A long long time ago, back when I got a Pentium 100 the wonderful world of emulation was really starting to be possible with such a high powered CPU. Â First was the simple Game Boy emulators, then a Commodore 64 emulator, the incredible Amiga Emulator, the beginnings of SIMH (back when it was only a PDP-11 emulator), and then I found the SEGA emulator,Â System 16.
It was really cool being able to play 16bit arcade games on the desktop, although rather slowly. Â From there everyone knows the rise of MAME. Â But while looking around for a small 68000 C compiler, I came across the source code to an older version of System 16, 0.53 on archive.org. Â Naturally it’s for MS-DOS, as was everything back in the day. Â Also slightly interesting is the 68000 emulation, written byÂ Bernd Schmitd of UAE fame. Â So for the heck of it, I set about gettingÂ Thierry Lescot’s System 16 building again. Â I’ve never used allegro before, so it was a bit of a fight to get a version of it to actually build. Â It turns out that I should have been building version 2.11 with tools of that era (why on earth was I using GCC 4, and binutils 2.18?) and instead stick with GCC 18.104.22.168 and some much older binutils. Â And in no time I had build the library, and it’s examples. Â With that done, I was able to re-build System 16 with GCC 4.1.2 and get a binary!
Back in the day, I actually did have an Altered Beast arcade board. Â Sadly it died in a move, someone near and dear just saw the PCB as “garbage” and tossed it. Â Sigh, but I did have ROM dumps, as I did a refresh of it forever ago. Â Anyways I still have the ROM files, so I guess that is nice.
Anyways I fired up the emulator and got what is known as the “jail bar” effect, which is from a bad ROM.
The System 16 splits it’s memory into a program space, a sprite memory bank, a tile memory bank, and RAM for stack and things like the palette. Â As you can see the program is certainly running, and the sprites are good. Â I did some poking around a bit later, and noticed that due to a logic bug, the texture ROMs are actually never loaded!
So a quick patch, and now we get Altered Beast up and running!
Well, now isn’t that great!
Not that I would imagine anyone would really care, I mean MAME is a thing, and even from the readme:
Altered Beast : No sound emulation
So it’s pretty quiet. Â Additionally the source is pretty restrictive:
These sources can’t be used for commercial purpose, any new version of the
emulator done with these sources must specify my name somewhere on the screen
et docs and I must be informed about any new release of the emulator.
For anyone interested you can find the source & binaries out on sourceforge.