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Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler

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Add Cabinet Art to MAME

Gussy up your gameplay with classic arcade artwork.

So you’ve decked out your MAME setup with original arcade game sounds [Hack #28] and even got hooked up with a classic arcade-style controller [Hack #27] . But something’s still telling you that your MAME experience isn’t quite complete. Something’s still missing.

Your peripheral vision is giving you different cues than you remember. You’re not supposed to be looking at the grey sides of your monitor. Or the empty black unused space on the sides of the screen. Or that cheesecake photo calendar from ten years ago. No! You’re supposed to see the arcade cabinet art bordering your screen. And didn’t the original Asteroids Deluxe machine have a cool holographic background, or was that just your imagination?

Well, don’t fret, because MAME’s crew of dedicated supporters have a solution. You can download artwork files that feature reproduction of the arcade cabinet art, overlays, and backdrops for a more fulfilling and realistic gameplay session.

How to Use Artwork

Though ROMs dumped from arcade games, being of dubious legality, are not provided on any official MAME site, artwork is. A page at the official MAME site, http://www.mame.net/downart.html is updated regularly with the latest officially supported artwork sets. MAME only started supporting artwork with version 6.1, so be sure you’ve upgraded.

Artwork has been created for nearly 140 different titles so far, although they vary in quality. The list of downloadable ...

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