MAME 0.223 has finally arrived, and what a release it is – there’s
definitely something for everyone! Starting with some of the more
esoteric additions, Linus Åkesson’s AVR-based hardware
chiptune project and Power Ninja Action
Challenge demos are now supported. These demos use minimal hardware
to generate sound and/or video, relying on precise CPU timings to work.
With this release, every hand-held LCD game from Nintendo’s Game &
Watch and related lines is supported in MAME, with Donkey Kong Hockey
bringing up the rear. Also of note is the Bassmate Computer fishing
aid, made by Nintendo and marketed by Telko and other companies, which
is clearly based on the dual-screen Game & Watch design. The steady
stream of TV games hasn’t stopped, with a number of French releases from
Conny/VideoJet among this month’s batch.
For the first time ever, games running on the Barcrest MPU4 video
system are emulated well enough to be playable. Titles that are now
working include several games based on the popular British TV game show
The Crystal Maze, Adders and Ladders, The Mating Game, and Prize Tetris.
In a clear win for MAME’s modular architecture, the breakthrough came
through the discovery of a significant flaw in our Motorola MC6840
Programmable Timer Module emulation that was causing issues for the
Fairlight CMI IIx synthesiser. In the same manner, the Busicom 141-PF
desk calculator is now working, thanks to improvements made to Intel
4004 CPU emulation that came out of emulating the INTELLEC 4 development
system and the prototype 4004-based controller board for Flicker
pinball. The Busicom 141-PF is historically significant, being the
first application of Intel’s first microprocessor.
Fans of classic vector arcade games are in for a treat this month.
Former project coordinator Aaron Giles has contributed netlist-based
sound emulation for thirteen Cinematronics vector games: Space War,
Barrier, Star Hawk, Speed Freak, Star Castle, War of the Worlds,
Sundance, Tail Gunner, Rip Off, Armor Attack, Warrior, Solar Quest and
Boxing Bugs. This resolves long-standing issues with the previous
simulation based on playing recorded samples. Colin Howell has also
refined the sound emulation for Midway’s 280-ZZZAP and Gun Fight.
V.Smile joystick inputs are now working for all dumped cartridges,
and with fixes for ROM bank selection the V.Smile Motion software is
also usable. The accelerometer-based V.Smile Motion controller is not
emulated, but the software can all be used with the standard V.Smile
joystick controller. Another pair of systems with inputs that now work
is the original Macintosh (128K/512K/512Ke) and Macintosh Plus. These
systems’ keyboards are now fully emulated, including the separate
numeric keypad available for the original Macintosh, the Macintosh Plus
keyboard with integrated numeric keypad, and a few European ISO layout
keyboards for the original Macintosh. There are still some emulation
issues, but you can play Beyond Dark Castle with MAME’s Macintosh Plus
In other home computer emulation news, MAME’s SAM Coupé driver now
supports a number of peripherals that connect to the rear expansion
port, a software list containing IRIX hard disk installations for SGI
MIPS workstations has been added, and tape loading now works for the
Specialist system (a DIY computer designed in the USSR).
Of course, there’s far more to enjoy, and you can read all about it
in the whatsnew.txt
file, or get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page.
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