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MAME work and other stuff

Various – Fruit Machines

Obviously the various fruit machine platforms remain an interesting and realistic target for MAME, small bits of work on them have been done over the past year or so.

For many of the later 90s ones it’s a case of having to emulate all the on-board peripherals properly for the CPU variants they use. The manufacturers of these things chose CPUs with integrated features such as custom timers, I/O ports, memory protection and the like to provide an all-in-one solution for many of the things that would otherwise require additional components. In those cases the main ones used are the 68307 (for Scorpion 4), the 68340 (for the Adder 4 video board, Astra, Pluto 5, MPU5) and Coldfire (‘jpmsys7’ which is likely a later Pluto board, and Scorpion 5)

Scorpion 4 primarily proper payout logic hooking up, it’s actually not a bad driver otherwise, many games work as expected even with the bare bones 68307 peripheral implementation which has little grounds in reality right now.

The earlier platforms are a little messier, running on more traditional CPUs, but with a wider variety of external hardware, and modifications. Something like MPU4 was used by many many manufacturers, including third parties with cloned boards, and has annoying protection systems on many of the games to boot (most of which are understood well enough to hack around these days, but MAME hasn’t quite caught up with current knowledge) For some reason a number of the base MPU4 games just crash too, for reasons unknown. I can only assume they’re not happy with the interrupt logic, banking logic, or how some other peripherals are behaving. The MPU4 video expansion has always been problematic, with the CPU comms barely holding up (even less so after the CPU rewrite) and further annoying scrambling on questions, not to mention many many games missing their question roms altogether, quite a sad state of affairs really.

Things are getting there, slowly, the Electrocoin hardware (Labyrinth) shows signs of life, running the proper game logic, but needs Z180 fixes (I think) as well as the proper reel types adding, and the correct sound chips hooking up.

Some of the earlier ones haven’t seen much attention at all yet.

I find it a bit of a shame that there aren’t more devs helping out with these, but I guess it can appear a daunting task due to the sheer amount of work involved.

Beyond that there is of course the need for a better presentation system, layout editors (or at least import tools) and the like, but really it would make more sense to get all the systems running properly first, then see what state the rest of MAME is in.

I can see why these aren’t for everybody, but I still find them to be a fascinating bit of our history / arcade culture, showing how things evolved.

Various – Improving what we have

The focus of most of this write-up has been interesting things that really can’t be considered ‘working’ in any form at all right now, but that is of course only a fraction of the work left to be done. You notice it more in MESS due to the vast software libraries any given system has to run, but throughout both projects there is room for significant improvements to the emulation of key systems.

The problem is, as I’ve mentioned before, quite a lot of the time the last 5% of the work on any system requires a dedicated expert, and possibly rewriting 90% of the code to be able to handle the extreme cases.

To Do: more more more!


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don’t want to upset LM, but what skills are required for Votrax SC-01 emulation?

NBA Jam Extreme has never worked, from The Impact / Zinc time to now. Though I see it’s in Phil Bennett todo list, so maybe in the future..

Just love these write ups. Can not say i totally understand everything you describe, but the dedication you ( devs) all show is amazing.

I have a spare Casio Loopy and I’m in the UK, I did sent one to the guru w/ carts, which is where the internal printer ROM and cart dumps are from. Hit me up and its yours.


I’m hungover and typo’d my email address too.

I have a spare Casio Loopy, I’m in the UK too, looks like the previous comment makes no sense as it was deleted for containing the R-O-M word.

Hit me up and it’s yours.

what carts do you have, are you in a position to reprogram them? can you do a ‘double size rom + upper pin bankswitch’ mod if needed (bios might checksum the carts in an unknown way)

I think the best entry point would be to hack something like the speech bubble graphics and capture a couple of hundred pages (or a video, and split it up) that way we’re modding something we know gets displayed at least, even if it sounds horrible inefficient ;)

Two copies of Anime Land (XK-401) and one of Wanwan Aijou Monogatari (XK-501). These are the duplicates, the rest I had sent to the guru with a loopy console, which is where we got the current dumps from. He still has those dumped carts and a loopy as I didn’t need them back.

I do have a programmer but no adapters for any flash chips, I’m also not confident in my soldering skills in modding it.

If you are willing, you can have this junk and hack away at it, I only collect this crap for dumping.

Wanwan Aijou Monogatari does have speech bubbles so that may just work.

Well there was one specific game I had in mind, although I can’t remember which one it was now (will have to run through them again)

I have no electronics skills at all, so would be able to do even less with the hardware than you. I wonder why Guru didn’t reply about the loopy when I asked directly on the list a few months back then, I practically shelved all work I was planning on it at that point because it seemed nobody had one.

He was pretty annoyed at me for creating the undumped wiki, so he may have thrown it in the trash.

He still has a Pippin US export board I sent to him for dumping, he did dump the Japanese one I sent him, also sent him a banged up Bandai Playdia (turned out to have 2 8-bit CPUs, horrible console with its own VCD format)

All these were donated to him so I never needed them back, so there is no bad blood on my part as they were his to throw away if he wanted, although they could just be in storage and forgotten about, he does have a lot of stuff.

A bit off-topic but i found this set of Snow Bros bootleg roms, which have the copyrights still intact. Funny story, i had a ‘Sakowa Project Korea’ version for some time, and tried to add copyrights back myself, when i scored the second board (with copyrights & logo) as ‘broken’ on Ebay recently. (my attempts to add the logo back myself had failed miserably..) Download is at dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6773475/repairs/snowbros/wintbob-toaplan.zip

sure this isn’t just the old set from MAME?

we used to support a Winter Bobble with such a copyright, but it was also a bad dump (bitrot causing the game to crash on certain levels) so it was replaced with the newer dump we support now (which lacks said copyright, but is otherwise good)

It’s GAELCO, not Galeco. ;)

indeed, had Jaleco in mind when I wrote that

WHAT? The Hyper NeoGeo 64 expects the RAM tests to FAIL?? I… I have no comment. I’ll just leave it at that.

Not in a visible way (ie there are no message to tell you it fails on said test) but it becomes obvious if you’re following the code / accesses made.

I guess it’s possible some early dev boards had twice as much RAM I don’t know why else they’d be testing RAM there, but it really does screw up some data transfers if you put ram there (or even treat it as a mirror)

TBH the memory tests on something like MegaSystem 32 are worse, the actual RAM tests on those tell you almost nothing because I don’t think there is a single game that actually checks the correct regions, most of the tests overrun into other areas, rely on mirrors, or only test a fraction of the actual RAM.

Memory fail interesting hardware protection. Weak sauce but still effective. Think about it, if you have a cart people can copy easily. But maybe the 32k chips are slightly more expensive than the 64k chips (happens from time to time). So the ‘pirate’ would buy the 64k chips and just drop the 32k worth of code onto it… For software it is easy for you to just make it fail. But you have to know what size chips there were to make it act correctly. Then if they throw mirrors in there it could look like bigger than it is. To understand it you probably would need to know the spot prices on the chips at the time.

Dear Haze,there are still many unemulated Mame driver not list the article…

Correct, this isn’t meant to be a list of ALL things unemulated, it’s a list of ones I find interesting with a bit of background information where possible.

I would really love for there to be some effort put into Gamate emulation. Most of the 1990-1992 Bit Corporation titles leave much to be desired, but the later 1993-1995 games from the UMC era are often quite enjoyable and deserve to be both preserved & played.

Yeah, it would be nice, it shows an evolution, how the industry matured, and became competitive. It’s a shame there is no way to dump them yet. I’ve not even seen photographs of what is inside them (is it blob chips like many of the pirate genesis games?)

I’ve split this up into multiple pages, the embedded YouTube things don’t half lag Firefox when loading the page otherwise!

There are internal shots of the Gamate’s board revisions and one of the card here: http://fuji.drillspirits.net/gamate/hardware/

Looks a lot like hu-cards.

That page is great but is missing a shot of the LCD board under the main PCB, that can be found here: http://www.museo8bits.com/wiki/images/c/c0/Gamate_DSC01104.jpg

so yeah blob logic in the carts.. somebody will have to trace the lines to the CPU I guess..

I’m pretty sure my fellow digital coprolite collector ranger_lennier has a few gamate cards.

Even the Gamate Soft Cards appear to have been made by at least 2 different manufacturers:


are you sure they’re standard? they’d only need to have swapped a few bits around and you could send the whole thing up in smoke ;-)

they do LOOK the same, I’ll give you that (the article incog linked even mentioned this) so it would be one avenue to explore. I don’t know if soft cards for any of the other systems have been dumped mind you. I wasn’t familiar with them for all these systems until you posted about them.

I have a few carts too, but they are stored pretty far away, at my parents place

Sega used Soft Cards too, on the SG-1000 and the Master System:



I’ve been told before that the Master Systems Soft Cards are dumped, the MESS driver however just has a single cart slot and is missing the Soft Card slot.


to my knowledge, data is stored in the same way in the card and in the cart, so apart from being anal with the media definition, current emulation in MESS handles data in an accurate way

Hi Master Haze! I think that you have forgotten to include Konami M2 miss developments.
Unfortunately from several years.

Yeah M2 would be an interesting one, and I believe there are videos I can use too, I’ll probably add that to the pages in the next few days (I’m still deciding on if to include a few other things)

(basically I’ll be doing small updates to this throughout the month)

Raiden II not on the list? Bawwww :P

Reading through this and I kind of regret getting rid of this one piece of cheap tech: a green mobile phone-looking device that had Snake and a few other games on it, with real basic music. No idea what it was, probably a cheap Chinese thing, but one of the devices you listed reminded me of it.

Taito G-net driver music should marked the article…

I wish you the greatest of success, much more so with the NeoGeo games.

My greatest wish would be to see Cool Riders 100% finished!

About F1 Super Blast – did you mean “F1 Super Battle”? I got some stuff from TAFA:


That has the most clear screenshot of F1 Super Battle. (P.S. Am I the only guy finding the crash part “too soon?” It has Senna’s helmet and we know he died in a crash in Imola 1994)

Yes, I did mean Super Battle, I keep calling it Blast for some reason, maybe that’s just because my thoughts when looking at it usually end with ‘Blast, that makes no sense’

There are a number of ‘missing’ Jaleco games from that era too, Super Strong Warriors is mentioned often, but we’ve never seen a trace of it beyond screenshots / flyers.

The way things stand… what if F1SB was a mere prototype that failed location test[s]? [/conspiracy]

honestly it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of things we’ve emulated were, ie they made enough for some location tests, but they didn’t do well enough to make any more, but weren’t recalled (because they were of no real value when offset against the recall costs)

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