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Retro Gaming Hacks
By Chris Kohler
October 2005
More Info

How do these hacks stand up? Comment on a hack from the book by choosing the associated "Discuss" link below. You can also view the code from any of the hacks by clicking on the "Listing" or "Code" links. A number of hacks have been selected to be featured online in their entirety; you may view those hacks by clicking on the hack titles that are linked.

You can also download all the scripts and other files for this book here.

Jump to: Playing Retro Games  | Playing Neo-Retro Games  | Playing Arcade Games on Your Computer  | Playing Classic Console Games  | Playing with Early Personal Computers  | Playing with Text Adventures  | Playing with DOS  | Playing at Game Design  | Playing Around with Other Neat Stuff

Playing Retro Games

HACK
#1

Buy Retro Games
Go shopping for classic videogames, online and offline
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#2

Collect Original "Pong" Systems
Play with two paddles and a block for maximum value
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#3

Buy and Run an Atari 2600
Hook yourself up with the most classic of classics, the VCS
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#4

Buy and Run Later Classic Consoles
Get your hands on some underappreciated classics
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#5

Play with Power: Set Up an NES
Discover Nintendo-mania all over again
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#6

Make Your NES Work Like New
Defeat the "blue screen" by installing a new 72-pin connector
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#7

Take Your NES Games on the Go
Play your favorite NES titles in the car, on the train, or on a desert island
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#8

Buy a Famicom from Japan
Import Nintendo's first breakout hit game system from the exotic Orient
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#9

Buy Retro Games from Japan
Get games early or get ones that were never released in the West
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#10

Find, Fix, Play, and Emulate the Vectrex
Play real vector graphics arcade games, right in your own home
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#11

Collect Classic Handhelds
Put retro gaming power into the palm of your hand
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#12

Buy Your Own Arcade Hardware
Know the hardware to buy when it comes to playing arcade games
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#13

Find the Holy Grails
Collect the hardest of hard-to-find golden age retro games
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#14

Find Classic Games for Cheap
Save lots of money in your quest for retro gaming goodness
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing Neo-Retro Games

HACK
#15

Play Retro Games in All-in-One Joysticks
Plug-and-play classic titles with ease. You don't even need a game console
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#16

Play Retro Games on Current Consoles
Sift through the many classic collections on PS2, Xbox, and GameCube
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#17

Play Retro Games on Older Systems
Mess around with older attempts at classic collections
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#18

Play Contemporary Classics
Find and play new games that feel old
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#19

Find and Play Hidden Classics
Discover bonus retro titles hidden in contemporary titles
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing Arcade Games on Your Computer

HACK
#20

Play Arcade Games Under Windows
Play classic arcade games on that most popular of operating systems
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#21

Run Arcade Games on a Mac
Play classic arcade games using MacMAME
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#22

Play Arcade Games Under Linux
Play classic arcade games on your favorite open source OS
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#23

Run MAME on the Xbox
Turn your Xbox into a virtual arcade
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#24

Find Legal, Free MAME ROMs
Keep your classic gaming on the up-and-up and on the cheap
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#25

Buy Legal MAME ROMs
Put some money into the pockets of classic game publishers
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#26

Care for Your ROMs
Manage ROM sets, learn to use alternative ROMs, and more
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#27

Buy or Make Classic MAME Controllers
Get the full retro experience from classic control boxes
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#28

Add Sound to Your MAME Experience
Use WAV samples to replicate the original arcade sounds
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#29

Add Cabinet Art to MAME
Gussy up your gameplay with classic arcade artwork
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#30

Build a MAME Cabinet
Craft your own stand-up MAME cabinet for realistic arcade play
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#31

Make a Self-Booting MAME Disc
Play MAME on any computer you discover in your travels
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#32

Play MAME Anywhere
Use LaserMAME to project vector arcade games onto any surface
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing Classic Console Games

HACK
#33

Emulate the Earliest Game Systems
Bring the Odyssey, Adventurevision, and more back to life on your PC
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#34

Emulate the Atari 2600
Bring Stella back to life using only your computer
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#35

Emulate the Intellivision
Turn your PC into an intelligent television
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#36

Emulate the Colecovision
Get back in touch with a surprisingly powerful classic system
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#37

Emulate the Atari 7800
Bring a woefully ignored console back from the dead
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#38

Emulate the Nintendo Entertainment System on a PC
Find the NES emulator that works best for you
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#39

Run NES Emulators on the Mac
Make the switch without losing your Nintendo homebrews
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#40

Run NES Emulators Under Linux
Combine your love of Nintendo homebrews with your love of open source
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#41

Emulate 16-Bit Systems in Windows
Relive the 16-bit wars all over again on your home computer
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#42

Emulate Other Classic Systems on the Mac
Play classic games from even more popular consoles on your Macintosh
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#43

Emulate Other Classic Systems in Linux
Emulate some of the most popular gaming consoles of yore
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#44

Emulate the Game Boy on Your PC
Make the classic portable not so portable
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#45

Play Games on a Smartphone or PDA
Get your retro gaming fix in the palm of your hand
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#46

Play Homebrews on Your GBA
Use Flash Linkers to put Game Boy Advance ROMs onto your system
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#47

Play Classic Systems on the GBA
Embark on retro adventures using your Game Boy Advance
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#48

Emulate Other Classic Portables
Rediscover the Lynx, Game Gear, and Neo Geo Pocket Color
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#49

Retro-Hack the GP32
Use the Korean handheld marvel to play retro games and other bizarre amusements
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#50

Retro-Hack the Dreamcast
Use your Dreamcast to relive your childhood or play homebrewed games
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#51

Use Console Controllers on your PC
Convert practically any video game controller into a USB joystick
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#52

Use USB Gamepads Under Linux
Replace that keyboard with a brand new joystick
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing with Early Personal Computers

HACK
#53

Run the Apple ][
Get your old system up and running again
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#54

Trick Out Your Apple ][
Buy or find the right accessories for game-playing and more on your Apple ][
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#55

Emulate the Apple ][
Play old Apple games on modern hardware
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#56

Become an Apple Guru
Read the right books and sites to become an Apple ][ master
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#57

Run a Commodore 64
Learn what you'll need to get a real live C64 computer up and running again
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#58

Emulate the Commodore 64
Run Commodore software on your modern-day PC
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#59

Emulate Other Classic Computers
Play the obscure, the bizarre, the ancient PCs
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#60

Type in Classic Computer Games
Dig up old classic magazines to find programs you can type in
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#61

Find Classic Computer Games
Dig up the classics you remember using the magic of the Internet
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#62

Emulate Classic Computers on the Dreamcast
Get some serious use out of that Dreamcast keyboard you bought on sale
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing with Text Adventures

HACK
#63

Play Interactive Fiction in One Minute
Enjoy quality text adventures quickly and effortlessly, no assembly required
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#64

Download and Play Text Adventures
Discover the ocean full of text adventures out there, then catch the best ones
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#65

Play the Best: Infocom Adventures
Collect and discover the cream of the crop of text games
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#66

Get Covered in MUDs
Discover massively multiplayer online text adventures
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#67

Write Text Adventures with INFORM
Create your own journey through a land of words
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing with DOS

HACK
#68

Run DOS Without Microsoft
Put a freeware DOS onto your computers
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#69

Run DOS Games
Get DOS games running correctly under your current operating system
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#70

Rediscover Classic DOS Games
Remember that game? You know, the one with the thing that stayed on the ground and the thing that went up in the air with the beeps and the boops
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#71

Write a DOS Game
Put your old game programming books to good use
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing at Game Design

HACK
#72

Design Games with ZZT
Use a retro game to quickly and easily make new retro games
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#73

Use Freeware Game Creation Tools
Find utilities that will let you assemble pre-fab games for fun and/or profit
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#74

Design Web-based Flash Games
Bring your retro game concepts to life with animation
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#75

Create Your Own Atari 2600 Homebrew Games
Join a vibrant scene devoted to creating and distributing new Atari 2600 games
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#76

Program for the Game Boy Advance
Make your own portable playthings
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#77

Add Tiles and Sprites to Your GBA Game
Make your portable masterpiece come alive with tiled graphics
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#78

Put Your Homebrews on Cartridges
Start your own homebrew retro-game assembly line
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#79

Create Packaging for Homebrew Games
Make lots of money off your creations with slick package designs
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#80

Create Your Own Adventure Game
Use Adventure Game Studio to make a classic point-and-click
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

Playing Around with Other Neat Stuff

HACK
#81

Learn the Patterns of Pac-Man
Smash your high scores and become a Pac-maniac
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#82

Show Off with Super Mario
Find the Minus World, get 100 lives, and other tricks
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#83

Hack the Leisure Suit Larry Games
Find hidden nude scenes, easter eggs, and secret tricks in the risqué adventure series
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#84

Play Retro Versions of Modern Games
Play the games of today, just without that pesky third dimension
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]

HACK
#85

Remix Your Retro Sounds
Capture audio from your favorite game, and tap your inner DJ, musician, or just be that guy with the annoying ringtone
[Discuss (0) | Link to this hack]


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