ALIAneS - Nintendo Entertainment System Emulator

Return to Projects

ALIAneS is an emulator for the Nintendo Entertainment video game console. Below is a video of it in action. Check it out then read below for more information on the project!

About the (Real) Nintendo Entertainment System

Released in 1985, the NES featured many famous games such as Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong. Powered by a modified 6502 8-bit CPU and a 3A08 Picture Processing Unit (PPU) it was capable of displaying 320 by 240 pixels with 16 colors.

Project Inception and Technologies

The ALIAneS project began in August 2014 after I came across an abandoned tutorial for writing a 4-bit CPU emulator. Although the tutorial blog was abandoned by it's author after only a few posts, it gave me enough knowledge to form a starting point for developing an emulator of my own.

I chose to design an emulator for the NES due to learn how early game consoles worked, it's relatively small instruction set, and because of the existing wealth of knowledge and documentation avaliable online. C++ was my programming language of choice for this project because one of my first term courses was in C++ and I wanted to get myself oriented with the language after programming in Java for years prior.

I outlined the beginnings of the project on my blog, stating that I wasn't sure how far I would take this project as I had never before attempted a project on this scale. I'm glad that I had the continued motivation to develop ALIAneS because I've learned a lot about game consoles, microprocessors, assembly language and more, as well as having a working application to show for it.

Return to Projects