The Parallel Project

Welcome to the Parallel Project, a project setup to add extended control functionality primarily to the MAME arcade emulator, but also in the long run to other suitable arcade emulation projects.

Joystick Picture

0. News!


MAMEP - Release Alpha 6


- 100% Bubble Bobble sample sound support!
- New digital parallel joystick support!

Well its Christmas time and we've all been busy! With the recent success of Mame/P Alpha 5, I've been working with Tormod Tjaberg on some new routines, and now we have BUBBLE BOBBLE with full sound sample support. Using digital samples we were given from the actual arcade machine, Tormod has written a complete driver every single sound effect and music within the game. So the original .xm music driver I implemented is now superseeded by these, and its excellent! I'll be working on replacing the main game music samples, with .xm based music samples (as for Phoenix) which are much more compact, but that's for a release in the new year.

You will need the Bubble Bobble sound pack download to enable these samples, so make sure you download this too.

Tormod has also been working on a parallel port interface independantly of our own, and I've now combined the code so we have a new digital joystick interface (single stick only at present). This works 100% with the new test board Clive created for me, so its fully tested and working exceptionally smoothly. Phoenix is just superb with this!

Also, thanks to everyone who mailed us support and encouragment for the project and the recent release. This makes it much more rewarding to keep going.


MAMEP - Release Alpha 5

So much has happened recently that I can probably only put a quick summary up here, but MameP A5 is released today with 100% perfect Phoenix music. After our original release, there were a few comments about the music used, so after a request for the samples of an actual machine (Thanks again to Basilio Garcia!) I have converted these to about 10k each and perfect reproductions of the original music. The samples used are the proper sounds from the machine, and according to Fred one of our Alpha testers :

"I played thru the end of the 2nd level and all I can say is AWESOME!!! (how's that for 80's talk :) Just how I remembered it."

I have also been in discussions with various members of the Mame team, about the changes we've made etc, and after lengthy discussions we have decided to keep the developments of MameP independant of Mame, and then offer our features to the Mame team for inclusion. Nicola has been quoted as being quite happy for us to develop independantly so we'll keep going our way.

Other new news is that I have the first 25 input parallel test interface in my hands today! Clive has made a BEAUTY of an interface for me to test with, so MameP A6 will have a fully tested multiple parallel interface and multiple joysticks, and guessing by the releases coming our way, will probably be based around a newer version of Mame… Also it will have the option of running off of LPT1 as well as LPT2 …

Previous News....

1. Why are we doing this?

Well I guess along with most of the people that are here, the group got together from a bunch of emails setup on talking about control mechanisms in MAME, and how we all felt they were lacking. So we talked separately of the news feed and decided that between us we could improve the way MAME allowed control input, more like that of a real Arcade machine. We wanted support for more than one joystick, more than 4 fire buttons, multi-player simultaneously, new interfaces, new designs, in fact pretty much everything in one big piece of cake. So this is where the project began.

2. Where are we today?

So far so good. We have a new version of Mame which supports a single Parallel port joystick in Alpha phase, and are in the process of testing two new interfaces to allow 3 - 4 joysticks all connected to an auxiliary interface on the Parallel port. We're also adding Serial joystick support and multiple combination support so by the time we're finished you will be able to have Game Port, Serial Port and Parallel Port joysticks all running simultaneously.

3. What can I download today?

Until we are sure everything is working correctly we will hold back on general releases, but we expect to have a Beta release of the modified Mame ready for download by the end of this week. This will support single Parallel joysticks as well as a single Game Port joystick. Because we're nice there is an early Alpha version of the single parallel joystick support version available below.

4. When can I get the full blown version?

Brent, Clive and Martin are working on various versions of the hardware interface at the moment, and we should have some ready in the near future. Until then we will be release a version that will support 2 * Com port joysticks, 2 * Game Port joysticks and a single Parallel Port joystick.

5. Who are the Parallel Project team?

So far its the four of us,

Alex Judd - London, England. Responsible for the coding.

Brent Geery - Los Angeles CA Hardware design

Clive Mitchell - Glasgow, Scotland Hardware Designer and Arcade knowledge

Martin Binder - Germany Hardware design.

(Tormod Tjaberg - Norway Software coding (part time).)

6. The future…

Once we've finished all this, I'd like to see the changes added to the release version of Mame, and I plan to hand over the Allegro modifications to the Allegro web site for them to use. As for hardware, I don't quite know.


Current Release :- Mame Parallel Alpha 6

Phoenix Music Samples :- Phoenix1

Bubble Bobble Sound Samples :- Bbsamp (WARNING - This is a 2 Meg download)

How to build your own Parallel Joystick :- wiring.gif

(thanks to Ian Harries for the hardwire info.)

Contacting us.

Please email us via myself at

Thanks, the Parallel Project Team.