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Thread: GBA multiplayer over DS wireless

                  
   
  1. #1
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    Default GBA multiplayer over DS wireless

    I just had an urge to look into anything that could allow me to play my multiplayer GBA games over wireless with another DS doing the same thing, but I haven't found anything so here I am asking about it.

    I have a CycloDS Evolution, an EZflash 3-in-1, and several multiplayer-capable GBA games, which should be more than enough for such a thing to work. I have my games backed up and I use them with the 3-in-1 for convenience and for trying new things, and no I don't pirate or cheat in multiplayer.

    It seems like a somewhat simple task considering that GBA games can be booted with a graphical border around it, which I think is a decent indicator that extra DS hardware functions can be used while playing a GBA game. I don't know all the in-depth stuff, but I'm assuming all that is needed is a DS application that configures and enables the DS wireless/wi-fi which is then hooked to the GBA multiplayer connection when booting from the GBA slot.

    Playing multiplayer DS games over wi-fi which are designed only for the proprietary wireless protocol would also be very awesome, but that's not my focus of this thread. Such a thing might require that the games be backups and can't be run from their original cards, unless perhaps the application works like the NDS Backup Tool where the flash card is replaced with the game card after starting the utility.

    So, does anyone happen to know if anything like this is available or if anyone is working on it or wants to develop it? If not maybe you can post your support for it to encourage developers to pick it up.

  2. #2
    DCEmu Old Pro DanTheManMS's Avatar
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    Won't work.

    All DS hardware is disabled entirely when GBA mode is enabled. While yes, you can set a border before launching a GBA game, once in GBA mode there is no way to change that border or access the additional pixels in any way. When playing a GBA game there is no way to access the wifi hardware at all.

    If you could boot a GBA game straight from the slot and have it add its own border, then yes it would be a good indication of the DS hardware being accessible from within GBA mode, but unfortunately this is not the case. It's more of a case of storing some data in memory before shutting out access to it.

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    What about DS homebrew with the .ds.gba extension, don't those boot in GBA mode before switching to DS mode? I'm not sure how limited that switching capability is, but it seems like something cool could be done with it.

    I think I know the answer to this, but just to confirm, is there no way for the DS to run in GBA mode under DS mode? From what I've seen DS mode has full access to all the hardware that GBA mode has access to, most importantly the ARM7 and the GBA slot. So it sort of puzzles me why DS mode can't do it.

    If there is absolutely no way it can be done and there's no way my questions/brainstorming will reveal possible options, as in it has already been heavily explored by programmers that know both modes of the DS, then I guess it would be best to change focus to the other thing I wanted: wi-fi for DS games that use proprietary wireless.

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    DCEmu Old Pro DanTheManMS's Avatar
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    The *.ds.gba format is nothing special. It's the exact same as the *.nds file but with a small header attached to the front of it. This is needed so that the program can be flashed to traditional *.gba flash carts (Flash2Advance, X-rom, etc). It doesn't switch to GBA mode at any time.

    Yes, the DS has control over both the ARM7 and ARM9. The main problem is that the ARM7 functions in two entirely separate ways depending on whether you're in DS mode or GBA mode. For example, there are some essential trig functions the ARM7 can do in GBA mode but not in DS mode, and the same goes the other way around. In DS mode, the ARM7 mostly only controls the touchscreen, speakers, and wifi (among other things), while in GBA mode it handles EVERYTHING.

    Exophase (the one who emulated the GBA on the PSP) has stated that while it might be possible to translate GBA ARM7 commands into DS commands on the fly, it would be very buggy and prone to incompatibilities and graphical glitches. The only other alternative would be a purely software-based renderer, which would be slow as molasses if it was ever created.

    Stephen Stair, the guy behind the homebrew DS wifi library, has already attempted DS tunneling; that is, using standard wifi in place of local ad-hoc traffic for games that only have local wireless options. He gave up after a while, as the DS has very strict timing requirements when using local wireless, whereas when using wifi it accommodates for slower transfer times and missed packets.

  5. #5

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    First Post! Be soft

    I do think this would be possible. You could just mod the firmware. Although im not certain it would work but if moded the GBA's BIOS and stuff perhaps you could trick the DS into DS mode, You could then try and make the wifi be somthing like a link cable the only bad bit is that the packets may not be traveling fast enough but from what I know this could be fixed with a patch

    Learning how to make DS Homebrew
    But until then

    Calling all skilled developers is this possible

  6. #6
    DCEmu Old Pro DanTheManMS's Avatar
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    How do you plan on modifying the BIOS? It's kinda a permanent thing. Plus the DS's firmware is only 256 KB, which isn't a lot of space to put your own code. Also, the ARM7 functions entirely differently in DS mode than it does in GBA mode, so you can't run GBA games correctly unless you're in GBA mode to begin with.

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    It cannot run on GBA + Wifi, but now in DSi it can maybe be done by emulating from slot1, and running on slot1 (NDSi Mode) so, maybe just maybe it can be done.

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    If that's the case I might be buying a DSi, but I want to see it first.

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    Hmm I was thinking of iPlayer's GBA emulator, but I wouldn't know it probably won't work. Seems like it could.

  10. #10
    DCEmu Old Pro DanTheManMS's Avatar
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    With the advent of the GBA emulator for the iPlayer, anything is possible. Wireless could indeed be used if the feature was coded in, and this is because it's running in DS mode when emulating the game. This is different than just popping a GBA cartridge into slot-2 of a DS, which runs entirely in GBA mode and doesn't have access to the wifi hardware.

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