News regarding MAME

As you may know, each version in ROMdb is identified by its CRC32. To be more specific, by its "clean compound" CRC32: a) some files are not included (e.g. .cue files in optical disc dumps), and b) when versions are composed of multiple files, the sum of all relevant files' CRC32 is computed.

That approach wasn't good enough for MAME because BIOS ROM files are included in each game. Any new BIOS file in a new version of MAME would change the compound CRC32 of all the games including it. That situation would inevitably render all affected game entries in ROMdb obsolete and create new ones completely empty of metadata (parent game, release year, screen title, screenshots...). A good example of this issue were the dozens of Neo-Geo games.

The problem has been solved now by ignoring BIOs files and in the future, versions won't be affected by changes in them. Unfortunately and inevitably, in the process all versions with BIOS files have changed (for the last time) their CRC32. You will see many obsolete ROMs in arcade versions index; they will be fixed by hand. The process will be slow and painful but i'll pay off in the mid-long term.

Pseudo-annual activity report

Almost two years have passed since we open ROMdb and although there have been some unintentionally hidden activity, we never communicated it using the front page. Let's fix it now with a brief list:

  • 40 .dat files have been imported into the website. You can check all the available platforms. Short term plans include the creation of a .dat for MSX tapes from and import it into the website. I hope it'll help to promote such a fantastic project and the proper dumping/validation/preservation of videogame cassette tapes in general.

  • The total number of versions in ROMdb at the moment is 67.855. It really impresses me the efforts put up by the dumping/verifying community to preserve these pieces of history.

  • New versions of the .dat files have been released and we accordingly updated the data contained in ROMdb. You can read a log of the changes here.

  • During this time, 1.389 games and 252 sagas have been created to organize the versions. It's when you look at some of the games like "Street Fighter II - The World Warrior" with their numerous versions when you realise how important is not just to preserve ROMs, but also to give them system-wide structure.

Hello, World!

Finally online, after 3-4 months ~1.5 years of intense work!

Welcome to ROMdb, a project to expand and interconnect differerent ROM databases created by projects like MAME, No-Intro, and Redump. Let me recap a bit and explain you what the origin of this site is:

I never bothered too much about fancy configurations for videogame emulators. I simply opened the videogame I wanted to play and manually adjusted the configuration to my liking. But two years ago when I finally configured my own "console" based in Linux+RetroArch I realised there was an extra difficulty for systems like NES and Master System, the overscan.

Check out this youtube video of Super Mario Bros. 3 in the NES. Did you notice the graphic garbage appearing on left and right borders of the screen? That's caused by the limitations of the original hardware to do scrolling. When using an old CRT TV, you probably didn't notice it because they had some sort of zoom, leaving the affected area out of our sight; but in modern TVs or when using emulators, the problem is pretty obvious.