The Guru is proudly supported by....
Send Comments
29th December, 2008
One PCB arrived today....
Age Of Heroes, Unico 2001. Arrived 29th Dec. 2008
Age Of Heroes - Silkroad 2, Unico 2001. Thanks to Tim from arcadecollecting.com


23rd December, 2008
A couple of items just arrived....
Dragon World EX (IGS 2000, PGM cart)
Dragon World 2001 (IGS 2001, PGM cart)
Gururin (FACE, 1994, Neogeo cart, for redumping)
Thanks to Smitdogg

Also, I've dumped a few more things here today....
Mahjong Jong-Tei
Mahjong Cafe Break
Don Den Lover (Korea)
Dai Dai Kakumei
Sakura Love
Crazy Dou Di Zhu II


22nd December, 2008
Welcome to a new era in Guru News reporting. I've been cracking errr, ironing out some bugs and we now have a fancy (suckerfish-based) menu and in a new W--I--D--E--S--C--R--E--E--N format. All of the previous links on the left and right side are now available on the top menu. It's link-city up there now, instead of all over the left and right of the page. It's much neater now I think. I also added a couple of extra screws to the 'Latest News' header bar too. That thing was coming loose because it's now supporting a lot more B.S. ;-)
I will be converting the other pages to a similar format over the coming days/weeks.

Now some emulation news... Yes that's right, I haven't just been sitting on my ass drinking 12 year old Glenlivet scotch and playing with fancy web page code all day. I've actually dumped a few things recently! The Double Dragon 3 proto, Vamp 1/2 Europe and some mahjong type games including Ichi Ban Jyan, Dong Fang Shen Long (Oriental Dragon), Show Hand (China) and Crazy Dou Di Zhu are now history (watch Luca's page for more on that :-)
Nothing else to report so you can go back to sleep now. :-D


9th December, 2008
I'm excited at the moment. I normally don't get too excited about video games because I'm constantly surrounded by them almost every minute of every day and I have a game room full of them :-)
But this is special. Some mid to late 90's big-cabinet wanted games (and some of my personal want-to-see-dumped games) have just popped up for sale so we're in need of a few hundred greenbacks to secure them. We've just secured one of them but we need more to cover the others. If anyone out there in MAME-Land can help, be sure to visit my donations page. Thanks!
Update: Thanks to all who donated. The items have been secured thanks to a team effort from Brian Troha and Phil Bennet (tip-offs), RB (sniper), Aaron (some funds for something else special ;-) and Smitdogg (co-sniper)..... and of course, all those nice donations from my Guru-maniacs out there! Plus we've got a few bucks left over! We're now scouring the bowels of the internet in search of some other stuff. Of course, there's tons of stuff, if only we had more $$ :-(


27th November, 2008
Whoa! Jackpot! Three packages arrived this week.
Some nice stuff here.
Arrivals November 27th, 2008
As part of our effort to clear out more of the stored items in Japan we have....
Taiko No Tatsujin 4 (Namco System 10)
Taiko No Tatsujin 5 (Namco System 10)
Mahjong Cafe Break (thanks to Dyq)
Namco System 246 main board and various pieces incl. I/O boards, DVD drive, DVD ROM for Tekken 4 and security cart and cables. It came from a pile of junk as faulty but all that was wrong with it was the CR2032 coin battery was dead so it kept saying "First Power On" and it never saved the settings or scores. Changing it fix it hahaha! So this one actually works, the previous one I received was not working. After assembling all of the pieces and getting it working, I re-tried the old one that arrived some months ago and I can confirm it's dead. RIP :-(
I can also confirm that the DVD drive compatibility issues with System 246 are bullshit. The drive I received wasn't working, so I grabbed a random PC DVD drive and tried that and it works perfectly :-)
Tekken 4, Namco, 2001, on System 246 Tekken 4, Namco, 2001, on System 246 Tekken 4, Namco, 2001, on System 246
I must say I was never a fan of Tekken but watching the smooth animation on my 29" screen at 31k is pretty amazing. Hard to believe it's almost 7 years old now. Anyway, back to the arrivals....
Victory Furlong Horse Racing (Atomiswave cart)
Various junk NAOMI pieces, incl. 2 main boards, 2 GDROM units, and 2 DIMM units, possibly for decapping of the custom chips or other scientific experiments :-D
At the top right is a Guru-bonus item.... a gun for Time Crisis, for when I eventually get the Time Crisis PCB we bought years ago wired up and working. I recently repaired it so the actual PCB is working now (hey, it only took 5 1/2 years to get around to that job so not all is lost! ;-) and I acquired the full wiring harness and gun board for it from Jomac a few weeks ago. For monitor and power supply repairs HE DA MAN! :-D

Thanks to 'Arcader909' for a LED Storm - Rally 2011 PCB (needed for the undumped surface mounted quad-flat-pack mask ROMs

And finally thanks to Smitty we have a WWF Royal Rumble NAOMI cart and Jingy Storm The Arcade NAOMI GDROM


16th November, 2008
I recently picked up a pile of junk for spares and repairs from a local friend. It turned out there was quite a bit of interesting stuff in this lot.
Arrivals November, 2008 Arrivals November, 2008
I'm not actually 100% sure what's in there, but there's no surprises. As far as I can make out, this is what I got...

Vimana (with 647180 MCU, Toaplan)
Cross Shooter (with 68705P5, Taito)
Punk Shot (Konami)
Flying Shark (with TMS320C10, Taito/Toaplan)
Lost Worlds (with QFP52 surface mounted ROMs, Capcom)
10 Yard Fight (Irem M58)
Something by 'Free Enterprise Games' on Konami Scramble h/w
Gunforce (Irem M92)
Calibur 50 (Seta)
Pleiads
Ninja Spirit (Irem M72 with 8751 MCU)
Shinobi Sega System 16A PCB
A couple of old Data East PCBs for Toma Hawk and Astro Fighter
Bad Dudes / Dragon Ninja bootleg
Elevator Action Returns (Taito F3)
and some random NeoGeo cart PCBs and an Art Of Fighting cart

Oh and some silver big metal thing (just poking into the top left of the pics). I wonder what that is?

As far as undumped / new PCB arrivals are concerned, it's pretty quiet in Guru Land. However I recently picked up a Commodore SX-64 thanks to a friend of a friend.
There doesn't seem to be many pics of the insides of these things floating around on the net so I thought I'd throw up a couple of pics for the curious. And of course, I'm a Commodore boy so I can't let an opportunity pass to blow Commodore's horn :-D

Commodore SX-64
This is with the top cover off looking from the front. I got the original SX-64 manual and a Commodore carry bag too! It wouldn't be a Commodore without it running a compulsary Jeff Minter game :-D


Here's a view from the top showing the guts. Pretty amazing they managed to fit everything in there. There's no air space at all! Just don't pick it up because you'll stuff up your back! ;-)


A nice bonus, it's got the 1541 Flash! ROM upgrade in there (by Bryce Nesbitt of Amiga fame) which allows faster loading from the floppy drive and has several built-in commands similar to the Epyx Fast Load cart you can see in the bottom left corner of the first pic :-)

Unfortunately as always, these old things always have issues. Apart from the partially working keyboard, this one has bad sound caused by a faulty MOS 6581 SID chip. A few years ago a kind soul noticed my poor C64 with the missing 6581 and sent me a chip to repair my C64 but I never installed it. I found the chip and plugged it in but that one is bad too, so now I have to source 2 of them. Unfortunately that's an almost impossible task :-(
Maybe I should get one decapped and then reproduced in a common FPGA.....

Update: Oh err, apparently it has been decapped a few years ago. So why hasn't anyone done an FPGA replacement yet? There's millions of dollars to be made there!
Well, maybe not. Possibly we'll see it one day though, looks like Kevtris has done a lot of work towards that goal.
Speaking of dollars, I also got a cartridge with that SX-64. Easy Calc Result, by Handic Software AB complete with 2 manuals. Not that interesting really, but surely worth every bit of $0.50c!

There's just a couple of ROMs in there, one 8kx8 (64k) and one 16kx8 (128k). I don't think there's an archive of C64 ROM carts dumped? Maybe I should dump it? Maybe someone will send me 100's of C64 carts to be dumped? Or at least a MOS 6581 to repair this SX-64 ;-)

While we're doing the cart thing, here's another one I have....

There's not much inside it, just a few logic chips and a 2k SRAM chip. It's interesting to note that in the manual in the credits it also lists Bryce Nesbitt as a contributor. If you didn't know already, he was one of the major contributors to the Amiga Operating System, particularly Amiga OS 2.x
Quite a funny guy too. If you're interested in Commodore history and want to hear some stories straight from the Commodore guys, check out Dave Haynie's 'Deathbed Vigil' DVD. Very entertaining and interesting stuff!


11th November, 2008
Not a lot happening at the moment. That isn't helped when the whole of ztnet expires :-\
That domain goes down more often than a cheap hooker :-D

The recently arrived Neogeo carts have been partly useful. Dumped them all and there should be a couple of bad dumps removed in a future MAME release for Cyber Lip and Fatal Fury 2 M1 ROMs.

Also a couple of items arrived.....
Tekken 5 (for Namco System 256, DVD only)
Guilty Gear XX Slash (NAOMI GDROM and protection key)
Thanks to hotaru


3rd November, 2008
With all the work going on at Roberto Fresca's site I thought it might be a good time to pull out an old Witch Card PCB that was sent to me by Taucher several years ago.

I dumped it pretty quickly but Roberto said the main program was missing. There's an epoxy block on the board in a socket so of course the program is in there. After some creative chiseling the contents was revealed fairly quickly, in about 10 minutes. What a pathetic epoxy block that was. Even an ant could have opened it!

In the blob there's a R6502P CPU, a 27128 EPROM, an 82S129 Bipolar PROM and a 40 pin chip with the surface scratched. That may or may not be a MCU or something else sinister, we'll wait and see what Roberto says. Anyway, that's another job done!


31st October, 2008
Lately I seem to be doing more repair work than dumping! But occasionally something special comes along that makes this arrangement worthwhile. This time it's a busted Namco Motocross Go! System 23 PCB that found it's way to my dumping lair yesterday. These System 23 PCBs have plenty of common faults so I repaired it without too much trouble :-D


There's an extra box for the motor/feedback controller. The main PCB shown in pic 3 fits neatly into the box on the left, as shown in pic 4 :-)

Not much is known about this game so I've done a video of attract mode that you can watch on YouTube. Enjoy :-)


28th October, 2008
I've been pretty busy lately doing repairs for a local friend to about a dozen Sega Rally and Daytona USA PCBs so the updates here have had to wait until now. I'm no where near finished and another 5 dead Sega Rally PCBs were delivered by him a couple of days ago but I thought I'd better get an update done before the stuff got lost under the pile of dead Sega Model 2 PCBs ;-)
So... here's what arrived over the past few weeks.....

The first pic shows some Neo Geo carts for protection analysis & decapping, a supposedly rare prototype Double Dragon 3 PCB (bottom right) and a couple of Namco PCBs that I was hoping would be more interesting. Top right is Final Furlong on Namco Gorgon hardware. Unfortunately the main program flashROM daughterboard is missing (denoted by the red arrow pointing to the unpopulated white connector where it should be plugged in) and the I/O board is missing too. The other one bottom left is Crisis Zone on Namco System 23 Evolution 2 hardware (it appears to just be System 23 with no additional pieces). The PCB is complete but the I/O board is missing on that one too. The later Namco PCBs use an I/O board that contains a ROM or PIC16F84 so it's fairly critical to get that board too or the emulation will not be possible :-(
My local friend (with all the dead Sega Rally PCBs) has a Crisis Zone on-site so maybe one day I can coax him into loaning me the I/O board so we can get a dump of the ROM on it :-D
But at the moment those 2 games are still listed as 'wanted' because they are incomplete. Even more interesting, on the Final Furlong PCB, the surface mounted R4650 CPU is missing! It's a very clean slick job so clearly it was taken to repair a Namco System 23 game by a professional PCB repairer. And of course, the ebay seller has no idea what's going on... hmmm (rolls eyes)
Thanks to Smitdogg for caring though! Hopefully we'll have better luck next time.

The second pic shows some stuff thanks to Brian Troha. We have a couple of Namco System 23 boards for the game 'Downhill Bikers'. Those are complete and include the I/O boards! The other PCB is 'XTom 3D' by Game Vision, some kind of PC-based custom 3D hardware thingy. Also sent was a small box containing about another dozen chips for decapping.


3rd September, 2008
More arrivals from Korea!

X Se Dae Quiz (1995 Dream Island on Zero Team board)
Don Den Lover Vol 1 (1995 Korean version Nakanihon PCB)
Vamp 1/2 Europe (1999 Danbi English version)
Midnight Resistance (1990 bootleg joystick version)
Wonder Boy 3 Monster Lair (1988 Sega bootleg)
Won Shi Do (1989 Victor)
Chuka Taisen (1988 Taito... with M chip!!)
Dogyuun (1992 Toaplan/United Trading License)
Metal Black (1991 Taito)
- Thanks to gp-lee

Now for a really nice bonus. I've been doing some repairs for a local friend who has a repair business. In the pile of stuff he gave me to fix were 3 Time Crisis II boards and an unknown Triforce board. After battling with tons of wires, custom connectors and I/O boards for several hours, I got the TC2 boards running enough to see the faults. I fixed them pretty quickly since they have many common issues.


More interestingly, they were all the same software revision but not dumped!! So after taking some videos of the bootup sequence and attract mode to help with the emulation, guess what I did.....
Great game.... fortunately I don't have any guns to hook-up or my friend might have had a hard time trying to get them back ;-D
However, I bought a PS2 specially for this game around mid 2005 and I must say comparing the two of them, the PS2 version has better graphics and some corrected gameplay bugs so if you really love Time Crisis II, get the PS2 version. Of course the PS2 graphics are better because the original hardware is using older technology :-)

What really interested me more was the Triforce board. It's the new type of totally square design that I haven't seen before. But there's no GDROM??? On the outside is a security chip that's plugged in (same type as used on NAOMI GDROM games) and inside is a ROM cart packed with many NAND flashROMs!! It appears Namco games use only ROM carts. So anyway, after fixing it I took a few pics of it for prosperity.....


The chances of getting hold of one of these things (even buying it) is very slim because they are really new and expensive. The chances of getting one for free is a near miracle so it's a huge bonus to get this! However, don't expect this to be working in MAME just yet..... hmmm, although I can break the PIC protection in 15 seconds and there is Game Cube emulation in the works... stranger things could happen, I suppose.

In other news, we've got our eyes on some nice items in Japan that are pretty rare to find outside of their custom large cabs. I'd really like to be able to snap those up and dump them. But as always funds are near zero because it's all been allocated to postage. Of course we still need more postage funds too! If you would like to assist me, please visit my donations page. Thanks!


3rd September, 2008
Since a few people were interested, here's a small Guru-treat about the C76 dumping process....

The first pic is an overall view of the Namco NB-1 PCB

The second pic shows a close-up of the C76 that has been surface mounted onto the PCB. Astute MAME'ers will know that normally in that location on a Namco NB-1 PCB is a C75 chip. The C76 is just the same type of Mitsubishi M37702 microcontroller with a different internal ROM. If you look closely you can see the number '24' written on it, showing it's the chip that I tagged to be decapped on my Decapping Page. The decapping is no longer required, of course.

The third pic shows the two 27C4096 EPROMs that have been re-programmed with the trojan code and the on-board 2k EEPROM that we're using to save the data. The EEPROM is simply read with any common EPROM programmer to get the C76 code that we put there using the trojan. There were a couple of issues here. First, the C76 interface is different to the C75 so it took a few tries before the trojan would run on this PCB (if you've been paying attention you'll know the C76 normally sits on a Namco System 11 PCB). Secondly, and unfortunately, the C76 ROM is 16k so I needed to adjust the trojan code manually by changing the memory start point then repeating the process 8 times to get a full dump of the C76 ROM (at c000, c800, d000, d800, e000, e800, f000, f800). This also involves blanking EPROMs 8 times too  O_o

Lastly, here's a video of the actual dumping. Don't blink or you'll miss it ;-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrbeE4j-NxI
The video is upside-down because normally the main program knows how the video should be orientated and it writes values to the EEPROM to flip the screen. But because the EEPROM is defaulted to blank and the main program is trojan-ised that doesn't happen so the screen is the wrong way around. Just turn your head and stop complaining ;-)

Thanks again to Olivier Galibert for figuring it all out :-)


2nd September, 2008
HAHAHAHAAHAHRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Special thanks to Olivier Galibert for his superior trojan writing skills.
Now would be a good time to send me some Guru-Love ;-)
Thanks!


26th August, 2008
A couple of items arrived...


Now for some REALLY BIG NEWS.....I've also been working on something with Olivier Galibert. Check this page and see if you can spot the change ;-)

While I have your attention, I'm going to take this opportunity to point out that I'm also needing some more funds for postage (this is of course, always needed :-)
If you can help out, please visit my donations page. Thanks!


15th August, 2008
Arrived and dumped - Marvel VS. Capcom 2 NAOMI cart. Thanks to Heywood Floyd
I also recently dumped another NAOMI cart, DOA2. Hopefully we'll see some bouncy wobbly bits in a future MAME ;-)


30th July, 2008
ElSemi designed a nice circuit to do something interesting. I've just completed building it and wiring it up. Mine is somewhat sexier than ElSemi's proto though (the first pic) with white letters and blue backlight :-D


There's a couple of early mid-assembly pics, the last 2 pics showing the final complete version. Now the fun begins! :-D
Update: The fun has ended. Around 20 seconds per PIC and 20 minutes per GDROM and the job was done. You might notice some additional 'random' numbers now added to the NAOMI Dump Status page and a LOT more light green ;-)

Also thanks to Dox who sent a few more chips to be decapped.

These chips are from Taiwan Chess Legend, Elvis, Kyros, Cow Race, D-Day, Double Dealer, Raiden II, Angel Eyes, Arkanoid, Croupier and Heavy Barrel.

You may also want to look down the bottom of the 'GuruDumpStatus' section too....


22nd July, 2008
More arrivals! I almost forgot these were coming.

Most of these are 'Wanted For Decapping' items or for other documentation purposes, although we have a nice big bonus too....

Namco System 246 with Tekken 4 DVD and Magic Gate Dongle
Guardians Of The Hood (Atari)
Extermination (Taito, for decapping the 8742 MCU)
Hyper Pacman (for decapping the 89C52 MCU)
Tekken (Namco System 11, was thought to be an alt. version but turned out to be TE2/VER.C which is already dumped)
Protection MCU from Oscar Psycho-Nics (Data East)
All PALs from Arch Rivals
Thanks to MACARENO Richard from France :-)


20th July, 2008
Thanks to a couple of people that donated some postage bucks, another package arrived from Japan a few days ago.

The arrivals are....
Dai Dai Kakumei
Chanbara (Data East)
Noboranka/Zippybug (original Data East)
Bust a Move 2 (ZN1 hardware & 4.3GB HDD)
Route 16 (Sun Electronics)
Two more Atomiswave carts (KOF Neo Wave & The Rumble Fish)
Quiz Oh My Goddess (Naomi cart)
Kiki Kaikai (original Taito with 6801U4 MCU)
Neo Geo 64 I/O board & Naomi I/O board (with Toshiba MCUs)
Jantei (mahjong, thanks to Dyq)

The first 3 games listed are _extremely_ rare and expensive (and to a lesser extent the next 2 as well), so while you may not have heard of some of them, these will make very nice additions to MAME and arcade preservation in general.

Also arrived from China (also pictured above) are....
Crazy Dou Di Zhu
Crazy Dou Di Zhu II
Show Hand(China)
Sakura Love
Orient Dragon
These are all mahjong games, thanks to bnathan and Dyq

There's still many items waiting to be shipped. If you can help with postage funds, please visit my donations page. Thanks!

In other news, I've finished the Guru Vs Kubuntu page if you're interested in that kind of thing :-)


6th July, 2008
Today, boys and girls, we're going to learn about how to wire up a late model Sega PCB. You start by having a whole bunch of wires, multiple different kinds of connectors, multiple power sources and multiple controllers. You toss it all in a corner and it un-jumbles itself like magic. Errrr, NOT!

As part of the on-going Saga of dumping, it was one of my goals to hook up the Star Wars Racer Arcade and take a few pics and videos before I pull it all apart and dump it. Since it's a Sega game from 2000, it's not so easy to do that because of the special power and cable requirements. I've been slowly collecting various bits and pieces from different places in order to make that happen. Today was THAT day and here's a few pics. I've left the pics big to show some details, but your browser should make them fit on screen. Once they've loaded click the pic to show it full size.

The first picture shows the whole thing running...


Second pic shows a close-up of the main hardware.... there's a 240v - 110v transformer on top going into a Sega power supply box. Out of that comes 5v, 12v and 3.3v via the special JVS connectors and they go into the connectors on the main PCB. Video is 31.5kHz and is output via a standard VGA connector. My cab has a 29" WG D9200 monitor in it and can accept that cable/connector directly so it's a simple plug and play job there...


There's no amp on these games so one must be supplied externally. Unamplified sound is output via some RCA connectors on the main PCB and those go into an old Sony stereo amplifier that I had lying around (I knew this would come in handy for something one day!). There's the raw guts of a speaker connected to it. The sound isn't great but it's making noise so it's good enough. The small PCB on the floor is a Sega JVS I/O board. It's connected to the main PCB with a USB cable. Power for it is supplied by the custom cable I have (made by my top secret agent in Japan) that is wired at the other end to a JAMMA fingerboard which as well as supplying power allows me to use the controls in the cabinet to play it! The extra joystick on the floor is an analog joystick for the Pod Racer controls. It's basically just two 5k potentiometers, one for left and one for right in this case. But it won't work that way in this game. I had to turn the joystick 45 degrees (like it is on Q-Bert) so that when it's pushed forward the potentiometers are both at their maximum and that gives full throttle and allows me to turn by moving it left/right from the full-forward position. It's a little difficult to use in this raw state, but it was still enjoyable for an hour or so to play with it :-)


The game is really amazing to look at. The Hikaru hardware graphics are quite spectacular. I've made a video of it playing in-game and in attract mode which is over 20 minutes long. Unfortunately it's nearly 900M so I might have to reduce it then put it on youtube or something. I'd rather be doing something else constructive like dumping this PCB though..... It is available (privately) online if someone wants to grab it, convert/chop and upload to youtube for me. If so, contact me :-)


4th July, 2008
This thing arrived a couple of days ago.....

I've just dumped the DIMM firmware (look closely, it's the TSOP56 flashROM located in the middle of the board, 4th pic), so that's another piece of the NAOMI puzzle sorted.

In other news, we still need more funds for postage of items we've purchased. If you can help out, please visit my donations page. Thanks!


11th June, 2008
A B-I-G haul arrived a few days ago. There's so much stuff I can't get it all in one pic!

Top right we have California Chase (a PC-based Chase HQ ripoff by 'The Game Room') and a Ferrari F355 NAOMI cart, thanks to M.F.

The PCBs at the bottom are.....
3X3 puzzle 1998 Ace enterprise and normal version (6 extra EPROMs)
Battle Toads 1994 Rare
Fire Shark 1990 (Doo Yong license) hard version and normal version (2 extra EPROMs)
Heavy Barrel 1989 bootleg joystick version
Sauro 1987 Philko licensed
Stadium Hero 1988 bootleg
Superman 1988 Taito
Thunder Zone 1991 Data East 4p version
Thanks to gplee

The remainder of the stuff up top are old console related items.....
Toshiba Visicom console and joystick (a Japanese clone of the RCA Studio II)
6 Epoch Cassette Vision carts... Baseball, Monster Mansion, Battle Vader, Yosaku, Monster Block & Galaxian
1 Epoch Super Cassette Vision cart... Wheelie Racer
Another PasoGo console with 3 carts (we now have 6 total!)
The small red thing on the right is a Pocket Dream Console. This is a new-ish dedicated portable (about half the size of a Gameboy!) with what looks like dozens of games built-in
Thanks to Ranger Lennier

If you've been paying attention you will notice there are at least a couple of PCBs with wanted-to-decap chips on them....

Speaking of decapping, I've just about got it all together, sort-of. I've just completed a BIG _preliminary_ update with everything that I've sorted out so far.... at least until I find more things to add to the list! There's so much stuff here that I keep finding things to decap(!?!). There's some minor work involved removing the chips and some serious work involved keeping track of everything and updating the decapping page (plus, remember I work full-time....) so there's still a few weeks/months before it will all go out. I'm also planning to add pics of every chip. In the meantime probably more stuff will arrive! There's at least a couple more wanted chips coming from Japan in the next big box that will arrive in 3-4 weeks and some other devs are going to send out some more chips soon. You might notice a lot of chips that are unknown and may or may not be important. I've decided to just grab everything that _could_ be useful for emulation purposes and send it out and see what happens. There's no guarantees that any of it will be successful, but we must try. Will collecting the decapping chips ever end? ;-)
Check out the update here.


28th May, 2008
A couple of people asked about the Taiko No Tatsujin 6 PCB, so here's a few pics of it.....


The actual PCB is just your regular Namco System 10 job, which you can see here. There's an extra I/O board bolted to the main board used for RCA sound output and of course for controlling the drums. The game is _very_ strange and funny, especially the 'sausage men' or whatever the hell they are! I assume this thing would be very loud in an arcade. A cabinet pic is here
Update:Oh!, those sausage men are the drum sticks, and they're called bachi. I wonder if they taste like chicken?


25th May, 2008
A couple of things arrived recently...
Sega Wave Runner (Model 2c) thanks to Neil Cooper

A large box containing a complete Taiko No Tatsujin 6 (Namco System 10 with DVDROM), from Japan via my contact :-)
Unfortunately that box wiped out most of our postage funds so we're back to storing stuff in Japan again until we can get enough funds to post another box out to me.


11th May, 2008
Not a lot happening here lately. A couple of things worth mentioning....
I received a small custom adapter from Charles MacDonald.

It's used to raw-read PALs, especially protected ones. Very nice little gizmo that will hopefully be useful for solving some memory map related issues in MAME. I've already used it to dump the PALs from Captain Commando (CPS1)

Something else I just got hold of...a friend gave me an iMac! Was wondering what to do with it.. hmmmm, I wonder what's inside it?

Looks interesting doesn't it.
The P.O.S. works too!

Yeah, I know it's not the original keyboard. I'm working on getting the proper one from my friend :-)
Pity Apple made it so low-end and virtually un-expandable... and the original mouse is missing too :-(
Still not sure what I should do with it, but I suppose I can use it to hold the door open on a windy day, or something :-D
iUpdate: Here's a good use for it maybe? Har Har! Thanks to Dullaron on the forums for the suggestion. It didn't last long anyway.... I did an internet update, which downloaded about 150M of stuff to update the system. It hung after an hour and stayed there for 5 hours with the spinning pizza (which I believe is the Mac equivalent of a BSOD). After manually resetting it, it no longer boots up. So that suggestion was _mighty_ tempting! :-D
Hmmm, nar! I want to torture it a bit more first so I guess I'll probably just use the OS X CD's to reinstall the system and try again.

In other news, I've been sensing a few grumbles from The Dumping Project team because we missed out on most of the nice items that have been popping up on eBay and Yahoo auctions due to having zero Paypal funds. Maybe you can help us out a bit? :-)


20th April, 2008
LOTS of stuff arrived from Japan a couple of days ago and more will arrive soon. This box contains....

Virtua NBA NAOMI cart
Power Smash NAOMI cart
Gun Spike NAOMI cart
Mahjong Shangri-la NAOMI cart
Samba de Amigo ver.2000 NAOMI cart
Guilty Gear X NAOMI cart
Derby Owners Club II NAOMI cart
Senko no Ronde NAOMI GDROM
Shikigami no Shiro II NAOMI GDROM
Melty Blood Actcadenza NAOMI GDROM
Quiz Keitai Q-mode NAOMI GDROM
Super Major League NAOMI GDROM
Virtua Athlete NAOMI GDROM
Spikers Battle NAOMI GDROM
Capcom vs SNK 2 NAOMI GDROM
Guilty Gear XX #Reload NAOMI GDROM
Super Shanghai 2005 NAOMI GDROM
Musapy no Chocomarker NAOMI GDROM
Gekitou Pro Yakyuu Triforce GDROM
Rumble Fish 2 Atomiswave cart
Samurai Spirits Tenka-ichi Kenkakuden Atomiswave cart
Sangoku Senki (Knights of Valour) Shichisei Tensei Atomis cart
Donchan no Hanabi de Doon Aleck64 cart
Neo Geo MV1B mainboard (for dumping smt BIOS ROM)
Playmore/SNK KOF 2003 PCB
Playmore/SNK Metal Slug 5 PCB
Lethal Enforcers PCB
Mahjong Ichiban Jan PCB
Uchuu Daisakusen Chokovader PCB

A few of these were obtained as free bonuses because they're faulty. These include Metal Slug 5, Lethal Enforcers (both good for documentation purposes) and a couple of the NAOMI ROM carts, Derby Owners Club II and Samba de Amigo ver.2000.

The Metal Slug 5 board has a strange funny fault. The left joystick direction is stuck on, so player 1 always moves left. However, moving the joystick right causes the PCB to lock up (because now left and right are both toggled, which would never happen in an arcade cabinet) but the music continues on as usual. It looks like I've uncovered a bug in the original code :-D
The single Neo Geo PCBs are also statistically important because it uncovers a few gotcha's. The current dumps were not actually taken from these original PCBs because the ROM labels, ROM count and ROM sizes don't match! :-D
Update: It appears there were a few different releases of the Playmore/SNK games on different PCBs. So these are probably just different somehow, maybe a different version? Or maybe the same version, but just with a different number of ROMs?

As always, if you want to see more, please consider donating. Thanks!


30th March, 2008
I've been contacted by many people who wanted to donate just a few dollars and I had to turn them away due to lack of a paypal account. This is very worrying. Not just because the donations can't be received, but mostly because it's impossible to find an alternative to paypal! I've reluctantly re-added a paypal account back onto the site. This is a completely different account and is not related to the other one and is STRICTLY for small donations only, of $100 or less.
Please read the RED text on my donations & thanks page to ensure you comply as I don't want to have this account locked too! These small amounts will be pooled eventually for use with larger purchases or added to the decap fund. I will of course be A LOT more conscientious about removing those small amounts from the account at the end of each day :-)
In other news, I've added a new Atomiswave Dumping Status page to the list.


20th March, 2008
Finally some good news regarding the recent paypal fiasco. I jumped through all of the hoops and walked on fire barefoot (3 times) and finally the paypal thieves have released the funds! I've withdrawn it to my linked bank account then transferred it to another normal, not linked bank account via my normal online banking facilities (so paypal can't touch it) so it's safe now. This means the special bulk decapping deal can continue. The total is still short though by nearly $3000, and paypal is DEFINITELY out of the question. If you are still willing to help out, contact me for details on where to send the money (i.e. either directly to me or directly to the lab). HOWEVER, I would rather someone else collected the funds together into one large amount and sent that via bank transfer or some other tangible method like an international money order. I believe the Italian MAME forum guys had collected about 1000 Euros, so maybe inquire about sending it to them first so they can bundle it all together for us.
Thanks for your continued support and understanding in this difficult time :-)
And please, if you did make any claims, cancel them now. Thanks!


15th March, 2008
A couple of items arrived....

Super Qix PCB, thanks to madness
An STV cart, some sort of crane game, thanks to rtw
I also bought a Virtua Fighter 4 cart (NAOMI 2). It's supposedly not common because VF4 is GDROM only in Japan, and this is a ROM cart. Thanks to Brian T. for pointing it out.
Update: The STV cart is called 'Microman Battle Charge' which is a medal game.


Also forgot to mention, about a week ago I received a Casio Loopy and a few carts and another Bandai Pippin firmware board, thanks to incognito


13th March, 2008
http://page5.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/e74700454
I'm only posting this publicly because the price will be hopelessly high. There is no hope in hell of ever winning it. The price will probably go to $3000-$4000. However, this kind of thing shouldn't go unnoticed for someone that is really crazy and has more money than a bull can sh*t :-D
What is it, you ask?......... an extremely rare Taito Steel Worker PCB. Unfortunately it's not that great IMO. The PCB is a converted Taito color Space Invaders PCB, just like our friend Indian Battle. Pretty unexciting stuff, really.


27th February, 2008
In the general news, we have some more arrivals....

From 'lisac' via RB, we have Sega's Death Crimson OX (NAOMI-based) and Namco's Gunmen Wars (Super System 23)

A couple of previously-undumpable Gameboy Color carts, thanks to BigFred

The previously missing Epoch Game Computer Astro Bomber cart, thanks to Ranger Lennier

Last but not least Cave's Ibara, purchased by me about a year ago that RB was playing and hoarding holding for me until such time that I was ready for it


12th February, 2008
More arrivals today!

In the bottom box we have a nice Sega Star Wars Pod Racer (Sega Hikaru h/w). Thanks to MooglyGuy

The 2nd box contains some old handheld games including a Gakken Compact Vision and some carts, an Epoch Pocket Game Computer and Block Maze cart (this completes the full 5 cart set) and a handheld made by KOEI, plus some carts, not sure what it is yet. Thanks to Ranger Lennier
Update: Ack! It turns out we need Astro Bomber for the Epoch Game Computer, we already have Block Maze. So it looks like we got shafted by the seller :-(
Update Update: Oh hang on. Inside the main package there's a Epoch Pocket Computer main unit and a cart is plugged in! I don't recognise the title, but it's not one we already have. So it must be the missing cart that was advertised with the auction :-)
Update Update Update: Ah, the cart plugged into the main unit is a blank place-holder cart. So we did get shafted. The seller sent a boxed Block Maze cart instead of a boxed Astro Bomber cart

The next box up contains the following items....
Black Touch 96 (DGRM 1996) action game
Black Touch 1993 (Dragon punch clone?)
Gals Panic SU (Kaneko 1999) S2 clone
Knuckle Joe (Taito 1985) bootleg
Miss Puzzle (Min 1994) different game pictures
Super Bishi Bashi Champ 1996 Korean
Super Mario 1985 bootleg
Toride (Grand Computer) Korean version of Last Fortress Toride 1994 Metro
WIZ (Taito 1985) alt version, bootleg
Thanks to GP-Lee

The top box contains my newest toy. It's one of the latest models of EPROM Programmers, approx AU$2k, which I bought myself from the local distributor to handle some other newer devices that were previously undumpable. I'm sure this will come in handy for a lot of newer stuff in the future too :-)

I'd also like to personally thank Aaron Giles for his nice $1080 donation and an equal matching donation from uRebelScum. I have decided to spend it on good games. So please, no begging me to buy shit off eBay ;-)
Oh nearly forgot, also thanks to Vas Crabb for the 100000 yen donation (originally for the Bubble System carts shown below which unfortunately was not enough by a long shot) which we're going to spend on some other nice games instead :-)


3rd February, 2008
Not much to report lately. We won a rare Taito Chase Bombers auction on ebay (which I dumped about a week ago) and a couple of others in Japan, although unfortunately we lost the one shown below. I dumped all of the NAOMI GDROMs I have here so maybe we'll see some progress on that one day. In other news, I discovered I am about 3 years ahead of myself :-D
Some time ago I bought an adapter for one of my EPROM Programmers for support of a 128M TSOP48 maskROM. It turns out that the same chip is used in Atomiswave carts and is easily dumped. I think I might have actually bought it for that purpose 3 years ago! The main problem now is it takes 2 1/2 hours to read one chip and to verify it with 3 reads will take an unacceptably long time. That's because the unit is serial and is as slow as a dog. Unless you're talking about racing dogs, in which case they're fast. But for this one we're talking about an old slow dog. You know, the kind that when you take it for a walk, you have to kick it's ass every few minutes to keep it moving. _That_ kind of slow dog. Errmmm, where was I? Oh yeah, so I have decided to upgrade that unit to the latest high speed USB2 model. That will set me back around AU$1800 and also requires a separate universal TSOP48 module which is another AU$400. But ahh, it's for the good of MAME-kind :-D
That will also give me other capabilities so I can knock off more of the troublesome undumpable boards listed on my GuruDumps Page, and I've now got some plans to hack the old programmer adapter to allow for some other impossible dumps to be done. But more on that later :-D


21st January, 2008
We have an opportunity to buy this....

I don't want to mention pricing, but we will probably need A LOT. Any help is appreciated. If we can't secure it, I'm happy to return the funds (Paypal) or we can keep it for other much needed purchases. Let me know using the Paypal donations button and add a note if you want the money returned, assuming we can't get it due to lack of funds. Thanks!
Once finished with it, I'm happy to give this away to whoever donates the highest amount. So the highest donation essentially buys it from me for that amount or I can re-sell it if that person wishes :-)

In other news, I've been working with Charles on the Bubble system I have here and we've managed to find the missing 68000 loader code. It appears it's in a MCU (a custom Konami chip) in shared RAM (put there by the MCU, which we have partly extracted) and then pulls the data out of the bubble memory IC's one bit at a time. Yes that's right, we've got part of the bubble memory now (about 4k of it). Still a alot of work to do though before we get it all. So the above item is very on-topic with regards to my current WIP work :-)


20th January, 2008
This should be the final installment with regards to reversing the road logic. Phil informs me the road (at least) is complete. Looks real sweet, doesn't it :-)



18th January, 2008
Been doing a bit more PAL reversing with Phil and it's now looking like I remember it :-)

If you're interested, check out the video of a working game on Starcade (at the end of show #94)


12th January, 2008
Another box arrived today from Japan. Most of it is just a backlog of junk that we acquired from various places that was in storage, and most of it was big, so there's not much in this shipment this time. However there are a couple of interesting items in this lot....
Neogeo Battle Coliseum - Atomiswave cart
Guitar Freaks 7th Mix security cart
Another Mahjong Konami Viper board (there's a few more to come too)
Salary Man Champ (complete working Sys573 unit)
Virtua Striker 2002 (Sega/Namco Triforce with GDROM)
Winning Eleven 2003 (Konami Pyson h/w)
I got the Winning Eleven booting by using my NAOMI JVS I/O adapter and JVS power supply. The game boots off a 128M CF card but takes an incredibly long time to boot (about 5-6 minutes at least). This is due to it having to load the data off the CF card into RAM, possibly unpacking it too. The graphics are very nice though :-)
There's a custom Konami board inside, plus a main board from the old style PS2, including memory card slots and Sony Magic Gate security cart. Dumping it all looks quite easy. I can't say the same thing for the Triforce. There's a Namco custom board inside with one flashROM, a GDROM plus an original Game Cube mainboard that contains nothing dumpable that I can see? :-(


2nd January, 2008
I've been helping Phil for a while and things are coming together nicely. TX-1 is looking much better, thanks to the recently arrived Atari TX-1 board, a Data I/O Unisite, a paperweight and a dodgy program that converts the protected PAL dump to something more usable ;-)


Of course Phil did all the work, all I did was dump a few things. There's still LOTS of work to be done for both of us, but this is a great start to 2008 :-D
The Guru's ROM Dumping News