ROM file, is a computer file which contains a copy of the data from a read-only memory chip, often from a video game cartridge, a computer’s firmware, or from an arcade game’s main board. The term is frequently used in the context of emulation, whereby older games or computer firmware are copied to ROM files on modern computers and can, using a piece of software known as an emulator, be run on a computer.
A video game console emulator is a type of emulator that allows a computing device, usually a personal computer, but also other video game consoles and mobile devices running operating systems such as Android to emulate a video game console’s hardware and behavior and play games for that platform. Emulators are most often used to play older video games on personal computers and video game consoles, but they are also used to play games translated into other languages or to modify (or hack) existing games. More often than not, emulators offer additional features above and beyond that of the original console, such as multi-controller compatibility (such as PSX controllers being used with N64 games and vice versa), timescale control, higher framerates, higher resolutions, unlocking of gameplay features, memory modifications (like GameShark), and one-click cheat codes. Emulators are also a useful tool in the development process of homebrew demos and the creation of new games for older or discontinued consoles.
Code and data of a game are typically supplied to the emulator by means of a ROM file (a copy of the data contained on a game cartridge) or an ISO image (for systems that use optical media). Most game titles retain their copyright even with the original system and games being many years past discontinuation and increasing rarity, so many resort to the obtaining of these games for free on various internet sites rather than purchasing and ripping the ROM from the game (although, this is popular among those who already own the games). Specialized adapters such as the Retrode allow emulators to directly access the data on game cartridges without the need to copy it into a ROM image first.
Fan translation of video games and ROM hacking
Once games have been made available in ROM format, it is possible for users to make modifications. This may take the form of altering graphics, changing game levels, tweaking difficulty factor, or even translation into a language for which a game was not originally made available. Hacks can often take humorous forms, as is the case with a hack of the NES version of Mario Bros., titled Afro Mario Brothers, which features the famous brothers wearing Afro haircuts. The Metroid Redesign mod is a hack of Super Metroid that revamps the game and adds new objectives.
What “No-Intro” does is fill some .dat files, to be used with
ROM-Managers, with information about the known ROMS released. Often
there are more versions of the same ROM dump, but most of them are
garbage, some examples may include: bad dumps, hacks, fakes, overdumps,
underdumps, and so on. “No-Intro” lists only the best available ROM; it
must be a full dump with no faults and no changes to the file, basically
just the ROMS that are the closest as possible to the original licensed
Good Sets – Good Codes
[b?] Bad Dump
(-) Unknown Year
[!p] Pending Dump
[!] Verified Good Dump
(M#) Multilanguage (# of Languages)
(??k) ROM Size
: [a] This is simply an alternate version of a
: ROM. Many games have been re-released to
: fix bugs or even to eliminate Game Genie
: codes (Yes, Nintendo hates that device).
: [b] A bad dump often occurs with an older
: game or a faulty dumper (bad connection).
: Another common source of [b] ROMs is a
: corrupted upload to a release FTP.
: [f] A fixed game has been altered in some way
: so that it will run better on a copier
: or emulator.
: [h] Something in this ROM is not quite as it
: should be. Often a hacked ROM simply has
: a changed header or has been enabled to
: run in different regions. Other times it
: could be a release group intro, or just
: some kind of cheating or funny hack.
: [o] An overdumped ROM image has more data
: than is actually in the cart. The extra
: information means nothing and is removed
: from the true image.
: [t] A trainer is special code which executes
: before the game is begun. It allows you
: to access cheats from a menu.
: [!] Verified good dump. Thank God for these!
………….: SPECIAL CODE NOTES ::………….
: **** SNES ****
: (BS) These Japanese ROMs were distributed
: through a satellite system in Japan
: known as the Broadcast Satellaview.
: They were transmitted along with a TV
: show which was connected to the game in
: some way. These games were only playable
: during the show, and thus stop after an
: hour, and many were timed so that only
: certain time periods were playable.
: (ST) The Sufami Turbo device allowed two
: GameBoy sized carts to be plugged into
: the SNES. Certain carts combined into
: new games much like the Sonic & Knuckles
: lock-on technology by Sega.
: (NP) Nintendo Power has been known to release
: games only available to its subscribers.
: Most of these ROMs are Japanese, as this
: practice occured mainly in Japan.
: **** Genesis ****
: (1) Carts with this code will run on both
: Japanese and Korean machines.
: (4) While this code is technically the same
: as a (U) code, it is a newer header
: format and represents that the cart will
: run on USA and Brazil NTSC machines.
: (B) This country code indicates that the
: cart will run on any non US machine.
: [c] This code represents a cart with known
: faulty checksum routines.
: **** GameBoy ****
: [BF] Bung released a programmable cartridge
: compatable with the GameBoy which could
: hold any data you wished to play.
: However, many games do not function on
: Bung v1.0 carts and have to be ‘fixed.’
: **** Nintendo ****
: PC10 The PlayChoice 10 was an arcade unit
: which played exact copies of NES games
: in an arcade cabinet. The machines had a
: choice of 10 games to choose from and
: ran for about 3 minutes on 25 cents.
: VS The Versus system ran on similar hard-
: ware to the PC10 machines, but simply
: allowed you to play against each other.
……………….: Credits ::………………
: Document written by Psych0phobiA / q^-o|o-^p
: Updated by Cowering
: All codes developed by Cowering for the
: Goodxxxx series ROM file renaming utilities.
: Visit #rareroms on ForeverChat in IRC!