How to Emulate Any Console on Your PC

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How to Emulate Arcade Games on Your PC

Arcade game emulator.
All the fun of the original, without the quarters.
The little Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator that could (and could really use a better acronym, too) turned 14 years old this past February, and it still isn't exhibiting much in the way of growing pains, though it continues to be distributed exclusively as a 20MB command-line app.

You're probably not going to like that, so I recommend instead that you obtain the MAME IV/Play GUI, which will make your life a little easier. Download MAME and the GUI, unzip both files to the same directory, and run the 'Play GUI' executable. It's nothing but a (long) list from which to select games, though it supports find-as-you-type.

You won't find much in the way of options in the GUI itself, which is mainly useful for browsing and loading games, but the program does a pretty good job on its own of booting up in a full-screen, scaled-not-stretched display. If that's not the arrangement you want, you can change it from the in-game menu (to do so, press Tab). Use the arrow keys, Enter, and Backspace to navigate; rinse and repeat.

Though there are a few reasonably good stand-alone Neo-Geo emulators, MAME supports every one of that system's games. You'll need to plunk a Neo-Geo BIOS in your MAME ROMs directory for any of the games to boot, but that process is actually a little less painful than usual, as some ingenious folks managed to reverse-engineer the thing a decade ago and now provide it for free as the "Unibios."

MAME emulator options tab
The MAME options tab.

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