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.
Developed by Namco and released by Atari, Dig Dug is a "strategic digging game" that has players digging their own mazes underground while eliminating Pookas and fire-breathing Fygars with a pump and falling rocks. The enemies initially appear in dug-out sections of the screen and normally follow in the paths you have dug, but they can also move directly toward you through the dirt. Dig Dug has a fair amount of strategic depth despite its relative open-ended gameplay, and its cute characters and charming soundtrack made it an arcade mainstay in the early 80s and have made it popular ever since. The overlay includes a larger screen version so you can really get your face in the dirt.
The success of Galaxian led the way to Galaga, a sequel that improved upon its predecessor in every way and became one of the defining hits of the early 80s. Galaga's bug-like alien attackers are larger and more lifelike that the Galaxian invaders, and the added level of skill and reflexes required to defeat them consistently made the game a popular proving ground in 80s arcades. Each wave features several distinct phases – the alien fly-in, a brief pause and then a constant series of diving attacks – but the highlight is the opportunity to allow your ship to be captured via tractor beam and, if you time it right, recaptured to double your firepower. This unique risk-reward mechanism, along with intermittent challenge waves that reward skillful gameplay, added an irresistible and addictive quality that kept gamers coming back and the quarters rolling in.
Released by Namco (and manufactured in the US by Midway) as a response to the runaway success of Taito's Space Invaders, Galaxian upped the ante by adding the novel mechanic of dive bombing aliens, which added both visual appeal and heightened tension. Compared to the former's columns of predictably marching alien rows, the aliens of Galaxian were fast, unpredictable and aggressive, not to mention colorful and vibrantly realized for a 1979 arcade game. Not only do the aliens attack your ship directly, but for the high score-chasing masses of the 80s, how you killed them mattered – destroying the flagship and its escorts yields significant extra points. Galaxian's success led the way to Galaga, which became an even greater phenomenon.
Pac-Man is nothing short of a phenomenon — a game that created its own genre, was one of the first games designed to appeal to women gamers, became the best-selling arcade game of all time and is a household name even among non-gamers. Appearing at a time when manufacturers were cranking out Space Invaders clones, Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani wanted to create non-violent game with cute characters, and settled on the idea of eating rather than shooting or sports as a gameplay concept that would appeal to women and couples. His intuition was arguably one of the most important factors in the success of American arcades, as Pac-Man exploded into arcades and then pop culture in the US. The game would spawn numerous sequels as well as countless imitators, not to mention pop songs, cartoons and endless merchandise, and would leave an indelible Pac-shaped mark on the world.
Developed by Namco and manufactured by Atari in North America, Pole Position brought arcade driving realism to new heights when it appeared in arcades in 1982. Simulating a Formula 1 race on Japan's Fuji Speedway, the game featured numerous innovations, including lifelike sprite-scaling graphics and a realistic, shifting perspective, in addition to being the first game to focus its race on a well-known real-life track. Appearing in both upright and seated formats, Pole Position's flashy visuals and iconic (if somewhat muffled) "Prepare to Qualify" speech synthesis were an unmistakable part of the sights and sounds of early 80s arcades, and remain popular to emulate today.
Following the success of Pole Position, Namco and Atari returned with its successor Pole Position II, which added three new tracks in addition to Fuji Speedway: Japan's Suzuka Circuit, a "Test" track similar to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and "Seaside," which is similar to the 1982 Grand Prix West circuit in Long Beach, CA. Released as an upgrade kit for Pole Position cabinets, the sequel didn't change a lot else, though it does include new music, a different color scheme, new billboards and the addition of flying debris when you crash. That didn't stop Pole Position II from being a huge hit, and it is still considered one of the most important racing games of the 80s.
The first actual sequel to Pac-Man by creator Namco but the third Pac-Man game on the market, Super Pac-Man mixes up the formula considerably – while Pac-Man is still eating his way through the mazes, he must first eat keys to open up gates to access the entire maze, which is filled with fruits and other objects rather than dots. The game's key differentiator is the ability to eat super pellets, which enlarge Pac-Man and allow him to eat through the gates, move faster by holding the Super Speed button and make him temporarily invulnerable (supposedly he is "flying," though he still must navigate the walls of the maze). Super Pac-Man's updates both complicate the game and arguably make it more approachable, as you can complete the mazes faster and more easily avoid danger.