Viewing Issue Advanced Details
ID Category [?] Severity [?] Reproducibility Date Submitted Last Update
06902 Gameplay Major Always Mar 6, 2018, 23:05 Dec 26, 2022, 23:05
Tester Gryzor1363 View Status Public Platform MAME (Unofficial Binary)
Assigned To Resolution Open OS Windows Vista/7/8 (64-bit)
Status [?] Confirmed Driver
Version 0.195 Fixed in Version Build 64-bit
Fixed in Git Commit Github Pull Request #
Summary MESS-specific 06902: nes [timelord and clones]: Time Lord is unplayable upon level 1 start (all regions)
Description Once past the title screens and the text intro sequence detailing the upcoming mission, beyond the fact that graphics, sprites and status bar are completely corrupt, full of garbage and random glitching as the character moves, it is almost impossible to play, because of the below :

-Character sprite is completely corrupt and seems to "slide" on the ground while moving, cannot perform basic actions such as punching or jumping, some very limited mouvement is possible, yet curtailed along an imaginary "isometric rectangle" spanning a part of the starting area.
-Enemies do not spawn at all, thus nothing interacts with the character, which can subsequently remain there endlessly in the blocked area, and so wherever you manage to position it. None of this is compliant with the original behavior of the game at this point, disqualifying in my humble view a purely video issue.
Steps To Reproduce Simply get past the title and mission briefing and attempt playthrough. You will always get the same results described above.
Additional Information Bugs observed and reproduced with MAMEUI64 0.195.
Github Commit
Regression Version
Affected Sets / Systems nes [timelord and clones]
Attached Files
png file icon 0005.png (2,006,066 bytes) Mar 6, 2018, 23:05 Uploaded by Gryzor1363
Playable area with glitchy sprite & status
There are no relationship linked to this issue.
User avatar
Mar 7, 2018, 01:34
If you will be making snapshots, use MAME's internal snapshot creator (F12).
User avatar
Senior Tester
Mar 7, 2018, 10:27
Tried current MAME git, after the intro messages I got a black screen with music playing, and loss of controls.

>mame nes timelord
User avatar
Mar 7, 2018, 10:32
That is because "timelord" is Euro (PAL) and the NES machine is NTSC.
- mame nes timelordu
- mame nespal timelord

The softlists for many of the consoles are Euro-centric and don't match up with the parent/clone setup of the machines in MAME. Not a problem with arcades consoles/computers always had to have software synced to display for its region. That said, I am slowly working on converting the softlist issue.
User avatar
Senior Tester
Mar 7, 2018, 10:50
Further testing...

>mame nes timelordu

better gfx, a corrupted player can be seen, the scores get corrupted when the player moves. Can't seem to jump.

>mame nespal timelord

player is invisible, scores are corrupted, can't seem to do anything much.

The end result, from what I can see, is the game is not working.
User avatar
Mar 7, 2018, 11:57
edited on: Mar 7, 2018, 11:59
Hello Tafoid,

thanks for your quick feedback. I confirm I used MAME for my screenshot taken in-game, although not sure whether I simply pushed F12 or added some function keys, which is think is required to snap with HLSL effects applied and provide proof of dysfunction "as is".
User avatar
Feb 12, 2019, 10:30
I confirm that problem is persisting in latest MAMEUI64 release 0.206, with identical behavior.
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Senior Tester
Feb 12, 2019, 15:41
edited on: Feb 12, 2019, 15:41
IIRC it seemed related to the NES APU IRQ not working properly in the 6502 core when I looked at it.

I don't have the knowledge to fix tho, but at the time I found a list of other games that require the NES APU IRQ to work, and none were functional even if apparently the IRQs were being signalled.
User avatar
Feb 15, 2019, 12:16
edited on: Aug 1, 2019, 09:18
Thanks a lot Haze for the quick reaction. By any chance, would this IRQ be involved in similarly affected games with both corrupted gfx + flawed movement in gaming area such as "Ultimate Stuntman, The (USA)" ? Noticed pretty much the same kind of problem a couple days ago soon after I posted last update. Once I have enough information, I'll raise a dedicated ticket for it too. Sadly my technical knowledge does not allow me to furnish debug data at this stage.
User avatar
Aug 2, 2019, 02:03
edited on: Aug 2, 2019, 02:12
Same dysfunction as of MAMEUI v0.211.

Is there a reliable source with info on recent emulation status and development for the NES, other than the related Wiki page, by any chance ?
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the work.
User avatar
Aug 2, 2019, 04:01
Either monitoring GitHub: for commits or reading each release's whatsnew.txt
Note: "Bumping" replies of reported bugs stating it is still not working doesn't increase chances it will be looked it.
User avatar
Aug 2, 2019, 15:57
I've thought that perhaps the NTSC and PAL cartridges should be in separate softlists, so that the same setname will map to the appropriate version for each machine.
User avatar
Aug 2, 2019, 19:32
AJR: Not to hijack an MT bug, but I have no problems with that, or at the very least have the parent machine match the softlists parent region. Most of the popular consoles have a "Euro" parent to match MAME's long standing stance of most recent english version. This doesn't work well with non-arcades, sadly as per an issue I raised on GitHub:
User avatar
Aug 6, 2019, 23:06
Thanks for the reply Tafoid, duly noted.

I was indeed more into finding out about more ways than I already knew, to get fresh insight into pending bugs precisely to avoid bumping too much, or at all. Your answers confirm that I was already doing what's needed, although GitHub commits and their relevant comments are generally quite vague to me since I haven't ever coded anything remotely as complex , but that would be my problem.
User avatar
Senior Tester
Dec 21, 2022, 23:33
This is playable now (upcoming 0.251), but listed as partially supported. The status bar can move pretty wildly depending on what else is going on. I've played both versions up to midway through level 3 (I can't figure out how to get the orbs!). The PAL version might be a bit more stable in MAME at the moment.
User avatar
Dec 23, 2022, 23:15
It's ok to set bugs to resolved that you're certain you fixed btw.
I assume you have the superpower to do so?
User avatar
Dec 26, 2022, 10:30
Haven't been able to test it myself tbh, but I'll take your word and its great news for it, thanks for sharing anyway, kmg.
I am admittedly not into using console mode or Mame's rather cumbersome GUI, and since MAMUI64 is not supported anymore (and imho by far the most solid one, such a shame) there's isn't a straight way for me to test it right now, but I'll think of another frontend to boot. Too bad the "Arcade" build doesn't contain home consoles & computers, but that's the very point of it to being purely dedicated to arcades and nothing else.

Anyway, I don't think I can set this one to Resolved with the rights of a mortal :D
User avatar
Senior Tester
Dec 26, 2022, 13:36
I suggest you just give the real MAME GUI another shot, in this day and age it's MAMEUI64 that could be considered cumbersome and clunky.

The majority of people who I've talked to who finally moved on have admitted now that the experience with regular MAME is better and that they should have just spent a couple more minutes learning the real MAME interface rather than writing it off because of a prejudice against more modern looking fullscreen applications.
User avatar
Dec 26, 2022, 15:00
edited on: Dec 26, 2022, 16:12
Believe me I have, and I fully get your point. For days on end ever since MAMUI's termination. And I'm not writing it off by default just because of an aversion for simpler-looking interface (for years I've never bothered with default GUI options and go directly into each parameter of the relevant INI section that I took ample time to familiarize myself with both content and file hierarchy etc) but rather after experiencing a lot of random behavior whenever trying to set folder paths, that either don't persist from one boot to another, or in most serious cases return an exception and outright crash when fiddling too many parameters at the same time, or write wierd "__empty" files by default in the ini folder.

After initial failure, I tried to adjust from scratch, going into the buil-in GUI to carefully modify settings one by one, boot after each configuration save, or use existing INIs, nothing works properly. Responses have proven unpredictable. Sometimes it partly does record some changes, sometimes not at all, and in other cases, crashes happen of a sort I have never experienced with any frontend.

I've tried fresh installs of the latest Mame time and again, and every time there is a different issue related to paths and config/ini files. I'm obviously doing something wrong, but I cannot comprehend how going into the interface and changing the defaults should lead to such unreliable behavior.
User avatar
Senior Tester
Dec 26, 2022, 17:29
edited on: Dec 26, 2022, 17:39
It might be wise to open reports with your specific issues then, with exact steps to reproduce.

The issues you're talking about are not ones I've heard anybody else talk about in the context of an official release, again these are more typically problems we hear about when they discuss MAMEUI or unofficial compiles with other problematic changes rather than the regular builds.

I do find it quite strange that you're having these issues with proper builds, because in 99% of cases, when such problems have occurred, the fix has been to point than at official builds instead. It is possible the manual changes you're making work against the way MAME is meant to work (or you're using ini files that have somehow been tainted by MAMEUI?) but again exact reproduction cases would be needed.

If you have 100% reliable reproduction cases for what you're talking about, they're more likely to be addressed.

In general, testing with MAMEUI is discouraged anyway, as due to it using broken / old versions of GCC, and the numerous other changes, it often also has bugs in the emulation that are not present in official versions. (Note, there isn't even an explicit option to create a report using MAMEUI as the version being used because of these problems)
User avatar
Dec 26, 2022, 23:05
edited on: Dec 27, 2022, 15:05
"It might be wise to open reports with your specific issues then, with exact steps to reproduce."
I will do just that in the near future, yes. And I confirm I used an official Mame 0.250 release from the main website :

"It is possible the manual changes you're making work against the way MAME is meant to work"
If by that you mean simply using plain default Mame 0.250's built-in GUI taken from the official website and launching the executable directly without touching anything, then I'm at a loss as to what I did wrong...

"or you're using ini files that have somehow been tainted by MAMEUI?"
Agreed in full here, that's why I completely stopped attempts at using existing configurations quite early on, instead opting for the default generated INIs from Mame's executable.
I'll redo everything from scratch and make a dedicated post as to my issues if they happen to be reproductible.
Anyway thanks for the time you took in addressing my current concerns.

Edit : it seems that for some unexplained reasons (as of now), the key issue in my case was a file lock that randomly prevented Mame from writing then necessary changes on the config files, which affected a bunch of folders and not only Mame. Clean install of 0.250 on a older machine (also running on Win7 x64) indeed *finally* allowed for due behavior there.
I guess I owe you one for pushing me into further testing, Haze. I won't pollute that thread further with what at best pertains (barely) to tech support.

Anyway can't wait to test 0.251 and finally launch Time Lord proper :)


and merry Xmas everyone.