Ray tracing can give Nintendo 64 games a pretty powerful visual tune-up.
A software developer, Darío, announced on Twitter that he is adapting the RT64 lighting system used in his Super Mario 64 ray tracing mod for PC to allow this visual tuning to be applied to other N64 games using an emulator plugin. The open-source plugin can be hooked into a PC emulator and used for ray tracing, object motion blur, supporting widescreen resolutions, machine learning upscaling (DLSS) and FPS over 60 in supported games.
The video below shows several games using the early development plug-in, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Paper Mario, Kirby 64, Snowboard Kids, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, and Rocket: Robot on Wheels. It’s planned that the plugin will have to be added manually to specific Nintendo 64 ROM files, so it wouldn’t be an automated system (and that might prevent Nintendo’s legal wrangling…).
“I started this project a month ago to optimize the [Super Mario 64] PC port’s backend as much as possible, and I quickly realized it could evolve into a generic emulation solution that would allow me to apply these enhancements to far more games. This project is very much in its infancy, and it’s several months away from being released, but the results so far are fascinating. I also realize it’s impossible to make every Nintendo 64 game work, as it’s still a manual process to create lighting for a particular title. An exciting side effect of this project is researching a method to interpolate the rendering commands sent by an Nintendo 64 game without actually modifying the game. It means many games that never had 60 FPS patches can run at 60 FPS or more while still running internally at their original rates,” Darío wrote.
Supported titles will be whitelisted in the plugin, but users can experiment with other games with a toggle switch. Darío also plans to make RT64 work for PC ports of Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time fans.
I’d like to reveal that RT64, the path tracer behind sm64rt, is evolving into an N64 emulator plugin.
Here’s a small reel of footage I’ve captured from games that are already showing results.
Ray traced lighting, object motion blur, widescreen, DLSS and 60+ FPS. pic.twitter.com/qLJHzGfKUc
— Darío (@dariosamo) June 3, 2022
— Darío (@dariosamo) May 30, 2022
— Darío (@dariosamo) May 17, 2022
— Darío (@dariosamo) May 6, 2022
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