Rare (NES Driver)
Rare (NES Driver) is an unofficial name of the sound driver used in all of Rare's NES game. It was one of the most popular sound drivers on the NES, being used in almost 50 games. According to David Wise, it was first programmed by Rare's founder Chris Stamper and later programmed by Mark Betteridge. It isn't exactly clear when Mark worked on the driver, but his first credit is in Cobra Triangle, so he can be assumed as a sound programmer.
David Wise was the only person to compose music in the driver, but others used the driver for sound effects. To compose music for the NES, he had to write the music in 6502 assembly machine code. To do this, Wise would have to write with hexadecimal numbers. In an interview, David Wise elaborated how it worked:
The driver was used in all regions; North America, Europe, and Japan. The first game to use the driver was Slalom, released in 1987. The last game to use the driver was Battletoads Double Dragon, released as late as 1993.
The driver is one of the few to take advantage of the DPCM channel, but only in rare instances. It was used in Pin-Bot for sound effects, and was used in the Battletoads games, and makes its most notable appearance as the pause music to Battletoads.
B-5 = 38 A#5 = 3B A-5 = 3F G#5 = 42 G-5 = 46 F#5 = 4B F-5 = 4F E-5 = 54 D#5 = 59 D-5 = 5E C#5 = 64 C-5 = 6A B-4 = 70 A#4 = 77 A-4 = 7E G#4 = 86 G-4 = 8E F#4 = 96 F-4 = 9F E-4 = A9 D#4 = B3 D-4 = BD C#4 = C9 C-4 = D5 B-3 = E2 A#3 = EF A-3 = FD G#3 = 10C G-3 = 11C F#3 = 12D F-3 = 13F E-3 = 152 D#3 = 167 D-3 = 17C C#3 = 193 C-3 = 1AB B-2 = 1C4 A#2 = 1DF A-2 = 1FC G#2 = 21A G-2 = 23A F#2 = 25C F-2 = 280 E-2 = 2A6 D#2 = 2CE D-2 = 2F9 C#2 = 326 C-2 = 356 B-1 = 389 A#1 = 3BF A-1 = 3F8 G#1 = 435 G-1 = 475 F#1 = 4B8 F-1 = 501 E-1 = 54E D#1 = 59E D-1 = 5F4 C#1 = 64D C-1 = 6AE