Legal Emulation Resources


Prometheus

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I just figured it might be worth bringing over my Legal Emulation Resources list from the other forum. I think it's a good enough resource to warrant maintaining a copy of it here as well. :p It's just a straight copy-and-paste due to its size, which is why the quotes all refer to the other forum. Copy-and-pasting begins below.


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(Note to mods/admins: I've made sure that everything in this post is on the level. I hope this post doesn't run foul of the "No ROM links" rule, although I really can't see why it would. :p )


I like emulating old games, but I like to do so ethically - that is, emulating games I already own, homebrewed titles, or games that have been made legally downloadable by those originally responsible for them. The last one is often a lot of fun, because it grants access to many games that I missed out on, and I think that's an experience worth sharing. I stress that this thread is not really meant to be about discussing views on emulation itself (after all, it's been more-than-amply covered before :p ), but for gathering *legal* (and by legal, I mean explicitly made legally available by those responsible for it) emulation resources that will be suitable for use on the Pandora, for interested parties to make use of.


I figured that it might be worth posting this, even if only to make a change from some of the recent topics - I also wonder if it may possibly be of use for demonstrating emulation on the Pandora without running afoul of the law, too. :p


Anyway, first off is, of course, PDRoms, which many who are into emulation will most likely know well, but some folks newer to emulation might not. PDRoms offers homebrewed software for over 50 platforms, a number of which will be/are already emulatable on the Pandora.


Back to the Roots offers a large selection of Commodore Amiga* ADF games and HD games, from various companies who have licensed BttR to redistribute them. There are some great titles available here, such as Fire & Ice, and Chuck Rock, amongst many others.


*(Note that purchasing Amiga Forever is a prerequisite to emulating any Commodore Amiga software, as it contains legitimate Kickstart ROM images, and the like, which tend to be required for Amiga emulation.)


The fan-site Dream17 has been granted permission to distribute Team17's old Amiga titles in ADF and Software Preservation Society IPF formats, along with CD32 versions of a handful of games. Games such as Worms: The Director's Cut, Superfrog, and Alien Breed are to be found here, along with many more.


Factor 5 provide downloads of three of their old Amiga games - BC Kid, Katakis, and R-Type. They note the following: "Katakis, R-Type and BC KID are not provided for the public domain. You are entitled to download and use these games only for non-commercial purposes. All copyrights are retained by their owners. Any distribution of this data through any medium unless specifically permitted by the copyright owners is not allowed.".


Borrowed Time, which at the time of writing is currently offline but still accessible via this archive, offers a few Amiga titles including Oscar, and Shadow Worlds. Some of the titles (such as Cool Croc Twins) are unfortunately missing from the archived version of the page.


Cinemaware provide a big selection of their Amiga software for download, along with some extras such as desktop themes to go with them. Games available include the likes of It Came From the Desert, Defender of the Crown, and Wings, amongst others. Note that you'll need to register a username and password in order to download the files found here.


Gremlin Graphics World provides titles from, unsurprisingly, Gremlin Graphics, across several systems. The Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16, and Commodore Amiga are all represented. The Atari ST has a section set aside for it, but there are currently no games available there.


Infinite Frontiers provides a number of files for the C64, C16, Amiga, Atari ST, the 8-bit Atari computers, the BBC-B, ZX Spectrum, VIC-20, and some others. The collection includes titles from various sources, including Llamasoft, Scott Adams, and Anco, amongst others.


Lemon64 has been granted permission to provide a number of games to download - just take note of the names, and look for them via the site's game-search utility.


The Nintendo Entertainment System fan-site NES World has a page about homebrew software available for the NES. According to the homepage, this section now lists over 200 homebrew titles - however, it is worth noting that there are a few which are not available for download, for various reasons.


Last of all, at least for now, D-Pad Hero is a Guitar Hero-esque homebrew game for the NES. I'm told that you need good dexterity to succeed. :p


That's all I have for now - if anyone else has any further legal emulation resources to add, feel free to share, and I'll edit them into this post when time permits. :p


(Credit goes to the author of this article for the Amiga-related links.)


EDIT: Thanks to everyone for providing additional links! I'll quote you guys, here, so over to you;

I would like to add "Good Old Games" for some classic DOS games. They are not free (6 or 10$ depending on the game), but the great thing about GOG is that they have NO DRM and that you can download your games as often as you like. Also, you get lots of bonuses like scanned manuals, soundtracks, artwork, etc.


Support them, so they can expand their catalog and help preserve gaming culture (and promote digital distribution without DRM) :D

Great job there!


Currently, the site is having some problems, but http://www.c64.org/ hosts pretty much every single C64 game/program/demo out there. They have contacted numerous people to get distribution rights for the software. Also, just google c64.org to see all of their subdomains (they are archiving manuals from all the programs, C64 music, etc... Quite the nice network of stuff.

Best add http://www.worldofspectrum.org/ - the largest repository of legal speccy downloads, including all the old magazines other associated stuff. Actually, sod the games, that site is worth it for the archives of Crash!, YS and Your Spectrum magazine scans :)

the id super pack is available on steam for £37, and includes full game files for every id game pre-Quake4! perfect for the interpreters.

I also have a couple more of my own to add;


iD Software sell a few of their vintage titles as downloadables. These include Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons and Goodbye Galaxy, sold as a set for $10, along with Heretic, and Hexen, for $15 each. Whilst the latter two perhaps may not run well, the Commander Keen set certainly will!


Epic Classics sells games from the old Epic MegaGames back-catalogue. Titles include Jazz Jackrabbit CD, Jill of the Jungle, and Epic Pinball. The full list can be found here.


The full version of One Must Fall: 2097 has been made freely available by its developer - the game is linked to toward the bottom of the page.


Additionally, Liberated Games may also carry some emulatable titles. However, since the required operating system is not listed for every title made available here, it can be a bit hard to tell unless you're already familiar with the games in question. Regardless, it's a site well worth checking out.


EDIT: Yet more great links. :D

Shameless plug: A few years ago I gathered a lot of links to "liberated" classics over at Neowin. My original post was lost in a careless edit, but there's lots of other links in the thread as well, but I don't have the time to maintain it anymore. It covers both computer and console games, btw. So if you're looking for inspiration on what to port or request a source release of, klicky here and find something you like...


Also, Wikipedia has a couple of good lists of open source video and computer games, including previously commercial games that have been re-released as open source, as well as a list of previously commercial video/computer games re-released as freeware.

EDIT: Got another one - the full version of SkyRoads is available directly from its developer. It runs at full-speed with DOSBox's cycles set to around 1500 cycles or higher, so it should run nicely on the Pandora.


EDIT: A contribution from Guy Montag follows - thanks Guy!


ANOTHER EDIT: Whoops, I forgot to add Matthias_H's link - sorry Matthias! It's here now.

Here's another massive *legal* emulation resource :)

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pwq6vRM8U7k?feature=oembed

EDIT (June 3rd 2011): I've just been informed that Electronic Arts has made Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar available for free, legal download here. I think this is quite a big addition. Enjoy, folks.


EDIT (July 16th 2011): I stumbled across a now-legally-freely-available paint program for MS-DOS whilst browsing elsewhere. It's PC Paint 3.1, and it's available from here, both in original form and a patched version which works with DOSBox, with the full clearance of the original author.
 
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Prometheus

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Added. Thanks. :) I'm afraid I had to remove your emote, though - apparently the forum only allows a certain number of emoticons per post, and that pushed it over.
 
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joseLuís

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Add also -------------------

We have 275 DOS games in our archive that can be downloaded for free. The games are shareware, freeware, playable demos and full versions that are released as freeware or into the public domain.

EDIT: Removed link address for copyright reasons being not clear.
 
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Prometheus

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Are you entirely sure that that site is entirely legal? I'm reluctant to add it to the list, as I'm pretty sure that Sierra and Disney haven't made certain software there legally freely available...
 

joseLuís

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Are you entirely sure that that site is entirely legal? I'm reluctant to add it to the list, as I'm pretty sure that Sierra and Disney haven't made certain software there legally freely available...

It seems legit. Look the file type column. Those you say are mostly playable demos and shareware.
 
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joseLuís

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Well, this is the most official statement I could find:

Back in the early 80s, I worked on some great games for Sierra that haven't been available in over a decade. Back then, they were huge projects; now they're a short download. While the graphics really show the age of these games, I think the game play still holds up.
As far as I know, these games are no longer of any interest to my friends at Disney or Sierra, so feel free to copy them and share them with your friends.
source


EDIT: Removed link address for copyright reasons being not clear.
 
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RobFord

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Unfortunately that doesn't make it legal.


If Sierra and Disney have given permission then it would be ok, but just because one guy that worked on the projects says you can download them doesn't mean its legal.
 

Prometheus

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That's the way I'm interpreting it, too, so I'm afraid I'm not going to add it to the list at this time. I'm not 100% sure if the rules regarding such links are the same here as they are at the other forum (I can't seem to find anything confirming it one way or the other right now), but maybe it's worth considering removing it. :p
 

macsimus

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@prometheus : thanks for this very useful post.. it will come very handy when i'll get my pandora !


kisses


Mac
 

Prometheus

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Glad folks like this.


@Tensuke - It wasn't one of mine that pushed it over, though! It was mine combined with all the ones in the many quotes. :lol:
 

Prometheus

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^ Eep, sorry for taking so long to respond! Is everything there completely legit? I'm afraid I missed out on the Amiga at the time, with the exception of knowing a couple of people who had them, so I'm not familiar with its scene at all.


Also, while I'm here, I've added a game that's been made available by its author, which I was missing before; OddJob, by Mike Wyatt (the current maintainer of BeebEm).
 
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slaeshjag

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^ Eep, sorry for taking so long to respond! Is everything there completely legit? I'm afraid I missed out on the Amiga at the time, with the exception of knowing a couple of people who had them, so I'm not familiar with its scene at all.


Also, while I'm here, I've added a game that's been made available by its author, which I was missing before; OddJob, by Mike Wyatt (the current maintainer of BeebEm).

I can't see why FUNET would allow illegal stuffs on their public file archive.
 
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kwh2010

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Prometheus

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^ Thanks *VERY* much for that. I had noticed that the link had died, but didn't know where to find them again. I'll edit the post now. :)
 
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