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Emulators for Mobile Phones

iNES  |  MasterGear  |  ColEm  |  Speccy  |  fMSX  |  VGB  |  VGBA

by Marat Fayzullin

Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, GameBoy, Super GameBoy, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Pocket Printer, GameLink, and DiskSystem are trademarks of Nintendo. SEGA SG1000, SC3000, SF7000, Master System, and GameGear are trademarks of SEGA. While programs presented at this site attempt to create "compatible" environment for the gaming software, they are not equivalent to the original hardware.

[Picture]

Emulators are programs that run software written for old computers or videogame consoles on the new hardware. Essentially, an emulator makes old software "think" that it is running on the original hardware, while it actually runs on your computer. I am creating emulators since 1993 and have made quite a few of them. For those who would like to try making an emulator on their own but do not know where to start, I have written a short introduction into the craft.

Originally, I developed emulators for PCs and Unix workstations. With time though, even mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones became capable of emulating older hardware. Thus, at this page you will find my applications for Nokia Symbian-based smart phones and instructions on how to set them up.

If you work for a game company that would like to run its legacy games on mobile phones or other hardware, and need help, contact me.


Features

An article about emulators on Nokia phones at AllAboutSymbian.com

  • Optimized for Symbian platform using ARM assembly.
  • Native S60/UIQ user interface (settings, dialogs, etc.).
  • Scaled display with three different modes.
  • Configurable display orientation and backlight.
  • Color-blended pixel rendering.
  • On-screen keyboard for single or multiple key input.
  • Saving gameplay at any moment.
  • Recording music into ringtones.
  • Playing over the network.
  • Configurable key mappings.
  • TV scanlines simulation.
  • Framerate display.

Requirements

S60:
  1. Your phone has to run SymbianOS 9 and the 3rd Edition of Nokia S60. Older S60 versions will not work.
  2. You must have a memory card where games and other software will be stored.
  3. All 3rd Edition S60 phones, such as N-series and E-series devices, 3250, 5500, 6290, etc., should work.
  4. Nokia E62 works, but has faulty firmware that prematurely turns the backlight off. This problem seems to affect all applications using direct screen access.
UIQ:
  1. Your phone has to run SymbianOS 9 and the Sony Ericsson UIQ3 software. Older UIQ versions will not work.
  2. All UIQ3 phones, such as Sony Ericsson M600, P990, W950, P1, and Motorola Z8/Z10, should work, although only Z8 has been tested so far.
  3. Please, test UIQ versions on other UIQ3 phones and tell me of found problems!

Installation

  1. Make sure your phone is enabled to install applications from providers other than manufacturer's affiliates.

    S60: To enable this feature, go into Tools | Application Manager | Options | Settings and set "Software Installation" setting to "All".

  2. Download application (with .sis extension) from this page and install it to your phone. You may need to click through several warning messages always shown when installing application from a non-affiliated source.
  3. Find software for the emulated platform (such as ZX Spectrum or ColecoVision). Due to copyright reasons, I cannot provide you with such software, so please do not ask. Use Google instead. I do suggest that you buy the original copy for each piece of software you use. It is the ethical thing to do.
  4. Copy found software to the application data directory.
    S60: Copy all your files into the \Others\<EmulatorName> directory on your memory card. For example, ColEm games will go into the E:\Others\ColEm directory. UIQ: Copy all your files into the \Media Files\Other\<EmulatorName> directory on your internal flash drive. For example, ColEm games will go into the C:\Media Files\Other\ColEm directory.
  5. Run the application and have fun.


Tips

Bug Reports:
If you have any problems running these applications, please, tell me and other users about your problems. I am especially interested in how well my applications run on UIQ3 phone, as I only have a single phone (Motorola Z8) to test them on. Don't forget to include the model of your phone.

[Picture]

Purchasing Software:
Just like my other products, all commercial software at this page comes with free lifetime upgrades by email, as long as the software is being developed and the user does not violate the terms of license agreement. Do make sure you keep me posted about your email address changes though.

There are discounts when you buy two or more of my programs. You can get $6 off two products, $12 off three products, $24 off four products, and $35 off five or more products. To get a discount, enter the appropriate coupon name (CPN32 .. CPN35) when ordering software.

Keyboard Use:
Some applications, such as Speccy or fMSX, may require the use of full keyboard found in such phones as Nokia E61 and E70. Even if your phone has no full keyboard, most emulated programs will still work though. Just make sure you always choose the joystick option when given a choice. If a program absolutely needs a few keyboard keys, you can make use of the on-screen virtual keyboard. To enable the on-screen keyboard:
S60: Press the green SEND key, go into Input | On-Screen Keyboard, and choose either "Single Key Entry" (keyboard will disappear after entering a key) or "Multiple Keys Entry" (keyboard will stay visible until manually toggled off). With the on-screen keyboard enabled, press EDIT, LSHIFT, or 8 key to toggle the keyboard. UIQ: Press the green SEND key, go into Input | On-Screen Keyboard, and choose either "Single Key Entry" (keyboard will disappear after entering a key) or "Multiple Keys Entry" (keyboard will stay visible until manually toggled off). With the on-screen keyboard enabled, press the 8 key to toggle the keyboard.
When the keyboard is displayed, use the directional pad to choose a key, 0 as SHIFT, # as CONTROL, and * as ALT modifiers. Finally, if you need some keys often, or do not like the default key locations, you can reassign keys and joystick buttons:
S60: To reassign a key, press the green SEND key, select Input | Map a Key, and choose a new assignment. To reassign a button, select Input | Map ... Button, and likewise choose a new assignment. UIQ: At the moment, you cannot reassign keys or buttons in UIQ. This feature will be coming in the next releases of my UIQ applications.

Pen Use:
This tip only applies to pen-based devices (i.e. mainly to Sony Ericsson UIQ phones). These devices often do not have a directional pad and physical softkeys. Instead, you can use the touch screen, laid out in the following way:

SEND UP 8
LEFT   RIGHT
SOFT1 DOWN SOFT2

Zooming Display:
When your phone screen has less pixels than the emulated display, the display will be shrunk to fit your screen, at the cost of losing some image quality. This is inevitable and should not be considered a bug. For bigger phone screens:
S60: Press the green SEND key and go into Output | Zoom Display, where you can select one of four zoom options: UIQ: Press the green SEND key and go into Video | Zoom Display, where you can select one of four zoom options:
[Picture]


Recording Ringtones:
You can record in-game music into MIDI files and use them as ringtones. To start recording:
S60: Press the green SEND key, go to Main | Record Music, and click it to start recording. Recording stops when you click the above option again, load a new game, or quit the application. Recorded MIDI files can be found in the E:\Sounds directory. UIQ: Press the green SEND key, go to Audio | Record Music, and click it to start recording. Recording stops when you click the above option again, load a new game, or quit the application. Recorded MIDI files can be found in the C:\Media Files\Other\<EmulatorName> directory.

Network Play Feature:
In some applications, you can use WiFi or GPRS in your phone to play games over the Internet. To use the NetPlay feature, both you and your opponent must run the same game. The NetPlay will work between Windows and Symbian versions of my applications, as long as you both have the same application (i.e. two copies of MG-Symbian, or MG-Symbian and MG-Windows, etc.). To start NetPlay:
S60: Press the green SEND key, go to Main | Network Play, and click it. UIQ: Press the green SEND key, go to Input | Play Over Network, and click it.
Select the connection point (usually WiFi, as GPRS is both slow and expensive), then enter your opponent's network address. Your opponent has to do the same with his application. To abort connection in progress, press any key. Once the connection is established, you will be able to play together. To stop NetPlay, click the Network Play option again.


Downloads

[#] EMUL8 Discussion Group

Report and discuss your problems here. You may need to create a Google account to post to this group, but you do not have to become a member.

[#] iNES 3.6 S60 3rd Edition (download trial or see homepage)
iNES 3.6 UIQ3 (download trial or see homepage)

Also see iNES review at AllAboutSymbian.com.

Used assembler 6502 emulation on UIQ. Optimized display code in assembler. Fixed multiple video sync problems. Added configuration for sound latency, frame skip, frame sync. iNES will run Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Famicom cartridge files with .nes and .nes.gz extensions. Place your files into E:\Others\iNES directory. iNES will also run Famicom DiskSystem disk images with .fds and .fds.gz extensions, as long as you have the DISKSYS.ROM (DiskSystem BIOS) file in the same directory. The trial version has BUY ME message overlayed onto the screen and can't save game states. Please, buy the full version if you like iNES and would like to see it developed. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the program. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • SOFT1 fast-forwards emulation.
  • SOFT2 invokes built-in control menu.
  • 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 duplicate the directional buttons.
  • 9, * act as A fire button.
  • 7, # act as B fire button.
  • 1 works as the NES SELECT button.
  • 3 works as NES START button.
  • 0 flips DiskSystem disks and deposits a coin into the VS-System coin acceptor.
  • QWERTY keyboard acts as fire buttons, just like in other iNES ports.

[#] Virtual GameBoy 3.5 S60 3rd Edition (download trial or see homepage)
Virtual GameBoy 3.5 UIQ3 (download trial or see homepage)

Also see Virtual GameBoy review at AllAboutSymbian.com.

Added configurable frame rate, frame skip, and audio latency. Optimized display routines. Virtual GameBoy will run GameBoy, Super GameBoy, and GameBoy Color cartridge files with .gb, .gb.gz, .gbc, and .gbc.gz extensions. Place your files into E:\Others\VGB (S60) or C:\Media Files\Other\VGB (UIQ) directory. The trial version has BUY ME message overlayed onto the screen and can't save game states. Please, buy the full version if you like Virtual GameBoy and would like to see it developed. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the program. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • SOFT1, . fast-forward the emulation.
  • SOFT2 invokes built-in configuration menu.
  • 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 duplicate the directional buttons.
  • 9, * act as A fire button.
  • 7, # act as B fire button.
  • 1 works as the GameBoy SELECT button.
  • 3 works as GameBoy START button.
  • QWERTY keyboard acts as fire buttons, just like in other VGB ports.
Some of these keys can be changed using the button mapping configuration (press [SEND], then select the Input page).

[#] MasterGear 2.6 S60 3rd Edition (download trial or see homepage)
MasterGear 2.6 UIQ3 (download trial or see homepage)

Also see MasterGear review at AllAboutSymbian.com.

Added configurable frame rate, frame skip, and audio latency. Optimized display routines. MasterGear will run SEGA Master System, GameGear, and SG1000 cartridge files with .sms, .sms.gz, .gg, .gg.gz, .sg, and .sg.gz extensions. Place your files into E:\Others\MG directory. The trial version has BUY ME message overlayed onto the screen and can't save game states. Please, buy the full version if you like MasterGear and would like to see it developed. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the program. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • SOFT1, . fast-forward the emulation.
  • SOFT2 invokes built-in configuration menu.
  • 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 duplicate the directional buttons.
  • 9, * act as A fire button.
  • 7, # act as B fire button.
  • 1 works as Master System PAUSE button.
  • 3 works as GameGear START button.
  • QWERTY keyboard acts as fire buttons, just like in other MasterGear ports.

[#] ColEm 2.5 S60 3rd Edition (also see homepage)
ColEm 2.5 UIQ3 (also see homepage)

Optimized display routines in assembler, added config options for frame skip, frame sync, and audio latency. ColEm will run ColecoVision cartridge files with .cv, .cv.gz, .rom, and .rom.gz extensions. Place your files into E:\Others\ColEm (S60) or C:\Media Files\Other\ColEm (UIQ) directory and don't forget to put COLEM.ROM (ColecoVision BIOS) there. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the emulator. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • SOFT1 is the left fire button.
  • SOFT2 is the right fire button.
  • + doubles as *.
  • Numeric keypad works as ColecoVision gamepad.
  • QWERTY keyboard acts as fire buttons, just like in other ColEm ports.
  • ., * + SOFT1, # + SOFT1 fast-forward emulation.
  • ,, * + SOFT2, # + SOFT2 invoke builtin configuration menu.

[#] Speccy 1.6 S60 3rd Edition (download trial or see homepage)
Speccy 1.6 UIQ3 (download trial or see homepage)

Added Pentagon and Didaktik emulation, selectable palettes, "turbo" mode, and extended screen modes. Fixed many emulation bugs. Added configurable audio latency, frame skip, and frame sync settings. Virtual keyboard can now be invoked by pressing [8]. Enter coupon CPN32 when ordering a product from me and add Speccy-Symbian to your order for free. Speccy will run ZX Spectrum snapshots in .sna and .z80 formats. It will also open cassette tape images in .tap and .tzx formats. Finally, Speccy supports TR-DOS disk images in .fdi, .trd, .dsk, and .scl formats. Place your files into E:\Others\Speccy (S60) or C:\Media Files\Other\Speccy (UIQ) directory. When not loading a snapshot, Speccy defaults to 128kB Spectrum mode for simplicity. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the emulator. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • +, *, #, [, ], /, \, \, ', =, - all work as joystick fire button.
  • OK acts as ENTER key.
  • SHIFT acts as CSHIFT key.
  • CTRL acts as SSHIFT key.
  • SOFT1, . fast-forward emulation.
  • SOFT2, , invoke built-in control menu.
  • EDIT, LSHIFT (S60) or 8 toggle virtual keyboard (when enabled).
  • On Nokias E61, E61i, and E62, the blue FUNC key in the corner toggles between the dialpad and alphabetic modes.

Important: Files with .tap and .tzx extensions contain cassette tape images. To run these files on Speccy, follow instructions below:

  1. Choose tape image file on startup.
  2. Select TAPE LOADER in the 128kB mode or type [J], [CTRL]+[P], [CTRL]+[P], [OK] in the 48kB mode to start the tape loader.
  3. Press the [MENU] softkey and turn on the TAPE RUNNING menu option to start the tape.
  4. Wait for the tape to load. You may want to hold [FFWD] softkey to speed things up.
If you have never used a real ZX Spectrum and have trouble finding keys, refer to this picture of the Spectrum keyboard. If you find above instructions excessively complicated, avoid using tape image files.

[#] fMSX 3.5 S60 3rd Edition (also see homepage)
fMSX 3.5 UIQ3 (also see homepage)

Added configurable audio latency, frame skip, and frame sync settings. Virtual keyboard can now be invoked by pressing [8]. Fixed secondary slot handling in MSX1 mode. Fixed sound behavior after restoring state. fMSX will run MSX, MSX2, and MSX2+ cartridge files (.rom and .rom.gz) and disk images (.dsk, .fdi, .dsk.gz, and .fdi.gz). Place your files into E:\Others\fMSX (S60) or C:\Media Files\Other\fMSX (UIQ) directory. If your phone has no keyboard, or its keyboard is folded, always select the joystick option in games: the dialpad will act as a joystick. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the emulator. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • Directional pad works as both joystick and cursor keys.
  • 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 duplicate joystick directional buttons.
  • 9 and * act as joystick fire button A.
  • 7 and # act as joystick fire button B.
  • OK acts as ENTER key.
  • * acts as SPACE key.
  • # acts as GRAPH key.
  • SOFT1 fast-forwards emulation.
  • SOFT2 invokes built-in control menu.
  • EDIT, LSHIFT (S60) or 8 toggle virtual keyboard (when enabled).
  • On Nokias E61, E61i, and E62, the blue FUNC key in the corner toggles between the dialpad and alphabetic modes.

[#] Virtual GameBoy Advance 3.6 S60 3rd Edition Trial (buy it if you like it, or see homepage)
Virtual GameBoy Advance 3.6 UIQ3 Trial (buy it if you like it, or see homepage)

Fixed shift instructions behavior for special cases and memory access behavior for misaligned addresses (Pokemon works without glitches now)./ VGBA will run Nintendo GameBoy Advance cartridges from .gba and .gba.gz files. Place your files into E:\Others\VGBA (S60) or C:\Media Files\Other\VGBA (UIQ) directory, but please, make sure you own the actual games. I have put a lot of work into optimizing VGBA on Symbian. Unfortunately, most phones are still too slow to run GBA emulation at the full speed. My 208MHz Nokia E70 runs VGBA at 25..50% of the full GBA speed. This is sufficient to play role-playing and puzzle games, but most action games feel sluggish, like Java games.

Given the low speed and the lack of sound, I strongly suggest that you download trial first and buy the full version only if the trial works for you. If VGBA runs too slow on your phone but you still want a playable GameBoy emulator, try Virtual GameBoy (VGB) instead. Control keys: [Picture]

  • SEND opens the application menu.
  • END (S60) quits the emulator. On UIQ, open application menu, then press SOFT1 and select "Quit application" from the menu.
  • Directional pad works as both joystick and cursor keys.
  • 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 duplicate the directional buttons.
  • * acts as A fire button.
  • # acts as B fire button.
  • 7 acts as L fire button.
  • 9 acts as R fire button.
  • 1 works as SELECT button.
  • 3 works as START button.
  • SOFT1 and . fast-forward the emulation.
  • SOFT2 and , invoke built-in control menu.
  • QWERTY keyboard acts as fire buttons, just like in other VGBA ports.

Important: Many S60 phones have very small RAM (usually less than 64MB) most of which is already taken by the system and active applications. As GBA games can easily reach 16MB in size, not all of them will run on VGBA. Try running smaller games. If they still do not run, reboot your phone to free up more RAM and try again. If this still does not help, buy yourself a real GameBoy Advance.

iNES  |  MasterGear  |  ColEm  |  Speccy  |  fMSX  |  VGB  |  VGBA


© Copyright by Marat Fayzullin