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  • This is the MAME Random Of the Week #100

    The three random numbers for this week are: 2107 454 739

    Click here to vote! Which game do you choose for MAME ROW #100?

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

    Game Name: Wonder Boy
    Company: Escape
    Year: 1986
    ROM file name:

    Game Name: Dragon Blaze
    Company: Psikyo
    Year: 2000
    ROM file name:

    Game Name: Hit the Ice
    Company: Williams
    Year: 1990
    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

  • Well, one thing I can say about Wonderboy is stay off the skateboard until you have a feel for the course. It is not required and it just a fast track to suicide if you don't know what is ahead.

  • How is the performance on emulating Dragon Blaze? At the compatibility list for FBA found on is a comment found saying the game runs at 80% speed. FBA is known to be working better for shmups from this era than mame2003 and mame2010. Do you guys have any experience with that?

  • Global Moderator

    @thelostsoul said in MAME ROW #100:

    FBA is known to be working better for shmups from this era than mame2003 and mame2010.

    Generalized information like that should always be treated as apocryphal. No arcade emulator inherently plays any one whole genre from any particular time period better than another. In equal host environments, performance comes from how well individual drivers are written on a game-by-game basis. It always pays to test these things out yourself. Myself, I'm running 'Dragon Blaze' at full speed in AdvanceMAME 3.x.

  • I tried these a couple of nights ago, not on my PICADE, but on my main PC, so I can't comment on whether they all run at a decent speed on the pi or not.

    My thoughts:

    I remember hearing about this one back in the 80's but I don't think I've ever actually played it. It's a lot faster than I expected. I quite liked it, it reminded me of Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle, which I have very fond memories of sneakily playing in the local toy store, before the shop managed chased me out the shop!

    Dragon Blaze
    A classy bullet-hell shooter, I do like the idea of choosing a dragon at the start. However there's too much going on on this one for my old addled brain, and I don't last very long at all. I know part of the skill in these bullet hell shooters is knowing which part of your sprite has collision detection on it, but I've never really got to grips with that idea.

    Hit the Ice
    I quite liked this one, it's got the 2-players per team concept, which works a lot better than the more realistic larger teams on games like this I think. Still though I couldn't always tell which of my characters I was in control of, and although I managed an early goal, the cpu soon ran rings around me. I think if I spent more time on this one it would grow on me.

    All the options are pretty decent this week, and in my mind, there isn't an obvious winner, but for pure nostalgic reasons (even though I didn't actually play that specific game) I'm going for the side scrolling action of Wonderboy.

  • @gtbfilms That is a bone of contention with me too. I am old school and feel that ANY game should be solvable on one credit with sufficient skill. These shooters that throw 1928731928738912 bullets at you and expect you to survive without continue are taking cheap shots. However, a great many of these are solvable if you have superhuman skill, or as you mentioned, the collision detect. By watching YouTube videos, I found that I can greatly increase my longevity on DonPachi due to the fact the lethal area of your ship is in fact a tiny sliver that is much longer up and down than it is wide. The is even someone on YouTube who not only solved it on one credit, but went through both times and even killed the secret boss (the big wasp) on that one play. At least with that game, there is hope.

  • @victimrlsh said in MAME ROW #100:

    These shooters that throw 1928731928738912 bullets at you and expect you to survive without continue are taking cheap shots.

    That is not true. I have a friend who is hardcore shmup player (not anymore) and we had some discussions in the past. Good bullet hell shmups look chaotic, but there are pattern how they shoot. If you play a lot of these games, you get a feeling for it, if you can react fast. I don't think that they are unfair or cheap. True is, that there exist games who did not understand this concept and are truly unfair and cheap in my opinion. Also these games are made for highscore play and reward for high risk playing and shooting with pause, so you get high combos. I never saw games like DoDonPachi for play through, but for highscore runs only. Btw @VictimRLSH, you should be careful about play recordings at YouTube. I saw many such recordings of Arcade games, which had invisible cheats on. Some even write it down in the description.

    But voted for Wonderboy, because I just want play Wonderboy for score and not yet another shmup. Also I wasn't sure about the performance of the shmup, as I don't have AdvancedMame installed.

  • Global Moderator

    @gtbfilms said in MAME ROW #100:

    I remember hearing about this one back in the 80's but I don't think I've ever actually played it.

    You may have played it and just didn't know. 'Adventure Island' for the NES is actually the same game, but to avoid trademark issues with Sega, Hudson Soft decided to change the main character to the company's spokesman Takahashi Meijin, or Master Higgins outside of Japan. I've always wanted to like this game more than I actually do. On paper I should love it, but it's just never clicked for me.

    I played a few stages of 'Dragon Blaze' and it's very well put together, but the bullet hell nature of the game play is a little overwhelming. The controls are really tight and allow for maneuverability between the madness if you can manage to avoid having a panic attack while doing so. It seems as though the bullets are always hot pink which allow you to adopt a sort of magic eye painting strategy to see what paths are open, but as early as the second stage, some background elements are also hot pink, so it immediately becomes somewhat more difficult. The third stage removes these background elements, but I imagine they return from stage to stage.

    Although I'm not going to have a lot of time to play this week, I think I'm also going to vote for 'Wonder Boy'. It's a solid platformer and I've always wanted to discover the love for this series and its offshoots that's shared by so many retro-gamers out there. I've never given the arcade version its full day in court, so maybe this is the one that brings me into the fold.

  • Global Moderator

    @thelostsoul said in MAME ROW #100:

    I wasn't sure about the performance of the shmup, as I don't have AdvancedMame installed.

    Something to consider is that AdvanceMAME may not be the only option. lr-mame2003 and even lr-fbalpha might run it just fine. The compatibility lists you referenced above are unfortunately loaded with questionable entries due to many factors and should generally be avoided. That said, 'Wonder Boy' is a great choice and I'm actually hoping it wins myself.

  • @thelostsoul At least the DonPachi play was spot on, using techniques I saw in the video, I was able to dodge fire from the 2nd and 3rd bosses without using bombs, something I wasn't able to do before. The 3rd boss battleship is way too big to have enough bombs to kill it with one life, the video helped immensely.

    In my past I've finished games on one credit others thought were impossible (Mercs, Narc, Sky Soldiers), so I know not ALL of them take cheap shots. Solar Striker on the Game Boy on the other hand...

    I've been trying to train up on Giga Wing too, with that reflect ability I feel I have a good chance of learning to play it through.

  • This week's winner is Wonder Boy

    Sorry about the late reply everyone. It's been a busy week and I'm just now able to get back to forum stuff.



  • @obsidianspider Absolutely no problem. Guess, we all had a busy week. There is still time left, so let's do some scores today. :-)

  • Here is a quick try. Once I lost my board, i lost all lives at same place. The jump with holding run button is so slippery. It should be relatively easy to beat. The remaining time gets you a lot of points and the fruits you get through your way will fill a little up of your time.

    Score: 31840


  • 51650 getting to section 3 of Level 1 - 3. This game is pretty hard.

    If you can avoid the skateboard you'll have a much better go of it.


  • @obsidianspider Sometimes I ACCIDENTALLY get the skateboard. It and me soon find a hole to fall into...

  • @victimrlsh It's pretty tricky to avoid it in 1-2. I find that if you carefully jump to the left of the egg on the cloud, then you can jump over the egg and you'll be ok.

  • MAME ROW #101 is live

  • "Dragon Blaze" and "Hit the Ice"! Two fantastic games right there.

    DRAGON BLAZE with the ability to "throw your dragon forward" (and retrieve it in two different fashions) was a nice breath of fresh air in the sea of shmups. I like the added strategy. Psikyo shooters also had bullets that changed speed in mid-flight. Cave shooters had consistent bullet speeds. I love most shmups by both companies, but this is probably my favorite Psikyo shooter.

    HIT THE ICE was sorta the "NBA Jam" of ice hockey. It's fun and cartoony! It's easy to pick up and play. Personally I find it more fun than NBA Jam, but that's just me.

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