New article: What Is Emulation?2018-02-06

I want to have an honest discussion on the technical merits of FPGA devices, and I believe I missed the mark on that yesterday. So if you'll indulge me, I'd like to take another shot at that. This time, free of money, motives, etc.

Article - What Is Emulation?

New article: FPGAs Aren't Magic2018-02-05

Regrettably, I've seen a continued reluctance by the press to challenge the marketing spin by the Analogue CEO regarding their new Super Nt product. So, since journalists won't do their jobs, I'll do it for them.

Article - FPGAs Aren't Magic

New article: Experiment!2018-01-20

Figured I'd start off 2018 with something truly out of character: an article with a positive tone to it! First time for everything, right?

You can read the article here, if you like.

higan v106 released2017-11-19

This release adds auto-saving RAM support and a new tool to save per-game text notes. It also adds 64 new SNES PAL game verifications to the icarus database, courtesy of DoNotWant and Smarthuman.

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higan v105tr1 released2017-10-25

This release supersedes higan v105, and is released to fix a critical issue that was affecting the newly completed English translation of Tengai Makyou Zero. It also has fixes for two other games.

Many special thanks to Cydrak for putting this release together during my vacation! =^-^=


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bass v15 released2017-10-08

After two years, a new version of bass has been released, which contains many substantial changes: expressions, multi-argument defines, inline macros, and much more.

Unfortunately, code written for bass v14 is unlikely to be compatible with v15, and code changes will be necessary.

However, the goal going forward is for bass to stabilize. I wanted to offer a guarantee that all code compiled with v15 will be forward-compatible, but given the large number of changes, this seems a bad idea. Instead, I'd like to run with v15 for a decent length of time, and if no serious issues arise, then we can consider this for the next release.

Do note that unlike previous releases, backward-incompatible changes won't occur to v15 unless they are of significant, quantifiable benefit.

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higan v105 released2017-10-07

This release provides several major improvements to Mega Drive emulation which enhances compatibility a good deal. It also includes important Super Famicom mosaic emulation improvements, plus a much-needed SuperFX save state issue fix.

This will be the last release for a while: I have an upcoming vacation, and following that, I'll be shifting my focus back to the SNES preservation project until my backlog of 125 PAL games is cleared.


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higan v104 released2017-08-12

There are lots of improvements in this new release, both to core emulation and to the user interface. However, some of these changes are quite substantial, so regressions are a possibility. Please report any regressions from v103 on the forums if found.

Note that Mega Drive save RAM files will not be compatible with v103, but will now be compatible with save RAM files from all other Mega Drive emulators, and the format will be stable going forward.

Also!! Thanks to the tireless work of Screwtape, the Help->Documentation link in higan now takes you to a very comprehensive user guide. Please be sure to consult this if you have any questions about using higan.

Lastly, I've added a link to my Patreon page ( to the higan downloads page. The money will go exclusively toward purchasing SNES games for preservation, hardware and flash carts for reverse engineering, equipment such as backup drives, etc. Donating is entirely optional and comes with no rewards, but would of course be greatly appreciated! ^^;


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higan v103 released2017-06-21

With this release, PC Engine, Master System, Game Gear, Mega Drive and the newly added SuperGrafx support are now quite usable! They're far from the best emulators for these systems, but with many bugfixes, full sound emulation, and save state support ... many games are now fully playable with decent accuracy.

The Game Boy Advance emulation is also now substantially improved with vastly improved sound quality and a new dot-based PPU renderer. With that change, every single component in higan is now cycle-based. Regrettably, these changes do carry a ~20% performance penalty compared to GBA emulation in v102.


This changelog is a summary of major changes. For a detailed list of all changes, which spans several pages, please see the higan Gitlab repository.

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higan v102 released2017-01-19

This release adds very preliminary emulation of the Sega Master System (Mark III), Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega Drive (Genesis), and NEC PC Engine (Turbografx-16). These cores do not yet offer sound emulation, save states or cheat codes.

I'm always very hesitant to release a new emulation core in its alpha stages, as in the past this has resulted in lasting bad impressions of cores that have since improved greatly. For instance, the Game Boy Advance emulation offered today is easily the second most accurate around, yet it is still widely judged by its much older alpha implementation.

However, it's always been tradition with higan to not hold onto code in secret. Rather than delay future releases for another year or two, I'll put my faith in you all to understand that the emulation of these systems will improve over time.

I hope that by releasing things as they are now, I might be able to receive some much needed assistance in improving these cores, as the documentation for these new systems is very much less than ideal.

Also, please note that starting with this release, I am omitting the settings.bml file. This means that you will have to manually configure your gamepad input assignments, and select the appropriate devices from the system menu after loading games. You may also want to select a more conservative driver profile than the default (OpenGL, WASAPI.) If they cause you any troubles, a safer bet would be (Direct3D, DirectSound.)

The good news in omitting this file is that you'll only have to configure inputs once, and you won't lose any customizations by upgrading to future releases.

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New articles2016-11-12, 2016-12-01

I've posted some new articles around the politics as of late. I needed a space to reflect on things. Take of them what you will.

New article on SSL/HTTPS2016-09-18

I've posted a new article concerning SSL/HTTPS on the web; the push for all sites to move to HTTPS; and the failure of free certificate authorities.

Transport Layer Security (SSL/HTTPS)

For those who don't want to read an entire article; I'd just like to publicly call out the blatant hypocisy of Let's Encrypt here:

They deny their users the ability to request wildcard certificates; yet enjoy using wildcards on their parent site,

They deny their users the ability to request certificates that last longer than three months, yet their very own website uses a certificate with a three year validity length!

If they want to tell all their users how to run their sites, then they should lead by example and give up these luxuries themselves.

New servers; SSL/HTTPS support; IPv6 support2016-09-17

The old has been replaced with two new servers. The forum now runs on its own separate server. In order for the SSL certificate to work across both; I had to use A/AAAA records to point at the secondary server.

With the server move from New Jersey to Chicago, IPv6 support has begun working once again.

For anyone who has been following my progress for the past two weeks; I have been trying my best to find a solution to avoid paying for an SSL certificate: not because I couldn't afford it, but because security should not cost money.

Unfortunately, there are only two free options: StartSSL, which won't cover subdomains at all (a complete non-starter); and Let's Encrypt, a hypocritical joke of a service.

I'll write more on this topic at a later date, but for now — and against my strongest moral objections — I gave in and paid for an SSL certificate. Since it is recognized by all browsers, I went ahead and made HTTP automatically redirect to the HTTPS version of the site.

Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis) emulation2016-08-21

On July 8th, I started on a Sega Mega Drive emulation core.

As of today, it's finally able to run its first game with no visible issues other than a lack of audio emulation. Yay!

Still, it's going to be a long haul to get this core to be of high quality: the Mega Drive is roughly on par with the SNES in terms of technical complexity when it comes to aiming for extreme accuracy.

I'm not sure when it will appear in official releases.