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Work in progress.

The Nintendo Entertainment System (shortened to NES) or in Japan the Famicom (shortened to FC) is an 8bit home console made by Nintendo.

There are several emulators available for the GBA and for the DS that enable you to play NES/Famicom games (The famicom disk system, aka FDS, is not always supported but it is done in some emulators).

GBA Section

There are multiple emulators here and as many are open source there are a few side projects too, the biggest issue for the GBA emu line is the screen resolution of the GBA is not the same as the NES so things get scaled.

Pocketnes (Original): unofficial homepage

This is probably the most well known and highly regarded NES emu for the GBA and with good reason. No FDS support, the lack of a few (relatively unused) mappers and the unusual scaling mode (affects text in some RPGS but is better overall) are probably the biggest detractors.

Pocketnes (Dwedit): (GBAMP SD/CF and multiboot cable versions available too) Check forum there for alpha builds.

Seen as Pocketnes is open source others have taken the source and added to it. Pocketnes is fantastic and this is the icing on the cake (cheats and a few more mappers and tricks).

Pocketnes (Kuwanger):

Currently based on a slightly older version of Dwedit's pocketnes this version has compression and is also a very nice addition to the pocketnes collection.

Infones Advanced homepage

Not bad but pocketnes is better.

Unnoficial Famicom Advanced No homepage available, DCEmu link

What HVCA was called before it changed to HVCA, use HVCA instead.

HVCA Homepage See below for a setup guide. In the land of GBA code nes emulators pocketnes is king, lets just say this is a major threat to that position. FDS support (with diskrom.sys file) and in some respects a nicer scaling mode as well as more mappers than pocketnes makes for a damn fine emulator.

Famicom Advanced No homepage [1]

Early stage, not really worth considering

Usage section

The two best emulators for the NES are regarded as pocketnes and HVCA

Pocketnes usage

Regardless of what version of pocketnes you choose the same building methods should apply.

EZClient features a basic builder (replace the pocketnes file in the sysbin directory to update pocketnes) but the usual method involves using a builder, most are windows only but linux and dos variations exist.

The suggested builder is called PocketNES Menu Maker and is available from the pocketnes homepage. Extract the file and open the exe, it will look something like this


Click on options and choose the location of the files you need (the first three are essential), add roms to the directory (you may have to restart the program) you selected and hit make. Burn the output rom as usual.

HVCA usage

HVCA is slightly more complicated to use when compared to pocketnes but the advantages may soon become apparent. Note to use FDS titles the Famicom's disksys.rom file is required. NSF files are also supported with the newest versions. It is advised you use HVCA as a standalone emulator.

  • Visit the homepage and click on the word AGB.
  • Download "hvca-v1.0-bin.lzh"
  • lzh is a type of compression, read this article for some suggestions for a decompressor or a simple search should bring one up.
  • In the hvca directory create a subdirectory called "ADD".
  • Add the nes, fds files and nsf files you wish to use into the newer made "ADD" folder. remember the FDS roms require the bios to run. This tends to be entitled diskrom.sys and there are several versions available.
  • The .CFG files (located in the folder CFG) are essentially patches to enable certain roms to work. Add the ones necessary for your rom(s).
  • there is a batch file called merge.bat, run this and select the options required. When it is finished add this to your cart in the usual manner.

DS Section

These a not quite as advanced as some of the GBA stuff but the added power makes for some truely impressive emulation. Naturally you will need some form of (no)pass(me) device to run this.


Update: a new version was made that supports DLDI, saving now works and ROMs can be loaded directly from the cart. Saving has to be done by saving in game and then hard saving via the menu or just using save states. homepage

NesDS (modified) Obsolete now nesDS supports DLDI, no homepage as it was released in a forum thread: maxconsole link Download from playeradvance

Added save support for a few flashcarts, I would advise reading the threads linked for more info.

Retrobox homepage

No public release as of this point in time. A fair potential though.

NesterDS homepage

One of the first DS code nes emulators and a DS port of the nes emu known as nester, given the other options not really worth the effort.

Midori Download here: maxconsole discussion Released as an entry in the neoflash coding contest, no sound but otherwise being halfway acceptable means this goes into third place quality wise. A GBA code emulator will probably fair better though.

Usage section

The two most popular emulators have been added here.


Method for old versions, DLDI patch and run with roms placed on cart. Saving as detailed in section above.

******************** Obsolete*************** WIP version usage to come.

  • open nesDS.exe.
  • Click on the open button and select the roms you want.
  • Click on save and burn the output as usual.

When you run the nesDS file you will be taken to another menu where you will be given a list of the roms you put into the original rom. Prees B and launch the rom.

Saving does not work but SRAM (.sav) files will be loaded if found (use one you already have from some other source).

******************** /Obsolete***************


L-rewind time
R-speed up
A-Turbo/Rapid A
X-Turbo/Rapid B

PC Emulation

There exists several NES emualtors for the PC, even more if you run pocketnes through as GBA emulator (something you might wish to do as an initial test)

See the following site for now emulator-zone link