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MAME and the Neo Geo Bios

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The MAME 0.202 build has added the US MVS (U4) bios (sp1-u4.bin) to it's Neo Geo bios requirements.
If you've updated to the MAME 0.202 build and your neogeo.zip is missing this file, then your Neo Geo games will fail audit and won't launch via MAME's own GUI. However, they will still play in LaunchBox. It seems that LaunchBox can be very accommodating at times.

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This doesn't make any sense, LB does not have any effect on the emulator outside of the command line parameters you send it.

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I updated from MAME 0.201 to 0.202 and all my Neo Geo games failed audit and refused to launch via MAME's GUI reporting that the file sp1-u4.bin was missing, but LaunchBox still launched them. When I grabbed the latest neogeo.zip with the file sp1-u4.bin included, then all the games passed audit and launched via MAME's GUI.
What else can I say?

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Are you sure you maybe didn't have a 2nd install of Mame and had LB still pointing to the old one or something ? Because if a game isn't working in the emulator outside of LB it should not be working inside of LB if everything is setup as intended.

I say this because Launchbox has no impact on the emulator working or not working beyond being properly setup in LB itself.

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I have only one install of MAME, currently MAME 0.202 build.
Perhaps someone on MAME 0.201 who has updated to 0.202 might do a test using both the MAME GUI launcher and the LaunchBox launcher before installing the latest neogeo.zip just to confirm or  refute what I got?

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I'm pretty sure that MAME isn't as picky about files when using the command line vs using the UI. Just take the software list themselves as an example via command line you can launch basically any rom through MAME using LB but in the UI you must have the specific software list games for the MAME set in an archive for it to work

 

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Are you testing a game you have run previously?

My guess is that BIOS file is now part of the NEOGEO set, and hence it will fail an audit if not present.

However, if you have run the game before, and MAME has saved the specific NEOGEO BIOS you it ran with previously, it will still run since it doesn't need that new BIOS version that was added.

As a test, start your game, then go into MAME menu and change the BIOS to that new one. Quit the game and try starting again. It should fail now. (Assuming it will let you pick the newest missing BIOS)

 

 

 

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It's always been an intentional design that you can launch incomplete sets from command-line

 

Quote from a MAME Developer:

Quote

FYI, this is kind of by design.

When I added the 'bios' functionality, I made it possible to load a game so long as you had the minimum roms to launch it in a given configuration (i.e. the bios you specified was available + the game roms). This was to address a concern from Nicola that users might feel they had to track down all roms even if their hardware didn't have said revision.

However, when the internal menu was added by Aaron, it didn't take this into account, and only showed games as available if all roms were present. It never bothered me enough to change, and I consider that it's a cool secret feature that you can launch incomplete sets from the command-line...

 

Another option I like doing is create a neogeo.ini and chuck it in the ini folder with the following line in it:

bios                      unibios32

 

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Apologies in advance for the necro bump.

I am having difficulties getting neogeo games to work correctly on the latest MAME emulator. It appears the bios I have is outdated and missing sp1-u4.bin, among others. Does anyone know where I can find the latest neogeo bios files?

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3 minutes ago, Thornback said:

Apologies in advance for the necro bump.

I am having difficulties getting neogeo games to work correctly on the latest MAME emulator. It appears the bios I have is outdated and missing sp1-u4.bin, among others. Does anyone know where I can find the latest neogeo bios files?

NeoGeo bios was changed a few versions back, any romset from the last 2-3 months will have the bios included. Sounds like you have a older romset but a newer version of the emulator, this is exactly the reason you dont mix versions, you have a older set but the emulator expects the newer version. Either get a new bios/romset, or just use the correct emulator.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, neil9000 said:

NeoGeo bios was changed a few versions back, any romset from the last 2-3 months will have the bios included. Sounds like you have a older romset but a newer version of the emulator, this is exactly the reason you dont mix versions, you have a older set but the emulator expects the newer version. Either get a new bios/romset, or just use the correct emulator.

Yeah that makes sense. I had an older version of the emulator that I recently updated to the latest. But the romset is still an older one. I suppose I'll have to go search for an updated romset.

Mame is the only emulator that I know which complicates things simply by upgrading. Am I supposed to set up various Mame emulators based on romset differences?

Edited by Thornback

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51 minutes ago, Thornback said:

Mame is the only emulator that I know which complicates things simply by upgrading.

Well the thing with MAME is its not just the emulator that is updated, the actual roms and bios files are also. This is why they are versioned, one rom may not of changed for 20 years, but another may of got a better dump last week, or the encryption on it was finally cracked rather than bypassed allowing better emulation, but the rom needs to be to be redumped first with the new files added to the zip.

It's really quite simple at the end of the day, don't update the emulator, just use the one made for your romset version as that is the only way you will have 100% compatability. If you want to update the emulator because the emulation has improved for a specific game, you will likely need the updated rom as well, so just updating the emulator may break it rather than making it better as the new emulator version will be looking for a specific zip with very specific files inside of it, and when it cant find those files thats when it throws a fit and wont load the game.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, neil9000 said:

Well the thing with MAME is its not just the emulator that is updated, the actual roms and bios files are also. This is why they are versioned, one rom may not of changed for 20 years, but another may of got a better dump last week, or the encryption on it was finally cracked rather than bypassed allowing better emulation, but the rom needs to be to be redumped first with the new files added to the zip.

It's really quite simple at the end of the day, don't update the emulator, just use the one made for your romset version as that is the only way you will have 100% compatability. If you want to update the emulator because the emulation has improved for a specific game, you will likely need the updated rom as well, so just updating the emulator may break it rather than making it better as the new emulator version will be looking for a specific zip with very specific files inside of it, and when it cant find those files thats when it throws a fit and wont load the game.

I played around with this some more and ended up downgrading the emulator to an earlier build which made my roms compatible again. Still, I am not 100% sure I understand the versioning. I have always handpicked my roms regardless of platform. So instead of downloading these massively oversized romsets I pick only those that I am genuinely interested in. Doing it that way, however, doesn't tell me what version of the emulator is compatible with my rom files. Is there an easy way to figure this out?

I understand that downloading a pre-configured romset is easier but I can't be stuffed importing hundreds or even thousands of roms, most of which I'd never play. Even if I did, what happens if I need a newer version of the emulator because of game-specific improvements? Wouldn't I have to re-do my romsets from scratch?

Edited by Thornback

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Getting the new version of the roms is as easy as starting the new torrent and pointing it towards you old folder and it will check what you have that matches the new one then download all the things missing so no you don't really have to start from scratch every time you update

 

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4 hours ago, DOS76 said:

Getting the new version of the roms is as easy as starting the new torrent and pointing it towards you old folder and it will check what you have that matches the new one then download all the things missing so no you don't really have to start from scratch every time you update

 

Is that a newer feature in MAME?  I wasn't even aware that this was possible.  That's a great feature.

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15 minutes ago, Drybonz said:

Is that a newer feature in MAME?  I wasn't even aware that this was possible.  That's a great feature.

That isn't a MAME feature. It is the torrent client that performs that process.

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