Thursday, 1 December 2016

Gradius II: GOFERの野望 & In The Hunt completed repair.

Thanks to Mon Ami, I have now got a great Konami game to my collection and also restored my Irem classic.

Gradius II is a conversion from Hard Puncher, one of only 2 boxing games I have in my collection and unfortunately I am a lover not a fighter.On paper, the Konami Twin 16 hardware is a monster...two 68000 processors and multiple sound controller chips and in some ways, I am impressed with the result.

Here you can see how much arcade board estate has been reduced from the conversion. Mon Ami has really outdone himself this time. I was giggling like a little girl when I opened it up and saw the result.

The backside of the board is equally impressive.

I always felt Konami arcade game colour palate are rather flat, but this game ups the colour use quite a bit. Also the title screen is pretty epic.

Apart from Asteroid, I think Gradius II pays homage to rock (ahem, space ice...) blasting as a source of tension and demonstrating the fact you need firepower to get anywhere in this game. Sorry folks, no Konami code available here.

Here I am playing my second ever credit on this game. While I was playing I noticed the announcer absent from the game so I have since sent the board back to check on a controller chip in the sound section of the board. And until that time, I shall wait another day to "Shoot the core!".

The second game I got back was my fixed In the Hunt from Irem. It was in a pretty bad condition when I first received it, dressed in cobwebs and possible humid storage conditions. I was surprised it even powered up and play. Alas, the sprites were faulty having at least 1 bad layer of scrolling tiles that is present on the title screen, intermission  screens and also explosion animation. It was a nightmare to fix as it seems the problem all lies on the CPU section of the board.

As luck with have it, a faulty Major Title 2 board has been on sale in the local auctions for the price of a meal for 2 in KFC. I bought it for Mon Ami without hesitation as I was feeling like a lucky punk that day.

The gamble paid off and now I have a working In the Hunt board. Thank god M92 CPU and ROM boards are interchangeable, I salute you IREM engineers!

Let's go hunting! In a great twist of irony, it is the enemies that is hunting the player.

Not since Metal Slug that so much emphasis is placed on the animation of firepower.

To be honest, I really suck in this game. I need a bit more time getting use to the pace as the screen only scrolls as fast as the player.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Call me...Murphy

There is no denying, Data East was a license arcade game king of the hills back in the days. One such landmark game was Robocop.

Ever since the game graced the arcade scene, it was an opportunity for gamers and fans of the movie to relive the action and drama of the movie. Right from the get go you know you are going to blast some creeps with your gu- Fist?!? FIST?!!!

After light negotiations, the seller parted this game out of his auction for $50NZD delivered. Suffice to say I am a happy man.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Gameroom post earthquake

After the recent quake

New Zealand quake of 14/11/2016

We all should remember to be prepared.

And as for the game room..

sold as a rock, but I should really tidy it up.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Thanks to Mon Ami, I have 8 new additions~

Thanks to my French connection, he has revived a couple of games I got in a bulk buy (seriously folks, do not do this if you have a weak heart...)and the parcel arrived mid week which is a great hump day pick-me-up.

I missed the title screen but it was Twin Hawk. It is my 3rd copy in the collection. A wonderful game which I have fond memories of. The game was displaying everything in washed out or wrong colour. The resistor array was stuffed on it so he fixed it and I can not be happier.

Gunbird was suffering from a similar problem and I think the fix was similar too. Love the flow of this game.

I have attempted to reflow the custom chips, but unfortunately, it required something beefier in terms of heat. So he used his SMD kit to reflow and now it is mint. All SMD soldering bases belongs to the kit!!

Now, this game was a bit of a dark horse. I got it for the price of a family happy meal from McD. It was a mess before, wont boot even. Now, it is glorious. I will upload a smidgen of the music from it later on, it is something really special.

Fire Shark had a RAM error screen before and it would not get past that screen. He had to spend a lot of time trouble shooting this but eventually replaced a couple of components and reflowing some components made it run perfectly again. Again, the music, it is simply pumping in this game.

The grand daddy of Toaplans' by-plane series! Flying Shark had a couple of issues, having some work ram decapitated was one of the issues..but the fixed board is rather picky as it would only work on the cabinet with the punier power supply. As of expected of a grand daddy board.

This was one of the game I was looking forward to. Having seen ports of it on the Megadrive and PC-Engine I had see the original game. Again, a happy meal game, it was having several scrolling sprites issues. More dead or dying ram to the rescue.

Finally, Final Fight (japanese revision). I needed him to check my work on the connector to make sure all the connection are kosher and also to maybe trouble shoot the motherboard. Once I realised the Z80 might be playing up, I ask him to leave it as it is. There is a trick to get it working which I covered before, but in this instance, a simple reseat and power cycle brought it to life in full glory.


Halloween is not an event I celebrate, but when you have Splatterhouse you are deemed obligated to play the game on that day.

This is the bit that I am stuck on as my health is usually drained to nothing thanks to the man in the mirror.

Its rumble time!!!

Guh! Shout out to Go Nagai, your influence in the floating heads are truly horrible.

Giving Super Bishi Bashi a bash

A popular party favourite in the past, this was one of Konami's quirky games during the Beatmania craze. With the oversized buttons that light up, it was a really refreshing change to the traditional lever and button combination.

As one of the red buttons was not lighting up, my immediate intention was to replace the bulb. The bulb is an incandescent T10 wedge type rated at 12V, 1.7W.

Little do I know, I ordered the wrong size..


It still works though! And it lights up as brightly and uniformly as its T10 counterpart. I have also experimented with T10 12V LED bulbs. Unfortunately, the bulb remains lit whereas the incandescent bulb is off at certain parts of the gameplay. Quite possibly the game applies a load on the incandescent bulb so it is warmed up ready to flash at any given moment and the load is enough to light up the LED bulb. It is a pity as I really like the LED option to keep maintenance to a minimum.

Resisting the Midnight

Sometimes you have to go back to go forward, for me, Midnight Resistance is a game that reminds me how far gameplay and visual presentation has come.

Put out by Data East (the king of licensed games and general cheesy games back in the day) it utilises the LS-30 controller, otherwise known as the 8 way rotating controller. The controller uses propriety connection as well as the JAMMA output for 8 way directions. The rotating aspect is spot on but the directional control could be better.

The last boss in the, ermmm, head! But he does chuck bits of himself at you for good measure..

You can achieve your goal if you put your mind to it...

All this battle takes place in space! Which is totally baffling.