Pandora’s Box 6 Community Collection Released

Hi.

Yeah. I figured that title would catch some eyes. Our little effort to bring together a full MAME and FBA ROM set and test out everything has finally come to a close. This site and the community has come a long way since starting up in September. While looking for information, I realized that my own site and our Discord have become some of the best places to find just about anything the English speaking Pandora’s Box community knows. We’re starting to get a bit of recognition out there which is fun.

Thank Yous and Acknowledgements

  • The Main Community Collection Team – for all the hours of testing, gathering data, updating spreadsheets, trying and discovering new things, making suggestions and not just being motivational but enjoying the massive amount of work: airlicious, EvilChris, Matty, mcdmofr, Niel, Norby, Pandoraboxman, robbeno69, Satoshi_Matrix, ZOCKOTRON
  • The hackers behind OpenPB4, Retropan and more – for trying to bring the best experience possible to people with these underpowered and underserved Chinese bootleg arcade consoles: myzar, zanac, and Sebastian404.
  • Everyone hanging out at the Dream Never Ends Pandora’s Box Discord.

How Can I Find The Community Collection?

Come and join the Dream Never Ends Discord and come to the #community-collection channel.

How Do I Set This Up?

The Community Collection consists of three sets of files:

  • PB6 Community Collection – MAME ROMs.zip
  • PB6 Community Collection – FBA ROMs.zip
  • PB6 Community Collection – Movies.zip

For the preview videos, there’s nothing very special that needs to be done. You can extract the zip anywhere and copy all the *.avi files directly into the Movies folder on your USB drive. When Windows asks, choose to replace the original videos as the ones included not just replace the original 1300 game previews but also give you previews for all the added MAME and FBA ROMs too.

You can do the same thing with the FBA and MAME ROMs, extract them anywhere you wish and then directly copying the game ROM zips into the roms_fba and roms_mame folders. However, you will very quickly discover that the Pandora’s Box 6 orders the games in the order they were written to the USB disk which you’ll notice isn’t very orderly at all.

How Do I Alphabetize my FBA and MAME ROMs?

The only way to do this properly is to write the files in the order that you want them shown in the Pandora’s Box 6 menu. You can do that with an application called CopyInOrder.

Makin’ orderly copies to my USB disk.

The only catch with doing this is that the Pandora’s Box will not alphabetize added games along with all the games that are already included by default. What it will do is order them alphabetically like this:

  • Original 1300 games from # -> Z
  • Final Burn Alpha games from # -> Z
  • MAME games from # -> Z
  • PlayStation games from # -> Z

Also, this is going alphabetical through filename, so it is possible that games in the game list look out of order but it’s really because the file name is different from the game name.

Once all your games are written to the disk with CopyInOrder, properly unmount and eject your USB disk and pop it into your Pandora’s Box 6 and have a good time.

Well… Now What?

Well, you could…

Pandora’s Box 6 – Community Collection Update

Hi. You may have seen the post about our Community Collection. So, here is an update on our current progress.

MAME 0.106 ROM Set Progress
Final Burn Alpha 0.2.97.36 ROM Set Progress
Replacement Preview Video for Default PB6 Games
MAME and FBA Added ROMs Preview Videos

So we feel we’re basically done with the ROM sets themselves but I’m leaving them at 99% just in case we find a few more things here and there. In terms of the preview videos, we have almost all the replacements we need for the default 1300 games and most of what we need for the MAME and FBA added games. I’m almost certain most of the work will be renaming videos to match the ROM names for the most part.

If you are interested in helping out or attempting to launch subprojects or just want to hang out with other Pandora’s Box enthusiasts, feel free to join our Discord: https://discord.gg/ZM2b2zd

Pandora’s Box 6 Community Collection

Those of you who own a Pandora’s Box 6 know that it’s great being able to add your own games to the box, however it’s always a bit of a crapshoot. Will this game work or will it not? Do I have the right ROM or not? What version of MAME do I need to search for again? Yeah, it’s a bit of a pain in the ass to deal with, especially if you are relatively new to emulation and don’t understand some of the complexities. I have a potential solution for that.

What is the PB6 Community Collection?

To put it simply, this is intended on being a community-vetted collection of ROMs for the Pandora’s Box 6 that you can throw on your USB stick and know that everything should be correct and functional. What exactly does “everything” mean here in this context?

  • Cut down MAME v0.106 ROM set with video previews
  • Cut down FBA 0.2.97.36 set with video previews
  • PlayStation set with video previews
  • Replacement video previews for default 1300 PB6 games
  • A new community collection set of background images for the PB6 gamelist

The idea here is that we want to have a clean set of games that are all known good, known playable for everyone to enjoy and also to fix up some of the problems with the original set too.

What is the criteria for games being included in the collection?

Here are the general guidelines that we are following to this point.

Arcade Guidelines (MAME, Final Burn Alpha)

  • Must be playable regardless of language. If a game only exists in Japanese but not knowing the language doesn’t interfere with playing the game, it can be included.
  • Always default to English language versions.
  • No duplicates/multiple clones, only one version of each game unless there are major variations between them.
  • All games playable at full speed (or at least close to it for certain exceptions).
  • All games rotated properly to be playable on horizontal screens.
  • Games must be fully controlable with the PB6. Games that require analog are allowed as long as the PB6 still allows you to play. (Yes, this makes Arkanoid difficult but at least it’s playable at all.)
  • Games with no sound emulation are allowed. Games with horrible sound emulation (as in deafening static) are not.
  • No duplicates from the original PB6 1300 game set unless there is some improvement over the original version in some form. (Jackie Chan is an example.)
  • Always use 2 player versions instead of 4 player versions when possible to allow players to select their character (TMNT/Sunset Riders/Simpsons, etc…).
  • If a multiplayer game only functions with a single player and we have no clones that have the other players working properly, it can still be included. (Gauntlet is an example, as much as being forced to play single player sucks.)
  • No Mahjong games (the gin poker style game, tile matching games are okay), no fruit machines, no video poker/casino games, no Japanese quiz games.

PlayStation Guidelines

  • All Arcade Guidelines also apply to PlayStation games.
  • No games that require disc swapping as the emulator doesn’t support it. In multiple disc games where each disc is independent (Street Fighter Collection, Rival Schools), each disc should be separated into its own *.pbp file.
  • No games which have rumble/vibration before the player has the ability to disable rumble support, causing the game to crash. (Crash Bandicoot 3 is an example.)
  • No duplicates of the arcade games unless there is a significant difference or reason for doing so. (PS1 arcade collections where all the games already work perfectly on the PB6, for instance). Remakes are okay. Arcade emulation of games that otherwise wouldn’t work on PB6 (Joust, other Williams games) are okay.

Current Progress

I launched this project kind of in stealth mode so we aren’t entirely starting from scratch here. Let’s talk about where we are currently at.

  • Final Burn Alpha 0.2.97.36 ROM set: 100% complete, 107 ROMs collected.
  • Final Burn Alpha 0.2.97.36 preview videos: not started, 0/107 video previews collected.
  • MAME 0.106 ROM set: # thru B are completed, 122 ROMs collected.
  • MAME 0.106 preview videos: Created but not organized and collected yet.
  • PB6 replacement preview videos: Created but not organized and collected yet.
  • PlayStation ROM set: 5% complete, 30 games collected.
  • PlayStation preview videos: not started.
  • PB6 Community Collection main menu backgrounds: Just a proof of concept complete.

Is this available yet?

No, it won’t be available until it is completed. If you email asking for ROMs from me, you will be ignored.

How can I help out?

Please come join us in the #community-collection channel on our Discord server. The more people helping out, the faster the work gets done and there is still plenty of it.

Let’s get it done.