One of the benefits of emulation is the preservation of rare software for the masses. The Multiple Fruit Machine Emulator (MFME) has an internal driver that can be used to play the video quiz machines marketed by Barcrest on their MPU4 platform on a Windows PC. This includes the Crystal Maze series of games, although they do lose a little without the cash payout as they can seem a bit difficult at home until sufficient virtual cash has been through the machine.
In searching through the Barcrest data set for MAME, a series of ‘for Amusement Only’ builds for the various Crystal Maze games can be found. As far as I can tell, although these seem intact and complete, they didn’t see wide release at the time. Using a preexisting MFME layout I have prepared these for play, but they require a little bit of help.
Firstly, I cannot distribute the MFME program itself here, so I suggest registering for an account at http://www.desertislandfruits.com/ and then going to http://www.desertislandfruits.com/forum/index.php?/files/file/116-mfme/ once registered. Select the build most closely resembling your Windows version (anything from Windows 7 onwards should use the Windows 7 build, else use the one for XP), and extract the ZIP to a folder such as C:\mfme\
The next step is to go to the Lockup’s Google Drive (Here) and get the ZIP file for the appropriate game. All you need is in there, and should be unzipped to run, but if you have ROMs from your own machine, be sure to modify the .GAM file to load them in order (program then graphics). The layouts are automatically configured to run without credit, but to insert £1 either click on the £1 button or press 0. If you’re using a standard setup, the mouse will control the onscreen cursor, with other controls as below. You should only need Buttons 1 and 2 to play, but on the cabinet there are four buttons available, all serve the same action.
If the Red Escape button starts flashing, you are close to a lockin, hit the Space Bar to get out or risk being locked in. In The Crystal Maze 1 and 2 you’ll immediately be bought out if locked in (lose 1 crystal if you have 1), in the Team Challenge the avatar of the team member playing the game will be locked in and you’ll be able to choose when to buy them out. Any games assigned to them will be unplayable until they’re released, and their section of the dome will be unavailable if still locked in by the time you get there.
Note also that unlike the TV show, there is a house limit of 5 seconds in the dome, so going as a full team with 0 crystals is better than leaving a player behind and arriving with 1.
0 – Enter £1
Mouse/Cursor Arrows – Trackball
Left Mouse Button/Q – Button 1
Right Mouse Button/W – Button 2
O – Button 3
P – Button 4
Space – Escape