Are you getting fidgety waiting for Halloween to arrive? Well now you can take your mind off the wait by giving the brand-new MAME release a spin! We've changed the release slightly this month: the whatsnew file is formatted differently, the 32-bit Windows binary package has "32bit" in its filename, and we're no longer providing a pre-built debug binary package for Windows. We've dropped the debug binaries as they don't seem to have a target demographic. All builds include the MAME debugger. The release packages are built with symbols that will give a meaningful stack trace. The debug build was still optimised, so stack traces were no more precise. The main difference is that debug builds have assertions enabled which is mainly useful if you're working on the source. In short, we don't see a use case where someone would be better off with the debug build if they aren't compiling MAME themselves anyway.
With that out of the way, what surprises does MAME have in store for you all this month? We're pretty confident that we have something for everyone! First of all, we're proud to present the Soviet arcade game Istrebiteli ("Fighters", as in aircraft). We've also emulated Ocean to Ocean, an early video slots game on the DECO Cassette system. ShouTime has worked his magic again, allowing the masses to see the rare Alpha Denshi title Splendor Blast II. But possibly most interesting is preliminary emulation of the Magnet arcade system, a prototype floppy disk-based system from Spain.
We've also added a number of non-arcade systems. There's the Gakken Game Robot 9 handheld game, and several Fidelity chess systems. Getting away from games altogether, we've added a working driver for a VeriFone Trans payment terminal. There have been some substantial updates to the software lists, too. The Sega CD software list has been completely updated to use the latest and best dumps known to exist, we've replaced a number of pirate Apple II disk images with clean cracks, there are some notable additions to the Sharp X68000 floppy list, and even an obscene Pokémon hack for Game Boy that's being sold in China.