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NES Emulator Recommendation

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Well, I've been trying to run a certain game which requires an NES emulator. I've tried working with various emulators. I installed XMess and it won't run my rom (it turns up an error "missing matoh.bin"). Not only that but it's commandline driven, and I'm looking for a GUI or menu-based emulator like ZSNES but for NES emulation, or at least something easier to use. I also tried iNes, and it runs pretty decently. The only complaints I have about it are that that the FPS isn't controlled and NES sound isn't the best. I also would ideally look at something for fullscreen or OpenGL.

Now, I may sound picky, but as long as it'll run decently on my Pentium III I'm fine. Anyone have any suggestions on what to use? Thanks.

Edited by Lärs
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If you have a contrib source set up with easy urpmi there is an rpm for zsnes there. Also if you have a plf source set up there is another emulator called snes9x(command line) with a graphical front end called GSnes9x. Set up a contrib and plf urpmi sources and all of these packages will be available to you through the software install function in mandrake control center and you can also just do:


# urpmi <package name>


Setting up these urpmi sources dramatically increases the amount of software available to you and makes installation simple. It's one of the best things about mandriva. Post back if your not sure how to do that or just click on the "Easy-Urpmi" link at the top of this page for detailed instructions.

Edited by pmpatrick
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Umm, I have ZSNES. I'm looking at NES emulation, not SNES. ZSNES doesn't run NES games.

Ideally I'm looking for something that uses OpenGL... If I knew more about SDL I'd be able to recompile RockNES with AllegroGL and SDL. That is if it's open source, but it's not I don't think. Speed is a big issue here. You know, I don't even care about a GUI, ideally I'm looking for something that can run decently fast on my Pentium III 800mhz that times the output properly, runs fullscreen, and can actually save my games. Any recommendations?

Edited by Lärs
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OK. sorry about that. Try tuxnes:


TuxNES is a portable, GPL'ed Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator. It basically allows you to play most games designed for the NES game system on your PC or Workstation.


You can find it on plf. That's a command line program. There is a graphical front end called gtuxnes also available on plf. If you had plf and contrib sources set up it would have taken you approximately 2 minutes to find these using the search features in mcc. At least that's how long it took me. Do yourself a big favor and set up your urpmi sources today.

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I decided to try something called Little John Next Generation because it seems to be what I want. It has OpenGL support and everything, so it will run nicely on my Pentium III. It was a young emulator when still being developed, but it shouldn't be too bad.

I'll try TuxNes, FCE Ultra, and maybe DarcNes as well, and I'll post my opinion.

Thank you for your opinions :headbang:

Do yourself a big favor and set up your urpmi sources today.

My urpmi is set up. Lots of packages aren't in urpmi, however, especially NES emulators (not including TuxNES of course).

Edited by Lärs
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok well, I've tried a variety of Emulators, here's what I think about them.


Little John Next Generation - Very nice, no save states and save games doesn't seem to work, but it is fullscreen and has a GUI, sound, and OpenGL (if OpenGL works with the video mode Little John uses) I recommend it for games that don't require saving. A few games with scrolling suffer from bugs (like Maniac Mansion)

iNes - This probably the most accurate NES emulator for Linux. It saves my games, has good sound support, all games run fine with this, however, it only runs windowed, doesn't have a GUI, and timing is not implemented so my games run way too fast unless I resize the window.

TuxNES - This is probably the most promising emulator so far. Drop-dead accuracy, good sound support, and support of savegames. The only thing I would see to better this is perhaps fullscreen mode with X, and a GUI isn't necessary because it has a GTK frontend called GTuxNES.

DarcNES - It also is a windowed emulator. Sound is good, I am also unsure if it saves the games. A decent choice.

FCEUltra - It seems to be promising, however I couldn't get it to run. It uses SVGALib. It was a big name with the DOS emulators, so I may try this again.

XMess - XMess is a multiple-console emulator, however, it wouldn't run my games (it gave me an error message and terminated).

RockNES - It was fullscreen like Little John, and did indeed work with savestates and savegames. However, it uses Allegro, which is a big problem as the sound is dependent on the video, video upon the sound etc, meaning it's procedural. It runs very sluggish on my Pentium III 800Mhz. If you have a computer that can run circles around this, try it.


Based on the above, my verdict is, if Little John was still being developed, that would be the NES equivalent of ZSNES :lol: . iNes is another option that I enjoyed, however the lack of timing the system properly isn't promising. However, iNes would fare well if it had proper timing, and a feature that I need for a good gaming experience, fullscreen. TuxNES, however, is the most evident choice for someone that wants a solid emulator. Fast, good sound support, large compatibility list, and savegame support give this emulator a good score.

Edited by Lärs
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