How to play using RetroArch Front End

It is possible to play a number of the romhacks on RetroArch. RetroArch is a frontend for emulators, game engines and media players. It enables you to run classic games on a wide range of computers and consoles. It supports running the supported romhacks on computers (Windows, MacOs, Linux), mobile devices (iOS, Android) and consoles (PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, Wii U, DS, Switch, and more). The romhacks are supported with the FinalBurn Neo core. For recently released romhacks it may take a little time before FinalBurn Neo adds support for it. FinalBurn Neo uses its own versions of the roms. These are included in FinalBurn Neo specific romsets and can be downloaded from various sites and are ready to be used. Using FinalBurn Neo there is no need to perform the patching.


If the RetroArch installation uses an older version of the FinalBurn Neo Core, it might not have the necessary support for the romhacks. If that is the case, it is recommended to update the FinalBurn Neo Core. This can be done from the RetroArch GUI: select 'Main Menu -> Load Core -> Download a Core -> Arcade (FinalBurn Neo)'.

Download the romhacks from a site that has the FinalBurn Neo rom set available: e.g. from FinalBurn Neo ROM set (2022-07-20).

The Donkey Kong romhacks are included in the zipfile arcade.zip. A direct link to this zipfile is available here: direct link to FinalBurn Neo arcade romset.

A direct link to the romhacks is available here: direct link to FinalBurn Neo roms.

The following romhacks need to be downloaded:

DKONG.ZIP - Original Donkey Kong
(Required to run the romhacks)

DKCBARREL.ZIP - DK Crazy Barrels
DKFREERUN.ZIP - DK Freerun Edition
DKONGBP.ZIP - DK Barrelpalooza
DKONGBP1.ZIP - DK Barrelpalooza KL
DKONGCHM.ZIP - DK Championship Edition
DKONGCHM1.ZIP - DK Championship Edition KL
DKONGITD.ZIP - DK Into The Dark
DKONGOTR.ZIP - DK On The Run
DKONGRAN1.ZIP - DK Randomized Edition
DKONGREV.ZIP - DK Reverse
DKONGSS.ZIP - DK Skip Start
DKONGTJ.ZIP - DK Twisted Jungle

The emulator uses an xml datfile to recognize the filenames of the games. A direct link to this xml datfile is available here: direct link to FinalBurn Neo arcade xml datfile.


If you already have a RetroArch Playlist that uses the FinalBurn Neo Core, you have to copy the romfiles into the folder that is associated with this Playlist. To make RetroArch recognize the new roms, you have to refresh the Playlist. This can be done from the RetroArch GUI: select 'Settings -> Playlists -> Manage Playlists -> Playlist Name -> Refresh Playlist'.


If you do not have a RetroArch Playlist that uses the FinalBurn Neo Core or want the romhacks in a seperate Playlist, you have to create a new RetroArch Playlist.

Create a romfolder and copy the romfiles and the xml datfile into this folder.

Create a new Playlist using the RetroArch GUI: select 'Import Content -> Manual Scan' and fill the following fields:

Content Directory: Select the rom folder
System Name: Select 'Custom'
Custom System Name: DK romhacks
Default Core: Select 'Arcade (FinalBurn Neo)'
File Extensions: .zip
Arcade Dat File: Select the xml datfile

Scroll down and select 'Start Scan' at the bottom of this screen to create the Playlist

The newly created Playlist DK romhacks will be shown in the RetroArch GUI. Select the Playlist and the romhack you want to play.

Select 'Run' to play the romhack.


In RetroArch it is possible to use overlays and shaders to create effects like scanlines and curvature or to add a bezel to the game.


In RetroArch it is possible to play with Retro Achievements. Retro Achievements are an extension to RetroArch that make it possible to earn achievements for a game. When an achievement is earned, it will be notified on screen and added to the user's stats on the Retro Achievements website. If a user completes all achievements in a game's achievement set, he/she has mastered the game and a master patch is added to the user's stats.

Currently two of my romhacks have an achievement set on the Retro Achievements website:

In order to play with Retro Achievements you must first create an account on the Retro Achievements website: Retro Achievements registration page.

After creating an account you must enable Retro Achievements in the RetroArch GUI: select 'Settings -> Achievements' and fill the following fields:

Achievements: Turn ON
Username: Enter Retro Achievements username
Password: Enter Retro Achievements password
The other settings are optional !

When you play the Donkey Kong romhack, it will automatically register the earned achievements.

The progress is displayed in your personal page on the Retro Achievements website.


And when you like earning achievements, you might also try the other achievement sets that I've created: