How To: Play Neo Geo CD ISO games using FBAlpha
This guide describes how to setup game files to play Neo Geo CD (NeoCD) using FBAlpha.
Note that NeoCD games are usually (almost always) not the best way to play the titles released for this particular system. As dev @barbudreadmon states:
Most of the time the graphics were butchered on NeoCD. NeoCD lacked memory, so they had to remove things when the AES/MVS version of the game was “too big” (which is generally the case on most recent games).
Music / Soundtrack / and Completionist-itis are usually the only reason you might want to try and emulate this system for any particular game. You can also emulate NeoCD with MAME/MESS and the proper MAME romset/chd set. See the guide here on how to use that core. That being said, here’s how you can do it with FBAlpha.
1) Get the latest FBAlpha core
Download the latest “Arcade (FB Alpha)” core from the Retroarch Online Updater
2) Put BIOS files in Retroarch System Directory
Place the BIOS files neogeo.zip and neocdz.zip into your system directory. Your directory would then look like:
...path_to_retroarch_system_directory/system (folder) neocdz.zip (BIOS file) neogeo.zip (BIOS file)
2) Ensure you have the right Game Files
Your ISO game files will include an iso, cue, and mp3 (or wav) files. FBAlpha does not currently support CHD format. For example if I wanted to play League Bowling, the files would include:
...path_to_retroarch_game_directory/Neo Geo CD Games (folder) League Bowling.cue (CUE file) League Bowling.iso (ISO file) League Bowling 02.wav (WAV audio file)
3a) Play from Retroarch
From the Retroarch GUI, select Load Core, then choose Arcade (FBAlpha)
Now back in the Retroarch GUI, select Load Content, then choose the ISO file.
Note the load may fail the first time you try it. If it does, now you’ll see a new list of Subsystem Load selections in the Retroarch GUI, select Load Neogeo CD
Browse and select the ISO file (in this example League Bowling.iso) and then Start NeoGeo CD.
3b) Play from the Command Line
You can load the game (by pointing to the CUE file) from the command line as follows, by adding the “–subsystem neocd” argument:
(Windows Command for MAME) "...\path_to_program\retroarch.exe" -L "...\path_to_cores\cores\fbalpha_libretro.dll" --subsystem neocd "...\path_to_retroarch_game_directory\Neo Geo CD Games\League Bowling.cue"
(OSX Command for MESS2014) /Applications/RetroArch.app/Contents/MacOS/RetroArch -L "/Applications/RetroArch.app/Contents/Resources/cores/fbalpha_libretro.dylib" --subsystem neocd "...\path_to_retroarch_game_directory\Neo Geo CD Games\League Bowling.cue"
- Music does not work properly for mp3 files, which will not play (WAV files will work)
- Loading the ISO / CUE file from the retroarch GUI will sometimes fail, just try again and usually it will work the second time.
Happy Neo Geo CD Gaming!