MAME + MaLa
Edited by Gigapede
This document explains how to install MAME and then MaLa on your Windows PC so that you can play arcade games (MAME) with a powerful launching application (MaLa). Your computer should have at least 256MB of RAM and be at least 500MHz. Faster machines will run more smoothly. Old operating systems don't take advantage of all the cool features MaLa offers. Still, these two applications require very little processing power, so don't melt your old PC for copper just yet.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
To provide a clean working environment, you should close all windows and applications except for this text file and whatever browser you tolerate. You will only use your browser to download the files you'll need to install these two applications on your system. Once you have these files you do not need to use your browser or the internet any more.
Create a folder on your desktop to hold these files:
<- Look for the latest command-line binary of MAME
<- Look for the latest Official Release (http://www.malafe.net/files/download/MaLa.7z
ROMs: You will need to find these online. Note: ROMs are not low-hanging fruit. They are copywritten code that have been extracted from the original ROMs of classic arcade games. You can find free ROMs for MAME here: http://www.mamedev.org/roms/
CREATE THE DIRECTORIES
MAME and MaLa can be run from anywhere on your harddrive, and they don't install any strange .dll or invisible files. That said, they also point to folders and files internally, so you should manually create this proven directory structure in your root directory before starting:
Steps to Install MAME:
1) double-click on 'mame.exe' then install it directly into the "C:\Emulators\Programs\mame\" directory. You can do this by clicking the '...' to launch the pop-up window and navigate to this directory, or by typing it in.
2) copy your ROMs into the "C:\Emulators\Programs\mame\roms\” directory. KEEP THEM ZIP’d. MAME uses the .zip format to organize game files.
a) copy “catver.ini” into the "C:\Emulators\Programs\mame\” directory
b) copy "controls.ini" into the "C:\Emulators\Programs\mame\” directory
c) copy “history.dat” into the "C:\Emulators\Programs\mame\” directory
3) Open a command line prompt window (ie: Start\Programs\Accessories\Command Prompt)
4) Execute the following command to go into the mame install directory:
5) Execute the following command to produce a “mame.ini” file:
(Note: This file allows you to customize your mame emulator to the way you like it. You can ask questions at the BYOAC forum before changing it).
Steps to Install MaLa:
1) Copy the 4 unzipped MaLa files into "C:\Emulators\Mala\"
(bass.dll, emulator_presets.ini, MaLa.exe, MaLaKeyHook.dll)
2) copy MalaLayoutConverter.exe into the "C:\Emulators\Mala\" folder
3) Double-click on "C:\Emulators\Mala\MaLa.exe” and it should inform you that “This is your first start of Mala”, click OK button to bring up the Options Window.
4) Under the “Mame Config” basics tab click on the “...” for “MAME executable” and select "C:\Emulators\Programs\Mame\mame.exe"
This will inform you that MALA has “Found mame M.A.M.E V0.xxx”. Click OK to close.
5) MaLa will inform you that there is no .xml file associated with MAME. Click OK to create the file automatically. (Other files are automatically generated at this time, behind the scenes)
6) Click on the “...” button associated with the “Rom Path” line and select the following directory:
7) Under the “Mame Config” tab and in the “Pictures and Videos” subTab click on the “...” button associated with the “Snap/Title” line and select the following directory:
Click the OK button at the bottom of the MALA Options window now. This should result in a window popping up indicating “Your configuration has changed. Refresh main game list?” ....... just click YES and wait for MALA to refresh the gamelist (ie: reading in all the ROM file games). After this completes, MALA should be displaying the MAME gamelist with MALA’s default background image.
9) You should now have successfully installed MALA and configured the MAME emulator.
That's it, you're done!
You can try to select a game to play now. If no games are present, try RIGHT-Mouse clicking and navigate the menus and options.
MaLa: Short for 'MAME LAUNCHER', MaLa is a fully configurable graphical 'DOS' for running MAME and other apps using an arcade console interface. Also called a 'frontend'. Originally written by Swindus, released July, 2006.
MAME: Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Originally authored by Nicolas Salmoria in 1997. There are other emulators that run console machines. MAME emulates the hardware of almost all of the coin-op arcade machines popular in the 80s and 90s. The only thing MAME needs to run those games are the ROMs.
ROM: Read Only Memory. These small zipped files have captured code from the chips that went into the original arcade machines. They should remain zipped because MAME automatically looks inside them for any required files. Do not attempt to compress them with other software, they arrive in working order.
Snaps: These are 'snapshots' that other layouts use to show a picture of a selected game. The default layout does not use snapshots, so do not be sad that your 'snaps' folder is empty. These files are used by MaLa's more advanced features such as custom layouts.
Special thanks to UncleT for writing this document originally! It was a lot more thorough and involves many more steps to get many more EMUs runnning. This process is fully compatible with his.