LandyNES (found early NES emulator software; 1996)

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Nintendo Entertainment System console.

Status: Found

Date found: 5 Jan '23

Found by: ShivaShaw, WaluigiBSOD

LandyNES was one of the earliest Nintendo Entertainment System emulators for the MS-DOS operating systems, developed by Alex Krasivsky (who went by the username Landy) in 1996. At the time, only two NES emulators had been shown in public, both from Japan with many deficiencies in the emulation (specifically in the audio). LandyNES stands out for had been the basis of iNES, one of the most popular emulators that standardized the ".nes" format in ROMs.


Krasivsky began the development of LandyNES and released a public beta on September 8th, 1996 under the peculiar name "v0.1 (Prerelease "Stupid" version)". As expected, the emulator was in a very early stage and could only run a few simple cartridge games of the MMC1 chip, some with graphics and sound glitches. The format it used was the archaic PRG/CHR. Although only one version was released, Krasivsky would state that its release date would occur at some point in the late 1990s.[1]

At some point in development, Marat Fayzullin (who had worked on the Virtual Gameboy, Colem, and fMSX emulators) offered to help Krasivsky and modified the LandyNES source code to fix some CPU commands and drivers, ensuring that at least 85% of the NES library would be compatible. Marat launched this modification for his part as iNES in 1996, separating from Krasivsky who would continue the development of LandyNES independently.


iNES was originally released as shareware (software that can be used for free before paying for the full version) until its version 0.7 when it became a $35 commercial product. Despite having standardized the ".nes" format, iNES received criticism for its slowness and because it was unable to reproduce audio without paying for that function. Interestingly, Krasivsky offered him the code to implement GameGenie shortly before the announcement of version 0.7.

Krasivsky would continue to work on his emulator promising GameGenie support, better audio, and other features. However, after the release of NESticle v0.3, a free emulator recognized for its versatility and innovation, Krasivsky would lose interest and cancel the development of LandyNES. However, he also offered the code to implement GameGenie to the Nesticle developers.[2]

LandyNES would fall into oblivion due to its only beta released and the overshadowing of better and free NES emulators. For years, no copy of the software remained on the internet, as the original was hosted on FTP servers that are defunct now.[3] ​It has not even been preserved in the archives of the Wayback Machine. However, its legacy has been maintained in the development of the NES emulation, to the point that official Nintendo emulators use the ".nes" format which would not be possible without the help of LandyNES.


On June 30th, 2020, user ShivaShaw uploaded the ISO of the program "HaCKeRz KrOnIcKLeZ", which included a copy of LandyNES.[4] This went unnoticed until January 5th, 2023, when WaluigiBSOD, using Jason Scott's DiscMaster website, announced finding it.[5]


A brief history of early NES emulation.

History of early Nintendo consoles emulation.

External Links