games to indicate how, theoretically, the chip would have made some classics run with much less slowdown and sooner loading.

The board’s demos have been efficiently dumped, giving a have a look at how Nintendo created a few primitive tech showcases to indicate what the chip may do; you’ll be able to see them under, however remember the second half includes a good bit of nausea-inducing spinning sprites.