Using Batocera.linux100DaysToOffload Retro Gaming
What is Batocera? #
Batocera, is an open-source retro-gaming distribution, which can be installed on a USB stick or an SD card.
How I got to know about it? #
So, there was this one video which got recommended on my YouTube feed, which was from the Retro Game Corps.
The video was about how you can turn a USB stick into a retro gaming console. So I watched it and I found the idea really interesting, to carry a USB stick anywhere, which will turn any PC or laptop into a console in an instant.
Downloading the ISO from the batocera's website was really easy. I used the torrent file instead of using the download link. I then got myself a 8GB USB stick, and then flashed the ISO on it using the balena etcher and then plugged it into my laptop.
The operating system booted just fine without any issues. I then connected it to my Wi-Fi. When I try to install the operating system from the USB stick on to my hard drive, I got this error which stated that there is no available space to perform the operation.
It got me thinking, what was causing this problem. So, I looked up the wiki page of the batocera and to my surprise they recommended to use 16 GB instead of eight.
Now this was an issue for me. I did not had a 16GB USB stick lying around, but then I suddenly remembered that had purchased a new USB stick back in 2019. Which I have never used, so that saved the day.
I again, flashed that USB stick with the batocera and then repeated the same process and this time it got installed on the hard drive. Now, when I try to boot the laptop just from the hard drive, there was nothing on the screen, just a blank screen. I thought this is something related to the BIOS and I was correct. Batocera uses Legacy BIOS, instead of UFEI.
Play Time #
It comes with a bunch of games pre-installed. Some of them includes the Doom, which is a port I think, and you also get Super Mario for the Commodore 64 system, alongside some other indie games.
In order to start playing games. I first needed to set up the network sharing so that I could, load the ROM files directly into the system from an external machine, which makes that process much easier rather than depending, on USB to transfer at a slower pace.
Getting the ROM files in the first place is a bit hectic process, because I don't own any physical copies and downloading the ROM files off from some shady websites is not a great idea. But thanks to internet archive I was able to find some good stuff.
When it comes to bios, you could just search for it on the internet archive. You will get a whole zip file containing all the required bios needed by the systems.
Once everything is set it up. You are good to go. I had a really good time, playing all the retro games, which I could not play, when I was a kid. I also got to play the games which I did play as a kid.
To my surprise. My old laptop, on which I have installed Batocera, is capable of emulating PS2 titles as well. I could easily play PES 2013 at 60 frames, but there were some dips here and there, which was achieved after changing a few settings in the emulator.
I would highly suggest you to watch the Batocera Nation, YouTube channel for more details, on setting up the emulators. He has covered a lot of stuff, which helped me to set it up my the system in the first place.
It makes me really happy to relive my childhood, because I remember visiting a local shop to buy a clone of SNES, but instead asked for the price of the new XBOX, which we couldn't afford back then. But, thanks to technology, now I could sit back and chill with the games, that could have been a part of my childhood.
Thanks to all the developers of emulation systems, for making a difference in my life.
This is the Day 7 of 100DaysToOffload challenge (Round Two)