It’s time to say goodbye to 2020, and we’re doing that with the
release of MAME 0.227, the fruit of our extended November/December
development cycle. A lot has happened in these two months, in terms of
internal improvements to MAME as well as user-visible changes. If
you’ve been following along with development, you’ll have noticed that
we’ve migrated MAME to C++17, overhauled the Lua interface, further
streamlined and enhanced the emulated memory system, and cleaned up a
lot of ageing code.
MAME 0.227 adds preliminary support for macOS on AArch64, also known
as “Apple Silicon”. Please note that we lack a native A64 recompiler
back-end, and there are some issues with our C recompiler back-end. If
you’re running an A64 build of MAME, you can disable recompilers for
most systems that use them with the -nodrc option on the
command line. You may get better performance for emulated systems with
MIPS III or PowerPC processors by running an x86-64 build of MAME under
Rosetta 2 with recompilers enabled. (Yo, ’sup dawg. I heard you like
Lots of long-standing issues have been fixed in this release.
Missing platforms in stage 15 of Sega’s Quartet now appear properly.
This relies on a protection microcontroller feature that we were
previously unaware of. Protection features that are only used late in
the game have been a recurring source of frustration not just for
emulator developers, but also for arcade bootleggers, and even
publishers re-issuing old games in new formats. It seems Sega missed
this feature in their Astro City Mini release. Another long-standing
protection issue was fixed this month that made Atari’s Rampart
impossible to complete on Veteran difficulty. This one was actually a
regression that managed to stay unresolved for years, possibly because
the game’s high difficulty makes it difficult to reach. While we’re on
the topic, protection simulation has been added for the versions of
Sega’s Carnival that run on Head On hardware.
While protection emulation may encompass the most noticeable fixes,
lots of other things that have been improved as well. Graphical issues
have been fixed in Chase Bombers, Championship Bowling, and Prop Cycle.
NFL Blitz ’99 no longer skips animations in attract mode. DIP switch
descriptions have been corrected in 3-D Bowling, Bloxeed and Mahjong
Tenkaigen. Game switching now works on Multipede, and Klax bootlegs are
playable, with working sound.
It wouldn’t be a MAME release without new supported systems. This
month we’ve got TV games from dreamGEAR, JungelTac, LexiBook and
Senario. As always, the quality varies enormously. New versions of
1944: The Loop Master, Cookie & Bibi 2, F-1 Grand Prix, Forgotten
Worlds, and Narc have been found and dumped. One of the newly supported
Narc versions is particularly interesting, as it appears to be an early
test version, lacking a substantial amount of content found in other
versions of the game. Another incomplete copy of Unico’s Master’s Fury
was found, which could be combined with the previous incomplete set to
make the game playable.
Finally, there are a few improvements to the internal user interface.
There are more controls for screenshots, aspect ratio and scaling
accessible from the Video Options menu. You can now use NOT codes when
assigning analog joystick axes to digital inputs. The menus for the
Cheat and Autofire plugins have been made more consistent.
Of course, there’s far more that we don’t have space for here, but
you can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt
file, and get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page. It’s
been a very tough year for a lot of us, but it’s still been a great year
for MAME development. Thanks to everyone who contributed this year,
even if it was just a kind word or helping out a user on a community
forum. Have a great new year, and keep the spirit of digital
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