How to add game ROMs to your pandoras arcade box

There are two ways to install additional 2D and 3D games onto your Pandora's box 3D console.

Both methods take some prep work however the result is well worth it.

The first method has been tested on s812 (18s, Saga etc) boards like our King of split retro arcade gaming consoles. This process or variations of will work on other boards depending on many factors. Part of this will be included in the second method which has been tested on additional boards.

Before we dive into the first method, make sure you have;

  1. Desired game ROMs
  2. Short video preview of each game - if you don't have and a must refer to skraper below
  3. Big enough USB stick
  4. Computer to do the grunt work on - we used windows 10

Here is the first method, which can be identified by the use of the folder /mcgames

A USB stick, mcgames folder and in that a folder for each game along with a number of files and and game/ROM you want to install is placed into each folder.

So lets get started..

The USB stick "File System" must be formatted to "exFAT". It might be easier to format your USB to ensure this is the case. Of course be sure to backup any data prior.

Once done, lets create that mcgames folder in the root (main area) of USB stick.

In windows 10 or similar right click> New> Folder

 

Then in the /mcgames folder lets create "install.txt" right click> New> Text Document

You will now create a new folder under /mcgames for each game you want to add to your Pandora console. Here we have 2 games. So there's 2 folders and the exact name of each folder is also placed on a separate line in the install.txt file.

When naming each folder go out of your way to ensure its unique as this helps avoid a game of that name already existing on your Pandora's box which will mean that game import fails.

 

Within each game folder you will include;

  1. The game ROM and extension will depend on console for example .bin .iso .zip
  2. Video preview of game in .mp4 which shows in main menu - more on this later
  3. A text file that you will create with the exact same name of the folder we are in - the same name is also used in the install.txt file for this game - see reference and steps below

The above "nbajteusagamegear.xml" file was created in the same fashion by right click> New> Text Document 

Once you've finished updating the details in the file you will however need to rename it from a *.txt to *.xml. For example "nbajteusagamegear.txt" to "nbajteusagamegear.xml" by using right click> Rename on the file.

Here is the contents of the above file;

--

<game emulator="15">
  <information>
    <description>NBA Jam - Tournament Edition GGR</description>
    <genre>4</genre>
  </information>
  <file>
    <rom name="nbajteusagamegear.bin"/>
  </file>
  <translation>
    <string language="en">
      <name>NBA Jam - Tournament Edition GGR</name>
    </string>
  </translation>
  <config>
    <load_time>0</load_time>
    <free_play>1</free_play>
    <save_state>1</save_state>
    <start_directly>1</start_directly>
  </config>
</game>

--

Once you have created this file you can simply right click> Copy & right click> Paste to duplicate the file and re-use it by adjusting only whats needed each time.

In this case "game emulator 15" is Gamegear and in the Pandora menu will show the relevant icon, so if you get this wrong for any reason simply delete that game, tweak the .xml file and re-import that game/folder only.

Genre is the game category used for filtering as below;

  • 0 – Other
  • 1 – Fighting
  • 2 – Action
  • 3 – Shooting
  • 4 – Sport
  • 5 – Puzzle
  • 6 – Racing

"rom name" must be the exact file name of the game, in this case being nbajteusagamegear.bin

..and lastly "name" & "description" are the same and whats shown in the Pandora games list menu.

The rest can be tweaked if you want to explore more, but otherwise left as is.

Save_state shows when you pause a game giving you the option to save/load game progress.

 

By default the new games will be shown last being at the end of the games menu list. Keep in mind not all games will work well, so if some don't go as planned you can delete it be pressing the config button at the back of your Pandora unit.

Here are the emulator types and related ROMs supported.

Emulator Game emulator  File type
fba42 0 / 1 .zip
mame37 2 .zip
mame139 3 .zip
mame78 4 .zip
fba42 5 .zip
Playstation Portable PSP 6 .iso .psp
Playstation PSX 7 .bin / .img / .pbp (.chd will not work)
N64 8 .n64 / .z64
Famicom NES 11 .fds / .nes / .unf / .inf
Super famicom SNES 12 .smc / .sfc / .swc / .fig / .bs
Gameboy Advance 13 .gba / .bin / .agb / .gbz
Gameboy Color 14 .gb / .gbc / .sgb
Sega Megadrive (Genesis), Game gear 15 .mdx / .md / .smd / .gen / .bin / .cue / .iso / .chd / .sms / .gg / .sg
Wonderswan 16 .ws / .wsc / .pc2
PC Engine 17 .pce / .cue / .ccd / .chd
Sega Dreamcast 18 .chd / .cdi / .iso / .cue / .gdi / .lst / .bin / .dat / .zip / .7z
mame19 19 .zip

 

Skraper and video previews

If you don't have the short video preview for the game/s you're adding, and want to add it you can use a beta program called Skraper. This checks your chosen folders and crawls the web to match/find the games artwork/video.

It is recommended you use skraper before renaming your game ROM files.

Here's a quick rundown.

You'll need to visit https://www.skraper.net/ and download/install it for Windows, Mac or Linux.

Once installed and running it will load up its resources - how long this takes depends on the sites load. given its a free system time can vary dramatically. Signing up for a free account will give you priority over unregistered users. If you like the service please donate.

After each page and selection click next :-). Your first selection is "recalbox", then let it know the main folder your game ROMs are located in. it will then check your folder and identify consoles the found ROMs belong to. Ok once you reach the last page go take a break as it retrieves the assets for your ROMs.

 

Now as we don't need any image media, we click the side arrows and select "VIDEO".

 Click the play button and take a break...

Once its completed, you'll need to copy each video to the right game folder and ensure its the right file name.

Once done right click on USB drive and select eject.

Now for the fun part, plug the USB stick into the bottom rear port on your Pandora's box. It should pick it up and prompt you for a YES (Button A) or NO (Button B).

Click button A and let it start importing. Once done, turn your Pandora's box off, remove the USB stick and reboot.

you can then scroll to the last page of your games list where you should see the newly imported games.

If any are not there you will need to check file name and compatibility of that ROM and try that/those on an individual basis.

Happy gaming...