Nintendo Entertainment System

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The Nintendo Entertainment System (often abbreviated as the NES, also known as the Family Computer or the Famicom in Japan) was an 8-bit home console manufactured by Nintendo, launched in 1983 in Japan and 1985 in the US. Perhaps one of the most popular consoles of all time, it brought Japanese companies into the gaming industry alongside with the release of the MSX home computer and singlehandedly revived the American videogame market after its crash in 1983. Outside of these territories and Western Europe, many other countries experienced this era of gaming through Taiwanese and Russian "Famiclones" of the NES hardware such as the Dendy, Pegasus or the Micro Genius.


Tile viewers such as YY-CHR and Tile Molester can be used to rip from the ROM. Most NES games can be tile ripped without issue (apart from assembly due to tile reuse and possible unused poses) aside form games with compressed graphics (such as games converted to cartridges from Famicom Disk System disks). Palettes must be manually defined if tiles are ripped and extracted through this manner.

Suggested Emulators


A common, easy to use emulator with save state and quick screenshot support. By default, the system has a rather faded color palette overall, which matches the output of NES and Famicom titles on most modern displays. It can run nearly every NES and Famicom Disk System game with few, if any, real issues, and only lacks support for unlicensed multicarts. Lastly, It can record videos and audio and has net play for online multiplayer.

The Mac OS X version includes a rewind functionality rare on emulators and omits various third-party controller supports in the Windows version, featuring only the Zapper for light gun games (via the mouse). Otherwise, it contains similar save state functions (with access to only one quick save and quick load state slot compared to the multiple save state slots typical of PC emulators) and instant screenshot and audio recording features.


Another easy to use emulator with most of the same features as NEStopia, but with the noteworthy addition of frame-advancing using the emulator's pause function. Its color palette features much more contrast compared to that of NEStopia, making colors much brighter and saturated overall. Depending on the user's preference, this can be either a positive or a negative. Two features useful for sprite-ripping include the PPU viewer and the Name Table viewer, which display the current tiles loaded into the system's memory for display on the screen and the background without any sprites respectfully. These must be captured using the computer's Printscreen function (and downsized by 50% in the case of the PPU Viewer), as they cannot be saved directly as image files. Like NEStopia, it has video and audio recording and net play for multiplayer.


Mesen is a modern emulator that focuses on accuracy, even options to emulate the faults or the variations of the NES but still very easy to use. It can emulate most of the library apart from one mapper that was used in 6 games including Somari and Kart Fighter. For sprite ripping, it includes a tile viewer, sprite viewer, palette viewer and a background viewer. It can record videos and audio, has net play, and can run HD packs for improved visuals.


An emulator that requires a bit more work to set up, but once it is set to your needs, it has almost everything you need to rip sprites including layer removal and step-pausing.