Emulation

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sumodan
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Emulation

Post by sumodan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:56 am

Hi there,

Since I've re-discovered retro games, a mate of mine was telling me that I can discover a whole world of retro games through an emulator, but I don't really understand what this all means. Can someone help?

Basically, I have a PC, and my mate said that I could download an emulator, to play games from the Spectrum, all the way up to around Playstation 1. However, I am a little concerned as it sounds a bit like piracy, but my mate reckons that it's not piracy, and literally everyone does it! He tells me he's going to download MAME onto my PC, is that a good emulator? But if it's illegal, then how else can I buy retro games? I am looking for retro games for the Commodore 64, Amiga, Megadrive, SNES, and the Neo Geo, as these were all the computers/consoles that I previously owned. How can I obtain these legally, if emulators are illegal?

This ex-gamer will be very grateful for any assistance.

psj3809
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Re: Emulation

Post by psj3809 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:05 am

Welcome to the world of emulation !

There are tons of emulators out there, i personally love MAME (Emulates old arcade games such as Commando etc) and of course ones for the Sinclair Spectrum. For the Speccy many companies have given permission for their games to be hosted at world of spectrum so dont feel 'bad' about playing those.

For the speccy get an emulator from...

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/emulators.html

Then go through the games archive and download tons of games...

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/games/index.html

You can get emulators for most machines, SNES, Gameboy, C64 and many others. Yes theres the whole piracy thing but i personally dont feel guilty about playing some 25 year old game. You'll be telling me next you dont drive over 70 mph ?

http://www.lemon64.com is the best site for C64 games. As for other machines you normally have to go to a 'dodgy' site to download tons of megadrive or SNES games. Obviously cant post links here but a quick google and you'll find em.

I dont feel guilty about downloading these old games, if i can get them for my latest console/gadget (eg the iphone) then i'll buy them. But most of the time i cant so i want to play those old classics from yesteryear, i google and find the game and then download an emulator.

http://www.zophar.net/ - has a list of LOTS of emulators. No ROMS (games) are here though so you'll have to hunt those out for yourself (very easy).

MAME is a brilliant emulator, i love all those classic 80's and early 90's games, amazing how MAME works. But yeah youre right in a way, you try to go 'legal' but you cant easily do that. There are compilation sets for the X-Box and other machines and some for the PC. But theres no clear cut series of discs you can legally buy to get all these games.

I would feel guilty playing some game which is 3 years old but i dont feel bad about playing some 25 year old game (some of which i even bought back then on tape !).

Anyway enjoy, theres tons of great playable games out there for you to re-discover, the graphics/sound might be dated but the gameplays still superb.

You can get a lot of emulators for the latest consoles as i've mentioned. I've got an ipod touch, got a C64 emulator on that, theres a legal PC Engine (Turbogrfx) one also, quite a few arcade game originals to play on it and a Speccy app as well

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STranger81
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Re: Emulation

Post by STranger81 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:08 am

Hes got the whole world of emulation at his feet and the first thing you do is point him towards the Spectrum! You disgust me.

What you should have linked to is this: http://www.winape.net/
Xbox gamer tag: kingboo81

sumodan
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Re: Emulation

Post by sumodan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:12 am

lol, my first computer was a Spectrum, so I hold it in high regard! Although I do think the Neo Geo was the most playable console, ever, even if it did cost an absolute fortune!!! Now, to play Metal Slug, or Samurai Showdown (why did they keep mispelling it Shodown?) would be unbelievable.

So basically, emulators are legal? But downloading games aren't? Is that right? I have to say, the world of gaming has changed so much in the last 10-14 years!!! AND, I cannot believe that computer magazines like C&VG are still around! Brought back some old memories for sure!!!

psj3809
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Re: Emulation

Post by psj3809 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:25 am

Well there are even certain 'sites' where you can buy a dvd of all the scanned magazines. I've got ones of Crash, Your Sinclair and C&VG. Amazing to look through all these years later.

You can get a Neo Geo emulator which works well, playing Metal Slug as you mention is superb. Also SNES , the memories of Super Mario Kart or Mario Land is brililant. Also the Game Boy and all the great games you get for that. Once you find a site then i'm sure you'll be downloading like crazy ;)

You can get emulators for a whole bunch of machines, eg Speccy/Gameboy and other emulators for the Nintendo DS, GP2X (A device mostly for emulators), PSP, X-Box and many others. The world of emulation is popular for most of the main consoles/handhelds. I know a lot of people here rave about emulation on the DS for example.

The PC has tons of emulators obviously. Theres also a lot of homebrew games, eg on the Speccy theres a lot of 'new' games which have been created for the Speccy (tape and emulator version) which often the authors give away for free.

Over at WOS (World of Spectrum) theres lots of emails from old companies giving permission to host the games. Some are denied (Ultimate and Codemasters) but a quick google and you'll find em ;)

But yeah its a great scene to get into, remember in the mid-late 90's when i discovered emulation, it was brilliant getting all those memories back, MIcro Machines on the Megadrive, or Manic Miner on the Speccy etc. So many games out there.

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Liamh1982
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Re: Emulation

Post by Liamh1982 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:55 am

It's obviously a grey area, but I don't know of anyone who got into big trouble for playing a few ROMs.
Arcade and console emulators are your best place to start, as they tend to be easier to use. Here's the emus you should be Googling:

Mega Drive/32X/Mega CD/Master System/Game Gear

Kega Fusion or GENS both do a fantastic job of emulating all of these consoles in one. Fusion is my personal preference but I'm splitting hairs.

Super Nintendo

BSNES runs practically every game absolutely flawlessly.

NES

JNES and VirtuaNES are your best bets here.

Game Boy/Color/Advance

Visual Boy Advance is easily the best choice.

Neo Geo

MAME of course (you will need the Neo Geo BIOS), or Kawaks if you want a more specific solution.

Neo Geo Pocket/Color

NeoPop runs every available ROM superbly well.

Nintendo 64

Project 64 isn't perfect, but the vast majority of games are playable.

Atari 2600

Stella is your no.1 option.

Atari 7800

ProSystem is the only specific one available, and does a more-than-decent job.

Jaguar

Project Tempest is far from the finished article, but all of the big name Jag games are playable.

Lynx

Handy does a good job, but you MUST have the Lynx boot image.

PC Engine

Magic Engine is superb, but you do have to pay to register it, otherwise you can only play for 5 minutes at a time. The best free option is Ootake, there's some Japlish but it's OK.

After this, it starts getting a bit more complicated. Hope this was of some use.

sumodan
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Re: Emulation

Post by sumodan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:24 am

I can't wait to go through this thread again later tonight!!! Loads to go on, so thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

So basically, as it's a grey area, it's neither legal nor illegal? Seems odd that the software publishers seem happy for the general public to "emulate", but hey-ho, if it saves me money!!!! Don't think my missus will see me for a few months once I've gotten a few games together for a bit of retro overkill!!!

I presume it's all dead easy? Download an emulator and then download the games? Is it that easy? If so, then forgive me for asking, but why doesn't everyone do it??????

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nemerodius
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Re: Emulation

Post by nemerodius » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:30 am

The problem is, what to play first :?
Nintendo id.....alandd.

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thevulture
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Re: Emulation

Post by thevulture » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:34 am

:D when i 1st 'dabbled in the dark art' of Emulation on PC, i was on Dial UP internet.Managed to pick up various 'Retro Arcade' DVD's off Ebay, basically MAME, Snes, MD, Neo-Geo Emulators and stacks of games for each all ready to just instal onto your PC (once you scan'em for Malware).

Saved lot of trouble faffing about with sorting files etc out.godsend for myself.Of course now with Broad Band-Different kettle of fish and since then had CFW on my PSP, bought a soft Modded Xbox off Aztecca, Picked up Mame disc for the Dreamcast, along with MSX, Snes, MD emulators etc.

Emulation really is fantastic thing to get into, even the simple things like being able to save a game at any point and return to it later on and carry on playing, make a world of difference.

Happy hunting

psj3809
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Re: Emulation

Post by psj3809 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:16 am

sumodan wrote:I can't wait to go through this thread again later tonight!!! Loads to go on, so thanks to everyone who has contributed so far.

So basically, as it's a grey area, it's neither legal nor illegal? Seems odd that the software publishers seem happy for the general public to "emulate", but hey-ho, if it saves me money!!!! Don't think my missus will see me for a few months once I've gotten a few games together for a bit of retro overkill!!!

I presume it's all dead easy? Download an emulator and then download the games? Is it that easy? If so, then forgive me for asking, but why doesn't everyone do it??????
Wouldnt say its legal. But take the case of the Speccy, theres tons of emulators for it. Theres a LOT of homebrew games (1994-now) that people have created which they release for free (so legal). At WOS they also contact a lot of old companies to ask permission to host their games (so theyre legal) nd more often than not they say yes. Others they cant get hold of i presume.

But i wouldnt worry about the police coming round to knock on your house or that.

Its sometimes worth scouting ebay as theres often some discs for you to buy which could save a lot of time and effort (eg mame ones), they sometimes stop the listings but often theres a fair few out there.

But its a great feeling when you load up an old favourite and hear that classic tune you were trying to remember. Great trips down memory lane

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Riddler
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Re: Emulation

Post by Riddler » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:02 am

I have a full copy of Magic Engine that i'm happy to share with anyone. No time limits. Just PM me. :D

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thevulture
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Re: Emulation

Post by thevulture » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:44 am

Yeah Ebays a good port of call-As said earlier picked up loads over the years for PC/DC-All burned to disc, ready to rock.Last time i was on there, toying with picking up another Lynx.Plenty of Lynx emulators+Games all on 1 disc going cheap enough.


Word of warning though...Lot of the 8-Bit games are harder than you remember.we've been spoilt by games these last few generations.The 8-Bit stuff? Knows NO mercy. :lol:

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Emulation

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:14 pm

sumodan wrote:So basically, as it's a grey area, it's neither legal nor illegal?
Its fairly black and white in legal terms.

Emulation is legal, providing that it doesn't use any copyrighted code or the owners of that code have given permission to do so.

A prime example is the Spectrum. Spectrum emulation usually uses a copy of the Spectrum roms (the chips that control it). The copyright on those is owned by Amstrad (or used to be, I've a hunch its passed on to another company now). Amstrad released those files into the public domain as long as they weren't used for profit (so you could give away a Spectrum emulator, but not sell it). This makes the Spectrum one of the clearest cases of a legal emulator. Other emulators may not use copyrighted code, but will replicate it in a similar manner, giving the same end result.

Other emulators may require you to source your own rom files - an obvious example is ePSXe, the Playstation emulator. To use that, you're supposed to copy the files from a real Playstation to a PC. Most people won't actually go to that bother, they'll just download a copy of the file they need from the internet, but this is technically illegal, as they're distributing a copyrighted file. Its unlikely you'd actually be pursued for breaching copyright in these instances, but you should be aware of what you're getting into - ignorance of the law isn't a defence that holds up, so your choice should be an informed one.

Downloading games, as has been mentioned, is much the same. If the copyright holder has given the right to distribute it freely, then you're ok. This is why the Ultimate games aren't available - they were asked, and they said no, so responsible websites don't distribute them.

Inevitably, there are websites that choose to ignore the laws or where the UK/US laws don't apply, so these 'missing' games can usually be found with a little persistence, but again be aware of what you're doing. Just because something is legal in a web host's country needn't make it so where you are, your local laws will apply to your downloads.

As with Sony's rom files, technically its illegal to download a copy of a game you own. You have a right to make a backup of your software, but downloading someone else's backup isn't allowed under these laws.

Suffice to say, most of this is ignored in practical terms. When you're looking at a 20 year old videogame that has no current rerelease and an original copy is nigh on impossible to source (and even then it'll be used, thus providing no income to the copyright owner), then its unlikely to be something you're pursued for. On the other hand, downloading God of War when Sony has a new rerelease for the PS3 has obvious moral and legal issues.
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sscott
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Re: Emulation

Post by sscott » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:16 pm

Only problem with emulation is you become spoilt for choice. Doesn't seem like a problem until you have thousands of games.
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Riddler
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Re: Emulation

Post by Riddler » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:00 pm

sscott wrote:Only problem with emulation is you become spoilt for choice. Doesn't seem like a problem until you have thousands of games.
This is so true. When your collecting games especially. It's so much more exciting when you buy the real thing as you may be inclined to play it more, but when you have the rom there's less interest to play it (i reckon).

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