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 Looks like my collection was a tad out of date :-\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.

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:

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)

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)

The nasty side of retrogaming addiction…

So I’m currently in the market for an old Sega Saturn. Not too much of a problem. They go for under AU$100 and a guy from work is considering selling me his old Japanese Saturn with all the games and lightgun controllers. So I’m looking for good games. Apparently Radiant Silvergun is an amazing shoot’em up (or shmup as apparently the kids call ’em these days). I love shoot’em ups. So I’m looking around on Ebay for second-hand copies of the game. Bloody hell, starting bids of US$150 for that game!!! There’s a few copies in the UK starting off nice and cheap though. Perhaps I’ll keep an eye on those auctions. Or perhaps pursue other avenues.

Apparently other great shoot ’em ups for the Saturn are Soukyugurentai and Thunder Force V. And it looks like the pricing on those are a little more sane.

MAME 0.81u7 Released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Twin Eagle 2 [Olivier Galibert]
  • Megaplay : Sonic the Hedgehog [Barry Rodewald, GreyRogue]
  • Megaplay : Tecmo World Cup [Barry Rodewald, GreyRogue]
  • Megaplay : Golden Axe 2 [Barry Rodewald, GreyRogue]
  • Megaplay still has a few issues (continue without extra coins etc.)

New Clones supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Area 51 (R3000 Version)
  • Ninja (clone of Sega Ninja)

New Non-Working games / clones supported

  • Battle Balls (Asia)
  • Super Pang

MAME 0.81u6 Released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Renju Kizoku
  • Neratte Chu

New Non-Working games / clones supported:

  • Mayjinsen
  • Mayjinsen 2
  • Super Eagle Shot
  • Super Real Mahjong P5

MAME 0.81u5 Released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Brave Blade
  • Ray Story
  • Pirate Treasure

New Clones supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • NBA Maximum Hangtime v1.03
  • Leprechaun (Pacific Polytechnical license)

New Non-Working games / clones supported

  • MegaPlay: Tecmo World Cup
  • MegaPlay emulation is still incomplete
  • Vapor TRX
  • San Francisco Rush: The Rock
  • Hyperdrive

SNES on Dreamcast

Last night I burnt up a CD-R with DreamSNES, a nice Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator for the Dreamcast. Busted out some Super Mario World, R-Type III and Super Ghouls and Ghosts. Fun fun! I wasted a few blank CD-R’s in the process though. Must rememeber this forum topic over at DC Emulation for burning Dreamcast CD’s under linux.

I’m also currently got a Dreamcast VMU, Keyboard, Mouse and extra game controller on order. Now all I’ve got to find now is a Broadband Adapter and I’ll have a nice cheap web terminal for the TV room.

MAME 0.81u4 Released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Ghostlop
  • Super Rider
  • Groove On Fight
  • Othello Shiyouyo
  • Danchi de Hanafuoda

New Clones supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Driving Force (Galaxian hardware, bootleg)
  • Snow Bros (set 4)

New Non-Working games / clones supported

  • Lord of Gun
  • Densya De Go (1, 1ex, 2, 2ex)
  • Side by Side (1 & 2)
  • Landing Gear

MAME 0.81u3 Released

New Games supported or promoted from GAME_NOT_WORKING status:

  • Cool Boarders Arcade Jam

New Non-Working games / clones supported

  • CPS-3 System
    this will never work (encryption etc.) driver does NOTHING, for reference only
    Street Fighter III etc