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Intellivision emulator


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Do you have a pointer towards the Nostalgia information like that - I see the same issue with Blockade runner too..

I wanted to use JzIntv, but I cannot get any good quality screen display out of it, if I use the presets it's never full screen or if it is it is blurry and using a custom resolution as per the setup instructions seems to make it crash every-time...


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I have a fear of MESS - bourne of nothing more than using it many years ago and it driving me insane - but this was a decade ago...

Are there not strict naming and organising of rom requirements to make MESS work - my collection is accreted somewhat...

sTeVE, irrationally fearing MESS

Edited by jetbootjack
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16 minutes ago, Patham said:

Another vote for MESS here. I use the stand alone 1.77 version with good results.

Why not to use latest MAME for both Arcade and Mess machines? I use it for Arcades, Atari 5200, MSX, Intellivision, Colecovision, Vectrex, Fairchild & Atari7800.


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If you need help with MESS, check out our tutorials. In the last MESS tutorial I did, I had switched over to MAME, but all of them are worthwhile. I teach people how to find the commands they need and the steps they should take. It's very similar to RetroArch in fact, and with MAME instead of MESS standalone, you reduce the amount of steps.

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One caveat with using MAME lately if I set up MAME I see LB auto assigns checkmarks to both the Don't use quotes checkbox and the Use file names only without the extensions and if either of these are checked it will break everything in MAME except the arcade stuff which will still work. I'm not sure if the changes Jason just made to the MAME stuff will change that though since now it doesn't check to see if the file exist for MAME which should allow for Merged sets being fully functional in LB now

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...
1 hour ago, mcfilmmakers said:

FYI Retroarch now supports Intellivision with the FreeIntv core. Download it through the Retroarch core updater.

It has some pretty neat features!


Read more here: https://forums.libretro.com/t/freeintv-the-new-mattel-intellivision-core-with-video-demonstration/14389/10

It's great to see another emulator available for the Intellivision! Just wondering, what are the neat features which you mentioned?:D

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6 minutes ago, mcfilmmakers said:

There’s a key to display an overlay of the intello idiom numeric pad and you can select one of the buttons on the numeric pad overlay to assign as a hotkey on the controller. That’s one of the neater features.

Right! I noticed that feature after playing around with the freeintv core earlier. That's certainly a very welcome feature :)

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a "how-to" on jzIntv, the most accurate and supported Intellivision emulator.


Unless you're using an Intellivision controller, it's helpfull to have a button mapping specific to certain games.  You can do this with jzIntv and Launchbox.

Edited by mr_me
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2 hours ago, mr_me said:

Here's a "how-to" on jzIntv, the most accurate and supported Intellivision emulator.


Unless you're using an Intellivision controller, it's helpfull to have a button mapping specific to certain games.  You can do this with jzIntv and Launchbox.

Yep, jzintv is probably the most accurate intellivision emulator of them all, although I wish it had a slightly more 'friendly' interface. This information does come in handy though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi folks, i wondered where my initial post from the february went to, but it seemewd i saved it and didn't sended it.

Since then my questions i had emulating the Inty with MAME have been solved from my pov.


I would especially have liked to strongly suggest to use jzIntv but that has already been done.


However if one still likes to get them running with MAME here are my experiences and two files with some free to distribute games (but without the exec and grom images).

The main problem is for MAME/MESS that it depends on his games list in "hash" as .xml formatted listing, MAME doesn't reads the config files like most emulators do but would play a converted .rom (which is nothing more as the inclusion of the memory mapping of the config file into the binary) without problems or even better in many cases. MAME uses a very unique was to handle binary images, thgey must reflect the physical rom size they would have on a cartridge. games up to 16kb run from the binary if the crc and sha1 checksum complies to the listed ones in intv.xml. the binaries have to reside in "intv.zip" for the unexpanded Intv and in "Intvecs.zip" for the ecs expanded Intv.

you can add a folder in the zip named "whatever" and store your binaries in it so MAME will find it, the binaries must be split into the memory mapping sections like the config describes it. And this is what makes it so uncomfortable, each game above 16kb has to be split in little fractions before it can be used in this way. The binaries need to have the exact checksum else they wont' run.

But you have the option (two to be honest) to run the ".rom" format in a almost as comfortable way as to implement them into the romset.

You can specify in the config file for Intv in the config folder of MAME the default searchpath for your cartridges, i.e. if you specify "roms/intv_carts.zip" it will open the file requester defaulting to this zip file (or folder) where you stored your roms (preferably in the .rom format, you can convert .bin/.int/.itv best with the jzIntv tool "bin2rom" to this format, some games have a special memory mapping which has to be present with the same name to be converted proper).

You can start now the Intellivision "empty" and select with "files" - "cartridges" any of the roms in your zipped or unzipped folder.

Another method is simply to start the emulation from a batch which is a nice option to a GUI for any emulator you use.

To toy around with this and to show how binaries have to be enclosed in the games list i prepared this file, it contains a couple of split binaries, the config file with a changed default directory and a zipped folder of free to publish games also to compare which that some will run as .rom but refuse to run as binary, as well as an updated games list.

Further it contains a couple of games which refuse to run in MAME at all and clearly show that jzIntv is the better choice, the games will run on a real Intellivision (which could be caused by the used LTO Flash! it offers extra RAM which the original console won't have on the other hand a built in RAM would have been shipped with the game and should even work with MAME as long as it matches the specifications, but i know MAME has troubles with the use of RAM for the Intellivision, as i noticed each game of the original few games which came with onboard RAM are handled different they all look like workarounds. best is even here to leave it to the Intellivision, they will work as .rom but refuse to run as a split binary).

the file doesn't includes exec.bin and grom.bin to run the Intellivision.

mame intv.zip


the 32 explicit configs to convert the usually handed out .bin's (.itv, .int) in the much safer to handle .rom format, the rest of the standard 132 doesn't needs a special config, bin2rom knows how to handle them.


most homebrews are handed out as .rom or have a config file included if it's needed.


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Besides this beats any GUI


but if one still likes to run the games using a UI there is a quite good UI for jzIntv made by Arnauld Chevalier, it's not the only one but it's better as weeds "jzIntv launcher".

It won't display the boxes and overlay like "jzIntv" launcher but allows you to add user defined flags which are executed after the UI settings unlike for the "launcher", this allows you to select i.e. another resolution as the prefixed three ones of the GUI.

Also "jzIntv GUI" allows to specify a folder and will include all subfolders which the "launcher" doesn't do, if i need to run a rom from a GUI then i use this UI.

It's part of the following older jzIntv release but you can overwrite it's installed contents with the latest downloaded version of jzIntv. JzIntv recognizes all inputs from the GUI even if the support has grown, therefore you can add as many commands as you like.


the mapping for the controllers is a bit complicated for jzIntv, but once you elaborated a useful mapping you won't need many of them.

jzintv allows to switch between 4 keyboard mappings based on one profile, the first default mapping maps the two controllers as left and right controller, the sond mapping maps left controls and right keyinputs to one controller to activate the numberkeys for singleplayer games even when the disc is pressed. the third mapping switches to keyboardinput for the ECS and the fourth is reserved for emulator relevant actions such as reset or screendumping (the F keys in common mode are present for this they are disabled for the ECS keyboard mapping).

In general one profile will last for all games, i use overall 4 profiles, one is a standard profile which maps the numberkeys 2,4,6,8 to the four action buttons on top of my pad to control games which use the numberkeys for shooting (additionally all numbers except 5 are mapped on the coolie hat), the action buttons are mapped obviousely on the triggers and what is left represents 0, clear, enter and if you have a 11th and 12th button you can map also keypad 5 to the right stick button i.e.

very little i use an "arcade" profile where i mapped the action keys to the top action buttons of my pad.

further i use special profiles for the "Studiovision" and "Li'l Bro ii" games, but they wopuld be to play as well with the default profile.

here's an example:


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  • 2 weeks later...

is that visiting somebody?

i have an (two) extra for you.

i took the heavy load to prepare all (ALL! i own roundabout 240) for the use in MAME though they will be displayed properly as available in the MAME UI.

the problem is stll the rotten memory mapping needed for the inty (and other old junk).

instead to depend on a config file (which would exceed it if you guess how many machines mame emulates now) or to load the whole image and to depend on a own config table (presets for the common mappings) it's now done like before in MESS and the cartridge images must be split into the proper sections according to the memory mapping to load the section in the proper memory bank.

for bin's (the image must be in .bin .int .itv format for this) up to 16Kb they can be simply zipped and the zip file must be named exactly as required by MAME (hashtable intv.xml in directory "hash", this will also tell you how the images have to be split if at all), while the content of the zip file, the binary, can be named however MAME identifies binaries by their unique checksum and not by their name. we humans need names and a certain naming convention is obvious for us we can't read differ checksums so well.

unlike before the files must nest in a given directory structure to be shown as available. if you like to store your cartridge images in the default roms directory you have to extract the zip's "intv" and "intvecs" (these are the two intv systems seperated by MAME, intvecs has also an own hash table) to the directories "intv" and "intvecs".

unfortunately if you place the rom packs inside the system zip's they won't be recognized as available

create a directory in it named i.e. "carts", it doesn't matters what name this directory has and you could even place the rom packs directly into "intv" or "intvecs", but it's certainly neater if you create a subdirectory. if everything is proper they will apear now as available in the MAME UI.

alternatively you can create a directory in "MAME" home dir named "whatever" and add the path of "whatever" to the mame.ini and the respective machines ini's. i.e.

rompath         roms;whatever;whatever\tard

path's are seperated with a semicolon.

the folder for the software must be named equal to the system it should run in, e.g. "intv", likewise the zip or folder for the system roms is named.




and worst of all it's not even reliable, games which certainly run on any real intellivision, soccer - all of them, fail in mame. and who knows which game will even fail - you have to play them and not only watch if the title screen loads to be sure it runs as expected and pardon me a standard intellivision game like soccer will tell me a lot if it didn't runs.

but i guess it was never the goal MESS/MAME is an usable machines archive, a sort of museum and not a specialised emulator to run a game in best possible manner.

still i'm sad about the joining MESS was more this museum type and MAME concentrated on arcade machines which was done very well in this project, due to the joining, even if MAME was always a derivate of MESS it has getting worse in my opinion.

still you can load a rom (.rom in this case) with the file requester, but that's far from being comfortable, but a safe method to run a intellivision game in MAME.

however, like i said i took the heavy load to prepare all games for MAME, now i can't share all even if i would like to because i'm aware not everybody likes to fumble around with a hex editor and feels joy doing it.

but i can share some, everything which is legal (and a little bit more).

what i can't share are of course the system roms and the official released intellivision games, for this buy please a "Lives!" or "Rocks" CD ROM - even if it takes years until you do so (like in my own case, but i can still say "hey that's now my fourth intellivision console, i'm allowed to").

but still including the IntyBASIC "tard" (which are worth to have a look at) you receive roundabout 100 games with this pack which will be recognized and run in MAME.

box arts and overlays (sometimes very artificial) for almost all 240 games i listed in intv.xml and intvecs.xml, means your inty will appear very neat and cool in MAME.

includes a readme which explains the system how MAME recognizes cartridges and together with the roms and hash table examples enough how to split the roms for MAME.


all standard (excluding homebrews or IntyBASIC) images up to 16Kb doesn't have to be split, if their checksum is recognized they will appear as available if the pack (.zip) is named proper and rests in the proper directory.

as a little extra it includes the complete "RCA Studio II" (except system images, but they are free i can upload them) including the homebrews which was made for its 35th anniversary. complete with "box art".

"only for scientific interest" ;)

MAME intv.zip

i know i should have made screenshots (can't do that on the mac - or maybe, i will see), it's really neat together with the boxes and overlays.

the only thing is....

MAME fails often, it doesn't runs "Soccer", it fails at "D.K. Arcade" it fails at "Ms. Pac-Man", it fails, it fails, it fails i don't know where else.

it was a brainfucker to get some games running in mame and i really had to manually hack some roms to make them work, since MAME "stupidly" only accepts "legal" memory addresses like "5000" or "4800" (imagic) or "A000" but no specific addresses like "C100" (words apropos).

i managed it to get "Quest" running until the game should start, the title and game setup loads now when the scene should change it halts. it's a complete shit if a game uses RAM especially if it's in a non standard way and bankswitching like it's needed for "quest" isn't proper supportet in MAME (how can i preload? and so on).


because this is so frustrating (i have to peep in that "launch box" once ;) )  i put a second set together, it's an jzInzv pack containing "weeds" jzintv launcher which is quite neat if you have everything like box art, overlays and manuals ready.

the launcher is a little obsolate but still works well with the recent jzintv releases, in case you are not satisfied with the three presets for the screen res. (which i assume) you still can edit the "launcher.ini" and manually enter any desired resolution, i.e. -z1024x768.

again i put that all together with some free roms which work with the handed out "miniexec.bin", box art, manuals (.txt) and overlays for the complete set named after "goodintv" or kept the conventions for newer games (which are most of the handed out games).

with this pack you can start rightaway to play an emulated inty and won't need anything else as to set it up for the directory you placed it in.

of course many games won't run with the miniexec (even some IntyBASIC fail), but i won't hand out the system roms, else i could put all together and never mind about, but neither it makes sense to include games which won't run with the miniexec even if a few pearls are between them, like the latest release of "Deep Zone".

jzIntv includes all the developing tools from "sdk-1600", which means for you it's easy as 1,2,3 to convert .bin's in the safe to read .rom format.

to get all the flags for jzIntv displayed add --help to the command line, unlike stated you can redirect the output to a file like: jzintv --help >usage.txt


it's cool if all is ready ;) (and i do would like to share every tidbit)


only of entertaining interest:

jzIntv Launcher Pack.zip

however if you dislike the "launcher" you can still use the set of box fronts and overlays of either pack i linked (as .png for MAME named to its conventions and as .jpg for "jzintv launcher"). you still will find this or that interesting game in either pack (while due to the splitting many games for MAME intv won't have a use outside of MAME).

Edited by gernot66
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