BenV's notes


by on Jul.31, 2009, under Boring, Fun, Morons, Software

Since I quit playing World of Warcraft again a while ago (seriously Blizzard, what are you doing to that game?) I find myself enjoyed playing tons of other things. Funny thing is, most of the games I play are ancient. Games from the DOS era (which means DOSBOX, I love that product) like Master of Orion (and it’s sequel), Master of Magic, Paratrooper, One Must Fall: 2097 (which is freeware these days! Download it here), X-Com, System Shock, and the list goes on and on. Yeah, come to think of it…. the games they made back then were pretty brilliant, and it’s not just nostalgia.

Not just the DOS stuff from back then was great, but also the console games. ย We had a NES and later a SNES and games like Zelda, Mario, Mega Man and Double Dragon gave us a lot of education ๐Ÿ˜‰

Somehow we missed the Final Fantasy series though, but one of the things I often play these days is one of the RPG genre. ย In fact, I played Final Fantasy 2 on my laptop just a week ago ๐Ÿ™‚

But how, my stupid x86 machine doesn’t accept these cardridges!“.

Well, you need a bigger hammer obviously. Try stuffing them into the PCMCIA slot if you have one, I hear they are twice as fast. Or if you strip the plastic casing you can maybe insert them into an ISA slot if you still have one. You might need an adapter for the PCI slots though.

Oh, you’re still here? Well, ok, try an emulator if your slot smashing skills aren’t up to par.

<rant alert>

So someone explain to me:

If you’re writing an emulator…. you know, a thing that has to waste tons of CPU cycles in order to play dress-up and imitate a console with a different architecture…

Why the # wouldn’t you make it as cross platform as possible? Yeah, sure, I understand that you want to make it fast and hack in some assembly code. In fact, I love assembly code ๐Ÿ™‚

However, ย that concept is getting more obsolete every day. So if you write an emulator, MAKE SURE IT COMPILES ON BenV’s MACHINE!

That means it should run on at least x86 AND x86_64. Why write an emulator that’s obsolete even before you finish it? I’m looking at you pcsx2 -.-

Applaud to DOSBox for that matter, they get it right.


So anyway, for the NES games I suggest using FCEUX these days. It runs on both x86 and x86_64, and it runs my games on my new slackware 64 installation… which makes me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

For SNES I always used ZSNES, but they’re still stuck in the DOS era… trying to upgrade their obsolete assembly code to more generic stuff like the QT toolkit. It works great if you have an x86 installation, but it refuses my new slackware 64…. and I refuse to chroot back to my old slackware32 for an emulator like this. Puh, I’d sooner start it in dosbox :p. “But BenV, how do you play A Link to the Past then these days?”. Ahh, a good question, but it’s easy: I simply use bsnes. Runs all my snes games so far ๐Ÿ™‚

Then there’s the matter of the prutsstation, or PSX. Yeah, that’s another disaster area… let me know if you have a decent emulator. Guess I’m stuck to using epsxe in a chroot environment for now. ย Other than that it works pretty well once you get the plugins etc sorted, but I haven’t touched it lately. (guess why).

For N64 we have another good emulator these days, called Mupen64plus. To my surprise a simple recompile worked on slack64, so no issues there (good coder ;)). And it runs zelda, what more do you want? ๐Ÿ™‚

Then there’s the new PSX, or PSX2. Yeah…. that’s in the same (sinking) boat as the PSX. Only 1 reason to play: final fantasy. Only 1 somewhat decent emulator for this: pcsx2. Unfortunately it feels like they don’t give a damn about linux, and certainly not 64 bit linux. They “dropped the 64 bit build”…. idiots. So if you feel like it you can get it running on 32 bits, which I’ve done, and it runs ok. But you need a fast pc (multicore) and a decent graphics card and then it still runs like a garbagecan on wheels. (the wheels come off every 3 meters and you have to open the lid, shuffle the garbage around and close it again before it continues). Of course they are quite active, so that’s good, there’s still hope. For kicks lotjuh tried running this thing on windows, and it runs a bit better there, but they still have a lot of work to do. Let’s hope they consider dropping the 32 bitch port and switching to 64 before they’re even obsolete in windows land.

That’s all the emulators I can think of at the moment… or at least, that I want to talk about, this page is getting long enough. Yeah, there’s plenty more, like mame, ย ccs64, stella and whatnot, but you can handle google yourself if you want to play those things.

Oh yeah, one more important thing: Gamepads
If you want to play these console games, you want… I’d almost say –need– a gamepad. Final Fantasy and Zelda can be played with the keyboard just fine, but you’ll be crying me plenty of rivers if you attempt to complete Mega Man or Double Dragon with the keyboard. A little while ago I got myself a Logitech Rumblepad 2 which I’m quite happy with. Yeah, it’s not a rectangular box that’ll give you hernia and makes your skin come off after playing a few hours of mario like in the old days, so you’ll have to miss out on that nostalgia….


but like I say, I’m quite happy with it. It even vibrates if you push the right button ;). Needless to say it works under linux…. although you will want to enable the kernel option for it. My kernel config has CONFIG_LOGITECH_FF=y, CONFIG_LOGIRUMBLEPAD2_FF=y, and CONFIG_HID_LOGITECH=y, and so far all decent emulators play with it without much hassle.

So if you’re bored, go get one of these emulators, a gamepad, and give it a shot! ๐Ÿ™‚

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2 Comments for this entry

  • locke

    pSX is a great emulator for the playstation. check it out i’ve been very impressed so far, it does not require plugins, only requires the bios. Has Windows and Linux executables, unfortunately i don’t see a 64 bit executable for linux yet.

  • BenV

    Yeah I’ve toyed around with pSX quite a while ago, seemed like a simple to use emulator. However, no 64 bit binaries indeed….. and no source either. And if you want to change options you’re out of luck as well. (no plugins). But it’s nice if you just want to play and have a 32 bit OS ๐Ÿ™‚

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