When was the first time you discovered ROMs or emulation?
My first was around 2002-2004 when I was only 7-9, I was playing on my GBASP, but was feeling bored from a lack of games. I decided to head to Google to look for how to play games on a PC. Through that I found emulation, and then GBA ROMS. From there it went to DS emulation, SNES, NES, GB, and even N64 emulation.
Mine was around 2006. I started using a service called "Console Classix" which was basically a paid-for account with hundreds of ROM games and emulators. I then moved onto downloading ROM's and Emulators after using that.
Around late 2006 if i recall. There's just this one certain day that i feel like wanting to play all the video games i used to play when i was young. So, i searched a lot on the internet until i stumbled upon a website for roms. Those times, i had no idea that it requires emulator to play since i have no idea how roms and emulator works. It didn't last too long thanks to some readme included in another rom pack i've downloaded which has instructions on how to use emulators and stuff. And the rest, you'll know that already. Download, play, etc.
It was 2004-05. I found some NES ROM's on my internet and I wanted to play them. I didn't know anything about emulation so I didn'y know that it needs and emulator. When I discovered that it needs an emulator, I downloaded it and started playing. I had some NES games on my computer which I played a lot of time. Yeah, I wasn't good at this but I played them.
Wow I don't even remember anymore.
I'm not sure I even had a computer when I started since I recall first trying out Super Mario Kart on Zsnes in my town's school library.
Guessing by my join date it had to have been sometime between ~2005 and 2006.
Around 1998/1999 where I found a page with a few random SNES and NES ROMs for download along with Nesticle and Snes9x. Mind was blown when I found out I could play these games on my PC. I thought it was a hoax at first and I had no clue how it was even working. The shops at the time were phasing out the SNES sections so it was a really convenient discovery.
If that little DOS emulation counts, it was around 2002-2003. I remember we used DOSBox to play Prehistorik 2 and Prince of Persia, since we just changed to WinXP and it couldn't run the old files.
It was early 2008 when I really started discovering emulation and ROMs. My friend played Super Mario World on the Snes9x emulator on his Xbox, I got really interested and searched for it at home. I haven't played anything else outside SMW in the first months, though.
Around 2007-2008 when i realized my n64 control sticks were knid of loose and hard to use. I told my sister about it, who had a friend over at the time who about project 64. he downloaded it for me, and did all the work of explaining the folders and whatnot(how to play, not how to manipulate)
Then in 2010 i was surfing youtube when i found smw hack videos. I was mildly interested. Later that week, i was home alone and the internet was down when i started playing around with project 64 cheat codes. in effect, i made my own. Later on a trip i got lunar magic on my computer, but didnt know i needed a SNES smw rom for it to work
then in early may this year i found lunar magic hidden in my documents while searching for a file for schoolwork. the following weekend i finally figured out how to use it, and i have been hacking it ever since.
My brother was the one who introduced me to SMW hacking and ROMs and emulation. It was back in early 2007 I believe. I saw him with the program open and I was like "cool what is that?" After he told me that it hacked SMW, my first question was "can it hack YI too?", and that's how I got into ROMs and emulation. Then later my dreams were crushed when I realized that Eggvine was a piece of shit. *sigh* oh well.
I remember back in April 2009 when I downloaded my first ROM, which was Pokemon Emerald. It took me a while to figure out I needed an emulator to play the ROM, but when I was finally able to play it on a computer, I was like
I don't recall the exact year, but I think it was somewhen in 2007/2008, when I got a portable DVD player that came with a "gaming CD". On that CD there was a crapload of NES ROMs (I even looked them up on my computer, and they worked on an NES emulator), but unfortunately they didn't save and I never really was a fan of NES games, so I didn't play them a lot. I later found that site called VirtualNES.com, but for the same reasons I didn't spend a lot of time there, neither.
So yeah, the first time I really got into emulation was when I discovered SMW hacking.
Around 2006-2007, I saw some videos of some people playing Super Mario 64 on their computer, so I Googled "how to play Super Mario 64 on your computer". I found something on Yahoo Answers that said you need to find a ROM and an emulator, which were linked in the answer. At the time, I had no idea it was illegal, but my mind was blown because I didn't know you could play video games on the computer.
I was at my cousin's house, and he was playing Donkey Kong Country on his computer. I asked him how, and he told me to look up Snes9x when I got home. I did, and then I got that along with Visual Boy Advance. I think I had Project64 too. It must have been around 2006.
A kid in my Primary School charged me a absurd amount of money (about £20 actually, but it was big in my mind at the time) for a "CD that can play SNES games". I brought it, and it was ZSNES with about 100 games on it (one of those games was SMRPG, which quickly became one of my favourite games).