Atari 2600 emulators for the PC

OK, I’m generally a sensible and intelligent type of fellow. But this has been bugging the shit out of me for too long.

Much like algebra, I just can’t figure these damn things out. I’ll find a site that offers the emulators for free, download them, follow the instructions, and…nothing. As with anything else I can’t figure out on my own, I’m sure it’s something incredibly simple I’m not doing. So I’m here to learn.

Can anyone explain what needs to be done with these damned things and/or link somewhere that offers them with instructions written for chipmunks? I have 2 compilations on XBOX from Activision and Midway, but there are many others I’d like to revisit.

As always, thanks in advance.

Are they legal? If so, you’ll have to provide to a link to get any help.

Actually, come to think of it, I’m not sure the legality of them. If they’re illegal, go ahead and delete the thread, Admins. I would suspect they are legal as I’ve found one written of in Maxim and another in Game Informer. :confused:

Not sure if you have a PlayStation2, but I picked up a PS2 compilation of A LOT of the old Atari games (all on one disk) at Target for like $15 a few weeks ago.

I have the same collection for my PC, but it lacks titles like Frogger, Pitfall and Zaxxon (my all-time favorite.)

Maybe it’s a lost cause, but I’ll keep checking back to see if lightning strikes.

I think they fall under the gray catagory of abandonware, which may or may not be legal, but they are so old no one wants to spend the time to figure it out.

IIRC you need 2 things, the ROM (the instruction set of the game) of the game itself and a emulator which will allow you to use that ROM on a PC. I suspect you may only have the ROM.

I can factually say that Mame32 contains pretty much every classic arcade game around. My friend did the downloading and stuff for me; so I cannot say how easy it is to install. I also have no idea how stable the latest version is. I also have no idea what’s legal and what isn’t.

Note that you have to play around with the keyboard a bit to figure out how to start and play games. You have to press a key to add coins, press another key start the game, etc.

I believe the emulators are legal, but the ROMs themselves are not (or they are only legal if you have the actual game cartridge). Of course, it is a hotly debated issue with arguments on both sides and IANAL, etc.

Some systems required a ROM just to operate, what we now call a BIOS.

The VCS was so primitive it didn’t have one. Some people read ‘primitive’ as ‘flexible’ and the 2600 is nothing if not flexible!

The Astrovision, Intellivision, Colecovision and later Atari systems all need system ROMs under copyright to function.