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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #1
It's come to my attention that, despite not having been updated since 2006, Zsnes remains to be the most popular emulator among gamers, the reasons for this are widely varied. First and foremost, the GUI, it's old-school, it's easy to navigate and overall, very user friendly, second, it's a very very fast emulator and can run on anything that Windows 95 had as long as the processor was 200 MHz or so. Another reason, is people are comfortable with which they are used to and if they don't see a reason to change or upgrade, they likely won't, such is with the case of Zsnes. Without looking at it closely, most games appear to behave normally, but comparing it to a more accurate emulator, like Snes9x and

Higan, many games do not behave normally at all. Zsnes focuses purely on speed, accuracy is dead last, as it was written in pure ASM (assembly) to make it run as fast as possible on weaker machines, but this comes at a cost, many games have quirks that affect the experience.

First issue: Games with co-processors, such as the Super FX/SuperFX-2, S-DD1, Cx4, DSP-1, SA-1, etc all have their sets of issues, listed here, http://emulation-general.wikia.com/wiki/ZSNES#Review

all chips are clocked weirdly and some games run faster than they should, Star Fox, Star Ocean, to name a couple.

Second issue: Transparency, some games used pseudo hi-res mode 7, such as the forest levels in Kirby's Dream Land 3, in Zsnes 1.51, you have to use the old graphics engine by pressing 8, otherwise, trees and underwater levels are opaque and not translucent. Example herehttp://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net...-forest.gif/revision/latest?cb=20130407030521

Third issue: Some games will lockup randomly after a long time of playing, for example Der Langrisser, Super Mario RPG will lock up after two or so hours for no reason at all, Snes9x, Bsnes/Higan do not exhibit this issue.

Fourth issue: Sound, this one's a real killer and hard to notice by many users. Given the fact I have very sensitive hearing, I can pick out bad sound when it's emulated poorly. Most games on Zsnes sound horrible, music not so much, but sound effects stick out like a sore thumb. Some games used a form of audio streaming from the S-SMP (part of the SPC700 processor), Earthworm Jim 2 being one of those games. Zsnes has music, but most of the sound effects, including Jim's voice, are missing.

A video showing the issues in Zsnes, skip to 1:41 to listen to how bad it sounds, games should not have missing sound effects. Both Higan and Snes9x have cycle-accurate S-SMP emulation, meaning compared to a real Snes, it should sound pretty bloody close to the real thing, so close, that one can't tell a difference. This here, is the main reason I don't like Zsnes that much is the fact the sound if so off, and that people don't hear the difference, and is something that I at least wish to address to people who read this thread :) Another killer? The Lavos scream from Chrono Trigger, only two emulators get it right ^_^ http://filetrip.net/view?Ak8TbwrRqs

Now, some people may argue, “But wait, if Zsnes works so well for me, why should I change to Snes9x or Higan when I'm so comfortable with Zsnes?” There's a solution for those who want better emulation, but want to keep the Zsnes GUI, there's actually a mod of Snes9x that uses the old GUI, called ZMZ http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=section&a=details&id=5681 It uses the libretro core of Snes9x (same cores RetroArch uses), so the best of both worlds.

OH! And for those who want to truly test between the two, listen to this :D

Snes9x Super Mario World warp pipe - http://filetrip.net/view?ltjVDgEufF
Zsnes Super Mario World warp pipe - http://filetrip.net/view?cW1oCDe4vh

Pros and cons of each emulator:

Zsnes:
+ User friendly
+ Nostalgic GUI
+ Easy to find and add in-game cheat codes
+ Fast forward, rewind, water/flame effects in GUI
+ Runs on practically all machines with at least 200 MHz and 32 MB RAM
- Poor sound emulation
- Many games behave strangely and some run too fast
- Hasn't been updated since 2007 or so
- GUI is quite dated
- Compatibility lowest of all Snes emulators

(Sound sample: http://filetrip.net/view?cW1oCDe4vh This is not how the warp pipe should sound)

Snes9x:
+ Cycle-accurate sound thanks to Blargg's S-SMP core (passed all hardware tests)
+ Games that require special timing and audio streaming work
+ Sleek GUI
+ High compatibility (only 2nd behind Higan)
+ Games with co-processors run at the correct clock speed
+ Games don't lock up at random
- Not as accurate as Higan, to be blunt only a few games use dot-rendering as opposed to scanline rendering, Higan is the only emulator that does this (or whatever he calls it)
- GUI not as easy to navigate as the one in Zsnes.
Sound in Snes9x, this is how the warp pipe SHOULD sound http://filetrip.net/view?ltjVDgEufF

Comments, feedback, what do you guys think? ^_^ I want to prove to the Temp that not only can I discuss something like this civilly, but also, to help me become better at debating topics, to help develop an appreciation for discussions in general :D I look forward to hearing your replies :D This isn't to force people to change sides, but to help make aware the issues that plague Zsnes and to bring them to others' attention :) Please keep this civil :3
 
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Am I real?
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I have used both and the main issue i had with Zsnes was there were a few RPGs it did not run well...mainly the JAP ones that were translated. I remember playing the original Star Ocean on it and getting about 16 hours into it and it would not take me any further...was so mad. Also the sound quality was pretty bad. Moved to Snes9x about 2 years ago and never looked back.
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #3
I have used both and the main issue i had with Zsnes was there were a few RPGs it did not run well...mainly the JAP ones that were translated. I remember playing the original Star Ocean on it and getting about 16 hours into it and it would not take me any further...was so mad. Also the sound quality was pretty bad. Moved to Snes9x about 2 years ago and never looked back.
Same here, once I moved to Snes9x, never went back, everything just runs so much better, better sound, better stability, Star Ocean ran too fast on Zsnes and would always lock up at a certain part, I think it was the town of Coule I believe. The sound still is pretty bad.
 

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ZSNES is GPL while Snes9x has a no commercial use license. That probably only bothers rms but its kinda lame to have to beg for an exception when adding new feature that uses GPL'd code.
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #5
ZSNES is GPL while Snes9x has a no commercial use license. That probably only bothers rms but its kinda lame to have to beg for an exception when adding new feature that uses GPL'd code.
Didn't know that, but after speaking to the developers on the IRC channel, I know it's gonna be ported to Android, however, contrary to belief, it will use better/updated code. I don't know why Zsnes isn't open source, though it really should be.
 

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I made the switch to snes9x immediately after my super mario rpg saves started disappearing. I was pretty hot about that. Snes9x works wonders though. I had to make my own scanlines for it because the lines are too far apart on theirs. Other than that, it takes care of all my SNES needs.
 
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ヒット激しく速く
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I'll go with Snes9x since that's what i mainly use on my android phone and it works okay, i don't play retro games on my PC anymore but i do like to do it on the go sometimes (by retro i mean PS1/SNES/Turbo GraFX CD/Sega Genesis).
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #9
Snes9x has been more compatible than ZSNES for a very long time (a decade or more).
Of course, however there are people that still firmly believe that "Snes9x is s**t" and that Zsnes is somehow far more superior lol.
 

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Of course, however there are people that still firmly believe that "Snes9x is s**t" and that Zsnes is somehow far more superior lol.
Old ideas die hard. People tend to stick to their most commonly used emulators and forego the convenience and improvements offered by others and even more recent version releases, if for example savestate formats are not compatible.
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Old ideas die hard. People tend to stick to their most commonly used emulators and forego the convenience and improvements offered by others and even more recent version releases, if for example savestate formats are not compatible.
That's what .sram files are for lol, but seriously, Zsnes is truly the IE 6 of Snes emulators. Very popular while being super inaccurate.
 

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ヒット激しく速く
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I think that comment is a bit to much, sure the emulator may be older but it isn't garbage that's for sure, it was a great emulator for both its time and it does a good job to this day, its a great piece of software.
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I think that comment is a bit to much, sure the emulator may be older but it isn't garbage that's for sure, it was a great emulator for both its time and it does a good job to this day, its a great piece of software.
Sample of isolated tests:

Warp pipe sound, real hardware/Snes9x
http://filetrip.net/view?ltjVDgEufF

Warp pipe sound, Zsnes 1.51
http://filetrip.net/view?cW1oCDe4vh

For good measure, the Lavos scream
http://filetrip.net/view?Ak8TbwrRqs

Only Snes9x and Higan get it right.


That's why, bad audio emulation ruins the experience.
 

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ヒット激しく速く
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I'm just saying that just cause its outdated it's no reason to call it a piece of garbage... IMHO it's kind of disrespectful. That's all.
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I'm just saying that just cause its outdated it's no reason to call it a piece of garbage... IMHO it's kind of disrespectful. That's all.
There's no denying that it's S-SMP (sound) emulation is pretty off, or that the CPU timing is also quite askew; as a result, many games do not behave normally or even remotely close. Did you have a chance to listen to those audio samples above?
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #17
You need to calm down and read more carefully what I was saying, your derailing your own topic....
Edited last post, yesterday was a very off day for me. Have you had a chance to listen to those samples of Zsnes and Snes9x side by side?
 

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Fluffy Animal Admirer
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Discussion Starter #19
Just did while not accurate at all i would say the ZSNES one does sound more like its coming from a pipe rotfl.
Perhaps the pipe near a toilet :D LOL
 

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#1 reason I still use ZSNES. All of my save states.
I have literally hundreds of them, and I don't want to try to rebuild all that progress in dozens of games.

It works fine for most games. If ever Byuu decides to make a ZSNES->Hiru save state converter(not likely), I would totally switch.
 
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