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 :

Final Burn Neo Progress Report – September 2020

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 and less on accuracy/preservation. The team is composed of dink, iq_132, JacKc, kev and me. It supports most libretro features (netplay, runahead, retroachievements, …) and is part of the libretro steam launch lineup.

New supported games and other improvements


We added support for “WEC Le mans” and “Hot Chase”, 2 racing games from 1986 & 1988, you could see those games as Konami’s response to Sega’s “Out Run” and “Hang On”.
We also added support for the 6-player version of “X-Men”, which is playable from start to end without any glitch for the first time in an arcade emulator (our fixes were also ported to current MAME and MAME2003+).

We also improved emulation for the K054539 sound chip which is used in lots of konami games (including X-Men), this board had an echo effect that wasn’t emulated in any arcade emulator previously.


“Photo Y2K 2”, a game dumped nearly 20 years ago, finally got his protection passed thanks to the efforts of iq_132 and dink, i wouldn’t call it a must-play but it’s always nice to make breakthrough after so long. Various pgm hacks and bootlegs were also added along the way.


“Opa Opa”, a Sega System E game from 1987, is now playable, the game is some kind of mix between pacman and a shoot’em’up, with upgrades and playable in co-op.
Our Sega System 18 driver also had a nice overhaul after being on the todo list for a long time, games like “Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker” now plays without any gfx issues.
2 megadrive arcade bootlegs were also added : “Super Bubble Bobble” and “Top Shooter”.


For years there was a nasty issue with our Midway W/T Unit emulation (Mortal Kombat 1/2/3 and Rampage World Tour), more precisely only half of the frames were properly displayed, it has now been fixed thanks to the efforts of Marcos Medeiros (Romhack/zxmarcos) !


We added support for “Galactic Storm”, a third person shoot’em’up from 1992, this one was quite the unusual addition since it involves some polygon rendering, it’s quite rare for FBNeo to do 3D-ish things.


“Gondomania”, a shoot’em’up from 1987, is now playable. “Super Shanghai Dragon’s Eye”, a puzzle/mahjong game from 1992, was also added.


There was another batch of gfx fixes for CPS3 (Street Fighter 3, JoJo, Warzard), our emulation should now be on par with MAME’s apart from DMA status emulation, and there is a good reason for that : it would critically increase the hardware requirements for something that doesn’t seem to affect any phase of gameplay, that’s just not worth it on an emulator which is more focused on playability than accuracy/preservation. SF3-1 and SF3-2 from that driver also have a new dipswitch to enable wide screen mode (previously, only SF3-2 had that wide screen mode available, and only through its service menu), don’t ask about SF3-3.
CPS1’s (olders Street Fighter 2 and dozens of other games) MSM6295 sound chip also got nice improvements that make the bgm sound clearer, i’m mentioning it for CPS1 but it’s also used in quite a lot of other arcade systems. About that, i’ve seen some messed up comparisons on internet so i’ll say it : it’ll never reach the quality of cd/vinyl soundtracks of those CPS1 games, because it operates at a 7.5khz samplerate and the bgms were recorded for that samplerate.


Support for Neo-Geo Pocket and Pocket Color was added.


More NES mappers, more NES games, and reduced input lag ! If your favorite NES game isn’t emulated yet, feel free to ask here !


Pre 90s

Added support for missing games running on the same hardware as “Q-Bert”, it includes “Insector”, “Argus”, “Krull”, “Curve Ball”, “Tylz”, “Knightmare”, “Reactor”, “Screw Loose”, “Wiz Warz”, “Video Vince and the Game Factory”, and “The Three Stooges In Brides Is Brides”.
We finally completed our support for Nichibutsu games : “Tube Panic” and “Mag Max”, 2 shoot’em’up from 1984 and 1985, are now supported.

Post 90s

Support for “Hyper Duel”, a really nice Technosoft shoot’em’up from 1993, was added.

A “Cisco Heat” driver was added, it includes the eponym racing game from Jaleco, and other games like “Big Run”, “Grand Prix Star”, “Wild Pilot”, and “Scud Hammer”.
Support for the Hyperstone cpu family, high-spec cpus from the late 90s, was added, and along with it support for most arcade systems using them, it includes games like “Vamf x1/2”, “X2222”, “Crazy War”, and dozens of other games. I’ll be honest though, technically those games don’t live up to the specs of their cpus.

Better savestates support

Over the last months, savestate issues that could cause glitches, mostly with runahead (single instance) and netplay, were fixed, it includes neogeo, cps1, pgm, irem m92, sega system 1, and last but not least, pretty much any game using yamaha sound boards, and i can tell you those boards were quite popular in the 90s.

Better support for other archs/platforms (arm, PS3 and Wii U)

Final Burn Neo is written for x86 cpus, and while we try to keep the code compatible with other archs, we don’t always have the time nor means to properly test them. Lots of work was done on that front lately, it includes a few fixes for arm cpus (i.e smartphones, tablets and small computers like the raspberry pi), and tons of fixes for big-endian ppc cpus (i.e PS3 and Wii U). I’m not saying the ~15000 romsets we support are all ok, with an emulator which is basically a conglomerate of hundreds of smaller emulators it probably wouldn’t be even after working for years on it, but hundreds of games were fixed, including popular systems like pgm or neogeo CD. A special thanks to CrystalCT, author of FBNeoRLPlus (an alternative libretro frontend specialized in FBNeo for PS3), for his dedication on this.

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 :