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MAME 0.188

25 Jul 2017

MAME 0.188 comes to you with tales of perseverance, blind luck, and the kind of insanity you’d get from no-one else. By sheer chance, a DECO Cassette system Brian Troha picked up cheap happened to come with a set of graphics ROMs for Explorer. While the Explorer program cassette was dumped sixteen long years ago, the graphics ROMs have proved elusive until now. We can finally all enjoy this Tempest-inspired title from the early ’80s.

After much effort and rendering several boards inoperable, Peter Wilhelmsen and Morten Shearman Kirkegaard successfully extracted the programs from the DS5002FP protection modules on Gaelco World Rally 2 and Touch & Go. Yet another seemingly impenetrable protection scheme has been been emulated. Persistence has paid off. This is also a boon for people wishing to repair Gaelco games that have ceased to function after the lithium cell in the protection module has failed. After extracting the program from a working board, it’s possible to reprogram other boards running the same game.

As for MAMEdev-brand insanity, we are (to the best of our knowledge) the world’s first and only emulator for the INTELLEC® 4. This system was used to develop software for Intel’s earliest microprocessor family, the 4004 and 4040. We’ve even put together a user manual of sorts if by chance you want to see what interactive debugging was like in the ’70s. It has lots of fun LEDs and switches!

Fans of handheld LCD games will be pleased to see the steady stream of improvements: 0.188 adds support for several Konami and Tiger handhelds, and vector backgrounds have been added for Game & Watch titles Mario Bros, Mickey & Donald, and Cement Factory.

On the arcade side, we’ve added support for Operation Wolf SC, a version of the military-themed shooter Operation Wolf with reduced difficulty intended for small cabinets located in shopping centres (hence the SC). Children could stay out of trouble storming concentration camps and powder magazines while their parents shopped in peace. Another interesting addition from Taito’s history is a very rare prototype of Bubble Bobble on Tokio hardware. It has different graphics and music, and includes a functional stage editor. Of course we’ve added an assortment of clones as usual, including versions of Act-Fancer, Kageki, Logger, Solar Assault, Street Fighter II, Taisen Idol-Mahjong Final Romance 2, and Xevious 3D/G.

I’ll finish by mentioning that save states and scheduled exits should now work properly in Emscripten builds (thanks to James Baicoianu), colours are fixed for Time Limit and Omega (thanks to ShouTime dumping the PROMs), and ROM identification (-romident verb) is even faster (under ten seconds on my old notebook). That’s really all we’ve got space for here, but you can read about the rest of the exciting improvements from July in the whatsnew.txt file, get the source/Windows binaries from the download page and try it out.