UME (Universal Machine Emulator) combines the features of MAME and MESS into a single multi-purpose emulator. The project represents a natural course of development for the emulators which already share large amounts of code and is part of an ongoing effort to unify development efforts and provide a single emulation platform for users and developers alike.
This is based on the official MAME 0.147 source release found on mamedev.org with no modifications. The binaries on offer here were compiled with ‘make all TARGET=ume’
The package contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit binaries, I’ve not included the source because it’s identical to the mamedev.org distribution.
The 0.147 release can be downloaded here.
Note: as of 0.147 the sysinfo.dat is no longer distributed with MESS, it can be found in the ‘Extra Files’ section at ProjectMESS
furthermore the external artwork files, needed by some chess computers are also not included by default. They can be found at AntoPisa’s site.
Changes from MAME 0.147 can be read about here
Changes from MESS 0.147 can be read about here
General Release Commentary
First a word of warning, there is a core issue with redefining controls for some MESS systems, including the Genesis and AES. It seems that to redefine the directions you must either redefine the inputs globally, or make sure you redefine inputs to be the same on all the selectable controller types. I’m not sure when this crept in (quite possibly a while back) but you should be aware of it. The MAME/MESS 0.147 release has the same issue, it is not UME specific.
Moving swiftly onto the release, it’s been a long time coming, u5 was released on the 20th August, almost a full month ago, so as you’d expect there’s a substantial amount in here. The ‘new working’ section is the first one most people look at and there are some notable titles in there. Ville’s continued work on Konami 3D systems means GTI Club, Solar Assault and Thrill Drive now run to a level which can be considered playable (as long as you have a beefy recent system) Hang Pilot too, although with it’s dual voodoos etc. the emulation performance isn’t great, and I can’t imagine even a top end system running it especially well. There are a number of more conventional 2D titles now ‘working’ as well. Little Robin, Magicball Fighting, and F1 Super Lap all of which have featured in updates here are promoted to playable, as is Brick Zone, an Arkanoid clone which like most SunA games is actually surprisingly good for a Korean arcade game fusing an awful lot of ideas into one little game, think Block Block or Riddle of Pythagoras if you’ve played either of those. The lesser known title on the ‘new working’ list is Ganbare Jajamaru Hop Step & Jump, although the reality of it is that it’s just some very basic and not especially interesting rock paper scissors type game from Jaleco.
The MESS ‘new supported’ section looks rather anemic by comparison, but don’t be fooled, improvements to systems like the Virtual Boy bring them much closer to playable even if they haven’t been tagged as such yet, that’s one of the things with MESS, drivers can see huge improvements but often not be tagged as working due to erring on the side of caution due either a large number of known non-working cases, or a significant and mostly untested software library. PC emulation has also seen some incremental changes, improvements to the SoundBlaster emulation, but be warned other aspects of the PC emulation are broken as various bits of code (such as the floppy support) undergo significant (currently unfinished) reworking.
Another interesting new addition is the Ghosts and Goblins prototype. While unfortunately one ROM wasn’t dumped from the PCB (and I believe it was then sold!) likely causing the incorrect colours on the text layer, it remains an interesting snapshot of the in-development game, complete with early development glitches, enemy placement, overall balance and many other things (I didn’t notice any weapon drops for example)