Some of you maybe remember the "Long trip to get some Mouse Trap's", which i nearly did two years ago, to preserve an german revision of Mouse Trap.
I had to do another trip yesterday to preserve an completely unknown game for the WEBAK MPU-12 system.
The MPU-12 system from WEBAK is a pretty complex system, which uses a protected subboard completely covered in epoxy. The subboard has a PAL16L8, a M68B09P and a 28F512 flashrom (which contains the complete program) inside. Luckily by heating up the epoxy with about 300-400°C, you can pop it away with an screwdriver...just like an archeologist would uncover prehistorical bones from earth. This takes some time, as you don't want break the flashrom, so you really have to do it layer by layer.
I already dumped a MPU-12 board in 2012...but because of the complexity of the system it nearly took 10 years and a second board for Roberto Fresca, Grull Osgo and Mirko Buffoni to get these fully emulated in MAME. You can read more about it here on Roberto's blog.
This progress in 2022 got us motivated, so we hunted down some more boards from this system. While i always had my eyes open for MPU-12 boards since 2012, not many showed up for sale...and the only game we ever saw on that system was Fruit Star Bonus.
If you look at the MAME driver (mpu12wbk) you will find this:
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.2.00ITL), 199?, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.27PVIE), 199?, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.20PIR), 1997, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.36UNG-1100), 1996, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.30UNG-200), 1996, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.23PSTK, Steiermark), 1999, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.17BGL-3, Burgenland, set 1), 1997, Webak Elektronik.
* Fruit Star Bonus (Ver 8.17BGL-3, Burgenland, set 2), 1997, Webak Elektronik.
So until december 2023 we only ever found different revisions from Fruit Star Bonus on that hardware. And in fact, we believed that this is the only game, which Webak ever released on the MPU-12 system.
Guess what, we were wrong! :-)
Just some days ago an MPU-12 board showed up for sale here in Austria, which had the handwritten title GOLDEN JOK on the subboard. You can be sure, that i was on fire to get this!
Sadly, the seller did not want to ship the board. So i had to make a 400km trip (for both ways) to rescue this unknown game.
The amazing team of Roberto Fresca, Brian A Troha, f205v and Kevin Eshbach helped with the financial costs!
I started the trip at about 3pm and while we currently sadly don't have snow in Upper- and Loweraustria the weather was pretty good for such a trip. Fun fact, the board was again located near the czech boarder...like two years ago...
After about 2 hours of driving through the amazing landscape of Austria, i had the board in my hand and even had the chance to buy a second MPU-12 board from him.
I immediately drove back to my home, as it already started to get dark...
And after some serpentines threw the austrian mountains...i finally arrived at home two hours later.
Here's what we finally got:
After some sleep i directly started to get these two boards dumped and removed the epoxy from the subboards to get to the program-roms!
The flashroms for the program are 28f512 (having 64kb of space), but the program-data of each game is only 32kb..so Webak sometimes (at least we had it on one board before) put's two different program-revisions on one flashrom, which can get selected by setting the highest addressline to HIGH or LOW. (But currently we don't know how they switch between the revisions...this needs to get more investigation)
On both of these boards, two revisions were included inside the flashrom, which means, we got 2 games with two different revisions each!
I already sent everything to Roberto Fresca and here are some preview snaps of the preserved stuff:
(a completely unknown game to this date and the first time to see this emulated in MAME)
The flashrom has the revisions 16.06UNG-25 and 16.10UNG-25 included!
FRUIT STAR BONUS
While we already have eight revisions already in MAME, with this board we got the new revisions 8.30UNG-25 and 8.36UNG-25
Thanks to everyone envolved here: Brian Troha, Kevin Eschbach, f205v, Roberto Fresca, Team Europe
You will most likely find all these new dumps in the next MAME release!