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NeoGeo starter FAQ

V1.08 (Thanks Iron Man! -P-)
Q1: What is NeoGeo? (short line up)
Q2: What is MVS/AES/NeoGeoCD?
Q3: Where do i get roms?
Q4: What emulators are out for NeoGeo?
Q5: What specs suitable for the known Neo-Geo emulators?
Q6: How do i 'audit' my roms?
Q7: But i miss only one file of <insert game name here>!
Q8: My rom wont load <insert emulator name here>!
Q9: What are 'raster effects'?
Q10: Where can i see 'raster effects'?
Q11: Why takes it so long to load a NeoGeo rom? (normally newer ones)
Q12: Encrypted / Decrypted GFX - huh?
Q13: Nebula 2.18+ wont let me load Metal Slug4 / Kof2k1!
Q14: What can i do aginst the slowdowns in <insert game name here>? (Overclocking)
Q15: All the roms i get are invalid for NeorageX/Mame/Nebula etc. But the roms are stated to work on <insert Romsite here>! What can i do? (MGD2 <--> MVS)
Q16: Im total stuck and the emulator docs are awful. Where can i find help?
Q17: Where can i find cheats / help / cheatfiles for <insert gamename here>?
Q18: The game is in japanese, im sure there was a english version. How can i fix this?
Q19: I want red blood in <insert gamename here>! How do i change to red blood?
Q20: How do i create a working .cue sheet for Nebula and <insert gamename here>?
Q21: Whats the m1 / m1d rom hassle all about?
A1: Neo-Geo Specs
  • Processors: Motorola 68000 (12Mhz, 16-bit), Z80 (Zilog-80a 4Mhz, 8-bit)
  • Resolution: 304x224
  • Color Palette: 65,536
  • Maximum colors on-screen: 4,096
  • Maximum sprites on-screen: 380
  • Minimum sprite size: 1x2
  • Maximum sprite size: 16x512
  • Maximum amount of game planes: 3
  • Sound Channels: 4-FM synthesis, 7-Digital Internal, 3-PSG, 1 noise channel
  • RAM: Internal RAM: 64kb, Video RAM: 68kb, Z80 RAM: 2kb
  • Memory Card: 8kb or *68-pin JEIDA ver.3 spec memory
    *Any 68-pin memory that fits the JEIDA ver.3 spec will work
  • AES = home version of the MVS
  • Neo-Geo CD = CD based home version of the Neo-Geo hardware
A3: Rom requests
A4: Emulators
A5: Specs for the Neo-Geo emulators
  • Mame: PIII500+ and min 96mb RAM
  • Nebula: PII 300+ and min 96MB RAM
  • Kawaks: PII ???+ and min 96MB RAM
  • Calice: PII ???+ and min 96MB RAM
  • Ace: ??? and min 96MB RAM
  • NeoRageX: Pentium 166+ and min 64mb RAM (wont run under XP!)
But remember: more accurate emulation / enhancements need more power. So raster effects, blitter settings, video resolutions, sound interpolation all decrease speed more or less.
A6: Rom auditing
A7: missing file(s)
A8: rom wont load
A9: Raster effects
  • It's when you change what's being displayed as it's being drawn by the monitor, i.e. synchronized to the electron beam. That's not hard to emulate in itself, but it may require substantial changes to an emulator. Many emulators let the emulated CPU run for 1/60th of a second (one frame), and then look at the status of the graphics hardware at the end of that frame to render it, so whatever settings the last beam-synchronized interrupt changed (or, if they're not emulated, the initial settings) are applied to the entire screen.

  • To truly emulate raster effects, you need to emulate the CPU running as long as it takes to display single line of the display, check the registers, and render that line. Or worse, per cycle of the graphics hardware (as in good C64 emulators). That obviously takes more processing power, but if you cheat, for instance, by assuming there's only one point at which there will be changes you don't need a line-based renderer. (taken from the CPS2 FAQ)
A10: Raster effects where
  • Desert on start of level 1 in Metal Slug 2
  • burning house stage in Last Blade 2
  • Galaxy Fight
  • insert game here (dont know more now)
A11: Loading time
A12:Encrypted / Decrypted GFX FAQ
A13: Game lock of MS4 and Kof2k1 in Nebula 2.18+
A14: Slowdowns
  • Slowdowns are most of the time, normal behavior of the MVS hardware. The MVS hardware is quite powerful, but sometimes the proccessor is simply outnumbered by all the things on the screen. To get around that it starts to slowdown and to flicker. To avoid that you can overclock the game.
    See the manual/docs of the emulator you use; e.g. set 'cheat' to 1 in the Mame ini than cycle wtith ^ trough the options. BUT: this overclocking can lead to some strange issues in the games.
A15: convert older romdumps (MGD2 to MVS or back to MGD2)
A16: Further help/ Visual Guides
A17: Game Cheat / help
A18: Region Change
  • Normally this is done through an option of the emulator.

    • Nebula: Game -> NeoGeo options -> Region
    • Kawaks: Game -> NeoGeo settings
    • Mame: TAB -> DIP switches

    ...and don't forget to reset after the change! If that doesent work, try to delete all game releted files, as eeprom saves, nvram, cfg files and try again.
A19: Red Blood
A20: how to do a 'correct' .cue sheet for Nebula
  • Simply use that example below as a guide for the renaming/creating of the .cue sheet (the names in the .cues sheet should correspond with the names of the files on your HD).
    FILE "IronClad (Redump) - Track 01.iso" BINARY
      TRACK 01 MODE1/2048
        INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "IronClad (Redump) - Track 02.mp3" MP3
      TRACK 02 AUDIO
        PREGAP 00:03:00
        INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "IronClad (Redump) - Track 03.mp3" MP3
      TRACK 03 AUDIO
        INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "IronClad (Redump) - Track 04.mp3" MP3
      TRACK 04 AUDIO
        INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "IronClad (Redump) - Track 05.mp3" MP3
      TRACK 05 AUDIO
        INDEX 01 00:00:00
    FILE "IronClad (Redump) - Track 06.mp3" MP3
      TRACK 06 AUDIO
        INDEX 01 00:00:00
A21: m1 / m1d
  • Its like this: the m1 rom of some newer games on MVS hardware is encrypted. Mame loads it for reference so that the romaudit tools like Romcenter and Clrmame wont delete it. It will be needed at the point when the encryption is broken. Until then the unecrypted m1d is used.

Credits: Crappy FAQ by Iron Man with help from the CPS2 FAQ. Any suggestions can be posted on the Retrogames NeoGeo board or PM me. Im free for suggestions and wont flame anyone if i done something wrong here. So feel free to correct me.

Greez and thanx to all who asked the questions and to the ones helping me to make it better (hi Pi)...