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UME 0.148u5

May 20, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 52 Comments on UME 0.148u5

UME (logo by JackC)

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.

UME binaries (Windows)

0.148u5 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 22981 / 0.148u5)

Non-UME binaries (Windows)

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

Experimental Visual Studio compiled binaries (Windows)
I’ve also compiled some builds of MAME/MESS/UME 0.148u5 with the Visual Studio 2012 (update 2) compiler, using the August 2007 Direct X SDK (everything after that drops some files MAME needs) and set to use the Windows XP compatible platform SDK (see here, otherwise VS2012 exes won’t run on XP)
UME or Mame & Mess
These are experimental builds due to some level of interest expressed in having them for comparisons, don’t report any bugs with them please (some things are known not to work when compiled with Visual Studio, eg. the PC emulation used by Fruit Land in u5)

What’s New

You can read the various whatsnew files on mamedev.org
From MAME, From MESS

Points of Interest

Coming Soon.. (in progress)

There are a couple of interesting additions in 0.148u5 across both the MAME and MESS parts of the projects, so I’m going to start by looking at some of the arcade stuff

R.Belmont has probably already covered everything you need to know about this one, but one of the more curious additions in u5 is a game called ‘Fruit Land’. It bears no copyright display, so we don’t know when it’s was released in arcade from exactly, but it runs on a 486 PC and is a hacked up version of a PC game from Messoft (nothing to do with Mess the emulator) Note, this WON’T work with the Visual Studio compiled builds above, also performance in-game is around 30% speed on a my C2D (due to the demands of the x86 emulation) and there is no sound, so for now it remains something curious / interesting rather than something you’re going to want to run.

Fruit Land Fruit Land
Fruit Land Fruit Land
Fruit Land Fruit Land
(Fruit Land is an obscure arcade version/hack of an equally obscure PC game)

Stunt Air, as featured in the update below is also included in a playable state, although hap has been doing some work on improving various aspects of it since the release, so you might want to wait until u6 / 0.149 for a better experience (and maybe by then we’ll have measurements from the PCB to make it sound better etc. too) Minimal pictures of this one because you can see more below.

Stunt Air Stunt Air
(The progress shown below on Stunt Air is included in 0.148u5)

The Konami GX game “Taisen Puzzle-dama” is often mis-sold on eBay as ‘Crazy Cross’ (in part because it’s the name people know it by from the PSX port) Screenshots of an actual Crazy Cross version have been seen, but it’s possible that version was only released in Korea (and possibly other parts of Asia) like the English language Sexy Parodius. It was thought that maybe that version had finally been found, however what was found instead was a game called ‘Lets Attack Crazy Cross’, which is possibly some kind of sequel. More interesting is that this game isn’t on GX at all either, it’s on one of Konami’s Playstation based platforms. Unfortunately this means it’s a CD based game, and Mamedev still have no good established dumping standard for CDs (I’ve tried making links between the DU and groups like Trurip) The game does appear to work however and as you’d expect seems like a sequel of sorts to the original Crazy Cross game. I guess it was a relatively quick port from a Playstation console release codebase because it doesn’t even flash ‘Insert Coin’ at you during the title screen of attract mode.

Let's Attack Crazy Cross Let's Attack Crazy Cross
Let's Attack Crazy Cross Let's Attack Crazy Cross
(Let’s Attack Crazy Cross runs on Playstation based hardware)

Roberto Fresca has chipped in with his usual work on Video Gambling games, with the highlight of the bunch being the Crystal Colours one, as featured on his page. You know what most of these involve already, so the only real interesting details are the technical ones and he discussed those in great detail already. (his site seems to have no way to permalink to updates so you might have to scroll a bit if he updates again)

Crystal Colours Crystal Colours
(Crystal Colours is one of a number of Video Gamblers Robbie contributed the emulation for in 0.148u5)

Moving away from the new additions to feature improvements, Mooglyguy came into some time recently and resumed work on the HLSL improvements, including the code for the vector games such as Asteroids. Part of this work was adding ‘bloom’ effects, as made popular by the AAE emulator. The image below shows these effects being used on Asteroids (possibly turned up a bit high) I haven’t found a way to make the bullets glow yet tho, I’m not sure if that isn’t possible yet, or if it needs more expert knowledge of the settings. It should be noted that as part of this work the D3D code was cleaned up, and support for Direct 3D 8 dropped, so you’ll need 9 or higher to use D3D modes in MAME from this point forward.

Asteroids with HLSL
(0.148u5 gives preliminary HLSL support for Vector games like Asteroids)

You can of course also apply the new effect to raster games, although for anything other than the classics with mostly black backgrounds and basic graphics it tends to just wash out the image at default levels, the following screenshots are set to silly ;-)

Pacman Pacman
(it can also be used with regular raster games if that takes your fancy..)

It’s not often I mention clones in these write-ups but given I did an entire article about the Spanish clones a few days ago I think it’s fair that I mention they’ve all been included in u5. In addition to the ones featured there a few more were dumped, including several versions licensed to Tecfri. MotoTour is the Tecfri release of Traverse USA / MotoRace, and while in reality the modifications are tiny it’s still good to have the version of the game that was distributed in Spain supported. Ricky2001 is to thank for that one :-) All these Spanish clones so far have been unearthed and dumped by members of the AUMAP (Asociación de Usuarios de Máquinas Arcade y Pinballs) site / forums, and the Spanish release of Bagman (licensed to Itisa) is no exception, and is another nice find. The relationship between Itisa and Valadon is an interesting one, and thanks to information provided by the forum members it was also noted that we’re currently missing the original Spanish release of Botanic, with the one we have currently supported being a French version released by Valadon under license from Itisa, previously we thought it was a Valadon game. It seems Valadon and Itisa licensed each others games, and the production of the PCB type they use.

MotoTour (Tecfri) MotoTour (Tecfri)
Bagnard / Bagman (Itisa) Bagnard / Bagman (Itisa)
(more clones were dumped by the users of Spanish site AUMAP)

ANY has also been busy dumping various bootlegs, and while quite a few of his sets appear to have bad roms, or be uncertain / have such tiny changes it could indicate they’ve got bad there are a number of interesting things amongst the clones he dumped as well. Datsu were a common bootlegger of Sega games back in the 90s, so an Altered Beast set with their name on it was a nice find, although like all bootlegs it’s hard to know if it’s the original bootleg, or a bootleg of a bootleg.. Either way the mods are extensive enough that it really doesn’t work well in MAME yet (like so many of the System 16 bootlegs) f205v dumped a bootleg of Bomb Jack Twin called Atom which finds itself in a similar position, a reworked (vastly inferior) sound system, and different sprite hardware mean that it currently sits as a non-working addition. Sometimes emulating bootlegs is just as much work as emulating the original games in the first place although it can be a good place to start for new developers…

Altered Beast bootleg Altered Beast bootleg
Atom Atom
(some bootlegs have significantly reworked hardware and are a lot of effort to get working, these two were added but still need work)

The new non-working list for 0.148u5 also has a few interesting entries. Sea Battle is one of the few remaining unemulated Zaccaria originals, and until recently the only dump was from a board that had been stripped for parts and was missing the program ROMs. ANY recently dumped another board of it, complete with said program roms, so a skeleton driver with the various graphic decodes has been added. Interestingly the new board is very different to the older one, so it’s possible it was a bootleg (the new one is much closer to the schematics) although we’ll probably never know unless another one of those turned up. For now you can see the decoded graphics in the F4 viewer, although no emulation work has been done yet. I might take a look at it if nobody else does, although the CPU isn’t one I’m overly familiar with.

Sea Battle
(GFX decoded from Sea Battle by Zaccaraia)

One addition in that not-working list that has turned out to be rather controversial with the other developers is the Midcoin Jukebox. Personally I wasn’t expecting it to be a big deal, it’s a coin operated device, from an arcade game manufacturer (who owned arcades) that you might find in a similar place to arcade games themselves. To me that makes it MAME criteria, to others it’s apparently MESS criteria. I thought we’d established that the dividing line was if something accepts coins or not, but apparently not. The solution to this problem is of course obvious, just make MAME all inclusive and stop having any silly dividing lines, but I really didn’t want to have to bring that topic up again. It’s not working yet, obviously, and only sports a primitive segment based display from what I can see, but I think it makes an interesting, albeit rather pointless emulation target. I think it’s great to see such things supported anyway, seeing MAME as an open minded project can only be a good thing, and will hopefully allow people to realize that there are many things we can emulate, and are interested in emulating or letting them emulate within our framework / project!

Another in the non-working list is Time Fighter. I’ve covered Brazilian clones of games before, mentioning how we’ve seen several that have been reprogrammed from scratch rather than being direct bootlegs (Fantastic, Kong etc.) and it looks like Time Fighter is another to add to that list. It’s a copy of Time Pilot, but it’s been written to work with (heavily) modified Galaxian hardware. It doesn’t work yet (missing bullets amongst other things) but it’s another fascinating example of just how far bootleggers were willing to go to be able to sell games on the hardware they had available, which presumably at the time these conversions were done was very limited.

Time Fighter Time Fighter
Time Fighter Time Fighter
(hap did some preliminary work on this rewritten Brazilian version of Time Pilot called Time Fighter)

Now you might wonder why I’ve covered so many non-working things, but I think it’s important to represent work in progress as well, provide a glimpse of the future and show people what things are doing now, so that when they get worked on again in a few years people can look back and see the difference. It also shows how that by working on MAME / MESS we’re not only solving problems and closing cases but always creating new work for ourselves, and new avenues for contributions.

At a core level there have been some interesting improvements too, one of the things to take special note of is the Lua integration. Unlike Python, where we use the scripting capabilities provided by the language as part of the build process, Lua has been integrated into the actual codebase. From the point of view of a casual MAME user the reasons for this might not be immediately obvious, however the real target with such a system is the MESS side of the project where having a scripting language that executes in parallel with the emulation, and can be aware of various internal states will hopefully allow for the scripting of some install / boot processes, and when you’re dealing with some systems where the process is a lot more complex than simply turning the machine on this could prove to be a very useful feature in the long-run when it comes to regression testing, and boosting ease of use for some more complex systems.

Lua Logo
(0.148u5 starts to provide integrated Lua support for scripting of boot sequences etc.)

Beyond that, smf has modernized a lot of sound cores, although there is still a long way to go before the legacy device system can be dropped entirely (many, many CPU cores still need converting, and they’re generally the trickiest of the bunch to do)

A couple more steps were taken towards treating Qsound as an emulated CPU were taken as well with the various Qsound based drivers now being set to load the internal ROM from the Qsound chips, work is still needed on the CPU core amongst other things before that gets enabled for actual use tho.

Moving onto the MESS side of things, one of the more important changes is improved Save State support for a number of popular systems including the NES, Gameboy, Lynx, Wonderswan and NeoGeo Pocket. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s something a lot of users have been requesting for a while, and if you’re accustomed to the standalone emulators it really is something you miss, or something that can leave a bad impression when it doesn’t work properly in MESS so it’s good to see improvements in that area.

Go to article.. »

Stunt Air – Part 2

May 18, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 3 Comments on Stunt Air – Part 2

I’ve continued to work on Stunt Air, hooking up some preliminary sound, and attempted to decode the colour PROM too.

As a result I’ve marked the game as WORKING at this stage, but some issues remain.

Music tempo etc. is directly related to the interrupt frequency on the Sound CPU, this was not measured, and needs to be measured
Colour balance / decoding colour is wrong, this is likely determined by resistor values on the PCB in addition to the PROMs, these need to be noted down, and better reference shots provided.
The text layer colour has been hardcoded to white, I don’t know where that colour comes from (it’s a 1bpp layer, and might well just be hardcoded on the PCB)
CPU and sound chip frequencies are also were not measured, and shot be, I don’t know what is the correct divide value to use from the OSC on the PCB.
Refresh rate was also not measured (as is often the case) so is set to 60hz at the moment, that is rarely correct.

There is mention in the readme of discrete sound circuits, these need to be documented.

There is some graphical flicker at times (bad sprite graphics showing for a single frame every now and again) this could be a result of poor screen timing, a missing enable bit, or something else.

I feel personally I’ve done as much as I can with this without resorting to blind guesses, accurate emulation is a two part process, and given how uncommon this game is I hope that proper measurements can be made from the PCB, and as well as any other information that we might need collected in order to further the actual emulation.

Overall, it’s a nice find, and another piece of arcade history (partially) preserved, fingers crossed we can bring it up to 100% soon :-)

Stunt Air Stunt Air Stunt Air Stunt Air

Stunt Air Stunt Air

Stunt Air Stunt Air Stunt Air Stunt Air

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This Trick Seems Familiar..

May 18, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 7 Comments on This Trick Seems Familiar..

The MAME Italia guys dumped a game called ‘Stunt Air’

The readme supplied calls it a clone of Star Jacker, it isn’t. It looks familiar, like maybe something we’ve already emulated, but I can’t pin it down to any game or hardware profile I know off the top of my head. Furthermore, none of the roms identify as anything we’ve emulated, nor can I get a positive match based on any of the addresses in my preliminary memory map.

Stunt Air
Stunt Air Stunt Air

The copyright displayed is Nuova Videotron 1983, I don’t recognize it, or the hardware profile, so I guess for now all I can do is attempt to emulate it under the assumption that it is a unique game. It’s times like this having a proper MAWS like site with genre search would be handy!

Stunt Air Stunt Air

*edit* etabeta posted a link to the correct search terms on the ProgettoEMMA site, and after going through all the 80s shooters there it really seems like an original release, so I’m a little confused as to why the original readme called it a Star Jacker clone ;-)

Anyway, I added a preliminary background hookup

Stunt Air Stunt Air
Stunt Air Stunt Air


I’ve added background scrolling, and sprites. The hardware can actually only reference 0x40 sprite tiles, so there are 2 bank registers to access everything, used for the space station graphic and a few others. Nothing too complex about this, although sometimes they do flicker / show bad graphics, might just be how the game is. I’ve also hooked up the inputs and dipswitches (which are read in a slightly scrambled order)

The programming seems a little rough, and some of the terminology rough ‘TIME’ actually means stage, and CD is the amount of the stage remaining.. It also becomes more obvious why the dumper claimed it is a clone of Star Jacker at this point, not because it is, but because it has a similar ‘trailing ships = lives’ mechanic.

Stunt Air Stunt Air Stunt Air
Stunt Air Stunt Air Stunt Air

Haven’t figured out the colours yet, as you can see, maybe it’s just the proms, also sound needs doing, and some of that might be beyond my ability (readme mentions discrete sound hardware in addition to the AYs, so unless it’s just filtering that could be nasty)

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Return to Spain

May 12, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 22 Comments on Return to Spain

One thing I’ve mentioned in the past is that every country where arcades played a significant factor back in the 80s / 90s ended up with their own versions of the classic games, some official, some unofficial, but always remembered by the people who played them back in the day.

Spain is no exception to this, the country had a thriving arcade industry throughout the 80s and 90s, with companies like Gaelco becoming big players in the industry, especially within Europe. It’s therefore no surprise that Spain also had a selection of bootlegs and licensed games created specifically for that market.

What is more surprising is that until now many of them have remained undumped; one of the earliest sites with arcade ROMs was actually a Spanish site (Spaindumps I seem to remember) but I guess general interest in some of these bootlegs was lower back then.

MAME is a documentation project, so it is important that it documents how the industry was, the good, and the bad, it therefore pleases me greatly to see members of the Spanish AUMAP group going through their collections and dumping the older Spanish versions of games they have, what makes many of these even more noteworthy than some of the bootlegs you find is that in most cases a decent amount of effort was put into localizing them, with Spanish translations of most text.

Some of the games appear to be official, like Bomb Jack, where Tecfri (a company known for various original products) held the license for the game in Spain. Unlike many this one hasn’t really been translated beyond the string on the title screen, but it’s still good to see it dumped. For this one thanks goes to ‘F.J.Jimenez (Gijon)

Bomb Jack (Tecfri) Bomb Jack (Tecfri)
Bomb Jack (Tecfri) Bomb Jack (Tecfri)

For the next one we should thank Roselson (from AUMAP), the game in question is a Spanish version of Pac Man known as Pacuman. It actually appears to be closer to Puck-Man in code, so I class it as a bootleg of that instead, but it has a couple of interesting properties beyond that. Aside from the translation to Spanish the actual gamecode is shifted a bit (extra code inserted, all offsets changed) compared to all of the original sets which is unusual for a bootleg, furthermore the coinage has been changed to accept different settings for each coin slot, and the attract mode behavior is different indicating there could be more changes beyond that. Here are some pics of the PCB, Cabinet, and game running in MAME. It’s worth noting that this is one of those bootlegs where neither the new title nor manufacturer appears in the game, but was common enough it is confirmed to be correct.


Pacuman Pacuman
Pacuman Pacuman

Also dumped was a Spanish bootleg of Phoenix from ‘Sonic’ again, fully translated, credit for this one goes to Enricnes (from AUMAP)

Phoenix (Sonic) Phoenix (Sonic)
Phoenix (Sonic) Phoenix (Sonic)

This is also a Moon Cresta bootleg from Petaco S.A. a common name to see on bootlegs in Spain. In terms of code this seems to be close to the Super Moon Cresta set. Credit here goes to Ricky2001 (from AUMAP)

Moon Cresta Moon Cresta
Moon Cresta Moon Cresta

A bootleg of Galaxian from Recreativos Franco S.A. the manufacturer of Pacuman featured above was also found and dumped. This is very similar to the Zero Time bootleg in that the Bonus Life dipswitch also controls the enemy bullet speed (not documented for that set in MAME at present) but the bonus values are different here at least. Credit this time goes to Roselson (from AUMAP)

Galaxian (Spain) Galaxian (Spain)
Galaxian (Spain) Galaxian (Spain)

Now, while it’s true most of these aren’t complex bootlegs on the level of some of the completely rewritten games in Brazil (and the new Time Pilot bootleg found there is along the same lines) they do form an important part of the history of arcades in Spain, showing how bootleggers often filled the void when official versions weren’t available, or weren’t properly adapted for the market. I imagine most of what is covered here isn’t going to be of interest to anybody outside of Spain, but I’ve always said that MAME is a project for everybody, without being for anybody specific.

There are certainly more of these to locate and dump, as well as at least one completely unique Spanish title I’m keeping my fingers crossed over.

Another bootleg of Pac Man (Puck Man) was dumped as well, this one appears to be a slightly later production, with the code and graphics on 2 roms only, and a crude feature to allow name entry for the highest scoring player. Like the previous one it’s all in Spanish, although the PCB has very visible ‘MADE IN GREECE’ markings on it. Slightly strange is that the difficulty dipswitch affects the ghost movement on the title screen, causing Pacman to die before the animation completes, and the game to fail, I guess the bootleggers didn’t test that option?

Thanks to F.J.Jimenez (Gijon) for dumping this one.

Pacman - Made in Greece

Pacman - Made in Greece Pacman - Made in Greece
Pacman - Made in Greece Pacman - Made in Greece

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