Recent adventures in MiSTerland

Let's take a quick look at some of the newest cores available for the MiSTer FPGA project.

skankcore

The MiSTer FPGA is easily my newest favorite retro game project. Once configured, it can become a convenient living museum for classic games and computers. If you're unfamiliar with the kit and what it's capable of, check out my last Cortex post about retro game preservation and replication. Continuing on with that trend, I thought I'd show off a couple of the latest cores I've been enjoying with the MiSTer FPGA and my Sony Trinitron KV-27V42. Let's take a look at just a couple of new cores available.

CPS-2 Beta core by jotego

Capcom's arcade dominance in the '90s is widely known, and the MiSTer is capable of replicating many Street Fighter arcade boards from the very first game released in 1987, to the ubiquitous Street Fighter 2 and all variations, and now a select few CP System I and II versions. The latest is Street Fighter Alpha 2 for the CPS-2.

This remake/sequel to the first Street Fighter Alpha features the same younger cast of iconic fighters from the past, some from other franchises, and even some new faces. The Super Combo system and CPS-II era art style shared by Darkstalkers and X-Men: Children of the Atom always appealed to me a little more than the mainline series and I love being able to experience it at home with a CRT and arcade stick.

Spanish programmer and engineer jotego is doing incredible work porting original arcade PCBs over to the MiSTer and other FPGA projects and his dedication to documenting and preserving arcade history is phenomenal. If you want to stay up to date on his impressive output to the FPGA community, a $3 subscription to his Patreon will get you access to all of his beta updates as they are released. This week he's already teased Dungeons and Dragons.

Atari Lynx core by Robert Peip

One MiSTer core I didn't even consider when I first put the kit together was the Atari Lynx. Atari has always been the odd one out in my video game history. Nintendo was everywhere and even in my own living room shortly after I was old enough to play games myself and the Atari 2600 just seemed clunky in comparison.

Now that I'm getting even older and able to appreciate what I missed out on, I realize that I overlooked an entire powerhouse of the games industry. With a huge gap in my gaming experience, the MiSTer has afforded a way to catch up on arguably the most important Atari home electronics; the 2600, the 5200, and the Atari ST computer.

Joining those cores available is the Atari Lynx and I must say, for a portable system, this thing really had some potential. The core itself is also extremely impressive, offering full 240p support for a screen-filling CRT experience, fast-forward and rewind functions, save states, and the ability to "overclock" the GPU. If you have a MiSTer FPGA hooked up to a flat-panel display via HDMI, you'll be able to enjoy screen rotation by 90 or 270 degrees and an LCD filter that looks very nice and close to an original display. I never thought I'd be so excited to play Atari Lynx games.

The MiSTer FPGA is an on-going open source project and it's getting new and promising updates all the time. I'll most likely be writing about it more in the future so be sure to follow the topic or myself on Shacknews Cortex for more posts like these.

 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 24, 2021 1:40 PM

    Let's take a stroll through the recent updates in MiSTerland

    Read more: Recent adventures in MiSTerland

    • reply
      March 24, 2021 1:53 PM

      Paging anyone interested in CPS-2, Atari Lynx, or retro gaming in general. This new Lynx core is really impressive.

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        March 24, 2021 2:42 PM

        Good to hear. I've got a Lynx in storage with about a dozen games, and it might be interesting to play those classics on a screen that doesn't suck donkey balls.

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          March 24, 2021 4:38 PM

          I’m not sure about the Lynx, but I’m not a huge fan of the cores for the handheld LCD systems. Those games just don’t look quite right on a CRT or HDTV, as much as I appreciate the option to play like that. I’m really looking forward to the Analogue Pocket and that screen.

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      March 24, 2021 1:59 PM

      Increasingly tempted to build one of these. I can't quite remember how I talked myself out of it last time.

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      March 24, 2021 3:50 PM

      Just finished putting together my Retroflack GPi and I'm loving it. Next is Mister stuff--I need to get a Checkmate case for it.

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        March 24, 2021 4:25 PM

        Those are so gorgeous. I really like some of the retro PC setups I’ve seen with the MiSTer. I’m more interested in the arcade and console experience right now so I think I’m gonna settle for a MisterAddons aluminum case when the “final” revision has been restocked. Right now the acrylic plates and buttons I bought are a good holdover.

        I suppose my long-term goal once I get my dream PC CRT monitor sorted is to build another MiSTer and have that dedicated to a case like the Checkmate and get my own retro PC museum going.

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          March 24, 2021 4:35 PM

          I would love to own the all the 8 bit PCs from my childhood but I know it's likely impossible so it's so nice to know that this is there to fill the gaps. Same goes for consoles--I may do something similar and have dedicated mister console and computer.

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      March 24, 2021 4:35 PM

      Nice, keep that MiSTer content coming! I have one wish related to the MiSTer and it’s no fault of the project. I wish the 8bitdo Bluetooth receivers supported more than one controller paired to it at a time.

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      March 24, 2021 6:35 PM

      If it was capable of doing CPS-3 and NAOMI it would be absolutely 1000% perfect.

      Maybe a future board with more logic gates. As it stands, being able to do CPS-2 and Neo Geo MVS is still pretty great!

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        March 24, 2021 6:44 PM

        If a future version can run NAOMI that's an instant buy.

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          March 24, 2021 8:22 PM

          Yeah. I read somewhere that the price jump from a DE10-Nano to an FPGA that would be capable of running those systems would be from $150 to around $1000.

          No idea how long it would take for an FPGA with more logic cores to become affordable, but it will presumably be a while since the DE10 is heavily subsidized by Intel and this isn't mass market hardware

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            March 24, 2021 9:46 PM

            It would actually be thousands to get NAOMI now that I think about it. CPS-3 would be closer, but yeah, still a while away given how slowly hardware iterates into this realm

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              March 24, 2021 9:56 PM

              Make a libretto core for retroarch that emulates that multi-thousand dollar FPGA. Problem solved.

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