UME is the complete/combined version of the MAME / MESS project.
I’ve not finished the 2013 write-up mentioned in the previous UME release yet, although it is still in progress. In the meantime I feel there has been enough interesting progress to put out another update.
0.152ex2 is based on SVN revision 27126
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.
Points of Interest
One of the most significant bits of progress in this build comes from the MESS side, with the Bandai Super Vision 8000 (SV8000) being emulated for the first time, for this you can thank Wilbert Pol and a number of others, including Charles MacDonald who was able to dump several cartridges much like he did for the Nichibutsu My Vision recently. It’s an old system (as in 1979 old) so don’t expect anything to look spectacular, but also don’t underestimate how significant having systems like this is emulated, they’re an important part of the overall picture and very rare these days. (thanks must also go to ranger_lennier who located, and purchased all these games before lending them to Charles)
(Pac Pac Bird)
0.152ex2 also sees the latest PGM progress incorporated, including a properly working V201 Cartridge version of Spectral vs Generation. For those in the know this is the version of the game to own. The Japanese V100 PCB version that was previously ‘working’ feels like an unfinished game, the V200 / V201 cartridge versions are much more refined, with better AI, less odd audio design choices (no silly vocal track every 2nd round), bosses unlocked and a bunch of graphic effects etc. on certain special moves that are completely absent from the V100 sets. In all honesty if you own a V100 PCB you’d be best trading it in and buying the V200 cart, the experience is (IMHO) much better; there’s good reason they boosted the version number!. Prior to the current progress you could boot the V201 set in MAME with a hack, but inputs wouldn’t always respond properly, the region screen was missing, and it crashed sometimes, we’re now using the proper V200 internal ROM and those problems are gone. Huge thanks should go to rtw for picking up the cart for this one and running the tests, a lot of people might have been put off with a version of the game already emulated but it’s always good to try and do things properly where possible.
(Spectral vs Generation V201 Cartridge version – the proper version of the game!)
While still on the subject of PGM the Happy 6-in-1 progress is here too, although unless you read Chinese or already know the rules to the card games the only real playable game is the rendition of Dragon World Pretty Chance, although you can laugh at some of the goofy graphics elsewhere.
ElSemi’s progress on the Crystal System games is here too. Top Blade V, I’ve already featured in the previous update (I was going to leave coverage until this release writeup, but did it early)
(Working in ex2 – Top Blade V)
His progress on the other two Crystal System games I haven’t shown yet, but keep in mind that NEITHER IS PLAYABLE at the moment. They both have significant graphic corruption and stability issues, as good as some of the screenshots below look. First is Donggul Donggul Haerong, which basically follows the gameplay style of Wonderboy. As you can see the playfield is obscured by garbage, the game also crashes at random still. I’m mentioning these only because it is a nice bit of progress, but don’t expect to play them yet.
(NOT YET PLAYABLE – Donggul Donggul Haerong)
The other game is Office Yeo In Cheon Ha, even getting the screenshots below was difficult because the game is completely unstable at the moment.
(NOT YET PLAYABLE – Office Yeo In Cheon Ha)
0.152ex2 also contains support for one very noteworthy clone, a new set of Outrun that uses an encrypted CPU. While to the end user this might not seem significant it is an important find as far as documenting the history of the game is concerned. Until now all known Outrun versions were completely unprotected, no MCUs, no encrypted CPUs. This Japanese Deluxe release appears to have been the only one to use any kind of protection at all making it interesting for the fact alone. It’s also great to see another one of the Sega CPUs read out before they all die so a huge thanks must go to Shoutime for his work on digging up these clones once again! (now if only we could find the original Galaxy Force release)
(this Outrun set used an encrypted CPU unlike all the others!)
A slightly less interesting, but still curious clone is “Pocket Gals V.I.P” we’ve known for a long time that Gals Hustler in MAME is an evolution of this hack (you can see the pool balls used for the periods in V.I.P still on the title screen) but the original version of the hack wasn’t supported. It’s interesting because the actual ROMs contained Afega stickers, and the way the rom data is arranged is a lot closer to Gals Panic with the adult images contained in separate data roms mapped higher up in address space. It’s also interesting because I’m not even sure it’s entirely finished, the character select screen doesn’t function correctly and it doesn’t look on the surface like an emulation bug. The copyright still displays Ace International, but I now wonder what Afega’s role in this was. Definitely one of those cases where finding something new has left us with more questions than answers.
(Pocket Gal V.I.P is an earlier version of the Gals Hustler hack, possibly the original release)
Osso has been hooking up sound to a couple of BMC titles, showing that fresh eyes can find the odd easy but worthwhile fix in the source. Konkyuu no Hoshi (aka BMC Bowling) now has full sound and music, as does King of Football (we should probably add the original title for that too) although that isn’t yet marked as working. It reminds me I should probably revisit the ‘unknown BMC poker’ driver at some point.
(Konkyuu no Hoshi / BMC Bowling – now with sound)
Carket Ball makes it to the supported list here too, I’ve already featured this one a few times, so I’m not going to write anything more about it.
(Carket Ball is working in ex2)
I should also mention there have been many ‘invisible’ source level changed between ex1 and ex2, mostly code refactoring from smf (but also some CPU core modernizations from others). While hopefully none of these have caused any breakage there is always a risk as it’s impossible to test everything. Some of the Mac drivers were broken in the ex1 build as a result of this kind of change. Hopefully everything is fine, but if something unexpected does crop up when things were fine in the ex1 build do make sure to let me know so that we can get to the bottom of it before any proper / official release.
The netlist code (Pong etc.) has continued to advance significantly as well, that’s also mostly invisible progress but as I’ve mentioned before is essential if we’re to see pre-cpu hardware supported well, and likely to come in use for improving the discrete sound emulations we have too.
As always be sure to check the changelist logs to see if there’s anything of interest to you that I’ve missed, these release writeups are only intended to highlight things from the time period that I think people will find interesting rather than mention every little change made.