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Can LaunchBox help Emulators Find MAME ROMs and their CHDs If They're On Different Folders?


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The title was the whole question.

I've organized my MAME ROM collection for easier updating in the future and also to keep things organized and easier to find. My directories are:

  • MAME/roms
  • Both added to the MAME .ini rompath.


It all looks good and MAME reads the folders and files just fine. The problem is that MAME can't play Naomi games well. Retroarch's Flycast core can, but only if the ROM and its CHD file are  in the same folder. This messes up my MAME setup as I'll have all MAME game files in one folder.

I've checked RetroArch's core options for Flycast and I've looked around the file folders, but I don't see an option to tell Flycast to look in two places for ROMs. I'm also going to assume that every emulator and core besides MAME will not have a customizable rompath like the standalone MAME.

Is there a workaround? Can Launchbox have parameters for emulators to load MAME ROMs with CHDs in different folders? Is there a standalone emulator for the Naomi/Dreamcast that allows for a MAME-type rompath customization?

I know I'm asking for a lot in an emulator, but until MAME learns how to play NAOMI games, I'm looking elsewhere.

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Unfortunately, Flycast requires the CHD folders and files beneath that to be co-located with the MAME roms (see the Flycast wiki) and it is part of how the core looks for things. 

How to play NAOMI Games:

    Run NAOMI games stored in MAME format zip files by following the same process as standard Dreamcast games

    Run NAOMI GD-ROM format games stored in MAME zip + chd format by running the zip file through RetroArch. The zip file should be stored in your roms folder with the chd file in a subdirectory of the roms folder named after the mame ID.

Example (MAME ID=ikaruga)
- [ROM FOLDER]/ikaruga.zip
- [ROM FOLDER]/ikaruga/gdl-0010.chd

Each core is its own self contained setup so how the MAME core works (and the MAME.INI) will have no bearing on other cores. Also LB won't have any way to override how the core wants things unless it is a command option within the core. Might be good feature request/enhancement to post here

I have my CHD files and ROMs separately in different folders which for me is easiest way to keep updated based on where sourced. But was similar issue in that Flycast won't work since expects the CHDs as above.  DEMUL does allow option to set multiple directory paths for bios, games, etc.  So worked in my case since pointed one path to CHDs, the other to ROMs/Bios. Not sure it would work if pointed to path with all merged, but may be worth a look.  Otherwise, if want to use Flycast, stuck as far as I know with using path roms and folder/CHD structure.


Edited by sundogak
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I was gonna try the standalone emulators for NAOMI. Thanks for the link to the guide. I ended up installing DEmul, setting it up completely via emulator and LB settings, and I can play NAOMI games very smoothly.

Configuring controls to my Xbox One controller is a hassle and some games are just plain uncooperative with controls, but that's another issue for another time and thread. My NAOMI games are good to go and this will only make it easier to get NAOMI 2, Atomiswave, and Hikaru games working if I choose to have them.


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although you found a solution I'll just throw out there that you could always use symbolic links so your ROMs would appear in the folder but actually only be stored in your original folder. Basically you will appear to have two copies of the ROM but actually on have one on disc.

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