The latest platform to be supported under the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, or MAME, is a 22-year-old popcorn maker. Yes, you read that correctly.
SegaSonic Popcorn Shop was a vending machine, released in 1993 only in Japan, that dispensed three flavors of popcorn (salted, butter and curry, if you must know). It also featured a minigame that customers could play on a video display while the machine's microwave was nuking the popcorn.
That game, not the actual popcorn-making, is what's supported on MAME. It's the result of an effort by ShouTime and the Dumping Union, who purchased a motherboard from the unit.
"It's hard to really class this as 'working' because the mechanical side of the popcorn machine isn't emulated," writes David Haywood, "but the code does run so you can see how the machine would operate."
The video below shows the minigame in action — but not the machine itself. For that, you'll just have to imagine people turning on a crank, the game's only control. Turning the crank made Sonic run faster or helped Tails corral unpopped kernels, but in truth, the snack would be popped whether the player turned the crank or not.
Is this a big deal? Maybe not. But for Sonic completionists, it's another rare arcade game that now can be preserved thanks to emulation.