UME 0.154ex2

UME (logo by JackC)
UME is the complete/combined version of the MAME / MESS project.

0.154ex2 is built from SVN revision 32127

I haven’t had time to look at refactoring the MAME rom filenames to be built from separate label and location fields, but feel it’s about time to release an update anyway as things like the NMK004 sound emulation and Raiden 2 progress represent interesting and significant progress.

A number of sites have been posting ‘0.155’ builds, they are fake, there is no scheduled release date for MAME 0.155 yet, none of the final preparation that happens before a new release has been initiated yet.

UME 0.154ex2 Windows binaries – 32-bit, 64-bit and all tools
UME 0.154ex2 sources

Here is the 0.154ex1 to 0.154ex2 SVN log

Other Binaries (if you don’t know what these are you don’t need them)
MAME/MESS split 0.154ex2 Windows binaries – 32-bit, 64-bit and all tools

Points of Interest

I feel the most significant news relating to this update is the progress with the NMK004 sound emulation, bringing the sound from imperfectly simulated using HLE code to practically perfect. Others might argue the recent progress in Raiden 2 / DX is more significant. That is also big news, furthering the understanding of the protection systems used on that game greatly, and it is, for all intents now playable, but without further testing the confidence level isn’t that high; several of the changes that were subsequently ported to the 68k based games (Legionnaire, Heated Barrel etc.) actually caused them to regress slightly, and Zero Team (V30 based) still has significant issues too, all clear indications that there is still a lot to understand with the COP protection.

I’ve seen the question asked in a number of places ‘does this also improve the Raiden 2 / DX NEW version’ and the answer to that is no, that game (it’s a 2-in-1) uses an evolution of the protection, and handles a lot of the basic protection setup in a different way. Rom banking still isn’t handled there, so they continue to crash like they always have. Even if we get them working they’re actually inferior versions because the sound system is replaced with bootleg quality sound. As a side note, if anybody has a ‘Raiden 2 2000′ or ‘Raiden DX 2000′ board it would be nice if you could send it for dumping, they’re probably the same thing as the ‘New’ versions but with a different title (so same poor quality sound etc.) but so far they’ve eluded us.

(I also added CHD entries for the Playstation Raiden Project and Raiden DX to the Playstation list, for reference. If you’re wondering why they weren’t already there it’s because many of the lists for CD / Tape / Disk based systems are just built on an ‘as-needed’ basis, or from obscure sourced material that isn’t already listed elsewhere – they’ll mature with time)

Speaking of Raiden II, while it’s true that Seibu games have an awful lot of code revisions, and it’s not always obvious what the difference is between them unless they’re clearly designated ‘OLD’ and ‘NEW’ versions there are two very obviously different versions of Raiden 2 that have been documented for a while. First of all there is the regular Raiden II game, this has a sepia high score table in the attract mode.

Raiden 2 Regular Raiden 2 Regular

In addition to this version there is one dubbed ‘Easy version’ by many fans of the series. It can be identified by a coloured fighter on a black background behind the high score table instead of the usual picture. It’s not a simple difficulty rebalance either, some enemies have been moved about, as you can see from the 2nd screenshot comparing with the one above, the pictured enemy simply doesn’t appear in the first level with the regular version of the game.

Raiden 2 Easy Raiden 2 Easy

Some of the 68k based COP games have improved tho, for example I fixed the scrolling on the Godzilla game, although the reason the glitching was so obvious is because of the absurd way in which the game tilemaps are programmed. Instead of using the full range of the scroll register the game only uses 4-bits, allowing for a scroll range of 0 to 15- pixels, after that point they re-upload the entire tilemap shifted by a tile, rather than just adding a new column to one side and using bigger scroll values, it’s an enormously inefficient way of doing things! The problem was (due to missing private buffer) DMA the sync between the scroll values and the re-uploaded tilemaps was wrong.

system11 dumped a Visco ‘Go-Stop’ board, this runs on Seta ST-0016 based hardware, it’s currently non-working because it needs some attention, but it looks like it will reveal a few more secrets of the ST-0016 to us, the backgrounds for example clearly need a bigger tile setting enabled.

Go-Stop Go-Stop Go-Stop Go-Stop


NMK004 emulation

As of SVN revision 32100 NMK004 sound simulation has been replaced by emulation.

I can write more later, but for now the best place you can read up on the work that has been done is trap15’s blog posts. (I only helped hook his dump up in MAME)

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:


Other News 090914

While all the talk at the moment is about the leap in progress made with Raiden 2 / DX there are some other noteworthy arcade developments going on at the moment.


System11 was in possession of a number of undumped dgPix titles, including 2 completely unemulated games.

The first of those is Elfin, a Puzzle Bobble-like game with an interesting mechanic whereby the puzzle rotates. Like most dgPix titles it includes flashes girls on the screen from time to time and has a zooming picture viewer every couple of rounds. The game isn’t especially polished, but is fairly interesting.

The other game is Jump Jump, and starting with the title you could write a book on the fatal design flaws this game has. In this game, called Jump Jump, you don’t actually have a Jump button, instead you must descend through the level, it’s a bit like the ‘Shaft’ section from the ‘Tower & Shaft’ game (N64 hardware, in MAME) but worse in every way.

The translation is very lazy, platforms are called ‘Footstools’ Worse, you can only actually use your weapon when on solid ground, despite the fact you spend most of the time in the game falling, some of the later stages barely have any safe locations to land!. Equally offensive is the speed the scrolling reaches, to the point where you really don’t even have time to get off the platforms. Some platforms recharge your anti-fall ‘cloud’ but require you to stand on them for a certain period of time to get that bonus, time the game doesn’t even permit! Later levels have platforms that are simply traps, preventing you from moving and killing you, land on one and you’re practically guaranteed death, and often you’ll respawn right above another one! There are also flags to collect, and unless you collect a certain number of them you won’t be granted access to to final levels (aptly called ‘Hell’) of course if you miss a flag you can’t jump back up and get it, because you can’t jump, and you don’t know when they’re going to appear so getting them all relies on a certain degree of luck, or knowledge of the levels.

Being a dgPix game it naturally has girls, each level has a number of Showtime platforms which change the background for a moment, the last one in any level also gives you the picture viewer.

There are also bonus levels, and believe it or not you can actually jump in the bonus levels, but even then it isn’t clear what you’re meant to do, it looks like you’re meant to collect crystals by jumping into them, but instead you’re actually meant to jump ON them for random bonuses, it’s one of the most pointless bonus levels I’ve ever seen.

System11 also dumped a new set for the ‘X-Files’ arcade game. This is a World set, and has less censorship than the Korean set previously dumped (actual nude images rather than bikini ones) In the other dgPix games you can select between Nude/Bikini in the service mode, but in X-Files you can’t. To keep things clean I’ve manually censored the new title screen below.

World (Nudes) version
X-Files (World) X-Files (World) X-Files (World)
Korean (Bikini) version
X-Files (Korea) X-Files (Korea) X-Files (Korea)

The game has nothing at all to do with the X-Files series (it’s a tile matching game, a fairly decent one with various extra features) and was sold by some manufacturers as ‘The Sex Files’ instead, I’m not sure if a version with that title screen exists or if that was just to avoid legal trouble with the marketing.

None of the games have sound because we lack CPU opcode level documentation on the sound CPU.

For all the games in this driver the game code is stored on flash roms, and to save the score data and settings they reprogram an area of the main program rom rather than using a separate eeprom device. It also looks like if you boot the games on real hardware with the security chip missing they’ll erase an important part of the flash rom, rendering the game useless, even if you then put the security chip back, nasty.

Thanks to system11 for dumping these, and Brian Troha for figuring out the protection patches needed.


So Ho Sung

system11 picked up a SemiCom ‘gambling’ game called So Ho Sung. It’s protected the same way as all SemiCom games, and we still need to extract the proper data the MCU places in RAM, but since the actual codebase seems VERY close to Puzzle Break I was able to use a temporary cheat to get it booting.

Interestingly the copyright shows 1997, the same year as Puzzle Break, but the backgrounds ingame have a coin with ‘Semicom 2002′ on them, maybe it’s a revised version of the game?

Also I say ‘gambling’ I don’t think it’s actually a gambling game, there doesn’t seem to be any payout mechanism that I can see, so it’s probably a card themed game with fake betting for amusement purposes only (it even has your regular ‘continue’ and ‘game over’ type sequences, and you only ever need to insert one coin to play)

Until the actual data for this game is extracted I still consider it non-working as there could be issues unknown to me, but here are some screenshots of it running with the fake data.

So Ho Sung So Ho Sung So Ho Sung
So Ho Sung So Ho Sung So Ho Sung
So Ho Sung So Ho Sung So Ho Sung
So Ho Sung So Ho Sung So Ho Sung
So Ho Sung So Ho Sung

In other news ShouTime picked up the kit for a Power Drift Communication / Link version upgrade with funding help from rtw, B2K24, Gor, Dullaron, anonymous, Mucci, gregf, ghoolster, Smitdogg and The Dumping Union.

This game doesn’t yet work, it looks like it needs the extra link board emulated at least, possibly both PCBs. Currently it runs one loop of the attract mode where you can clearly see problems (all players are shown as the same character, and only one car moves) although you can also see the course is slightly different (a jump in the middle of it at the top of the ramp) You can’t start a game if you attempt to coin it up, and it crashes after the attract loop.

I don’t know what it will take to make this work, I might have to emulate 2 y-board units at once.

Power Drift Link Version Power Drift Link Version Power Drift Link Version

Power Drift Link Version Power Drift Link Version Power Drift Link Version

Power Drift Link Version

Here are some pictures of the kit ShouTime took.

Power Drift Comms version ROMs

Above you can see 4 replacement sprite roms (for the HUD layer, to handle changed graphics) and a pair of replacement program roms for each of the 3 68000 CPUs. Unlike other versions of Power Drift this one only has a single pair of roms for the main CPU as you can see from the ROM test in the pictures above.

Power Drift Comms version ROMs

And this is the link board that stacks on top of a y-board setup, connecting to another y-board setup.

Please note, this was a very expensive purchase, and there are always things available we could do with picking up, so do consider making a donation to the Dumping Union by contacting Smitdogg. Not every board is going to be to your personal taste, but there is important work to be done and always boards we could do with securing to further MAME. The fundraiser associated with this game was at Mameworld Forums but help is always appreciated, even when no targets are announced.

Also apparently there is a funding issue with my host here, not sure what’s going on there because nobody has told me anything directly, but if this site ends up vanishing you’ll know why. That was also mentioned in a post at Mameworld .


UME 0.154ex1

UME (logo by JackC)
UME is the complete/combined version of the MAME / MESS project.

0.154ex1 is built from SVN revision 31598

There were still a number of issues with DCS sound in the 0.154 MAME release causing some games like Carnevil and the 3D Gauntlet games to lack music, these have since been resolved so it is recommended you use this build instead. Some other issues such as missing sound in the Eolith titles have also been resolved, in addition to a number of other bugs that were caught after the 0.154 release. Assuming no new bugs have been introduced this should be considered a more stable build than 0.154.

I have specifically built against SVN rv. 31598 rather than the more cutting edge ones because the revisions immediately after 31598 do nothing but destroy the human parsability of some areas of the source. Assuming the team has any common sense these changes will be quickly reverted so I’d rather not inflict them on my users due to it being unlikely they’ll appear in a final build, it would just result in confusion.

UME 0.154ex1 Windows binaries – 32-bit, 64-bit and all tools
UME 0.154ex1 sources

Here is the 0.154 to 0.154ex1 SVN log

Other Binaries (if you don’t know what these are you don’t need them)
MAME/MESS split 0.154ex1 Windows binaries – 32-bit, 64-bit and all tools
(SDL binaries might come later)

Points of Interest

Fixes as mentioned above, Music Ball as shown below, some other stuff I’ll write a bit about soon.


Music to my ears

Back in May of last year Marcos75 dumped his rare Music Ball PCB. Music Ball is an alternate version / semi-sequel to the well known ‘Speed Ball’ pinball title.

What is strange about Music Ball is that despite being advertised on the flyers alongside Speed Ball the images used on mocked up cabinet shots were both from Speed Ball.

As far as emulation was concerned the big issue was that unlike Speed Ball, the Music Ball PCB had an encrypted CPU module and the Z80 code was encrypted.

The good news is that Andreas Naive has now managed to decrypt the ROM making the game playable.

Music Ball Music Ball Music Ball
Music Ball Music Ball Music Ball Music Ball

One of the weird things about this game is that despite coming from what seems to be an original PCB, with encrypted Romset the title screen display and copyrights have all been removed, the graphics are still present in the graphic roms, but are unused by the game.

I do wonder if this copy was actually bootlegged from a prototype version, and encrypted by the bootleggers, or whatever licensing agreement existed between DE Systems and Tecfri fell apart and this is all that was left, I suspect we’ll never know tho. Either way, a huge thanks goes to both Marcos75 and Andreas Naive for the emulation of this one! Aside from the encryption it runs on the same hardware as Speed Ball, and while I did make some clean-ups and improvements in the driver last year when it was first dumped (as did hap, adding the external LCD score displays) I can’t really take credit for the emulation here!