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How to run ROM files on Nintendo DS


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In this article, you will learn how to run ROM files (video game files) on a Nintendo DS. Keep in mind that running ROM files is contrary to Nintendo's terms of service.

Nintendo DS Lite as a multi-platform emulator

On a habr there is an obvious lack of articles about Nintendo DS. Something needs to be done with this.
I must say right away - I will not write about how to read books, pdfs on the NDS, surf the Internet, listen to movies and watch music. :) I only play it, therefore, for advice on choosing a browser, not for me.
Today I’ll tell you how NDS emulates old game consoles, because nostalgia sometimes attacks and you have to deal with it.

There is no particular variety among emulators for NDS - for each emulated platform there are one or two positions, and if there are several positions, the choice is still unambiguous. - here you can see a list of which platforms can be emulated.
For Armstrad, Commodore and Atari, my nostalgia does not apply, therefore I will only touch the mainstream. And if someone does not think of life without the TI-85 emulator, then here I am not an assistant - you yourself. :)

As usual, start with Dendy. There are two things regarding live emulators - NES DS (PocketNES port on NDS) and NesterDS (Nester port). NES DS is considered “correct”, so I started with it. He finished them, because, judging by the description, NesterDS does not provide any additional features.

There are no difficulties in using:
1. Download (from here, because the author’s site is dead)
2. Record the emulator and games on a flash drive (games, for example, can be downloaded from here -
3. Turn on the console, start the emulator, select a game.
4. Play

Unfortunately, you can’t save, so if you started playing, then to the end.
The process is somewhat facilitated by the fact that in the game you can slightly rewind time (left Shift) and the fact that the console falls asleep when the screen is closed.

In terms of compatibility, the emulator is very good - I started all the games that I tried. The only thing is that the screen is slightly cropped from the top and bottom (dendy resolution is 256x224, against 256x192 for NDS), but in most games this does not interfere.
Here you can see the compatibility list. Checked 703 games. A complete set of titles for NES includes 16384 positions.

Super Nintendo (SNES)

After NES, I got Super Nintendo - a friend worked in a store selling cartridges, so you could rent any games (for free, of course :)). Therefore, I looked down upon the owners of the shogi and called them rogues. It seems like it came back to me. :(

For even SnemulDS is the only more or less working SNES emulator, only Earthworm Jim (the first part) provides normal operation. Everything else that I tried (Donkey Kong, Lost Vikings 2, Aladdin, Batman, Super Mario World, Rock'N'Roll Racing) either does not start, or works with some kind of jokes, such as screen flicker. Perhaps, rummaging through the settings and playing with layers, etc., I will make the games work normally (Donkey Kong has almost finished my mind), but it’s not serious to spend time setting up the game instead of the game itself.

Therefore, I have to admit that SNES emulation on NDS is not very successful, purely for show. But it makes sense to try, suddenly you are more lucky than me. So SNES had to be postponed and comforted by the next paragraph of our program. :)

Sega Mega Drive (Genesis)

Sega once passed me by - see above. I looked down at the owners of the shogi, and she seemed to strike back. Because how bad the SNES emulation is, the Sega emulation is so good. I flew with SNES's exclusives, but the multi-platforms on Sega are not that globally worse than Nintendo ones.

The emulator is called jenesisDS. In terms of installation and use, nothing unusual:
1. Download (from here, because on the author’s site I did not understand where the “Download” button is :))
2. Record the emulator and games on a flash drive (games, for example, can be downloaded from here -
3. Turn on the console, start the emulator, select a game.
4. Play

The personal "gold fund" started without question - Lost Vikings, Rock’n’Roll Racing, Desert / Urban / Jungle Strike, Earthworm Jim both parts, Ecco, Aladdin, Flash Back.
The screen resolution of shogi was slightly larger than that of NDS, because the visible part of the screen slightly scrolls during the game, depending on which direction arrow is pressed. You need to get used to it, but playing practically does not interfere.

NEOGEO for most of the people is familiar not by the home option, but by the large slot machines, which were also popular in Russia. For me personally, NEOGEO is a series of King of Fighters fighting games and the humorous arcade Metal Slug (the seventh part of which, by the way, is in the native version for NDS). Although the games have long been completed (on the computer, the Winkawaks emulator), but still from time to time I come back to them.

The emulator (NeoDS), in principle, works without problems, although at times it slows down - there is not enough RAM.
A memory upgrade (purchase of EZ-Flash 3in1) is planned (paid, waiting for delivery).

Installing and using the emulator is already somewhat more complicated than the previous ones.
1) First, the emulator and bios for the emulator are downloaded.
2) The emulator itself (NeoDs.nds) is copied to a flash drive.
3) Next, the most “interesting” begins - the process of converting Roma:
3.1) The program with the emulator contains the program NeoDsConvert.exe, it must be copied to a separate folder.
3.2) In the same folder, put the bios for the emulator and archives with games (it so happened that roms for neogeo always live in zip archives, even when used by emulators).
3.3) After that, launch NeoDsConvert with the -bios8 key ("NeoDsConvert.exe -bios8") - the games that were successfully converted will receive the neo extension (that is, if you had in your folder, then kof98 will appear next to it. neo).
4) The resulting files must be copied to root memory card directory. neogeo.neo can not be copied - it is needed only at the stage of conversion.
5) On the console itself, everything is as usual - launch neods.nds, select a game and play. When asked to throw a coin - press Select. :) The dimensions of the image again do not fit the screen size, you can enter or play as is, if the edges of the screen are not particularly important.

Unfortunately, not all games are converted, but only those that are stored in * .bin. If the archive with the game contains * .rom or some other extension, then conversion will not occur. But KoFs and Slugs converted successfully.
About 160 games were successfully converted from this archive (and here you can look at the compatibility list).

GameBoy Color (GB, GBC)

Games for Gameboy and Gameboy Color are engaged in one emulator - lameboy.
Author Page:
It is set as standard - download, on a flash drive, run.
Games to take on and Or just download the full romset.

I didn’t have a Gameboy, because nostalgia does not torment me. And the graphics already somehow do not favor acquaintance. Just set to check the performance. Works. You can save. Games for GB are gray (although you can make them green), games for GBC are colorful. The image is either small (160x144) or proportionally stretched to fit the screen. Look like that's it.

Gameboy Advance (GBA)

GameBoy Advance, as it were, doesn’t need to be emulated, NDS and NDS Lite have a slot for its cartridges.
But people, as usual, feel sorry for the money, but I want to play. Because Roma download for the Internet (, and to launch them they came up with a thing called EZ-Flash 3-in-1:

NDS itself cannot launch GBA roms without assistance, since the game cartridge is not only valuable fur ROM, but also a certain amount of RAM.
EZ-Flash 3in1 is a memory for running games, additional RAM for heavy applications and a vibrator.

I don’t have it yet (I'm waiting), so I won’t write anything else about emulating GBA. Until.

SCUMM is a Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, a "language" for developing quests. And ScummVM is a set of emulators for running these quests (and several others).

The easiest installation method is to download this kit and do it as it is written there (there is an emulator and several dozens of games).

Once again, Day of The Tentacle and Loom passed, remembered an old cyberpunk named Beneath a Steel Sky, once again missed Flight of the Amazon Queen :) ... And regretted that there was not enough memory to launch The Dig and Full Throtle (although about The Dig writes that it doesn’t get through - it flies in some location).

MSX is my first computer. He met him around 1986, and although access to IBM-compatibles appeared in 1988, communication with the Yamaha MSX was very common between 1993 and 1993.
There is no particular nostalgia for toys, except for one of them - New Adam & Eve. She went only to MSX2, and it was a teacher's car. Therefore, it was rarely possible to get to it, so the game was not completed to the end.

Through long wanderings on the Internet (I remembered the name the longest, it took several days) I still found a rum with a game.

The MSX emulator for NDS seems to be one, but in four versions. I settled on msxDS, as on the most living - updated March 3.

First, the emulator itself is downloaded and throws off on a flash drive. The msxds / folder from the archive is placed in the root directory.
From here - - the “Required ROM Images” are downloaded and put into the msxds / directory - MSX.ROM, MSX2.ROM, MSX2EXT.ROM, MSX2P.ROM, MSX2PEXT.ROM, DISK.ROM.

After that, start the emulator, in the menu click on the ROM1 button, point it to the desired ROM, then press the virtual power button.
If the file with the game / program with the extension * .dsk is not * .rom, then it must be pushed into the drive.

And do not forget that MSX is still a type of computer, not a game console. And a full romset takes 32 gigabytes (although there probably everything is repeated ten times.)

ZX Spectrum

But the Spectrum also passed me - there was access to MSX and IBM, so I didn’t even look at the set-top boxes (although I went to play in the first computer clubs that appeared in the late eighties).

And despite the fact that 256x192 seems to be hinting :), I decided not to mess with the emulation of the Spectrum. But considering that his fans are still meeting (a friend recently boasted that he had finished his memory with up to 2 megs, attached an IDE controller and RJ45), I will give a few links to the topic.

So while NDS does not have the power of a PSP or specially trained multi-platform emulators, everything is not so bad. And nostalgic geeks may well launch their favorite toys of their childhood. :)