INES Mapper 178
iNES Mapper 178 is used by some games from Waixing (on a PCB named FS305), Nanjing (on a PCB named NJ0430), Jncota and Henge Dianzi as well as some educational computers from GameStar, a.k.a. Belsonic. The chipset is designed for using 8 KiB of chip-internal unbanked CHR-RAM, but can address external RAM/ROM as well, banked in 8 KiB amounts. Circuit boards described by iNES Mapper 178 connect external RAM as bankable PRG-RAM mapped to CPU $6000-$7FFF.
A company named Gameinis uses this chipset along with an infrared sensor built right into the cartridge shell. This sensor will generate IRQs upon detecting movement. As some non-sensor mapper 178 games are bothered by IRQs that they are not expecting, Submapper 0 denotes the absence, Submapper 1 the presence of the infrared sensor, used by at least the following cartridges:
- Gameinis Boxing+Soccer
- Gameinis Ping Pong
- CPU $6000-$7FFF: 8 KiB switchable PRG-RAM bank
- CPU $8000-$FFFF: 16/32 KiB PRG-ROM bank, switchable
- PPU $0000-$1FFF: 8 KiB unbanked CHR-RAM
- Nametable mirroring: Switchable horizontal/vertical settings
Mode Register ($4800)
7654 3210 --------- .... .SSM ||+- Nametable mirroring || 0: Vertical || 1: Horizontal ++-- PRG banking mode 0: NROM-256/BNROM (PRG A14=CPU A14) 1: UNROM (PRG A14..16=111b if CPU A14=1) 2: NROM-128 3: UNROM but with bit 0 of "fixed" bank selectable (PRG A15..16=11b if CPU A14=1)
Low PRG Bank Register ($4801)
7654 3210 --------- .... .LLL +++- PRG A16..A14
This can be considered an inner bank register for UNROM mode.
High PRG Bank Register ($4802)
7654 3210 --------- HHHH HHHH ++++-++++- PRG A24?..A17
This can be considered an outer bank register for UNROM mode.
PRG-RAM Bank register ($4803)
7654 3210 --------- BBBB BBBB ++++-++++- PRG-RAM A20?..A13
PRG-RAM is mapped to CPU $6000-$7FFF and is banked in 8 KiB amounts.
Some cartridges have an additional infrared sensor. Infrared receiving is working by having two registers:
$5000-$5FFF: [.... ...V] (read only) V = read current bit from IR sensor $6000-$7FFF: [I... ....] (write only) I = set to activate interrupts by infrared signal
The I bit is set at power-on, i.e. without writing to the $6000-$7FFF register, interrupts will be enabled.
- The commonly-available ROM images of
- 宠物: 小精灵 IV (Chǒngwù: Xiǎo Jīnglíng IV), headerless CRC32 0xB0B13DBD
- Education Computer 32-in-1 (Game Star) [!], headerless CRC32 0xF834F634
- will not work when emulated using the above description. The meaning of registers $4801 and $4802 is swapped, and an emulator must shift the value of $4802 one bit to the left before ORing with $4801. While it cannot be ruled out that these games use an alternative version of the hardware, the more likely explanation is that these are simply bad dumps (notwithstanding GoodNES 3.23b's [!] tag) where the dumper confused the two bank registers.
- Supposedly, the new PRG bank is only committed when $4801 is written. Emulating this supposed behavior however will break Ping Pong, while commiting the PRG bank after any $480x write does not seem to break anything else.
- Most of the educational computers using this mapper require Dendy video timing and will freeze at various points when run with NTSC timing.
- The Waixing FS305 circuit board connects PRG A14 directly to CPU A14, making all PRG banking modes except BNROM unusable. Since it writes the correct banking mode to $4800, it does not require any special treatment.