Using Batocera.linux

100DaysToOffload 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.

Problems

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.

Conclusion

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)