Why were the higan (Super Famicom accuracy) core abandoned?

No, the older v094 forks do, though.

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Thank you absolute legend for your explanation, at least I got some closure on this.

Even though bsnes have superseeded the higan core, it’s very unlikely I’ll ever replace it.

I’m not even going to bother with the standalones anymore and I will cherish this core till the end!

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What does (bsnes) have over (bsnes 2014 accuracy) please?

I’ve also noticed on a few occasions the newest BSNES core crashing or refusing to launch after adjust some of the core options.

This is one reason I’ve continued to use the Higan core.

What CRT Shader Presets do you use with the Higan core by the way?


Hi @Cyber and thank you for posting, I’m sorry for my late reply by the way!

I actually don’t use any shader presets at all for higan, I used to use some kind of NTSC shader a couple of years back but now I only use the built in Bilinear filter from RetroArch which gives the image a small blur.

I’m gonna stick to my word on this one, the higan core is absolutely rock solid and it’s here to stay.

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You might be missing out!

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Get a load of this clown —> " The last reply to this topic was almost 2 years ago, are you sure you want to continue this old conversation?"

YES, do you mind, I do want to continue this old conversation!

Anyway, yes I’m coming back to this to tell you that I’m still using this core as my primary Super Famicom / Super Nintendo emulator after all this time.

There is no problems emulating anything and the core is still working strong on the latest RetroArch version.

I mean this deserves an applause really, which core have had this kind of stability in RetroArch ever?

And yet I have to tell you that the core is literally wiped off the source of the internet and is no where to be found anymore.

If you still got the core, cherish it, higan was nears baby and me keeping this core is like honoring his memory somehow.

To think things will never be the same again.

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Hi RokkumanX. I find your appreciation of this wonderful mans work fascinating (no, I’m not Vulcan and it’s not meant sarcastic). I have a question, but don’t take this as being disrespectful of any kind or so, it’s just having a good conversation.

From technical point of the emulators and cores, the newest Bsnes should be “better” than Higan. I know the legacy of Higan, but developers did not stop working on what the great Near left us. Are you using the older core because of being personally attached to all its surrounding history? I understand that, but from technical point, there shouldn’t be any reason to, right? One good reason I can think of is the compatibility of existing save files in example, although I don’t know if they are compatible with the other cores.

After your message I looked up if could find old compiled version in the RetroArch buildbot. Unfortunately the oldest ones v.1.9.1 with the complete cores package to download does not include Higan anymore. But the source code for the standalone and for the RetroArch core is still up a mirror of it are up in Github. I leave here a few links:

Out of curiosity I wonder if its possible to build Higan for RetroArch now.

Edit: So I found an archived core package of RetroArch v1.8.9 from 202007 for Windows. In it is higan_sfc_balanced_libretro.dll and higan_sfc_libretro.dll . But don’t want to link it here, because I am not sure if that is a) legally correct and second b) if those files are manipulated in any way.


Thank you very much for your kind words!

To answer your question we’ll have to travel back two years in time to this specific thread in fact and I have to quote myself:

Standalone versions of ares, higan and bsnes seems to have this long standing trend of always be broken one way or the other for me whenever I decide to give them a new round which leads me back to this core.

While newer ----> better, it is unfortunately not always the case and that quote still rings true even today 2024.

I can’t seem to break this core no matter what I throw at it and the save states work perfectly fine without crashes (I know various instances of bsnes have been very finicky about breaking save states in one way or another)

  1. It plays my entire Super Famicom/Super Nintendo collection which consists of ~ 50 games or so.
  2. It plays them accurately, almost no need to change anything (the core only consists of 4 core options anyway)
  3. If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it and that certainly holds true for this core.

Also this core doesn’t have the annoyances that the standalone version of higan did with the “game” folders instead of just loading a .sfc file.

I appreciate you taking the time researching finding the core, however I really doubt anyone cares at this point and people have since long moved away to other projects.

I will NEVER delete this core and if it breaks in future versions of RetroArch I will be really sad.

Fun fact: the .info file of this core is still included in RetroArch, I don’t see any reason to why since it’s DEAD.

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I noticed the core files too. Another mildly funny fact is, that the documentation is still up too at https://docs.libretro.com/library/higan_accuracy/ . I guess its just leftover work to be cleaned up. If the core breaks for you in future RetroArch versions, you could still use an older version of RetroArch itself in a separate folder. So make your backups carefully.

I completely forgot that Higan did this annoying things with splitting up into folders. It was actually the reason I did not use it, now that you mention it. Another great plus for RetroArch, although I have to take the plus away as its no longer available.^^ With the breakage, I understand that. Especially when it comes to save states. If you are fully happy with it, then I don’t see any “need” to change to a different core too.

I personally hold the arcade emulator cores in an older version, preventing them from updating. You can mark cores in RetroArch as locked at Settings > Core > Manage Cores > “$CORE_NAME” and then enable “Lock Installed Core”. And there is a “Backup Core” function too. In your case it won’t help much, but because of breakage reasons with updates I keep the older version at the moment.

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Hehehe my gaming computer is 100% offline at all times so I never have to worry about annoying updates.

I usually reinstall every 6-12 months and update everything in one sweep (I make a software disc in .ISO format using Burnaware Free) which I then use for installation once I re-installed Windows.

It basically includes everything I need (Drivers, Consoles/Emulators, Software (3rd Party and Microsoft), Tools etc.)

Everything I do is customized entirely to my liking. These days I mainly focus on consoles/emulator updates for newer generation consoles that really benefit from being updated like GameCube/Wii/Wii U/Switch/3DS/PS2/PS3/PSP etc.

I rarely have to touch anything else and to think of it my higan core is the second oldest emulator that I use with Dolphin 4.0-315 Triforce Branch being the oldest from 2014 and higan 2020.

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Near, who made bsnes and higan, said they thought SNES9x was accurate and that these more accurate emus were for fringe cases; preservation reasons.

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I have preserved my entire library of Super Famicom and Super Nintendo games digitally and patched some of my Japanese games that weren’t released in America/Europe with language patches (Rudra no Hihou, Star Ocean and Tales of Phantasia just to name a few) and I am finding this specific core to be the perfect partner to go along with it, like hand in hand relationship.

higan (Super Famicom accuracy) might be overkill but it guarantees that all my game will work just as good as they did on the real system like 1:1

I find it fascinating that this actually is a possibility to have a perpetual non-updatable core that just functions no matter what.

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Is this not the source tree here (i.e., the ‘libretro’ branch of the higan mirror)? https://github.com/libretro/higan/tree/libretro


Higan was already pretty much 100% accurate and compatible at the time. There’s no reason for any retail SNES game to have any issues or bugs. Even the bsnes (2014) cores are close to perfect when it comes to that. I was still using those before i finally changed to the current bsnes just a year ago and i tested hundreds of games.

The fact that it’s not being updated anymore also protects it from breaking. It’s pretty common for a core to have regressions or new bugs when it gets a new update and that’s why RetroArch lets you “lock” a core if you want to keep it at it’s current state. And it was pretty common for me to revert to an older version of a core after an update.

Now, even though the core is stable and doesn’t get updated, RetroArch itself does. And that could be a reason for an older core to stop working if it’s not maintained. That’s the only concern i suppose but after all those years i’m using RetroArch, i haven’t seen it happen. I even kept an ancient N64 core until recently, called “glupen”, way before it became -next and it was still working fine years after it got abandoned (i was keeping it for nostalgia and laughing at old bugs) though i decided to clean up my core folder and deleted it.


You guys are amazing and I love reading your responses and thoughts on things! And oh my god, glupen64 sure brings back memories, I miss that core really, logan went on and made a bunch of things which ended up with Simple64.

I don’t really use it and I’m sticking with the Mupen64Plus Command Line version with both angrylion-rdp-plus and parallel as options alongside cxd4 and parallel rsp.

And I didn’t even know that the repository for the higan core still existed, that makes me happy to see.


In that case I recommend to have a secondary non updating RetroArch folder, basically locked to a specific version. This could be dedicated to all cores and other stuff you don’t want to update. Basically same idea to what RetroArch does with the MAME cores, current version and those MAME 2016 in example, but applied to the entire RetroArch folder and setup.

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bsnes was too though. near stopped working on higan and moved back to bsnes in an effort to make it more feature rich and user friendly. In that effort they also made a libretro core version themselves; which is the current bsnes core. I don’t think they did the higan libretro core; thought it was a third party like with the 2014 bsnes cores. Not 100% sure though.

The current bsnes core has been rock solid for me as my daily driver SNES emulator for years. Never had crashes or any problems with the core options. Only thing I might want added to it is more cropping settings (primarily to cut off the extra top and bottom black from Yoshi’s Island).

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Themaister made it, IIRC.


Whether or not this is relevant to the thread I’ll let you guys to decide, this is more like a “To whom it may concern” kind of post, for good or worse.

I have been game collecting and working on preserving my collection for most of my life to a point where I feel that it sometimes have been like a unhealthy, time consuming, life consuming habit and I have started to feel like this isn’t a hobby anymore, more like an obsession.

I have been emulating since 1999 which this year marks my 25th year anniversary with emulation.

It all started with that I’m a big Mega Man fan, but as I live in Sweden/Europe only Mega Man 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 was released to us here in Europe.

Mega Man 6 were nowhere to be found and importing games when you were 13-14 years old would have been a costly affair, believe me, used games was quite expensive even back then.

One day at the school yard I found out that there was a way for me to experience the 6th chapter of the NES Mega Man hexalogy. A much older guy than me had been using something called “emulation” which back at the time was quite alienating to say the least.

I was intrigued and needed to know more so I decided to look all this up, and yeah it was true, Nesticle (what a classic name huh) was the solution to my problem. But how would this work?? I don’t have the game and there is no way for me to buy it since it never released in Europe.

Well, I was then introduced to ROM files which opened up Pandoras Box and with our 56k Modem I got what I needed and I even put the game on a 3,5" Floppy Disk with a custom label on it to place among my Mega Man 1-5 collection.

Happy ending? Nope! There is always the question, what if? Nesticle had something a NES didn’t have, the ability to save state and down the rabbit hole we go.

This is awesome, why would I play my games on the consoles when I could emulate and save the games when ever I wanted and I wasn’t causing any wear and tear either (instant win-win)

Back then I didn’t really care much for emulation quality, CRTs were still a thing and at some point early 2000s I remember connecting my computer to a real CRT TV and played NES, SNES and N64 games. There were no needs for any shaders or filters, the CRT made it look like I was playing on the real thing.

If we are going to be honest and yes we will, I know what you are all thinking and yes I did emulate games I didn’t own, many many times. I tried the games and I later ended up buying the ones I really liked. When you are young, you have a tight budget but even today I still try out games before buying them and 90% of the time a purchase is made.

Anyway, does this story have any meaning or an end? Well yes.

Being almost 40 today my interest have started to decline and I have peaked a long time ago. I’m having false memories of how things used to look and run because I have been using emulators more then playing on the real consoles.

I have spent most of my grown up life trying to replicate my childhood experience but to what cost.

Accuracy is important, but I can’t tell the difference because 95% of everything I play is emulated anyway.

After 25 years I’m really tired, I don’t want to end-up regretting not living my life. This will probably be one of my last posts regarding emulation for a very long while and it’s time to embark on a new journey.

As Roger Murtaugh would say: “I’m getting old for this shit”