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30th December, 2007
Road Runner is now history :-D

Seems to work OK as-is in MAME, but when you miss a shot, some junk text appears in the middle of the screen. When comparing the bytes in the ROM to the same ROM from Desert Gun, it's not just a name change. There are other bytes that are different, so perhaps just something in the MAME driver memory map needs adjusting? I'm sure someone will investigate it soon :-)


29th December, 2007
Referring to the list of stuff that arrived below, as suspected, much of it was useless :-(
Here's how it went....
- Stunt Cycle... OK, dumped both PROMs with no issues.
- Elevator Action... this is a strange one, the dumped matches the 'elevatob' set in MAME, but this is definitely an original PCB, so I suspect the existing dump is really from an original PCB (4-board unprotected version) and the bootleg set is the same thing exactly.
- Thundercade... useless, it matches the existing US set exactly. I measured and corrected some clocks for MAME though :-)
- Soldier Of Light ... useless, plus one ROM was bad. After some creative heating from my heatgun, the one ROM that differs on the bootlegs read correctly and identified as just a Xain'D Sleena bootleg.
- Tutankham... useless, just another bootleg, already in MAME.
- Taisen Puzzle-dama... useless, already dumped and in MAME.
- Thunder Force AC... will need a trojan to dump the EPM5032 protection chip so I can't do anything with it yet until the particular DEV works on it and/or sends me the required info. I'm told it's not required anyway so this would only be done for completeness.
- Empire City... useless too, already dumped and in MAME.
- The 2 Tank boards... errr, PASS!
- Choplifter... useful for dumping the 315-5139 PLS153 PLD (DIP20). I also need to dump another chip on this board, named 315-5025 which I've located, but it's an 18-pin chip and I have no idea what to dump it as.
- TX-1 (Atari version)... finally some good news! This came in handy to dump the different look up table (LUT) PROM so now colours are correct in the Atari version. It's also handy for something else and I have pics of it working in MAME, but I think it's top secret so I can't post them or tell you what else I'm doing....yet ;-D

I've been busy dumping a few other things too... the MCU on Birdie King 3 in now dumped (not sure if the dump is good yet as most of MAMEDEV is slacking now over the holidays ;-) and Lead Angle is also now dumped. I also measured and noted some clocks were wrong in these games in MAME. The remaining to-do stuff listed on my Global Index page is looking pretty sad now. Most of what's remaining is either impossible to dump or incredibly time consuming! There still might be one or two easy dumps to go. I'll sort those out soon while I'm on holiday, if I can find them! :-D

I'm still researching the strange ROM types on Road Runner so I didn't touch that yet, or the Pacman PCB which is simple to dump, but it's late and I need some Guru-Sleep so I'll leave those for another day :-)


21st December, 2007
A huge box arrived today

That 19.75kg box looks mighty impressive, although I'm not sure that all of it is going to be useful.
It contains the following PCBs....
Pacman PCB with Two Bit Score's 'Super ABC' upgrade kit (on original Midway PCB)
Thundercade (Taito, Romstar USA License, original)
Elevator Action (Taito 1982, original SJ hardware without MCU!)
Road Runner (Midway, 8080 L-board hardware, 1978)
A couple of discrete 'Tank' boards (Atari/Kee Games, 1974)
Soldier Of Light (Xain'd Sleena/Solar Warrior bootleg)
Stunt Cycle (Atari, 1975, original PCB)
Thunder Force AC (Sega 1990, original with 317-0172!)
Choplifter (Sega 1985, original unprotected version without 8751)
TX-1 (Atari version 1983, original)
Empire City (Seibu Kaihatsu, Taito/Romstar License 1986, orig.)
Taisen Puzzle-dama (Konami, 1994, version JAA)
Tutankham (1982, bootleg)

Some could be alt. versions but most don't work so I'll need to dump all of these before I can tell exactly what they are.
Thanks to Tingoes for sending these out.


14th December, 2007
I've changed the 'Global Index' link to 'GuruDumpsList'. This is a large list of every game I have dumped or had in my possession and shows at a quick glance the dump status of every game. It is fully up-to-date and should be accurate. This is also much more manageable from a maintenance point of view. The older pages showing multiple screen shots which were cross-referenced on the previous Global Index page have been removed, although of course, screen shots are still available to developers :-)


30th November, 2007
Some stuff just arrived today from Japan.....
The Block Kuzushi (ZN1 hardware)
1 on 1 Government (ZN1 hardware)
Hai Pai Paradise (Aleck64 cart)
Kuru Kuru Fever (Aleck64 cart)
Meijinsen 3 (Aleck64 cart)
Technical Bowling (STV cart)
Stress Busters (STV cart)
Magical Zunou Power (STV cart)
Tokimeki Memorial Oshiete Your Heart. This is a complete unit.... now we can finally see how this thing works. Looks like we were previously missing some parts. There's an extra controller PCB (which controls the sweat sensor and printer) and 4 CDs with this!



30th October, 2007
A few things arrived recently.....
Cool Riders (Sega H1 System)
Planet Harriers (Sega Hikaru)
Air Trix (Sega Hikaru)
Thanks to M.F.

Jet Wave (Konami, 1996)
Dynamite Cop (Sega Model 2C)
Fist Of The North Star (Atomiswave cart)
Knights Of Valour Seven Spirits (Atomiswave cart)
Neogeo Battle Coliseum (Atomiswave cart)
Thanks to Mr. J. Anonymous

Brian T. was lucky to pick up another one of the wanted Super System 22 games (now only 2 to go!). I think he got a bit too excited about grabbing a rare Super System 22 game because he bought it without first checking his Paypal balance :-(
hehehe!
With all the activity lately I'm strapped for cash because most of it went to Japan to buy up lots of good stuff and postage costs. A few kind donations would help get poor old Brian out of a sticky situation. Thanks! :-)


22nd October, 2007
Just finished dumping Hot Gimmick Integral. I think it took about 6 or 8 hours! Luckily there's no more of these games on PS4 hardware.
You may want to slow-mo the attract mode. There's some, err, very i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g movements on some body parts that are worth a second look :-D


Oh, I forgot to mention, a couple of days ago I received a Ketsui PCB too. I think the sender wanted to remain anonymous, so I'll just says thanks to the people that collected the bucks to buy it. I'll take good care of it, I promise :-D



21st October, 2007
I think it's about time I knocked this on the head and buried it.


Also, a special thanks to all those who donated over the past few weeks. Many new items not before seen plus a ton of stock-piled stuff is winging it's way over to me and should arrive sometime soon. Keep the donations coming.... :-)


13th September, 2007
Some trouble is brewing and we're stuck in the middle of it!
I have just been informed that one of the large PCB shops that we buy PCBs from regularly is closing it's doors to the public and will sell only to arcade operators. This means we will not be able to buy anything from them very soon. We have to take action now and buy up some of the wanted items they have in stock before it's too late. This will involve some money, of course ;-)
Unfortunately we've been very busy buying up lots of other wanted items so the Dumping Project's Paypal account is currently $0. But relax, there are a lot of very nice, friendly and generous people out there who can help. Someone just like YOU in fact. This is where you come in and send some Paypal donations so we can snap up that stuff and get it into MAME! Come on, you know you want to. Just click the Paypal donate button in the right column.
Remember, it's for the good of humanity and the future of MAMEkind depends on it! Thanks!!

P.S. If you can help out with postage costs instead, that would be ok too. We have been very busy buying up stuff because there's _always_ something interesting to buy. Unfortunately we have stock-piled probably 50+ items but have no money to post them over to me :-(


5th September, 2007
A couple of days ago I opened up the epoxy module from a Macho Mouse PCB that was lying around for a while, and extracted and read the two PROMs that are used for colors.



3rd September, 2007
I finally got hold of a ManxTT PCB on loan from a friend. Unfortunately it was not working due to bad ROMs, but 98% of them were ok. We were able to repair the PCB using my old dump and also fix the existing bad dump using this PCB. Only 1 ROM remained bad after comparing and checking all of the ROMs. I had to wait for a friend to get hold of another PCB and dump the last needed ROM which just happened today, a few hours ago.
BIG thanks to Joey for all the help!
The result is we now have a working PCB. But more importantly, I now have 2 good dumps of Manx TT. One from my original dump and the new one for the 'Twin' cabinet. Elsemi has kindly checked these for me and here are the results so far. Unfortunately no bikes on-screen yet, possibly due to DSP core emulation bugs.


Update: BIKES!!!!!



24th August, 2007
A batch of PCBs arrived last week from Korea.....
Best of Best, 1994 Suna, fighting game
Date Quiz Go Go Episode 2, 2000 Semicom
Domino Block, 1996 Wonwoo System, horiz. arkanoid type game
Quiz Punch 2, 1989 Space Computer, vertical Korean quiz
Cabal, 1989 Alpha Trading license, joystick version
Quiz Olympic, 1985 Seoul Coin, another pcb different quiz
Undercover Cops Alpha Renewal Version, 1992 Irem
Thanks to gp-lee for sending these out :-)


28th July, 2007
This rare PCB arrived yesterday from my top secret Agent in Japan.

It's the Bubble Memory version of Konami's 'Gradius'. I had it air-expressed over to me due to the fragile nature of this system. It works great but will probably be difficult to dump the bubble memory but I'm hopeful there is a way. So far I've dumped all of the ROMs/PROMs and documented the hardware.
Special thanks to Vas Crabb for donating a _massive_ US$800 so we could snap this up!
We can't keep doing this without support so if you want to see more rare stuff, click the PAYPAL donate button to the right :-)
Thanks!


10th July, 2007
Here's the latest addition to my Commodore bits collection. It's a nice Amiga 1200..... or is it?

Well, I bought and paid for an Amiga 1200 on eBay anyway, but things kind of went downhill after that. The seller sent it surface and coming from the UK, it took 4 months. Since eBay allows up to 45 days to make a claim and (of course) it didn't arrive in that time, I filed a claim and got a full refund.
I kind of figured it would arrive eventually and I know it was sent because I had a copy of the postal receipt.
Have you spotted it yet.... Yup, that's right, the MOFO sent an Amiga 600 instead!
Can you smell revenge?
The seller had purposely intended to screw me over by advertising an Amiga 1200, but actually posting an A600, and knowing it would take 3-4 months he figured he would be the winner because it would be too late to do anything about it from my end.
Not so fast, my friend. Right about now I would normally contact the seller and send him the money because the computer arrived. But this is where it gets funny..... at least I think it's funny anyway ;-)
Obviously the whole deal backfired on that dumbass UK seller. The seller had to cough up a full refund since it didn't arrive in the allowed 45 days and he gave away a nice computer in the process. So even though it's not exactly what was advertised, I'm going to keep it anyway ;-)
Hahahaaa, I'm not complaining..... it was free :-D
Guru Wins! Mwhahahahaha!!
You may be wondering why I would buy such a beast? Initially I just wanted an Amiga 1200 for my collection. Sadly that will not happen now, but it turned out well, because now a method has been devised (although still not fully working/proven), you could consider it a nice dumping tool ;-)

In other news, I finally finished the dump of Psikyo's Taisen Hot Gimmick 4 Ever. It might be the longest dump in history, taking about 3 weeks from start to end for about 20 surface mounted ROMs... I did it very slowly because I REALLY hate those stupid ROMs :-(
But again I'll get my revenge. The original donator said he can now re-buy the PCB for almost nothing so there's no need to post it back. That means I can use it for some experiments (cue Dr Frankenstein evil laugh)
The damn PCB can stay disassembled..... and here's something you'll never see.....

I ripped out the SH2 CPU and mounted it to a CPS3 security cart as a test to see if it would run a decrypted BIOS. No such luck there, but at least that Mahjong PCB was useful for something ;-)


10th June, 2007
Not much happening lately, so I thought I'd dump something that has been waiting a while to be dumped.
   
I'm not very enthusiastic about dumping these remaining Psikyo games because they use a strange type of ROM that must be custom dumped with a special adapter (each ROM must be hand surface-mounted, dumped, then removed).... this dump took about 6 hours....nasty stuff!
 
However, even a nice Mahjong game containing half-naked animated girls with big tits can't compete with this! ;-)


3rd May, 2007
Well since no one noticed.... I added a Dumping CDs & HDDs tutorial. The link (bottom of left column) has been there for about 3 days. I guess everyone is busy beating off celebrating
other great accomplishments to notice :-D


20th April, 2007
With the help of a tip-off from a Team Japump member and a donation from one of our rich devs ;-) we managed to pick up a couple of very rare & needed System 16 PCBs in record time (less than 2 days from donation to PCB arrival).
     
These particular specimens are in perfect condition too!
Special thanks to Aaron for coming to the rescue at short notice :-)
The CPU's will be air-expressed to me for super-fast dumping. Unfortunately we just missed out grabbing a System 16B version of Ace Attacker. I can't guarantee more of this type of thing can be done again in the future, but without much needed funds, it certainly won't be possible.
In the meantime, if you'd like to help simply click the Paypal donate link on the main page.
Thanks!!


13th April, 2007
As I mentioned a few days ago, I received some old console bits and pieces from Ranger Lennier. Here's what I have....

1.) APF-M1000 and 9 carts: Catena, Bowling/Micro Match, Boxing, Pinball/Dungeon Hunt/Blockout (with 3 versions), Casino 1:Roulette/Keno/Slots, Brickdown/Shooting Gallery, Blackjack, UFO/Sea Monsters/Break It Down/Rebuild/Shoot (with variations), Hangman/Tic Tac Toe/Doodle.

2.) 15 Watara Supervision carts: Dream World, Happy Race, Space Fighter, Kung-Fu Street, Thunder Shooting, Kitchen War, Untouchable, Bubble World, Hero Hawk, Scaffolder, Chinese Checkers, Climber, Pacific Battle, Recycle Design, Popo Team.

3.) Epoch Game Pocket Computer (for BIOS dump) and 4 carts: Reversi, Mahjongg, Store Keepers & Block Maze.

4.) 5 RCA Studio II carts: TV School House I, TV School House II:Math Fun, Biorhythm, Fun With Numbers, Gunfighter/Moonship Battle

5.) Mustang 9016 Telespiel-Computer (for BIOS dump) and 4 carts: Mathematische Spiele, Konzentrationsspiele (Memory), Krieg der Sterne, Flipper

6.) Tiger R-Zone [head-strap version] (for BIOS dump) and 7 carts: Daytona USA, Battle Arena Toshinden, Batman Forever, Star Wars:Imperial Assault, Star Wars:Jedi Adventure, Star Wars:Millennium Falcon Challenge, Primal Rage

Big thanks to Ranger Lennier for sending out all this errrr... junk ;-)


4th April, 2007
I've updated The Decapping Project page and also added a new Dumping Status page for Amiga Hardware :-)


30th March, 2007
The next haul from Japan just arrived, and she's a B-I-G one :-)
There's even some rare stuff and a few free items too!
Mahjong Cafe Doll
Mahjong Fantastic Love
Mahjong Vegas
Mahjong Summer Story
Hana Gokou
Koi Koi Shimasho
Super World Stadium '98
Super World Stadium 2000
Super World Stadium 2001
Kaiun Quiz
Touken Retsuden 3
Puzz-let
Combat Hawk (Sega/Sanritsu, 1987). This one was hella expensive... very, very rare
Guilty Gear Isuka.... free (Atomiswave, Sammy, 2004)
The Rumble Fish.... free (Atomiswave, Sammy, 2004)
Salaryman Kintaro (Atomiswave, Sammy)
I suspect that many more free Atomis carts will be coming off the arcade floor eventually because they don't seem to last long in Japan before people are tired of them and revenue drops to zero :-)
I think Dyq/BNathan paid for most/all of the mahjong games, so don't worry, I didn't blow a stack of donated money on them :-D

Also in this package was a Block Maze cart for the Epoch Pocket Computer, thanks to Ranger Lennier
Oh, that reminds me, I also recieved a big box full of very old rare console carts and a few old consoles too, also from Ranger Lennier about a month ago! I guess I should post some news about that too....

In a separate package that also arrived today I received a Street Fighter EX top board for what looks like a different revision of the game (Euro maybe?). But I forget who sent it! ;-)

I also got a new baby.... bought from a local friend (Hi John!)

My friend's wife was very, very happy to see it all go, especially the big stack of software that he threw in for free. I wonder why?????? Everybody loves the Amiga right?:-D

The machine is/was a 4000/EC030, but inside is a GVP T-Rex II 68060/50 w/128MB RAM, A2386SX Bridgeboard, Ariadne II network card and a 2.5" 800MB IDE HDD. The monitor is an NEC Multi Sync II.
In front is a Quicknet 2000 network card and A2091 SCSI controller with 1GB Connor CFP1080S HDD.
I've been playing around for a few days and I now have it booting OS3.9 from a 4GB Compact Flash card via a CF-IDE adapter. Works pretty well!
I'm looking for a few Amiga-related things, like an RTG card (Picasso IV anyone?), A2320 Flicker Fixer, A4091 SCSI controller and other things.
If you have any fruity Amiga bits for sale, let me know :-)


27th March, 2007
Here's the next chip we've decapped in a little more detail. This shows the full chip die at approx 20X magnification (reduced to minimise the file size, the real image is 5X bigger) and is roughly pasted together from 6 separate images for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy :-)



15th March, 2007
I've completed a very important update to my Sega Security Parts Page, thanks to our resident Dr.
Look for the 'Cracked' Items ;-)


10th March, 2007
I've been thinking about how to defeat the protected MCU's that use EPROM. My theory is to unlock the chip by exposing only the protection fuse to UV light, which should then allow the chip to be read as an unprotected MCU (for example 68705P5's on many early Taito games, and Intel 8751 MCU's used on Sega S16/S18 and others). Of course, there is a catch. It requires a high quality microscope that can be connected to a PC. There is such a device available. In fact many models are available on eBay from a retail seller.
Not cheap though!
This one is probably the minimum required. It can magnify up to 90X and has a 3.3MP CCD camera. Those camera/mag. specs are the same as the pics I got from the Japanese lab which were used to successfully re-create the code from the Namco 54xx MCU. We'll still need the Japanese lab for decapping and photographing maskROM-based MCUs, but this type of thing can't really be done by someone else, it needs a hands-on approach and lots of time. This method just might work well enough to allow reading the chip in it's unprotected form.
According to MCU protection specialists, the method I have described is one of the well known methods used to defeat EPROM-based MCUs. We could do the same, given the equipment. The only problem now is lack of funds.
I'm just wondering if it's worth it?..... hmmmmmm


9th March, 2007
Some stuff arrived today....
Lucky 8 lines w-4 (Falcon 1989) bootleg
Midnight Resistance bootleg [68705] for redumping
Penguin Adventure
Quiz Olympic (Seoul Coin 1985), the first Korean quiz game
unknown Tatsumi game (this is Apache 3)
USAAF Mustang [UPL 1990]
Wonderleague Star Magicball Fighting (MIJIN 1995)
Wonderleague 96 (Semicom 1996)
Note: Some of these are not actually needed, they were just sent anyway
The last 2 are Semicom hardware games and will require trojaning
Thanks to gp-lee.

Gigawing (Asia 990222)... not needed now :-)
Thanks to Tokrot

Two Namco 67 IC's for decapping
Thanks to Justin D.


5th February, 2007
On the 10th Anniversary of MAME, The Decapping Project is born


25th January, 2007
For those that didn't realise, the chip below is a Namco Custom 54xx and is used on Xevious, Galaga, Bosconian and Pole Position for generating some sounds (for example the 'death bang' sound in Galaga). The chip is actually a Fujitsu MB884x-family microcontroller with 1k internal maskROM. If you want to blow your mind with technical details, the datasheet is here


23rd January, 2007
Here's a few pics of the very first custom chip that I sent to a professional Japanese IC decapping company that we (Mamedev) are using to help us with some MAME-related things. Hopefully if this is successful, more will follow and also hopefully talented hardware devs like JROK will be able to make replacements for it to repair real PCBs :-)
   
You may also be wondering why we're doing this instead of using some other people who frequent the 'boards' who have offered to do this kind of thing for free?
The answer is fairly simple.... apart from the amount of time it takes to get this done, the level of communication is somewhat 'sporadic' and so far offers to supply other chips to them have been ignored. We requested pics of some CPS2 ICs that were said to have been decapped and so far nothing has surfaced (over a month has passed since then).
Doing it this way gives us more control over what we achieve and ensures the work is done in a timely manner.
Apart from that, the plan to get this IC decapped has been in the works for several months, so we might as well use the professional IC decapping company whenever possible because the amount of ICs we need to decap is possibly too much work for someone to do in their spare time for free.


17th January, 2007
Dr. Guru has finished the frankenstein experiment. Unfortunately the patient died. See the results here.


16th January, 2007
Since everyone else seems to be blogging and putting up mostly meaningless B.S., I might as well do the same.
So here's my take on things. If anyone wants to help a poor old Guru get out of this mess, I'm open to suggestions so feel free to PM me :-)


The Guru's ROM Dumping News