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Featured Topic • Mar 01, 2021 00:14 • Guy Perfect 6 Replies

Bad Apple!! is a musical track from Lotus Land Story, one of the games in the Touhou Project series. A remix with vocals was produced, and a shadow art music video was made for that remix. The video has since gained popularity as a sort of audio/video test case for retro computers, and the time has come for it to appear on Virtual Boy.

This production contains the entire three and a half minute song and music video, presented at the full frame rate of the original. It is unusual for Virtual Boy homebrew in that it occupies 16 MB, which is the maximum size for cartridge memory without supplemental mapping circuitry.

To aid in viewing this demo without the needed kit to run it on the hardware, a slightly modified version has been provided that targets the Mednafen emulator. The audio timing is slightly different between the hardware and Mednafen, so select the version that matches the way you choose to experience it.

Featured Topic • Feb 14, 2021 07:05 • speedyink 11 Replies

Hello all. I’m here to share a very small Sonic tech demo. It was created by a member here, 16-Bit. He was nice enough to allow me to make a fancy forum post to share it with you all.

It showcases an animated Sonic sprite in a small flat cave level. It features a very nice parallax scrolling effect reminiscent of the Genesis/MD Sonic games.

Fwow13 was nice enough to make a label for the HyperFlash 32 cart owners, and TheRedMenace created a nice progress icon as well. Thanks!

I know it’s a very small demo, but it’s still very cool to see the blue (or red?) blur on our beloved system in some form.

Download links to everything should be attached below

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD2aWiNGZlw

News • Jan 19, 2021 20:50 • KR155E 2 Replies

Virtual Boys around the globe finally get to boot the new generation of VB flash carts with Kevin Mellott’s newest creation, HyperFlash32, the first batch of which has recently started shipping to buyers. HyperFlash32 is the first ever flash cart to come with a built-in eInk screen to show a digital label based on what ROM is loaded.

To get a bit into detail, HyperFlash32 is a single ROM Virtual Boy flash cart with 32 Mbit of built in flash memory along with an 8k x 8 nvSRAM that doesn’t require a backup battery. It can be reflashed from ROMs available on the SD card without a computer connected. As such, it crosses the boundary somewhat between a single ROM cart and a multi-ROM cart. Although only one game is loaded at a time, it takes anywhere from 15 seconds to 90 seconds to load a new one. The digital labels and loading bar icons are user customizable. SRAM contents with save data are saved off to the SD card and reloaded as ROMs are swapped out. You can even access your SRAM files to transfer to another HF32, or even to original VB game cartridges. HF32 has built-in capacitive touch buttons on the back to provide a fully self-contained user interface that doesn’t require a computer or GUI. It even has a haptic module to improve feedback on the haptic touch buttons.

Features overview:

  • 32 Mbit Flash memory
  • 8k x 8 nvSRAM
  • SD Card slot
  • e-Ink Digital label that is user customizable
  • Customizable icons for programming bar
  • Capacitive touch buttons on the back for on-screen control
  • USB dev port
  • Haptics

The first batch has long been sold out, but a second one is said to begin to ship in April 2021. If you’re interested in a unit, you can place your order on the HyperFlash32 Order Page. Having in my possesion a prototype unit, I can assure you that it is an awesome and highly recommendable piece of tech!

News • Jan 19, 2021 20:30 • KR155E 6 Replies

Banda Virtual has released another pseudo homebrew minigame for Virtual Boy. That is, a Game Boy homebrew game that was made specifically to be wrapped in M.K.’s Game Boy Emulator to create a VB ROM of it.

“ZXN”, presumably a play on arcade classic Zaxxon, is a simple sidescrolling space shoot’em up game that restarts from the beginning once you get hit, similar to their previous game, Super Jump.

As usual, it has been released on Youtube. You can also find the ROM attached to this post.

I am still looking for a better term for this type of homebrew, by the way, so let me know your ideas. 🙂

Featured Topic • Jan 11, 2021 00:15 • mellott124 46 Replies

I’d like to do a prototype HF32 cart that uses a black/white/red eInk screen like I showed way back at the beginning of the development. The idea behind this is to show what’s the best label that can be produced for these screens and what it may look like on HF32. I also have some other ideas in the background where I’m debating using these tri color eInk screens.

I’m not the best artist so I’m proposing a contest where I’ll give away a free HF32 flash cart ($200 value currently) to the best black/white/red eInk label. I may even throw in a free box set.

The label should be VB themed. It would be great if it was related to a VB game, or possible future game, but that’s not a strict requirement. I’ll pick based on best overall image quality on the eInk screen. Obviously this is based on my personal interpretation. For the b/w/r screen, it is only black, white, or red, no grayscales are allowed. So labels with dithering are likely going to look better. Also, if you review the original HF32 contest, many of the winners had dithering in some shape or form.

The eInk screen is 264 x 176 but I only use a portion of that on the HF32. Basically 236×176 shifted to the far left. There is some vertical clipped as well but its minimal. I’d recommend not putting too much near the top and bottom extreme edges. You can also bleed your background over into the right edge but just be aware it will be masked by the HF32 cover. Please make black –>0, white–>255, and red –>255 in your RGB 24bit bmps. This will keep conversion consistent.

I’ll run this contest 2 weeks and pick a winner on Jan. 24th 2021. I can give you either a normal production HF32 cart, or possibly send a prototype of the b/w/r version. We can discuss when you win. Just be aware that the on-screen interface popular on HF32 now won’t work well for a b/w/r screen. Also like before, I may give away more than 1 prize if there are multiple that really blow my mind. There were too many good ones last time. By entering the contest you also give PlanetVB people permission to use your label on a tri color eInk screen, should one ever become available. If you already paid for a HF32 unit, then I’ll refund your purchase if you’re the winner.

Cannot wait to see what people come up with! Post your 24bit bmps images here for documentation purposes and I’ll download and convert and repost on the screen like before. I’ll attempt to do at least nightly uploads, but may upload more often.

I’m posting some images of my original b/w/r image (although not a very good one) just as an example. As well as some others online that look good despite the screen limitations. Thanks!

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