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MAME 0.262

MAME 0.262

After two long months, we’re back with MAME 0.262! Of course, it’s full of exciting work on multiple fronts. In core media support, MAME now supports FLAC compression for compact cassette images, and Zstandard compression in zip archives and CHD disk images. For maximum compatibility, chdman won’t use Zstandard compression by default, so you’ll need to enable it if you want to use it when creating or converting disk images. For your convenience, unidasm now allows you to specify offsets in hexadecimal or octal.

Three LaserDisc games designed by Rick Dyer are now working: the Japanese version of Time Traveler, the console-to-arcade conversion Thayer’s Quest, and Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair. It’s very exciting to see multiple LaserDisc captures combined to eliminate all dropouts from disc degradation and pressing faults for Dragon’s Lair and Thayer’s Quest.

Following up on work in the previous release, MAME now supports Sega’s TV Ocha-Ken system, based on the same technology as the Advanced Pico BEENA. It’s a far simpler system designed for young children, using barcode cards to trigger mini-games. Also from Sega, initial support for the AI computer has been added. No, this isn’t related to the current artificial intelligence craze; it’s a rather obscure system from 1986 featuring a pen tablet and using cartridge and compact cassette media.

Two more Casio Phase Distortion synthesisers have been added: the CZ-230S keyboard and the rare SZ-1 sequencer. The CZ-2230S lacked sound editing features but added a programmable drum machine (using PCM samples) and sequencer. Also in synthesiser emulation, MAME’s Wave Blaster host driver now supports multiple synthesiser modules from Casio, Samsung, and Yamaha. In other musical news, the original version of the very obscure Shamisen Brothers rhythm game from Kato’s has now been fully dumped and emulated.

The microcontroller program for Taito’s KiKi KaiKai was recently extracted. This contains a substantial amount of game logic, allowing the simulation code previously used by MAME to be retired and giving more confidence that the emulation is accurate. Improvements to our Fujitsu MB8841 emulation have fixed persistent issues in Arabian from Sun Electronics. HT1130 microcontrollers are now supported, allowing cheap hand-held “brick games” to be emulated, albeit without sound for now.

This is a big release for chess computer emulation. There are lots of newly supported chess computers from the brands you love, like Hegener + Glaser, Novag, and Saitek, as well as more versions of systems that were already supported. There were also a couple of backgammon computers added, from Saitek and Tryom.

There’s inevitably far more than we have time to talk about here, including an Arabic version of the Mattel Aquarius, an 8" floppy drive controller for the Apple II family, numerous Aristocrat Leisure gambling systems promoted to working, some big software list updates, and lots of code modernised. You can read about all the two months of development in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source code and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page.

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