The big event of the day is here! MAME 0.236 is ready for your enjoyment! Sadly, this month marked the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair, who it could be argued did more to put computers into the hands of everyday people than anyone. There’s a small update to MAME’s ZX Spectrum software list in this release.
The effort to dump and preserve protection microcontrollers is still going well. This month’s additions include Juuouki and Wonder Planet. Protection simulation has been removed for Wonder Planet and Space Harrier. Remember, this is a worthy cause that provides multiple benefits: it improves accuracy by taking guesses out of emulation, helps people maintain and repair ageing arcade boards, and simplifies MAME’s code.
MAME’s NEC PC-8001 now supports floppy disks. The PC-8001 and PC-8801 software lists have been reorganised to match, and a big batch of items from the Neo Kobe collection have been added. MAME continues to improve its NES/Famicom cartridge coverage. There are a whole lot of games you can play now, including Chinese RPGs, fighting game bootlegs, and pirate multi-game cartridges. Experience a parallel universe of software of such inconsistent quality that you can’t stop going down the rabbit hole! Saturn emulation has seen a few improvements, with several games that didn’t boot previously reaching playable status this month.
As you might expect, the FM Towns, PC-98 and V.Smile software lists have been updated as usual. A couple of recently dumped prototypes have been added to the SNES and Game Boy software lists. The SpongeBob SquarePants Jellyfish Dodge game has been dumped and emulated, and a Korean version of Sotsugyo Shousho known as Jor-eop Jeungmyeongseo has been found. More pleasant surprises include working emulation for the IDE protection dongle included in Killer Instinct 2 upgrade kit, and some fixes for Atari 8-bit home computers using the ANTIC video chip.
For people with more exotic tastes, MAME has added its oldest working software list additions: Munching Squares and Punchy for the MIT TX-0. There’s also a new disassembler for the DEC VAX architecture. In more mundane news, you can now reduce the proliferation of duplicate ROM sets for families of similar keyboards and other devices.
Of course, there’s lots more going on, and you can read all about it in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page.
Why is the new "Pucman" referred as a gambling game? Did it payout tickets or such? It feels just like a typical homecomputer Pacman clone (nothing chance based). Sprite collision seems to be a bit unreliable and no highscore saving (score disappears during game over into nirvana?), but otherwise nice.
"Danger Express" is typical 1990th eh "photo-realistic" pixelated sprite madness. I thought Pit Fighter was worst Atari here, but this ridiculosity feels like "Machete" B-movie. If there were a SchleFaz category for games (a German TV show about the worst movies of all times), it would definitely fit.
"Head on Channel"... The 90th must have been crazy about TV themed game storylines. "Smash TV", "Must Shoot TV" and now another one.
The game, like a notable number of other gambling titles, boots into an innocuous-looking game, but can be switched over to its actual gambling-related mode using a switch. The idea is that if an "arcade" owner in the relevant region ends up getting raided, the owner can simply cut power to the games and restart them, at which point they'll be in a perfectly legal-looking game.
The other typical scenario for such a game is that it will have a button combination to quickly put it into a non-gambling mode, in the event that someone is standing in front of the machine at the time that the parlor is raided. This isn't practically different from various MS-DOS games which had a "boss key", in order to fake the idea of looking like productivity software (or a plain command prompt) in order to not result in any reprisals.
As usual, you seem to be completely convinced that you're right about everything, and rather than approaching it from the standpoint of asking the reasonable question of "I don't seem to see anything gambling-related in Pucman, is this correct?" you brashly assert that the MAME developers are a bunch of fuckwits who have somehow YOLO'd their way into emulating thousands of machines despite apparently being so stupid in your view that they would eat their own shit if given half the chance. Maybe you should pause, take a step back, re-evaluate your life choices, and then fuck off to some other community that's willing to put up with your paranoiac bullshit.
I am only not on fakebook or whatever you consider your only true official communication channel. I do not consider anybody an idiot but only expected a sorting mistake. (In a list with thousands of games this can happen easily. I am not into slotmachines; how should I know every single arcade game type on Earth?) I think I found the page now.
New working clones
unknown 'Pac-Man' gambling game (set 2) [Nnap]
That the game had a secret mode switch for nations where import or operation of gambling equipment was illegal is interesting. I expected that the default dipshit eh switch setting of MAME would make it boot into that gambling game when marked so. Or does one by design need to hold down a button during each boot to reveal the gambling mode, so the arcade owner could at any time pull the main fuse of the room in case that cops came and so every machine booted itself into the innocent game?
Or has this not a hidden second game at all but includes mixed game rules like this "Pac-Man Battle Casino"?
Plus just because something is illegal doesn't mean it didn't exist. I had somebody asking me about a German romset for "Route 88" a Nazi hack of Hang-On that was apparently in the back room of some underground Nazi bar / members club over in Germany that got shut down some years ago. Probably long gone though as by the sounds of it the hacked roms were created specifically for that place. (It's a strange thing to be asked about I know)
"... default dipshit eh switch setting of MAME ..."
Is it just me that is offended by that statement?
You are strange people. This is a VERY common pun about DIP switch mess. E.g. DIPshit is the name of a known synth mod to manually change the preset sounds of FM keyboards by inserting a DIP switch block between CPU and FM soundchip data lines.
I think I have found now the hidden mode in "Pucman", which seems to work somewhat like video poker; but I haven't fully figured out how to play. Using coin slot button 6 or 7 (instead of the regular 4 and 5) fill credits in (displayed at PUCMAN) and start gambling mode. Pressing now start will bet money (each a credit, makes POINTS increase by 1 and number below HIT by 500). Pushing joystick up makes pacman encircle the cage (eating 5 ghosts) and 5 numbers appear in the ghost cage, those can be selected with left/right and entered with up. Rarely now another number appears in the upper right (when player has won?) that adds to the EXTRA display (kind of jackpot or won credits?) and in the cage you can select "small/big" (betting on something?). With numbers in the cage, pressing start removes some and instead displays ghosts to be eaten, which may be like selecting cards in videopoker. If the credit counter reached zero, setting further money will withdraw it from EXTRA (the won money). If this is gambling, I don't know if the EXTRA contents can do payout through the coin return chute or if in illegal arcades the player would call the operator to give the money. I am not familiar with that kind of hybrid games.
In Germany we have "Geldspielgeräte" (recreational gambling machines) those often used to have spinning discs (e.g. "Rotamint", "Merkur-Disc") and gameplay resembles casino slotmachine but is slower and eats way less money per hour (and is legally required to payback a certain percentage per hour). Until 2006 each machine could only be legally used commecially for 4 years and then was doomed to become e-waste (unless ending in hands of collectors or party rooms). Nowadays successors have LCD screens and may use the same games like online gambling (but tweaked to German legal requirements) and typically can be only rented by operators. Possibly even the hardware is some kind of generic Android online device running a specialized app.
On Youtube I saw a casino car racing machine that looks like a regular 3D arcade videogame cockpit but withdraws a credit into the integrated slotmachine every time you overroll certain symbols... - What a money eater! By legally limited licenses and often changing laws, gambling games are likely even more shortlived than videogames and worth to preserve. Perhaps in 100 years mankind will be mentally or genetically upgraded to loose susceptibility to gambling and Las Vegas became history. Existence of gambling says much about what an illogical species we still are; future people may shake their head about us when studying such games.
I tried also the other secret gambling games mentioned on the page:
The Space Invaders (unksig.zip) is quite fast but at least I reach level 3 (feels like freakish Commodore VC20 stuff - I like that). Like Pucman, unfortunately it clears score too fast and keeps no highscore. The gamble mode seems to be a simple video poker variant with numbers instead of cards. (Shoot the objects = cards you don't hold.)
The Tetris mode of "Cherry Master" feels like a very sad Atari bootleg (monophonic melody, bricks only green, no animations, initially too slow etc.) - possibly intentionally boring by design to deter people from playing the non-gambling mode too long, because it didn't bring much money to the operator.
The game "X-Plan" (although marked defective) does seem to work, but (I don't know if this was again intended) looks like a very boring war plane shooter from a wannawii (SunPlus based chinaware) console. The gambling game again seems the same kind of primitive videopoker variant like in the Invaders (mark the planes = cards you want to hold). To toggle between both games you apparently need to hold 2 of the 3 buttons simultaneously; the one with title screen is the gambling. I hope this wasn't too off-topic.