MMC2 Magic – How Graphics Work in Punch-Out – Behind the Code

Unique graphics. Giant sprites. No flicker. How on earth does this game work?

The MMC2 chip contained in Punch-Out’s cartridge allows the NES to switch between two pairs of tiles for each half of the pattern table.

While the MMC1 already allows bank switching for graphics, the MMC2 allows the switch to happen in the middle of frame output to the TV.

This mid-screen swap allows the PPU to access the Crowd tile bank to draw the top background and then access a Little Mac tile bank to draw the bottom background.

Wait. Little Mac isn’t a sprite and is created using “background tiles?” Oh yes! And that’s not all…

Let’s dive into it in this latest episode of Behind the Code!

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