Interested in video game emulators?
May 13, 2002 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Interested in video game emulators? Yearning for the games of yesteryear? There is probably an emulator for any 'classic' game that you could wish to play. General arcade emulators, SNES, NES, Genesis, Atari 2600, et al. For the truly curious, listen to the story of the emulator that almost was, Silhouette, the emulator Nintendo almost released.
posted by patrickje (32 comments total)
Ahh, the biggest curse of Mac OS X – it’s inability to emulate Jurassic technology. The chance to play "Techmo Bowl"may be reason enough to switch over to the Windows side of the world!
posted by herc at 5:26 PM on May 13, 2002

A little while ago, the best resource for MAME roms that I knew of, stopped allowing downloads because they got a notice from a copyright holder. Does anyone know a good MAME rom site?
posted by eyeballkid at 5:32 PM on May 13, 2002

I don't know, finding ROMs is like snipe hunting, by the time you find a site it's not there anymore. Honestly, the best answer is probably IRC or the alt.binaries.emulators.* newsgroups. I've had MAME forever, I just recently got ZSNES, now Super Punchout, and Super Mario World are mine again.
posted by patrickje at 5:43 PM on May 13, 2002

I place a bounty of $50(NZ) on the emulator that can run Exile (the Amiga port) without mangled graphics and frames.

Back to the Roots, an A500 archive site, has Nebulus, Carrier Command, D-Generation, First Samurai... yes, much spooge be had.
posted by holloway at 5:45 PM on May 13, 2002

Bah! I play classic games using the massive gray box currently plugged into my TV with a real controller.

Anything else would be heresy.
posted by fuq at 5:48 PM on May 13, 2002

I hate to burst your bubble, but the Silhouette project was basically just a release of SNES97 after the project was shut down, but before it became SNES9x... I've played it and the interfaces were almost identical. You'll note that story gives absolutely no explanation of why Nintendo would develop an emulator for the Mac, when no one but the graphic design department used them...
It was the best SNES emulator for the Mac until the SNES9x project was reborn, though.
eyeballkid: get a commercial Usenet account, one with good binary group retention.
posted by darukaru at 6:06 PM on May 13, 2002

Ahh, the biggest curse of Mac OS X – it’s inability to emulate Jurassic technology.

Oh, really now?
posted by toddshot at 6:07 PM on May 13, 2002

The Silhouette story was great -- however, I no longer consider pirating SNES games to really be "pirating" -- they're beyond abandonware, in that there isn't even a possibility of them being sold anymore. Does Nintendo really care that I want to play Ice Climbers?

In my opinion, Nintendo (and Sega, etc.) should release official ROMs of whatever games they still hold the copyright to and charge about $2 each for them. Sure, it wouldn't make a lot of money, but the overhead would be so low, why not? They could even let us use freeware emulators... ZSNES in particular is nearly flawless at this point.
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:13 PM on May 13, 2002

An invaluable resource for Macs.
posted by noisemartyr at 6:30 PM on May 13, 2002

Does Nintendo really care that I want to play Ice Climbers?
Considering they're now releasing GameCube games which include entire NES games (including Ice Climbers) in them as bonuses, they just might.
(sorry that the link's to Google cache, but the GIA recently shut down, and their successor site hasn't imported the old content yet.)
posted by darukaru at 6:43 PM on May 13, 2002

I want to play the original Robocop (NES) on my Mac. Is this possible?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:43 PM on May 13, 2002

I no longer have any game that I want *so much* that I feel the need to use an emulator. I'm much more interested in seeing what outdated stuff I can find locally in old stores and secondhand places. Although I do enjoy particularly surreal emulation projects like MAME for the Dreamcast. Then there was a NES emulator for the Gameboy that I ran on a Windows Palm emulator using a copy of Liberty.

Personally, I believe emulation is much more interesting and useful when used for stuff like libraries/archives or mission critical software that's lasted longer than the hardware it was designed for. Using it for "free games" just seems so tacky.
posted by krisjohn at 6:51 PM on May 13, 2002

I would play the games on the original systems, if it weren't for the logistics. I own a NES,SNES,Sega Master System, Sega Genesis/CD/32,Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, and Sony Playstation. Only the Dreamcast (sweet, sweet Jet Grind Radio), and Playstation are hooked up. The sheer amount of cables and space I would have to dedicate to hook all these machines up is ridiculous.
Mission critical?, some nights knocking out Gabby Jay is mission critical.
posted by patrickje at 7:08 PM on May 13, 2002

God Bless Nesticle, is what I'm compelled to say. I'm absolutely thrilled that (emulator bugs aside) I can actually play on my computer just about every NES game that's been made. (And I don't mean that in the hypothetical sense, either; God Bless College Networks, too.)

And I agree pretty heartily with the abandonware sentiment/rationalization. Not only are these games out of print and in some cases very difficult to find, but there's no warranty for decade-old consoles even if you CAN find what you're looking for. Emulation gives these old games a new lease on life.

(Having a hefty ROM archive was also a shock-absorber when I found out that my parents had sold all of my NES stuff -- 30+ games, several accesories [remember the U-Force?] -- for Forty. Fucking. Dollars. at a garage sale.)
posted by cortex at 7:37 PM on May 13, 2002

I want to play the original Robocop (NES) on my Mac. Is this possible?
Yes. Use RockNES.
posted by darukaru at 8:33 PM on May 13, 2002

you better *believe* my boy OS X can emulate!
posted by clango at 8:47 PM on May 13, 2002

darkuru: looks like non OSX Mac people are out of luck with that. Such as me...
posted by ParisParamus at 8:59 PM on May 13, 2002

patrickje: I have hooked up; DC, N64, MegaDrive/CD/32X, NES, 2600, Colecovision and a PC. Not hooked up are; PSX, SNES, SMS, 7800, Atari XEGS, Amiga 500 and C64. Cables aren't that bad now that they're not all hooked up to the same TV. I've got the PC and DC on a 21" VGA, NES and Coleco on a little old TV and the rest on a 68cm TV. Pelican make a great S-Video switching box.

I think I've just worked out how I'm going to setup the PSX, SNES and, ooo, XEGS. Bless Commodore's 1084 monitor series...
posted by krisjohn at 9:09 PM on May 13, 2002

paris - install the carbonlib for mac os 8-9 and you can run snes9x in classic.
posted by atom128 at 9:26 PM on May 13, 2002

It's ALLLLLL about River City Ransom.
posted by Mach3avelli at 9:34 PM on May 13, 2002

ok. where do I find robocop?
posted by ParisParamus at 9:36 PM on May 13, 2002

NE1 got ROMZ???
posted by Down10 at 11:39 PM on May 13, 2002

posted by cortex at 11:45 PM on May 13, 2002

(Forgot my Saturn...)
posted by krisjohn at 12:06 AM on May 14, 2002

The Saturn has the last decent gun game, Virtua Cop. Everything since has been an excercise in sucking wind. For American releases, anyway. Sega never released their first-party light gun for the DC in America, and all the third-party guns were worthless crap. bah!
posted by NortonDC at 6:17 AM on May 14, 2002

it really IS all about river city ransom. all thsoe other games you guys are talking about were just supporting characters..
posted by lotsofno at 8:21 AM on May 14, 2002

23/m/Black Mage Black Mage Black Mage Black Mage
posted by darukaru at 9:49 AM on May 14, 2002

you absolutely rock.
posted by das_2099 at 11:12 AM on May 14, 2002

I didn't say I could win with them. Just that they were my favorite. ;)
posted by darukaru at 2:52 PM on May 14, 2002

My mommy only lets me hook up one console at a time.. Need to escape to uni again.. PS2 wins out over the oldies like the sms, nes and snes.. Although it now has a sms emulator. Kick off once more, yay..

Tetris on my Palm Vx is far superior to on my gameboy - larger screen, and light on the pocket. Oh, and funky backlighting.

Sega should release their old games on the Gamecube - we've seen 3D sonic, why not sonic 1-3? Hell, Atari and Namco release their oldies all the time. And Square should release Final Fantasy 1 - 6 for the PS2 without the bleeding load times that were in the PSX versions of 4, 5 and 6.

Where emulation fails, there is, of course, always EBay - SNES for a tenner, hurrah..
posted by Mossy at 5:14 PM on May 14, 2002

Ahh, the biggest curse of Mac OS X – it’s inability to emulate Jurassic technology.

Whaddya mean! I am running Windows 2000 and Windows XP under OS X without a problem! ;-p
posted by RevGreg at 5:54 PM on May 14, 2002

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