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.
For all the Dungeons & Dragons fans, CAPCOM made some great titles, some unofficial (CPS1) and some official (CPS2). We will have Tower of Doom supported on #MiSTerFPGA this #JTFriday pic.twitter.com/2OffmBADYn— jotego (@topapate) March 24, 2021
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.