The highly-anticipated release of MAME 0.245 has finally arrived! As I’m sure many of you are already aware, we’ve added support for two elusive arcade games that didn’t see widespread release: Megumi Rescue and Marble Madness II, and the Konami Polygonet system has finally come to life. But before we get to that, there are some changes to MAME’s user interface that you should be aware of. Input options have been moved off the main menu to a submenu of their own. Depending on the system, there can be quite a few of them, and they weren’t all grouped. There’s also a new option to see the input devices recognised by MAME, which should help with diagnosing issues.
Megumi Rescue was exhibited at a trade show, but apparently never sold as an arcade game. A home system port was released, but only in Japan. The original arcade game uses a vertically-oriented monitor, and lacks the life bar system and vertical scrolling found in the home version. Despite the arcade version remaining unreleased, and the home version never being widespread, the game was widely copied for TV game systems. It’s nice to see the original preserved all these years later.
Marble Madness II was considered a failure on location test. It demonstrates Atari’s complete failure to understand what Mark Cerny got right when he made the mid ’80s classic. A few examples survived in the hands of collectors, but the game was never seen widely.
The Polygonet system was Konami’s first foray into 3D arcade games. It was quite apparent that their in-house system wasn’t able to compete toe-to-toe with offerings from Sega and Namco. Polygonet Commanders was added to MAME almost twenty years ago, and saw sporadic progress for a few years after that. Regular contributor Ryan Holtz has written an engaging blog post about his adventures bringing it up to a playable state this month. The two games haven’t been promoted to working yet as they haven’t been extensively tested, but we’d love it if you try them out and post your experiences, good or bad.
We’ve got more complete emulation for three Mac NuBus video cards this month: the Apple Macintosh Display Card, the SuperMac Spectrum/8 Series III, and the SuperMac Spectrum PDQ. The Macintosh Display card, which MAME uses by default for the Mac II, now supports configuring the amount of video RAM installed, as well as a selection of monitors with correct resolutions, refresh rates and colour profiles. The SuperMac Spectrum/8 Series III supports on-screen resolutions up to 1024×768, and virtual desktop resolutions up to a massive 4096×1536 in Black & White mode. Virtual desktop panning and desktop zoom are hardware-accelerated. The Spectrum PDQ supports resolutions up to 1152×870, with hardware acceleration for things like moving windows in 256-colour modes. Please be aware that MAME currently has trouble with some combinations of Mac video cards – if you want to use multiple monitors on your emulated Mac, it’s best to stick with the Macintosh Display Card or Radius ColorBoard. If you’re you’re just looking to jump into Mac emulation, there’s some helpful information to get you started on our wiki.
Thanks in large part to the efforts of Ignacio Prini and Manuel Gomez Amate, the ZX Spectrum cassette software list now includes the Spanish MicroHobby magazine cover tape and type-in program collection. A number of prototypes cartridges have been added for the Game Boy, Super NES and other consoles. Commodore 64 tapes, Apple II floppies, and game music rips in VGM format have each seen a batch of additions.
Other highlights include:
- Support for Space Duel’s cocktail mode from Ian Eure.
- Proper inputs for Sidam’s Space Invaders hack Invasion from Janniz.
- Playable Classic Adders & Ladders gamblers from David “Haze” Haywood.
- A team effort to fix some performance bottlenecks, particularly affecting the IGS PolyGame Master.
- SD Card reader support for Acorn computers from Ramtop and our very own Nigel Barnes.
- Working light gun inputs for Rapid Fire (not that anyone wants to play it).
- Fixes for more glitches in the ZX Spectrum family from holub.
- Major improvements to several IGS games from Luca Elia.
- Hitting GitHub pull request number #10000 – congratulations, holub.
As always, there’s far more in this release than we can fit on the front page, so go and read about it in the whatsnew.txt file, or grab a source or 64-bit Windows binary package from the download page.