Here's a game title you have to love by the folks at Jgoware.com. "A fast action retro style shoot-em-up with plenty of non stop action spread out over 100 levels. Several blasts from the past challenge stages where you can get bonus points and power ups. RetroBlast features a very easy to use mouse controlled interface. Grab your mouse and start playing right away!"
Anyone who has used the classic and much sought after WICO 4 or 8-way leafswitch joysticks knows how easy it is to take them apart only to forget how they go back together. I know I make that mistake often. To help out, I found this scan of the official assembly instructions for the holy grail of arcade joysticks. Next time you find yourself trying to figure out which which side is up on the plastic actuator or can't remember when to install the spring, just use this handy guide and get it right the first time.
Here's the ultimate guide to Bally's Twilight Zone pinball: the rules, strategies, even the bugs and "easter eggs". This document has steadily morphed over the years, including being converted into HTML, Microsoft Word, and now Adobe Reader (.PDF) format. Everything's hyperlinked and cross-referenced, and Will Irace even added photos when he converted and updated the document for printing. (Be sure and check out his Twilight Zone page!)
Pinball collectors quite often replace the pricing card on their pins with a "history card", which provides a few facts about the pin, such as the designer, how many were produced, what year it was released, and so on. This is my custom history card for the 1993 Bally "Twilight Zone" pinball. The file is a ZIP file containing a high-resolution 6.8Mb .PNG format file (which can be edited using a graphics program such as Macromedia's Fireworks).
Here are a few more of my custom pinball cards, this time for the 1992 Bally "Doctor Who: Time Streams" pinball. The instruction card included in this archive is a high-resolution inverted scan of the original Doctor Who instruction card, while the two history cards are my own custom creations. The two different high resolution Photoshop (PSD) versions of the history card and the instruction card are all included in the 13.2Mb ZIP archive file.
As good as the Betson monitor is, it doesn't come with any type of service or operations manual. This file is a PDF version of the Kortek KT-2914 service manual (the Betson Multisync is just a re-branded Kortek). It includes details of the on-screen display and basic schematics, making it handy for fine-tuning the display. A good read if you've got a Kortek or are considering buying one. (Note: this file has been on RetroBlast for a while, but it was only previously accessible through the Betson Multisync review, and many people missed the link.)
A collection of very cool "pseduo-3D" renderings of Defender, created by RetroBlast's own James McGovern. These are great renderings, keeping true to the spirit of the original 2D sprites while giving it a certain "isometric edginess" (my words, not his!). There are three separate wallpaper designs included in the file, each one 1400x1050 in size. They look great on the desktop, and they're a must for any die-hard Defender or Stargate fanatic!
MCM.ini Filters File Updated for MAME .101
With over 4,000 games, wielding a full set of MAME games can be, well, unwieldy. MAME Content Manager by Douglas Good (MCM web site), makes removing games from your set a cinch, and with the extra power of this excellent MCM.ini filters file from Max Hutchison, it gets even easier. Whether you're removing adult ROMs because of the kids, or you just don't like Majhong games, MCM with the MCM.INI file makes trimming the ROM fat a breeze. (Note: this is just the .ini file — you'll also need the MCM program, available at the MCM site.)
If you can't get enough fresh MAME news, here's a fix for your news-junkie needs: a MAME screensaver, compliments of Sal Campana, that grabs the MAMEworld RSS newsfeed and delivers updated news stories throughout the day. You can scroll through the list using the arrow keys and press the space bar to auto-launch your browser.
Note: This screensaver requires the .NET Framework 2.0 or higher, which can be downloaded from Microsoft's web site. It's a 24mb download, but it's worth it for this screensaver!
KeyThis! Testing Utility Version 1.1
KeyThis!, by Chris Stuhr is an essential tool for testing a MAME controller or keyboard encoder: it includes the status of the keyboard lights, shows multiple keypresses, and provides advanced info on the last keys pressed, including a scrolling history (extremely useful for tracking down ghosting problems!).
It's a slick, efficient (10k!) program that should prove invaluable to anyone with a keyboard encoder-based controller!
If you're having trouble getting the game properly calibrated in MAME, here's a pre-calibrated NVRAM file. Just drop the "term2.nv" file into the "nvram" folder (located in your MAME folder), and you'll be blasting cyborgs in no time.
By popular request, I'm making the original Photoshop version of my MAMEframe Instruction card available. It was designed for use with MAMEWAH and a SlikStik Classic unit, but can be adapted for practically anything, as all the Photoshop layers in the file are editable. Feel free to use it as you wish.
The Photoshop .PSD file is 6 megs in size (3.2 megs zipped).
MAMEWAH Setup Utility Version 0.7.7
A great program from David Butler (web site) that allows you to quickly setup everything about MAMEWAH. The MAMEWAH Setup Utility allows you to easily configure MAMEWAH, even if you're using it with multiple emulators. If you've got a complex MAMEWAH setup, this is a great utility.
Note: The program requires a DLL (fm20.dll) that is not redistributable. It's part of Microsoft Office. However, there is a free download from Microsoft (Active X Control Pad) that includes the needed DLL.
I created this "glow ball" version of the MAME logo as a quick temporary marquee for the MAMEframe II, and liked it so much I've created a desktop wallpaper version. (It's amazing how much time you can waste playing around in Photoshop, but the results are usually wonderful!)
The ZIP file contains 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200 sizes of the wallpaper.
This is a Word document which details how to access the special hidden setup menu on the Wells-Gardner D9200 arcade monitor (Review)
The special setup menu enables several options, such as being able to adjust the “factory default” color gain and bias, as well as the on-screen display timeout. You may not need these options, but it's always nice to know they're available! Special thanks to Phil LeMieux for this document!
Universal MAME Bezel For MAME .79 or earlier
Here's something neat: UniVert, a “universal” bezel macro by Marcus Tiller for vertical games that “fills in” the unused sides of the screen with the MAME logo. It uses a batch file that duplicates the border artwork for all vertical MAME games (current as of MAME version .79) The file uses relatively high-resolution artwork (640x480), which makes the border images even nicer looking.
NOTE: The batch file used
by UniVert requires the DOS version of PKZIP, which is unfortunately no
longer available as a
You can use this utility to make sure that the brightness and contrast on your monitor are properly adjusted, and that the geometry settings for each resolution on your monitor are arcade-perfect.