Astrocade Emulation Video Tutorial

Yesterday I created a video called “Setting up Astrocade Emulation Using MAME.”  I uploaded it to various places today.


This tutorial explains how to setup the Bally Arcade/Astrocade console, a game system released in January of 1978. Although the tutorial focuses on how to install MAME on a Windows system, the information in this video can be transferred for use by Linux and Macintosh users too.

The steps required to get the MAME emulator up and running with the system ROMs are explained. Setting up and changing the keyboard mapping for use with joysticks is covered. Use of alternate inputs, such the Knob (paddle) and 24-key keypad are gone over in a cursory manner (these details may be explained in future videos).

The main idea of this video is to get a user playing games as quickly as possible. Anyone who has only a limited knowledge and prior-use of emulation, or has some knowledge of how to use emulation, but has never used a Bally Arcade/Astrocade console before today will benefit from this short video. After the instructions in the tutorial have been followed, any user of a Windows system should be able to use the MAME emulator to run Astrocade software. The main focus here is on how to use video game cartridges, the primary method that most users loaded games onto their real hardware.
The four built-in programs are covered:

  1. Gunfight
  2. Checkmate
  3. Calculator
  4. Scribbling

Some short gameplay examples from the following cartridges are provided here:

  1. Astro Battle (aka Space Invaders)
  2. Cosmic Raiders (a rare game from Astrovision)
  3. Crazy Climber (a homebrew game)
  4. Galaxian (aka Galactic Invasion)
  5. Incredible Wizard, The (a clone of Wizard of Wor)
  6. Ms. Candyman (a third-party game)
  7. Treasure Cove (a third-party game)

In a future installment, I’ll show how to set-up keyboard mapping so that the Bally BASIC cartridge can be easily used during emulation. I’ll also show how to setup MAME so that ICBM Attack, a game that uses a rare analog joystick called the Spectre controller, can be played using a mouse or trackball.

If this video helps you get started in the Astrocade world, then please share it with others who might enjoy taking a peek into the library of games for this underdog console that was only ever released in America and Canada.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s