When it comes to screen resolutions, the NES' 256 x 240 is on the tiny side, at least by today's standards. Unfortunately, while snazzy resizing algorithms can help a lot with emulated games, it'd be better if we could fill that space with actual pixels. Now, thanks to Daniel Prilik's "wideNES", you can enjoy Metroid and Mario in a new, expanded way.
As Prilik explains, while the worlds of Legend of Zelda and Metroid are big, they had to be shown 61,440 pixels at a time. In order to fill out a larger viewport, he had to get creative, as there's no way to make old NES games draw "more", so to speak:
As players move within a level, wideNES records the screen, gradually building-up a map of what’s been explored. On subsequent playthroughs of the level, wideNES syncs the action on-screen to the generated map, effectively letting players see more of the level by “peeking” past the edge of the NES’s screen!
Best of all, wideNES’s approach to mapping games is totally generalized, enabling a wide range of NES games to work with wideNES right out of the box!
It's a little tricky to describe, so just check it out yourself below.
Image: Daniel Prilik
Is essence, wideNES uses old images to make it look like the view is larger than it is. There's a lot more to it than that, explained in detail on Prilik's blog.
Unfortunately, you can't use wideNES with your emulator of choice — it only works with Prilik's own ANESE, which while functional, is far behind the likes of FCEUX and Nestopia. But it's good enough to try out... if you legally own the ROMs, of course.
wideNES [Daniel Prilik]