Technical Documentation - Dungeon Master for Super NES / Super Famicom

The Dungeon Master game cartridge contains the following main parts:

  • ROM: 1MB (8Mbits, using LoROM memory mapping) containing the game program and data.
  • RAM: 32KB of battery backed Static RAM to store a single saved game. The battery model is CR2032.
  • Enhancement chip: Dungeon Master is the only game containing a 'DSP-2' chip (Digital Signal Processor). This DSP chip helps with graphics processing like conversion from Atari ST bitmap images into SNES bitplane format, scaling and transparency.
    Here is some information about how the program this chip:

The code of Dungeon Master for Super NES / Super Famicom was built from assembly source code, with very large parts being the direct result of the disassembly of the Apple IIGS compiled code (the Apple IIGS and the Super NES / Super Famicom share the same CPU architecture).

The limited amount of RAM in the cartridge is not enough to store a regular saved game. In order to make it fit in the RAM, the developers made two changes:

  • Removal or replacement of some parts of the dungeon to minimize its total size, as can be compared on Dungeon Master CSBuild maps for PC and Super NES / Super Famicom. (Although some minor changes may have been requested by Nintendo to make the game easier)
  • The saved game contains only the differences from the base dungeon instead of the full dungeon data.