Naming Convention

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Note: This is based on the last official version of the convention, which was last updated on 2007-10-30 and can be found here. You could also think of this as the "Archive Convention", since this page now documents the non-name-related fields in the "archive" entries too. Field data types (boolean, string etc) listed on this page are just what is exposed via the form HTML and the "custom xml" import format, not necessarily what the database uses internally.


This convention was created to improve the consistency and quality of all NoIntro Dat releases. To be recognized as an Official No-Intro Dat, it must meet all requirements as described here.

Dats that are not converted will be dropped from the project until they meet the requirements of this convention.

Naming convention


General naming rules are described here.


Only 7 Bit ASCII (Low ASCII) characters are allowed for titles. Accents, Umlauts, High ASCII, Double byte characters are converted to the best comparable Low ASCII characters. Also several characters that are invalid on some file systems are not allowed.

The following Low ASCII characters are allowed:
a-z A-Z 0-9 SPACE $ ! # % ' ( ) + , - . ; = @ [ ] ^ _ { } ~

In addition to the various control characters, the following Low ASCII characters are NOT allowed:
\ / : * ? " < > | `

Discretion is advised for the adoption of special characters in artistic titles (ex. leet speech). In that case they should be converted to their real meaning.

In addition, a filename is not allowed to start or end with a SPACE or DOT character.


Titles should be primary named after the publisher’s released title (box title). Sometimes the screen title can be more relevant or complete than the box title. In that case the title may be named after the screen title or a mix of the two. If box and screen titles are totally different, the box title is preferred. Common sense is highly advised!

Only one title is used even if the game contains multiple titles or is released with different titles in multiple regions. In that case the priority is in this order: US English title, Europe English title, Japanese title and rest.


Generally all common names, adjectives and verbs should be uppercased. Articles and link words should be lowercased except when first word.

Examples: Adventure of the Hero, Riding in a Car, Travel from Earth to the Moon, From Earth..., Into the Darkness...

The official title written by the publisher or developer can be used as a reference including related titles from other media (movie titles). Some titles also have an unusual capitalization on purpose. In that case, capitalization should be left as intended.

Example 1: RoboCop (= Roboter + Cop)
Example 2: Sonic The Hedgehog is all uppercase: "The" is his middle name, not an article.

However titles that are entirely capitalized should be highly avoided except if the title is an acronym!


If the first word is a common article then it will be moved to the end of the main title and separated with a comma. This includes non English common articles too.

Example 1: The Legend of Zelda -> Legend of Zelda, The
Example 2: A Man Born in Hell -> Man Born in Hell, A


Subtitles and pretitles are always separated from the main title by a hyphen " - ". Titles that use a different separation style (ex. colon or "~ Subtitle ~") will be converted to a hyphen style.

If the first word of a subtitle is a common article it will NOT be moved to the end.

Example 1: Castlevania II - Belmont's Revenge
Example 2: Double Dragon - The Ultimate Team
Example 3: Legend of Zelda, The - A Link to the Past


Single and multiple dots should always be included as part of the title. In abbreviated words such as "vs", "Dr", "Mr", etc the dot should be included (or not) as it appears on the title.

Trademark Reminders

Trademark reminders such as "Disney’s" are not included in the title usually. They are only included if they are relevant or part of the title (ex. "Disney Sports"). Also generally original artists or authors are not removed from titles (ex. "Mary Shelley’s Dracula, "Archer McLean’s Dropzone).

Japanese Romanization

Japanese characters are transcribed to roman characters according to a ASCII-compatible form of the Hepburn convention.

The following pattern is generally followed:

  • When を is used as a particle, it is written o.
  • When へ is used as a particle, it is written e.
  • Long vowels are transcribed as in Wapuro romaji
  • Loan words are spelled in their original language (e.g. "Pocket Monsters" not "Poketto Monsutaa")
  • Suffixes (-san, -tachi, -dan) are usually hyphenated unless a common word (e.g. tomodachi)
  • Capitalization rules apply (lowercase for particles and suffixes) with the following exceptions:
    • Particles are lowercased even if they are the final word in the title or before a hyphen (e.g. "Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni"). This includes words like から and より.


  • "Looney Tunes - Bugs Bunny to Yukai na Nakama-tachi"
  • "Ninku Dai-2-dan - Ninku Sensou Hen"

Chinese Romanization


Korean Romanization


Filename format


The following elements can be part of a ROM title. They are also appended in this order.

[BIOS flag] Title (Region) (Languages) (Version) (Devstatus) (Additional) (Special) (License) [Status]

The only mandatory elements are Title and Region. All other elements are optional.


Form HTML name: archive_name
Custom XML name: name
Mandatory: Yes
Default: [blank]

The title of the game. See also chapter 2.

Name Alt

Form HTML name: archive_name_alt
Custom XML name: namealt
Mandatory: No
Default: [blank]

Same as Name, but for UTF-8 filesystems, so no need to romanise (you can use Russian cyrillic, Japanese kanji etc).


Form HTML name: archive_region
Custom XML name: region
Mandatory: Yes
Default: [blank]

This flag is the region of the game. It is put in parentheses. Full country names are used.

The flag represents the primary region. Secondary regions are omitted (ex. USA and Canada are often the same; Canada will be omitted).

Single region codes (not exhaustive):
- (Australia) Don’t use with Europe
- (Brazil)
- (Canada) Don’t use with USA
- (China)
- (France)
- (Germany)
- (Hong Kong)
- (Italy)
- (Japan)
- (Korea)
- (Netherlands)
- (Spain)
- (Sweden)
- (USA) Includes Canada

If a game is released in all 3 major territories (Japan, USA, Europe) the flag (World) will be used. If a game is only released in 2 major territories, then be both will be listed and separated by a comma and a space.

If a game is released in 2 or more European countries the flag (Europe) will be used. The flag (Asia) will be only used if the target regions are multiple Asian countries and the game is different from the Japanese release.

Multi region codes:
- (World)
- (Europe) Includes Australia
- (Asia)
- (Japan, USA)
- (Japan, Europe)
- (USA, Europe)

This is basically used as a summary of regions specified in the sources' Region fields


Form HTML name: archive_languages
Custom XML name: languages
Mandatory: Not in filename, but yes, in DAT-o-MATIC/XML
Default: [blank]

This flag lists the languages of a game. It is put in parentheses. ISO 639-1 codes are used.

The flag is only added if more than one language is available in the game.

First letter of each language code is always uppercased, second letter is always lowercased. All codes are separated by comma without space.

Language variations are merged and not listed twice (ex. US English, UK English).

List of codes:
En English
Ja Japanese
Fr French
De German
Es Spanish
It Italian
Nl Dutch
Pt Portuguese
Sv Swedish
No Norwegian
Da Danish
Fi Finish
Zh Chinese
Ko Korean
Pl Polish

This order is to be respected.

Example: Super Metroid (Japan, USA) (En,Ja)


Form HTML name: archive_version
Custom XML name: version
Mandatory: No
Default: [blank]

This flag shows the version (vX.XX) or revision (Rev X) of the game. It is put in parentheses. Revision is used instead of version when applicable. Numbers and/or letters can be used depending on the system or program approach.

The flag is only added if the version/revision is greater than the initial release. Source is usually ROM header or cartridge stamps.

Development and/or Commercial Status

Form HTML name: archive_version
Custom XML name: archive_devstatus
Mandatory: No
Default: [blank]

Those flags are added to games that are not classical commercial releases. It is applicable for (but not limited to) unfinished games, promotional games, prize games, limited editions.


  • The flag (Beta) is added to games that are unfinished but have a final release.
  • The flag (Proto) is added to unreleased games.
  • The flag (Sample) is added to internal-use or press samples.

If more than one (Beta) is available an incremented number will be added (Beta 1), (Beta 2), etc. If determinable the oldest Beta gets the lowest number. Same with Protos and Samples. Although if there is built date information available, instead of doing this, the build date should be written in the "Additional" field in YYYY-MM-DD format.


Form HTML name: archive_additional
Custom XML name: additional
Mandatory: No
Default: [blank]

This flag will be only added if it is required to differentiate between multiple releases. It is put in parentheses. Additional information can be added here (ex. Rumble Version, Doritos Promo)


Form HTML name: archive_special1
Custom XML name: special1
Mandatory: No
Default: [blank]

These flags will be added to games that are noteworthy different from the usual other games. It is put in parentheses.

Example: (ST), (MB), (NP), etc


Form HTML name: archive_special2
Custom XML name: special1
Mandatory: No
Default: [blank] [to do]


Form HTML name: archive_licensed
Custom XML name: licensed
Mandatory: No in filename and XML, yes in DoM
Default: 1

Boolean in DoM/XML. The flag (Unl) will be added if a game is unlicensed.


The flag [b] will be added to dumps that are bad and/or hacked. This is automatically added based on the source/file entries.

BIOS flag

Form HTML name: archive_bios
Custom XML name: bios
Mandatory: No
Default: 0 Boolean.

Dat format


Code Language name Native Name Common Flag
En English English 🇬🇧🇺🇸
Ja Japanese 日本語 (にほんご/にっぽんご) 🇯🇵
Fr French Français 🇫🇷
De German Deutsch 🇩🇪
Es Spanish Español 🇪🇸
It Italian Italiano 🇮🇹
Nl Dutch Nederlands 🇳🇱
Pt Portuguese Português 🇵🇹
Sv Swedish Swenska 🇸🇪
No Norwegian Norsk 🇳🇴
Da Danish Dansk 🇩🇰
Fi Finish Suomen Kieli 🇫🇮
Zh Chinese 中文, 汉汉, 漢語 🇨🇳
Ko Korean 한한한 (韓國語); 한한한 (朝鮮語) 🇰🇷
Pl Polish Polski 🇵🇱

Non-name-affecting archive fields

Show lang

Form HTML name: archive_showlang
Custom XML name: showlang
Integer. Default is "auto" ("2") , other option is "always" ("[unknown]").


Form HTML name: archive_pirate
Custom XML name: [unknown]
Boolean. Default is 0.


Form HTML name: archive_adult
Custom XML name: [unknown]
Boolean. Default is 0.


Form HTML name: archive_nodump
Custom XML name: nodump
Boolean. Default is 0. If the ROM is undumped or not.


Form HTML name: archive_physical
Custom XML name: physical
Boolean. Default is 1 for most dats. If the ROM is physical or digital.


Form HTML name: archive_public
Custom XML name: public
Boolean. Default is 1. If the archive is public or not. Unrelated to the private dats - this is basically just a way to get ride of an old/garbage entry without deleting it (since restoring from selection is not straightforward at the moment).


Form HTML name: archive_dat
Custom XML name: dat
Boolean. Default is 1. If the archive appears in the datfile or not. Same usage as "Public".


Form HTML name: archive_complete
Custom XML name: [unknown]
Boolean. Default is 1 (apparently?). 1 is "Fulltitle" and 0 is "Proto/Beta/Demo/...". Basically a way to make the "Devstatus" field machine readable, for use in dat filtering.


Form HTML name: archive_clone
Custom XML name: clone
Optional, but you should fill it out

String. Set to "P" if this archive is the parent, or put the archive number of the parent if this archive is a clone. [to do]

Reg. Parent

Form HTML name: archive_regparent
Custom XML name: regionalparent
Optional, but you should fill it out

String. [to do]


Form HTML name: archive_mergeof
Custom XML name: mergeof

String. New field, something todo with MAME-like merging.


Form HTML name: archive_gameid
Custom XML name: gameid

String. Used by some datters, but probably should be deprecated for source digitalserial and file serial (despite the fact it was created after those).


Form HTML name: archive_gameid
Custom XML name: archive_description

String. Deprecated [to do].

Sticky Note

Form HTML name: archive_sticky_note
Custom XML name: stickynote

String [to do].

Sticky Note

Form HTML name: archive_datter_note
Custom XML name: datternote

String [to do].