Recent Acquisitions Part 1 – NES Elite

nes-elite1.jpgDavid Braben and Ian Bell‘s seminal 80’s classic game Elite is probably my favourite game of all time. There’s been numerous versions of it on computers and consoles such as the C64, Amiga, BBC Spectrum, PC and Acorn Archimedes. There’s even some ports to OpenGL and Gameboy Advance ports of it and a recreation of it called oolite for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.

Recently a NES version of it popped up on eBay and I was lucky enough to nab it (for $42…). Definitely a nice piece to have in my small NES cart collection, as its apparently quite rare having only been released in PAL territories. According to the UK NES Rarity list, it rates an A-; “These Will Require A Lot Of Looking“.

Would have been nice if it came with a box though, although that would no doubt have jacked up the price even more.

Keeping up with MAME

Since Retro ROMS seems to have fallen off the web lately, I haven’t had anywhere to keep up with my MAME ROMs. The other came I came across The Pleasure Dome (pretty suss sounding name if you ask me). They, along with Petr1fied’s Tracker host some bittorrents for keeping up to date with all your ROMs. Bittorrent comes in handy, since instead of having to run ClrMamePro to figure out what you’re missing (although running it does help clean up unrequired ROMs) and then download each ROM one by one, Bittorrent along with TorrentZip can do all the hard work for you.

Basically you run TorrentZip on your ROMs directory. It re-zips all your ROMs to match the hash for all the ROMs in the bittorrent. It’ll take a few hours to do this if you’ve got stacks of ROMs. After you’ve done that, its a matter of joining the torrent, pointing your bittorrent client at your ROMs directory and away you go. I joined in the torrent the other day at around 67%. Looks like my collection was a tad out of date :-\

For more indepth instructions, check out the guides on how to do it over at the Pleasure Dome.

Next-Gen Gaming So Hot Right Now

Nintendo Gameboy Micro

Lots of tasty looking gaming platforms on the horizon:

  • Sony Playstation 3
  • Microsoft xbox360
  • Nintendo Revolution
  • Nintendo Gameboy Micro

Its all happening. All this sexy new hardware to burn cash on.Check out BigKid’s comparison on the xbox360 and the PS3. Not much details kicking around for the Nintendo Revolution. The Gameboy Micro appears to be a smaller and sexier GBA, for the “image conscious”. Don’t think I’ll be replacing my GBA Classic NES Edition though 😀

Over at Mininova there’s a torrent labeled “Nintendo Revolution Day Video Nintendo On” but it appears to be solely about some piece of gaming hardware called Nintendo On, which looks like some sort of immersive game controller (ala Virtual Boy perhaps).

FM Towns

Thought I’d dump out this post since it was sitting in saved state for so long. I’ll add some more info to it later.

Fujitsu FM-Towns IIThe Fujitsu FM Towns was one of those funky Japanese game systems from the late 80’s/early 90’s which I used to drool over in PC Mags like the NEC PC Engine. Unlike the PC Engine which atleast made it to the States and the UK, the Fujitsu FM Towns never seems to have made it outside of Japan. It was pretty ahead of its time, having alot the things that the MPC1 and MPC2 standards aspired to at the time, like a CD-ROM, game controllers, high color video card (which had a color palette of 16.7 million colours) and sound cards. This were all pretty awesome stuff to be having in a 386 at the time!

Another interesting thing about it was the different variations on this machine. First up there was the FM Towns, then after that there was the updated FM Towns II. Somewhere along the line came the FM Towns Marty. Searching around I’ve also come across the FM Towns II UR, which appears to be the same as the FM Towns II EX and the FM Towns HR-20. These three models sport the updated 486. There also appears to be a FM Towns 20F, but it seems to be another name for the FM Towns II.

And here some more interesting FM Towns links:

‘Tis the Season to Spend Money

I don’t usually do the post Christmas sales at all. That’s the highly skilled territory of my Mother and Sister but this year since I was up in Newcastle staying at my Sister’s house, I thought I’d join her at (agh!) 7am or so when David Jones opened in Kotara. Luckily Kotara DJ’s isn’t like Sydney DJ’s on the day of the post-Christmas sales. Infact there was barely anyone around so it was a perfect time to go shopping. No waiting to try clothes on or anything like that. Got myself some shirts and new pair of jeans. Saved about $200 or so. Can’t complain about that. The best part of the day was when we headed to Charlestown. I got bored waiting for my Sister and Rozie, so I wandered down to Big W and check out the games section for any bargains (like I had with DJ’s, Toys-R-Us, K-Mart and Myer previously). Much to my pleasure they had Nintendo Gameboy Advances in there for $50. That’s right! $50!!! Score!!! OK, its not that big a deal considering it isn’t the backlit SP version and I guess they’re just trying to move this older stock to make way for the impending Nintendo DS, but hey… $50!! Down from $108. Yeah…

Holy Retro-Controller Crap on a (joy)Stick Batman!

Sega & Neo Geo Controllers

Now this is the kinda shit that totally gives me the horn (besides going into a newsagent and finding my monthly copy of Retro Gamer Magazine). Sega are to (re)release a USB version of their Sega Saturn controller and Sega Logistics and SNK Playmore are to (re)release a PS2 (not PS/2) version of the TOTALLY kickass Neo Geo Arcade joystick. Also worth noting is that a company called Retrozone sell USB modded versions of NES, SNES, Intellivision, Atari/C64, Genesis/Megadrive, Colecovision and PC Engine/Turbografx 16 controllers.

epsxe + linux

I’m currently trying to get epsxe running under linux (Fedora Core 2) at the moment with no luck. I’ve checked out somethings which are supposed to make it work, but to no avail. 🙁 Anyway, it starts loading the game and then segfaults. 🙁

* Running ePSXe emulator version 1.6.0.
* Memory handlers init.
* ePSXe: PSX BIOS loaded [/home/common/emu/psx/bios/scph5500.bin].
* Loading ISO Format [BIN/IMG2352] ok
* NTSC cdrom detected.
* Init gpu[0][]
* Open gpu[0]
* Init spu[0][]
* Open spu[0]
Segmentation fault

Update: Maybe I’ll have to check out this ePSXe on Linux howto when I get home. (ref)

Bargain hunting

Went a bit crazy of the weekend with secondhand stuff. On Saturday Rozie and I went over to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children for a toy and book fair. Pretty megre findings (well OK, it was about 2 or so when we go there). I managed to pickup Foundations of Paradise by Arthur C Clarke and Children of Dune, Dune Messiah, Heretics of Dune and God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert all for the princely sum of $10. Also the next day I went back again. Every Sunday they have a small market selling lots of junk, food, plants and other bits and pieces. Picked up an old Sega Saturn for $20. That one’s going to become my first region and CD-R mod. 🙂

XMAME 0.82.1 released

Over the weekend XMAME 0.82.1 was released. Changes as follows:

Changes since 0.81.1:

  • Everything from MAME 0.82 and MESS 0.82.
  • The romcmp tool now builds on Solaris.
  • Improved the message that is displayed when a suitable X11 visual cannot be found. Fixes Bugzilla bug 219. (Christopher Stone)
  • Fixed the most egregious formatting errors in the xmame.6 manpage. (Andre Majorel)
  • Converted the documentation from LinuxDoc to a more modern DocBook format.
  • Added x86 SIMD options to the makefile. (Patrick Roberts)

A patch and full sources are available from the usual places:

MAME 0.82 released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Star Gladiator
  • Street Fighter EX
  • Street Fighter EX 2
  • 1945k III
  • Tylz (prototype)
  • Dynagears
  • Super World Stadium
  • Various Megatech sets
  • Agress
  • Time Crisis (Version A)
  • One + Two

New Clones supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Continental Circus (US set 2)

New Non-Working games / clones supported

  • Racing Beat
  • Mission Craft

MAME 0.81u8 & u9 Released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Strider 2

New Non-Working games / clones supported:

  • Monster Bash (2 board version)
  • One + Two

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Atari Mini Golf (prototype)
  • Inca (clone of Maya)

New Non-Working games / clones supported

  • MACS (Multi Amenity Cassette System)
  • Namco FL (Speed Racer / Final Lap R)