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.
As an end user this means that the software provided here is not only capable of emulating arcade machines like the baseline versions of MAME, but in addition can emulate a large number of home computers and consoles from across the world using the very same code, developed by the very same team of developers.
0.148u4 Windows binaries (32-bit and 64-bit) (Self Extracting 7-zip) (all MAME / MESS tools included, both 32-bit and 64-bit versions in tool32/tools64)
The source is identical to that found on mamedev.org (SVN revision SVN 22616 / 0.148u4)
In addition to providing the UME binaries I’ve also included a package with the individual legacy MAME/MESS executables here, personally I prefer the everything under one exe UME solution but I’ve noticed it’s not always easy to find binaries of the regular u builds with them not being offered from the official site so this is my attempt to address that.
Latest U release binaries for UME, as well as MAME & MESS can also always be found on the page linked in the box on the left
These binaries are coming from Mamedev (me) so are as official as you’re going to get for a u update.
Please note, if you want to compile a linux build you should check the source out from the official SVN instead of downloading it, there is an issue with some source files and line-endings whereby the linux python scripts don’t agree with the Windows style line endings you get on the downloaded source. Details of the SVN server are still on mamedev.org
Points of Interest
0.148u4 like 0.148u3 before it isn’t the most interesting of releases, but I’ll cover the key points shortly
In MAME terms there have been improvements to several of the video fruit machines, the ROMs were dumped from a Sppoky Night board, correcting the graphics and sounds in it, although the board found was an original ‘1st revision’ board, and it’s possible the graphic roms on a 2nd edition should differ. Official promotional material shows a correct spelling of the word ‘POINT’ in the bottom left corner of the playfield, this comes from the graphic roms and is definitely incorrect in the ones from the board that was located.
(Spooky Night now works in 0.148u4)
Along similar lines is the work done by Robbie on Good Luck 2, a simple but well presented poker game using rotating turtle graphics by default to present the card value, you can see more pictures on his blog, as well as ones of Mondial which will almost certainly feature in the next release.
(Good Luck 2, another poker variant now working in 0.148u4)
Maybe slightly more interesting is that a supposedly unprotected version of the IGS PGM title Oriental Legend Special/Super was uncovered by XingXing. I’m not quite sure of the story behind this one, an unprotected IGS game seems unlikely, but this cartridge was said to be licensed to or produced by TenCent. I’d suspect it to be a bootleg, but it appears to be a unique build of the game with a 2003 build date, for the China region only. It’s marked as Working in MAME, although the high score table doesn’t appear properly (adding further to the mystery because that’s one of the protected elements of the original game, although it could be an emulation glitch) People have reported that MAME sometimes crashes running this, but I’ve not experienced that myself, if it crashes for you and you can get a backtrace please post it, it will be invaluable.
(An unprotected? version of Oriental Legend Super turned up)
The new Ball Boy clone of Snow Bros 3 is also an interesting case, the undumped database shows Ball Boy as a 2001 game, with a different title screen to the dumped version however the dumped version bears a 2003 copyright and is clearly a hack of the existing Snow Bros 3 set (the ending still shows Thank You Snow Brothers)
I have a feeling the original hack was a 2001 release, called Ball Boy, released in Korea (it makes sense, the game has footballs instead of snowballs and was done to coincide with the 2002 World Cup in Korea / Japan) From that point the game was likely hacked by Syrmex for Mexico, restoring the Snow Bros name (slightly ironic if the original Ball Boy name was meant to hide that it’s just a hack of the original Snow Bros) after that for some reason it then got hacked back into ‘Ball Boy’ by another bootlegger. All versions appear to have the protected Sound MCU tho, so this new clone doesn’t really improve the sound emulation which still hinges off a rough simulation. This new Ball Boy set also has a crudely hacked in World Map screen, but the backgrounds used ingame have little (nothing..) to do with the locations on the map! To make matters even stranger the World Map (not present in the Mexican released Snow Bros 3 set) shows Mexico as the final destination. The story of Korean hacks is always something of a trainwreck.
(This version of Ball Boy appears to be a hack of the Snow Bros 3 set, but there should probably be an earlier one predating it too)
One other significant clone to add to the ‘against all odds’ list is the 4-player Japanese revision of DD Crew, it’s still a terrible game, but always good to see working FD1094 based games show up because we need them in working condition for the keys to be read out and every single one is well past any expected shelf life right now due to the suicide batteries.
(A working 4-player Japanese DD Crew PCB turned up too)
None of this is too exciting, even with the additional trivia behind each of the sets and there were a number of other sets added where I really have nothing of note to write about them at all, nothing really ground-breaking anywhere. The swapping around of the puckman sets is probably going to irritate many users, but it’s long been suspected that the main set was a hack due to the protection being patched out, so u4 corrects that by swapping them around.
Cross-project work has seen continued improvements to the Playstation emulation, with reworking of the CD-ROM code from Carl and general fixes to various modes of operation from smf, mostly of benefit to the actual Playstation emulation, and mentioned with a word of caution because the code is still very much in flux but definitely heading in the right direction. The best place to follow that progress is on the bannister.org forums, also not a bad place to discuss MAME and emulation in general given the continued decline in standards over at Mameworld. (It wouldn’t surprise me if we see some more official form of forum soon simply to disassociate Mamedev with what’s going on there)
On the MESS side judge has started to look a little at the BBC drivers because they’ve been decaying for a while, and things like the cassette loading failed to survive several key core changes and device updates (the original device implementations it used had system specific hacks and that broke once it was migrated to common code etc.) Cassette loading is said to work again, although there are still some issues with saving, so things probably aren’t quite right yet, it’s a good example of where MESS would really benefit from having experts associated with each system to help maintain and develop drivers for systems they know well, however in many cases such experts are lacking. Given the popularity of the Acorn machines in schools across the UK that actually surprises me for these systems, it amazes me that the Acorn Archimedes emulation still does almost nothing too I would have expected a large number of people to be well versed in the systems when you look at how long they were around for.
etabeta also continued with his slot work, and general improvements to the NES emulation, adding support / fixing up various mappers and the like, that constitutes most of what was changed in 0.148u4 for MESS. I might pick out some specific examples, but I don’t think there’s anything really groundbreaking there either even if it is important work. The Nantettatte!! Baseball lock-on cart support is a neat little feature tho, and shows it wasn’t just Sega experimenting with such technology.
The Z800x fixes for the M20 system are good to see, with the work done by Christian Groessler showing what I mean about the benefits of having an expert associated with certain systems, it’s unlikely many other people care about / understand that system and CPU family well enough to be doing the work he is doing, which means the contributions pleasing to see because such dedication can easily make MESS the best in field emulator for any given system and that’s where it needs to be if possible.
Looking back at MAME there were also skeleton drivers for the Pinball 2000 unit, and newer Golden Tee Fore! systems added, and while both (or at least the latter) will certainly interest a few parties it remains to be seen if there will be any further immediate progress, skeletons are often placed in the source simply to ensure information isn’t lost for potential work much further down the line. There were some regression fixes too, tidying up after recent core changes (for example Turbo Sub was fixed to work with the more accurate CPU cores) but the lack of a working MameTesters site is proving to be something of a hindrance there.
Like I mentioned at the start, nothing too exciting this time, although still enough changes to make it a worthwhile update if things like the Playstation emulation interest you because the significance of the changes made there should not be underestimated.