Welcome to the MESS Wiki!

Welcome to the official wiki for MESS (Multi Emulator Super System), the sister project of MAME1). MESS is a source-available project which documents the hardware for a wide variety of (mostly vintage) computers, video game consoles, and calculators through software emulation, as MAME does for arcade games. As a nice side effect to this documentation, MESS allows software and games for these hardware platforms to be run on modern PCs.

The goal of this wiki is to document how to use MESS, the technical architecture of MESS, and the systems emulated by MESS. If you want to help, register a user name and look at the pages already in the Wiki to get an idea how things are currently laid out here.

As of version 0.163, MESS supports 1,081 unique systems with 2,199 total system variations and is growing all the time (you can find a complete list of the supported systems here). However, not all of the systems in MESS are functional: check the specific driver pages to know the emulation status of your favorite machine in MESS.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to MESS or the wiki, feel free to join us in the IRC channel #messdev on EFnet or at the MESS forum.



Current source code and binaries for MESS can be found on the MAME release page. Previous versions are available as well.

Extra Files

Artwork files for use with MESS can be downloaded at the MESS Artwork Project.

Collections of cheat files for use with some systems emulated by MESS can be downloaded at Pugsy's Cheats.

SysInfo, which contains details of the original machines and basic usage instructions, can be downloaded at ProjectMESS.

For completeness of information, you can also use MESSInfo.dat, which lists, for all systems and drivers, any changes present in “whatsnew” and SVN.

Previous MESS Versions is an interesting historical section that takes the whatsnew.txt files from previous MESS releases and creates new wiki-fied and hyperlinked versions of them for easier browsing and identification of contributors.

External Frontends

For information on external frontends to provide an optional alternative GUI to the MESS emulator, you can consult the MESS User's Manual.

Freely Available Systems

The following systems supported by MESS have had permission granted by their respective copyright owners for free distribution of the system ROMs (and sometimes other software as well). Note that such permission generally does not extend to third-party software or add-ons, and usually still prohibits commercial use (which is also prohibited by the MESS license).

Random Screenshots


Below, you can find some documents about MESS and its usage.

Usage Docs

Programming Docs

Wiki Docs

Driver Infos


The MESS Subversion Repository is now part of the baseline MAME subversion repository, and can be found at svn://dspnet.fr/mame/trunk where you can follow the development. If you want to contribute and help with coding, there is a general ToDo list on the Wiki.

If you'd simply like to follow along, you can view unofficial mirrors of the ongoing source commits at Dorando's MESS SVN History or Redump.net's MAME/MESS GIT Repository Browser, or monitor the wiki sidebar.

The tools needed to compile MESS can be downloaded from the Build Tools page. There is also an automatically updated page which lists current compile issues (generated by script).


MESS Tools

Driver-Specific Tools

  • ti99_4x, geneve
    • TIImageTool, Java-based tool for working with TI disk images, also containing the serial bridge connector (requires RXTX library)

Dumping Project

The goal of this project is to identify, acquire and dump the systems needed for emulation. The project strives to preserve all game consoles, handheld and computers (basically anything not found in an arcade). The MESS Dumping project parallels the work of the MAME Dumping Project. The project has a couple of different sub-pages:

Personal Pages

Some MESS contributors have set up personal user pages on this Wiki, where you can find info about their activities, their collections, WIPs and other stuff.

Project Blogs

MESS License

Contact the Authors

1) MAME is a registered trademark of Nicola Salmoria.