FAST Retro Platform Emulation FAQ¶
This information is preliminary
FAST Retro Platform components are not yet available directly as we focus on our game studio partners releasing commercial conversion kits and new game experiences based on this platform. We will release Retro platform controllers for direct sale in the future.
All FAST Retro Platform controllers support the ability to play the original machine ROMs. These ROM images are installed directly onto the FAST Retro Controller and are run from the controller itself. An external host PC is not required to run the original game ROMs.
How does the emulator work?¶
The FAST Retro Platform uses a custom emulator we developed for the specific purpose of running classic game ROMs on physical pinball machines via a FAST Retro Platform controller. This is NOT running or using PinMAME or any PinMAME components. We actually emulate the original 6809 processor and WPC ASIC.
What's different in the emulated game?¶
From the player experience, nothing!
One of our core directives for our emulation platform was that it had to be perfect. World-class pinball players should not be able to tell the difference between playing a machine with an original Williams pinball controller and a FAST Retro Controller running the emulated version.
Do I need a computer to run the emulation?¶
All of this emulation runs directly on the FAST Retro Controller. It does not require an external computer or controlling system. You can swap out an existing original MPU board with a FAST Retro Controller in 5 minutes and be running the original game code immediately.
Note that new game kits from game makers (like FunHouse Rudy's Nightmare from Pedretti Gaming) include a new computer (or Raspberry Pi, etc) which runs their modern game code, but that's different from the classic emulation which is running on the FAST Controller.
Is this legal?¶
Yes. The FAST Retro Platform emulation engine has been approved by the licensors and all ROM images are fully legal and licensed from Bally/Williams via Planetary Pinball.
Can I move my FAST Retro Controller to a different machine?¶
The oringal ROM images are stored in software on the FAST Retro Controller itself. You can swap your FAST Retro Controller between machines. Once this platform is fully released, you will be able to login to the FAST website to register your FAST Retro Controller and download new ROMs. (Note that licensor requirements might require you to pay a software license fee for the additional ROM image you're downloading and running on the FAST Retro Platform emulator.)
What about audio and display?¶
The FAST Retro Controller is the same footprint and pin and plug compatible with the original controller it's replacing. The original audio and display ROMs are on the display & audio board and continue to function in the same way. (In fact they don't even know that the original WPC controller has been replaced with a modern one running the game in emulation.)
Replacement audio, display, and driver boards (PinSound, Rottendog, GLM, etc.) all work fine.
What about existing mods?¶
Since the FAST Retro Controller emulates the original hardware and runs the original ROMs, all existing mods should work fine. (We have not yet heard about any mods that didn't work.)
More questions? Reach out!¶
If you have additional questions not addressed here, send them to me and I'll add them to the FAQ.
Documentation Feedback? Requests? Confused?
Hi! I'm Brian, and I'm responsible for the documentation at FAST Pinball. If you have any feedback, requests, corrections, ideas, or any other thoughts about the docs, please let me know!
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I maintain this site in my spare time, so there might be a week or so delay if you email me.
If you have a more pressing need, reach out to us via Slack, or email Aaron Davis.
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