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Guides | Introduction to Emulation


Emulation's fun! - Happy Mac
Emulation's fun! - Happy Mac

Welcome to the Guides intro to Emulation.

Below, are instructions and links that will show you how to run games
that you will find located in the Macintosh Garden's pages.


Introduction to Emulation

Macintosh Garden features many abandonware games. These games can be decades old, and therefore were developed for computers and operating systems that are now obsolete. As a consequence, many of the games featured on Macintosh Garden will not work on today's computers. The best way to run these games is to acquire a vintage computer system, but this is not always easy. To help those without old hardware, this wiki will describe how to use emulators to play the games on modern systems.

Selecting an Emulator

For best results you should try to emulate the machine that your game was designed for! Check the publishing date of the game for hints. Any host system can run an emulator. This means that users of Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and even more esoteric operating systems can all enjoy the games on Macintosh Garden. The four main emulators you will use are:


QEMU Emulates a PowerPC Macintosh that will run Mac OS versions 9.0.4 to 10.5.


SheepShaver Emulates a PowerPC Macintosh that will run Mac OS versions 7.5.2 to 9.0.4. This means that you are emulating a Macintosh setup that was commonly used from about 1995 to 2000. Games published in the late 90s are most stable in SheepShaver. Games that require a PowerPC processor will only run in SheepShaver. Skip to the guides for SheepShaver

Basilisk II

Basilisk II Basilisk II emulates a 680x0 Macintosh that will run Mac OS versions 7 to 8.1. This represents a date range of about 1991 to 1998. Games published in the early and mid 1990s are most stable in Basilisk II. Skip to the guides for Basilisk II

Mini vMac

mini vMac Games published in the 1980s will usually run best in Mini vMac. Mini vMac emulates a black and white (only) Mac Plus (68000 processor) that can run System versions 1 to 7.5.5. (Work is being done on Mac II support, including color, in Mini vMac with a large number of possible variations.) This represents a date range of about 1984 to 1996. Skip to the guides for Mini vMac Keep in mind that there is a lot of backwards compatibility in Mac OS. SheepShaver and Mac OS 9 run a lot of games from the 1980s and early 1990s, and Basilisk II runs many 1980s games with no problems.

The Guides

Setting up an emulator is easy, and there is a wealth of setup guides available to help you out. Keep in mind that before you begin, you will need a valid Macintosh ROM image to run an emulator. You can get this from your old Macintosh computer, if you own one. Otherwise one will have to be acquired elsewhere, e.g.; from friends, family members, or online searches. You'll also need a copy of an old version of Mac OS to run in your emulator. Versions 6 to 7.5.5 are available for free and the guides below will show you where to get them and how to use them. Later versions (useful mostly in SheepShaver) were not free, so you will either need to buy a disc from somewhere or check through the apps section of this website for a suitable copy.

For Mini vMac

For Basilisk ll

For SheepShaver


Downloading games from this website

Most games featured on Macintosh Garden are archived in the .SIT format. This format is ideal for extracting on Mac OS 9 and earlier - where you will be running your games. On Mac OS X you can extract these files using StuffIt Expander.

Uploading games to this website

This topic is a guide itself, please read A Beginner's Guide for Uploading Stuff to Macintosh Garden and Uploading games to this website. If you just want to upload a game, simply create an account and login, then when you click the add game link located at the top right of the website, a form will allow you to enter the new game's details; Game name, file, description, screenshot etc.


What is a ROM? - A 'ROM' image is a file that is created by reading the contents of an Integrated Circuit which is installed in the Macintosh that the file is read from. The ROM file contains data about the exact model, it also contains copyrighted data from Apple. It is vital that you have a ROM file from the exact model of Macintosh that you wish to emulate. I don't have an old version of Mac OS? 7.5.x will run most games on Macintosh Garden and is good for Mini vMac and Basillisk II. Later and even earlier versions may be available in the apps section of this site. How do I add a page to this wiki? You must first create an account with us. Once logged in, click the 'Add page' link shown at the top right of this website.

Installing games/other software onto your emulator

A guide on installing apps on Mini vMac, Basilisk II, and SheepShaver is here. Feel free to improve it!


sohaiboy's picture
by sohaiboy - 2009, August 20 - 3:53pm

which emulator do i download in order to play the 'ZPC' game ?

SwedeBear's picture
by SwedeBear - 2009, July 18 - 12:08pm

@ James: PPC-only OSX stuff should run on your Intel Mac under the Rosetta emulation, with a slight speed loss. Classic stuff; ie for OS 9.22 and earlier, wont run natively on your Intel Mac. That´s when you should turn to BasiliskII (68k), SheepShaver (PPC) and MinivMac (68k). HTH!

Balrog's picture
by Balrog - 2009, June 4 - 3:58pm


Take a look at Sheepshaver ... there is a Mac OS X build available (also useful for those who are running 10.5 Leopard on their PPC Mac). Home page of SheepShaver-JIT

ERT's picture
by ERT (not verified) - 2009, June 3 - 1:56pm

probably YES, but what game do U mean?

j_damage•69's picture
by j_damage•69 - 2009, May 22 - 1:04pm

You could try emulation or check out -

James's picture
by James (not verified) - 2009, May 22 - 1:00pm

Apart from buying an old G3/G4 Mac, is there a way I can run PPC-only OSX stuff on my modern Intel Mac?