Saturday, July 12, 2014

Install and run ColEm

ColEm is an emulator for the old but impressive ColecoVision. This article will show you how to install the emulator and a short introduction how to use the emulator. I build the sources successully on my notebook (running Slackware64-14.1) and on my Cubietruck (running Linaro-13.04).

First create a directory where you can store the source:

# mkdir -p /usr/src/games/colem
# cd /usr/src/games/colem

Next get the source for ColEm:

# wget -c ""

And unzip the source:

# unzip

Change into the driectory where the makefile is stored and build the colem binary:

# cd /usr/src/games/colem/ColEm/Unix
# make

Then copy the newly created colem binary:

# cp colem /usr/local/bin

Before you can use the emulator you need at least a bios file (COLECO.ROM) and a rom or game file (eg. any_game.rom). The bios file and the gaming roms can be easily found on the internet. When you have both together make sure that the bios is named COLECO.ROM in uppercase like this:

$ cd /local/roms/colem/
$ ls
COLECO.ROM    any_game.rom    ...

Now you're ready to start colem:

$ colem any_game.rom
Creating VDP...OK
Loading ROMs:
  Opening COLECO.ROM...OK
  Opening game1.rom...16384 bytes loaded...OK
EXITED at PC = 196Eh.

Wait until the following screens appears:

This is where you choose one player, two player etc. For one player simply press 1 on your keyboard. To navigate through your game use the direction keys for any direction and the CTRL key for any action. Some function keys have functions too, eg. F1 opens a debugger while F5 opens a menu where you can store or load a current game state.

Enjoy some old games!