Sega Mega Drive / Genesis
The Mega Drive, considered by many to be the best 16bit console of its time, was hugely successful due to the quantity and quality of games released for it. Known as the Genesis in America, the Mega Drive was famous for cartoon graphics and gameplay. "DGEN" caters for the Mega Drive, and should soon be followed by Generator.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
The SNES, famous for games like Mario, Yoshi's Island, Donkey Kong Country, Zelda and Mario Kart, is supported by the "SNES9X" emulator. This is an open source emulator, and has for a long time been one of the PC to console emulators. The Risc OS version is being updated, since the current version is out of date and slightly buggy. However, if we can catch up with the PC version, there should be no problem playing almost any SNES game on your RPC, as SNES9X provides almost perfect emulation of the SNES, with the added bonus of a save state facility.
Sega Master System and Game Gear
The Master System, with games like the Sonic series, Mortal Kombats I and II, amongst many, many other console classics, was one of the most popular 8 bit consoles around. The Game Gear was the handheld which was far superior technically to the GameBoy, and played the same classic games, albeit from smaller cartridges. "Miracle" is currently the fastest emulator of the Master System, and has good sound emulation, but is does not support the Game Gear, and has a few problems. "MGear" has a very good compatibility record, supporting Master System and Game Gear games, but does not currently support any sound. However, I am assured that a newer version "will be very nice".
The GameBoy was famous for it¹s small size and wide rang of games. Tetris is possibly the most famous GameBoy game, but there were many others, including its own Mario Bros series. Despite its apparent lack of power, the GameBoy still managed to produce many very playable games, a few of which are all time classics. There are two GameBoy emulators on the scene - "VGB" (Virtual GameBoy), which is compatible with all the games which I tested, and "!GboyEM" which ran very quickly.
Arcade Systems and NeoGeo
Almost all the famous arcade machines found in the games arcades of the early 90s are supported by "MAME" (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator?). This also runs NeoGeo games, such as Bubble Bobble and many other arcade classics. Despite requiring a lot of RAM, the NeoGeo emulation is very good, and games like Windjammers are a must. Also, no-one would have a complete collection without the arcade classic Star-Wars.
Ok, so this was one of the love it or hate it machines of its time. Despite its age and dwindling user base, there are still Commodore advocates everywhere. There are three C64 emulators - "VICE" which is the slowest and most compatible, the fast and crashy "Breadbox¤ then "Frodo" which is somewhere between the two. Obviously a C64 emulator is worth having, if only to see what all the fuss was about.
A good handheld doomed to failure due to competition with the already well set in GameGear, the Lynx never really took off. Despite features like a strange system which flipped the screen over, and reversed the controls, the Lynx was not as popular as Atari had hoped. "Handy" is a Lynx emulator, which despite having bugs is quite nice, and I am told that all the problems "will be rectified in the next release".
"!PCEngine" provides for PCE emulation, although it does not have proper sprite clipping as yet (graphics may become distorted). "Hugo", is slower and more reliable, but not yet released, and also supports ISO games. With these two you can play games like R-Type and Lemmings, which should make it all worthwhile...