Welcome to the Official Virtual MERLIN(TM)
Work In Progress Site
Virtual Merlin
A simulation of the 1978 Parker Bros. handheld game.

WIP News
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New screen shots posted!! Check the Screen Shots area to see my new acquisition. (Thank you EBAY :) ) I've been looking for one of these for quite some time, and I finally came across one in mint condition.
After a several month break from Vmerlin, I'm getting back in the drivers seat again. I'm in the process of revamping some code and will be adding some of the features many people have asked about. (The main one being instructions available as you play.) Check back soon..
New screen shots are online. Virtual Merlin will now not only faithfully emulate a traditional Merlin, but will also allow the user to make some modifications. These will include alterations to Merlin's appearance (body color & lights) and different variations of the original games. I am currently working on 2 more variations of Magic Square.
Wow, has it been a month already!! A lot has happened since our last episode. Monroeworld is back up and better than ever. VMerlin has a new address vmerlin.monroeworld.com. (Don't forget to change your bookmark) I have a new email address vmerlin@monroeworld.com generously provided by the great folks at Monroeworld (Thanks!) and I have made major headway in Vmerlin's front end and game play. Stay tuned as I will be posting some screen shots in the next couple of days.
New download available today!! Version 1.03 includes several slight bug fixes, some code optimization (Zip file size cut from 500k to 112k) and sports a new look. The new front end is far from complete, but I feel better about using it than the current one. Let me know what you think.
Original cover art restoration finally finished. Check it out in the Screenshots area.
Huge Update today!!! First, let me start by saying, I know it took longer for me to release another beta than what I had estimated. I held it up due to a bug that cropped up during my last tests. I wanted (needed) to fix it before I felt comfortable about releasing the newest version. What does the new version contain you ask, several minor bug fixes, Black Jack 13 now ends properly, and final three games are now completely playable!! What this means is that the next release will be the first full release which will contain enhancements to both the interface and game itself. Oh well, enough of my blabbing, get over to the download area, test drive the new VMerlin, and let me know what you think. Also, check out the screen shots area for some pictures of a couple of things I aquired in the last couple of weeks. :)
I'm Back!! Sorry for the lack of updates, I took some time off. :) While I have been away, I have gotten quite a lot accomplished. First, all six games are now completely playable!! After some slight revisions to make VMerlin more stable, I will be posting a new download to try out. (Sometime this weekend) Also, the new interface is going well. I am in the process of adding some original box art. (During my time away, I aquired a Merlin from 1978 still in the original packaging, NEVER BEEN OPENED!! It is in remarkable shape! I will be using this package for the cover art in the new interface. I will also post some pictures of my new treasure in the pics area. (also this weekend). Lastly, there are some special things in the works for VMerlin's sound samples. Check back soon!!
First, I want to give a special Thanks! to JBar2 for making me the VMerlin animated GIF shown on VMERLIN's Default Page. Next, I'd like to report that Echo (Game #3) is now completely playable!! I still have a couple of quirks to iron out before it is completely authentic. I am hoping to have it finished as well as a good start on (Game #6) Code Breaker by the end of the holiday weekend. Code Breaker is the final of the six original games! Once it is complete, I will get VMerlin as stable as possible and make yet another beta release.
With timing problem corrected, remaining games are progressing nicely. Music Machine (Game #2) is now completely playable! Echo is not playable, but is close. I am also working on improving the interface. Stay tuned...
Yes!!!!!! My timing problem is finally solved! Stayed up practically all night til it was fixed. As you read this I am probably still celebrating by drinking highly caffinated beverages. (I'm collecting the Star Wars Pepsi cans and I'm currently finishing off my forth Mace Windu :) ) I also have a second reason to celebrate today. Today is officially VMerlin's Grand Opening at MonroeWorld! In honor of both of these occasions, I am releasing a new beta of VMerlin. This is VMerlin 1.01 and you can get it from the Download section. What is new in VMerlin 1.01 you ask? Several minor bug fixes, VMerlin's power up is more authentic, Magic Square initialization is more authentic (Magic Square is displayed when game is selected), and last but certainly not least, BlackJack 13 is completely playable! Lastly, for those of you who Emailed me at Fortunecity, I have not gotten back to you due to some changes with their mail server. As soon as I get access to my mail, I will get back to you.
Welcome to Virtual Merlin's New home!! VMerlin is now a proud member of the MonroeWorld team. I can not Thank Shane enough for not only bringing me aboard, but also for completely revamping the VMerlin site! (In record time I might add) Shane has also done a great job in restoring an original Merlin manual. (The man's work ethic is unrivaled!) If you have not checked it out yet, you can find it under the Download section. As for an update on VMerlin's progress, things are progressing quite well. My timing problem is almost resolved. After I finishing "unpacking" in my new location, I will be back at work coding the next beta release.
Let me start by saying Thank You! to everyone who has sent me Email's of support. I really appreciate the positive feedback. I also want to give a special Thank You! to Shane Monroe of Monroe's World who continues to be a source of support and encouragement. By abandoning his Merlin PC project, Shane made Virtual MERLIN the only Merlin simulator on the web. Knowing this, I will do my best not to let him or you down. Work on Games 2 (Play a tune) and 4 (BlackJack 13) began yesterday. BlackJack 13 is coming along nicely. In fact, it is not far from being playable. After I get a slight timing problem ironed out I can wrap it up and start on Game 2 (Play a tune). (Hopefully in a week or so.)
Posted Public Beta for Download!! Click above to download the latest beta version of VMERLIN. (Note: Please read the README.TXT file for help and other important information)
Magic Square is finished and is completely playable!! I will be putting together some quick documentation this week as well as revising my front-end screen and will hopefully be releasing a public beta as soon as this weekend!!
Magic Square is progressing nicely and is semi playable. I am hoping to have the problems ironed out by this weekend. I have also recorded the additional sounds required for Magic Square. They will be O.K. for now, but they will probably be the first thing that is overhauled when VMerlin is totally complete. After finishing Magic Square, my main focus will be making VMerlin stable enough for a public beta release with some preliminary docs. Hopefully this can be accomplished in a week or so.
All Tic-Tac-Toe sounds are complete and work fantastic! There is a slight hiss because I have to record the sounds with a microphone. (The Merlin is not equiped with a headphone jack :( ) If anyone has any remedies for cleaning up the sounds please let me know. Until then it is on to Game #5 the Magic Square.
Finalized Tic-Tac-Toe Today and it is completely playable!! (It actually works better than I had hoped) My goal for the rest of the weekend is to begin adding sound.
Logic for Tic-Tac-Toe is complete. After completion I realized two important things. First, when playing Tic-Tac-Toe, the actual Merlin will allow both the user and the computer to take multiple turns. (What is up with that?) And second, Merlin's offense and defense is sometimes random. I'm guessing it had to be this way or the best the player could do is lose or tie. (What fun would that be? :) ) Knowing these two things, I am currently revising my Tic-Tac-Toe routines to emulate the traditional Merlin. Perhaps in the future, I will add a switch for tradional and revised settings. I will wait and see if I encounter this on any of the other games.
I have finished constructing the code for the keypad, and I am beginning to code the logic for Game #1 Tic-Tac-Toe. I am hoping that I will have enough free time to have Tic-Tac-Toe playable by the middle of next week. I have also finished my HTML book, so you can expect some additions to the W.I.P. page.
Back from vacation, WOW I can't believe I've gotten 800 hits in less than a week. Thanks for stopping by, I will do my best to make your visits worth while by posting frequent updates, screen shots and perhaps a public beta. Also I would like to give a special thanks to Linjoelc for pointing out that I misspelled the word endorsed. :)
Finished coding my W.I.P. page in Notepad and posted it. (Finished for now anyway, I will continue to make revisions as I learn more HTML :)) Right now, I just want to get back to coding VMERLIN.
Abandoned project for a couple days to learn some HTML to create this page. I was inspired to do this after receiving some words of support from Shane Monroe of Monroe's World. (perhaps you've heard of him :) ) Shane is also creating a MERLIN emulator and I only hope that mine will be a close second.
Begin coding interface in Visual Basic. Generate lights and light flashing routines.
Complete the model and begin saving rendered images.
Begin building CAD model of my MERLIN for use in the Virtual Merlin interface. I decided on creating a model rather than scanning the actual MERLIN for two reasons. First, my MERLIN is in pretty rough shape. And second, I was hoping to use the ISO view for a 2D and a 3D playing mode.
Witness Mike Green's Speak N Spell Simulator and think that a MERLIN emulator might be cool.

Images and scripting are (c) Copyright 2002 By Jerald Bartels and Shane R. Monroe.
MERLIN is the (TM) of Parker Brothers. Virtual MERLIN and this site are not sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with Parker Brothers in any way.
Site hosting by MonroeWorld.com.