Sourcing and Downloading the Best Possible ROM Dumps (My Sharing + Workflow)

tldr: I'm in desperate needs to download those classic ROMs for first to fifth generation game system! Otherwise my front-end will just be an empty shell. This post shows how I manage to meet my needs.

While setting up my front-end entertainment system using HyperSpin, I'd figure that I will eventually have to start collect those ROMs for older generation system such as Atari 5200, GB, GBC. Right now I'm having a handful of near full set ROMs for modern systems such as Playstation 1, Playstation 2, Nintendo Wii, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, but only a few for older systems such as Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Genesis, and the list goes on and on. The best thing about these classic ROMs is, it doesn't cost Gigabytes of storage unlike the modern disc based game.


I'm sure you are aware by now, searching for ROMs on Google will almost result with tons of sites that provides them. Some require registrations, some have limited download count or size per day, some requires membership to download, yada-yada-yada. What I want is the follows:

Objective 1: Good and best possible ROMs dump

What I meant by best ROM dump is any ROM that is dumped exactly like the original cartridge without additional header content. This is very important as the HyperList, which is a database file that used by HyperSpin will cross matching the ROMs file based on CRC. Any addition such as header to the ROM file will alter this CRC value.

Typically the best ROM dump consist of the same ROM release in three regions, such as USA, Europe and Japan. For example, Pokemon Blue (USA), Pokemon Blue (EU), and Pokemon Blue (JP).

To date, I've found site like DopeROM to have the best rom dump ever compared to other sites like CoolRoms, FreeRoms, UltraNation, Emuparadise, etc.

Don't let the simple plain website fools and sways you away. The best gem is the content itself!

A list of best ROM dump possible for various system! Simply awesome!

You can read No-Intro homepage, which is a group of people that aim to do exactly this - Sourcing the best possible ROM dump on the planet Earth.

Objective 2: Collection set downloads

Frankly, nothing beats torrents when it comes to downloading a set of huge collection. Sure you could easily find roms collections that are highly seeded on various torrent site. However, bear in min that there is no guarantee that the torrents that I came across will have a set of best ROM dump, or any best ROM dump in the slightest.

With torrents option out of the list, the next thing to look for is for user contributed content that share content to various file hosting sites. This means finding in forums, undernet, IRC, etc. My popular hosting sites goes to Mega.co, hands down!

Fortunately, someone nicked CyberPuppet from Emuparadise had done exactly this.

Cyber Puppet, you're my newest favorite person on earth now :)

He had actually uploaded and shared his mass collection of No-Intro ROM Full Collection Sets for almost all the classic systems, including Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari Jaguar, Atari Lynx, Bandai WonderSwan, Commodore 64, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Game Boy Color, Nintendo Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Virtual Boy, Sega Systems, and the list just goes on and on!

Bear in mind that what he meant by collection set is literally COLLECTION SETS! So you'll find EVERY ROMs that are released in EVERY SINGLE REGION without limiting only to USA or Europe! Sorry for the capitalization but I suddenly feel the urge to emphasize that ;-P

Cyber Puppet No-Intro Complete ROM Sets Collection

The good news doesn't just ends here. What's even better is he also share those files on Mega.co and  Speedy.sh! I really can't thank him enough for this! :-D

You can get his shared collections <<<< HERE >>>> on Emuparadise forum. Again, you'll have to register as member in order to see those links.

Sourcing ROM Set for Particular Game System

Some ROM sets such as MAME can be hard to source, which is why I created this section to share my findings.

MAME

PleasureDome.UK

Some ROM set such as MAME ROMs set or most ROM set in general, can be found on PleasureDome.UK, which is a private tracker that host some of the best collections. It, however, requires member activation and registration which can be cumbersome. Being a member in 'probation' status, I am only allowed to download their MAME 0.161 ROMs, which is what I want currently. I selected the T7Z-Merged torrent as it offers the smallest file size. In truth, the content should be the same as the other one, just that the same ROM with multiple regions are 7zipped together in an archive for maximum compression.

You're only limited to several torrents while your membership is in Probation status.

You can now browse through their full torrents once I had been verified and become one of their member.

Archive.ORG

This is yet another site where you can download MAME and MESS ROMs collections.

Archive.ORG list of MAME and MESS ROMs collection. Note that the collection might be slightly outdated. For example, MAME ROMs set is on 0.161 as of the time of this writing.

RuTracker.ORG

This is yet another private tracker that you can download tons of ROMs collection. In particular, there is a torrent collection of MAME ROMs too!

A member sharing his torrent upload for MAME ROMs collection.

Commodore 64

Unfortunately if you're downloading the Commodore 64 No-Intro ROMset uploaded by Cyber Puppet, those won't match with the Commodore 64 HyperList even though it is using the same romset. Also, notice that the games in the HyperList is 8236 while the No-Intro ROMset only contains 1684 ROMs.

Here is a scan using Emuparadise Commodore 64 Full ROM Set (GoodGB64 v3.00 Complete 17067 ROM Set Commodore 64). It's definitely close but still missing 2464 ROMs.

Scanning Commodore 64 Official HyperList XML against Commodore 64 Full ROM Set downloaded from Emuparadise.


To get a ROM set that will match the official HyperList for Commodore 64 as much as possible, download the ROMs from GameBase64 which is where the list is compiled (discussion link).

There aren't any all-in-one zips, instead ROMs are zipped separately by titles. The good news is there is no download speed limit nor connection limit. So it's time to use the Site Grabber feature in IDM to grab all the files in one click.

GameBase64 website to get the full Commodore 64 ROMs that is compatible with HyperList.

A screencap of using IDM Site Grabber to download all the archives.

Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS)

 http://4players.org/games/pc/pc-games/dos-games-huge-collection/

Other Recommended Sites to Get Best ROM dump

EdgeEmulation

My WorkFlow

Having these sites at my arsenal, my first step is to simply download those No-Intro collection ROMs shared by CyberPuppet. Once downloaded, I then extracted them in a temporary ROM folder. I then use Don's HyperSpin ROM Renamer tool to easily rename those ROMs based on the HyperList XML file which has all the CRC for the game title for a particular system. Those renamed ROMs are located in my G:\roms\<game system name> folder which RocketLauncher and HyperSpin refers to.

In case some ROMs are not matching the CRC, which I found in several system (just being 1 or 2 of them out of hundreds), I then download the ROM from DopeROMs which will have them. From my personal experience, all the ROM that I downloaded from DopeROMs are having the correct CRC! Glad they offer the service for free. I could easily subscribe for premium member for that!

So there's that, my workflow on sourcing and downloading the best possible ROM dump for classic game system. Downloading ROM for modern system is relatively easy but can get complicated when it involve disc image. In fact, the HyperList still doesn't have CRC for modern game system such as Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, and Sony Playstation 1 and 2. It is possible that someone is working on that, so I'm keeping my hopes up. Until then, reliving these classic titles is my main priority, and I simply enjoy playing them compared to modern games.



Yea I know, I'm just THAT strange. O.O"

Now then, what is your workflow or sites to source the best ROM dump?

19 comments

You have some of the best tutorials and workflows on the internet. Thank you for your time and effort. I have been out of the scene for about 8 years and getting back into it. Got a lot of catching up to do.

Nice that my ratio at PD is still really high :)

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I cant become a member on PD how is it done?

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