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As an experiment I want to code a "Hello World" program for N64 using only assembly code, using no headers, tools, helper files, etc.

I just want to write the assembly code bare bones from absolute scratch, assemble it and have it run through a demanding emulator that can show me the output.

I can't find enough info on how to send the correct data to the RSP for video output though. Can anyone offer me a hand here? Not on helping me program, but with information regarding N64's RSP and how to program it to display text, etc.

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To do something basic like a Hello World program on a console like the Nintendo 64 you wouldn't need to use the GPU to do the rendering, you can just write your message directly to the framebuffer. The framebuffer is were the rendered image is stored before it's scanned out to the TV.

The RCP Documentation linked to at the bottom of this page does a very good job of describing the registers you'd need to modify in order to setup the framebuffer: http://www.dragonminded.com/n64dev/

After setting it up just copy your message as a bitmap to the framebuffer and you're done.

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Like this:

lw 0bRRRRRGGGGGBBBBBA, 0x04400000
lw 0x0140, 0x04400000
sw 0x0140, 0x04300000
sw 0bRRRRRGGGGGBBBBBA, 0x04300000

This sets up the framebuffer using 16-bit color depth, 320x240, and interlaced video with 60Hz timing signals; writing to the screen afterwards can be done various ways.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why isn't this the accepted answer with hundreds of up votes? After reading the explanation for the given code, I've reached enlightenment... \$\endgroup\$ – rodrigo-silveira Mar 5 '15 at 23:27

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