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MAME 0.223 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 emulation again. 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.
MAME 0.206 Welcome to 2019 – we’re starting the year with a bang! MAME 0.206 is an absolutely huge update when it comes to new dumps and newly working software, especially when it comes to TV games. As far as we know, MAME is the first V.Smile emulator with working controls and the most compatible, with almost all dumped titles fully playable for one player (the second joystick isn’t working yet). A number of JAKKS Pacific games based on similar technology are also working in this release. And from Japan, you can now play the Popira and Dance Dance Revolution Family Mat rhythm games, as well as Super Dash Ball. The Namco Nostalgia and Taito Nostalgia games are now playable, too. Game & Watch coverage is steadily expanding, with Black Jack, Lifeboat, Manhole (new wide screen), and Rain Shower added in this release. Black Jack is particularly notable as it hasn’t seen re-issue or emulation before now. On the arcade side, San Francisco Rush 2049 and its Special Edition have been promoted to working, and we’ve added alternate versions and bootlegs of several supported games. Heihachi_73 has tested the Aristocrat Mk V slot machines, and dozens have been promoted to working. If you enjoy spinning the wheels, why not give some a try? If you’re aware of the effort to preserve original Apple II software in the new low-level WOZ disk image format, it should come as no surprise that MAME is on board. We’ve started documenting these dumps in a software list, and we’ll continue to add dumps as they become available. If you’re a fan of Acorn computers, you might want to try some of the newly supported BBC Micro ROM slot expansions, including banked ROM devices, RAM expansions, and real-time clocks. A few additional Electron expansion devices have been added, too. Of course, these are just selected highlights, and there are plenty more bug fixes and emulation improvements in this release. There are also some incremental improvements to MAME’s system and software selection menus. You can get the source and Windows binary packages from the download page.