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.
0.148u3 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 22292 / 0.148u3)
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
0.148u3 is unlikely to be the most memorable u update of all time, on the surface it seems to offer very little new for the end user, and no massive strides have been made anywhere on documenting the previously unknown. It’s fair to say it’s been a fairly quiet 3 weeks, I’ve been taking a bit of a break for various reasons hence the lack of updates here and that no doubt hasn’t really helped, and we’ve seen a shorter turnaround compared to the previous u update which should also be factored in.
If I’m to highlight one thing I’d say the TMS5200 improvements were the most significant improvement in this update, mainly because the chip is used on a number of well known arcade classics such as Gauntlet and there is a noticeable increase in the speech sound quality with the latest code.
The PSX code has also seen changes, with some things improved, and others regressed. smf points out one specific example of where his improvements have helped the MAME visuals in the Street Fighter EX intro, although the biggest impact of the work can be seen more in the actual Playstation titles, where there is a significantly wider range of software. The CD changes made by Carl help some games (of note CD audio isn’t always broken now) but also apparently stop some others from booting. Either way the system is finally getting a decent amount of attention and that’s only going to help with both the arcade and home systems based on the technology.
One exceptionally good piece of news regarding these PSX changes from smf is that they actually make Night Raid and Zooo (both on Taito G-Net) playable, this wasn’t mentioned in the whatsnew (possibly not noticed at the time) but has been pointed out in the comments below.
(the PSX improvements made Night Raid work, even if it wasn’t noticed until later and is still tagged as NOT WORKING)
Beyond that u3 for MAME is more or less ‘clone city’ although it must be said one of those is a very interesting clone. A previously undumped Hang-on set was located on an incomplete boardset, it turns out this romset is for a ride-on version of the game, featuring footpedals to help cornering and a completely different track layout. Unfortunately, as mentioned, the boardset was incomplete, but only the video / sound boards were missing, and those don’t usually change, so the ROMs from the boards dumped work in MAME as you’d expect. The other slightly annoying thing is that the main CPU roms lacked the usual Sega labels, possibly as the result of a repair job because the sub-cpu ROMs had their correct labels, and appear to place the game as an earlier release than the already supported versions. The timing of the discovery is interesting because there is a lot of discussion about the track formats in OutRun over at the Cannonball (OutRun remake/port) blog.
The Dr. Mario prototype Virus is another interesting clone, a number of versions of this game, including NES prototypes (supported in the NES driver) recently showed up, one of which was a PC10 cartridge, along with ‘Bases Loaded’ also thought to be a prototype. The PC10 ones are quite an odd find, at first I wasn’t sure if they were genuine, various signs in the security part of the ROMs point at it being an unofficial conversion of Rygar, and it is known that people have been hacking and converting the PC10 titles in the past, but the likelihood of one being converted to a previously undumped game isn’t exactly high.
The newly working video gambling games are mostly (all?) clones too, even if some featured in the new games section. It’s good to see more clones found, even for classic titles like Karnov and Galaga 3, and they definitely leave the potential for somebody to pull them apart and work out exactly what was changed between revisions, they might reveal some important bugfixes, or show how the game code evolved, but on the surface they just look like the other sets right now. A lot of work has also been put into the various CPS1 bootlegs (Street Fighter clones and the like) this is tedious work for the devs concerned because the board was so heavily bootlegged and each bootlegger had their own ideas of how to re-implement things, hacking to code to suit their hardware, leaving us to have to emulate all the differences.
Both projects have seen a lot of ‘under the surface’ changes, refactoring, modernization etc. but most of that is non-user visible, things like Steel Gunner on Namco System 2 now using the proper CPU rom for the IO were significant changes, involving non-trivial improvements to the CPU core, but from just running MAME you’re not likely to notice the difference.
Under the hood we’ve also seen a couple of regression fixes, although as mentioned before I really don’t like to hype those up too much because at the end of the day we shouldn’t be breaking things in the first place, so saying they’re highlights of a new build is a bit cheap, important as they are.
The new QT based debugger has seen improvements too, and the value of having a good debugger should never be underestimated, and ensuring that Mac and Linux users have the same power as developers on Windows is vital to the growth of the project.
MESS has seen similar lower than usual levels of activity, aside from the already mentioned PSX improvements there has been continued work on the SNES mappers allows the recently surfaced PowerFest ’94 competition cartridge to run and some refactoring of the Genesis code to allow for launching of the SVP accelerated Genesis Virtua Racing cartridge via the softlists without having to have a fake ‘svp’ machine type to handle it but quiet is definitely the word right now.
The work on the MESS Genesis drivers also addressed an issue reported in the comments for the previous UME release where the 6-button pad mode would crash the 32x / SegaCD drivers.
Further fixes were made to the recently added cycle accurate 6502 series CPU cores too, although no specific games were mentioned along with the fixes but having correctly working CPU cores underpins most emulation and seeing the bugs shaken out of the new ones an essential part of their development.
So all in all, nothing remarkable, but steady progress and refinements to what is already there, possibly a bit of a downer after the last few updates but such levels of progress simply aren’t sustainable for long periods of time with the current number of developers and realistic targets left.
If anybody feels I’ve missed anything significant here, or wishes to add further details, let me know
I do plan on getting back into the swing of things soon, results may vary, but it’s definitely about time I gave the fruit machines a bit more attention (I know I keep saying this, but then getting distracted by other things!) and I imagine I’ll be in a position to be able to do some tests on Puzzli2 in the next few weeks too. I think I could probably do with finding out what other devs are looking at tho, as to avoid stepping on any toes, I know Phil. B still has some impressive stuff in the pipeline, but he’s the only one I know about!
(I’ll add some screenshots in a bit, given the size of the update I didn’t think it was worth doing this post as a separate article)