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This page last updated:
13 Dec 05

A rough guide to Emulating the TI99/4A on your PC

     I use M.E.S.S for TI99/4A emulation on my own PC so all the instructions here relate to M.E.S.S.
     First of all, download the zipped files listed in the right hand column. Unzip M.E.S.S and TI99menu into their own directories on the root of your C: drive. It is very important that MESS in particular resides in it's own directory like so: C:\MESS. Don't unzip the system ROM.
      Now look in the directory where you unzipped M.E.S.S to. There is a folder there named 'bios'. Put the zipped TI99/4A system ROM in this folder. There is also a folder in here named 'software'. You need to open this folder and create a new folder inside it called 'ti99_4a'. Unzip the games into this folder.
      Now you need to set up TI99menu. Open the folder where you unzipped TI99menu and double click the executable file called '99menu.exe'. You should see the following:

      Now you need to set up the program so it knows where your files are. So press the 'setup' button and you should now see this:

      Press the button near the top labelled 'MESS' then navigate your way to the folder where you unzipped M.E.S.S to. Click on 'mess.exe' then click 'open'. In the line following the 'MESS' button you should see something similar to the image above. Do the same with the 'Modules' button and navigate your way to the 'ti99_4a' folder which you created within the 'software' folder earlier. Click on any of the files in this folder and then click 'open'. Again, you should see something similar to the line following the 'Modules' button. When you launch TI99menu you should now see something like this:

      All you need to do now is click on any of the modules listed in the 'Modules' window and then click 'Launch'. This will automatically start M.E.S.S in TI99/4A emulator mode and load the selected module, press any key and you should now get a screen looking like this:

      And if you press any key again something like this: (Obviously this will be whatever module you selected)

      Happy retro computing!

      I haven't included instructions here on how to get disk images to work on M.E.S.S as I haven't figured it out yet. But when I do I'll update the page.

      M.E.S.S also emulates the way the keyboard worked so a few pointers on keyboard operation would also be helpful. The cursor control, or arrow, keys emulate joystick operation so pressing left will make your character/spaceship or whatever go left and pressing right will make it go right. You get the idea. TI joysticks only had one fire button and this is replaced by the 'ctrl' key. If, at the end of a game, the program asks you to press 'redo' or 'back' you can press 'Alt-8' or Alt-9'. Press 'Scroll Lock' then 'Esc' to quit from M.E.S.S completely.

      For more details about the games see the 'games' page where you can find descriptions of the games and instructions for playing them. The list is very incomplete at the moment as this site is an on-going project and only subject to updates on an irregular basis. Please come back irregularly to see if the game/s you're really interested in have been included since your last visit.

      M.E.S.S. is now available in a Windows incarnation with full Windows graphical interface and is much easier to use. If you want to upgrade to this version visit the M.E.S.S. homepage by clicking the link in the right hand column. The file you want is ''. Please note that this version does not work properly with some TI99 modules. It's advised that if you want full compatibility with all the modules you should stick with the DOS version until a newer version of MESS becomes available. The DOS version is the one for download on this page (ver 0.37).
I did not write MESS or TI99menu and only present this information and related files to help people who are interested in emulating the TI99 4A on their PC's to do so. I cannot offer technical support for these programs and would advise people having technical difficulties with MESS to visit the MESS homepage. Having said that, I welcome correspondence from all my visitors and will endeavour to help with any problems so do feel free to e-mail me, I'm just not promising anything.
The files you need...
M.E.S.S. (ver 0.37)
Or, to give it it's full title: Multi Emulator Super System.
File size: 1891KB
Front-end for M.E.S.S to make launching the TI99/4A emulator and modules much easier.
File size: 23KB
System ROM
Zipped TI99/4A BIOS ROMs.
File size: 61KB
8 Games
Single zip file containing eight games (see screen shots below) to get you started.
File size: 89KB


Chisholme Trail

Car Wars

TI Invaders



Hunt The Wumpus

Congo Bongo
Getting Started With The TI99/4A by Stephen Shaw
If you'd like to actually practice programming in TI BASIC on your newly installed emulator download this file and unzip it. It's in Word 2000 format. If you print it out double sided and bind it, it makes a rather nice manual. This is the full text of a book written in 1983 by Stephen Shaw, who retains all copyrights, and is reproduced here with his permission. You can get the basic text version of the book by visiting Stephen's site (link below).
If you spot any mistakes in the document please feel free to let me know.
Relevant links...
M.E.S.S homepage
For the latest versions and news about M.E.S.S. Info about using M.E.S.S is pretty thin on the ground though.
TI99/4A Home Computer Page
Where I got the TI99menu program. Loads of good TI stuff here!
Stephen Shaw's Home Page
Author of 'Getting Started With The TI99/4A' and ran Stainless Software in the early eighties.

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