Atari. Nintendo. Super Nintendo. These were the gaming machines of my youth. These were also the forerunners of todays gaming machines like the Play Station 2, X-Box and GameCube. In this tutorial. I’ll show you how to resurrect these old games on your Mac.
I doubt very many people now have Atari game machines hooked up and running (although I have read about a guy that is taking old Atari game machines and reworking them to create hand held game machines). But, wouldn’t it be nice to break out the old Frogger game and kill a couple hours trying to get that frog across the street. Or maybe Frogger is not your thing. How about Pac-Man? No? Ah, I see. The Atari system is too old for you to remember. Then how about Nintendo? Remember the Super Mario Brothers series of games. Jumping up and down, avoiding walking mushrooms and navigating through pipes to save the princess.
These games and all of your favorites live on in the world of Emulation. What is an emulator? An emulator is a program that imitates another program or device. A very popular Emulator that you may be familiar with is Virtual PC. Virtual PC is a program that emulates a windows computer on your Macintosh. Even though you don’t have the appropriate hardware (Intel chips and such) it allows you to run Windows and Windows programs.
Emulators for all of the popular gaming systems have been created and are FREELY distributed on the internet. Some work better than others.
In this tutorial, we’ll look at three emulators that I have found and use regularly. To find any of these emulators, do a search for the name the emulator on google.com or on most popular shareware sites. note-all of these emulators run on MacOS X
MacMame: This is my favorite of the three emulators that I will talk about. MacMame emulates most arcade games (do people still play games in arcades?). Some of the games that I regularly play on MacMame are Ms.Pac-Man, Frogger, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Paperboy, Q-bert and Rampage. It’s all the mindless fun without the expense of the quarters.
MacMame Tips: Using the MacMame emulator is very simple. Here are some of the most frequently used key commands. 5 - Insert Coin. Every time you hit the 5 key it’s like dropping in another quarter. 1 - One player start. Control - fire button. Left / Right arrows - Moves left and right. Those are the basics. To get more information and change some of the settings click on the Tab key.
RockNES - This program emulates the games of the Nintendo Entertainment System. When I was a kid (teen) I could never get my parent to buy me a Nintendo (In hind sight, thanks!) so I could never beat the Mario games. This emulators has given me another chance to beat it in my spare time! Hang on, Princess!!!
If you plan on using this game for a significant amount of time then I recommend that you download and register ($15.00) Blitter. Among other things, Blitter adds support for game pads to RockNES.
When playing RockNES, make sure that you hit the maximize button (the green button with the plus sign). This will enlarge the game screen.
SNES9X - SNES9X emulates the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. One of the great things about the SNES9X emulator is that it supports game pads without any additional downloads or cost. My favorite game for the SNES is MarioKart. My brother-n-law and I used to have epic MarioKart races (long before he was my brother-n-law).
ROMS - The life blood of the gaming system is not the system itself. It’s the games. The ROMS are the games themselves. Instead of having a cartridge you have a small file that you download, called Roms.
This is the tricky part. These games are not freely distributed by the manufacturers so you may have to do some searching to find the games you want. Searching for Roms at google.com will usually turn up a number of sites that host these games. You may have to jump through some hoops to find them but they are out there.Have a question? Found this useful? Let me know on Twitter, @gbradhopkins.