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Welcome back to Buy Pi's YouTube channel. Last week we tackled one of our most common questions -- how do you get games on the Raspberry Pi system. Today, we'll tackle one of the other most common questions we get -- where do I find rom or game files for the Buy Pi.
I'm not going to dive into the legality element of roms. Similar to downloading MP3s during the music sharing heyday, you should own the games you download. I'd say you buying it off eBay last week or at Toys R Us when you were 12 should qualify, but I'm not a lawyer and I'm not dispensing legal advice on the topic so please do your own research on this topic.
So to the topic at hand. There are several different ways to get game files.
If you have the original console, you could pickup a device called Kazzo which allows you to dump your original cartridges to a digital format. This is a solution focused on Nintendo games specifically classic NES, Famicon & SNES.
Most of you won't be going the Do It Yourself route and will instead look to the Internet for download options. For those of you familiar with the torrent services, these are always solid options. How torrents work is a broad and deep topic so I'll let you research it further if that is the route you choose to take.
If you've done a Google search for a particular rom, you have no doubt run across the hundreds of rom sites who host files across the web. On the surface, it seems like the possibilities are endless, but taking some caution is prudent. You are downloading from basically unknown sources so its have some degree of trust as to what you are downloading. I've used emuparadise.me, coolroms.com & romulation.net and feel comfortable with their services. The one drawback I can see is some sites like Cool Roms have a downloader software that tries to install promotional freeware. Just decline all these offers to avoid getting unwanted trash installed.
My preferred route to find game roms is archive.org. archive.org is the Internet Archive which will tell you what amazon.com looked like back in 1999.
They also have a pretty solid archive of roms and rom sets. It can take a bit of exploring to find what you need, but its usually there. The No Intro Collections have a comprehensive package of rom files for a lot of the gaming platforms that Emulation Station supports. A search on No-Intro Collection shows you a few of the available packages.
We are going to choose the 2016-01-03 version and then go to the show all link on the right sidebar. Next, we'll see a list of rom packs for a variety of gaming systems. These are normally fairly comprehensive lists containing not only the full catalog of games but also the different versions that were released in different countries.
Be aware that the NES games seem to be headerless. While good for overall preservation, the emulators can't read them. It will basically pretend to load the game then turn you back to the games menu. Checkout the link in the transcript for a good alternative for these classic Nintendo games.
Some platforms aren't there, but if you do a no-intro search for those platforms often you'll find them elsewhere. Here is one for Atari 2600.
https://archive.org/details/No-Intro-Collection_2013-06-14 (No Intro Sets)
From there, just play around with some searches in archive.org and elsewhere. The Retropie subreddit has some decent discussions on where to find roms so be sure to check out their discussions.
Regardless of your level of trust in any outlet you are downloading roms from, it is always a good idea to run those file downloads through your anti-virus program. Infecting your computer with crap can ruin you day quick.
So that is a quick survey on where you can download rom files on the web. Feel free to leave us a comment to discuss where is your go to resource for downloading roms as well as who to be wary of. Also please subscribe to our channel if gaming on Raspberry Pi charges your batteries. We plan to release many more Pi related videos in the future so this can help you keep up to date. Finally if you are looking for a retro gaming console that can do it all, come over to buypi.net to see our Raspberry Pi gaming systems. Unlimited retro gaming has never looked more sweet.
Until next time, have fun gaming.