A-Z Uncommon Arcade Games

The 80s and 90s had ton of great Arcade boards. Most of the recommended and popular games can be emulated and played today. But the less known ones are often overlooked. I’ll try to bring some attention to those.

My goal is to find less famous but interesting games for you to play. For that I have gone through the entire FinalBurn Neo v1.0.0.03 (Database: FBNeo – Arcade Games) list of ROMs and tested bunch of random and promising titles. While doing so, typical popular or often recommended games are excluded; so no “Burger Time”, “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs”, “DoDonPachi” or any of the Neo Geo library. To take some of the choice paralysis away, only one game title will be assigned per alphabetical character. Grab some popcorn and have fun exploring.

My current top 3 favorite suggestions are Avenging Spirit (avspirit), Metamoqester (metmqstr) and Shocking (shocking)

If you do not care for all of this nonsense, then you can just head to the bottom of the page and download a playlist file for RetroArch or a simple list of the ROM Names: Gamelists (Note, I do not share ROM files. So please don’t ask me.)


  1. A for Avenging Spirit
  2. B for B.Rap Boys
  3. C for Chan Bara
  4. D for Dungeon Magic
  5. E for Exvania
  6. F for Fortress 2 Blue Arcade
  7. G for Gundhara
  8. H for Hopper Robo
  9. I for Itazura Tenshi
  10. J for Joinem
  11. K for Kozure Ookami
  12. L for Logic Pro 2
  13. M for Metamoqester
  14. N for New Zero Team
  15. O for Out Zone
  16. P for PuLiRuLa
  17. Q for Quantum
  18. R for Rabbit
  19. S for Shocking
  20. T for Thunder Hoop
  21. U for Ultimate Tennis
  22. V for Vindicators
  23. W for Wizard Fire
  24. X for X Multiply
  25. Y for Yokai Douchuuki
  26. Z for Zombie Raid

A for Avenging Spirit

Platformer with ability to possess enemies to control them.

B for B.Rap Boys

Standard Beat’em up with skater kids and musical rap theme.

C for Chan Bara

Dodge and attack with your katana carefully, as single hit is death.

D for Dungeon Magic

also known as “Lightbringer”

Isometric Beat’em up with touch of RPG elements and platforming.

E for Exvania

Inpsired by Bomberman, with a coat of medieval paint.

F for Fortress 2 Blue Arcade

Game concept definetely reminds me of Worms, but bigger robots.

G for Gundhara

Top Down run and gun shooter with lot of good action.

H for Hopper Robo

Oldschool platformer to collect all boxes with a charming robot.

I for Itazura Tenshi

Cute angel has to draw star constellations in the sky and avoid enemies.

J for Joinem

You control multiple parts at same time and have to bring them together.

  • ROM Name: joinem
  • Release: 1983
  • Developer / Publisher: Global Corporation
  • Arcade Database
  • Gaming History
  • MobyGames
  • GameFAQs
  • Wikipedia
  • Playtime (Main Story): –
  • Highscore (Average Score): 153,150
  • Review: –
  • Video: Vizzed Gameplay Videos

K for Kozure Ookami

Samurai themed Beat’em up stylized and based on a manga.

L for Logic Pro 2

Similar Mario’s Picross puzzle concept known as nonograms.

M for Metamoqester

also known as “Oni: The Ninja Master”

Boss rush 1v1 fighting game, but against giant monsters.

N for New Zero Team

also known as and based on “Zero Team” and “Zero Team USA”

Beat’em up with nice details and a combo system including special moves.

O for Out Zone

Top Down run and gun shooter with weapon system inspired by shmups.

P for PuLiRuLa

also written as “Pu•Li•Ru•La” or “Pu-Li-Ru-La”

Beautiful, but strange side scrolling Beat’em up with crazy enemies.

Q for Quantum

Draw free form circles enclosing enemies to defeat them. Fast and fluid.

R for Rabbit

1v1 fighting with Chinese influence. Each fighter has beasts as helpers.

S for Shocking

Top down action adventure like Zelda with light puzzles and objectives.

T for Thunder Hoop

Side scrolling platformer with run and gun elements.

U for Ultimate Tennis

Standard Tennis game with nice pseudo 3D graphics and good gameplay.

V for Vindicators

Slower paced top down tank shooter. Avoid enemies, find the key.

W for Wizard Fire

also known as “Dark Seal 2”

Isometric Beat’em up plus run and gun shooter mixture with RPG elements.

X for X Multiply

Traditional side scrolling shmup similar to R-Type, but with tentacles.

Y for Yokai Douchuuki

also known as “Shadow Land”

Side scrolling jump and run with lot of platforming.

Z for Zombie Raid

Horror themed lightgun rail shooter with fantastic graphics and atmosphere.


At this place I am offering you various lists with the discussed games for download. Note: These are just text files with the name of the ROMs, not the game files itself: Overview on Github Gist

RetroArch .lpl playlist

You cannot easily use playlists from other users, if the file paths of the files and folders does not match to those on your system. That is especially true, if you are using a different operating system. However, there are couple of things you can do and try out if this is working for you. Otherwise, you may need to edit the .lpl file directly in an editor or with specialized tools. The .lpl files in your RetroArch playlists folder are JSON formatted. You don’t need to know the details, if you don’t know what that means.

  • RetroArch actually has a functionality to deal with playlists from other installations. First open RetroArch, go to menu “Settings” > “Playlists” and scroll down to the bottom. Now enable the option “Portable Playlists” setting to ON. What this option does is, if you open a playlist, then it will compare your default ROMs folder with all game paths in the playlist file. If it can, it will update those paths in the playlist file and with some luck you should be able to just play the games.
  • Because that option takes your ROM browser setting to adapt the playlist paths, you should change that setting to point to the base folder of your ROMs directory. This should point to the mother directory where all ROMs for all systems (such as snes and fbneo) are, not to just a specific game system directory. To change this setting, go to “Settings” > “Directory” and then scroll until option “File Browser”. Now click the path on the right and choose the main ROMs folder you have. On my system in example it is “/home/tuncay/Emulatoren/games”.
  • Now close RetroArch, so these settings are saved.
  • Download the playlist from Arcade – A-Z Uncommon Arcade Games.lpl. Put the downloaded .lpl file into your RetroArch’s “playlists” folder.
  • When you run RetroArch, the playlist should appear in the UI. But it might not work for you, because each game path in the file expects a subfolder called “fbneo” in your main ROMs folder you set before. So each game for this playlist should be in “/home/tuncay/Emulatoren/games/fbneo”. Obviously your path is different, in example this would translate to “C:\Users\YourName\Documents\ROMs\fbneo” (just an example).
  • Also the path to the core is totally different on your system probably. To change the default core for the playlist, go to “Settings” > “Playlists” > “Manage Playlists”, then choose the playlist you want edit, click “Reset Core Associations”, and then click “Default Core” and choose your core for this playlist. This is for FinalBurn Neo/FB Neo, but you might also be able to use MAME for the games.
  • Restart RetroArch. Now try to play a game from this playlist.
  • If it does not work for you, then you might need to make changes to the playlist file with a text editor. And that requires understanding where all the files are stored and how you manage your system. You maybe interested into RetroArch Playlist Editor, a web based application. I don’t use it, but seems to be popular.
  • BTW, you can freely rename the .lpl playlist file. The filename is what you see in RetroArch UI.

As you see, it is very complicated to use playlists from other users. Especially if you are not much familiar with how all of this works. The problem does not lie within RetroArch, but within the possibilities how you can setup and organize your files.

The End?

I hope, you are still with me. I personally try to avoid the term “Hidden Gem”, as it is so overused nowadays. When everyone recommends the same games over and over again as a so called “Hidden Gem”, then it is not hidden anymore; it becomes common knowledge. And that was basically what I tried, find games, which aren’t common knowledge and still worth to check out today.

I like playing games to beat highscores. At least I used to with friends or communities build around this idea. You have only one Continue, one shot…

Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip? Yo
The moment, you own it, you better never let it go (Go!)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo

(I totally didn’t steal this from Eminem.)

Then you post your highscore and someone else picks it up and tries to beat it. I am not even a good player, but it is really fun. Where to go from here? Usually at this point I am giving links to follow and study. Well this is one of the rare occasions I don’t know. This time around, I am asking YOU the question. Where to go from here?

Continue? 9


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