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Red Viper - Virtual Boy emulator for 3DS


SpiceWare

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A while back I did a jail break on my 3DS after learning that @wavemotion's awesome port of Stella for the Nintendo DS, could run on it. It even runs games that use coprocessors in the cartridge like Stay Frosty 2!

 

IMG_3080.jpeg.2c76fa7656b7d8e930fbb98702

 


I have a Virtual Boy that I'd picked up new in box when they were being cleared out in '96. I think I paid $30 for it, and $7 per game for the 11 games they still had in stock. While I kept the main box, sadly I did not keep the game boxes.

 

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It's still in working condition:

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Last week I learned about Red Viper, a Virtual Boy emulator for the 3DS, thanks to a status update by @Jess Ragan. I decided to try the "remote install" method, hadn't used it before:

 

image.thumb.png.65ed86e6478e3249399dd878ab4ce834.png

 

Install went without any problems.  To install the ROMs I ran FTPd on the 3DS and used FileZilla on my Mac. This is more convenient than removing the handles on my 3DS so I can remove the SD card and pop it into the Mac. You can find information about this process in this reply of the StellaDS topic.

 

Games fired right up and the 3D looks great, though the 3D effect doesn't photograph well:

 

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If you're tired of red you can also change the color:

IMG_4407.thumb.jpeg.4ac55a9c3bb0810bc9eaa0d3b12e685e.jpeg

 

Turning off 3D makes for much clearer photos:

IMG_4408.thumb.jpeg.4cd56f1e19176e2415663129b3451f1a.jpeg

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Forgot to mention - I find the ROM picker to be very touchy. You have to swipe up/down to scroll the list, but inevitably I'll accidentally launch a ROM while swiping.  It might work better with the stylus, but it's trapped in my 3DS by the handles.

 

IMG_4413.thumb.jpeg.34194508dee239e806e14f3b08756988.jpeg

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15 hours ago, Jess Ragan said:

Still kind of hurts the eyes, though.

 

How current are you on the emulator?  Reading this discussion at GitHub it looks like the 3D could not originally be adjusted, it was either on or off. Last week they made a change that lets you adjust the 3D using the 3D slider.  After that an additional change was done so you can pick between 2 different modes for adjusting 3D.

 

3DS Slider mode:

 

IMG_4418.thumb.jpeg.1cc23e30baeb4e3a57f6007051ee59bc.jpeg

 

IPD slider mode:

IMG_4419.thumb.jpeg.01a2ba4d550b71e30d936d55411fb747.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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That looks like a solid well done emulator, makes me sad there just isn't one for generic Windows/PC use which sucks other than really the decade old vbjin.  I know mednafen has a corner for it, but that emulator is a dumspter fire of pure pain with it's archaic command line functions and variables just to load a basic rom... shame no one ever hacked it to add a GUI.  I've tried using a couple outside projects at a GUI they never worked either. :\

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/6/2024 at 1:52 PM, SpiceWare said:

Forgot to mention - I find the ROM picker to be very touchy. You have to swipe up/down to scroll the list, but inevitably I'll accidentally launch a ROM while swiping.

 

Change was done 5 days ago that lets you control the GUI via D-Pad and buttons.

 

The latest Release is still from 2 weeks ago though, so does not include it.  It looks like you can get current build by clicking on a run under Actions, top run is currently clear screen when loading rom and has 2 files:

  • red-viper.3dsx 205 KB
  • red-viper.cia 363 KB

 

I used my iPhone to figure out what file the QR Code installed:

 

IMG_4440.thumb.jpeg.a9646c7dd82f63d61f7fae8f67a69689.jpeg

 

So I downloaded it then figured out I needed to run FBI -> Remote Install -> Receive URLs over the network on my 3DS, as well as a program to run on my computer to send over the cia file. I found Mac specific program 3DS-FBI-Link:

 

image.thumb.png.98cd2e82270ba03f92e221e234119e4a.png

 

And sent it over.  It replaced the version of Red Viper that I launch from my 3DS's main screen, and I can now maneuver thru the file dialog using the D-PAD and buttons. Much better than before!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heads up! - Red Viper v0.9.2.1 was released an hour ago.  It replaces v0.9.2.0 from yesterday, which had some critical bugs. 

 

Quote

Emulation improvements

  • New audio engine allowing for sample playback
  • 16MB ROMs can now be loaded on o3DS
  • Fixed music speed in Golf
  • Faster affine layer drawing
  • Various other emulation bugfixes (including #41 and #43 by @pizzarollsroyce)

UI improvements

  • Button input in GUI (#47 by @JeffRuLz)
  • Zip file support
  • Improved debug dumps for easier crash reproduction
  • Allow mapping face buttons to the triggers on N3DS (#39 by @vaguerant)
  • Button to turn off the touchscreen backlight (#48 by @vaguerant)

 

I scanned the QR Code and the new version was installed over the version I'd manually installed last week using 3DS FBI Link.

 

I noticed the cursor position indicator has been revised for the button input in the GUI, and noticed the new support for audio samples right away in Galactic Pinball.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting - the Virtual Boy has a 50 Hz refresh rate and they've figured out how to get the 3DS to refresh at 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz.

 

More info in Issue #46 and these 3 commits:

 

 

 

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By far one of the best homebrew apps to ever be written for 3DS. Incredible that it runs full speed on Old 3DS systems.

 

I have waited for Red Viper ever since the 3DS was announced to have stereoscopic 3D. Each year I became more and more disappointed that not even one VB game ever made it to the 3DS. I mean, the 3DS was practically MADE to run Virtual Boy games, a VB collection was a completely wasted opportunity. I feel fully satisfied now that Red Viper exists, especially after previous years of slow and incomplete VB emulators for 3DS.

 

To me at least, Red Viper is just as pivotal a homebrew app as Nintendont was for Wii and Wii U.

Edited by Sir Guntz
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Red Viper 0.9.3 was released yesterday:

  • Run 3DS displays at 50Hz (thanks to everyone in #46 who knows much more about this than I do!)
  • Improve frame pacing by rendering on VBlank
  • The image is now displayed in full 24-bit colour
  • Various renderer optimizations, significantly improving performance in Elevated Speed
  • Improved audio clarity
  • Fixed issues with various sound effects in Wario Land
  • Fixed compatibility hack for Virtual Lab's English patch
  • Improved performance in Nester's Funky Bowling
  • Compatibility fixes for lots of homebrew
  • Add a confirmation prompt to Reset and Quit menu options
  • Game progress is now saved when entering sleep mode

 

I ran Wario Land before installing it to see if I could spot a difference - yep, the scrolling landscape on the title screen no longer judders on the new build.

 

 

 

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I finally checked it out last weekend, that is really cool. It's not quite as nice as the real thing, and seems like it was making me a little woozy, but it's really cool as far as emulation goes.
Even the control settings aren't too bad with most games I tried. Seems like most games either rely on the right d-pad, or the B/A buttons, and not both at the same time.
I didn't know there was an unreleased Faceball game for VB. I don't know how finished it is, but I played it for quite a while.

 

On 3/17/2024 at 11:05 AM, SpiceWare said:

So I downloaded it then figured out I needed to run FBI -> Remote Install -> Receive URLs over the network on my 3DS, as well as a program to run on my computer to send over the cia file. I found Mac specific program 3DS-FBI-Link:

I don't know if you figured this out already, but there's a much easier way to do it:
Open FBI -> Remote Install -> Scan QR Code

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4 hours ago, Asaki said:

I don't know if you figured this out already, but there's a much easier way to do it:
Open FBI -> Remote Install -> Scan QR Code

 

That's how I've been installing it since the beginning.

 

On 3/6/2024 at 1:30 PM, SpiceWare said:

I decided to try the "remote install" method, hadn't used it before:

 

image.thumb.png.65ed86e6478e3249399dd878ab4ce834.png

 

 

I only did the 3DS-FBI-Link method that one time because the original touch-screen interface to select a game was very finicky, it kept launching games while scrolling the ROM list up/down with my finger.  It was so annoying that when the commits were done to add support for physical controls I wanted to try it out ASAP.  It wasn't yet part of the official release, that happened about 2 weeks later, so the QR Code method wouldn't have installed it at that time.

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22 hours ago, SpiceWare said:

It wasn't yet part of the official release, that happened about 2 weeks later, so the QR Code method wouldn't have installed it at that time.

Oh, gotcha.
I didn't have any problems with the menu, but I always use a stylus, not my fingers.

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1 minute ago, Asaki said:

Oh, gotcha.
I didn't have any problems with the menu, but I always use a stylus, not my fingers.

 

I suspected the stylus worked better. The handles I use on my 3DS, else my hands cramp, block access to the stylus.  Wish it'd been designed with either a cutout to access the stylus storage, or a new place to store the stylus.

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Could always just swipe one from the Wii U.
I've got a bunch of different styluses I've bought around the desk. I don't have any XLs, so the styluses that came with my 3/DSes are all pretty small.

Some of them have the little string loops on them so you can hang them on a handheld.

Edited by Asaki
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/17/2024 at 11:46 AM, Asaki said:

Could always just swipe one from the Wii U.
I've got a bunch of different styluses I've bought around the desk.

 

Don't gave a Wii U, though I did find this while sorting thru some boxes:

 

IMG_4537.thumb.jpeg.e0629a318373c10c170b502627a2305b.jpeg

 

I must have misplaced my original stylus as the one in my 3DS is a shade of blue that doesn't quite match my 3DS.

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On 4/27/2024 at 1:49 PM, SpiceWare said:

Don't gave a Wii U...

Uh oh, better find one.

I usually use this Totakeke stylus, but I've got plenty of basic third party ones lying around too, including one that resembles a clickable Sharpie.
Totakeke has definitely seen a lot of Ouendan.
yujin__nds___mintendo_animal_c_167690776

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got around to setting up Red Viper this weekend. Here is how my setup turned out. The circle pad pro support is an awesome touch by the developer. I highly recommend this to those die-hard Virtual Boy fans out there.

IMG_0997.jpeg

IMG_0995.jpeg

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2 hours ago, AltRN8 said:

circle pad pro

 

🤯

 

never knew about that.  The Circle Pad Pro XL version is $110, while the imported LL version is $46.

 

Looks like in Japan the 3DS XL is known as the 3DS LL, and the reviews confirm it works on the XL so I've ordered the LL version. ETA Monday.

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It arrived and the plastic had 3DS XL and 3DS LL molded into it: 

 

IMG_4601.thumb.jpeg.667cba8e39929fd3bfc19f9bd7d811ca.jpeg

 

 

However the new R trigger isn't recognized in Galactic Pinball, I have to reach past it to the built in R trigger. 

 

On 5/18/2024 at 9:15 AM, AltRN8 said:

The circle pad pro support is an awesome touch by the developer.

 

Is that support really in place? The README section lists C-Stick as supported while the Circle Pad Pro is listed as a future addition.

 

image.thumb.png.8b7c0f540026383b2464d2933b8d10a3.png

 

 

I looked at the commits, but don't see any mentioning Circle Pad Pro.

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Wasn't sure if the Circle Pad Pro was working as there's no indicator lights and the home screen of the 3DS doesn't appear to recognize it, so found a list of games that support it - nothing I have, so I tracked down a CIA for Kid Icarus Uprising 

 

Went to install it and my 4GB SD card was full, so picked up a new 256 GB card on my lunch break.

 

Used my Mac Studio to reformat the SD card (it was using exFAT, it's now FAT32), then copied everything over from the 4GB card using this command in Terminal:

 

cp -R /Volumes/3DS4GB/ /Volumes/3DS256GB/

 

Popped it back in the 3DS and turned it on.  New SD card appears to be working just fine.  I then installed KIU.

 

I can move around KIU's options screen using the Circle Pad Pro, so it appears to be working.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some info recently showed up about Circle Pad Pro support in the issues:

 

Quote

Apparently, the IRUSER service is used for the Circle Pad Pro, which is not currently implemented in libctru. It probably makes sense to implement some sort of CPP support there before adding it here.

 

Apparently the library used to write 3DS homebrew doesn't support the 3DS' IR Port, and thus doesn't support the Circle Pad Pro.

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