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Retroarch MAME 2003 issue


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Trying to launch MAME roms thru Launchbox directed to Retroarch MAME 2003 Plus core using the 2003 Plus reference set. Using LB to load rom will pass off to Retroarch but will get a black screen.. I can Hotkey exit from RA so it is running. If i use Retroarch directly, the Roms play fine.

I have tried different cores with the same results.

Extract zip before launch is Disabled.

Using RRetroarch & Retroarch Plus 1.9.9 and latest cores on a Shield Pro



Edited by santaclaw
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@santaclaw Looking into this, but I don't have a MAME 2003 Plus ROM set. I assume you're using a ROM set specific for MAME 2003 Plus?

I'm getting a black screen with that core as well, but I have a modern MAME ROM set, so it's not likely to work anyways.

Regardless, unfortunately, since the other arcade cores are working, most likely it's a bug with that core in Retroarch. Have you tested any other frontends to see if they work with that core?

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I chose the 2003 Reference set because of its size. I have current MAME set but have not tried it yet thru LB.

But like i mentioned the Rom work when not using Launchbox to forward them to Retroarch.

I'll keep testing.


Edit: Tested with latest set and works fine.

Edited by santaclaw
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Its the complete set with chds. If its loading fine for you then there must be an issue with mine.. Maybe amissed config.. but the current set will load fine with lauunchbox.. Also loading retroarch, 2003 plus core, then a rom from the 2003 set runs fine.. Weird..

Maybe i'll check RA logs and go from there

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You never answered whether it was all roms or some?

FYI, the 2003 reference set isn't the complete 2003plus set. (They are both based on MAME 0.78 though)

The MAME 2003-Plus Reference set found on a popular archive site is from 2018 as well. So not up to date,.


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6 hours ago, santaclaw said:

Guess im old school by saying "set" would imply complete.

I tried turning off "Complete MAME set" before scanning & that appears to have fixed my issue.

One day i'll just start  using the current release of MAME.


They are ALL complete sets, just each is for a different MAME version.

MAME2003 reference set is for the MAME2003 core which is based on MAME 0,78 <- this set doesn't change

MAME2003plus reference set is for the MAME2003plus  core which is also based on MAME 0.78 <- this set however does change. Best way to get complete set is use current DAT to rebuild.

Although they share a lot of the same roms and some haven't changed at all, it can explain why so work and some don't.

@santaclaw Glad to hear your happy with the solution. You might also want to look at the FBNeo core. Although I keep a current + roll back packs for all 3 emulators, I'm looking at switching to FBNeo for many of my main arcade titles for it Retroarch integration and features. 

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3 hours ago, santaclaw said:

Maybe my set is outdated.. Is there a good DAT for the 2003 sets just to remove the possibility of bad or improper merged set?

If you start the core, bring up the Retroarch quick menu and go to Options -> System and enable Display MAME menu

Return to the game (any game is fine), hit the tab key and it should bring up the old MAME menu. There should be an option there to generate and XML file. 

I think it saves it in the core's save folder, can't remember 100%. There's your DATA file.

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