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Copyright law focuses on attacking people who distribute copyrighted material, profit of it, or circumvent some copyright-enforcing technology. Only a few times ever has it even been tried to go after someone for merely downloading and possessing pirated material, and it didn't work. But know that if you use torrents, you're exposing your IP publicly, and distributing it as well as downloading it simultaneously. It's unlikely anyone would know if you emulated the game, and if they did it would not be worth their time to try to sue you, and if they did that they'd have a tough case if you didn't distribute any copy.
Just don't be a jerk who pirates the game, plays and enjoys it, and never pays for it.
What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us? -Dune
I've downloaded so many torrents over the years, and more or less of things you'd normally have to pay money for otherwise (for my own personal use, and in terms of music or movies.....), and I've never once gotten into any trouble. But it is good to know that about downloading torrents, and I will consider it the next time I go to download any.
Anyway, with there being two or three prime websites that host roms and emulators, I've never even used torrents to download such. But as Mr Hangman said, as long as you're not re-distributing or profiting from anything, you're fine.