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June 1, 2015 Haze Categories: General News. 13 Comments on What To Do In One Six Two (Part 1)

As is now well documented MAME 0.162 is the first MAME build to officially ship with the MESS drivers included, giving you a whole host of extra capability for absolutely no extra cost on your part.

While this addition is aimed at showing the more serious side of the project it can also be a lot of fun. The big advantage is that you need only configure one emulator, MAME, after which you have, at your fingertips, the ability to run a whole lot more than ever before.

Let’s say you’re a fan of the Raiden series, you’ve likely experienced the original arcade version in MAME a few times, and maybe even recently Raiden 2 / DX which were emulated.

Raiden Arcade Raiden Arcade
Raiden Arcade Raiden Arcade

Prior to 0.162 that was the only version of the original Raiden you could run using MAME, for anything else you’d have to use a different emulator such as one of my UME builds, MESS, or various other console / computer emulators.

As of 0.162, without having to look at any other emulator you have the option to do so much more. Raiden had a lot of ports, maybe you weren’t aware of them, let’s look at some of them.

One of the best ports of the original Raiden was the one to the FM Towns / FM Towns Marty. This version, which is documented in the Software List, can be launched with “mame64 fmtmarty raiden” (make sure to use the Marty driver, not the regular FM Towns one, the keyboard / joystick input mappings conflict with each other on the FM Towns by default leading to control issues)

Visually it’s nearly spot on compared to the arcade version, gameplay wise it’s based on the Japanese version so it uses checkpoints, but what really sets it aside from the Arcade is the use of CD Audio for the soundtrack, meaning this game, while playing almost perfectly compared to the arcade also features a brand new arranged soundtrack at CD quality. The only thing it really lacks seems to be a rotation option, which is a shame if you want to run it on a vertical monitor.

Fm Towns Raiden Fm Towns Raiden
Fm Towns Raiden Fm Towns Raiden

From one of the most accurate ports, let’s look at the most stripped down, the Atari Lynx version. Like everything covered here this in the Software List and can be launched with “mame64 lynx raiden”

Obviously this is a port to a very simple handheld system, so it only bares a passing resemblance the the original. It’s interesting in that (to my knowledge) it’s the only handheld port of the game, and actually managed to maintain the look and feel of the original game fairly well once you consider the system they had to work with.

Atari Lynx Raiden Atari Lynx Raiden
Atari Lynx Raiden Atari Lynx Raiden

Back to fairly accurate ports let’s look at the Playstation release. This can be launched with “mame64 psu raidenpr” (Only the US version runs, there’s some kind of weird disc protection on the Japanese rips)

The Playstation version contains both Raiden and Raiden 2 (a very good port of Raiden 2 at that, possibly better than our current emulation) but for the purpose of this I’ll focus on Raiden 1. The graphics are the same as those found in the arcade game, it has both Horizontal and Vertical modes for if you want to use a Vertical screen (although you’ll need to remap the controls to play that properly, but MAME’s internal rotation at least makes it very easy to rotate the display)

Raiden Project Raiden Project
Raiden Project Raiden Project

Raiden Project Raiden Project

The PC Engine had 2 releases of Raiden, the original ‘Raiden’ was a regular cartridge game, while Super Raiden was a CD release with full CD soundtrack. Visually these are downgraded a bit from the arcade as it’s a weaker platform, but again they give you a slightly experience as a result.

The launch syntax for Super Raiden is the slightly more complex “mame64 pce -cart scdsys -cdrom sraiden” (because you have to insert the CD cart into the PCE cartridge slot in order to play CD games in the CD drive) For the regular Raiden it’s simply “mame64 pce raiden”

PCE Super Raiden PCE Super Raiden
PCE Super Raiden PCE Super Raiden

PCE Raiden PCE Raiden

One of the worst ports of Raiden I’ve played is the Atari Jaguar one. While the console should have been more than capable of running a game like Raiden it appears that the company porting it simply created a game that looked a bit like Raiden, but really doesn’t feel much like it at all when you play, everything simply feels a bit off. The Jaguar driver in MAME isn’t very good and doesn’t run many games, but Raiden is relatively undemanding and plays fine. “mame64 jaguar raiden”

Jaguar Raiden Jaguar Raiden
Jaguar Raiden Jaguar Raiden

The Genesis port is the one I’m more familiar with, the colours are a bit drab compared to some of the others but it plays a good game and is actually one of my favourite shooters on the platform. “mame64 genesis raiden”

Genesis Raiden Genesis Raiden
Genesis Raiden Genesis Raiden

The Snes port gives you yet another take on it, visually it’s less drab than the Genesis version, and doesn’t have the side bar obscuring half the view (so in that sense it’s closer to the PCE version) but it does apparently have quite a lot of slowdown. “mame64 snes raiden”

Snes Raiden Snes Raiden
Snes Raiden Snes Raiden

By integrating MESS in 0.162 we’ve given the opportunity for anybody with more than a passing interest in games to dig a bit deeper and see what they can find, to me that’s beautiful and being able to see all these different versions of Raiden without having to switch emulator at all is just pure bliss. I know some people are trying to throw a negative slant on it, and some of the builds that already like to do things we request aren’t done are already stripping out the extra content along with the nag screens (the main one of which was actually already removed in 0.162) but in the end that ends up being their loss, I’ve already read people saying they’re going to migrate away from those builds because they no longer offer the full MAME experience.

There is actually some other stuff that’s brand new to 0.162; emulation of the original Tamagotchi is actually a landmark moment, as a piece of technology it had a huge influence, and the emulation of it is easily as significant as the emulation of the original Pacman arcade, just remember to run it with something like “-prescale 3” to avoid it being a blurry mess.

Tamagotchi Tamagotchi
Tamagotchi Tamagotchi
Tamagotchi Tamagotchi

The Golden Tee Fore! stuff already mentioned is also working in 0.162; if you have performance issues be sure to set the resolution dispwitch to Low, that way a high end i7 should run it without frame drops or audio stuttering.

My message is simple here however; if you’re willing to embrace the changes made to the project, put a bit of effort in to learn how the new content works, have an open mind to explore some of it, and want to get a real insight into the industry back then, including how the arcades and home systems influenced each other, which software houses worked most closely with the original manufacturers to provide accurate ports, and where developers too liberties etc. then the new look MAME 0.162 is likely to be the first step in providing a very worthwhile experience.

If you’re closed-minded, unwilling to accept change, are lazy, or just want to be rebellious on the other hand, I can understand why this might not be for you ;-)


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A big thanks to all the work you do! I really like to read your updates about MAME and I only wish you could post them more often :)
How is the Open Sourcing of MAME coming along?
Is the project going to be realeased as GPL licensed software or as BSD licensed software without any GPL code?
What do you think the implications of the choice of license are going to be?
Has there been any discussions about also including HBMAME now that MAME is a more inclusive project?

This is awesome indeed, I’d tried mess in the past, but couldn’t do much with it.

One question though, is it possible to load software images or roms that are not listed in the software lists ? if the drivers are accurate they should boot any valid image for that system, right ?

Interesting article. I have one question. Again ? yes… :)
What will have to UME now that MAME have MESS included ? Will you still release it or just focus um the official MAME ?

Love this article, can’t wait for part 2 :)

Mbit: in general, we’re going for a strategy where core components are BSD-3 for maximum interoperability, and drivers can be BSD-3, LGPL, or GPL at the author’s discretion. This means the overall MAME license will be GPL since it’s the most restrictive out of the 3 licenses being applied to individual files. As far as progress, we’ve been able to (re)contact a surprising number of former contributors. A few remain hard to contact, and a few have turned out to have died since they contributed to the project, but in general we’ve had very good progress. Better yet, a few of the people we contacted said “oh, MAME still exists, can I contribute again?”.

But, lest I be accused of being too rosy, two of the out-of-contacts, David Graves and Jarek Burczynski, are responsible for a lot of code (in David’s case) and some pretty fundamental code (in Jarek’s) and when we last heard from Jarek he was quite against relicensing. So there may need to be a fire drill where we replace the FM sound chip cores, among other things.

DarkMoe: Yes, you can run non-softlisted media, but on some systems the softlist contains metadata that makes it easier (or in some cases possible at all) to run the software. So you really need to know what you’re doing :)

Ciro: MAME is UME, Haze won, he can just sit back and collect the spoils now ;-)

Well said… :)

Please don´t kill your tamagochi pet. xD

@DarkMoe: loading from fullpath or loading from softlist are basically interchangeable as long as you try tapes, disks and cd-roms. in other words, the emulated result is the same: either images work when loaded in either way, or they fail in both ways

The real difference appears with carts that have additional hardware inside the cart (e.g. add-on CPU for SNES games, or additional RAM in Genesis/MD/Arcadia/Intellivision/etc., or different SRAM types in GBA, or special mappers in a2600/a5200/a7800). In these cases, the loading from softlist guarantees that such hardware is properly added and emulated, while the loading from fullpath relies on “identification hacks”. This means that we have specific functions that scan the rom images at fullpath loading, so to spot specific patterns and, if needed, turn on the emulation of additional hardware. However, in some cases, such “identification hacks” are still incomplete and thus the additional hardware is not detected properly. E.g., SNES carts with DSP/SA-1/SFX/ST-xxx CPUs are perfectly detected at loading time, while some SNES pirate carts (the Korean multigame cart, the Taiwanese Tekken etc.) are not detected yet when loaded from fullpath. And so on…

Finally, carts whose data is separate in multiple files (e.g. NES with split PRG and CHR, Coleco games with split 8K binary files, NeoGeo AES carts, etc.) cannot be loaded from fullpath, unless their parts are combined in one of the supported formats (iNES and UNIF for NES, .col for Coleco, and so on)

Haze, very cool and enjoyable article here, i both thank and salute you sir! best wishes

“Back to fairly accurate ports let’s look at the Playstation release. This can be launched with “mame64 psu raidenpr” (Only the US version runs, there’s some kind of weird disc protection on the Japanese rips)” — that’s ridiculous, it’s one of the very first PSX games (SLPS 00013 => the 13th game published, I guess), years before libcrypt and anti-modchip protections appeared. Are there any details except that comment in the PSX softlist?

> Are there any details except that comment in the PSX

I don’t know, It’s been mentioned a few times that there are some fucked up gap settings on early Japan disks or something, I assumed it was that, you can apparently hack the existing image quite easily to boot. Never investigated further myself, just very weird that the early Japan versions of some games fail while the US ones of the same game work fine.

Damn Haze, this is your most significant post in a long time, in so many ways.
You’ve proven what someone with a clear vision can accomplish.
And your refusal to say “I told you so” proves yet again that you are a true gentleman.
Your ego was not involved, as a few of the slobbering masses accused.
You’re a man of integrity; if the UME concept had failed in one way or another, you would have graciously conceded.
Thankfully, for me, that didn’t have to happen

And, special thanks to Arbee and yes, even Etabeta this time for the nice additions to the thread.

Now, what was that about Raiden?

What gaps? :) Raiden has only 1 data-track. Early Japanese images have a completely different data track structure: they don’t have system.cnf and the main .exe named after the game serial, instead, they have many different .exe files. Most of these don’t work in MAME, but work perfectly in other emus, images themselves are good, it’s the PSX driver doesn’t support these.

I don’t know, I had the same issue with the same images in other emulators I tried at the time fwiw.

Would be nice if somebody did a writeup on exactly why those early games are fussy, what the cause is, and what it means is being done incorrectly, the only person who looked at it before said it was the images or some kind of protection and that a risky hack would be needed.

I was told the original discs don’t run on later systems either.

Honestly I haven’t spent any time with them recently and don’t intend on doing so either, comments are old, they could be wrong.

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