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  • This is the MAME Random Of the Week #61

    The three random numbers for this week are: 2121 1412 1260 1718

    1412 is Mahjong Panic Stadium and was removed from consideration

    Click here to vote! Which game do you choose for MAME ROW #61?

    The result of the poll is posted on Wednesday, so we have Monday and Tuesday for experimentation.

    Game Name: Willow (US)
    Company: Capcom
    Year: 1989
    ROM file name:

    Game Name: Paddle Mania
    Company: SNK
    Year: 1988
    ROM file name:

    Game Name: Soldam (Japan)
    Company: Jaleco
    Year: 1992
    ROM file name:

    What is the MAME ROW?

    MAME ROW stands for MAME Random Of the Week. We randomly select an arcade game from the 0.78 MAME Reference Set to play on the week. The idea is to play games we've never played before, interact with other forum members, post hi-scores, share game strategies, fun facts, and (the most important) HAVE FUN!


    1. We usually post hi-scores screenshots after playing with only one credit. If you used more than one credit, please mention it on your post.

    2. There's no need to use RetroPie to join the MAME ROW! You can play it on any platform you want.

    3. Feel free to post your hi-score (or any content about the game) anytime you want on the previous rounds topics (link below).

    Every Monday we create a topic at the "General Discussion and Gaming > MAME Random Of the Week" forum section with the 3 random games to be voted. And on Wednesday we check the result.

    These "rules" are constantly being improved!

    Previous Rounds

  • I heard about Willow back in the day. This sounds like as good a reason as any to try it out!

  • I will probably vote for Willow (and I might even play it this time), but I gotta say a few words regarding Paddle Mania. I discovered this ROM a while back and tried setting up the controls for four players on my cabinet. It was not the easiest game to get configured, but I think I managed it given my controls arrangement. Of course, without opponents, it is not that fun, but it could be with the right group. It is no Wii Tennis, but not bad. Still, for MAME ROW it may not be the best choice.

  • Soldam looks based on the classic Reversi (aka Othello) board game.
    Could be interesting to compete on a puzzle game vs usual platform and Shmups.

    Note: it's the successor to Rodland, a nice platformer ;-)

  • @udb23 now you blew my mind. I love Rodland, but I certainly didn't expect this to have any relation to it!

    Watching the video, it still looks way too complicated and slow though:/

    In terms of puzzle games, Puyo Puyo showed up for MAME ROW earlier in the year, and it was a blast!

  • @pjft It seems SOLDAM was quite popular at that time.
    In september 2017 a new version was published for Nintendo Switch.

    Never played it before, will try it (arcade, not switch) to find out if it's fun or not.

  • I tried these last night.

    I already had Willow installed on my mini cabinet but hadn't actually played it. I quite liked it and it reminded me of the classic Ghosts and Goblins game a bit, although somewhat easier. I haven't ever seen the 'Willow' film on which this is based, but was aware of it, as I'm a big fan of the Willow actor - Warwick Davis, who famously also played Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi, and also stars in the Harry Potter films. He's done a lot of TV work as well and comes across as a very funny and down-to-earth guy.

    PaddleMania, as previously mentioned by @caver01 , probably works better as a multi-player game. In single player its' just a case of surviving as long as possible but the game score's not going to be much use in a competition such as the MAMEROW.

    I couldn't really work out what was happening in Soldam, so I looked up some instructions on They explain:

    "Soldam is a puzzle game where the goal is to match soldam fruits along an entire row. The fruits drop down from the top in a 2x2 square which can be rotated. If the edge pieces match color, all of the fruits in the direction of the matching edge pieces will change their color to match. Matching edge pieces can be made horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

    Combinations can be made if the color of more than two of the same edge pieces match. Once an entire row of fruits match, it will be cleared and the fruits that didn't match will drop. However, as time played in each stage progresses, the top of the board will begin to drop. If a fruit reaches the top of the board, the game will end.

    Some game pieces that help to clear the board. Along the right side of the screen is the word "extra". Occasionally, a letter from that word will drop. If all of the letters are on the board, a pixie will appear to clear multiple fruits from the board.

    However, some pieces hinder the ability to clear the board. A "sekiero" piece will occasionally drop, which takes up all four spaces in the square. In order to clear the sekiero, the entirety of both of the horizontal rows around the sekiero must match. If a stage goes on for too long, an enemy will appear to occasionally throw bombs which change the color of the fruits and impede progress.

    A stage is cleared when all of the fruits have been cleared from the board."

    That makes a bit more sense now, but I'm not particularly keen on these dropping gems types of games.

    So because of the Warwick Davis connection, my vote this week is going to Willow. I'm not entirely sure where it shows your score, but on attract mode there appears to be a high score listed, so presumably there's a high score table and I just have never scored enough to get on it so far?

  • @gtbfilms I actually played it last night and was surprisingly underwhelmed :/ I even lost one life by virtue of the timer running out, of all things.

    The score is on the top left of your screen.

    I'll probably still vote for it as it looks quite nice, but I expected a bit more.

  • This week's winner is Willow

    0_1511357782747_Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.34.41 AM.png


  • For anyone else wondering how in the heck you climb up to the ledge to get over the bridge at the very beginning of the game, you press Up + Jump at the same time. It took me way too long to figure that out.

  • Holy cannoli this is an unforgiving platformer. I can make it to what I assume is the boss at the end of the first level (the big dog/rat/pig thing) but no farther. You also don’t see your score on the continue screen.

  • I finally made it to Level 2. I actually ran out of time fighting the boss on the first level. The lowest score on the leaderboard is 10,000 points, but I did manage a screen grab right after I died the final time in Level 2. 9,000 is my best for now.


  • On to the leaderboard! Woo hoo!



  • @obsidianspider that's a great score! Best I can manage is 10450 so far. And that took a lot of practice!


    It's a difficult game. Not least because of that timer - I don't think I've ever seen a game that doesn't stop the timer when you reach the end of level boss - you can be halfway through beating him when this game suddenly goes 'Time Up!'. Ha!

    And the timer ticks down even when you are choosing what to buy from the shop guys.

    I'm not really sure how the purchased items work either. I seem to do better against the end of level boss if I have bought the ancient stone item. I don't know if the benefit of items remains if you lose a life?

    The number of coins you collect seems to be random. For a while I thought of you picked up a coin which was still bouncing, you were more likely to get more, but I'm not sure that's correct - sometimes you get 1 coin, other times a few hundred or even a thousand I think. There doesn't seem to be any rules to this.

  • @gtbfilms The timer seems to be unreasonably short, and yeah, the game is unforgiving. The farthest I've gotten is just past the "Shop" in stage 2.

  • I was having a hunt around the internet for tips for Willow, and came across this:

    It's the instructions for fitting the Willow boards into the cabinet of an old game - it looks like this game was sold as an upgrade to existing cabinets to provide a new game at low cost. There's interesting advice on cleaning up the cabinet, and replacing the marquee/artwork to make it look like new, but all the arcades I remember used to just jam a new board in and leave the cabinet a total inconsistent mess!

    I actually find this sort of thing quite interesting, as it shows arcade-owners side of the business, which I was never really aware of (or even considered) in the hey-day of arcades. I remember being flabbergasted to first find out about dip-switches and how arcade owners would set a new machine to EASY on arrival, then bump up the difficulty after a few weeks - all the kids like me would plough more cash in adamant that "I used to get further than this on a credit!"

    I did manage to find a comprehensive game guide as well:

  • Willow overlay and launching image are now available.

  • Wow this game is hard. My highest score, I think, is 2,000 points. Furthest I've gotten is just past the first bad guy that requires more than one shot.

  • @periodiclogic best strategy I have found for that guy (on the bridge) is buy the ring from the shop before, this allows you to take a few hits, then keep jumping towards him firing, trying to time it so you jump any projectiles. If you get close to him he disappears and reappears elsewhere but it prevents him firing too many shots. Also if he reappears at the level of the bridge (instead of in mid air) you can get a few shots in before he disappears again.

    When he dies the bridge collapses so get ready to run.

    Having said that, he still manages to kill me about half of the time!

  • They had Willow in my local arcade back in the early 90s. I seem to remember, near the start of the game, there is somewhere you can shoot into what looks like empty space but there is something there which turns from invisible to visible when you fire there a few times if you know what I mean. Some kind of power up? Sorry for the vagueness but it was a long time ago!

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