My Version of a MAME Arcade Game
I've talked about doing this for a while. As a kid I
was an arcade junky. The time period when I was most interested
arcade games was right about when the best games (in my opinion) had come
out. Classic arcade games like Pacman, Asteroids, Defender, Tempest, Ms Pacman, Super Pacman, DigDug, Mr. Do, Star Castle, the list goes on.
Ever since I found out about MAME (Mutli Arcade Machine Emulator), I was
fascinated that the old original ROMs were still alive and well as the old
arcade games disappeared. As a modern day computer junky, I've
always put together my own computers and spent my days working on other
peoples computers. Talking with a friend who like me is in the
computer industry as an IT person and also an old time arcade game junky,
we would discuss what it would take to put together a M.A.M.E. arcade game
and relive our childhood.
It wasn't until a recent discussion with my wife about looking for and
buying one of our favorite games, did I actually pursue the MAME build.
Galaga. One of my favorite
games. One of my wife's favorite games too. I
looked for an old Galaga game for a Christmas present to both of us and
for the most part came up dry. Talking with some people in the
business, I found out that the old hardware is hard to service and if I
found a working Galaga game, it would be difficult and expensive to fix if
it broke. Prices for decent reproduction games were prohibitively
expensive nearing the $3000 mark so that was out of the question.
So being a project kind of guy, I decided to build my own game using
the MAME emulator running on an old computer, housed inside of an old
original arcade cabinet. This is documentation of my project which
now sits in my den/family room next to my 1973 pinball machine and we
all love it. It took me about 5 weeks in my spare time. I'll
try to explain what was involved and give links and resources within the
So what is MAME?
for Mutli Arcade Machine Emulator. MAME reads in the original
program that was the original game like Pacman or Galaga or one of the
thousands out there, and interprets its to run on a modern day computer.
MAME maps the input controls that were on the original game to your
computer keyboard or mouse or joystick. So you can play the game
on your computer and it will look exactly like the original ... because
it is the original. MAME is free and so are the ROMS however there
are legal restrictions on the use of MAME and the ROMS. For
instance you can't legally distribute the ROMS with the Emulator.
You can't legally download the ROMS unless you own the game or are
working on developing or improving the Emulator. But that doesn't
stop hundreds of thousands from doing so. There are ROM sites all
over the Internet and many sources of M.A.M.E. Emulator resources as
well. Running the emulator on your computer is a thrill in itself
but actually putting a full sized arcade game together and setting in
your family room where you can enjoy hours of classic arcade games is
the ultimate in classic arcade in my humble opinion. The
following write-up is my little how-to. So Enjoy.
To the MAME Arcade Cabinet