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  1. Howdy folks, I've been beavering away at this for the past year or so as a project to learn Python. Retool converts Redump and No-Intro dats to 1G1R, doing a better job than dat managers with parent/clone dats. It has both GUI and CLI versions. You'll still need a dat manager to use the files Retool creates, such as CLRMamePro, RomVault, or Romcenter — you just won't need to use their 1G1R modes, as Retool will have already done the work for you. Why not use CLRMAMEPro or Romcenter's 1G1R mode with a parent/clone dat? Historically if you wanted to create a 1G1R set, you'd use a parent/clone dat in combination with a dat manager like CLRMAMEPro or Romcenter. After loading the dat into the dat manager, you'd set your desired regions and region order, and whether or not to filter by languages (assuming the dat has <release> tags properly set up — something which is vanishingly rare). You'd then trust the dat manager to choose the perfect parent title for you from your favorite region, discarding the clones from other regions. Here's the thing. The parent/clone dat format was created for MAME, to enable one of the ways in which it organizes its ROMs. A "parent" ROM in MAME contains the base or common files for a game, while "clone" ROMs only contain files that are different from the parent. If you load a clone game in MAME, it's smart enough to load the base files from the parent, and any of the modified files it needs from the clone. Standard 1G1R through a dat manager is effectively a hack on top of this system. In 1G1R mode a dat manager takes the parent and ignores the clones, in an effort to only include the "best" or most desired version of a title. While on the surface this seems reasonable, if you look a little closer you start to see the cracks. The primary issue is that dat managers and parent/clone dats don't have a concept of title priority. For example, what happens when there are two copies of the same title from the same region, but they have different names? Or different version numbers? Or were published by different companies at different times? Which title does the dat manager choose then? Retool figures this out for you. It even identifies the languages of each title by using multiple sources — the implied language spoken in the region the title is from, languages explicitly listed in the title's filename, and languages listed on Redump's website, which aren't always included in filenames. After you set up the GUI or user-config.yaml to your liking, Retool's output is already 1G1R, meaning you don't need to select 1G1R mode, regions, or languages in your dat manager — just load the dat and go. Clone lists While Retool is smart enough to automatically match certain types of parents and clones, there are certain situations that require manual assignment, like when a title has a different name in different regions. To achieve this, Retool keeps clone lists. At the time of writing, Retool's clone lists are the most thorough that I know of. I manually combed through titles in most dats, and cross referenced them on Wikipedia, Moby Games, Retroplace, GameTDB, VDGB, VGM, YouTube, Amazon.jp, PlayAsia, Sega Retro, PSCX2 Wiki, PlayStation DataCenter, The Cutting Room Floor, and Atari Mania. I checked out the parent/clone dats for No-Intro, and occasionally I went through Redump's site for Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Chinese characters for titles, so I could do translations and find out what they were called in other languages. When all else failed, I did some good old web searching in order to turn up information. At some point I discovered FilterQuest, a similar tool, and added some missing titles from there. Clone lists are updated independently of the program, and are formatted as JSON files. They are stored in a subfolder called clonelists, which is in the same folder as Retool. You can update them from the GUI using the File menu, or by running updateclonelists.py. Features Region ordering, and language filtering. Keep supersets (things like special editions, game of the year editions, and collections) as separate titles, or choose to make them the canonical 1G1R parent. Can exclude the following title types: Applications Bad dumps Compilations with no unique titles Coverdiscs Demos and samples Educational titles Multimedia titles Pirate titles Preproduction titles (alphas, betas, prototypes) Promotional titles Unlicensed titles The most thorough clone lists available, which can update from the internet. A GUI (works best in Windows. It works in Ubuntu, but looks a bit misshapen. This should improve as the underlying module improves). A legacy parent/clone dat creation mode, and a tool called CloneRel, so you can analyze the relationships Retool creates. This is mostly useful if you intend to update clone lists yourself. Where can I read more or download Retool? Over on the Retool Github page, where there are usage instructions for those familiar with Git and Python, and also for Windows users who haven't had much CLI, Git, or Python experience. You might also want to read the Wiki. What else is out there? There are a few different projects that all have slightly different focuses, like Pixelpiper's DCTF, AndreBrait's 1G1R romset generator, and UnluckyForSome's FilterQuest.
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