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grandta13
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PAL-Optimised NES Games

by grandta13 Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:10 am

I would like to ask what game for the NES were actually optimised to play on a PAL system. I know a number of them were straight conversions that didn't adjust anything to compensate for the lower refresh rate. I figure this information could be useful for both those in PAL regions to help decide if a game is worth importing or not, and also those with NTSC consoles, so they don't get games that run too fast.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by Jagosaurus Sun Apr 05, 2015 8:17 am

Didn't have any luck on NA.

http://nintendoage.com/forum/messagevie ... adid=32607

Found this here.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31702

Are you saying you are using PAL hardware, because regardless of which region you play, if its on PAL hardware it will be at 50hz (17% slower). The hardware is what determines the freq not the software.

Also it is rare for PAL Nes carts to be optimized for play on a 50hz machine, some later games (Super Mario 3, Metroid, etc) have patched the music so it plays at the correct speed (Though the tempo is off).

There are no PAL carts I am aware that have been properly optimized other than Top Gun 2. Kirby tried, but it ended up being Kirby moved at the correct speed but the enemies still moved slow, just a mess
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Gunstar Green
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by Gunstar Green Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:38 am

What I could dig up at Atari Age:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/162560-examining-nes-pal-conversions/

There are several kinds of PAL conversions, as many of you know. I have gone through and examined a few of them:

Black box games and some other early games:
Therse are mostly unchanged from the NTSC version, and will therefore run 17% slower on a PAL NES, with 17% slower music and with a lower pitch. Therse games will run correctly in a modded NTSC console. At some time, the PAL version of Super Mario Bros was patched to run at slightly faster speed than the NTSC version, with slightly faster music at correct pitch. Examples: Ice climber, Wrecking crew, Kid Icarus.

Early Konami games:
Most of therse are just the same case as the Black box games, but many has been fixed to prevent glitches. Despite being patched compared to the original NTSC version, it will still play correctly on a modded NTSC console. Examples: Top Gun, Gradius.

Most games released after early 1987:
The speed of the music has been patched to run correctly. The gameplay is still slow, and the pitch of the music is still lower. Examples: Battletoads, Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid (exception: intro music is of higher pitch than the NTSC version).

Some few games from Nintendo released after early 1987:
Music plays at correct tempo and eventually correct pitch, but the gameplay is slightly faster. Examples: Tetris, Nintendo world cup (in terms of running speed. The actual game-clock may have the 17% slowdown).

One oddball is Kirby's adventure. In the PAL version, the music is identical to the NTSC version, with correct pitch and tempo. The main game engine seems to run with the regulat 17% slowdown, but the odd thing is that Kirby still moves with the same speed as he does in the NTSC version (in other words, Kirby is faster relative to everything else).

Another oddball is Top Gun 2, which seems to run at exactly the same as the NTSC version, and it's therefore the ONLY correctly optimized NES game I have seen so far.
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by insideinfo Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:55 am

This is so confusing :lol:

Is an ntsc game played on a pal console slower than the pal game on a pal console?
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by grandta13 Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:31 pm

insideinfo wrote:This is so confusing :lol:

Is an ntsc game played on a pal console slower than the pal game on a pal console?

To the best of my understanding, most NES games were designed to run on NTSC hardware at 60Hz and weren't changed for the PAL release. So what you get is the same game that runs at normal speed on NTSC hardware and slower on PAL hardware. The only time the NTSC version would be slower than the PAL version is if the PAL version was optimised to run at 50Hz.

In short:
Game on NTSC: 100% Speed
Same game/PAL version on PAL: 83% Speed

Game on NTSC: 100% Speed
Properly optimised version on PAL: 100% Speed

Since the NTSC hardware will play any game at a faster rate than the PAL hardware, a game that already plays at 100% speed on a PAL system will play at 117% speed on an NTSC console.
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by insideinfo Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:25 pm

So a pal game on a ntsc console = 100% speed?
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by grandta13 Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:32 pm

insideinfo wrote:So a pal game on a ntsc console = 100% speed?

Most of the time that is the case; the reason I started this thread was to find the exceptions.
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by Gunstar Green Sun Apr 05, 2015 3:41 pm

The only exceptions on NES seem to be kinda-sorta a few games from 1987 on which have their speed tweaked slightly, kinda-sorta Kirby, and the properly optimized Top Gun 2 (which in a NTSC system would play at 117%) with others having altered music but not gameplay.

So most PAL games run at 83% or slightly higher and would run at 100% or slightly higher on NTSC with Top Gun 2 being the only real exception running at a proper 100% on PAL.

Which games have tweaked music would be a much bigger and more challenging list to figure out.

The only PAL game I own is New Ghostbusters 2 (strangely enough the Australian one even though I got it from the UK) which plays the same as the Famicom version as far as I can tell.
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by insideinfo Mon Apr 06, 2015 2:28 pm

I had an ntsc batman cart that I played on a pal console and I noticed that the music was too slow but I couldn't tell if the gameplay was also slower than my pal cart.

Maybe because the music was slower that I also thought the gameplay was slower but apparently not.
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grandta13
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Re: PAL-Optimised NES Games

by grandta13 Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:07 pm

insideinfo wrote:I had an ntsc batman cart that I played on a pal console and I noticed that the music was too slow but I couldn't tell if the gameplay was also slower than my pal cart.

Maybe because the music was slower that I also thought the gameplay was slower but apparently not.


I just used Nestopia to check and the PAL version of Batman: The Video Game has optimised music but the gameplay is unchanged.
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