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Somewhat incorrect MAME ROM identification


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New to the platform, things have mostly be going well other than a some roadblocks here and there.

This is my current issue that I'm not sure at all how to deal with at the moment (other than really shitty solutions):

I just finished importing my MAME set (full 0.213) and there seems to be a bit of confusion between several different, but related games. These games are NOT variations of each other though and are indeed full separate titles. The strange thing is that Launchbox seemed to recognize they were different enough to not combine them as it does version variants but not well enough to use a different database ID (if there even are ones for the lesser games) and different artwork.

I suspect I have this issue with more than just these two but these are the ones I have noticed first:

  • Mortal Kombat (mk.zip | Original Arcade version and its variants)
  • Mortal Kombat (tmkombat.zip | Handheld Tiger Electronics game)


  • Mortal Kombat 3 (mk3.zip | Original Arcade version and its variants)
  • Mortal Kombat 3 (mk3mdb.zip | Some kind of bootleg)
  • Mortal Kombat 3 (mk3snes.zip | SNES bootleg)

Again, while they are bootlegs, they are original bootlegs made from the ground up as separate games and are not actually variants (clones is probably the right word here) of the originals,

So like I said, they appear as separate entries within Launchbox and the details of each are completely different and correct (i.e. release date, publisher, source, developer, etc.); however, the games are all listed under the same LaunchBox DB ID, #7193 for MK and #17094 for MK3 and use the same exact artwork set (all images). This makes it so that from the primary view in LaunchBox (and I'm sure BigBox) they look exactly the same since they have the same title and artwork and that I have to look at the details on the right to make sure I'm starting the one I actually want. I don't mind that they have the same titles since they do actually share the same titles and I primarily just want to correct the artwork since it is obviously inaccurate (the covers and screenshots for the original arcade versions are not going to be the same as the bootleg); i.e., right now if you look under screenshots for the bootlegs it shows images from the regular arcade version even though the bootlegs are completely different. I don't really care about the bootlegs (though I don't want to remove them for completeness of my set) and just want the artwork to be changed to the correct artwork if there is an entry for these other games (or removed if not) so I can easily distinguish them from the normal ones when browsing the list.

You can see what I mean in my attachment.

I know I can remove the artwork manually but I was hoping somewhat had a known strategy to deal with this since trying to find if there is an entry for the other ones in the database through browser is difficult since their names are exactly the same and there are tons of games with "Mortal Kombat" in their names. Also it seems you can only change the ID manually in XML?



Edited by oblivioncth
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1 hour ago, DOS76 said:

if you edit one of the bootlegs in LB delete the metadata id and scan for metadata again what happens?

It seems that for Mortal Kombat 3 at least I was slightly wrong and all of the meta data used in the same between all 3 games except for the bootlegs noting that their Publisher is "bootleg".

I deleted just the idea (red X) on the 3 bootleg games, selected them and then did Tools->Download Metadata & Media and selected the replace existing option. Atm it keeps getting stuck on downloading a Big Box Cinematic Video Theme :/, but even so after right clicking on the Mortal Kombat 1 bootleg handheld game it seems that it just reassigned the same ID to the game (the video it is stuck on is for that one so I can't comment on the 2 bootlegs for MK III, though I suspect it will just do the same).


1 hour ago, DOS76 said:

Also what parameters are you using to import them as I don't have any of the games except the parents.

I just used "Import->MAME Arcade Full Set", then:

  1. Platform: Arcade
  2. Pointed to ROMs dir
  3. Used MAME
  4. Search LaunchBox & Wikipedia
  5. Various media checkboxes for both Launchbox images and EmuMovies images/videos
  6. Import clones as additional apps
  7. Unchecked all "Skip" options
  8. Left all playlist options checked.
  9. Finish


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I know it will, including a bazillion majong games and the like, but I want it to be just like if I was using MAMEUI where all titles are included. Some of the really obscure cabinets are fun to check out now and then. I may just end up combining the games then since they are similar enough and have the bootlegs listed as a version.

Perhaps at some point I'll reconsider importing 100% of everything.

Edited by oblivioncth
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  • 2 months later...

Old thread, but I'm running into this too. I'm adding platforms for things like LCD Handhelds (not just Game & Watch, stuff like the crappy Tiger ones) and TV Games (the plug & play stuff that MAME supports).

The problem seems to be that MAME non-arcade games do show up with at least some of the proper metadata. But if they share a title with an arcade game (like Spider-Man as an arcade game and Spider-Man as an LCD handheld), they'll pull the screenshots, description, etc. for the arcade version.

I think it would need a change to the database to have new platforms for things like those (since it won't support multiple games with the same title in the same platform, to the best of my knowledge), and the MAME importer to recognize those games as different categories. Possibly also an "Import only x" option, where x is a choice for TV Games, handhelds, etc. The issue there is that they're not super consistent about the genre - "Handheld / Plug n' Play TV Game" is kind of a combined thing, and a lot of the multi-game ones are just listed as "MultiGame / Compilation" which also applies to some arcade games.

I'm sure some of us completionists would be happy to work on reassigning MAME ROMs to new categories if the backend would make that possible. Certainly easier than trying to figure out each one every time MAME updates and importing manually.

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