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Higan/Bsnes configuration with Software List ROMs

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Hey Everyone,

I'm new to Launchbox. I spent about 2 months configuring my home arcade machine with HyperSpin+RocketLauncher and hated every minute of it, but it was all working. Then I moved, and my HDD was damaged in the move. I almost decided to throw in the towel but stumbled across Launchbox and decided to give it another go and rebuild the PC. I can't say enough how much easier it was getting this configured over my last experience, so thank you!

Above I'm referring largely to MAME. I'm having some issues (not Launchbox's fault) getting my console ROMs to load reliably. I downloaded version 228 of the Software List ROMs (merged), I imported them with @JoeViking245's import utility so I could map the MESS naming convention to something Launchbox understands. 

That all seemed to work well, however using Snes9x as my emulator, I'm encountering many games that either crash the emulator or give me a "bad checksum" and don't play. Unfortunately, it's some of my favorite games, like Link to the Past, and Super Metroid.

This is my first time using the MAME "software list" ROMs. In the past, I would just go to some random ROM website and download the games I wanted piecemeal, and they all worked. And sure enough, if I do the same now for, say, Super Metroid, that works just fine with snes9x. So I'm not sure what the difference is between the SWL Roms and the ones I grab from one of the many emu websites that abound.

But in any event I decided to see if one of the other popular SNES emulators perhaps dealt with the "bad" ROMs better than snes9x. And sure enough, both Higan and bsnes seem to run these roms fine. Great, I thought, I'll just point Launchbox to one of these emulators instead -- I have a pretty beefy CPU and I think it can handle the more taxing nature of these emulators.

And that's where I've run into a brick wall. Higan has this funky approach where you have to first create a console, "connect" a cartridge (rom) and then power on the system. Launchbox doesn't seem to do these things when launching Higan. I then found a blog from the Higan developer saying you must first run the "icarus" application to create game paks - this added even more confusion.

So then I decided to try an older version - bsnes - and sure enough that doesn't have all the additional icarus complexity, but I still can't figure out how to get Launchbox to launch bsnes. First of all, there is no bsnes option when configuring the emulator, so I just chose Higan and pointed it to the bsnes executable. But I don't know what command line options I need to specify so that bsnes launches with the game in question appropriately.

So I have a couple questions:

  1. Does anyone have any theories as to why snes9x doesn't like a large portion of my SWL SNES roms that other emulators (e.g. Higan) run fine? 
  2. Did I make a mistake opting for the "merged" SWL roms and should I have instead gone the "split" route?
  3. Any advice on how to get Launchbox to properly launch either Higan or Bsnes with the selected game given the other complexities that exist with these emulators?

Thanks very much.


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So I've installed Retroarch, and I've also installed a handful of cores - Bsnes Balanced, Bsnes, and BSnes mercury balanced. The reason I've downloaded a handful of cores is because some games still don't run (RetroArch gives me a "failed to extract..." error upon loading the games).

1. Mario Kart

2. Super Metroid

Were at least two that I tested that did not work. I found advice online that at least mario kart required an additional BIOS, and that Bsnes Balanced did not require this BIOS. Further, I switched to "HLE" mode for this core and it still wouldn't work.

Is it because I do not have a "split" set of SNES roms? 

I do have the Software List BIOS and CHD downloads, so I'm thinking I may nevertheless have the required BIOS to play games like Mario Kart, but I'm not entirely sure what to do w/ the BIOS files. I've placed them in the retroarch /system/ folder which is where the BIOS directory is pointing to, but no luck.

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My suggestion, get a No-Intro set of roms for cart based consoles. They work flawlessly with normal emulators.

Mame is great for arcade and in some cases is the best / only option for certain systems but for many systems Mame emulation is just not very good at all and if you did need to use Mame for a non arcade system then you can still use a No-Intro rom set.

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