Have you heard about FastROM? If you’re like me and have a nostalgic love for the Super Nintendo games of our childhood, you’re in for a treat. I can see that raised eyebrow, and I’m already halfway convinced that you’ll love this.
The FastROM project is taking on the ambitious task of enhancing the performance of SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) games. It achieves this by optimizing them to run in “FastROM” mode, which operates at a clock speed of 3.58 MHz, as opposed to the slower “SlowROM” mode at 2.68 MHz.
Believe it or not, this upgrade allows the SNES’s processor to read data 33.58% faster, resulting in significantly reduced load times and lag during intense gameplay in our beloved retro games. Think about titles like Super Castlevania IV and Axelay, which have seen remarkable improvements in fluidity thanks to this enhancement.
Now, you might wonder, why didn’t game developers at the time implement FastROM directly in their games? One plausible explanation is cost-efficiency. SlowROM chips were considerably cheaper to manufacture than FastROM chips.
The good news is that you can still benefit from these improvements, thanks to dedicated enthusiasts who have created FastROM patches. These patches are designed to be highly reliable, with built-in checks to minimize errors. They are compatible with SNES emulators, FPGA systems like MiSTer, and even the original SNES/Super Famicom hardware via flash cartridges (cartridges that allow you to load ROMs).
You’re probably curious about how to use these patches to enhance your SNES games. While it may seem a bit technical, don’t fret. I’ve discovered an excellent guide that explains how to apply one of these FastROM patches to the ROM of your favorite game.
As for which games benefit from these FastROM improvements, the list is extensive! I recommend checking it out directly here, curated by Kando Wontu. The list includes titles like Aladdin, Chrono Trigger, Earthworm Jim, various Final Fantasy games, and many more!
So, what are you waiting for? Dive into your childhood memories by rediscovering your favorite SNES games with the FastROM project. And why not share this article with fellow retro gaming enthusiasts?