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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:18 PM   #1
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Fully Functional MAME Emulator Appears in App Store




TouchArcade notes the appearance of an arcade game called Gridlee in the App Store.

Gridlee is a 1983 arcade game that was never officially released, but the code was later released for free for non-commercial usage in 2001. The App Store app uses MAME 0.139u1 (MAME4iOS) to provide the emulation engine for the game. MAME is a popular arcade machine emulator that will run thousands of arcade games if you have the original ROMs.

When launching the free app, users are greeted with the Gridlee game. TouchArcade readers, however, quickly noticed that additional ROMs could be copied into the App's ROM directory (without jailbreaking), revealing the fully functional MAME emulator.
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When word of this hit our forums, readers were quick to pull out iExplore and begin digging about the app's directory structure looking for a ROM folder. Well, it's in there, and sure enough, if one copies other MAME ROMs into that folder, the Gridlee app starts up with the standard MAME4iOS ROM listing, allowing for a great many games beyond just Gridlee to be played on the iPhone or iPad in this Universal app.
The story is similar to the iMAME Emulator that was released into the App Store in December, 2011. Apple quickly pulled that app a few days after its release. While a number of individual emulators do exist on the App Store, Apple has been more restrictive about these open emulators, presumably due to potential legal issues.

Gridlee is a free download on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Fully Functional MAME Emulator Appears in App Store
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:29 PM   #2
viperGTS
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Someone should sneak a Gameboy Advance emulator into the App Store.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:34 PM   #3
-Ryan-
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Someone should sneak a Gameboy Advance emulator into the App Store.
Now we're talking.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by viperGTS View Post
Someone should sneak a Gameboy Advance emulator into the App Store.
It's "Game Boy Advance." "Game Boy" is two words.

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Originally Posted by bjsterilite View Post
That would mean looking for a free open version of a gameboy adv game no?
IT'S TWO FREAKIN' WORDS (nerd rage)

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Originally Posted by Am3r1ca16 View Post
i want to play pokemon games on my iPhone! without jailbreak! not some 1984 games!
It's not Apple's fault that you can't. It's Nintendo's. They don't want to release that game for a platform they're not selling hardware for.

At any rate, I'd like to remind everyone that by using emulators like this to play ROMs that aren't explicitly free, you're committing an act of piracy. Just because a game is older doesn't mean it's not still copyrighted. If that's what you want to do, fine, but at least be consistent and don't look down on those who jailbreak their devices to pirate iOS software at the same time - stealing ROMs is no less a crime.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:15 AM   #5
Uplift
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I've struggled to get most ROMS working.

some error about CHD files missing.

would love some info on this if anyone got it working? (PM?)

Thanks
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Albright View Post
It's "Game Boy Advance." "Game Boy" is two words.



IT'S TWO FREAKIN' WORDS (nerd rage)
I'd love to install it on my ITouch... (wrong capitalization on purpose too!)
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:27 PM   #7
ZZ Bottom
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Originally Posted by Albright View Post
At any rate, I'd like to remind everyone that by using emulators like this to play ROMs that aren't explicitly free, you're committing an act of piracy. Just because a game is older doesn't mean it's not still copyrighted. If that's what you want to do, fine, but at least be consistent and don't look down on those who jailbreak their devices to pirate iOS software at the same time - stealing ROMs is no less a crime.
No you're right... pirating games which cannot be purchased due to the fact that there doesn't exist a modern port is the exact same as pirating iOS apps that are currently available for purchase...

By the way, I happily bought the X-Men arcade game off the App store when it appeared despite already having a rom version in the iMame app. Atari offers a nice set of arcade games in their apps, but there are too many gems still unobtainable outside of piracy or buying a vintage arcade machine.

----------

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Originally Posted by MagnusVonMagnum View Post
Is there an alternative to iExplorer? I don't really want to pay $35+ (and that's ONE license for only ONE of your computers; I have 4 machines running OSX and one dedicated Windows machine) just to copy a flipping file. I don't need to play Galaga on my iPod that badly. I have no need for its other functions. $5 would be more than reasonable for just a file copy utility. I could get an iPod Shuffle for the retail price of this program.
Yes, it's called iFunBox. It's free and does everything you'd need.

http://www.i-funbox.com
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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Yes, it's called iFunBox. It's free and does everything you'd need.
http://www.i-funbox.com
I second iFunBox. Free and worked great for me!
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:25 AM   #9
HobeSoundDarryl
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I second iFunBox. Free and worked great for me!
Could you explain how to use it for this? It looks like files are moving but they don't actually make it to Mini. Tried single files and multiple files. Nothing gets added to that folder.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 01:49 AM   #10
Albright
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Originally Posted by ZZ Bottom View Post
No you're right... pirating games which cannot be purchased due to the fact that there doesn't exist a modern port is the exact same as pirating iOS apps that are currently available for purchase...

By the way, I happily bought the X-Men arcade game off the App store when it appeared despite already having a rom version in the iMame app. Atari offers a nice set of arcade games in their apps, but there are too many gems still unobtainable outside of piracy or buying a vintage arcade machine.
"I can't/wasn't going to buy it anyway" and "But I don't pirate everything" are classic pirate justifications.

Let's address the first one. Let's say that you have an Xbox 360, but Nintendo has just released a cool Wii game that you really want to play, even though you don't have a Wii. Now let's say that a clever hacker has found a way to make that game playable on your Xbox 360. Does that put you morally in the clear to steal that Wii game?

No? Okay, what if it were a GameCube game? Or an N64 game? Or a SNES game? At what point does the the theft of an old game become justifiable?

You can live without pirating old arcade games on your iPhone. As the now semi-classic Ihnatko essay points out, you aren't entitled to anything, no matter how much you may want it.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 03:05 AM   #11
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ROMs used to be a bigger issue 10 years ago than they are now. They aren't abandonware, but then they're not being printed anymore either. They wouldn't go after you for downloading those games now anyway.

Better to have 10 different Angry Birds than 20 NES emulators which basically all do the same thing. Even right now on Google Play, there are a bunch of "developers" taking the same NDS source code and compiling it, then putting it up for free, or for $0.99-3.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 09:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Albright View Post
At what point does the the theft of an old game become justifiable?
If it's justified, it isn't theft. If it's theft, it isn't justified. The two terms must complement each other to make sense.
That said, the original purpose of copyright was to protect ownership for a few years - less time than it takes most "abandonware" to warrant the label.
That copyright period now is on the order of a century is indicative that the applicable laws are broken/abused. Of course, that the law is broken doesn't justify an action ... but that the law is broken doesn't justify the law either.
The correct answer is to return the law to its original intent and form, modified if appropriate for any narrow special cases instead of perpetuating copyright on something which no appropriate "owner" cares about or can be found.

Last edited by ctdonath; Jan 28, 2013 at 09:33 AM.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:14 AM   #13
ZZ Bottom
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Originally Posted by Albright View Post
"I can't/wasn't going to buy it anyway" and "But I don't pirate everything" are classic pirate justifications.

Let's address the first one. Let's say that you have an Xbox 360, but Nintendo has just released a cool Wii game that you really want to play, even though you don't have a Wii. Now let's say that a clever hacker has found a way to make that game playable on your Xbox 360. Does that put you morally in the clear to steal that Wii game?

No? Okay, what if it were a GameCube game? Or an N64 game? Or a SNES game? At what point does the the theft of an old game become justifiable?

You can live without pirating old arcade games on your iPhone. As the now semi-classic Ihnatko essay points out, you aren't entitled to anything, no matter how much you may want it.
None of your examples pertain to games that existed only as full size arcade machines... and yes I don't feel remorse for "pirating" games that are long out of production or distribution. I'm not entitled to them and my life will be of no difference without, but I'm not going to ignore the access to them.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albright View Post
"I can't/wasn't going to buy it anyway" and "But I don't pirate everything" are classic pirate justifications.

Let's address the first one. Let's say that you have an Xbox 360, but Nintendo has just released a cool Wii game that you really want to play, even though you don't have a Wii. Now let's say that a clever hacker has found a way to make that game playable on your Xbox 360. Does that put you morally in the clear to steal that Wii game?

No? Okay, what if it were a GameCube game? Or an N64 game? Or a SNES game? At what point does the the theft of an old game become justifiable?

You can live without pirating old arcade games on your iPhone. As the now semi-classic Ihnatko essay points out, you aren't entitled to anything, no matter how much you may want it.
Since you quote Ihnatko, who admits elsewhere he torrents movies sometimes with the intent of buying them when they become available, from the linked "classic" article:
"So long as you buy it as soon as itís possible to do so, I can confidently reach for my "No Harm Done" rubber stamp. Some content is commercially unavailable because the publisher or distributor has no desire to ever release it. Iíll even go so far as to say that downloading it illegally is a positive thing; youíre helping to keep this creative work alive."
So in this context of old arcade "abandonware", where the publishers for a myriad of reasons don't make them available in any form, including many cases of them having gone out of business and the rights being unclear or copyright has passed to some company who isn't interested in publishing it, what IS the harm? Where is the crime? Who's being disadvantaged? Has anyone missed out on sales as a result? Clearly the answer is a resounding "no" where the game is no longer around. Is that an excuse? Possibly. A justification certainly. Can we live without those games? Of course we can. But given no-one is being deprived of anything, to quote Ihnatko, "No harm done".
And then there is the simple fact that there are a small selection of legal Roms available, like Gridlee. That alone justifies Mame's existence, irrespective of what use most people put it to. It helps to keep old classic games alive. That is the purpose of Mame: To preserve old arcade games for a time when the machines have all died as they will. Legally, if you own the cabinet, you are entitled to a backup, but realistically original cabinets are rare and expensive and generally not readily available to play anywhere, with a few exceptions. Pragmatically, people will get Roms any way they can to play as there are no other readily available way to play old arcade games. No reasonable person would argue that is immoral.
To play the Devil's Advocate, for any newer games being emulated and possibly still widely available, and I don't know if there are any, you could have a case the arcade is being disadvantaged. I do occasionally see pubs who has what appears to be Mame cabinets running a small selection of classic games. If they were in any way legit and available near you, then you could have a case for those games. But this is really stretching the argument.
As for the rest of your strained analogy with the Wii and Xbox: If you pay for the Wii game, and you could somehow plug it into a conversion unit which allows you to play it on the XBox, that is entirely justifiable, irrespective of what the actual terms say. If it involves ripping the game onto a hard drive and running an emulator on the XBox, that is not legal, but arguably justifiable if you actually paid for the game. If you then extend that to old N64 and SNES games, whose consoles are not available anymore, provided you own the games themselves, then that is certainly justifiable as it meet the no-disadvantage test. If you now assume people instead download games for old defunct consoles no longer sold new anywhere, but might be available 2nd-hand and whose cartridges or CDs might be found secondhand on ebay or elsewhere, you can argue moral ambiguity, as the game company, in this case Nintendo, is very much around and might possibly make the games available and sometimes do as a port to something like their handheld devices.
Whereas classic game enthusiasts certainly aren't entitled to any of this unless they physically own the game, in most cases it is justifiable irrespective of the label you choose to put on it, like Theft or Copying, since they are no longer available and most will never be. Moreover, there is a big difference between Legal and Moral. Whether it is legal to download a copyrighted work and whether it is moral are two separate questions. Let's not get into a debate about the efficacy of the Copyright Act, but in its present form with the Disney extensions it is not well respected and it is entirely possible for people to breach it wantonly and repeatedly without any moral scruples whatsoever and indeed be justified in doing so.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Albright View Post
"I can't/wasn't going to buy it anyway" and "But I don't pirate everything" are classic pirate justifications.
Have Android, will Emu - I feel no need whatsoever to "justify" - if you're not comfortable doing it, then you shouldn't, if you want to consider me an amoral or immoral <insert label>, go for it.

Obladi oblada.

Frankly, the bigger issue for the industry should be why these old, slow, comparatively low-tech games still find such a compelling audience.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 04:29 PM   #16
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It's not Apple's fault that you can't. It's Nintendo's. They don't want to release that game for a platform they're not selling hardware for.
Technically, Pokemon is a Game Freak IP. It doesn't belong to Nintendo. Pokemon Rumble and an official (in Japan) Pokedex have both appeared on the iOS App Store, both made by Game Freak.

I don't expect any of Nintendo's own IPs (Mario, Zelda, etc) to come out on the App Store anytime soon, though.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 04:34 PM   #17
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Has anyone tried loading NAOMI or CPS2/3 ROMS into this? Fighting games like Capcom Vs SNK Pro, Marvel Vs. Capcom 1/2, Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter Alpha (ZERO)??

I tried loading Street Fighter 3 into iMAME when it came out, it wouldnt even recognize the game. Just wondering if anyone has attempted to load games more advanced than ms pacman or donkey kong into one if these... Thanks
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 04:38 PM   #18
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Technically, Pokemon is a Game Freak IP. It doesn't belong to Nintendo. Pokemon Rumble and an official (in Japan) Pokedex have both appeared on the iOS App Store, both made by Game Freak.

I don't expect any of Nintendo's own IPs (Mario, Zelda, etc) to come out on the App Store anytime soon, though.
Rolling with this, this could mean that non-Nintendo IP games that were licensed by Nintendo could be fair game, such as games Konami licensed to them (Gradius, Contra), Ikari Warriors, etc.

Heh.. it just occurred to me.. in the version of Ikari Warriors that came out on Nintendo, in some of the upper levels, we actually see the first occurrences of what would be a suicide bomber (bad guy walks up to you or the tank, flashes red, and blows himself up).. Crazy that we didn't think about it then, and that was 25 years ago.

BL.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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Talking i'm surprised

If I was the dev for i-MAME I would be very upset that my app got pulled while this one is still available
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:19 AM   #20
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Rolling with this, this could mean that non-Nintendo IP games that were licensed by Nintendo could be fair game, such as games Konami licensed to them (Gradius, Contra), Ikari Warriors, etc.
Yeah, if they're not first-party developers, it's totally up to their discretion where to release their games. Konami released a Contra game in China in response to how much the game was being pirated. Nintendo could release something like Mario on the store if they wanted to, but most likely won't, since they have their own hardware to develop for.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 10:17 AM   #21
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Technically, Pokemon is a Game Freak IP. It doesn't belong to Nintendo.
That is incorrect. While the games are developed by Game Freak, the Pokemon franchise is owned by Nintendo.

Edit: In fact, the official Pokedex for iOS app wasn't developed by Game Freak. It was developed by Creatures Inc., which is a subsidiary of Nintendo. The app is listed under the Pokemon Company brand, owned by Nintendo.

Last edited by starwa314; Jan 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:51 PM   #22
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That would mean looking for a free open version of a gameboy adv game no?
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 03:56 PM   #23
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That would mean looking for a free open version of a gameboy adv game no?
Or a publisher to port the game, but rather than re-writing it for iOS, they could wrap it in a GBA emulator in much the same way.

I imagine, IF something like this is an issue for Apple, they will look more carefully in the future.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:00 PM   #24
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Awesome, I already have iMAME before it was pulled, but it's nice to have two options.

Now if they could only sneak in SNES, NES, GBA, Genesis, TG-16, & Neo Geo emulators, we'd be all set. I'm running jailbroken, so I already have the above, but it doesn't look like jailbreaking is going to be around forever (although developer account IPA signing is another alternative..).
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:14 PM   #25
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Is this the same MAME engine as the pulled iMame app or a more advanced one capable of some newer games (like SEGA Rally)?
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