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Getting back into MAME


earlymodernsteve
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This is kind of an AtF question but figure it belonged more here and hopefully can generate some wider discussion too. I haven't touched MAME since around 2003 on my old Tiny PC beast. I've recently got the itch to go back to it having been binging Kim Justice videos but it looks a lot more complex nowadays with ridiculous sizes ROM sets. I'm really only interested in up to about 2005 or so at the latest so is there a recommended way of getting classic era stuff outside of either ludicrous complete or laborious individual approaches? I'm happier with individual emulators rather than complicated frontends so not necessarily interested in RetroArch style affairs either. 

 

Tl;Dr How do I MAME in 2021?

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I am using MAMEUI64 with a 0.215 ROMset. There are obviously newer versions of MAME but as they keep messing about with the way it handles ROMs I just stick with this. It plays the vast majority of the classics perfectly fine. Once you get into 3D things get sketchier but by the sounds of it you'll not be interested in that.

 

I know there are MAME aficionados who know how to merge sets and use data files to keep theirs up to date, I'm not one of them. I just think if the version matches the set you're good to go. You're on your own finding the sets though.

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Mame does get updated regularly, I’d be surprised if a romset that old was compatible on most games, and I really wouldn’t want to run a version of Mame that old. 


I would just suck it up and download the latest merged set which will run you about 50GB and then download CHD’s as needed.

 

Keep in mind that updates to Mame are in no way geared towards increasing support for newer games, if you look through the changelogs an awful lot of resource is invested in supporting or improving the accuracy of games way before 2005.

 

Configuration isn’t too bad really, as long as you aren’t doing anything too obtuse. There are a few quirks and some performance tweaks but I’d say it’s considerably easier than most console emulators these days.

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The thing with MAME is that the ROMs change over time as well as the emulator.  When MAME really started aiming for accuracy of emulation above gameplay it broke loads of stuff in the short term, even if it was the right thing to do long term.

 

For example, Asteroids used to play perfectly on my (then) very old PC, and used audio samples for the sound effects. At some point they got rid of that and emulated the sound hardware, which sounded inaccurate and made the game run like a dog.  Over time PCs got more powerful and could play Asteroids perfectly on a system that was a more genuine accurate emulator. But it means that the latest version of mame might run the game you like worse than an earlier one. The emulation itself may be technically better but who cares?  I just want to play Asteroids!

 

I also find that, on my current PC (still rather old) the Mame architecture is demanding. I can play Ridge Racer perfectly on the emulator VivaNonno, but it runs abysmally on MAME.  I'm going to experiment with MAME on Xbox Series via Retroarch but can't see it being special really. 

 

If you want the latest MAME , I recommend you solve this puzzle.

 

1 - what are the initials of the movie where Will Smith fights a big metal spider?

 

2 - what's the first name of EastEnders Nick Cotton's mum?

 

3 - Frankie says, welcome to the what?

 

4 - what was the answer to question 2?

 

5 - what "o" is the first three letters of the point of climax during intercourse?

 

6 - Nick Cotton's mum again?

 

7 - what is a 2 letter abbreviation of United Kingdom?

 

Solve this riddle young traveller, and all MAME downloads are ratio free.  Chrome doesn't like it, but I've never had an issue, and just use edge instead.

 

edit : holy shit, just 2 days later that website closed down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also there's the thing called either torrentzip or CLRmame where your MAME folder remains constant, like all in the correct layout etc.  So when a new MAME gets released there's a torrent that just updates and changes the ROMs you need and saves you redowloading it all. 

 

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On 26/09/2021 at 11:39, dumpster said:

The thing with MAME is that the ROMs change over time as well as the emulator.  When MAME really started aiming for accuracy of emulation above gameplay it seemed the right thing to do in the long term but it broke loads of stuff in the short term. 

 

For example, Asteroids used to play perfectly on my (then) very old PC, and used audio samples for the sound effects. At some point they got rid of that and emulated the sound hardware, which sounded innacurate and made the game run like a dog.  Over time PCs got more powerful and could play Asteroids perfectly on a system that was a genuine accurate emulator. But it means that the latest version of mame might run the game you like worse than an earlier one. The emulation itself may be technically incorrect but who cares? 

 

I also find that, on my current PC (still rather old) the name architecture adds extra demands on the hardware. I can play Ridge Racer perfectly on the emulator VivaNonno, but it runs abysmally on MAME.  I'm going to experiment with MAME on Xbox Series via Retroarch but can't see it being special really. 

 

If you want the latest MAME , I recommend you solve this puzzle.

 

1 - what are the initials of the movie where Will Smith fights a big metal spider?

 

2 - what's the first name of EastEnders Nick Cotton's mum?

 

3 - Frankie says, welcome to the what?

 

4 - what was the answer to question 2?

 

5 - what "o" is the first three letters of the point of climax during intercourse?

 

6 - Nick Cotton's mum again?

 

7 - what is a 2 letter abbreviation of United Kingdom?

 

Solve this riddle young traveller, and all MAME downloads are ratio free.  Chrome doesn't like it, but I've never had an issue, and just use edge instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite this fantastic puzzle it seems PD is gone 🙄

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Cheers, @dumpsterThe aforementioned CDRs are from you back in the day :) I solved your fiendish puzzle and followed the link to the Reddit page that has replaced it and am now downloading a current merged rom set so all should hopefully be fine in a few hours when that's done... (65GB in the end). The arcade stick is for my birthday next Tuesday so that should coincide quite nicely.

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2 hours ago, earlymodernsteve said:

Cheers, @dumpsterThe aforementioned CDRs are from you back in the day :) I solved your fiendish puzzle and followed the link to the Reddit page that has replaced it and am now downloading a current merged rom set so all should hopefully be fine in a few hours when that's done... (65GB in the end). The arcade stick is for my birthday next Tuesday so that should coincide quite nicely.

Oh - I didnt work out how to get to the downloads - I will give it another go. 

 

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3 hours ago, dumpster said:

Oh my god the timing. The site worked the other day when I  posted the lin... I mean quiz.

 

 

Seems to have gone the way of the dodo but the mame sets are available via their reddit page but that's it. They had been going for bloody years and it's a real worry how retro stuff is going to become available over the coming years.

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  • 3 months later...

I've got MAME setup pretty well on my system, but been reading a bit about FBNeo. Is there a preference for which one to use? I trimmed my MAME set to get rid of supposed broken roms, japan only, etc but it still misses some stuff I like, such as Super Hang On, which I had to add manually. 

If I understand correctly, FBNeo is a set about playability over preservation, so I should all being well have every playable arcade game that is in MAME on that correct?

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FBNeo is optimised for a subset of MAME roms basically, you see it used a lot on Raspberry Pi based setups where the raw power wasn't always there (pre pi 4 at least). In theory every FBNeo rom should work, but it won't include every rom that works in MAME, so it doesn't have equal coverage . On any PC with enough processing power i'm not sure FBNeo really adds anything.

 

Are there particular games that aren't working in MAME? 

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15 minutes ago, phresh said:

FBNeo is optimised for a subset of MAME roms basically, you see it used a lot on Raspberry Pi based setups where the raw power wasn't always there (pre pi 4 at least). In theory every FBNeo rom should work, but it won't include every rom that works in MAME, so it doesn't have equal coverage . On any PC with enough processing power i'm not sure FBNeo really adds anything.

 

Are there particular games that aren't working in MAME? 

 

None in particular, just based on what was read. So would FBNeo be better for things like the RG351?

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  • 3 months later...

On a spur of the moment, I thought it would be fun to have a bit of fun retro arcade goodness in my life, so decided to download the latest version of Mame and play some Neo-Geo games.

 

Oh god.

 

I haven't used MAME for years and years, and whilst I get the general workings of putting rom.zips in the right folder, I'm having a devil of a time trying to get Metal Slug to run on the thing. 

 

I've got what I think is the correct rom. I've got what I thought was the right neo-geo bios and bunged that in the same folder. 

 

Still multiple files missing etc.

 

Trying to find an idiot's guide to get things working seems to be impossible - most of the people commenting on various reddit threads have poles stuck so far up their bottoms it's genuinely upsetting.

 

Anyone got some clues, as otherwise I'll go back to normalcy.

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For me, retro arch plus downloading all the mane cores , which is easy and done through retro app itself. Not perfect but good enough

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Get MameUI instead of Mame as it’s a touch easier to use without a front end. For roms you want the same version romset as the MameUI version you downloaded.

 

Internet Archive has merged romsets which are a bit awkward in that you can’t necessarily just download the game you want. If space isn’t an issue just download the full set. For neogeo and others you’ll need bios files, which are probably on IA as well but I haven’t checked. These should all be version labelled as well, make sure everything matches.

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