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MESS is a source-available project which documents the hardware for a wide variety of (mostly vintage) computers, video game consoles, and calculators through software emulation, as MAME does for arcade games.


The Color Computer runs several different types of media: cartridges (then marketed as "ROMPaks" or "ROM Paks"), cassettes, and binary files on floppy disks to name a few. It is advisable to make a list for each type of media, as each one in emulated form has a different file extension (although it may be possible to use a bash script loader that automatically picks the correct device).

For the sake of brevity, only coco configurations are listed. "coco2" and "coco3" can easily be substituted in place of "coco" to emulate the respective machines.

Platform Version Device Exec Type commandline_format
Linux 0.137+ Cartridge ROM (ccc, rom) /usr/games/mess D coco -cart "path_to_rom_files/[name].[romext]"
Linux 0.137+ Binary file (bin) /usr/games/mess D coco -quik "path_to_bin_files/[name].[romext]" (1)
Linux 0.137+ Cassette file (cas, wav) /usr/games/mess D coco -cass "path_to_cas_files/[name].[romext]" (2)
  1. The Quickload (quik) device is not supported in all versions of MESS for the coco, coco2, and coco3 driver. For example, it exists in 0.141, but does not exist in some revisions of 0.144. It also is not supported in the deprecated XMESS (0.106).
  2. Cassette emulation requires typing CLOADM at the OK prompt and then typing EXEC when the desired game is loaded. Loading a program from a cassette also takes an exceptionally long time. Given the alternatives, cassette emulation is therefore probably not practical in most cases, especially in an arcade cabinet.

External Links

  • [1] - Color Computer system info on MESS.org
  • [2] - Color Computer MESS driver info on MESS.org
  • [3] - Color Computer 2 system info on MESS.org
  • [4] - Color Computer 2 MESS driver info on MESS.org
  • [5] - Color Computer 3 system info on MESS.org
  • [6] - Color Computer 3 MESS driver info on MESS.org