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UME 0.151ex1

November 14, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 44 Comments on UME 0.151ex1

UME (logo by JackC)
UME is the complete/combined version of the MAME / MESS project.
*edit* I’m calling these unofficial designations ‘ex’ now instead of ‘x’ because WordPress and Google have an annoying habbit of changing ‘x’ to a multiply symbol by default when surrounded by 2 numbers (such as 151 and 1 ;-)

As there was no official UME 0.151 (my site was down) I’ve decided at this point to post an ‘0.151ex1’ build. This is based on SVN revision 26162 with no further modifications (so no CaveSH3 games etc. like those nasty hacked 151 builds that have been circulating)

The main reason I’m putting this out is because I’ve progressed emulation of ‘The Gladiator’ to a point where I think it could do with public testing, the game appears to behave correctly in my brief personal tests (although for some reason there’s no music when set to Japan despite the internal Rom dumped being from a Japanese PCB so I’ve hacked it to another region for now)

The changelog (simply a copy/paste of the SVN log) can be read here. This isn’t formatted as a whatsnew, but as usual I’ll summarize the main points below. This is the full change list since 0.150×2 because I didn’t release a 0.151 build.

UME 0.151ex1 Windows binaries – 32-bit, 64-bit and all tools
UME 0.151ex1 sources

Points of Interest

As mentioned above the main reason for issuing this is the current progress in the emulation of IGS title ‘The Gladiator’

The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)
The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)
The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)
The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)
The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)
The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)
The Gladiator (IGS) The Gladiator (IGS)

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(I’ve marked ‘The Gladiator’ as working in UME 0.151ex1)

However there are a couple of other interesting additions made since the previous release, including some in MAME/MESS 0.151 I’d like to take the time to highlight… (to be continued)

With slightly less colours on the screen than The Gladiator we have one of the most significant recent additions, a game called ‘Long Beach’ by Italian developer Olympia (with Seletron) this is a 1979 game, and wasn’t very common even at the time, so it’s fantastic that it’s been found and emulated (ANY dumped it, hap emulated it) Current lacks sound (discrete circuits like so many early games)

Long Beach Long Beach
Long Beach Long Beach
(Long Beach is an Italian developed game from 1979)

One recent dump highlighting the strengths of MESS is Thunderbolt 2, a Genesis / Megadrive Chinese original, like most unlicensed Chinese games it has protection. UME/MESS can emulate this protection rather than requiring a patched ROM like other emulators (although obviously if you want to test it on real hardware with a flash cart or something the patched dump is essential) It’s nothing spectacular, but still reasonably enjoyable for what it is and was added to the known software list recently.

Thunderbolt 2 Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2 Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2 Thunderbolt 2
(Thunderbolt 2 can be emulated in UME / MESS without requiring ROM patches)

It didn’t get mentioned in the 0.151 whatsnew but one of the most important additions (if you’re enjoying the progress you’ve seen with The Gladiator over the past few days) was the correct internal ROM for ‘The Killing Blade Plus’ which allowed for the game to become fully playable and gave many hints at how The Gladiator should work.

Killing Blade Plus Killing Blade Plus
Killing Blade Plus Killing Blade Plus
(0.151 saw ‘The Killing Blade Plus’ promoted to working, that acted as a precursor to emulation of ‘The Gladiator’)

I always end up talking a bit about new clones in these updates too, and this is no exception. Usually the first thing I mention is new Japanese sets of games where previously only World / USA ones were dumped, but this time we see the reverse too. A World revision of Sega’s Strike Fighter was dumped, although differences are only minor as it isn’t a text heavy game. The playing instructions screen is the most obvious place where there is now English text in the parent set.

Sega Strike Fighter (English) Sega Strike Fighter (Japanese)

A Burger Time clone with a ‘Data East USA’ copyright also showed up, this is unusual as the version distributed in the US was more commonly the ‘Bally Midway’ licensed version.

Burger Time (Data East USA) Burger Time (Data East USA)

Naturally there are some new Japanese clones, and one of the most interesting is the a Japanese clone of Final Fight with the same date code as the ‘ffightub’ clone. Being a Japanese version however it’s likely better balanced than the USA release, and I assume the versions with date codes shown are newer than the ones without, so it’s probably the newest / final Japanese set so if that kind of thing interests you it’s a nice find.

Final Fight (Japan) Final Fight (Japan)

Basilio Garcia also dumped yet another Spanish version of Scramble, this one from well known manufacturer Recreativos Franco, that game must have been exceptionally popular over there! This is by far the most polished of the bootlegs, maybe it was an actual license?

Scramble (Recreativos Franco) Scramble (Recreativos Franco)
Scramble (Recreativos Franco) Scramble (Recreativos Franco)

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Glad, but not really happy yet..

November 13, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 54 Comments on Glad, but not really happy yet..

by cross-referencing some bits of code with The Killing Blade I was able to establish why the Gladiator was booting straight to the title. There was a flag in RAM that needed to be set.

By setting this flag as part of the faked start-up code the intro will now play, and you can insert coins. Unfortunately you can no longer start the game at all now(!) and it crashes (address error) during the attract demos, that might be because my stacks are in the wrong place tho. I still haven’t managed to figure out what the code that gets executed during the game over sequence should do, nor do I know why the scrolling breaks.

*edit* fixed where the ARM stack gets put, that stops the scrolling glitching / game crashes. You can even coin it up now, and start playing although it only lets you press start if you insert coins then leave it a whole attract loop (I guess some flag needs setting) Also it still hangs on game-over due to the missing code at that point but you can actually play most of the game now..

The Gladiator The Gladiator
The Gladiator The Gladiator
The Gladiator The Gladiator
The Gladiator The Gladiator

Additionally I was curious to know if the game actually had an English title screen, I knew the roms contained full English and Spanish strings, but the only videos on YouTube seem to be Chinese and Korean versions. Like most IGS games a byte in the internal ROM controls the region, so here are screens of the various regions.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Hong Kong
China China
Taiwan Taiwan
Korea Korea
Japan Japan
Overseas (English)
Overseas Overseas
Spanish Territories
Spain Spain

So there you go.. that answers that question.

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Some roads have potholes, this one has Swords

November 12, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. 23 Comments on Some roads have potholes, this one has Swords

I’ve made some progress with ‘The Gladiator’ by IGS

The Gladiator The Gladiator
The Gladiator The Gladiator

this can’t be considered working yet because it needs quite a few hacks to get it this far, the intro doesn’t play (boots straight to title screen, crashes on game over), and it only seems to operate in freeplay mode, scrolling is broken, and sound + inputs fail once you reach the 2nd level….

thanks to rtw for running some tests on the PCB

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About UME 0.150×3 and UME 0.151

November 8, 2013 Haze Categories: General News. Comments Off on About UME 0.150×3 and UME 0.151

As you may have noticed this site has been down for a few days due to technical issues.

During this time somebody issued ‘UME 0.150×3’ and ‘UME 0.151’ builds. These are not official builds and are not built from unmodified official sources (the 0.151 build especially contains dangerous hacks to remove the nag screens and add hiscore.dat support which have a tendency to destabilize builds) I would have made this clear sooner, except I didn’t have a site to post on.

What this does show however is that if I don’t offer official UME builds then people are just going to build unofficial ones, and with those you really don’t know what you’re getting.

As expected Mamedev have decided to ignore / bury the code licensing issue, and the foolhardy arrogance being demonstrated on a number of Mameworld threads shows that they’re clearly never really going to care about it. I guess I could continue to offer new official binaries with a disclaimer telling people to contact both Mamedev and myself if they feel any code has been incorrectly relicensed by the ongoing process, at which point I’ll immediately remove any binaries etc. containing the offending code (although I can’t speak for Mamedev, draw your own conclusions there). Obviously I can’t offer older builds at all due to the Yamaha copyright issue, that isn’t up for debate. This does make the situation with code of mine that has been incorrectly relicensed tricky, but this whole issue was never really about my code anyway, I’m simply willing to do what is ‘best’ for the project and least disruptive to users going forward.

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