SNES :: Preservation
I am interested in the preservation of not only hardware, but software as well. After all, hardware would not prove very useful if it had no software with which to run on it.
Traditionally, the closest we have had to preservation has been images of read-only memory, distributed by elusive or anonymous individuals. But this approach has many flaws.
1. there is no accountability that images were created properly, and that they are free of unwanted modifications. For instance, it has recently been uncovered that many Super Famicom images have had patches applied to them to disable copier protections, and to allow games to run using slower timings to support earlier copiers with slower memory. Without accountability of who created which image, there is no way to know which other images are now suspect.
2. crucial information is discarded when only the ROM data is copied. PCB-based games have varying board layouts and extra components. This information is important to ensure perfect emulation.
3. there is more to games than just ROM data. Games were distributed as packages: the game box, the instruction manual, the inserts (posters, registration cards, mini-CDs, etc), the cartridges themselves, and finally, yes, the ROM data inside of the cartridges. If we truly wish to preserve these games fully, we must scan in all of this data. And not just at 100DPI JPEG resolution, but at 600DPI PNG resolution, to capture all of the detail.
4. we need consistency. Although it's great to distribute the workload and have hundreds of people copying and scanning, this results in inconsistent quality, and far more people that must be trusted to form a complete set. Ideally, as few people as possible should be involved to create a complete set. From there, of course, we should have as many as people as possible verify the work.
So it is therefore my goal to obtain every SNES game, released for every region, to copy and scan. For legal reasons, I can only release SHA256 hashes of ROM images. But these can be used to validate images that others already own.
To this aim, I need all of the help I can get. Many SNES games are very hard to obtain these days, and they are quite costly, given how many are out there.
This isn't about not trusting other groups already working on archiving SNES games; as I greatly respect their work. It's about consistency, and it's about doing more than has been done by any other group to date with scanning, and it's about technical expertise: I've had to create my own hardware to analyze cartridge PCB layouts ... it's simply not something that others can even do without hundreds of dollars in equipment and very specialized knowledge.
The database archival work I have created is available at the following location:
Super Nintendo (NTSC)725 games
I have completed this set, with the exception that I was unable to scan the manuals due to running out of time and money. However, I have successfully imaged every cartridge and its PCB layout; and scanned every box, cartridge, and PCB.
Super Famicom (NTSC)1440 games
I am currently working on the Super Famicom set.
I would be very gracious for any game or monetary donations to help complete this set. Please see the link in the navigation bar above for a list of games that I currently own. If you have any games not on this list that you would like to donate or sell to me, please contact me on the board.
Super Nintendo (PAL)538 games
As much as I would like to also handle the PAL set, I fear that I most likely won't be able to handle this region.
Here we have games released across roughly a dozen countries. Many with slight variations between regions, many exclusive only to specific countries, and so forth.
And worst of all, the prices are absolutely outrageous. The most expensive individual games are running for up to $500 each when complete with box and manual. Virtually nothing can be had for under $20 anymore.
So for this set, I am hoping to rely exclusively on generous benefactors who will let me borrow their games to scan and return to them. It's a long shot, but we can always dream.