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M.E.S.S. is a MESS
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Last Updated
19th of November, 2012

M.E.S.S. (Multi Emulator Super System) is the sister project of MAME. MESS is a source-available project which documents the hardware for a wide variety of (mostly vintage) computers, video game consoles, and calculators through software emulation, as MAME does for arcade games. MESS allows software and games for these hardware platforms to be run on modern PCs.

Unfortunately MESS is still in its infancy, so it is not easy to use nor user-friendly, and it's emulation is inferior to other emulators made for some systems. It's a MESS!

Just like MAME you can use our X-Arcade.cfg file.

Be sure your NUM LOCK is ON on your keyboard.

  1. Download MESS here which is prec-ompiled and includes the MESSUI GUI frontend.
  2. Install MESS™ (if it is a .zip file unzip it to a folder like C:\MESS).
  3. You will need to download BIOS files for most game systems. Oddly enough, the BIOS files must be placed in a "roms" subfolder within MESS instead of a 'bios' folder. You can put your game roms in any sub directory, then go to open Options (at the top), then "Directories", and insert the folder your game roms are in.
  4. Switch to Mode1: Move the switch on the back of the X-Arcade™ to the position closest to the serial port, then push the button on the back of the X-Arcade™ twice (the light on the X-Arcade™ should go out on the first push, and back on with the second).
  5. Test everything is working in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program. If your controller doesn't work in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program, then it will NOT work in MESS™.
  6. Download the X-Arcade™ controller config file (right-click and choose 'save as', IE users may need to rename the .htm to .cfg) and put it in the "ctrlr" folder of MESS™.
  7. In MESSUI™, open Options (at the top), then "Default System Options", select the "Game Controllers" tab; and set your "Default input layout" to "X-Arcade"™ from the drop-down list. (for trackball use also click the box to "Enable Mouse Support" ). Unfortunately (unlike MAME) the inputs between systems do not match one another, so this alone will not make your controller layout correct for any system. This means you will have to manually change the layout on a per sytem basis. See next step.
  8. Run a game from the system of your choice, then hit the Tab key to bring up the internal MESS options. Choose "Input (this System)". DO NOT change settings in "Input (general).

MESS™ Operation:
  • When you add new ROM files to the roms folder, be sure to hit F5 on your keyboard to refresh the system list.
  • To scroll through the list of games you will have to turn NUMLOCK off.
  • After you start up a game, press the white start button(s) to play.
  • You can skip the screens which ask you to type "OK" by moving the joystick left then right (left for "O" and right for "K").
  • You can exit a game by holding the player 2 start button and pressing the right pinball button simultaneously. (The Solo cannot do this)
  • MANUAL CONFIG: You can change the controls for any system by simply pushing the "Tab" key while a game is already running to access the controls menu. The Input (general) option allows controller settings to be applied to all games, we recommend that you do not make changes here. Input (this system) overrides the general input settings and adds custom controller settings for just the game system being used.
  • If you mess up some controls (or a screen like volume or similar is coming on when you press a button), delete the "default.cfg" file that is in the "cfg" folder in MESS™.
TROUBLESHOOTING:
  • If you need more help after carefully following the steps here, visit the MESSui guide here.
  • TEST YOUR X-ARCADE™:  If your controller doesn't work in the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program, then it will NOT work in MESS™. Download the X-Arcade™ Test Utility Program
  • If you mess up some controls (or a screen like volume or similar is coming on when you press a button), delete the "default.cfg" file that is in the "cfg" folder in MESS™.
  • Trackball: If you have another mouse/touchpad connected to the PC, you will want to be sure that the option for 'Enable multiple mice is unchecked. Alternatively you can make the X-Arcade™ Trackball the default mouse. The easiest way to do this is to disable the other mouse/touchpad in Device Manager (The X-Arcade™ Trackball shows up as "Samsung" mouse), then re-enable it. If you have a USB mouse, you can simply unplug it, reboot, and then plug it back in again. Otherwise you will need to change all of the default mouse buttons and movements to the X-Arcade™ Trackball manually.

You can add even more functions like pausing or exiting MAME games by using our X-Hotkeys program.

Front Ends:
If you want more control of the MESS, check out these great front-ends with X-Arcade™ support.

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