Posts

How to Emulate Retro Video Games

Emulators

First thing’s first. You need to download yourself the emulators you want. If you are using a Mac, look no further than OpenEmu. If you are on Windows I am afraid I can’t be of much help.

about-open-emu

8 and 16 Bit Consoles

This includes consoles and handhelds like Sega Master System, Genesis, NES, SNES, Turbo Grafx 16, Gameboy, Gameboy Advanced and a few others.

There is nothing hard about playing these roms. You can simply google “Whatever NES Rom Download” and get the file. You will probably be directed to Romnation, Coolrom or Emuparadise. Those sites are fine, although if you want to save yourself a bunch of trouble you might want to download the No-Intro collection from Archive.org (https://archive.org/details/No-Intro-Collection_2013-06-14). You can download the whole torrent file, or browse the collection and download the specific titles you want.

If you are dealing with roms from sources other than the No-Intro-Collection you probably want to make sure to get roms that have the suffix (U) for United States and (!) for verified good. Sometimes it’s fun to dabble in (E) European games as some of them never saw US release.

MAME

MAME roms (arcade games) are a special case. Before you can play many of the games you need to download and install some device roms and bios files. Think of these as circuit boards you need to install. Namco games like Pac Man, for example, require the Namco boards to be installed in your “machine.” NeoGeo games like Metal Slug require the NeoGeo hardware. Here are all the bios I currently have installed:

Device Roms

22vp931
bsmt2000
h63484
ldv1000
mb90082
midssio
mie
mpeg573
namco50
namco51
namco52
namco53
namco54
namco62
pr8210
qsound
simutrek
tms32031
tms32032

Bios Files

cpzn1.zip
cpzn2.zip
decocass.zip
konamigv.zip
konamigx.zip
maxaflex.zip
megaplay.zip
megatech.zip
neogeo.zip
pgm.zip
playch10.zip
shtzone.zip
skns.zip
stvbios.zip

That is not an comprehensive list, but I have been trying tons of games so this is a good start. Search for those, download them and drag them.

If a game doesn’t work, chances are it’s because you are missing one or more of these bios files. Figuring out what you need might take some googling.

If you are on Mac and using OpenEmu, you can use Console.app to determine what it is. Just open Console, open the rom that doesn’t work and read the error message. Here is a message I generated as an example trying to play Battle Toads without the right bios installed:

OpenEmuHelperApp[856]: MAME: Audit failed with output:
btoads : bsmt2000.bin (8192 bytes) – NOT FOUND (bsmt2000)

As you can see, bsmt2000.bin was not found. Once bsmt2000 is installed the game will run no problem.

I don’t know how or what is going on from a legal standpoint but Archive.org just has every game. You can download every MAME rom in a huge 42GB file, or you can browse the collection using this link:

http://archive.org/download/MAME_0.149_ROMs/MAME_0.149_ROMs.zip/

Once there, you can just search for any ROM you want. Make sure to download all of the bios files listen above. MAME roms don’t always have obvious names. If you are having trouble figuring out what to download search for your game on MameDB to figure out it’s filename. For example the game Battle Cross is called battlex.zip.

Playstation

Playstation is another special case that requires bios files to run. You will need to download and install: scph5500.bin, scph5501.bin and scph5502.bin. The last one is pretty hard to find (I never could get one that works) but you can instead download scph5552.bin and rename it scph5502.bin and it seems to be the same. Here is the official page of required bios files.

I would link to them to make it easy for you but the links for these things are kinda … sketchy. They are often down, look disgusting, or unreliable so it might take you a bit of effort to find reliable downloads. The good news is once you get them installed, PSX emulation is pretty much flawless.

When you download a PSX game you will need to unzip it. Inside that folder is probably going to be one .cue file and one or a bunch of .bin files. You only need to drag the .cue file into OpenEmu and the PSX game should show up.

Enjoy

Have fun exploring all the games you might have missed, and replaying all your childhood favorites. There are many other games and other systems out there and some require some hoop jumping and I am not equipped to write guides for them all. If you want to dig deeper you can try asking me, but i can’t be sure I can help.

Mac Emulation with Open Emu

,

I would like to introduce all of you fellow Max user to the greatest emulator on the market. A group of very talented developers created the application OpenEmu.

open-emu-interface

OpenEmu is a multi-emulator front-end that has an interface similar to iTunes and it can emulate pretty much any game you could hope for. Look on the left panel on this image. Just look at all those systems! What the hell is a WonderSwan!? Find out by downloading some roms and checking it out!

how-to-download-roms

Installation

Installing OpenEmu is easy just go to OpenEmu.org and use the download button. But make sure you click on the little arrow and get the experimental build. You will need the experimental build to emulate some of the less “stable” consoles, as well as MAME, don’t worry they all work fine.

oe-experimental1 oe-experimental2

Playing

Installing games is easy! You drag pretty much anything into the game panel and OpenEmu will know what it is. You don’t even need to unzip the games. I have tested at least 80% of the consoles and they have all worked. Sometimes OpenEmu will get the art for the game automatically, other times you may need to drag and drop some art on the blank games but even that is easy as can be. If you need help downloading games, please check out my emulation game downloading guide. If you want to see OpenEmu in action you can check out my NES AtoZ series.

Get to Work

There you have it, it couldn’t be easier to play all the game you grew up with. OpenEmu makes it easy to play the classics, and it even makes the interface look good. If you need any additional help getting anything going you an contact the developers directly in the OpenEmu IRC channel on freenode. What are you waiting for?

Arcade

MAME emulator
replay childhood memories
the arcade again

modern controller
controls a two-button game
Miyamoto smiles

Game Night

all technology
finally comes full circle
… only for Android

unfortunately
I forget my doggie bag
but got my fortune

Great Wall of Catan
will it ever be complete?
game within a game

Dungeon Master 2 Spellbook

,

Dungeon Master to is a fantastic old game that I am very fond of. One of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of this game was figuring out the magic system on my own. Unfortunately the gaming world and the mentality of gamers (even my own) has changed since those days. What would have been a fun mystery to discover when DM2 was first released would now be considered bad usability. This is a real shame because the feeling of learning something on your own made you feel like you are outsmarting the game. A feeling rarely replicated in a world where everything needs to be spelled out.

In order to increase this excellent game’s appeal among new gamers I have done all of the leg work and created a Dungeon Master 2 spell list, or quick reference guide. So recruits your company of wizards and enjoy immense power right from the start of the game! Want to shoot fireballs but can’t be bothered to figure out how? Don’t even worry about it just check out my guide! If you want to try out this amazing and FREE game please consult my retro gaming guide.

dungeon master 2 spells reference guide book

alt

Retro-Gaming Made Easy

alt People often see me enjoying the wonders of retro gaming on my PowerBook and they ask me “How do you play those old games?” or simply say “I wish I had that on my computer!” Well everyone can, it’s easy peasy! Every aspect is free and time-tested. There are only two steps. Download an emulator, download a rom (game), open the rom with the emulator. That’s it! Optionally, you may want to get a controller to make your experience more enjoyable. I use an Xbox360 controller for all my retro gaming needs and it has been perfect. I am going to make this whole process so easy for you there is no excuse. I have provided all the links, done all the research, read on, and relive your memories!

Read more