Final Burn Neo release

Final Burn Neo (FBN/FBNeo) is the follow-up of Final Burn Alpha (FBA/FBAlpha), an alternative to MAME for arcade emulation. It’s more focused on playability than on accuracy/preservation. The team is composed of dink, iq_132, JacKc, kev and me. It supports most libretro features (netplay, runahead, retroachievements, …).

Some words about accuracy & FBNeo

Regularly, I see misunderstandings about our playability focus. It doesn’t actually mean we don’t care about accuracy, when we add a new system we usually make it as accurate as possible, and we also revisit old systems for accuracy improvement purpose. In some edge cases we even end up being more accurate than MAME, it’s always a bit funny when someone comes reporting that “something is different from MAME, so that must be a bug”, and after investigating about the actual cabinet, we learn that FBNeo is actually the one emulating the game properly (in those cases, we let the MAMEdevs know, so I believe the inaccuracies are fixed shortly after on their side).

I can only remember of a few occurrences where we are intentionally inaccurate:

  • Samples vs Netlist emulation : we prefer keeping samples for now, netlist is a nice feature, but ultimately we don’t think samples sound bad (we even have some systems where we offer alternative sound emulation through samples while the actual sound device is also emulated), so enforcing the emulation to be twice slower for this didn’t seem right to us. From time to time I see people saying “yeah but I’m missing sounds because of those samples” : that shouldn’t be the case, most likely they are just using the wrong samples pack.
  • CPS3 emulation : Around 2 years ago, we noticed a frame on SF3-1’s VS screen had wrong colors, after more investigation & tests we learnt that the fix would involve making the emulation twice slower on every CPS3 games, so since there was no evidence that fixing this single frame would improve anything else on CPS3, we decided to leave things like this for now.
  • ZX Spectrum emulation : We didn’t like the original sound from the buzzer, so we re-made it to our liking.
  • Garbage noise : Sometimes, we notice garbage noise that actually happens on real hardware, since we consider this noise as an unpleasant game bug, we filter it out, i remember “Burger Time” and “Narc” being in that list.

New supported games and other emulation improvements


Our tms340x0 cpu core got rewritten, which allowed to add support for pretty much any midway game that was missing and not running on 3D hardware, the more recent additions include “2 on 2 Open Ice Challenge”, “Judge Dredd”, “NBA Hangtime”, “NBA Jam”, “NBA Jam TE”, “NBA Maximum HT”, “WWF: Wrestlemania”, “High Impact Football”, “Super High Impact”, “Narc”, “Smash TV”, “Strike Force”, “Terminator 2 – Judgment Day”, “Total Carnage”, “Trog”, “Revolution X”, and the recently dumped “Power-up baseball”.


Support for Sega System 32 was added : “Air Rescue”,  “Arabian Fight”, “Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder”, “Dark Edge”, “Spider-Man: The Videogame”, “Dragon Ball Z V.R.V.S.”, “Holosseum”, “SegaSonic The Hedgehog”, “Alien3: The Gun”, “Burning Rival”, “F1 Super Lap”, “F1 Exhaust Note”, “Jurassic Park”, “Rad Mobile”, “Rad Rally”, “Slip Stream”, “Super Visual Football: European Sega Cup”, “Soreike Kokology”, “Soreike Kokology Vol. 2 – Kokoro no Tanteikyoku”, “Hard Dunk”, “OutRunners”, “Stadium Cross” and “Title Fight”. One of the hightlights of our emulation is the controls on racing games like “Rad Mobile”, they are very playable (apparently, the controls are a bit tricky on MAME).


Support for Jaleco Mega System 32 was added : “Tetris Plus”, “Tetris Plus 2”, “P-47 Aces”, “Best Bout Boxing”, “Desert War”, “The Game Paradise – Master of Shooting!”, “Gratia – Second Earth”, “World PK Soccer V2”, “Hayaoshi Quiz Grand Champion Taikai”, “Hayaoshi Quiz Nettou Namahousou”, “Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai II”, “Ryuusei Janshi Kirara Star”, “Mahjong Angel Kiss”, “Vs. Janshi Brandnew Stars”.


Support for Namco NA-1/NA-2/NB-1/NB-2 systems was added : “Bakuretsu Quiz Ma-Q Dai Bouken”, “Cosmo Gang the Puzzle”, “Emeraldia”, “Exvania”, “Fighter & Attacker”, “Super World Court”, “Tinkle Pit”, “Knuckle Heads”, “Numan Athletics”, “Nettou! Gekitou! Quiztou!!”, “X-Day 2”, “Nebulas Ray”, “Point Blank / Gun Bullet”, “Great Sluggers”, “Great Sluggers 94”, “Super World Stadium”, “Super World Stadium ’96”, “Super World Stadium ’97”, “J-League Soccer V-Shoot”, “The Outfoxies” and “Mach Breakers”


Support for Seibu SPI system was added : “Senkyu / Battle Balls”, “E Jong High School”, “Viper Phase 1”, “Raiden Fighters”, “Raiden Fighters 2 – Operation Hell Dive”, “Raiden Fighters Jet” and “E-Jan Sakurasou”

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

While the driver had been there since 2018, because of how bad it was (a parting gift from a certain person…) it was basically rewritten from scratch, nowadays I believe it’s a very nice alternative to FUSE. Also, I mentioned it above, we intentionally decided to be inaccurate on buzzer emulation.

Fairchild ChannelF

Another home console gets emulated.


Thanks to the efforts of an external contributor (eziochiu), the last 2 unplayable pgm games (and their clones) finally became playable : “Dragon World 3” and “Photo Y2K 2 (3-in-1)”.


We now support “Gladiator”, “LSA Squad” and “Daikaiju no Gyakushu”

Electronic Arts / Rare

“Battletoads” is now supported, this game is actually the main reason our tms340x0 cpu core was rewritten.


“Exterminator” is now supported, that’s yet another game using tms340x0 (actually, 2 of them !), this is an odd game to say the least.

Art & Magic

Yet another system using tms340x0, their games – “Cheese Chase”, “Stone Ball” and “Ultimate Tennis” – are actually pretty cool.

Improvements to the Libretro port

Some features that were left over from standalone until now got implemented in the Libretro port :

  • LowPass Filter : It’s available from the core options, I know something similar is available from RetroArch’s DSP plugins but you might want to check out this one too. Technically it’s a 2x resonant lowpass filter which is set-up to mimic the amp section found on most PCB’s. For a good 95% of games, it makes the sound a bit more rich/bassy, and for the remaining 5% let us know so that we can fix them. You’ll probably never want to turn this option off after getting used to how nice it sounds.
  • Cheats : They have been supported through the Libretro API for some time, but now you can also directly use a cheat.dat from MAME, more information about this here.
  • Macros : First, some words about macros, the reason macros from standalone aren’t supported is because there can be dozens of them for a single player on a single game, however you currently can’t map that many actions with the Libretro API (and this is not only a problem for macros, handling service menu when it involves several buttons can be tricky too) because all inputs need to be assigned to a button from the get go. In the past, there was some workaround for this through core options, but it had its own share of issues so it was removed later. I recently decided to re-implement support for a select few macros, for now it only includes 3xPunchs and 3xKicks on SF-like games but implementing a few more could be done if I can get some help sorting out the ones that’ll be the most useful so that they’ll fit within the RetroPad model.


And much more! This article is far from being exhaustive.
If you want to help FBNeo, keep sending us bug reports when you see something wrong.
Our forum :
Our github :
Our discord :

Changing behavior of “gl” and “glcore” video drivers

What are they ?

“gl” and “glcore” are 2 video drivers available on desktop computer :

  • “gl” is an OpenGL 2.0+ driver, when used with a version above 3.0 it’s called OpenGL Compatibility and can support up to OpenGL 4.6, but some GPU drivers don’t have that OpenGL Compatibility mode.
  • “glcore” is an OpenGL 3.1+ driver, it’s also called OpenGL Core, it supports up to OpenGL 4.6.

OpenGL is one of graphics API that can be used to draw 3D with you GPU, it is the most widely supported by devices and emulators.

What changed ?

Until now, when launching a core with an OpenGL renderer, RetroArch would consider both “gl” and “glcore” video drivers as valid choices, meaning you could launch a core internally using OpenGL Compatibility with the “glcore” video driver, and a core internally using OpenGL Core with the “gl” video driver. It’s not possible anymore, now cores will try to force the video driver matching what they want. This change only concerns platforms with OpenGL Core support, meaning platforms like android and many others aren’t concerned. Here is a list of cores using OpenGL and how they will be affected.

The following cores will always try to force the “glcore” driver :

  • kronos
  • citra
  • beetle-psx-hw
  • mupen64plus_next (on linux)
  • melonDS

The following cores will always try to force the “gl” driver :

  • openlara
  • parallel-n64
  • yabasanshiro
  • mupen64plus_next (on windows)
  • boom3

The following cores are compatible with both (some of them might work better with a peculiar driver depending on your gpu though), so they’ll try to use your current driver :

  • duckstation
  • dolphin
  • ishiiruka
  • ppsspp
  • flycast
  • desmume

Why was this change needed ?

Maybe you are one of the lucky guys who didn’t encounter major issues with the previous behavior, but there are actually several reasons to change this :

  • some cores will glitch if the video driver doesn’t match the context they are requesting
  • cores will usually perform faster if you use the video driver they expect
  • OpenGL compatibility isn’t reliable for cores that require OpenGL versions above 3.0, because some GPU drivers don’t support this, so it’s safer to force OpenGL Core in those cases
  • to be honest, it makes more sense like this, it leverages user experience, and we shouldn’t ignore what is requested by the core

Should i change something on my setup ?

The first thing you should make sure, is that the setting “Allow cores to change video drivers” is turned on (that’s the default), as far as i know turning this setting off was used as a workaround for some of the issues fixed by those commits, so i don’t see a scenario anymore where it could be anything but harmful.

The second thing you should do, is update the cores mentioned above if you are using them, half of them were patched over the last few weeks, in preparation for those changes. Sadly our buildbot currently has troubles building some of those cores, so i recommend manually installing them from the newer builds available at until the new buildbot is ready (for dolphin, you might have to install vc_redist from here).

The third thing you should do if those changes prevent a core from working on your setup, is to mention me (@barbudreadmon) on github or discord so that i can look into your issue.

Last but not least, there are 2 settings you might optionally consider changing :

  • if you are currently using the setting “shared hardware context”, you should probably consider turning it off, it adds rendering latency while it shouldn’t be necessary anymore with those changes (the cores that actually require this setting will force it).
  • if your GPU is less than 15 years old and your platform supports “glcore”, you should probably consider using “glcore” over “gl” as default OpenGL video driver, it generally produce better overall results.