How many of us, when young spent so much money playing in arcade machines? How much time have you spent on that old arcade house playing that game, just to watch the end of that hard game, or to be in first on the Hall of Fame? Don’t you miss playing Metal Slug, Marvel vs Capcom, The King of Fighters, Dungeons & Dragons, Street Fighter, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and many other games?
Well, you don’t need to miss it anymore, now you can play all those games for free using your own computer, thanks to some great programmers, emulators were made to maintain alive those entrainment classics. A lot of people know console emulators like Super Nintendo, MegaDrive, Nintendo 64, but I will show on this tutorial, how you can use the greatest (for me) emulator ever made, MAME (Mutiple Arcade Machine Emulador), where you can play games that you used to play on arcade machines and even CPS1, CPS2 or NeoGeo.
What about to have you own arcade machine, invite your friends home and have endless fun making championships. Under linux, the MAME emulator is called Xmame and it isn’t that hard to install (people tent to make things complicated). If you use UBUNTU, congratulation, you just need to type the command on your terminal “sudo apt-get install xmame-x xmame-sdl” to have the emulator installed automatically from the internet. If you are using another distro, you can go to http://mame.net and get the right version for you.
After having Xmame installed, it’s time to install a graphic front-end, or you can use it thought command-line, but I don’t like it very much. In this tutorial we gonna use a interface called Gxmame, that is a GTK interface, and works very well with Gnome. If you use KDE, you can go for the Kmame.
The stable version of Gxmame doesn’t work with the last version of MAME, so to make all work, we’re going to install the CVS version.
Download this file:
On your terminal, go to the folder where you’ve downloaded the file and type this:
“sudo dpkg -i gxmame_0.35beta2-1_i386.deb”
Done, it’s installed. Now I’m going to tell how you can configure it. Don’t think you will start playing just now, there’s a few steps left.
Now go to your game folder on the menu and open Gxmame.
IMPORTANT: First we need to make Gxmame knows where the Xmame is. Go to Option > Directories, and in “Gxmame Directories” we need to say where the Xmame is, under “Xmame executable” we need to add the Xmame executable. If you are using ubuntu, the path is “/usr/games/xmame.SDL“. After that, we need to say where the roms folder is, so add it on the “ROMs path” (you can add as many paths as you want).
After that, we need to make Gxmame look for supported games, for that go to Option > Rebuild Game List, it may take a while. A huge game list will apear, if it’s blank, click on the “All Games” filter. If there’s no game at all, it means that the “Xmame executable” has failed. So go back some steps and try again.
Now it’s time to start downloading your favorite games. If you google for MAME ROMS, you will find many website that host them. But remember that due the USA LAW, you can only have the roms on your computer for 24 hours (that’s no problem, each game won’t take that much to finish ^^) unless you own the original game.
Many times you will find different versions for the same game, but with different file sizes. For example, Europe, Japan versions, remember to always download the biggest version first, or it will not work.
Remember that you don’t need to unzip the games on the rom folder, you can leave it zippes as it is smaller and easier to organize. And remember that you can’t rename the roms, otherwise the emulator won’t find them.
Now let’s select the “Available“, it will show the games we have till now, in case it’s blank, double check the roms folder in Option > Directories > Xmame Basic Paths > ROMs paths.
To play the game, just double-click on the game name. If you want you can change some basic configurations like video size, joystick and sound. If you want your games to look more like a Arcade game, go to Option > Default Options, and on Effects, select “scan2“.
Now you are ready to start playing your favorite arcade games on your linux box. 🙂
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Thanks for readying