Playing retro games is great fun. Downloading an emulator and turning your PC into an 80s home computer with access to every game ever written is simple and takes no time at all.
Check out my retro gaming tutorials…
But if like me you haven’t got time to devote hours of practice to master every single game, how do you ever get past the first couple of levels? With only three lives in reserve, and having to start at the very beginning every time you end up playing the same levels over and over again. As none of these old titles have a save game feature how do you get to play all those wonderful higher levels you know are there waiting for your enjoyment?
Almost all emulators have a snapshot or save state feature. When you activate this they make a complete record of the entire computer system as it was when you initiated the snapshot. The entire computer memory, set up, data and everything else is saved. By reloading a snapshot you can return the computer to the exact state it was in when you took the snapshot.
This effectively let’s you create a save game feature for any game you want to play. As soon as you get past the level take a snapshot. Then, whenever you get killed simply reload that snapshot and your back to the start of the level without having to go all the way back to the start of the game. Need a break. Take as long as you want, the snapshots are saved on your computer and you can return whenever you want.
Lots of retro games have been hacked and you can get cheat codes that take you directly to higher levels. This is great if you want to have a look around, but it does take a bit of the challenge out of the game.
With snapshots, although you’re still technically cheating, you still have to play the game and beat each level individually. So you still do all the enjoyment of playing each level and the thrill of making it to the end and earning access to the next part of the game. The snapshot just make sure that you got enough lives to get that bit further.
So boot up an emulator, download your favourite game and finally find out what happens when you beat that ultimate boss.