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News from April 2002

Saturday, April 27th, 2002
VirtuaNES v0.54 Released
The Nintendo NES emulator VirtuaNES was updated to v0.54. Here's what's new:
  • In a state load/save, change it to display a slot number in information indication.
  • Returned an initial value of NES built-in RAM to 0.
  • Correct SP0HIT in a frame skip.
  • Correct a return value of $4016/$4017 register.
  • A rectangle wave ch2 playback flag corrects what did not return to a $4015 register precisely.
Download it from the Console Emulators section.
 Discuss this in the [email protected] Forums 

ClrMamePro v2.61a Released
The MAME ROM manager ClrMamePro was updated to v2.61a and includes the following:
  • fixed scanner crash (2.61a)
  • major speed up for profiler (when scanning datfiles) (it also shows the currently scanned files now) (2.61a)
  • "missing (but fixable) rom" check will only be used in incomplete sets (not in fully missing sets) -> major speedup (2.61a)
  • misc: lots of minor source changes (md5, wordparser, cachefiles + set-structures....)
  • misc: partially added diskimage support (check options are currently disabled)
  • misc: rebuilder warning when no addpaths are available & 'use addpaths' is used
  • misc: rom/samplenames with \ or / will be parsed correctly. This isn't the subfolder support yet...but a start :P
  • misc: zipped-dat-selector also accepts double-clicks to add the file
  • misc: updates to several "0-crcs" stuff: changeable textcolor, new message, new icon, fixed show-missing-0crc toggle
  • misc: minor gui changes
  • misc: disabling rebuilder->zip files disables the "recompress" button as well
  • misc: settings->export datfile export uses the current datfile header information
  • misc: optimized the quick fix missing option (fast crc32 match)
  • misc: unneeded masks are also applied on unneeded sets
  • fixed: "set" + "unneeded" check didn't list unneeded non-zipped files
Download it from the ROM Files section.
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Final Burn v0.510 Released
The original author of Final Burn decided to come out of hiding and release a new version of Final Burn! Is he back or is this a one-time deal? No one can read Dave, so it's anyone's guess. Here's what's new:
  • Added sound emulation to Out Run
  • Added road emulation to Out Run
  • Added Altered Beast (preliminary)
  • Added Golden Axe (preliminary)
  • Added Shinobi (preliminary)
  • Updated Zip loading code to ZLib 1.1.4
  • Added Strike Fighter (preliminary)
  • Added a preliminary trainer function
  • Added dynamic multiply port support (Final Fight, SF2 etc)
  • Added dynamic board ID support (Final Fight, SF2 etc)
  • Added high background tile support (Fixes priority problems in Final Fight, Forgotten Worlds, Ghouls 'N' Ghosts, Magic Sword, Megaman, Street Fighter Zero (CPS Changer), Strider and U.N. Squadron.)
  • Added Knights of the Round
  • Added U.N. Squadron
  • Added Strider Hiryu (Japanese version)
  • Added Capcom Sports Club
  • Added Forgotten Worlds
  • Added 1941
  • Added Mercs
  • Added Magic Sword
  • Added Marvel Vs. Capcom
  • Added Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha
  • Added Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara
  • Added Armored Warriors
  • Added Battle Circuit
  • Added Street Fighter Alpha 3
Download it from the Arcade Emulators section.
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Mass-Update
Here's a mass-update of what happend while the raptor was recovering:Download them from the above links.
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"Raptor" Injury
I was playing "Raptor" with my kids (you know, like running around chasing them and jumping onto furniture like in the movie Jurassic Park). Anyway, daddy raptor ran into a wall and knocked his knee good. My 6 year old son said "I thought raptors were smart". The next day my back started hurting real bad. I must have really pulled something bad when I ran into that wall. Long story short, I was in too much pain to update or even be on the computer (gasp!) Feel good now, but that "I thought raptors were smart" line from my son still sticks in my head. =)
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Thursday, April 18th, 2002
VirtuaNES v0.50 Released
VirtuaNES was updated to v0.50 and includes the following:
  • Because revises plug-in, please pay attention.
  • Change FDSplugin.dll.
    Addition:
    • Add a restraint option of double activation.
    • Add an option to turn into full-screen with emulation start.
    • Add an option of a FDS disk access mode.
    • Add Recent Path to a menu.
    Change:
    • Were able to do all the items which could set only with INI with setting DIALOG.
    • Speeded up to some extent.
    • Coped with special image effects to some extent.
    • A sub menu changed into it with Recent ROM of a menu.
    • It was assigned controller setting, shortcut key to two kinds.
    • Made only noise sound a little big.
    • Changed an initial value of NES built-in RAM in FF from 0.
    • Assigned memory to an unused bank for the time being, and reduced that DIALOG of an indistinct error appeared.
    • Setting was replaced even if did not change a screen mode when changed a change and video memory / system memory of HAL/HEL by graphic setting.
    • When did it the same period, and an option of drawing started a menu in full-screen with on, did it the same period, and drew it, and a frame skip seemed to work, and changed it.
    • Were able to send cheat code DIALOG and cheat DIALOG simultaneously.
    • Changed a file name of a snapshot.
    Revision:
    • When a menu turns it down, client size is a revision because becomes small.
    • Correct delay cycle number in NMI interrupt.
    • Correct a same period method of sound.
    • Because did not output noise sound of high frequency, correct that noise sound does not sound by some games.
    • When time passes, correct that sound can become sometimes strange.
    • Correct FDS disk access interrupt.
    • Then eject corrects a disk in disk access of FDS because can have finished emulation.
    • In a cheat code road, be revised a bug displayed only to the place by space and a case including a hyphen by comment.
    • Make a fine adjustment with MMC5.
Download it from the Console Emulators section.
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Wednesday, April 17th, 2002
AdvanceMAME v0.59.1 Released
The version of MAME that dares to be better than MAME was updated to v0.59.1. Download it from the M.A.M.E. section.
 Discuss this in the [email protected] Forums 

MAME WIP for April 13th-16th
MAME WIP news for April 13th through the 16th:
  • 2002-04-16: Kamel added protection patches that make Black Heart and Mustang playable in the nmk16 driver, and David Haywood added Many Block which doesn't work yet due to missing controls. Nicola Salmoria sent in a preliminary driver for IQ Block which shows the service mode but doesn't work otherwise.
  • 2002-04-15: David Haywood sent in a preliminary driver for IGS's PGM system that supports Oriental Legend, with much thanks to ElSemi for valuable information on the system. Aaron Giles merged the Centipede, Millipede, Warlords and Qwak prototype drivers because they were similar.
  • 2002-04-14: Phil Stroffolino fixed a crash bug in the Renegade driver that occurred in 0.59. Aaron Giles added World Class Bowling, another version of Bloodstorm and fixed the DIP switches in the itech32 driver, and he also added a prototype version to the Street Fighter driver, and a bootleg called Magic Worm to the Centipede driver. Kale fixed the Final Round version L and M graphics that have been broken for a while.
  • 2002-04-13: Stefan Jokisch sent in a driver for Poolshark.
Check out the screen shots at the above links. P.S. David Haywood is my hero.
 Discuss this in the [email protected] Forums 

Tuesday, April 16th, 2002
Nebula v2.12 Released
Argueably the best CPS-2 emulator (also emulates NeoGeo and NeoGeoCD) was updated to v2.12. This version now supports PolyGameMaster(IGS). "Only 1 game works yet (Oriental Legend) due to the protection on those games." Download it from the Arcade Emulators section.
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RockNESX v2.0 Final Released
This excellent Nintendo NES emulator released v2.0 Final which includes the following:
  • AUDIO, GUI: SERIOUS bug fixed in the sound setup: the soundcard information was being incorrectly stored. This fixes some odd errors on audio initialization. - GUI: Fixed a few typos.
  • GUI: Removed the warning telling that the filtering mode is not supported when running with 3D Hardware support
  • GUI: The GUI was not using correctly the rocklist.dat file during the startup. Fixed.
  • GUI: fixed a bug that was preventing the list of ROMs to show the last rom in some cases.
  • INPUT: Fixed a bug that was causing the joystick to stop working after a video mode switch (during the emulation)
  • INPUT: In some systems the keyboard was starting to beep after a few minutes of continuous play. Bug is fixed.
  • VIDEO: new multithreaded gfx engine: now the emulation is able to run at full speed even with very slow videocards. The gfx engine will try to render the maximum number of frames possible (60 fps is the maximum). This means auto frameskip support.
  • VIDEO: added official video filtering support (MMX cpu required)
  • VIDEO: 2D slow blit fixed
  • VIDEO: SERIOUS bug fixed when switching video modes during the emulation. This fixes random crashes when the emulation is stopped
  • VIDEO: Many fixed bugs in the video filtering mode
  • VIDEO: Fixed many bugs that was avoiding the full screen mode to resume after the window is minimized
  • VIDEO: The RockNES X help in-game text was moving incorrectly using windowed and 2D mode.
  • CORE: fixed some memory access violation bugs
  • CORE: sync (to maintain the emulator at 60 fps) greatly improved
  • CORE: frames per second measurement improved
  • CORE: Gamegenie support added
  • CORE: In some systems after the RockNES X was closed the desktop was affected.
  • CORE: command line support fixed
  • CORE: .dat format updated
  • EMU: based on the latest rocknes release.
  • NETPLAY: added support to .zip filenames (even when the remote side has a .nes file)
  • NETPLAY: fixed a bug that would cause the emulator to crash when the initialization fails in the remote side
  • NETPLAY: Added support to have a .zip file in one side and a .nes file in the other.
  • NETPLAY: In some cases the player 1 would have to wait for a long time after stopping the netplay mode. Fixed.
  • NETPLAY: Fixed the loss of sync when switching the video mode during the emulation
  • NETPLAY: Fixed the loss of sync after a remote save state loading
  • NETPLAY: The temp dir (used to store a remote savestate) was not set correcly. This could prevent non-admin users to use such feature under Windows 2000/XP.
  • README: readme text greatly improved!
Download it from the Console Emulators section.
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Visual PinMAME v1.12.1 Released
The highly popular Visual PinMAME was updated to v1.12.1. This is just a bugfix release but the next version will be based upon the v0.59 MAME core. Download it from the Pinball section and discuss it in the [email protected] Pinball Forum.
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Phew!
Phew! I made it through tax day. Did I mention that taxes suck? Someone said something interesting, if you take "The IRS" and remove the space, it spells "Theirs"! And that's exactly how they think in Washington. Oh well, I socked them with a boat load of deductions so I felt a little better about it.
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Tuesday, April 9th, 2002
MAME WIP for April 5th-10th
MAME WIP news for April 5th through the 10th:
  • 2002-04-10: David Haywood fixed Final Star Force from crashing.
  • 2002-04-09: Nicola Salmoria added Hero in the Castle of Doom to the Donkey Kong driver, and Stephane Humbert fixed the DIP switch settings in it. Phil Stroffolino fixed yet another crash in the Namco System 1 driver. Brian A. Troha submitted an addition of the World version of Nebulas Ray to the Namco NB-1 driver. Kale submitted an improvement to the Block Gal colors, and Nicola Salmoria fixed them completely.
  • 2002-04-08: Nicola Salmoria added The Masters of Kin to the Track & Field driver.
  • 2002-04-07: Paul Priest added support for sprite zooming in the Psikyo SH-2 games' driver. Phil Stroffolino fixed the Namco System 1 driver to support a newly added feature in the tilemap system, which removes clutter from the driver itself.
  • 2002-04-06: Phil Stroffolino sent in an update to the various Namco drivers, further abstracting the support of different emulated custom chips.
  • 2002-04-05: Aaron Giles fixed a lot of invalid memory accesses in various drivers that caused crashes in 0.59. Zsolt Vasvari added support for scaling graphics to allow higher resolution for artwork.
Check out the screen shots at the above links.
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ClrMamePro v2.60a Released
Now that the DNS issues have been fixed at MameWorld (oops! they forgot to renew their domain name! ;-) here's the latest release of ClrMAMEPro. Here's what's new:
  • main thing: rebuilder option "recompress". If NOT enabled it copies the files without any unzip/zip operation (...damn fast... :O))
  • added: romlist warning: illegal crc (1 / -1), can be optionally changed to 0.
  • added: romlist warning: not mergeable set, relationship can be optionally removed
  • misc: some gui and text changes
  • misc: Profiler automatically detects updated datfiles now. (fixed in 2.60a)
  • misc: changed several old romlist warnings
  • misc: compiled with new zlib class release
  • misc: changed windowtitle a bit (to avoid some restart problems)
  • misc: rebuilder-progressdialog filenametext is cleared now when you do another rebuild.
  • misc: missing roms which can be fixed are shown as "missing (but fixable) rom"
  • fixed: Rebuilder skipped all files after it skipped a file-in-use one.
  • fixed: some "&" characters were lost in several menus and dialogs
Download it from the ROM Files section.
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Zinc v0.9 Released
The 3D arcade emulator Zinc was updated to v0.9. The site nor the readme file say what's included in v0.9 (which jumped from the last release of v0.5). But, looking at another doc it notes that v0.8 added an input plugin. Anyway, download it from the Arcade Emulators section and figure out for yourself what's new.
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Monday, April 8th, 2002
Dragon's Lair Action Figures
Along with the new release of Dragon's Lair 3D comes Dragon's Lair action figures. Dirk, Daphne, Singe the dragon and more will be available soon. Check them out at the above link.
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MAME at Sharper Image?
Yup, you can now buy MAME at the Sharper Image! The HanaHo ArcadePC Ultra which is an arcade cabinet with control panel, PC, monitor, MAME and 50 legal Capcom games for $2,995.95. Check it out at the above link.
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Saturday, April 6th, 2002
Gens v1.90 Released
The excellent Sega Genesis and SegaCD emulator was updated to v1.90. Here's what's new:
    [SEGA CD]
    • GFX conversion fixed (all conversions possibilities are emulated now).
    • Severals bugs added in Gens 1.80 have been fixed.
    [GENESIS]
    • New YM2612 core:
      • More accurate.
      • We can activate a "High Quality" emulation mode.
      • A bit faster.
    • New PSG core:
      • We can activate "PSG improvement" mode (see the shortcut section).
      • Faster.
    • Save state support fixed a bit (some stuff were broken in Gens 1.80)
    • Minors changes and fixes.
    [GENERAL]
    • Removed the 8 bits sound option (useless).
    • Fixed the infamous "closing during initialisation" bug.
    • Fixed a minor bug with the software x2 blit MMX.
Download it from the Console Emulators section.
 Discuss this in the [email protected] Forums 

Friday, April 5th, 2002
MAME WIP for April 3rd-4th
MAME WIP news for April 3rd through the 4th:
  • 2002-04-04: Ron Fries added a little better support for joysticks with start and select buttons. Jarek Burczynski sent in a driver for Tank Busters, but it might have imperfect colors. Brian A. Troha re-submitted some clones to the Namco NA1/2 driver.
  • 2002-04-03: Aaron Giles fixed a potential crash bug in the ES550x sound chip emulators, but this doesn't fix anything else. Paul Priest added region support to the Psikyo SH-2 games driver and improved the background graphics in for example Strikers 1945 II. Kale fixed the Block Gal bootleg video emulation, but background colors are still wrong.
Check out the screen shots at the above link.
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Thursday, April 4th, 2002
The XBox Winner is...
The winner of the Arcade Trivia Game and a new XBox is... Paul Kahler from Rockford Illinois. Paul deserved it as he played the game an ungodly number of times over several months. His entry was picked at random, but his odds were very good because he played so many times. In the next couple days I'll be starting my next contest for an X-Arcade arcade controller!
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$110,000 1976 Toyota?
Take a look at above auction, this is no joke BTW. This is a demonstration of the inherent risk of extreme customization: Your idea of mega-cool may not be anyone else's. I love the quote, "well over $100,000.00 invested". "invested"? As in a "return on an investment" as opposed to "spent" AKA "pissed away"? Too funny.
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