Release Date

MAME 0.34b4 was released on 4 October 1998.


Contributors

The known contributors for this version are, in alphabetical order:


Specific Contributions

The known contributions for this version are, in the order specified in the whatsnew:

  • Frank Palazzolo added emulation of the Astrocade sound chip (Gorf, Wizard of Wor, etc.)
  • Kevin Bales improved speech in Gorf. It now plays speech 100% accurately except for the missing samples.
  • John Butler and Bernd Wiebelt switched to CRC-32 for file integrity checks. The old custom checksums are no longer used.
  • Nicola Salmoria changed MAME so that when using zipped files, ROMs are automatically retrieved even if they don't have the expected name (provided they have the correct CRC-32, of course). You'll never have to rename files any more (though you might have to rename zips ;-)
  • Nicola Salmoria added a new command -listcrc to the DOS version. It lists the CRC-32 for all the supported ROMs. 00000000 means that the ROM is known to be bad.
  • Stephane Humbert made some improvements to the cheat system.
    • Possibility of "circular" values in search method 1:
      • if you press OSD_KEY_LEFT or OSD_KEY_DOWN when value is 0, it turns to 0xFF
      • if you press OSD_KEY_RIGHT or OSD_KEY_UP when value is 0xFF, it turns to 0.
    • Added the possibility of toggling the watches display ON (Insert) and OFF (Del) .
    • Possibility to work on another cheat file (CHEAT.DAT is just the default one) by using option "-cheatfile xx"
    • Added new types of cheats:
      • 20-24 : same as 0-4 but they force bits to 1
      • 40-44 : same as 0-4 but they force bits to 0.
  • Brad Oliver fixed a bug in the 68000 interrupt handling which causes Rastan Saga to not boot correctly.
  • Nicola Salmoria added an experimental profiler to the DOS version. To enable it, use the -profiler parameter; then, hit Left Shift + F11 to show the results on screen. I don't know how accurate the figures are; the "Sound" figure is certainly underestimated for sound chip emulators which don't use streams.c (it is computed under the CPU playing the sound instead that under Sound). Note that the sum of the percentages is much less than 100%. This is in part due to portions of the code which are not profiled, but is also caused by the massive overhead of calling uclock() (which happens very often when sound is playing).
  • Nicola Salmoria added new streams.c to abstract audio streams. This makes them easier to use and more efficient. osd_play_streamed_sample() should now be considered a private function and should not be used in new code.
  • Dan Boris fixed a bug in the I8039 external interrupt handling.
  • New file types for osd_fopen(): OSD_FILETYPE_STATE and OSD_FILETYPE_ARTWORK.
  • Major update to the NeoGeo driver. It is still far from perfect but has many improvements over the previous version. This is still very much a 'work-in-progress' driver with many known problems. Hopefully these problems will be fixed soon.
    • You need a zip file called neogeo.zip in your rompath. It should contain at least two files:
      • neo-geo.rom (128k)
      • ng-sfix.rom (128k)
    • There should also be two other roms which are not yet used by Mame, they _will_ be used in future versions of this driver so do not delete them.
    • You also need to place the game zip in your rompath. If you do not know what 8 character filename the NeoGeo game you want to play has you can type: mame -listclones neogeo. That will list the 8 character zip names of all currently supported games.
    • Many graphics improvements:
      • 'Missing tiles' in games such as Puzzle Bobble are fixed.
      • Scaling is improved, but still not perfect. Full screen zooms tend to break (eg, Thrash Rally, Art of Fighting).
      • 'Japan/Europe/USA' territory selection in dipswitch menu.
      • Start & coin key positions are moved to their 'standard' MAME positions
      • Coin inputs work, freeplay is no longer the default.
      • Soft dipswitches are fully emulated and saved per game, the files are saved to the hiscore directory for now.
      • Custom drawgfx routine in place. This is slower than the previous MAME release but allows the graphics to be drawn from their native data. This allows:
      • MEMORY REQUIREMENTS APPROXIMATELY HALVED! And also quicker loading time.
      • If you experience a 'black screen' for a few seconds after loading it is because the 'pen usage' arrays are being calculated. MAME NeoGeo uses a compressed palette system to give the full NeoGeo 12 bit colour on an 8 bit display. (This is nothing new, almost every other MAME driver for high colour games works in the same way, by choosing only the colours that are actually displayed at any one time). Although this gives better quality it actually takes around 10-15% of the processor time each frame.
      • There is no 'black screen' at the end of each games demo. All games now behave as per the arcade version and cycle to the 'NeoGeo logo' screen.
    • Notes on soft dipswitches: You can access these from pressing F2 (self test) or setting the test mode dipswitch and resetting the virtual machine. Both soft dips and cabinet settings are saved for each game. If, for some reason, you experience strange gameplay (NOT graphics glitches), the soft dips may have become corrupt (this _is_ still a beta release!), to clear them you can wipe the file in the hiscore directory for the game OR go into the hardware test and select the 'clear backup ram' option (recommended).
    • Other Fixes
      • Emulation of soft dips fixed many problems games had in previous versions, for example, the game timers being set low in games such as KOTM and Art of Fighting are fixed. Almost all 'gameplay' issues are fixed by this.
      • Sidenote: The 'blood bios' is not needed, nor supported. All games affected by the blood bios actually have the 'blood' option in their soft dip options. It can be turned on & off there without having to use a special bios. In fact any non-standard bios may not work at this point.
      • Due to the much decreased memory requirements large games such as Karnov's Revenge now work.
    • What isn't fixed?
      • 'New' games such as Metal Slug, Pulstar, Shock Troopers do not work, either due to protection or bankswitching used in these games (information needed!).
      • The animation in the 'rain' scenes of Karnov's Revenge does not animate!
      • As mentioned before, full screen zooms are not correct.
      • The MVS memory card is not supported.
      • Probably many other small bugs too.

Game Support

New Games added or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status