MESS is an old computers and video game consoles systems emulator.
Emulation consist of be able to run software developed for a specific system in a different one. For example, we can emulate Super Nintendo game console in a Play Station 3. This means that in the console Play Station 3 we will be able to play Super Nintendo video games.
MESS emulates multiple game consoles and computers, and because MESS runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac, we will be able to run the software developed for old systems in any PC. This software is capable of emulating more than 700 different systems as the sum of consoles and computers. Here is a small list of the most well-known emulated systems:
- NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)
- Master System
- Super Nintendo
- Genesis (MegaDrive)
- Amstrad CPC
- ZX Spectrum
- Macintosh PowerBook
- Commodore 64
- Game Boy
In some cases, there are several versions of the same system, for example, we can emulate the Japanese version of Commodore 64 system or in the NTSC version.
The program uses the command line, so it doesn't have a graphical interface that we can use to navigate through the systems, or ROMs. While this is not the most comfortable way to use a program, the ability to emulate many systems and test old games or programs, makes it worthwhile to learn how to use this program. Even so, the most comfortable way to use the program is to use a FrontEnd. FrontEnds are programs that shows a list of all the available systems to emulate and we can easily add new ROMs. The FrontEnd is in charge of executing the commands necessary to make use of MESS.
There is a great community behind this project and we will find a multitude of options to make more pleasant the use of this software. For example, there are sites where you can download “cheats” for games of the systems emulated. These cheats consist of add infinite lives to our character, make it faster, invincible, etc.
When we are in the emulation screen, we can press the tab key to access system emulated menu and configure different settings of video and keyboard.
Without a doubt, this is a good program for those users who want to remember old times in front of the computer or video game console, or for those who are curious to know what kind of video games and programs were used a few decades ago.
The program is open source and is free of charge.