These overlays (sometimes known as bezels) display art on top of the game you're playing. To use them, you need a PC or Raspberry Pi (or other compatible system) running some version of MAME and the associated game software, as well as a widescreen (16x9) monitor mounted vertically. To display the overlay while playing a game, download the artwork file for that game overlay (it must have the same filename as the game), place it in the Artwork folder within your MAME directory and launch the game. (For instance, the software for the game Magic Sword is called msword.zip, so it requires a file in the Artwork directory also called msword.zip.)
All overlays are 4K resolution (2160 x 3840), and listed dimensions are for the game screen, relative to a 4K vertical monitor. The actual game screen size will depend on the resolution of your monitor.
Most of the overlays include multiple presets that let you choose the size of the game screen, access a "dark" version designed to look more like a dark arcade, and sometimes other options. To choose a preset, press Tab while running the game to bring up the MAME menu, select Video Options, and select a preset from the list.
Some overlays include Curved presets designed with a curved screen port, to better simulate the look of a CRT monitor. These presets work best if you are using a geometry shader that adds a curved look to the game screen. For an optimal experience, you may need to adjust your shaders to match the curvature of the screen shape in the overlay. If you are not using a geometry shader, you are using a shader that adds a curved bezel, or if you prefer a rectangular screen port, choose a Straight preset where applicable.
The third game in Konami's Track & Field series coincided with the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, though the game doesn't have Olympic branding. '88 Games features a combination of the events featured in the previous two games, though it mostly sticks to the running and jumping events of the original Track & Field. Though the game doesn't tread a lot of new ground, it features updated graphics and sound that kept the game relevant in the late 80s, with pseudo-3D camera angles and sampled sounds and voices.
Four years after the movie brought Ripley, Newt, Hicks and "Game over, man! Game over!" to theaters, Aliens the game brought the franchise to arcades in an action-packed run-and-gun format. The game does a nice job of translating concepts such as the xenomorphs, smart guns, motion sensors and the famous exoskeleton cargo loader into relatively straightforward gameplay, though it takes significant liberties with the formula to provide enough easily-identifiable enemy types to keep the game interesting (including spider-like aliens, an armor-plated boss that rolls into a ball and bounces around, winged aliens and more). Aliens planted an excellent gameplay egg in arcades, which would burst forth four years later with Capcom's Alien vs. Predator.
One of a seemingly endless number of maze game clones lurking around every corner in the early 80s, Amidar was distinctive and original enough to stand out. Based loosely on the Japanese Amidakuji game, Amidar casts players as an ape (or a paint roller in some levels) trying to capture sections of an uneven grid while avoiding enemies (tribesmen on the ape levels, and pigs on the paint roller levels — just go with it). The enemies move in a predictable manner, but it's easy to get trapped, with a jump button helping you temporarily slow them down and a brief period of invincibility when claiming the four corners.
Contra is perhaps best known for its NES port, one of the first games to include the famous “Konami code,” but the arcade version was a groundbreaking game in its own right. A two-player run-and-gun game that combined exciting shooting action with multiple perspectives and platform-based levels, Contra brought an action movie sensibility to the genre – the heroes somersault when jumping, the explosions are plentiful, even the game art has gleaming photos of the Stallone-esque protagonists. If you’re more familiar with the home ports, you should definitely spend some time with the more sophisticated arcade version. The MAME version includes two screen sizes if you want to get even closer to the action.
Developed by Konami and published by Sega and Gremlin, Frogger sends a series of frogs on a perilous journey through both human-made obstacles (a highway full of speeding traffic) and natural ones (a stream filled with turtles, alligators and logs). The game was supposedly initially rejected by Gremlin's male marketing executives as being a "women and kids' game," but was championed by a female exec who noted that that was the same skepticism that preceded another 80s hit, a little game called Pac-Man. Frogger would become a hugely popular hit, with adaptations on every platform as well as a cartoon, an episode of Seinfeld and a fruit fly gene family. This overlay features the artwork of both the Sega/Gremlin version and the European Zaccaria version of the cabinet.
Hyper Sports was the first sequel to Konami's button-mashing Track & Field, timed to coincide with the 1984 Summer Olympics. The game took the previous game's formula in a variety of new directions, featuring swimming, skeet shooting, gymnastics, archery, weight lifting and more, with a similar but somewhat upgraded graphic style from the original. Though the series inspired a variety of similar Olympics-inspired minigame collections on home computers and consoles, Konami's arcade originals were the among the few that required actual performance (in the form of button-mashing agility and stamina) to succeed in.
Scramble is often considered the first true shoot-em-up arcade game, as it featured constantly scrolling levels with fixed terrain, enemies both on the ground and in the air and a succession of distinct, increasingly difficult levels. Its graphics and gameplay set the stage for a great many scrolling shooters to come, and it was difficult for its time, requiring constant vigilance against airborne enemies, missiles from below and managing your ever-dwindling fuel levels (it's not entirely clear why destroying fuel tanks on the ground replenishes your ship's fuel supply, but just go with it). Our overlay includes both the American cabinet artwork and the more fanciful Zaccaria art released in Europe.
Action heroes Bill and Lance returned after Contra for another assault on the alien menace in Super Contra — with upgraded graphics and some new mechanics, including new weapons and top-down even-numbered levels rather than the quasi-3D perspective of the original. Super Contra amps up the visual style and the challenge of the original, requiring fast reflexes as the levels and the boss fights get more and more complex. The cabinet art also doubles down on the original, with our glistening photographic heroes appearing on the bezel in addition to the marquee. Both MAME and RetroArch versions include two screen sizes, so you can really savor the pixels as you bring the fight to the aliens.
The Simpsons stands as one of the most popular and iconic arcade games of the 90’s and still has legions of fans to this day. Players jump into action to help Homer and the cartoon family rescue Maggie from the clutches of Mr. Smithers, who has kidnapped Maggie to retrieve a large diamond she is sucking on. Most of the series cast pops up at one point or another, not to mention Binky from "Life in Hell," as you fight through legions of henchmen and bosses in classic beat-em-up style. One of the defining arcade brawlers of Konami’s hot run of massive 4-player cabinets (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, Sunset Riders), it played on the success of the TV show and opened the flood gates to bring more entertainment franchises into the arcades (for better and sometimes worse). Eat my shorts.
Though Time Pilot doesn't have much of a story to speak of, its time travel concept gives it enough of a hook to carry its relatively simple gameplay. Perhaps a bit reminiscent of the 1980 movie The Final Countdown in concept and inspired by Bosconian in gameplay, the game sends the pilot of a high-tech plane through various eras in time to battle the best aircraft each period has to offer, from biplanes to helicopters to jets to eventually UFOs (because you travel all the way to 2001 if you're good enough). Time Pilot was the first game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, who secretly worked on the game after being told to develop a driving game and went on to create Gyruss before he joined Capcom, where he was a key contributor to the Street Fighter series and was responsible for hits such as 1942, Final Fight and Resident Evil.