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Need clarification on Neo Geo configuration



  • Pi Model or other hardware: 3
    Power Supply used: CanaKit
    RetroPie Version Used: 4.3
    Built From: RetroPie image
    USB Devices connected: XBox 360 receiver
    Controller used: XBox 360
    Error messages received: none, but many roms don't load.
    Guide used: RetroPie Gitbug Neo Geo README
    File:
    Emulator: lr=fbalpha

    Configuring Neo Geo is a little daunting at first take, and I'd like some clarification on all the different comments I've come across trying to get it working.

    The Neo Geo emulator used is the default: lr-fbalpha. Like all Neo Geo emulators, a neogeo.zip is required to bootstrap.

    My first question: Is the neogeo.zip custom to the emulator used? For instance, I discovered a neogeo.zip meant to be used with the NeoRAGEx emulator. Is that zip, with the following files, interchangeable with other emulators. If not, what changes need to be made?

    neogeo$ md5sum *
    2968f59f44bf328639aa79391aeeeab4  neo-geo.rom
    fc7599f3f871578fe9a0453662d1c966  ng-lo.rom
    aa2b5d0eae4158ffc0d7d63481c7830b  ng-sfix.rom
    8c26241f9f5beb3a55c8d6ab638d250e  ng-sm1.rom
    74c4bb6a945f7284350036b40f0a0d9d  uni-bios.rom
    

    Second, what are each of those file above?

    Third, can uni-bios.rom listed above be replaced without any other changes. Here are the uni-bios hashes:

    uni-bios$ md5sum *
    1b9724d1b9d41a1a9b733007b2033fb5  uni-bios-20.rom
    0377c32f69a28f23d9281c448aafb391  uni-bios-21.rom
    5b9079a81d84137d8b6f221659d777c5  uni-bios-22.rom
    74c4bb6a945f7284350036b40f0a0d9d  uni-bios-23.rom
    727b731c1f4bd643094574ebaa3814b4  uni-bios-30.rom
    dd77a172853200bd99c986a48dde914d  uni-bios-31.rom
    274a7b72b7fd490f1fa71ce32371a93d  uni-bios-32.rom
    

    Fourth, what is the purpose of the FBA DAT files? Are they needed for RetroPie? Where do I put the Neo Geo DAT file linked at https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/FinalBurn-Alpha?

    Lastly, I keep seeing that game roms are specific to the emulator and/or bios. I'm confused as to how that can be. If I have a set of roms & neogeo.zip which state they are for NeoRAGEx (and may not work with other emulators), what about the game roms make it specific to an emulator? Isn't there a standard, at least for the game roms?

    Neo Geo is a pretty confusing system to set up. :)


  • Global Moderator

    @retrocake said in Need clarification on Neo Geo configuration:

    Pi Model or other hardware: 3
    Power Supply used: CanaKit
    RetroPie Version Used: 4.3
    Built From: RetroPie image
    USB Devices connected: XBox 360 receiver
    Controller used: XBox 360
    Error messages received: none, but many roms don't load.
    Guide used: RetroPie Gitbug Neo Geo README
    File:
    Emulator: lr=fbalpha

    Configuring Neo Geo is a little daunting at first take, and I'd like some clarification on all the different comments I've come across trying to get it working.

    The Neo Geo emulator used is the default: lr-fbalpha. Like all Neo Geo emulators, a neogeo.zip is required to bootstrap.

    My first question: Is the neogeo.zip custom to the emulator used? For instance, I discovered a neogeo.zip meant to be used with the NeoRAGEx emulator. Is that zip, with the following files, interchangeable with other emulators. If not, what changes need to be made?

    it is "custom". every arcade emulator uses a different romset. these romsets have different versions of all the various files. you should start here: https://retropie.org.uk/docs/Arcade/

    neogeo$ md5sum *
    2968f59f44bf328639aa79391aeeeab4  neo-geo.rom
    fc7599f3f871578fe9a0453662d1c966  ng-lo.rom
    aa2b5d0eae4158ffc0d7d63481c7830b  ng-sfix.rom
    8c26241f9f5beb3a55c8d6ab638d250e  ng-sm1.rom
    74c4bb6a945f7284350036b40f0a0d9d  uni-bios.rom
    

    Second, what are each of those file above?

    it doesn't really matter. the contents of the various .zip files are specific to the romset. your only responsibility is to get the correct romset.

    Third, can uni-bios.rom listed above be replaced without any other changes. Here are the uni-bios hashes:

    uni-bios$ md5sum *
    1b9724d1b9d41a1a9b733007b2033fb5  uni-bios-20.rom
    0377c32f69a28f23d9281c448aafb391  uni-bios-21.rom
    5b9079a81d84137d8b6f221659d777c5  uni-bios-22.rom
    74c4bb6a945f7284350036b40f0a0d9d  uni-bios-23.rom
    727b731c1f4bd643094574ebaa3814b4  uni-bios-30.rom
    dd77a172853200bd99c986a48dde914d  uni-bios-31.rom
    274a7b72b7fd490f1fa71ce32371a93d  uni-bios-32.rom
    

    this is slightly trickier. i believe you can have various versions of the uni-bios in a given neogeo.zip, but again i wouldn't mess with this. just use the neogeo.zip from right romset and it will have what you need.

    Fourth, what is the purpose of the FBA DAT files? Are they needed for RetroPie? Where do I put the Neo Geo DAT file linked at https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/FinalBurn-Alpha?

    https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Validating,-Rebuilding,-and-Filtering-Arcade-ROMs#validating-and-rebuilding-roms

    again, this shouldn't be important. just get the right romset, and you won't need to rebuild or verify anything. you won't need the .dat.

    Lastly, I keep seeing that game roms are specific to the emulator and/or bios. I'm confused as to how that can be. If I have a set of roms & neogeo.zip which state they are for NeoRAGEx (and may not work with other emulators), what about the game roms make it specific to an emulator? Isn't there a standard, at least for the game roms?

    not at all. arcade romsets have changed over the years. you need to get the right one for the emulator you are using.



  • @dankcushions Finding an FBA uni-bios-3.2 romset is probably the hardest part - at least for me. ;)


  • Global Moderator

    @retrocake you need to find the lr-fbalpha romset. that is 0.2.97.42. don't look for individual files - that won't work. get the full 0.2.97.42 romset, and use the neogeo.zip file (and everything else) from within that.

    EDIT: corrected romset



  • [deleted]



  • @dankcushions btw, it would still be nice to have my questions answered, even if I take the easy route. No harm in putting knowledge out there.


  • Global Moderator

    @retrocake i sort of disagree - i feel like there's no sense in making mame/fba more complicated than it needs to be. if it was up to me the documentation would be a few lines long saying "get the right romset for the emulator" and a list.

    maybe once you have everything working ;)



  • @retrocake said:

    what about the game roms make it specific to an emulator? Isn't there a standard, at least for the game roms?

    The quick answer to most of your questions is that only the names of roms for arcade emulators are consistent. For example, dkong.zip is Donkey Kong. However, the individual files within the zip, and the binary data within those files--this data changes as the emulators have evolved. It is not true in every single case, but during major emulator changes, the ROMs get updated too.

    The best way to describe this is that in the early days, emulators took some shortcuts. For example, early versions of a ROM zip file might be incomplete compared to today. Certain game elements might have been skipped back then, or missed because the early emulator did not need them. Later, as emulators improved, it required that they go back and re-capture the original game chips to get more complete versions of their contents (perhaps an over-simplification, but you get the idea). So, although a specific zip file is named the same from one set to the next, the files inside can change over time to match the improvements of the emulator. Each version of MAME for example, needs to use ROMs that match. This is why you cannot just get "the latest" ROM and expect it to work with an old version of MAME/FBA. Think about this--the same is true for other software. You cannot open an new Excel file using the old version of Excel. But emulators are even more picky since they cannot use older ROMs either because they are expecting the zip file to have everything the new emulator needs to perform accurate emulation.

    NeoGeo games are the same, but in addition to the game ROMs, they rely on a NeoGeo zip file which simply has a common set of data that they all need/use. You can think of the NeoGeo BIOS as a parent ROM required for any single game to work properly. Yet, this too is version dependent. In a complete romset that includes NeoGeo games, it will also include the neogeo.zip that matches them.

    The short answer is that ROMs, BIOS files and Emulators evolve together over time. Using a specific emulator requires its matching set because you are essentially using software and documents from a snapshot of the development lifecycle, so mixing and matching pieces just doesn't work. However, you can use utilities like CLRMAMEPRO to scan a collection of files from multiple sets and, provided you have all of the pieces, rebuild individual ROM zip files or entire sets using a corresponding .dat file as a reference. The emulators do not do this for you, and using utilities like this is a complicated endeavor, so you are often better off just finding the matching romset for the emulator you are using.



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