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GregadetH

Emulation on Dreamcast

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I'm gonna be giving me son a Dreamcast for his birthday specifically to play emulators on. What are some good emus to get? Are there full collections of emus and rom packs available? I've Googled the subject like crazy, but I find lots of outdated info about what does and doesn't run properly on the DC. Are there any current DC emulation sites out there?

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If you're looking for something simple to get you started, NesterDC was the best of the NES emulators I tried on the Dreamcast. It does use frameskipping, but it ran smoothly enough that this never bothered me, and the emulation seems pretty accurate. It's got a fairly nice interface, too, so it's very easy to use; just fill up a CD with your favorite NES games and pick one from the menu (I put mine on the disc with the emulator so I wouldn't have to change discs). I used it quite a bit on my Dreamcast.

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If you're looking for something simple to get you started, NesterDC was the best of the NES emulators I tried on the Dreamcast. It does use frameskipping, but it ran smoothly enough that this never bothered me, and the emulation seems pretty accurate. It's got a fairly nice interface, too, so it's very easy to use; just fill up a CD with your favorite NES games and pick one from the menu (I put mine on the disc with the emulator so I wouldn't have to change discs). I used it quite a bit on my Dreamcast.

 

Sega Genesis looks horrid, SNES looks even more horrid, they play uber slow and the sound quality is way off.

Only Gameboy, and NES/Famicom actually play well. And no decent Atari 2600 or any other model exist yet, so that's out of the question.

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If you're looking for something simple to get you started, NesterDC was the best of the NES emulators I tried on the Dreamcast. It does use frameskipping, but it ran smoothly enough that this never bothered me, and the emulation seems pretty accurate. It's got a fairly nice interface, too, so it's very easy to use; just fill up a CD with your favorite NES games and pick one from the menu (I put mine on the disc with the emulator so I wouldn't have to change discs). I used it quite a bit on my Dreamcast.

 

Thanks. I'll check that out. Hopefully, I can figure out how to burn it and getting running. Do the roms need to be converted to ISO?

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If you're looking for something simple to get you started, NesterDC was the best of the NES emulators I tried on the Dreamcast. It does use frameskipping, but it ran smoothly enough that this never bothered me, and the emulation seems pretty accurate. It's got a fairly nice interface, too, so it's very easy to use; just fill up a CD with your favorite NES games and pick one from the menu (I put mine on the disc with the emulator so I wouldn't have to change discs). I used it quite a bit on my Dreamcast.

 

Sega Genesis looks horrid, SNES looks even more horrid, they play uber slow and the sound quality is way off.

Only Gameboy, and NES/Famicom actually play well. And no decent Atari 2600 or any other model exist yet, so that's out of the question.

 

So I'm guessing SMS, TG-16, NeoGeo, 7800 and MAME aren't that great either?

Edited by GregadetH

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If you're looking for something simple to get you started, NesterDC was the best of the NES emulators I tried on the Dreamcast. It does use frameskipping, but it ran smoothly enough that this never bothered me, and the emulation seems pretty accurate. It's got a fairly nice interface, too, so it's very easy to use; just fill up a CD with your favorite NES games and pick one from the menu (I put mine on the disc with the emulator so I wouldn't have to change discs). I used it quite a bit on my Dreamcast.

 

Sega Genesis looks horrid, SNES looks even more horrid, they play uber slow and the sound quality is way off.

Only Gameboy, and NES/Famicom actually play well. And no decent Atari 2600 or any other model exist yet, so that's out of the question.

 

So I'm guessing SMS, TG-16, NeoGeo, 7800 and MAME aren't that great either?

 

 

You would be accurate in that assessment.

But for NES/Famicom and Gameboy it does a wonderful job.

 

Edit - Download a program called BootDreams to make a disk formatted correctly for Dreamcast.

Edited by DeadlyDiskKun

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It seems opinions vary, when I was using my DC as the primary gaming machine I played SMS, Atari 8-bit Atari VCS, NES, SNES, Genesis, Neo Geo and a bunch of others on it. Most of them worked great, some needed a bit of tweaking but mostly it was just "plug and play". The SNES emulator didn't run everything in full speed (DKC for example is not playable) but most of the games were very playable. Atari 8-bit, SMS & NES worked great. VCS I can't remember really, Neo Geo worked great with most games.

 

So I'd recommend just trying them out, there's not much work involved in creating Dreamcastdiscs anymore, I'd go here and read up on selfboot inducer. Makes your life eeeeasy :)

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Be sure to check the MSX emulators as well.. Not sure how many there are (The one I tried was fairly bare-bones), but they run at full speed. MSX had a lot of great games, so that's a nice addition..

 

Also, be sure to check out the Genesis Emulator used in the Sega Smash Pack for the DC.. It was leaked and released as an emulator you can download. It's notorious for sound problems, but games otherwise run very well for the most part..

 

Asides from emulation, you may want to look into homebrews/source ports/conversions. Another World (Out of This World), Flashback: The Quest for Identity (on ReMiniscence), DOOM, etc. etc. Kind of like emulation, but not.. ;)

Edited by Austin

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Thanks for all the responses so far. I'll give this a try later today. Gotta go to Staples and grab some CD's.

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Be sure to check the MSX emulators as well.. Not sure how many there are (The one I tried was fairly bare-bones), but they run at full speed. MSX had a lot of great games, so that's a nice addition..

 

Also, be sure to check out the Genesis Emulator used in the Sega Smash Pack for the DC.. It was leaked and released as an emulator you can download. It's notorious for sound problems, but games otherwise run very well for the most part..

 

Asides from emulation, you may want to look into homebrews/source ports/conversions. Another World (Out of This World), Flashback: The Quest for Identity (on ReMiniscence), DOOM, etc. etc. Kind of like emulation, but not.. ;)

 

 

I like homebrews like, Castlevania: Symphony of Destruction and Heretic.

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Not to stray off topic, but you might consider an original Xbox instead. They're easily softmodded, and can emulate any 8 & 16 bit game with ease. Plus, you can keep everything on the HDD, and not worry about burning CDs. Especially the hassle involved in creating a custom bootable DC emulator disk.

 

Of course there's a ton of great native games on the DC. Tons of fighters, shooters, and a few outstanding RPGs and Adventure games. Great system, but not one I'd use for emulation.

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Not to stray off topic, but you might consider an original Xbox instead. They're easily softmodded, and can emulate any 8 & 16 bit game with ease. Plus, you can keep everything on the HDD, and not worry about burning CDs. Especially the hassle involved in creating a custom bootable DC emulator disk.

 

Of course there's a ton of great native games on the DC. Tons of fighters, shooters, and a few outstanding RPGs and Adventure games. Great system, but not one I'd use for emulation.

 

I parted with my modded xbox about a week ago. I never really used it and I need the cash for a 7800. My kid liked it, I could have given to him, but he'd find a way to screw up the softmod. He's still a kid after all. A Dreamcast is childproof. Disc goes in, games come out. No internal settings that he can screw with.

Edited by GregadetH

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The ones I've tried so far are:

 

NES - This works really well with the next-to-last version of NesterDC (6.0, IIRC). If you have a clean ROM set, there are only a handful of games that don't work.

 

Sega Master System/SG-1000 - I use CrabEmu for this, and am happy with the results, but it's definitely a work in progress with some missing features (FM sound, for one). Other emulators might be preferable for now.

 

SNES - Too choppy to run many of the games I'm interested in, though RPGs are certainly playable. Some might run at full speed if you turn the sound off, but the music is one of the main reasons I play SNES to begin with.

 

Atari 8-bit - Seems terrific! The folks behind this emu have done some nice work so that the Dreamcast keyboard isn't necessary, but obviously it's a plus for many games. Somewhere on these boards there's a link to a disk image with tons of stuff, and it worked brilliantly for me.

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The ones I've tried so far are:

 

NES - This works really well with the next-to-last version of NesterDC (6.0, IIRC). If you have a clean ROM set, there are only a handful of games that don't work.

 

Sega Master System/SG-1000 - I use CrabEmu for this, and am happy with the results, but it's definitely a work in progress with some missing features (FM sound, for one). Other emulators might be preferable for now.

 

SNES - Too choppy to run many of the games I'm interested in, though RPGs are certainly playable. Some might run at full speed if you turn the sound off, but the music is one of the main reasons I play SNES to begin with.

 

Atari 8-bit - Seems terrific! The folks behind this emu have done some nice work so that the Dreamcast keyboard isn't necessary, but obviously it's a plus for many games. Somewhere on these boards there's a link to a disk image with tons of stuff, and it worked brilliantly for me.

 

I saw the Atari 8-bit link. I was leery of it at first (lack of keyboard) but I've read good things. Def checking it out.

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I traded for a Dreamcast just to try its emulation capabilities. Try this site for both the downloads and descriptions.

 

http://www.dcisozone.com/browse/dreamcast-emulators/all/page_6.html

 

also segahub.org

 

I think the atari 2600 and colecovision emus worked well. Many of the emulators have hard to read game selection screens (or maybe my 20 yr old tv is junk).

 

DiscJuggler images burned very well for me with only a couple of coasters made in the beginning. Nero images not so good.

 

BAH

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I can vouch for NesterDC and StellaDC, they work great in the Dreamcast!! (man I miss mine big time!)

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Thanks for all the help so far. I still haven't gotten around to grabbing any CD's...had to take my girl back to the docs today. Her immune system is still weak from having the brain tumor removed and she's managed to catch some hella strong upper respiratory deal. I'll be glad when things get back to normal.

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I could have given to him, but he'd find a way to screw up the softmod.

 

No he wouldn't. :) The last xbox softmods are pretty much idiot-proof especially with the virtual C: image.

 

A Dreamcast is childproof. Disc goes in, games come out. No internal settings that he can screw with.

 

You know with the physical aspect of disk-changing, that is far less child-proof than the xbox right off the bat :P Search my posts.. I was a huge Dreamcast emulation fan. But it's time has long past. The Xbox 1 is a far superior cheap emulation console. And with Xboxes going for $29.99 at the local Play-n-Trade these days it's a no-brainer.

 

The fact of the matter is the DC just doesn't hold a candle to the xbox when it comes to emulation. Of course feel free to mess around with the Dreamcast if you want though.. as it is pretty nifty and fun to get going. I just had to say.

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I could have given to him, but he'd find a way to screw up the softmod.

 

No he wouldn't. :) The last xbox softmods are pretty much idiot-proof especially with the virtual C: image.

 

A Dreamcast is childproof. Disc goes in, games come out. No internal settings that he can screw with.

 

You know with the physical aspect of disk-changing, that is far less child-proof than the xbox right off the bat :P Search my posts.. I was a huge Dreamcast emulation fan. But it's time has long past. The Xbox 1 is a far superior cheap emulation console. And with Xboxes going for $29.99 at the local Play-n-Trade these days it's a no-brainer.

 

The fact of the matter is the DC just doesn't hold a candle to the xbox when it comes to emulation. Of course feel free to mess around with the Dreamcast if you want though.. as it is pretty nifty and fun to get going. I just had to say.

 

 

I don't know what to think of this entire post, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way. Let me simplify things a bit...I have a Dreamcast on hand. I no longer have an XBOX. That's pretty much the end of that discussion.

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I could have given to him, but he'd find a way to screw up the softmod.

 

No he wouldn't. :) The last xbox softmods are pretty much idiot-proof especially with the virtual C: image.

 

A Dreamcast is childproof. Disc goes in, games come out. No internal settings that he can screw with.

 

You know with the physical aspect of disk-changing, that is far less child-proof than the xbox right off the bat :P Search my posts.. I was a huge Dreamcast emulation fan. But it's time has long past. The Xbox 1 is a far superior cheap emulation console. And with Xboxes going for $29.99 at the local Play-n-Trade these days it's a no-brainer.

 

The fact of the matter is the DC just doesn't hold a candle to the xbox when it comes to emulation. Of course feel free to mess around with the Dreamcast if you want though.. as it is pretty nifty and fun to get going. I just had to say.

 

Where would one go to learn more about "softmodding" the Xbox? I was under the impression you absolutely needed an expensive, difficult-to-install mod chip. Thanks.

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I don't know what to think of this entire post, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way. Let me simplify things a bit...I have a Dreamcast on hand. I no longer have an XBOX. That's pretty much the end of that discussion.

 

I'm not sure what exactly rubbed you the wrong way.. but again, feel free to do what you want. :P The Dreamcast can do emulation up to a certain point, so have fun. :)

 

That being said, the time is really good for getting an xbox 1 cheap (20-30 bucks). They're all over the place as everyone has dumped them and the used console stores have them pouring out their ears. Heck, I personally have 11. :D

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Where would one go to learn more about "softmodding" the Xbox? I was under the impression you absolutely needed an expensive, difficult-to-install mod chip. Thanks.

 

First a caveat: if you're starting out from scratch, probably the best way to softmod an xbox (called the "ndure" method) requires you to have 1) a memory card and 2) a "hackable" game such as original copy of 'James Bond 007: Agent under Fire', or 'Mech Assault', or 'Splinter Cell'. That being said I picked up Mech Assault for about $1.97 at Play N Trade. Anyway, just google "Ndure" and you'll find tutorials such as this one: http://www.biline.ca/xbox_ndure.htm

 

Aside from that, yes it is possible to softmod without a mem card or any of those games.. but I'm not about to go over that here. The Ndure method is by far the preferable safe way to do it :P

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On top of what's stated above, you will also need an Action Replay (w/memory card) to get the mod installer and the required patched game save to the XBOX (I personally used Splinter Cell for my mod). Other than that the mod itself is simple.. The hardest part afterwards for me was getting my FTP software to function properly in communicating with my system (to transfer programs over to it). Honestly, getting that sorted was more of a pain than burning discs (It wasn't much trial and error burning DC emulators with some roms), but once it was said and done, it was well-worth it.

 

I understand the OP's outlook on this though. The XBOX is by far the better emulation machine, but he doesn't want to buy another system. There's also the risk of his kid messing up the system. My modded XBOX isn't full-proof--If you turn it on a certain way (say, already have a standard game disc in), it seems to bypass the mod. There are other occasional times where it reverts back to the install/intitial pre-mod screen if I open the tray at a certain time.. From there you can flash the system, format the hard drive, etc. etc. With this inconsistency, I wouldn't put it in a kids hands, just like I wouldn't give a child access to my PC without locking the BIOS and other potentially devastating functions in the OS. :thumbsup:

Edited by Austin

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I understand the OP's outlook on this though. The XBOX is by far the better emulation machine, but he doesn't want to buy another system. There's also the risk of his kid messing up the system. My modded XBOX isn't full-proof--If you turn it on a certain way (say, already have a standard game disc in), it seems to bypass the mod. There are other occasional times where it reverts back to the install/intitial pre-mod screen if I open the tray at a certain time.. From there you can flash the system, format the hard drive, etc. etc. With this inconsistency, I wouldn't put it in a kids hands, just like I wouldn't give a child access to my PC without locking the BIOS and other potentially devastating functions in the OS. :thumbsup:

 

 

Exactly. :thumbsup:

Edited by GregadetH

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