This is a collection of ROMs (images) for all machine types in MAME version 0.185.
There is no reason to hold Merged, Un-Merged and Split versions of this collection. A split set contains all the main ROM files in a Parent, with the clone versions containing only the files changed to make that clone work. A non-merged set contains a full copy of the files for each version, parent or clone, and is the most space-inefficient. A merged set contains all the files, parent and clone, inside a single .zip file, and is the most space efficient, although it means a full update with each new version.
MAME (an acronym of Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is a free and open source emulator designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software on modern personal computers and other platforms. The intention is to preserve gaming history by preventing vintage games from being lost or forgotten. The aim of MAME is to be a reference to the inner workings of the emulated arcade machines; the ability to actually play the games is considered "a nice side effect". Joystiq has listed MAME as an application that every gamer should have.