Videogame ROM prefixes and codes
If you have somewhat of an interest in collecting and/or playing ROMs of older games, you may notice that their filenames have certain prefixes or suffixes. These codes are properties of a ROM, and hold information regarding its zone/language, legitimacy, origin. The list below should help with understanding these cryptic codes. If you learn anything from this list, it should be that the roms with the [!] prefix are the roms of choice.

Standard codes

[a] Alternate
[p] Pirate
[b] Bad Dump
[t] Trained
[f] Fixed
[T-] OldTranslation
[T+] NewerTranslation
[h] Hack
(-) Unknown Year
[o] Overdump
[!] Verified Good Dump
(M#) Multilanguage (# of Languages)
(###) Checksum
(??k) ROM Size
ZZZ_ Unclassified
(Unl) Unlicensed

Special codes

[C] Gameboy Color
[S] Super (Super Gameboy)
(ST) Sufami Turbo (SNES)
[BF] Bung Fix
(NP) Nintendo Power (SNES)

(PAL) Euro Version
(1) Japan (Genesis)
(4) USA (Genesis)
(5) NTSC Only (Genesis)
[hI??] Intro hacks
(8) PAL Only (Genesis)
(B) non USA
[c] Checksum
(Adam) ADAM Version (Coleco)
[x] Bad Checksum
[R-] Countries
(PC10) PlayChoice 10 (NES)
[M] Mono Only (Neogeo Pocket)
(VS) Versus
[hFFE] FFE Copier fmt

Country codes

(1) Japan & Korea
(4) USA & BrazilNTSC
(A) Australia
(J) Japan
(B) non USA (Genesis)
(K) Korea
(C) China
(NL) Netherlands
(E) Europe
(PD) Public Domain
(F) France
(S) Spain
(F) World (Genesis)
(FC) French Canadian
(SW) Sweden
(FN) Finland
(G) Germany
(UK) England
(GR) Greece
(Unk) Unknown Country
(HK) Hong Kong
(I) Italy
(H) Holland
(Unl) Unlicensed


[a] This is simply an alternate version of a ROM. Many games have been re-released to fix bugs or even to eliminate Game Genie codes (Yes, Nintendo hates that device).

[b] A bad dump often occurs with an older game or a faulty dumper (bad connection). Another common source of [b] ROMs is a corrupted upload to a release FTP.

[f] A fixed game has been altered in some way so that it will run better on a copier or emulator.

[h] Something in this ROM is not quite as it should be. Often a hacked ROM simply has a changed header or has been enabled to run in different regions. Other times it could be a release group intro, or just some kind of cheating or funny hack.

[o] An overdumped ROM image has more data than is actually in the cart. The extra information means nothing and is removed from the true image.

[t] A trainer is special code which executes before the game is begun. It allows you to access cheats from a menu.

[!] Verified good dump. Thank God for these!

(BS) These Japanese ROMs were distributed through a satellite system in Japan known as the Broadcast Satellaview. They were transmitted along with a TV show which was connected to the game in some way. These games were only playable during the show, and thus stop after an hour, and many were timed so that only certain time periods were playable.

(ST) The Sufami Turbo device allowed two GameBoy sized carts to be plugged into the SNES. Certain carts combined into new games much like the Sonic & Knuckles lock-on technology by Sega.

(NP) Nintendo Power has been known to release games only available to its subscribers. Most of these ROMs are Japanese, as this practice occured mainly in Japan.

(1) Carts with this code will run on both Japanese and Korean machines.

(4) While this code is technically the same as a (U) code, it is a newer header format and represents that the cart will run on USA and Brazil NTSC machines.

(B) This country code indicates that the cart will run on any non US machine.

[c] This code represents a cart with known faulty checksum routines.

[BF] Bung released a programmable cartridge compatable with the GameBoy which could hold any data you wished to play. However, many games do not function on Bung v1.0 carts and have to be 'fixed.'

PC10 The PlayChoice 10 was an arcade unit which played exact copies of NES games in an arcade cabinet. The machines had a choice of 10 games to choose from and ran for about 3 minutes on 25 cents.

VS The Versus system ran on similar hard- ware to the PC10 machines, but simply allowed you to play against each other.