November 20, 2023
|The Atari has come to Vimm's Lair! Several new Vaults are now open including Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, and Lynx, complete with box art and screen shots. The Manual Project once had Atari manuals but most were lost years ago in a disk crash and have now been restored. Over in the Xbox Vault the .xiso refresh is complete, and the PlayStation 2 Vault has been updated with every complete fan translation. The PlayStation 3 Vault is nearly complete as well, now at 93% and climbing.
Vimm was recently a guest on the "Fun" & Games Podcast:
Episode 155: Preserving and Playing History
September 18, 2023
|The Vault's online emulator has been switched to use emulatorjs.org. While it has a few minor bugs, this emulator is more customizable and doesn't have ads. A new Sega 32X Vault and Game Gear Vault are also now open.
August 14, 2023
|Recently it was discovered that the extract-xiso program used to build .xiso files in the Xbox Vault is 64-bit which has known issues. A 32-bit copy is now in place and all Xbox .xiso files will be rebuilt over the coming weeks. The Wii conversion to .rvz is also complete so all Wii games are now available in .wbfs and .rvz format. The Nintendo 64 Vault is also getting a screen shot refresh. Many title screens have an overscan border that shows up on emulators but not on TVs, so they're all being replaced with borderless screen shots.
April 23, 2023
|Lots of new Vault updates to report. First up, the Xbox 360 Vault and PlayStation Vault are now complete. The Redump project catalogs new Xbox 360 discs regularly so The Vault is never truly complete, however a new "missing" page has been added making it easy to spot (and upload) new titles. A new Vault has been opened for the Sega Master System and Nintendo Virtual Boy containing every known game in the world. Over in the Wii Vault a new .rvz option has been added with games gradually being added alphabetically. And finally, the PlayStation 3 Vault is now accepting uploads with discs decrypted on-the-fly by NKit2. With that the entire Vault is now upload enabled so anyone can upload a missing title, no registration or approval required.
Many of these updates required hardware upgrades, involving several scheduled (and unscheduled) outages over the past few weeks. Most of the kinks have been worked out so things are running smoother now.
January 12, 2023
|Happy New Year! The new Xbox 360 Vault continues to grow and is now 70% complete. Thanks to contributors the Dreamcast Vault is now 100% complete, the PlayStation Vault is nearly 100%, and the PlayStation 2 Vault is growing steadily. International content has grown tremendously so The Vault now lists games from your country/region by default, rather than defaulting to US games.
Recently No-Intro has decided to remove pirate, aftermarket, and homebrew titles from their standard .dat files, so they will be removed from The Vault automatically in the coming days. This should make maintenance easier since these titles generally cause the most changes.
September 2, 2022
|Thanks to the contributions of many visitors the Wii Vault is now 100% complete and contains every known Wii disc in the world. The PlayStation 2 Vault also continues to fill and some disk upgrades this week ensure there's plenty of room to grow. A recent database upgrade should also keep things running smoothly.
Today Vimm's Lair is proud to announce the opening of the Xbox 360 Vault! To kick things off the "#" section is complete as well as half the letter "A". Screen shots are included on games supported by Xenia though it's compatibility is still a bit low. More games will be added alphabetically and all are welcome to contribute.
June 1, 2022
|The PlayStation 2 Vault and Wii Vault are now crowdsourced and uploads are flowing in steadily. Next up is the Nintendo Vault. No-Intro recently introduced a headered NES catalog so the plan is to switch the Nintendo Vault from GoodNES headers to No-Intro headers.
An online emulator has been added to several Vaults to play games right in your browser. Supported systems include Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. Each system has the same easy to use interface, courtesy of emulatorjs.
The Vault's review backlog continues to dwindle, with only 150 Nintendo and Super Nintendo reviews left dating back to 2008. Some of the email addresses are still valid providing folks a blast from the past when their decade old review is processed. New reviews continue to be processed quickly, so keep them coming!
April 30, 2022
|Over the years people have written thousands of game reviews for The Vault. Many are well written but just as many are garbage or people simply goofing off. That's why an approval system is in place to review the reviews. This system was crude and prone to breaking so it was often ignored, but new reviews keep on flowing and hundreds are still waiting in the queue. Some of them date back to 2006! Now the approval process has been revamped so it's quick and easy, and starting next week the review backlog will finally be tackled system by system. Thank you very much to everyone who has submitted a review over the years. You should see it soon!
In other Vault news the Dreamcast Vault is now crowdsourced. Additionally, .cue files are no longer required when uploading and will be supplied automatically.
March 28, 2022
|The Vault 2.0 rollout is progressing nicely and today the PlayStation Vault and Saturn Vault are now crowdsourced and international. So far contributors have filled several Vaults to 100% and the rest continue to grow. Just four Vaults remain to be upgraded, the Dreamcast Vault, Nintendo Vault, PlayStation 2 Vault, and Wii Vault.
December 24, 2021
|The GameCube Vault now has every game in the world. Of the 1929 known discs only three are missing, and are now featured on the front page of the GameCube Vault for anyone to upload. Over time Redump will discover new discs or fix bad dumps, so each night an automatic scan will flag those games for the community to easily upload them. Consider the GameCube Vault a preview of what's to come for all of The Vault.
November 1, 2021
|A new mobile-friendly design was launched today. It won't win any awards but mobile users can finally browse Vimm's Lair without zooming.
Also the Vault 2.0 rollout continues with the GameCube and WiiWare Vaults. Just like the others, all regions are now supported and uploads are enabled.
August 5, 2021
|The "Vault 2.0" rollout continues and the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable Vaults are now crowdsourced and international. A new version filter is available to show oldest, newest, or all versions of a game. And finally, Xbox box art has been added courtesy of Xemu.
July 6, 2021
|Vimm's Lair is crowdsourcing The Vault!
To kick things off a new Xbox Vault is now open, only this time there's no games. Instead every Redump disc in the world is listed (with hashes) and anyone with the matching game can upload it straight to The Vault. Any country, any language, any edition! Nightly scans ensure changes are flagged immediately so with your help the Xbox Vault will be the most accurate catalog of Xbox discs anywhere, curated by the fans.
April 10, 2021
|Now introducing, the WiiWare Vault! All 352 US releases are included with more screenshots snapped daily.
Over in the Wii Vault a torrent experiment is starting today. Trackerless torrents have been made for the top 10 Wii games from March which now have a new "Magnet" button. The plan is to seed these torrents all month, then if people are seeding (and using) them they'll stay and possibly expand, otherwise they'll go. Feedback is welcome.
March 29, 2021
|The PlayStation Portable Vault is now complete with the last missing games added recently. A hundred or so games still need screen shots made and should be ready soon. Over in the Nintendo DS Vault many more serials and publishers have been added. Some games incorrectly had the serial from their demo version and have been fixed. In the PlayStation 2 Vault a couple hundred more screen shots have been made and there's roughly 200 games left to go. And finally, No-Intro has changed the hashes and regions of several Genesis games this year and The Genesis Vault has been updated accordingly.
November 12, 2020
|In celebration of today's launch of the PlayStation 5, Vimm's Lair is proud to announce the PlayStation 3 Vault! So far the first half of the alphabet's cataloged and the rest will be added in the coming weeks. The emulator RPCS3 has been added to the Emulation Lair as well. Enjoy!
October 11, 2020
|The new manual uploader is finally ready. It's pretty basic but gets the job done. Feedback is welcome on the Manual Project Board.
A new Vault is also in the works and will be launching November 12. Stay tuned!
July 9, 2020
|A large bandwidth upgrade was completed today. The Wii Vault was the first to upgrade and more will follow gradually. Some server upgrades are needed to reach full speed and they'll be completed in the following weeks. Finally, to pay for all this more advertising has been added throughout the site.
May 17, 2020
|New box art is now available in The Vault courtesy of libretro. They have box art for most US games and it's now showing in the Nintendo and Super Nintendo Vault. More systems will be added in the coming days.
January 8, 2020
|Welcome to 2020! With a new decade comes all new wonders. Pretty soon we should have flying cars, HAL 9000 flying us to Jupiter, and a new Sega Saturn Vault. Well, one out of three isn't bad. Happy new year!
November 11, 2019
|There's a new format for Wii games called NKit which makes games about 33% smaller than a .wbfs file. That's a huge difference so all games in the Wii Vault have been converted to .nkit.iso. Recent releases of Dolphin support the .nkit format so the Emulation Lair will now have the current monthly Dolphin build.
Also, the Dreamcast Vault now has cover art for every game courtesy of the emulator Redream.
July 17, 2019
|The Dreamcast Vault is now finished! Every US game is included in .gdi and .cue format, all verified by Redump, with full data and screen shots.
June 27, 2019
|Now introducing the PlayStation Portable Vault! Like every Vault it has every PSP game released in the US verified daily (with Redump). Redump's catalog is missing a couple dozen US games so they'll be added as they become available. Cover art is provided by Launchbox and more covers and screen shots will be added in the coming days.
May 7, 2019
|The Wii Vault was built by collecting games from various places, however Redump doesn't publish Wii data so there's no way to tell a good copy from a bad one. It turns out Redump catalogs the Wii privately so now the Wii Vault has been updated with Redump verified copies of all but three games. Each game has been verified, then converted to .wbfs format with the update partition removed. Game titles have also been changed to match Redump. With this finished, Vimm's Lair might be the first site with a clean copy of every US Wii game!
March 16, 2019
|A big update is complete for the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Genesis Vaults. Each Vault was built years ago with games verified in GoodGB, GoodGBC, and GoodGen. Now they've all been switched to No-Intro. Most games are the same in both and haven't changed, but any conflicts have been replaced with No-Intro versions. Many games incorrectly listed as US releases have also been updated or removed, and all game titles have been changed to match No-Intro's database.
The Nintendo Vault will continue using GoodNES since No-Intro doesn't include NES headers, which most emulators need.
February 18, 2019
|The PlayStation 2 Vault has been nearly finished for years but was missing a couple games. Today it's finally finished and now contains a Redump verified copy of every game released in the US.
January 27, 2019
|A new server went live today adding another gigabit of bandwidth to The Vault.
December 30, 2018
|On January 1 the Dreamcast console will be added to The Vault. Happy new year!
November 19, 2018
|The PlayStation Vault is now Redump verified! Every game is a perfect copy as verified at redump.org. The next project in the works is a new Vault which should be ready around Christmas.
October 28, 2018
|A new server was installed last night. The old one was upgraded to its limit and crashed when overloaded, particularly on weekends. Its replacement has more power and room to expand so Vimm's Lair should be stable once more.
The Redump refresh continues in the PlayStation Vault and each game from A-J is now Redump verified. Server upgrades and troubleshooting has slowed this effort so now it can kick into gear again.
September 16, 2018
|Vimm's Lair is back online! A disk error on the server corrupted the OS and it took a while to re-install everything. All should be back to normal now.
August 12, 2018
|As many have noticed downloads are still slow or not starting at all. While more bandwidth was added this week, now the disks can't handle the strain. Last night the main server was moved to a new box which holds more disks and has better cooling. Now data's being shuffled to even the strain and mirrors are being made, and this process will continue for many days. In the meantime download speeds will be kept low so downloads should work, but may last a while.
July 27, 2018
|Lots of updates to report today. Back in April the final games were added to the Wii Vault, possibly making it the first complete US Wii collection on the internet. The Game Boy Advance Vault has also been converted from Good games to No-Intro. That leaves just three Vaults using Good games; Nintendo, Game Boy, and Game Boy Color. The PlayStation Vault is also being updated with Redump verified .bin files, replacing the many different formats there now. Games will be updated alphabetically (as always) and so far the B's are nearly finished.
A recent surge of traffic is straining bandwidth and greatly slowing downloads. More is on the way in a week or two, but until then downloads may continue to be slow.
March 29, 2018
|Vimm's Lair is proud to introduce the Nintendo DS Vault! The DS Vault holds a perfect copy of every game released in the US as verified by No-Intro. The Wii Vault is nearly complete too with just a handful of holes left to fill.
February 15, 2018
|Vimm's Lair got a speed boost this morning that gives it twice the bandwidth. The Wii Vault also continues to grow and is up to the letter "T", so the end is finally in sight!
February 3, 2018
|Vimm's Lair received a memory upgrade last night to speed up the site. Some pages were timing out when the site's crowded, and combined with some database optimizations The Vault should load smoothly now. Opinions change over time, so now games with many ratings will be weighted each month to give new votes more impact and allow other games a chance to shine.
December 12, 2017
|The SNES Vault was built long ago using GoodSNES to verify its games. Over the past fifteen-odd years new games have been verified, some unverified, and unreleased prototypes have appeared. It seemed like the SNES Vault could use a refresh so No-Intro was selected to update it. A scan of No-Intro revealed several new prototypes plus a couple duplicate or mislabeled games. A screen shot here or there was fixed, and the once controversial Vimm's Lair headers have been erased. Since a game may have multiple releases, the version number will now be shown if there's more than one known release.
The SNES Vault now contains the latest release of every US game as verified by No-Intro, plus every known fully-playable US prototype.
October 6, 2017
|The GameCube Vault and Wii Vault now include disc and cover scans from GameTDB. Nearly all games have a low quality cover scan and high quality covers and discs are shown where available. Of course the Wii Vault continues to grow too, currently on the letter "J".
September 12, 2017
|Apologies for Vimm's Lair being offline the past few days, it seems a power outage knocked the server offline and nobody turned it back on. Everything should be up and running now.
In other news the refresh of the GameCube Vault is complete. Every game has been verified for accuracy at redump.org then scrubbed using Wiimms ISO Tools (WIT) to make them smaller and download faster. The Wii Vault also continues to grow with the letter "G" now in progress.
June 23, 2017
|Vimm's Lair is proud to present the Wii Vault! This new Vault is a work in progress with a hundred-odd games so far. As always more games will be added (mostly) alphabetically. All games are in .wbfs format and can be played with the GameCube/Wii emulator Dolphin.
All GameCube games in The Vault are scrubbed to reduce their size, but unfortunately the scrubbing tool wasn't perfect and broke several games. To fix that, all games are being re-scrubbed with the tool "wit" using a clean copy verified by redump.org. Roughly half of the GameCube Vault (letters A-L) has been re-scrubbed so far.
The PlayStation 2 Vault is nearly complete as well. Only a handful of games are left to add and most of them were probably never actually released. A couple hundred games still remain picture-less, but the PlayStation 2 Vault hasn't been as popular as expected so focus has shifted to GameCube and Wii.
In other news, Vimm's Lair has switched to HTML5. This can cause problems with very old browsers but it's time to move on. With the shackles removed, expect new tweaks to appear throughout the site.
March 29, 2017
|This first news is a bit dated, but a couple months back Vimm's Lair was running a bit sluggish so more memory was added to speed things up. In other news the PS2 Vault continues to grow and is now 96% complete, with only 78 games left. 67% of games also have screen shots. And finally, Vimm's Lair now supports SSL courtesy of Let's Encrypt.
October 7, 2016
|The Vault now supports download resuming. Say you're downloading a large game and when it reaches 99% your browser crashes. Now you can resume right where you left off!
Also the PlayStation 2 Vault continues to grow and out of a total of 1841 US games, 1583 (86%) are available for download and 1128 (61%) have screen shots.
September 19, 2016
|A major software upgrade was completed on the web server today. Everything should be up and running again, so please report any problems on the Message Board or via email.
May 8, 2016
|Work is progressing on the PlayStation 2 Vault. Out of a total of 1841 US games, 1570 (85%) are available for download and 1022 (55%) have screen shots. Work will continue towards reaching 100%! There have also been a few emulator releases lately including Higan, ePSXe, and PCSX2, plus Dolphin 5.0 is coming soon.
October 20, 2015
|A rare face lift was completed for the site today, making the main menu slightly larger and supporting modern ad sizes. It's a subtle change, but screens have grown quite a bit over the years so it's good to keep up.
Also the Emulation Lair has been updated with some new emulator releases, along with a new Vimm's Lair installer using the common .msi format. It was made for Project 64 to remove the adware the author packages with it. If it's popular, the other emulators will be updated to use .msi too.
August 17, 2015
|Work is going well on the PS2 Vault and recently reached the midway point, with all games A-L being processed. The rest will continue to trickle in alphabetically though requests are welcome on the Request Board. And finally, after 15 years the Vault Store has closed. It has been increasingly hard to find fresh stock and inventory has fallen so low it seemed right to call it quits. A big "Thank you" for the hundreds of people who have placed orders over the years, it really made a difference.
March 20, 2015
|Welcome back! Vimm's Lair was offline this past week due to technical issues, marking the longest outage in years. I was out of town for a few days and returned to find the internet dead (for no particular reason) plus a disk had failed. Then while investigating another disk failed. Welcome home! I took the opportunity to upgrade some hardware and now Vimm's Lair is back in action!
January 5, 2015
|The emulator "nesbox" has been added to The Vault today letting you play games right in your browser! This Flash emulator supports not only Nintendo, but also Super Nintendo, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. A new "Play with nesbox" button has been added to all games on those systems.
November 28, 2014
|Work is progressing well on the PlayStation 2 Vault. Most games have been added but there are still many holes to fill, and screen shots are steadily flowing in. A problem was discovered with games over 4GB not downloading properly and was fixed today.
September 16, 2014
|As promised, a new section in The Vault is ready to open. Introducing the PlayStation 2 Vault! The PS2 Vault is currently a work in progress and while all games are listed roughly 50% are currently available. More are being added constantly, so if you see one you want that's missing drop a line on the Request Board and it'll be bumped to the front of the line.
July 18, 2014
|Good news, the GameCube Vault is complete! Each game has been retested with it's new smaller size using Dolphin 4.0.2, and all screen shots have been updated. Dolphin has been making some great strides lately and the next release looks quite promising with many performance and compatibility boosts. Here's hoping they post a new release soon.
With the GameCube Vault done the Vimm's Lair disks are full, so an extra 3TB of growing room has just been added. To fill it a new Vault is in the works which will be coming soon!
March 7, 2014
|The main menu was redesigned this week using modern CSS. If things look odd give your browser a refresh. This new design is even more efficient but won't look as nice in old browsers.
Also the scrubbing of the GameCube Vault is finished but unfortunately the scrubbing tool has corrupted some games. Now the whole GameCube Vault is being re-tested and any broken games re-loaded. Roughly 25% have been checked so far and the rest should be done this month.
January 9, 2014
|The server is finally fixed and Vimm's Lair is back to normal again.
The GameCube Vault was finished a couple months ago and now the games are being wiped to make them smaller. Basically, GameCube games have a bunch of garbage data inside that is never used. By replacing it with all zeros it zips up smaller (with no side effects!) so it will download quicker.
December 4, 2013
|Sorry about the sporadic downtime lately. It looks like the network card is failing so for now the server's running on a wireless connection. Things will be a bit sluggish until a replacement arrives.
August 26, 2013
|Testing... 1... 2... 3...
This is a test of the updated News system. All news entries have been merged with the main Message Board and now work just like any other post. This will make it even easier to post news entries and hopefully encourages feedback. The boards will also now, if selected, remember your login for a month since you last visited (instead of a month since you logged in). Speaking of timers, threads which have been inactive for over a year will now be locked to prevent further comments. It doesn't happen often, but it's awkward when an old thread resurfaces for no particular reason. There's also currently a glitch with the password reset email not getting sent which is on the to-do list. And finally, the GameCube Vault is nearing completion with only part of section T left to finish.
June 23, 2013
|Sorry Vimm's Lair was down yesterday. The server's power supply died and there wasn't a spare handy. Everything's back to normal now.
Recently people were reporting problems with downloads quitting which has been resolved. Thanks for everyone who reported trouble. A system update last month caused downloads to stop if they took more than 5 minutes. The timeout has been set back to 60 minutes again.
The GameCube Vault is also proceeding nicely with just sections R-T remaining to fill. There's not enough server space at the moment, so work will continue once more disk space is added.
April 1, 2013
|The GameCube Vault is now open! All games are cataloged and content is being added alphabetically. Games can be played using Dolphin from the Emulation Lair, though you'll need a powerful system for many of them.
February 5, 2013
|Time for a behind the scenes update at Vimm's Lair.
First off a disk that was acting up for several months has finally been replaced. Vimm's Lair was down for several evenings and a full day while the belligerent disk was interrogated. It eventually cracked though many manuals and screen shots were lost. Most are backed up and are being gradually restored.
The Vault has been updated with loads of publisher and serial data courtesy of GameFaqs. This also revealed several unlabeled SNES games that are actually unreleased prototypes, as well as a few European and Mexican releases which have been removed. Most people don't care about serials, but it's handy to identify a game since different sites often use different titles. The NES, Genesis, and handheld systems are up next.
With the release of Wii U the GameCube is now two generations old and eligible for inclusion in The Vault. A GameCube section is in the works and the current plan is to open it once all games have been cataloged, then to fill in the downloads alphabetically. Despite its commercial ranking the GameCube managed to release quite a few games and the Dolphin emulator handles many of them quite well if your computer is powerful enough.
September 19, 2012
|After nearly two years in progress the Playstation Vault is finally filled! Game details and screen shots are being filled in next. So if you've got a hankering for some good ol' PS1 nostalgia, head on over to the Playstation Vault!
A couple weeks ago some disk errors blew away random files causing parts of the site to break. Everything has now been restored and a fresh backup has been made, so any future issues should be repaired quickly. Thanks for everyone who reported the trouble.
July 10, 2012
|It has been a while since the last news post, so here's an update on some noteworthy changes to the site.
Manuals viewed online will now load in the current window instead of a new one. With this change the site is now 100% popup free. Any external links to the old popup viewer will be redirected to the new one.
The PDF generator has been redesigned and now finally generates manuals at the requested resolution. Previously PDFs were always made at the maximum resolution. They will still print at the correct size regardless of resolution.
The PS1 Vault continues to slowly grow and is now complete from letters A-C. A new method is in place to process games faster and requests will bump a game to the front of the line.
November 15, 2011
|Things have been running pretty smoothly lately. The PS1 Vault is continuing to expand as more requests come in. A new hi-res image popup for cart/disc scans was just added to The Vault replacing the old one which popped up a new window. All issues with the advanced search in the Vault, Vault Store, and Manual Project have been fixed and search has been added to each entry page. And, some general housecleaning has been done fixing layout quirks that were causing issues in certain browsers.
August 14, 2011
|Vimm's Lair was offline for a few hours this afternoon for a hardware upgrade. An old hard drive that was acting up was replaced with a newer and much larger one, adding plenty of expansion room for the PSX Vault.
April 21, 2011
|The new PlayStation Vault is running smoothly and is continuing to gradually grow. The Vault now supports multiple screen shots, primarily for PlayStation games which tend to have multiple title screens. The site is also gradually converting to HTML5 and now uses CSS sprites which help pages load faster with fewer trips to the server. The updated sprite powered menu now (finally) shows the section you're currently in, and the submenu can be much longer too. Any remaining graphical glitches should be fixed quickly as they're found.
December 14, 2010
|A new addition has arrived in The Vault just in time for the holidays. An experimental PlayStation Vault has been opened with a handful of popular games, and with that the PSX emulator ePSXe has been added to the Emulation Lair. If it's popular and doesn't impact the other Vaults too much more games will gradually be added. Some old holiday decorations have also been pulled out of the closet to make the site a little more festive. Enjoy!
August 27, 2010
|Welcome to the new Vimm's Lair! The site has been totally redesigned to eliminate frames so now you can bookmark or link to any page in the site. Everything should look pretty familiar though there are some minor tweaks here and there, such as news updates appearing on the home page. And to celebrate the launch, a new Game Boy Advance section has been opened in The Vault. Enjoy!
June 4, 2010
|The new handheld Vaults are progressing well. All screen shots for the Game Boy have been completed and more Game Boy Color screens are added daily.
A new frameless version of Vimm's Lair is in the works. While it's not quite as efficient, once completed you'll finally be able to bookmark or link to any page at Vimm's Lair.
The order was placed today to add some more bandwidth to Vimm's Lair, roughly ten times more, which should speed up the site considerably (not that it's slow, but more never hurts). The upgrade should take effect sometime next week.
May 13, 2010
|The Vault now supports playing games directly from your browser using the Java emulators vNES and vGBX. Each game in the NES, GB, and GBC Vaults now have a "Play" button which will load the game right in your browser. You must have Java installed and while not all games will work, most seem to play well. For now only the default controls are available and the option to configure your settings will be coming soon.
May 9, 2010
|A new handheld section is open in The Vault and includes Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Many screen shots and other information still need filling in but it felt complete enough to open for business. VisualBoyAdvance-M has also been added to the Emulation Lair and supports both systems. Enjoy!
April 27, 2010
|A large refresh of The Vault is currently underway. Here's a little background on what's changing and why.
The NES Vault was first started thirteen years ago way back in 1997. Back then NESticle was king and it ran in DOS, which meant it could only read eight letter file names. Most other emulators ran in DOS too, so all the games in the NES Vault were given eight letter names. Since then, DOS emulators have fallen out of favor (no surprise) so there's no need to keep such short file names. One part of the refresh is to update every game to use a long filename, most of which will come from GoodNES.
The NES Vault was originally built by collecting ROMs from various sites, then along came a tool called GoodNES. It allowed you to list which games you had and determine if it was a "good" copy. This was very helpful in identifying missing games or replacing bad copies with good ones. There was also a companion tool which could fix NES headers to their "correct" values. While this was very helpful it sadly rendered Jigsaw's Gallery obsolete, so that part of the site was closed. This was all completed back in 2000, however those "correct" headers have changed over the years in subsequent releases. The header fixer is now included in GoodNES, so the next part of the refresh is to update all of the headers that have changed over the years.
The next part was rather controversial at once time, but after setting eight letter file names, using GoodNES to locate missing games and replace bad copies, and then fixing all incorrect headers, some new tools and emulators came along which supported a new title field. Using one of these tools, every game in The NES Vault was reviewed and it's title added to the game. It turns out this title was part of the new iNES 2.0 header. Unfortunately this new format was not adopted by the community and it caused headaches for the GoodNES folks, however it didn't seem to cause any harm to the games themself. Since the custom titles won't show in any modern emulators, and likely never will, the iNES 2.0 headers are being removed from all games.
The final part of the refresh is to update all of the English translations. There have been many Japanese games translated to English over the years but most have never found their way into The Vault, and some that have need to be updated. The translator's readme files will also be added if they are missing. The ultimate goal is for The NES Vault to once again have a perfect copy of every game released in the US as well as every complete Japanese to English translation.
So that pretty much covers the four parts of the NES Vault refresh. Much of it is already complete and the translations are currently being reviewed alphabetically. Everything should be finished gradually over the course of the next few weeks.
April 21, 2010
|There have been a few updates lately worth mentioning. First up, the PlayStation Vault seems to be running smoothly and is gradually expanding. Support for multiple screen shots have been added, mostly for PlayStation games which often have multiple title screens. On the technical side the site is gradually converting to HTML5 and now uses CSS sprites for the menu and background images, which helps pages load faster with fewer trips to the server. The new menu also (finally) shows the section you're currently in.
February 15, 2010
|Several major updates were pushed out across the site which have been in the works for several weeks. The Vault database has been redesigned to be more efficient and the entire Vault and Vault Store were updated with it. Since every page needed reviewing, many cosmetic tweaks were made to make the site more user friendly. The new database also works with the brand new Vimm's Lair shopping cart, which is fully integrated with The Vault Store allowing for a smarter cart. For example, if you add two of something to your cart but only one is in stock, you'll get an error message and only one new item in your cart. The cart is also more tightly integrated with PayPal for a smoother checkout process.
To finish things up, Vimm's Lair is now using png images. Every screen shot in The Vault and most graphics around the site have been converted from gif to png. In general, each new png is 10%-25% smaller so they'll load a bit faster.
February 2, 2010
|Welcome to 2010! Here's a quick roundup of the latest news.
After the November OS upgrade there were some issues with large downloads timing out. The problem was corrected in December and all is well. The download queue was also removed in favor of a site-wide bandwidth cap which seems to be working well.
There have been a few new emulator releases lately, including UberNES 2010, RockNES 5.03, and Snes9x 1.52. Head on over to the Emulation Lair to pick up installable copies. bsnes is also being considered for the Emulation Lair as it has been making much progress over the past couple years and is very active.
The Vimm's Lair installer has also been updated to fix an issue where the uninstaller did not remove start menu entries in Vista and Windows 7. In addition the installer will now only allow one copy of itself to run at once, in case it's clicked multiple times.
November 16, 2009
|Vimm's Lair was down all Sunday evening for an OS upgrade. Everything should be back in order now so as always, please post any problems on the Message Board. Someone discovered the Kega Fusion installer contained RockNES instead so a new installer has been uploaded along with FCEUX 2.1.2.
October 14, 2009
|Some new content is available in the Emulation Lair. The latest releases of RockNES (5.02) and FCEUX (2.1.1) have been added, and Kega Fusion will also be added to the Genesis emulators later today.
A couple months ago a custom Vimm's Lair installer was built for all emulators in the Emulation Lair which didn't have one. Today they've all been updated with some new features. You can now choose the start menu folder and it'll be removed when uninstalling (except in Windows 7, still working on that), and if you're upgrading the old version will uninstall first. Enjoy!
July 6, 2009
|It's a belated report, but towards the end of May one of the hard drives serving Vimm's Lair died after 8 years of service. A backup was loaded onto a new drive but some files are still corrupted or missing and are being corrected as they are found. The latest AJAX download script for The Manual Project was lost, so manual downloads will continue to be unavailable until it can be rebuilt.
November 14, 2008
|There's a bunch of new stuff worth reporting today. First up, over 100 NES games and accessories have been added to the Vault Store and are available for browsing. A change in the shipping API that broke the international shipping calculator has been fixed, and from now on the only payment method accepted will be PayPal. Most people have chosen to use PayPal anyway so hopefully this won't be an inconvenience.
There have also been several bug fixes around the site, including finally getting the Genesis Vault's top download stats working. The stats have also been improved to reduce double counting of incomplete or duplicate downloads. In The Manual Project the contributor database has been merged with the Message Board database so there's now one login for the entire site. There's also a new page being developed for submitting new manuals that's much more user-friendly but it's not quite ready yet.
And last but certainly not least, for the first time in nearly eight years a new section has been added to the Vault. Introducing, the Nintendo 64 Vault! And of course, some N64 emulators have been added to the Emulation Lair as well.
Well, that's enough for now. Enjoy!
October 21, 2008
|The Genesis Vault is complete! A perfect copy of every Genesis game released in the US (according to GoodGen 3.0) is now present in the Genesis Vault. A title screen shot was captured for every game using Gens, though a handful of games would not run so they'll need to be snapped with another emulator. While the correct title of some games is questionable, all games have been named using their GoodGen title for now. Special thanks to gamerX for starting the Genesis Vault roughly seven years ago. Enjoy!
October 14, 2008
|The first pass through the Genesis Vault is finally complete. All US games now have full stats and screens and a handful of unknowns will be cleaned up in the next pass. All bad links have been fixed and a number of small errors around the site have been cleaned up as well.
September 9, 2008
|There's a few new items worth noting lately. First up, all the hardware problems seem to be fixed on both the web and mail servers and everything's stable again, with a little more speed to boot. Next, there was an incident on the Message Boards where someone was using a SQL injection attack to mess things up. The vulnerability has been fixed and the logs show that the attacker has given up. Just to be safe, rotating 30 day backups of all databases are now being made nightly. That should've been done all along but there has never really been a need for it. Unfortunately the last backup was over a month old so a fair number of posts and registrations was lost. For many months there have also been bots that create new accounts with spam in their profile which is quite harmless, but they've been blocked as well. To help keep the accounts database clean any account that's over one year old with zero posts will be deleted automatically from now on. The admin tools have also been enhanced a bit to allow board admins to delete any post with the click of a button, and the login has been tweaked so that the "Remember me" option will retain your login for one month and reset the timer each time so that if you visit regularly you never need to log in.
By request of a user, a simple API has been made to allow anyone to pull ratings data directly from Vimm's Lair. While not scientific in any way, there have been a fair number of votes collected over the years which some might find useful. This xml api can currently be reached for each system in The Vault at these urls.
August 16, 2008
|After a couple weeks of downtime Vimm's Lair is back. There was some hardware trouble that was tricky to solve but everything's stable now. To celebrate, the Emulation Lair has been updated with the latest NES emulator summer releases and some minor display issues in IE7 and Firefox 3 have been fixed.
March 19, 2008
|There's a few items worth reporting today. First up, all emulators for Windows in the Emulation Lair have been updated with Vista compatible self-extracting files for those of you with Vista inflicted upon you. The RockNES and Jnes emulators have also been updated to their latest releases, and FCE Ultra has been removed since it's getting old and clearly won't be updated anymore. The problems some people had downloading files should be fixed now, and the speed limit has been removed from the Vault so all files should download at full speed.
February 29, 2008
|Sorry about the down-time lately, and thanks for everyone who wrote in about it. A hard drive on the new server is acting up and keeps messing things up. The server will be shut down again tonight for a full disk sweep and hopefully it'll behave itself after that. On the plus side, the database settings have been tweaked and the site is much quicker now.
February 26, 2008
|Vimm's Lair is up and running on its new server and is now HTML 4.01 compliant. If anything's broken or out of place, please post it on the Message Board.