Well, it’s the end of another month, meaning MAME 0.257 is about due! First of all, you might notice there are some big software list updates this month. There are quite a few ZX Spectrum cassettes and a pile of MSX cartridges. There’s also a boatload of original Apple II floppy disk dumps, including plenty of Infocom, MECC, Stickybear and Timeout titles. More 3.5" disks for 8-bit Apple II computers are being dumped now, so make sure you have your emulated drives set up properly if you want to try them out. Speaking of Apple, Macintosh computers with 68040 CPUs are starting to reach working status in MAME. Get ready to relive the confusing array of Quadra, Centris and LC models from the early 1990s.
For many years, Capcom’s Avengers was an enigma. It was obvious that substantial parts of the game’s logic don’t run on the main CPU, but how it was actually implemented was a long-standing mystery. It turns out the cheeky boys at Capcom put an 8751 microcontroller under the sound module on the circuit board, and no-one noticed it hiding there until Phil Bennett spotted it last year! Since then, a microcontroller was sourced, and the internal program was exfiltrated by Caps0ff. Unfortunately, the data was damaged slightly, but it’s now running in MAME with a patch. This allowed the old simulation code to be removed, providing a better representation of the game’s original logic.
If you’ve been following updates this year, you might have noticed the activity around the 16-bit Psion handheld computers. Quite a few have been promoted to working this month, including several Series 3 clamshell PDAs and the Workabout data entry terminal. Naturally, there’s a software list for Psion Solid State Disk media for you to try out. From the same corner of the world, MAME gained support for the Bellfruit “Black Box” electromechanical gambling machine platform. Although the games are marked as not working, you can spin the reels without having to worry about losing your shirt.
There’s lots more in this release, ranging from an overhaul for Taito’s Change Lanes, to support for building against Qt 6 on Linux. You can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt file, and the source code and 64-bit Windows binary packages are available from the download page.