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Welcome to The Official Site of the MAME Development Team

What is MAME?

MAME is a multi-purpose emulation framework.

MAME’s purpose is to preserve decades of software history. As electronic technology continues to rush forward, MAME prevents this important "vintage" software from being lost and forgotten. This is achieved by documenting the hardware and how it functions. The source code to MAME serves as this documentation. The fact that the software is usable serves primarily to validate the accuracy of the documentation (how else can you prove that you have recreated the hardware faithfully?). Over time, MAME (originally stood for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) absorbed the sister-project MESS (Multi Emulator Super System), so MAME now documents a wide variety of (mostly vintage) computers, video game consoles and calculators, in addition to the arcade video games that were its initial focus.

License

The MAME project as a whole is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License, 2 (GPL-2.0), since it contains code made available under multiple GPL-compatible licenses. A great majority of files (over 90% including core files) are under the BSD-3-Clause License and we would encourage new contributors to distribute files under this license.

Please note that MAME is a registered trademark of Gregory Ember, and permission is required to use the "MAME" name, logo or wordmark.

Farewell Morten Kirkegaard

28 Nov 2019

Sadly, the release of MAME 0.216 coincided with the passing of contributor Morten Shearman Kirkegaard. Regular contributor and former project coordinator David “Haze” Haywood writes:

I just wanted to write a brief thank you to Morten Kirkegaard who passed away earlier today, at 12:45 on Wednesday 27th November 2019 after a drawn-out battle with cancer.

While I never knew Morten personally outside of contact on IRC and e-mails, he was a key part of the two-man Danish team, also featuring Peter Wilhelmsen, who together overcame some of the toughest challenges emulation faced in the time they worked together.

Even knowing his own chances of survival were low, his interest in both technical challenges, and the retro scene was such that he made the choice to pour his remaining time and money into doing something that would outlast the days he had remaining, and make a long-term difference.

That he did, with magnificent results. The DS5002FP-protected Gaelco games for example could only be dumped thanks to the work he put in – a path full of setbacks, boards suiciding, and even once a working setup was found there was still a high risk each time. To put things into perspective, prior to Morten and Peter taking on the challenge, it was one that most people had already written off as simply impossible.

As for the games themselves, thanks to Morten’s work we’re fortunate enough to have dumps of all the known ones. This includes the rare Goldart, which I regret not being able to finalize the emulation of while he was still around to see it. Still, Morten did understand the challenges involved, and the part of the that task could only be done with him present was complete, so he excitedly continued to work on other things.

His final contributions included working with Peter on dumping the Air Blaster plug-and-play TV game. Even in a severely weakened state, he opted to take it home for a weekend and work well into the night on finding a dumping solution that worked, debugging the FPGA-based dumper and tangle of wires until he had a dump we were satisfied with. In what can only be considered an act of complete selflessness he pushed past the pain barrier, making light of his rapidly declining and severely debilitating condition.

Between that, other contributions included fathoming the Gunpey Arcade compression scheme, and likewise doing the same for Sega’s Decathlete (and I hope we can finish off that work for the Print Club games using the same type of chip), as well as work on more obscure titles such as Hoei’s Future Flash, the Gamate handheld, and many other important pieces of work.

As a person, he always came across as incredibly skilled and self-motivated, but still humble and happy just to see things progress – a rare mix that made him a joy to work with. If at any point I wasn’t convinced by the results of something being presented to me, I only had to say so and he would take another look.

In the end, he didn’t win his own battle, but he certainly achieved his goal of keeping other things alive for as long as people still have an interest in them.

I know Peter was a lot closer to Morten, considering him a good friend, and so has been hit hard by this, regardless of how expected it was. But even as a distant colleague in another country, I can honestly say his presence will be missed both on a personal and technical level.

Thank you for everything.

Goodbye Morten, and thank you for all your contributions. We’ll all miss you and mourn your loss.

MAME 0.216

27 Nov 2019

With the end of November in sight, it’s time to check out MAME 0.216! We’ve addressed the reported issues with last month’s bgfx update, and made a whole lot of little improvements to MAME’s internal user interface. In particular, setting up controls should be easier, and several issues affecting macOS users with non-English number format settings have been fixed. Some of the issues caused bad settings to be written to INI files. If you still don’t see the filter list panel on the system selection menu, try removing the ui.ini file.

This month, we’re able to present two unreleased 1970s prototypes from Italian developer Model Racing: their internal code names are Cane and Orbite. With the assistance of former Model Racing employees, the source code was extracted from the original disks. These games are incomplete, but they provide a unique look into early CPU-based arcade development. Game & Watch titles continue to be emulated, with the addition of Mario The Juggler, and the panorama screen Mickey Mouse and Donkey Kong Circus games in this release.

This release brings GameKing emulation to MAME. The system-on-a-chip used in this low-cost, low-resolution hand-held console from the early 2000s has been identified and emulated. Games for the colour-screen GameKing III are also playable. Acorn BBC Micro emulation has been re-worked to support internal expansion boards, and a number of additional peripherals are now available. ZX Spectrum emulation has been enhanced with better open bus read behaviour and support for two Miles Gordon Technology peripherals.

Of course, these are just the highlights. You can read about the rest of the fixes and improvements in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAME 0.215

30 Oct 2019

A wild MAME 0.215 appears! Yes, another month has gone by, and it’s time to check out what’s new. On the arcade side, Taito’s incredibly rare 4-screen top-down racer Super Dead Heat is now playable! Joining its ranks are other rarities, such as the European release of Capcom‘s 19XX: The War Against Destiny, and a bootleg of Jaleco’s P-47 – The Freedom Fighter using a different sound system. We’ve got three newly supported Game & Watch titles: Lion, Manhole, and Spitball Sparky, as well as the crystal screen version of Super Mario Bros. Two new JAKKS Pacific TV games, Capcom 3-in-1 and Disney Princesses, have also been added.

Other improvements include several more protection microcontrollers dumped and emulated, the NCR Decision Mate V working (now including hard disk controllers), graphics fixes for the 68k-based SNK and Alpha Denshi games, and some graphical updates to the Super A'Can driver.

We’ve updated bgfx, adding preliminary Vulkan support. There are some issues we’re aware of, so if you run into issues, check our GitHub issues page to see if it’s already known, and report it if it isn’t. We’ve also improved support for building and running on Linux systems without X11.

You can read about everything that’s been updated in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

Updated Requirements

24 Oct 2019

The upcoming MAME 0.215 release will be the last version that can be compiled with GCC 5 or GCC 6. Going forward, the minimum supported compiler will be GCC 7.2 or clang 5. The Windows development tools have included GCC 7.4 for some time already, so you won’t need to update unless you haven’t in a very long time.

MAME 0.217 will be the last release with pre-built 32-bit Windows binaries supplied. Starting in 2020, you’ll need to compile MAME yourself if you want a 32-bit version. We’ll still support building for 32-bit architectures, but optimisation for 32-bit x86 will not be a priority.

MAME 0.214

25 Sep 2019

With the end of September almost here, it’s time to see what goodies MAME 0.214 delivers. This month, we’ve got support for five more Nintendo Game & Watch titles (Fire, Flagman, Helmet, Judge and Vermin), four Chinese computers from the 1980s, and three Motorola CPU evaluation kits. Cassette support has been added or fixed for a number of systems, the Dragon Speech Synthesis module has been emulated, and the Dragon Sound Extension module has been fixed. Acorn Archimedes video, sound and joystick support has been greatly improved.

On the arcade side, remaining issues in Capcom CPS-3 video emulation have been resolved and CD images have been upgraded to CHD version 5, Sega versus cabinet billboard support has been added to relevant games, and long-standing issues with music tempo in Data East games have been worked around.

Of course there’s much more, and you can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAME 0.213

04 Sep 2019

It's really about time we released MAME 0.213, with more of everything we know you all love. First of all, we’re proud to present support for the first Hegener + Glaser product: the “brikett” chess computers, Mephisto, Mephisto II and Mephisto III. As you can probably guess, there’s an addition from Nintendo’s Game & Watch line. This month it’s Mario’s Bombs Away. On a related note, we’ve also added Elektronika’s Kosmicheskiy Most, exported as Space Bridge, which is an unlicensed total conversion of the Game & Watch title Fire. If you haven’t played any of the handheld LCD games in MAME, you’re missing something special – they look superb with external scanned and traced artwork.

On the arcade side, we’ve added The Destroyer From Jail (a rare Philko game), and alternate regional versions of Block Out and Super Shanghai Dragon’s Eye. The CD for Simpsons Bowling has been re-dumped, resolving some long-standing issues. With its protection microcontroller dumped and emulated, Birdie Try is now fully playable. Protection microcontrollers for The Deep and Last Mission have also been dumped and emulated. Improvements to Seibu hardware emulation mean Banpresto’s SD Gundam Sangokushi Rainbow Tairiku Senki is now playable, and sprite priorities in Seibu Cup Soccer have been improved.

In computer emulation, two interesting DOS compatible machines based on the Intel 80186 CPU are now working: the Mindset Personal Computer, and the Dulmont Magnum. The Apple II software lists have been updated to include almost all known clean cracks and original flux dumps, and the Apple II gameport ComputerEyes frame grabber is now emulated. We’ve received a series of submissions that greatly improve emulation of the SWTPC S/09 and SS-30 bus cards. On the SGI front, the 4D/20 now has fully-working IRIX 4.0.5 via serial console, and a whole host of improvements have gone into the Indy “Newport” graphics board emulation. Finally, MAME now supports HDI, 2MG and raw hard disk image files.

You can read all about all the improvements and bug fixes in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAME 0.212

03 Aug 2019

It’s the moment you’ve surely been waiting for: the release of MAME 0.212! A huge amount of work has gone into this release in a number of different areas. Starting with the software lists, you’ll find hundreds more clean cracks for Apple II, the Rainbow on Disk collection for Tandy Color Computer, all the latest Game Boy Advance dumps, and thousands more ZX Spectrum cassette images. Chess computers now support chess piece simulation using the built-in artwork, support has been added for several more chess computers from Hegener & Glaser, Novag and Saitek, and the Tasc ChessSystem R30 is now working. Three Game & Watch titles, Bomb Sweeper, Gold Cliff and Safe Buster, have been added for this release.

Protection microcontrollers continue to fall, with Rainbow Islands – Extra Version, Choplifter, Wyvern F-0, 1943: The Battle of Midway and Bionic Commando no longer needing simulation, hacks or patches. In some cases, the dumps have confirmed that the protection had been reverse-engineered correctly and the simulation was correct, but it's still important to preserve these programs. It’s also important for people repairing these systems if the original microcontrollers have failed.

There are three important sound-related fixes in this release: FM Towns CD audio playback positions have been fixed, Konami System 573 digital audio synchronisation has been improved, and a special low latency mode has been added for the PortAudio sound module.

For more advanced users and developers, more functionality has been exposed to Lua scripts and plugins. The layout file format has been overhauled to better support systems that make creative use of LEDs and LCDs. Disassembler support has been added for the Fujitsu F2MC-16 and National Semiconductor CompactRISC CR16B architectures. And if you've been following along, you might notice that we’ve waved goodbye to a little more of our C legacy with the removal of the MACHINE_CONFIG_START macro and its associated crud.

Of course, there’s plenty more that we don’t have time to mention here. You can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.