PC-98 emulators

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The PC-98

The NEC PC-9801, also known as the PC-98, were a family of computers made by NEC throughout 1982 to 2000. They were not released or marketed outside of Japan, but still useful for playing early Touhou games.

Emulators[edit]

PC
Emulator Operating System(s) Latest Version Accuracy Active Recommended
Neko Project II Windows, OS X (PPC) 0.86 Mid
Neko Project 21/W Windows, Linux 0.86 rev41β1 High
Anex86 Windows e1 Low-Mid
SL9821 Windows 0.3.0.3 High
MAME Multi-platform 0.196 Low

Comparisons[edit]

Neko Project II
The best PC98 emulator out there that's still under active development. Its major drawback is the non-remappable controls.
Neko Project 21/W
Based on Neko Project II but focus on simulating PC-9821 with support for LAN board, PC-9801-96 expansion board, various Window Accelerators, additional disk image format and so on.
Anex86
Another decent PC98 emulator, but is older and less powerful. It allows key rebinding.
MAME
It has drivers for various revisions but as of version 0.189, all of them are reported as Not Working.

Playing Games[edit]

Note: This tutorial was adapted from this resource.

The PC-9800 series of personal computers had floppy disk drives (FDD) and hard drives (HDD) which contained the actual games and software to be loaded. Besides the emulator, you'll need a set of floppy disk images (in the following formats: FDI, FDM, NFD, D88...) or a hard disk image (in the following formats: HDI, HDM, NHD...)

You'll need a font if you want text characters to display properly in most cases. Put it in the same directory as the emulator executable, and select it (on NP2: Emulate/Font, on Anex86: Config/Font).

You'll need to configure the emulator as well. In NP2's case, you want to go with the recommended configuration here:

  • Emulate/Configure/CPU: Number of cores to something like 32.
  • Emulate/Configure/Sound: Rate to 44k or 88k for better sound quality.
  • Device/Memory: 13.6MB
  • Screen/Screen Option: Check "Use skipline revisions", and change Ratio to 255. This gets rid of the existing scanline implementation, in case you want a better one with shaders from external programs. Keep in mind PC-98 games, more than any other system, are often graphically designed with scanlines in mind.

To play the games:

  • If using a floppy disk based game: Plug the first disk (FDI) into FDD1, and the second disk (FDI) into FDD2.
  • If using a hard drive based game: Plug the hard drive (HDI) into Harddisk/IDE #0 (if using Anex86, use the HDD1 and HDD2 fields and check the box HDD>FDD).

Then hit Emulate/Reset, and most games automatically launch from there.

Neko Project II's controls are not remappable. They're 2, 4, 6, and 8 on the numpad, arrow keys, enter, space, ctrl, z and x. For games using the mouse, hit F12 to enable or disable mouse input. Use programs like Joy2Key to rebind other keys.

Resources[edit]