NES emulator for Mac that doesn't use Emulator Enhancer!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Dabisu, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. Dabisu macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2006
    I recently switched over from Windows to Mac OS X with a new iMac, which I love, however I'm looking for an NES emulator that doesn't require the Emulator Enhancer to support joypad support, because I don't want to pay to use a joypad.

    I've searched and found Nestopia and RockNes but both use Emulator Enhancer and I don't like shareware because eventually I will have to pay $25 to use a joypad. On the other hand if I use GamePad Companion I will have to pay $15 for that, which is a cheaper alternative.

    Is it possible to play an NES emulator on the Mac with a joypad without paying money?
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level

    I don't know or at least I havent seen any without that feature
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It's not free, but you could always buy one of those dirt-cheap NES-style USB joypads--last one I tried worked just fine with no drivers, and since it mimics the arrow keys, it bascially just works in every emulator I tried even without any additional software. YMMV, of course.
  4. Dabisu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2006
    I just find it pretty odd that for OS X there is not a single NES emulator that can use Joypads for free.

    The NES joypad sounds like a good idea, but I can't really seem to locate any that are "dirt cheap", where did you get yours?
  5. Sayer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Maybe that's because there are fewer kids riding their parent's or the government's money through four years of college that have the free time to make Mac OS X software for free than those making Windoze software?
  6. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    That was an obtuse post.
  7. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    that was acutely directed.

    ps. I find it strange that you have to pay for features in an emulated game. Some rebel ought to crack that, unless the emulator writer made the original emulated console. in which case he deserves all your money.
  8. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Does the emulator writer get money? I thought that the writer of Emulator Enhancer would.....

    Are all those emulators just forks of one emulator or something? I noticed when one emulator has a problem with a rom, they all do.
  9. Dabisu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2006
    I've been spending much of the day searching for something I can use, I found a list of NES emulators for the mac, here, and I found some MESS (Multiple Emulator Super System) for Mac however no joypad support.

    MacFC looked promissing however the joypad support requires Gamesprockets, which isn't available for OS X.

    I haven't tried FCE Ultra because only the source is available for OS X and I don't know how to compile things.

    Also... Mednafen which has been compiled for OS X but there aren't any compiled versions to download.

    I found a FCE Ultra launcher Here, however it requires a compiled version of FCE Ultra, but the manuals are all in Japanese...

    If anyone knows more about these emulators which I haven't gotten to work or a way to use gamepad support for free, please reply!
  10. Yoyodyne macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2005
    There was a bit of an argument about this a couple months ago, but I can't find it through a search. One person argued that all of the OS X ports were being castrated for the sake of add-ons like Emulator Enhancer. The demand is just not as big for Mac Emulators as it is for Windows, so Richard Bannister is looking for an incentive: cash. I’m not sure of the validity.

    Emulator Enhancer just gives you a pop-up window to donate, which you can close and then use the joypad function for free. At least it was that way when I used it last. I would download it and close the prompt window after you launch the emulator.

    Try out it's a bit outdated, but helpful. Other good Mac emu sites are and

    Unfortunately, like video games in general, Mac emu development is behind Windows. I do all of my emulation with my XP desktop.
  11. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    I use GamePad Companion, which is still shareware, but only $15. I use it to map the buttons on my SNES pad (connected through a Super SmartJoy) so I can use it in SNESx.
  12. Dabisu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2006
    Thanks for the help guys, but I am so close to using FCE Ultra, I started to configure it after downloading Xcode however I'm running into a little problem, does anyone think they could help me?

    When I enter " ./configure --disable-sdltest " as suggested by the FCE Ultra install instructions, it goes fine until... I run into an error with SDL.

    Here is what it says...

    "checking for SDL - version >= 1.2.0... no
    *** The sdl-config script installed by SDL could not be found
    *** If SDL was installed in PREFIX, make sure PREFIX/bin is in
    *** your path, or set the SDL_CONFIG environment variable to the
    *** full path to sdl-config.
    configure: error: *** SDL version 1.2.0 not found!"

    I downloaded SDL and put it in library/frameworks, but it still doesn't detect SDL, can anyone help me out?
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Seriously, that is a product every child of the 80s should own. I could break out my old Zelda cartridge and not have to futz with the NES (I still own one) to get it running. Would've been worth it for the Japanese FF2 and FF3, but there are worthy gameboy ports now.
  14. slooksterPSV macrumors 68040


    Apr 17, 2004
    Download and compile the SDL Source:
    Download the source a tar.gz or tar.bz2 file
    Open Termainl and cd to the directory of the SDL-1.2.10 source
    type in sudo ./configure
    type in sudo make
    type in sudo make install
  15. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    You spent all day searching to save $25.00?
  16. howesey macrumors 6502a

    Dec 3, 2005
    Illegal software is not a good idea to shout out about on these forums.

    You are breaking the licence agreement for the games. Please read them.
  17. Dabisu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2006
  18. Simon Liquid macrumors regular

    Jul 4, 2001
    There's a pretty good resource on emulators for Macs. It was formerly at but that URL doesn't work any more. There is some kind of mirror at, however.
  19. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA

    And ROMs aren't illegal either if you own the game.

    This is not a hypothetical situation, I might add--I, for example, have an NES and a box of games in a closet. There are times I'd like to play one of them, but frankly the hassle of digging the thing out, cleaning the contacts, and hooking it up to my TV all to play a game for 10 minutes just isn't worth it. Takes 10 seconds to fire up an emulator on my computer, however, and again if I own the cart, it's not even illegal to have the ROM.

    Now, I admit that's not how most emulators are used. Then again, if YOU can show me where to buy a copy of, say, MetalStorm for the NES, then I'd really be impressed. There's a legit abandonware argument to be made here.

    I'd heard rumor (or fact? I've been out of it for a long time) that the Wii will allow you to download and play classic NES and SNES games on it. If so, THEN downloaded ROMs would be difficult to call abandonware anymore... but I won't care, because doing it on a proper TV and legitimately would be so worth it.
  20. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Actually, according to emulators are in fact ILLEGAL. Nintendo argues there are no legal uses for emulators and that downloading ROMs regardless of cartridge ownership is illegal.
  21. Dabisu thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2006
    Well, I can tell you that the Nintendo Wii (which I am overly excited about) will have a Virtual Console, where you will be able to download NES, SNES, N64, Sega Genesis, and Turbo Graphx-16. The pricing for the games downloads are estimated from $4-$8. Still, nothing is better than owning the real thing, that's why I collect games.
  22. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Interesting link. And after reading that, no, they're not saying that emulators are illegal--that's just plain wrong unless they utilize a copy of copyrighted ROM code from the console. This was determined conclusively by the the VGS case where Connectix cleanroom reverse-engineered the Playstation ROM. They are, however, saying that they have no legitimate use, since a ROM in any form, including of a game you already own, is illegal.

    I believe that second assertion is arguable under US copyright law, but in any case the argument that ROMs of archaic games in all forms are bad, while 100% understandable from a legal standpoint, is asinine in reality. It may be technically illegal for me to play 10 Yard Fight on my computer instead of using the cartridge I own, but any reasonable person can see that it's not doing them any good to stop me. And the simple fact is NOBODY is getting any value from a lot of games that have been out of print for over two decades (and, in some cases, even the publisher is out of business), and there would be functionally no interest in reviving them were it not for the ROM scene.

    Now, once the Wii ships with "legit" ROM/emulator support, that's going to change completely, espeically if they start offering a wide selection of obscure old games and not just the "classics". At that point, there is a very real economic loss happening.

    But a have a question: Do you really think that, were it not for emulators, anybody under the age of 20 would even REMEMBER the NES, let alone have a desire to play games for it? No. As it is, there's a whole new generation that's been introduced to classic gaming through emulation, and I'm sure some of them (like me) are hungry for a legit console and easy way to support their existance financially, which is exactly what the Wii is.

    It's like those "system-in-a-controller" dodads they sell at mall kiosks with several classic games built in--they've helped revive interest for some of the classics, but no support for the literally hundreds of more obscure NES and SNES games that exist.
  23. unfaded macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Assuming that person has a Wii, and is making a choice to emulate via computer over buying it on the Wii system.

    (The cost of the Wii can't be taken into account as its primary function isn't to emulate, but to play its own games.)
  24. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Not only that, but with emulators you could play for a bit and save your game and come back to it. Most of the NES games you either lost all progress when you shut it off, or it would give you a password which looked something like this:

    ab0oOx1294 xyc91283bd 5082edcfx 408240dfef 42345pofsdxc 43029403d

    Which started you at level 2.

    Only some of the expensive games actually had batteries that saved your progress.

    But yeah, downloading ROMs is bad causes "tens of thousands" of people to lose their jobs and forces Nintendo to do bad stuff like price fixing.....right? ;)

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