Finally, A Page that Tell the Tales About D.Sync (Well... Partially...)

I've always wanted to have an About Me page that describe myself and share my experience with the netizens, and I've finally done it!

At long last, I've publish my About Me page which you can now find at the top menu bar. It is now in text written format and hopefully I'll have the opportunities to upload some real life pictures of my life + stuffs that I had owned with you guys!

The newly added 'WHO IS D.SYNC?' about me page that describe myself :-D

Frankly speaking, I'm now very overwhelmed with my real life and had to often juggling between my job, hobby and family. Still I'm very content with all that I had learned and will be continuing updating my blog!


My First RC and First Crawler - The Axial SCX10 (First Unbox) [Part 1]

My first RC crawler, first Axial product :-)

Decided to plunge my $$$ on this one to get myself know more about RC (Radio Control) vehicle. I never thought that I'll be spending even more $$ after this purchase for more upgrades in the weeks to come. Aluminium upgrades, lighting kits, more transmitter/receiver channels, and even FPV, there are just so many parts and $$$ that one could spend to modding this rig!

Stay tuned for more pictures about which upgrades that I had done to this awesome RC truck!

Understanding a Pinball Cabinet System (Part 1)

* This is a Part 1 writeup that gives a quick general overview about pinball cabinet systems, pinball emulator/simulator and pinball front end when I'm setting up my Pinball arcade system on my Desktop setup *

** Stay tuned for Part 2 if you would like to know how I setup each Pinball emulator/simulator such as PinMAME, Visual Pinball, Future Pinball, Pinball FX2 and Pinball Front-end using PinballX **

Pictures will be added in the future...

After 3 months of work I'm proud to say that my HyperSpin setup is now complete! Featuring 130 systems and perhaps more since HyperList is updated very frequently now. I've completed almost all the major systems since the 90's :-)

With this setup I decided to try setting up a Pinball systems. And alas, this has opened up a brand new can of worms! Never have I thought setting up a Pinball front end would be this daunting. So this post is basically summarising what I've learnt and done to setup my Pinball arcade experience using a common Desktop setup. I've got a 30" Dell U3011 but unfortunately it doesn't support rotation, so no chance to flip it over and lay on a flat table.

My Complete Illustrated Experience to Mod X-Arcade TankStick (Part 2)

This is the SECOND of the THREE part posts that I wrote to share my experience to mod my X-Arcade TankStick.

The X-Arcade TankStick came with a very sturdy cabinet and offers a lot of room for modding. Search on Google and you'll find numerous mods that people had done with it over the years.

I decided to write this post to share my experience in modding the TankStick with little DIY background :-) I made sure to took pictures of every steps that I did not only to share the progress with you, but also as a flashback moment for me during the mod. The whole mod took around 3 days as I tried different joysticks every time I mounted a new one before finally deciding on one.

Modding the TankStick actually requires no woodwork AT ALL if you're only seeking to replace the push buttons and installing a spinner. Woodwork is only needed in case you want to mount a universal mounting plate such as the Kowal, which you'll then install it on the Japanese or Korean joysticks. This is mainly because the default mounting space is not tall enough to fit it vertically. The width fits perfectly though.

Please see the following post to find out which arcade parts I purchased for this mod project.

Note: This post contains a lot of high resolution images. Please view it only if you have sufficient Internet bandwidth.

In essence, I mod the TankStick in the following ways:
  • Replaced the stock X-Arcade push buttons with Euro iL Short Stem Convex Push Buttons (multi-colored)
  • Installed Ultimarc SpinTrak, a high resolution rotary device that provides analog X-Axis (left/right) inputs. It would shows up as a Mouse device on Windows.
  • Did some woodwork to expand the default joystick mounting place in order to install the Kowal Universal Mounting Plate.
  • Mounted Kowal Universal Mounting Plate on various joysticks, i.e. Sanwa JLW and Seimitsu LS-32. 
  • I also tried to mount the Eurostick iL Joystick without the Kowal plate since it is an exact fit. It's basically a drop-in replacement.
  • Connecting the other end of the JLF-5H 5-Pin wiring harness to the Quick Disconnect. I did it because I don't want to cut the quick disconnect as I might want to use the non-PCB joystick on some fine day :)

Purchasing Arcade Parts to Mod My X-Arcade TankStick (Part 1)

This is the FIRST of the THREE part posts that I wrote to share my experience to mod my X-Arcade TankStick.

See Part Two - My Complete Illustrated Experience to Mod X-Arcade TankStick to see a complete pictures showing you my progress of mounting/installing these parts inside the TankStick.

The first step is of course purchasing the arcade parts. Following are the arcade parts which I purchased from various sites:

  • Euro iL Short Stem Convex 28mm Push Buttons
  • Cherry DX44 Microswitches with 0.187" terminal size
  • Kowal Universal Joystick Mounting Plate (to fit with American/European and Japanese joystick)

  • Seimitsu LS-32
  • Seimitsu LS-32-02 (same as LS-32 but with PCB mounted)
  • Sanwa JLF
  • Shaft cover and dust washer for Sanwa and Seimitsu Joysticks
  • JLF-5H 5-Pin wire harness (to connect with the PCB on the Joystick)
  • Restrictor Gates

I decided to split my order into two separate shipments with declared value of ~USD150 each in order to avoid having to pay for custom duty. I'm just glad I made the decision!

First Box
  • Eurostick iL Arcade Joystick (White)
  • SpinTrak Steering wheel
  • Sanwa GT-0 Round Restrictor Gate
  • Sanwa JLW-TM-8 Joystick with Fine Mesh Ball Top (Green)

Second Box 
  • Euro iL Convex Arcade Start Button (Player 1 & 2)
  • SpinTrak Arcade Spinner with red/silver handle and Large flyweight

More about the parts
Ultimarc SpinTrak

Ultimarc SpinTrak with Large Flyweight, Red Knob, and PCB
Steering wheel
Euro iL Joystick (White)
Sanwa JLW Joystick and GT-O Circle Restrictor Gate

See Part Two - My Complete Illustrated Experience to Mod X-Arcade TankStick to view my progress on modding the TankStick using these arcade parts.

Turning Mouse/Spinner Into Steering Analog Input for MAME, Arcade and Other Games

It is possible to turn your mouse or spinner such as the Ultimarc SpinTrak into a virtual analog device detected by various emulator (arcade) as well as PC games.

Only two softwares are needed:
  • vJoy - Create virtual joystick on your PC. You'll need a feeder application to provide input to the virtual joystick.
  • FreePIE - Emulate a virtual joystick and send the key buttons to vJoy.

Setting Up Playstation 3 Controller and Qanba Q4 RAF Arcade Stick on RetroPie

Although RetroPie support some of the hotkeys for joypads right out of the box, I decided to modify it to include the commonly used hotkeys. Also I found that the default joypad configuration for the Qanba maps the button incorrect.

Mapping X-Arcade TankStick to Multiple Emulators (AHK Script)

Since the TankStick is recognized as Keyboard input device here is a script that allows you to use it with a wide variety of emulators.

You may also find similar topic in HyperSpin official thread here. *Require premium member privilege to view*

An Overview of Arcade Parts and My Arcade Purchase/Modding Experience

This is a quick write-ups on my journey of getting know more about arcade parts. As time goes I will be attempting to perform better mods for my arcade parts.

Qanba Q4 RAF Thorough Review From An Arcade Stick Newbie!

The Qanba Q4 RAF Ice Red Limited Edition (with frosted finish)

This is a thorough review of the Qanba Q4 RAF arcade sticks (and a partial comparison writeups with the X-Arcade TankStick) from someone with little to no arcade playing experience. I pretty much live my childhood and teenage life with a Sony Playstation controller, either on console or PC. Yes I played ALL PC games using my trusty PS controller using the MotionInJoy software, or DS3Tool! It's very natural for me to pick up a controller and start playing virtually any games possible. Using the arcade sticks ought to be a very unique gaming experience to me, to say the very least!

[Tutorial] A Comprehensive Pictorial Guide to Install Custom Bubbles on PS Vita 3.36 on TN-C and TN-V11!


This is a tutorial written as a result of my personal readings and experience on installing custom Bubbles on PS Vita running OFW3.36 and using NUMBLAST US exploit and running TN-C and TN-V11. I've decided to write this since I found no one single tutorial that covers this. Frankly you will need to read tons of materials just to have an idea what is going on. I did try my best to explain the reason behind each steps to my best of knowledge. Frankly I've left Vita scene for quite some time now and recently gaining interest during my spare time.

In short, this guide basically summarize my attempts to achieve this feat after spending literally dozens of hours / days reading on forum posts and YouTube videos. And jolly-o-joy, I'm glad that I was able to achieve it. Granted it took me a lot of trial and error, and at some point even at the verge of tearing my hair apart. :-P

Before reading on, note that this is a PICTORIAL tutorial that I hope will aid to illustrate my points as clearly as possible. Combined that with my writeups and you should have no problem completing your goal! Just make sure to read and follow everything EXACTLY as mentioned. Keep in mind that I generally wrote this tutorial gearing towards even the novice computer users with minimal technical background but still wanted to attempt. Hence, don't find it strange if you find me explaining even some of the very straightforward steps for intermediate/advance computer users.

[Tutorial] The Missing Guide to Install TN-V11 on PS Vita using Numblast/Quatron Exploit and Upgrade from TN-C

I have to say that there aren't many guides out there that provides a clear example on how to install the latest and greatest TN-V11 CFW on PS Vita. Reason I'm switching from TN-C to TN-V is for the PSX sound emulation support, which is lacking in TN-C.

[Supplementary pictures will be added in the future]

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, 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 and! 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.



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.


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.


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)

Other Recommended Sites to Get Best ROM dump


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?

A Full Guide on Integrating RetroArch with HyperSpin and RocketLauncher

This is a full tutorial showing how to integrate RetroArch with HyperSpin and RocketLauncher.


RetroArch has become the choice of emulators for many players now and is increasingly popular since its launch few years ago. Its main reason is its ability to support multiple mainstream emulators and provide a unified configuration across all its offered emulators (or cores). For the uninitiated, RetroArch serves as the front-end for Libretro, which provides the cores for the emulators including BSNES, Ganbatte, and even MAME and MESS.

Setting up RetroArch

First, download RetroArch builds here. I'll leave it to you whether to download the Stable build (v1.0) or the nightly builds (v1.1.x). The later support audio and video filters as well as more path configurations and possibly more ROMs compatibility especially for the MESS or MAME cores. For this tutorial I'm going to download the nightly build. If you're using the stable build instead, some of the configurations in the screenshots might differ, especially the configuration screen.

Nightly builds for RetroArch which features the most recent core configurations for the RetroArch emulator. Make sure you download both the RetroArch and cores, which is basically the various emulators that RetroArch supports.

Extract RetroArch.7z to your Emulators folder in the HyperSpin, such as G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch.

Extracted files from RetroArch.7z archive.

Next, extract the cores.7z into RetroArch\cores.

Before we start to integrate RetroArch into RocketLauncher, let's start by configuring some of its initial settings.

Configuring RetroArch

You'll see the following welcome screen when launching RetroArch for the first time. It will then automatically create a configuration file named retroarch.cfg under its RetroArch root folder. This is the file that RetroArch will refer to whenever you launch RetroArch.

RetroArch welcoming screen when launching for the first time.

retroarch.cfg, which is the configuration file that RetroArch will refer to whenever it is launch.Notice that it is only a single line for now, and it will then be populated as we configure some settings within RetroArch.

Navigating in RetroArch is relatively simple as shown in the welcoming screen. Pressing X to Enter/Confirm, Z to back.

The first thing we'll want to do is to configure some of the essential paths such as cores, roms, filters, shaders, etc. To do that, go to Settings > Path Options and setup the following:


Path Options
The default path options. We are going to configure some of the paths to point to the exact paths.

The following settings are based on my RetroArch folder located in G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch. Change the path accordingly. Note that some of the options might not be available if you're using RetroArch stable build.

Browser Directory: The path to your ROMs such as G:\roms. This path will be automatically loaded when you are trying to load a game.

Content Directory: Same as Browser Directory. The path to your ROMs.

Assets Directory: The path that stores assets.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\assets

Config Directory: The path that stores RetroArch configuration files. Instead of storing it in RetroArch root folder we are going to store it here instead for better file structure management.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\config

Core Directory: The folder that stores RetroArch cores (.dlls), which is where we extract our cores.7z just now.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\cores

Core Info Directory: The folder that stores the core information (.info). These are also extracted from the cores.7z and is the same folder as the core directory.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\cores

Content History Path: The path to the file that stores for a list of games that we had launched in the past in RetroArch. Leave it as default, which it stores in RetroArch root folder.
Example:  retroarch-content-history.txt (default)

VideoFilter Directory: The folder that stores the video filters.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\filters\video

AudioFilter Directory: The folder that stores the audio filters.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\filters\audio

Shader Directory: The folder that stores the shaders.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\shaders

Overlay Directory: The folder that stores the overlay image such as gamepad, borders, keyboards, etc.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\overlays

Screenshot Directory: The folder that stores the screenshots captured in-game.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\screenshots

Savefile Directory: The folder that stores the savefile for the system. The savefile is the actual save file that is generated by the emulator and is usable even if you're using other emulators. For example, Playstation 1 memory card .mcr. Note that a separate folder that are named according to the system will be generated.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\save

Savestate Directory: The folder that stores the save state that you taken in game, or simply the memory content state at the point when you took it. Unlike savefile, save state are emulator dependant and you cannot simply load a save state taken in an emulator and attempt to load it using another. I simply point them to the same folder as my Savefile Directory
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\save

System Directory: The folder that stores the system file such as BIOS for each system. For example, SCPH-1001 for Playstation 1, MESS BIOS, etc.
Example: G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\system

The completed Path Options screen after you had properly set the path.

After you had done that, go back to the Main Menu by pressing the 'Z' button and save the configuration file. The changes that you made will be saved in RetroArch-timestamp.cfg under the config folder that we just specify.

Save the changes that we did in a new configuration file.

The configuration file will be located in the config folder that we specified earlier, which is G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\config and is named RetroArch-timestamp. Since RetroArch will refer to retroarch.cfg in its root folder by default, we will now copy and replace the retroarch.cfg with this file, just in case RetroArch config file is not updated.

The updated retroarch.cfg file.

And that's it! We had done the initial configuration for RetroArch. Now moving on to integrate RetroArch with RocketLauncher so that it will run RetroArch for the system that you want.

Integrating RetroArch in RocketLauncher

As usual, open RocketLauncherUI and add a new Emulator named RetroArch under the Global Settings.

Adding RetroArch emulator to RocketLauncher for the first time. Notice that I only have several Roms extensions that these are the systems that I emulate using RetroArch.

Now here is where most people are mislook, even myself! For each module, there is a separate options that you can configure either for global module settings or per game settings.

To configure the module settings, click on the Modules tab, then select RetroArch.ahk from the Installed Modules window. Next,click the Edit Global Module Settings button.

Press the X button when ask whether to select a system in the System Selection screen.

Close this dialog since we're going to configure global settings.

Next, click the magnifier icon next to ConfigFolder option to select the RetroArch\config folder.

Configure the ConfigFolder used by RetroArch module. Ignore the MESS_BIOS_Roms_Folder for now as it is only needed if you want RetroArch to emulate MESS.

Now then, go and select a system in the left hand panel and use RetroArch as the default emulator. For example, I had selected RetroArch as my default emulator for Nintendo Game Boy system.

Set RetroArch as the default emulator for your system of choice. For example, Nintendo Game Boy system.

And there you go. RocketLaunch is now configured to launch RetroArch for your system of choice. Try to audit some games and click the Rocket icon to launch the game!

Setting Another Core as Default for A Game System

By default, RetroArch uses a default core for a particular game system. For example, VBA Next core for Nintendo Game Boy Advance. In my personal preference, I would prefer Ganbatte, which supposedly give more accurate emulation.

To change the default core for Nintendo Game Boy Advance in RetroArch, select GLOBAL system in the left panel, go to Modules tab and select RetroArch.ahk. Next, click the Edit Global Module Settings button.

Edit Global Module Settings for RetroArch.ahk module.
Select the system that you want to change the default core. In this example, I'm changing the default core for Nintendo Game Boy Advance, which uses VBNext core by default.

Click the magnifier icon next to LibRetro_Core option and select the core that you want to replace.

I'm selecting gambatte_libretro.dll as the default core to emulate my Nintendo Game Boy Advance system.

Now, to test it, audit the game and click on the Rocket icon to run it. Press F1 and you should see the core replaced by the core you selected.

Setting Up Cores in RetroArch

MESS (Multi Emulator Super System)

Setting up MESS in RetroArch could be rather difficult if you don't know what to configure. Luckily for you, I had gone through that experience and hence the purpose of this tutorial.

First, you'll have to download MESS BIOS files and put it in your RetroArch\system folder. MESS requires BIOS since it is an emulator that emulates other emulators. Sound confusing? I hope not.

Note that the RetroArch\system folder is not only to put the MESS BIOS. In general, this is the path where you are supposed to put the BIOS for other systems, such as PSX, GBA, etc.

You can download MESS Complete BIOS Pack (as well as BIOS files for other system) files from Emuparadise.

A list of BIOS files used by MESS. Notice each BIOS is archived. Extract this to your RetroArch\system folder such as G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\system
The extracted files in RetroArch\system folder.

Note: There is no need to extract these BIOS zip files as RetroArch MESS core will handle by themselves.

Next, you'll also need to create a retroarch-core-options.cfg file within RetroArch root folder in case it is not there. We're going to add the following lines corresponding to MESS core options manually here in order for us to load the cartridges instead of softlist, such as Atari 5200 .a52 files. The reason we need to do this is you can only access Core Options once you had successfully loaded a game. And with the default settings, loading Atari 5200 ROM file such as XXX.a52 is not possible with softlist settings enabled and media type that is not set as cartridge.

It can get fairly complicated to explain. More on why here and here.

mess_softlists_enable = "disabled"
mess_softlists_auto_media = "disabled"
mess_softlists_auto_media = "disabled"
mess_media_type = "cart"
mess_boot_to_bios = "disabled"
mess_boot_to_osd = "disabled"
mess_boot_from_cli = "enabled"

Settings for MESS in retroarch-core-options.cfg

Do not confuse this with the retroarch.cfg that we configured earlier on. As the name suggest, this is configured per-core basis and can varied from core to core, whereas retroarch.cfg is global settings and does not in any way related to the core.

Next, open up RocketLauncherUI, go to GLOBAL settings, select Modules, and then select RetroArch.ahk. Click the Edit Global Module Settings, then click on the magnifier icon right next to MESS_BIOS_Roms_Folder and select the path to your MESS BIOS, such as G:\HyperSpin\Emulators\RetroArch\system\MESS

Configuring MESS BIOS ROMs folder that MESS core will use in RetroArch.

Now try to audit some system ROMs using MESS such as Atari 5200. If you're seeing a blank screen, that simply means that the MESS core in RetroArch cannot emulate it.

More Information

Libretro - MAME/MESS/UME Cores
MESS User's Manual

Atari 5200

From my personal experience, the MESS-libretro core in RetroArch still requires some work as it can only emulates a partial of Atari ROMs that I got. What I meant by partial is that you'll see a blank screen for ROMs that it cannot emulate, such as Frogger. You might want to consider to setup Kat5200 or Atari800/Atari800 Win Plus to emulate the Atari 5200 ROMs.

Extra Readings

General Information on Emulation

Final Note

More core setup will be added as I started to use RetroArch!