in the early years of video game emulation, how did they rip cartridge roms like NES ,SNES etc.. onto PC?

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in the early years of video game emulation, how did they rip cartridge roms like NES ,SNES etc.. onto PC?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

They’re just memory chips, you can read the contents with two wires and a bit of knowledge or any of thousands of devices designed for reading and writing rom chips that are as old as the chips themselves.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I can attest for the SNES at least. My friend had a device called a Game Doctor. It went on top of the snes, and was just a bit smaller than the whole SNES. It had a floppy disk drive and a cartridge slot on top. When you powered on SNES you got the Game Doctor menus and there was a setting to dump/export a game.

So in his case we put a game in and depending on the game size, it could be on 1,2,3 or even 4 floppies. The files on the disks were the same as the rom files used for emulators. Then I realized we could do it backwards so we got the translated Final Fantasy 5 rom, put it on floppies and were playing it on the SNES.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They used a device that can read the cartridge. This would either be something home made, or something made for developers of the game console itself.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There were 2 main options:
– get a ROM dumper (like the n64, just an example, not sure if its viable though)
– or you can build a ROM dumper (many, many videos of people hacking together ROM dumpers for game cartridges)

A ROM dumper, practically, was just a device used to copy the data from the gaming cartridge, onto the PC.
Most likely, there was a software on the PC paired with the ROM dumper, to read the memory chips inside the cartridge and make a digital copy on the PC.

depending on what on what type of game you have, (NES or SNES etc.) you would get a specific file format.
eg: NES = .nes, SNES = .smc or .sfc

once thats done, you check if everythings there, run it through any emulator you like, and run the games on your PC as if it were any other gaming console

I’m not an emulator enthusiast, however this is what I was able to relate with the data I’ve seen around.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I guess I didn’t really think about that lol

Anonymous 0 Comments

Modern Vintage Gamer just did a video on this. It’s a neat little device. https://youtu.be/MP9YR4BXrzA

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just some basic electrical engineering I guess huh?

Anonymous 0 Comments

I remember back in the early ’90s, you could order devices that would give you the interface to dump a cartage to a floppy disc for a few systems. They were advertised in some of the video game magazines.