Source Convention

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This describes conventions that I've observed (plus some small new suggested conventions). Its not an "official" thing like the Naming Convention and its much newer and less thought-through.



Form HTML name: source_section
Custom XML name: section

  • Trusted Dump = Origin of dump is clear, dumper provides enough info on the dump, dumper seems trustworthy etc
  • Trusted Modification = Modification of an existing dump. Same sort of criteria as Trusted Dump, but usually done by the datter themselves, not someone else.
  • Third Party = Origin of dump is not clear, not much information provided, dumper don't seem trustworthy etc

ROM status

Form HTML name: source_rominfo
Custom XML name: rominfo

  • Blank = Good dump (to the best of your knowledge)
  • Bad = Corrupted dump, wrong format etc
  • Hacked = Modified to fix bugs, add new game features etc
  • Cracked = Copy-protection removed/modified
  • Tagged = Dumper/group name added in intro or tag
  • HasSave = Otherwise good, but it has user-created save data. Only relevant for things that have the game data and save on the same storage medium.
  • Trimmed = Unused bytes at end of ROM removed
  • Trained = Cheats added to ROM
  • Other = Misc. You should use this for redumps that are taken from Virtual Console and similar re-releases, so they don't increase the "cart verification count".

Dump date

Form HTML name: source_d_date
Custom XML name: dumpdate
When the dumper says the ROM was dumped.


Form HTML name: source_d_date_info
Custom XML name: knowndumpdate
Boolean. If the dumper or you are sure the dump date is accurate.

Release date

Form HTML name: source_d_date
Custom XML name: dumpdate
When the ROM was released. Leave blank if ambiguous or set to "!n/a" if ROM wasn't released (that also includes redumps for ROMs that were released before).


Form HTML name: source_r_date_info
Custom XML name: knownreleasedate
Boolean. If the dumper or you are sure the dump date is accurate.


Form HTML name: source_dumper
Custom XML name: dumper
String. Who physically dumped the ROM.


Form HTML name: source_project
Custom XML name: project
Who/what the dumper is associated with. Can simply be the site they posted it to (e.g. Twitter,

Link 1

Form HTML name: source_link1
Custom XML name: link1
Link to where the ROM or ROM information came from, like the submission thread/post on No-Intro, the page on the web for a prototype release etc. Don't just link to any site that has a copy of the ROM like p2p/pirate sites.

Link 2

Form HTML name: source_link2
Custom XML name: link2
Same as Link 1, but for if you have another link. If this still isn't enough, put extra links in Comment 2.

Dump tool

Form HTML name: source_tool
Custom XML name: tool
What hardware, firmware and software was used to dump the ROM. Make sure to include version information for each of those.

Dump origin

Form HTML name: source_origin
Custom XML name: origin
What type of media the dump came from. Leave it blank if it is the "default" thing for that dat (e.g. Retail cart). Other examples: Dev cart, Dev board, Wii Virtual Console.

Comment 1

Form HTML name: source_comment1
Custom XML name: comment1
Explain the ROM status here, how the ROM was modified if it is a Trusted Modification, how the ROM differs from the previous dump (make sure to mention which dump by size + hash) if it differs.

Comment 2

Form HTML name: source_comment2
Custom XML name: comment2
Misc information. E.g. Add information on the media the ROM is from, if out of the ordinary, and where the ROM or ROM information was shared.


Form HTML name: source_region
Custom XML name: region
The region this exact instance of physical media was released in.

Original format

Form HTML name: source_originalformat
Custom XML name: originalformat
The format the dump tool made the dump in. Only relevant if the dat uses multiple dump formats.

Title on media

Form HTML name: source_media_title
Custom XML name: mediatitle
Basically deprecated. Not sure of its original purpose.

Physical media serial 1

Form HTML name: source_media_serial1
Custom XML name: mediaserial1
Usually on the label on the front of the cart. With all of these serials/barcodes/etc, make sure they match what you can see in the photos.

Physical media serial 2

Form HTML name: source_media_serial2
Custom XML name: mediaserial2
For DS, 3DS and Switch, this is on the back of the cart.

Physical media serial 3

Form HTML name: source_media_serial3
Custom XML name: mediaserial3
Don't think this is used much.

Physical media stamp codes

Form HTML name: source_mediastamp
Custom XML name: mediastamp
Indented text, usually found on back or front label on retro systems' carts.

PCB serial(s)

Form HTML name: source_pcb_serial
Custom XML name: pcbserial
Serial(s) found on the printed circuit board inside the cart. Usually just one. Comma-seperated.

ROM Chip serial(s) 1

Form HTML name: source_romchip_serial1
Custom XML name: romchipserial1
Serial(s) found on the first software ROM chip inside the cart. Usually just one. Comma-seperated.

ROM Chip serial(s) 2

Form HTML name: source_romchip_serial2
Custom XML name: romchipserial1
Serial(s) found on the second software ROM chip inside the cart. Usually just one. Comma-seperated. Put serials for subsequent software ROM chips, if there are any, in Comment 2.

Lockout serial(s)

Form HTML name: source_lockout_serial
Custom XML name: lockoutserial
Serial(s) of the lockout chip. Comma-seperated.

Chip(s) serial(s)

Form HTML name: chipserial
Custom XML name: source_chip_serial
Deprecated. Replaced with the individual "ROM Chip serial(s)" fields above. Serial(s) found on the software ROM chips inside the cart. Comma-seperated.

Box serial(s)

Form HTML name: source_box_serial
Custom XML name: boxserial
Serials found on the game box. Don't include publisher/developer specific serials - put those in Comment 2 instead. Comma-seperated.

Box barcode(s)

Form HTML name: source_box_barcode
Custom XML name: boxbarcode
Barcodes found on the game box. Put "[Box barcode read with barcode reader]" in Comment 2 if you also scanned it to check if the actual barcode matches the text written under it. Provide details in Comment 2 if it doesn't match.

Physical media top image

Form HTML name: source_img_mediatop
Custom XML name: [N/A]
Photo/scan of the top of the cart. Not always taken by dumpers, but can be useful as SNES carts have the title written there, and it can be useful for identifying fake DS carts.

Physical media front image

Form HTML name: source_img_mediafront
Custom XML name: [N/A]
For all of the following images, make sure the serials are clear.

Physical media back image

Form HTML name: source_img_mediaback
Custom XML name: [N/A]

PCB front image

Form HTML name: source_img_pcbfront
Custom XML name: [N/A]
No need to insist about this for DS/3DS/Switch carts, as you can't really get them open cleanly, and the most important info is on the front/back of the cart anyway.

PCB back image

Form HTML name: source_img_pcbback
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart 1 image

Form HTML name: source_img_boxart1
Custom XML name: [N/A]
Deprecated for the "Boxart [side] image" fields. Often used for misc images.

Boxart 2 image

Form HTML name: source_img_boxart2
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart 3 image

Form HTML name: source_img_boxart3
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart front image

Form HTML name: source_img_box_front
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart back image

Form HTML name: source_img_box_back
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart top image

Form HTML name: source_img_box_top
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart bottom image

Form HTML name: source_img_box_bottom
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart left image

Form HTML name: source_img_box_left
Custom XML name: [N/A]

Boxart right image

Form HTML name: source_img_box_right
Custom XML name: [N/A]


Used for attaching extra info like a text file containing ROM metadata or dump logs. Only used for certain systems.


Form HTML name: source_doc_label1
Custom XML name: [N/A]


Form HTML name: source_doc_file1
Custom XML name: [N/A]