This monthís star program isnít actually an emulator at all. Which might, we grant you, seem like an embarrassing and elementary schoolboy mistake for Emu Zone to be making.

But belay your angry letters to the editor for a moment. Kaillera isnít an emulator itself, but it offers emu-lovers one of the most exciting developments yet in this most dynamic of communities. What it is is a little nugget of code which, when embedded into various emulators (covering most arcade, computer and console platforms), enables players to participate in multi-player games across the Net, ensuring that youíre never short of someone to whom you can stretch out the hand of international friendship and brotherhood by engaging them in a game of Street Fighter 2 and smashing their face in.

The technical details of the process are far too unpleasant to go into here, but all you need to know is that itís very easy to actually use if you spend a minute or two reading the instructions, and that in most circumstances, your weedy little UK-gamerís 56K modem will provide a more than acceptably fast connection for even the zippiest of fighting games.

You donít have to stick to fighting games, of course Ė any game with a multi-player option in any of the supported emulators will work just as well Ė but theyíre by far the most popular genre in the fledgling Kaillera community, and several tournaments already exist in which players can compete for kudos and prizes. Even if you donít care about earning the respect of a load of international Street Fighter obsessives, though, itís still tough to surpass the simple thrill of firing up the Kaillera-enabled version of WinUAE and whomping all your mates at Speedball 2 again.


Kaillera Game Battles





Street Fighter Alpha 2ís Dhalsim and Adon attempt to convey, using mime, the concept of fighting someone from a long way away.

Violence is imminent.

An unfortunate misunderstanding.



This Bally bank-robbing table from 1996 will look familiar to alert readers, as itís the one we used to illustrate the process of building a Visual Pinball table in our excellent feature in PCZ106. It has, though, actually only just been released, and it marks a couple of milestones in pinball development. Unusually, Safe Cracker doesnít give you the normal three balls to make your high score with, but operates to a time limit, with various playfield features allowing you to extend your time or pause the gameís clock.

And secondly, it brings the twin arcade staples of pinball and fruit machines closer together than any other game. In addition to the pinball playfield, Safe Cracker also boasts a ďboard gameĒ on the machineís backglass, in which you gather points while being chased around the board by a computer-controlled security guard in exactly the same way as on the feature trail of many modern fruities. You could also Ė uniquely, as far as we know Ė actually physically win little collectible tokens from the table for beating the board game, which the VP table also simulates. Bless it.



(Left) Fall in love with the voice of a security computer in Safe Cracker.


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