MAME emulates the arcades from Perestroika

August 8, 2008 · Filed Under Emulation & Retrogaming, News 

News - A succession of fresh, quality news, from inside and outside of the WebJust when you think you have seen emulated any sort of things, it is than that the guys of MAME Italian Forum amaze you with the announcement of a pretty odd addition to the endless heritage of the digital archive of MAME. This time the Borg-emulator created by doc. Nicola Salmoria re-creates S.O.S., a rare example of arcade built in Russia in the period between past and present better known as Perestroika.

A period which has seen the slow but steady disintegration of the soviet regime and the opening of the Russian society to the western world. Before this providential opening, in the USSR the arcades market was managed like all the rest by the state and games “were made at the secret military factories from the Seventies up to the Perestroika“, according to the statements of the Soviet Arcade Games Museum managers.

And exactly to the above said museum, which takes care of the restoration of electronic machines of the soviet era to show them later at Moscow, is due the donation of S.O.S. board. Antro, an Italian collector, made a long journey toward the Russian capital to borrow the PCB, take it back to Italy and let f205v, mamedev and moderator of the MAME Italian Forum, to decipher and dump the game ROMs to add them to the emulated titles archive of MAME.

Merging of S.O.S. into the emulator of emulators (in the just released intermediate version 0.126u4) has been a pretty straight operation, considering that the game runs on the same hardware of Konek-Gorbunok, son of the soviet Eighties also and developed by the state company Terminal that now is called EXTREMA-Ukraine and builds those hellish gambling machines which have precious little to share with arcades and videogames in the strict sense of the word.

S.O.S. - screenshots collage

Tiamc1.c, the driver in MAME that lets Konek and now S.O.S. run is currently marked with the “imperfect” status, sign of the fact that the emulation cannot be considered quite faithful to the original arcade yet. Whatever it is the addiction of the new “soviet” title represents one of the most important recent hits of Italian mamedevs, in the viewpoint of rare - or very rare as in this case - arcade machines preservation inevitably doomed to obsolescence which distinguishes the MAME project.

The S.O.S. board lent to Antro by the SAGM guys is like a first trial, says f205v, in the hope that the collector would gain their trust and could bring in Italy new unknown boards so that they can be added to the emulator. An operation that, in the case that it would work out for the best, appears already as long and toilsome: the fragile PCBs will have to be taken by hand at Moscow, the Cyrillic code on the integrated circuits will have to be deciphered and it will be needed at last to find the possible resemblances with what of the said circuits is already present in MAME.

Below I post the last S.O.S. screenshot published on the MAME Forum together with the board photos. The hardware is extremely simplistic, it seems to belong to the end of the Seventies “and it was produced in the August of 1988 instead“. Wonders of MAME and of the incredible passion of people who work for the project careless of the time passing-by. An authentic proof of true love, indeed.

S.O.S. - screenshot 2

S.O.S. - PCB screenshot 1

S.O.S. - PCB screenshot 2

S.O.S. - PCB screenshot 3

S.O.S. - PCB screenshot 4

S.O.S. - PCB screenshot 5

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