What is AGES?
It is a Genesis/Sega CD/32X/SMS/Game Gear emulator for Windows written by Quinntesson. For more information, visit the About page.
How can I help the project?
Please visit the Contributing page.
Is AGES free?
Is AGES open source?
Not now or anytime soon.
Will AGES be ported to other platforms/OSes?
I have considered porting AGES to Dreamcast, but this would mean rewriting all of the assembly code. And I still haven't bothered to get all the parts for my PC<->DC serial cable. I think DCAGES ("Sega CD" backwards...) would be pretty cool, but don't expect it to show up anytime in the near future.
What is AGES written in?
99% optimized assembly, %1 C++/MFC.
What are the minimum system requirements to run AGES?
You will need Windows, DirectX 3.0 or higher, and a CPU with MMX. To use a joystick, you will need DirectX 5.0 or higher. To use your CD-ROM drive(s), you will need ASPI. To use AGES in windowed mode your display must be 16-bit color.
I am continuously bringing down the CPU speed requirements for each system.
If you want to use joysticks, you will need DirectX 5.0 instead of 3.0.
Aren't there any better Genesis/32X/Sega CD emulators?
Does AGES need the System ROMs for Genesis, Sega CD, and/or 32X?
If you are emulating Sega CD/32X games,
you must have the 32X system ROMs present and configured. There is no "BIOS
faking" for CD/32X games.
Where can I find technical information about Genesis, 32X, and/or Sega CD?
Go to a search engine and enter keywords like "emulation," "technical", and "documents." Please note that you may have to go to several websites to find one that doesn't suck. Also note that the Genesis, 32X, and Sega CD hardware and software manuals scans are huge and thus not available on any website. Finally, the Sega CD documentation scans do not provide sufficient information to write an emulator, you will have to do a *LOT* of reverse engineering. To give you an idea of how long it takes, I spent the better part of a mostly free summer on it, and I was reasonably experienced at reverse engineering when I started. Do not ask me to send technical information to you, your request will be ignored.
Does AGES use dynamic recompiling (drc) or high-level emulation (hle)?
I have written a dynamic recompiler for the SH2s, but currently it is not present in public releases as it has some bugs that lower AGES's compatibility. I am planning to add a tiny bit of HLE into the dynamic recompilers sometime later. The other CPU cores are still interpretive. No HLE is used to emulate the Sega CD, all unavailable information was painstakingly reverse engineered.
What 3-D APIs will AGES support?
None. The 32X does not have a real 3-D chip in it. All polygons are calculated by the SH2s. By emulating the SH2s properly, the polygons and texturing trivally comes as a "free lunch." As for Sega CD rotate/scale graphics chip, it operates is substantially different than any 3-D API, so it is also not emulated using 3-D acceleration.
Will AGES ever include ____ support?
My primary focus is on the Genesis/Sega CD/32X. I may or may not add other systems someday. It depends on whether or not I feel like it.
When will you release the next version of AGES/Can I be a beta tester?
AGES is a non-commercial, ongoing project. It really doesn't make sense to call any versions of it "beta." Anyway, I don't like giving out private builds. Wait for the next public release. I don't anticipate there being more than a month or so in-between releases.
What is the difference between ISO, RAW, and BIN?
AS AGES SEES IT, there are only 2 types of CD image. The first type contains only the 2048 data bytes of a CD data sector. AGES considers this type to be .ISO. The second type contains all 2352 bytes of a CD data sector including sync, mode, and CRC junk. AGES considers this type to be either .RAW or .BIN. If your image file has the incorrect extension, you will get an error. Please note that all of these filetypes are incomplete representations of a CD if they are not accompanied by a CUE file.
What is a CUE file?
CUE files are pretty standard among CD burner software. It tells the software what files are to be burned and how to format them on the CD. AGES requires a CUE file when using a CD image in order to produce accurate TOC information. Without accurate TOC information, most Sega CD games will not work.
How do I make a CUE file?
Many places all over the web have tutorials on this. Use a search engine to find them. Do not go on messageboards and ask; it is very annoying to most people.
I get a message stating something like "Internal battery RAM not
formatted," what should I do?
Do one of two things. Option 1 is to go into your BRM directory and delete the BRM file associated with Sega CD BIOS(es). Option 2 is to reset the emulated Sega CD and press button-A (instead of start) during the boot screen. This will take you to the CD-player screen. Select "option" (USA v1.10) or "memory" (USA v2.00) to get to the format screen. Then format the RAM.
Every time I want to save something with AGES, I can only use internal
battery RAM; is there a way to use RAM cartridges?
Yes, enable it in the Machine->Sega CD menu. Also choose a size for the RAM cartridges.
Can I use multiple RAM cartridges simultaneously?
Each Sega CD game (whether on CD or just as an image) will have a its own unique RAM cartridge file in your BRM directory. A single game can not have multiple RAM cartridges associated with it simultaneously.
Is there a dump of the RAM cartridge/where can I find it?
AGES will create and format these automatically. If you are looking for some kind of Saved-State/Battery-Ram/RAM-cartridge archive website, I have no idea where to find one. I suggest a search engine.
How do I use .MP3s in Ages to get sound?
You can't yet. AGES just doesn't play MP3s currently.
I keep getting error messages about GoodGen.DLL and/or other GoodXXX.DLLs;
how do I fix it?
Make sure they are actually present on your machine. Make sure you have the newest versions of them. Otherwise, they may simply just not work right on your version of windows. The best you can do if this is the case, is to go into the GUI menu and turn off those errors messages until I can fix the problem.
How do I use Sega Menacer / Konami Justifier lightgun emulation?
The AGES manual explains everything.
How do I use the network play?
The AGES manual explains everything.
Netplay is buggy / crashing / not working, help!
Before you do anything else, read the netplay section of the AGES manual. It explains how to use it correctly. Other than that, I'm afraid there isn't much help I can provide. AGES uses an external library called Kaillera for netplay, and unfortunately, the current version of Kaillera has several bugs. My best attempts to politely and constructively report these problems on Kaillera's message board have failed so far due to moderators deleting my posts. Believe me, I'm just as frustrated as you are.