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Emulation. In the gaming world, it is the ability of a program on given hardware to simulate the behaviour of different hardware.

I've been playing games through various emulators for a few years now...before the scene exploded with the high quality emulation of NES, Genesis, SNES, and Neo-Geo consoles. Thus I consider myself relatively experienced in the emulation scene, and how things have changed. This page serves as a basic jumping point into the world of Sega Genesis/MegaDrive emulation. There are countless pages dedicated to emulation news and information already which I will provide links to. Do not ask me for game ROMs or where to get them. Such requests will be ignored

Genesis emulation begain in earnest a few years ago with Marcus Gietzen's emulator GenEm. The software was relatively primitive compared to current standards. But over time different Genesis emulation projects were announced, and faster, more accurate emulators released.

Today there are two major Genesis emulators: genecyst, and KGen. Both programs allow one to play most any Sega Genesis/Megadrive game assuming you have the computing power and a source for game images (aka ROMs.) The emulation is nearing perfection with the current programs. Minor problems do exist in support for special graphics modes (ex. pseudo 3D in Road Rash series is slow/inaccurate), and some differences in sound quality (PSG sounds/sound fx mainly).

Overall the programs are very impressive and do allow for some things over the actual Genesis hardware such as save game support, sprite exporting, and built in Game Genie support among other things. I keep both on my system as some games work a little better in one over the other. Its all up to you as to which one you choose, both are excellent programs...

Name Version Platform Comments Download
DGen v1.21,01/30/2000 Win9x/NT, Unix, MacOS, BeOS This is a relatively new emulator, but its very good. Simply put, its fast and accurate. It requires more power than Genecyst or KGen, but it is also the first Genesis emulator to really compete with Genecyst and that also runs windowed OSes. It can also run some games well that Genecyst cannot (such as Road Rash 2) Its open source and this is why there are many versions. Development teams share data so that each version can have the benefit of the others' strength. It currently can use the StarScream or the Musashi M68k software CPU engines, both are are open source. I highly reccomend it if you have a P2 233MHz (or G3) or faster computer. Development moves quickly so check up on it often. Windows v1.16 (261kb)
BeOS, Linux/Unix
genecyst x.xx, 09/08/1998 DOS From what some may call a master emulator author, Genecyst was the first emulator to allow play of Genesis games at full speed on average systems. Over time omre and more features were added to where it stands now at a near perfect re-creation of the actual console. It also boasts an easy to use interface along with expected anemities such as GameGenie support, multiple save slots, and much more. On a P200MMX with a good graphics card and enough memory, one can expect full speed play with all sound/graphics features enabled. Download (423kb)
KGen98 0.4b, 06/08/1998 DOS This emulator crept from the shadows while Genecyst was pretty much controlling the Genesis emulation scene. Boasting high quality sound (originally better than GC, now about the same), high speed and compability, this emulator is definitely one to keep on your HDD as it is on the same level as Genecyst. Download (312kb)
VGen v0.14, 11/26/1998 DOS While not the fastest emulator out there, VGen shows promise. Especially as it is the first public Genesis emulator to support the SegaCD. Currently SCD support is extremely preliminary as only the SCD Bios will boot, but no games currently work. Keep your eye on this one. Download (350kb)
GenEm v0.19, 05/19/1997 DOS/Win9x The emulator that started it all, then was shortly discontinued by author Markus Geitzen. While having great compatability, fairly good sound and graphics support, its abilities are easily eclipsed by the speed and quality of genecyst and KGen. Download (472kb)
MESS 0.2b4, 0.1, 08/12/1998 Various MESS is a open source emulator capaple of emulating a number of different console systems including the Genesis. I have not used this emu, but for those without access to DOS, it's worth trying. Visit their web site for more information along with previous versions and source code. DOS 0.2b4 (609kb)
MacOS 0.2b4(644kb)
Solaris 0.2b4 (531kb)
Amiga 0.1 (960kb)
Acorn ARM v0.1 (373kb)
Generator 0.03, 09/14/1998 Unix A fairly good Unix X-Window based emulator. It is written in C and usess tcl/tk v8.0+. While natively written on an x86 machine, the emulator has been ported to on a variety of platforms including: NetBSD, OpenBSD, Risc BSD, and Solaris. The emulator does not include Joystick, sound, or save file support. Download (77kb)
Generator 0.0.3b3, 11/14/98 MacOS A port of the Unix based Generator. It brings the speed and compatability of its Unix countarpart to the Max platorm. It requires Application Extension v1.0.1 or newer. Download (315kb)
Megasis 0.01, 11/11-1998Win9x/DirectX Megasis is latest entry to the Genesis emulation arena. Megasis runs in Windows9x via DirectX. It currently only allows for one player gaming. It also includes Joystick support. Originally written in Japanese, howerver translations to English have recently been made available. It also features preliminary sound support. Download (102kb)
Documentation (English)

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