MAME 0.254, the most hotly anticipated emulator release in recent memory, is ready today! Yes, it finally happened: the first batch of Namco System 10 games have been emulated! It’s been a real team effort, with contributors around the world working on emulation, cracking encryption, and properly dumping the Flash memory chips. You’ll be able to enjoy Namco’s Mr. Driller 2 and Mr. Driller G, as well as the spin-off Star Trigon. System 10 was home to Mitchell’s final two arcade games, Gamshara and Kono e Tako. From Metro, there are two GAHAHA Ippatsudou mini-game collections and the two-in-one mahjong tile puzzle game GekiToride-Jong Space. Other working Namco games include Kotoba no Puzzle Mojipittan, Panikuru Panekuru, and Uchuu Daisakusen: Chocovader Contactee.
Quite a few of the System 10 games that are still marked as not working are already playable. Taiko no Tatsujin 2, 4 and 6 are playable, although we aren’t confident enough in the timing accuracy of MAME’s PlayStation emulation to mark rhythm games as working at the moment. You can play the light gun shooter Golgo 13: Juusei no Requiem, but it’s missing sounds and voice acting at the moment. Several coin pushers on the closely related WIDEISM SP-02 platform run; you can trigger various animations, but there’s no gameplay as such.
Of course, Namco System 10 emulation isn’t the only thing that’s updated in this release. Almost a dozen Yamaha keyboards based on the GEW7 CPU are now working. Interestingly, their sound synthesis capabilities are closely related to the MultiPCM chip used in various Sega arcade games. Another game from SNK’s early Micon Kit series has been dumped and emulated. There are also two more working Brother word processors and two working Liberty Electronics serial terminals.
Cave CV1000 games now have more realistic blitter performance, meaning you don’t need to tweak settings to get close to the arcade experience. Properly emulating the absence of a memory management unit in the R4650 CPU used by Namco’s System 23 solves crashes in Time Crisis 2. Some fixes in SGI workstation emulation have IRIX running again. A few bugs affecting PC Engine and Virtual Boy games have been fixed. Issues with certain sound effects in classic Konami arcade games have been fixed, too.
That’s all we’ve got time to talk about here, but you can read about all the work that made it into this month’s release in the whatsnew.txt file. The source code and 64-bit Windows binary packages are available from the download page.