Most arcade games were made before high definition took over our living rooms. As a result, you actually need a standard resolution monitor to play 90% of the arcade games. While there were a handful of games that used vector monitors (black and white) and even a few that used color vector monitors (Tempest anyone?) the vast bulk of monitors that you come across in the arcade industry tend to be plain old vanilla standard raster games. The one weird exception are the medium resolution games.
Back in the day, a medium resolution monitor was the HDTV of the arcade world. Instead of the standard 640 x 480 lines of color, it gave game developers access to 800 x 600. The first game to use this format was called Winners Circle and while it was made in 1981, we wouldn’t actually see the medium resolution become popular until the late 90s and early 2000s.
Since these games tend to be a little funky, we’ve put together a list of every medium resolution game that was ever made. Whether you’re looking for a monitor that you can steal for a game that your currently have or you simply want to watch out for games that are becoming increasingly hard to find parts for, this list should help.
18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker
Arm Champs II
Behind Enemy Lines
Bloody Roar 3
B.O.T.S.S.: Battle of the Solar System
Bottom Of The Ninth
Code One Dispatch
Cyber Troopers Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram
Cyber Troopers: Virtual On
Dark Silhouette: Silent Scope 2
Daytona USA 2: Battle On The Edge
Daytona USA 2: Power Edition
Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive 2
Dynamic Country Club
Fighting Vipers 2
Gauntlet Dark Legacy
Golden Tee Fore Complete
Golden Tee Fore! 2005
Gradius IV – Fukkatsu
Gulf War II
Harley Davidson & L.A. Riders
House of the Dead
In The Groove
Jurassic Park III
Keisatsukan Shinjuku 24ji
Keisatsukan Shinjuku 24ji 2
Lethal Enforcers II: Gunfighters
Lost World: Jurassic Park
MACE – The Dark Age
Magical Date – Sotsugyo Kokuhaku Daisakusen
Magical Truck Adventure
Manx TT Superbike Twin
Namco System 246
NBA Showtime – NBA On NBC
NFL Blitz ’99
NFL Blitz 2000
NFL Blitz 2000 Gold Edition
Para Para Paradise
Play By Play
Popn Music Animelo
Quiz Ghost Hunter
Quiz Mekurumeku Story
Rail Chase 2
San Francisco Rush
San Francisco Rush The Rock – Alcatraz Edition
Sega NAOMI system
Sega Rally Championship
Sega Rally 2 Championship
Sega Touring Car Championship
Shikikami No Shiro
Silent Scope EX
Sonic Blast Man
Sonic The Fighters
Star Trek Voyager
Star Wars Arcade
Star Wars Trilogy Arcade
Taito GNET System
Tekken Tag Tournament
The Last Starfighter
The Ocean Hunter
The Typing of the Dead
Tokyo Bus Tour
virtua Cop 2
Virtua Fighter 2
Virtua Fighter 2.1
Virtua Fighter 3
Virtua Fighter 3 Team Battle
Virtua Fighter Evolution
Virtua Striker 3
Virtua Striker 2000
Virtua Tennis 2
War: Final Assault
Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga Episode III
Winner Circle WWF Royal
World Series 99
World Trophy Soccer
Zero Gunner 2
With so many games, we come across a lot of different monitor issues. Typically, there are usually about a half a dozen things that could be wrong and once you start to recognize the symptoms, it makes it much easier to figure out where to begin.
Usually, when someone says that they have horizontal collapse, they really have vertical collapse, but their monitor is mounted vertically in their arcade cabinet so it makes it look like a single vertical line. While your game may appear to be horizontally challenged, it’s really an issue with your vertical circuit. Horizontal collapse is actually very rare to come across.
In the case of the monitor above though, you’ll see that it really is the horizontal part of the picture, that is failing. The effect makes it look a bit like the Northern Lights. Lots of pretty colors streaming down the line and you can see them dance. It’s very pretty, but not very good for playing a video game, unless you’re very easy to entertain.
After poking around a bit on our chassis, we realized that this particular tube had been swapped into a G07 frame, but the tube was originally from a 19″ K7000. The improper pairing of the chassis with the wrong tube caused the horizontal circuit to fail, because the horizontal yoke wire wasn’t going into the correct spot.
The solution was easy enough to solve. We took our G07 Frame and Chassis and put a G07 tube in it instead. Once we paired our K7000 tube with a working K7000 chassis, we now had two working monitors and no sign of horizontal collapse on either one.
While this may seem like an unlikely mistake to make, with so many spare chassis floating around out there, we have to imagine that others are running into the same problem. Hopefully the photo above helps you to recognize this particular symptom and can point you in the right direction for getting you monitor working again.
Want to add some arcade flavor to your next party or get together? We think the best way to do it is by renting one of our classic arcade games by the month, but for those of you who want to take it a step further, you can play ambient sounds from the ghosts of arcade’s past at your next event.
The Arcade Ambience Project is an attempt to captures the dings, zaps and ayyyyyyyukkkens from bustling arcades. On the project’s web page, you can stream or download an audio recording of various arcades in action. What’s neat about the project is that they have multiple audio feeds depending on the era that you’re trying to replicate. Click on the 90′s link and you can hear players dueling it out on Mortal Kombat, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons. Click on the link from 1983 and all of a sudden you’re transported to an arcade that plays sounds from Space Invaders, Pacman and Galaga.
While white noise from an arcade may not be as relaxing as listening to a recording of the rain or the beach, it’s still a neat way to add a little bit of atmosphere to a party. Whether you own an actually arcade and want to make it sound busy or you just have a couple of a games and want to add more sounds, the site is a great resource for arcade white noise.
Having grown up in Southern California, I have many fond memories of hanging out at Magic Mountain having the thrill of my life. The roller coasters held most of my attention, but in the back of the park they had an arcade where you could play all kinds of classic titles.
As times have changed, so has the park and when Magic Mountain axed the games, they fell onto the auction block in Covina, CA. In total there are 25 games up for sale. Most of the early bids are people hoping to snipe a game for $10, but we don’t think anything will go that cheap since Covina is so close to Los Angeles. You never know though, this could be your opportunity to get an entire game for cheap. None of the games would be considered grails in the industry, but there are a few games that we’d love to have.
The Super Bikes are a lot of fun to play. Because you get to ride on top of the joystick, it creates an experience that can’t be replicated on the consoles. The Lost World deluxe cockpit also looks awesome, although it would be tough to move a beast that size.
There will be a preview of the arcades on Tuesday March 18th, 2014. The auction ends on March 19th at 8pm.
Update – Looks like they are having trouble catching a bid on this one, so they’ve extended the auction to April 8th, 2014 at 7pm.
One of the most useful resources in the arcade community is the excellent Arcade Repair Tips video and podcast series. In it they help explain everything from the basics to the more complicated repairs that you’ll run into when fixing a game. Their latest post covers monitor convergence and is a must read for anyone who wants to do a tube swap.
In order to display the image on a monitor properly, the chassis has to be tuned into monitor that it is attached to. This is primarily done through a big copper coil called the yoke, but there are also things like convergence rings and convergence strips that can impact the image that you get. A monitor that is out of convergence will typically display double images and the colors will look like the are tie dye and will pool in certain areas.
In their blog post, the Arcade Repair Tips crew dives into an in depth discussion on the differences between static and dynamic convergence.
“The first thing to note is that there are actually TWO types of convergence you need to adjust: static and dynamic. The first is static and is the easiest. This is where you use the convergence “rings” on the yoke. Using the game’s test screen, you have it display a grid pattern. Then, using two of the rings, you adjust the red and blue vertical lines until they overlap one another. Then you adjust the red and blue horizontal lines until they overlap. Once this is done, you adjust the rings in order to get the red and blue to overlap the green lines. The manual describes this very well and also has illustrations. This process is actually much simpler than most people think but it can be a little intimidating at first. Once done, you can use a marker to mark all of the rings for reference.
Next is the tricky part: dynamic convergence. Whereas “static” convergence covers mostly the inner area of the monitor/screen image, dynamic convergence covers the outer area, particular the edges. For example, if you had white text running across the entire monitor, you might notice that while the letters at the center of the screen look fine, the letters on the far left and right looked “ghosted” with shades of red, blue and green above and below. This is dynamic convergence that needs adjusting.”
Even the most experienced arcade techs can have trouble with convergence, so if you can’t get the hang of it don’t be too discouraged. We’ve got a special tool that we use to help align the colors (pictured above), but even with the extra help, it’s not always easy to line things up. Good luck with your own convergence issues and thanks to Arcade Repair Tips for helping to better explain what it’s all about.
One of the cool things about running a video game company is that you end up with the best customers. When we first learned that Sebastopol was going to get it’s own arcade themed craft brewery we couldn’t have been more excited. When they tapped us to help provide games, we were ecstatic. Over the last decade, the barcade has been one of the most successful areas of the arcade industry.
Started by innovative entrepreneurs everywhere and legitimized by the adoption of corporate chains like Dave and Busters, it’s been a bright spot for the industry, during an otherwise bleak period. Instead of relying on income from the games, restaurants and pubs can use them as a way to entertain guests and attract customers. This makes the games more valuable than the income stream that the quarters can bring in.
Warped Brewing Company has taken the barcade concept and has adopted it to work with the craft beers that they specialize in. With names like Orbital Outage, Pixelated Porter and The Crash of 83′, their beers have been tailor made for arcade fans everywhere.
The company has set up a Facebook page where you can keep track of what’s going on. They also hold a high score contest where if you can top the leaderboard, you’ll get to pick the next game that they rent from us. You can also subscribe to their Bottom of the Bottle podcast for beer enthusiasts. We’re glad to see more locations where arcade fans can play games. If you’re ever in the Sebastopol area, we encourage you to check it out and to play a few games.
One of the downsides of working with arcade games is that securing parts for restoration can sometimes be a challenge. Since they don’t always make replacement components for 30 year old games, you learn early on to save everything even if something breaks. When it comes to gathering supplies for restorations, sometimes it helps to look at your local yard sales for good deals. Here’s a copy of our shopping list for things that we’re always looking for and a little bit of rationale for why we want these products. Feel free to chime in with your own suggestions in the comments
1.) Old CRTs – There was a time where they called it the boob tube, but now everything is LCD. Since you can’t even give these old paperweights away, it makes for easy pickings for arcade enthusiasts. Specifically, we need 19″ and 25″ tubes. By stripping down the old CRT we’re able to harvest neck adapters, Yoke connectors, even resistors if Radio Shack goes out of business. Specifically though we’re after the tubes. About 50% of the time we can take one that was used as a TV and swap it for one that has terrible Ms. Pacman burn from years of service.
2.) Extension cords – These come in handy for a couple of reasons. It seems like you can never have too many with so many arcade games sitting around, but even if the extension cord is damaged, you can still save money. One of the most common problems we see when we buy broken games are power cords that are missing their ground pin. If an extension cord is damaged on one end, but not the plug end, you can clip it and install it in your game and like presto you now have an orange power cable If the whole cord looks fried, you can still strip out the 16 gauge wire and use it to hook up the lights, switches and other power components in your game. Between crazy copper prices and cabinets that are over 5 feet tall on the inside, it doesn’t take long to blow through $25 worth of wire just hooking a game up.
3.) Cordless Phones – Before there were cell phones we had these crazy things called landlines that plugged into the wall. Eventually they made cordless versions, so you could walk around inside. The phones themselves don’t really matter as much as the battery that they hold inside. Specifically you’re looking for one that holds 3.6v. In order to save auditing and high score information, a lot of arcade PCBs were made to hold 3.6v batteries. Since these have a tendency to leak acid onto the boards, it’s a good idea to change them out for something safer. Cordless phones offer a great solution to this problem if you can score them cheap.
4.) Florescent Lamps – At about $20 bucks a pop, florescent lamps can be expensive to buy new. There are lots of cabinets that contain lighting and can be a great source for lighting up your marquees. You’re looking for things that are less than 24″ in length or else you run into size problems.
5.) Computer Speakers – Modern computer speakers are pretty cheap new, so you can get real discounts on them at a garage sale. It’s not the speaker itself that we’re after, but the models that require power and have amplifiers in them. If you take the speakers apart you can use those amps to power the sound in games like Contra or Gauntlet where the signal needs a boost before it hits the speakers.
6.) Surge Protectors – This is another common item that everybody seems to have and that you can never have too many of them. Don’t play around with the chance of lightning or a solar flare sending a massive power surge through old game boards. Better to stop that problem before it hits the game by always using surge protection.
7.) LED Night Lights – This is another inexpensive item that is easy to overlook. A lot of the cocktail games have small bulbs that light up the control panels and about half the uprights seem to have coin doors that need microlamps. Since the originals can be hard to find and have a tendency to get pretty hot anyway, it’s nice to be able to replace them with modern 12 volt LEDs when we can find them. Night lights aren’t always a perfect fit, but you’d be surprised at how effective they can at helping to keep your coin doors lit up and glowing. It’s a subtle touch, but one that adds a lot to a games appearance.
A few years back, the city of Glendale acquired a building that contained 50 arcade games that had been abandoned. Because of changes made to how redevelopment funds are allocated, they’ve been forced to keep the games in storage, while they figure out what to do with them. After looking into the matter, they’re now prepared to sell off their games in a mouth watering arcade auction.
In the process, we think they’re going to get a valuable lesson in arcade economics.
According to the LA Times, the value that the city is placing on the collection is approximately $100,000. Prices on each game vary of course, but apparently the estimates are $900 – $7000 per game depending on the title.
Since the city is going to hold an auction, we’ll find out exactly what the spot market value is, but we think their estimates are laughable, especially when you consider that they’re requiring the winning buyer to do the purchase as a bulk lot instead of piecing out the games individually.
While there are some games out there that can fetch more than $900, these titles tend to be highly collectible and from what we’ve seen of the Glendale auction, the rare titles are long gone.
Games like NBA Hang Time, Tekken 2 and Mortal Kombat all have a following, but they also routinely sell for less than $500 in perfect restored condition. When you consider that most of these games have been in storage for years, it’s pretty doubtful that many will work when they are turned on. Arcade games hate to be left alone and if you don’t fire up their capacitors every now and then, they have a tendency of failing when they are stressed after a long nap. If a game doesn’t work, Glendale will be lucky to get $100 per title.
We’ll have to wait and see what the total comes in at, but the whisper number that we’ve heard from our arcade sources pegs the value of the lot at $9,500. Since there are only a handful of qualified bidders who can absorb that many games, we’ll be surprised if it tops $10,000 even with the extra publicity that the story has brought.
Don’t believe our estimates? Check out the eXcellent eXidy price guide to see price ranges for what different titles sell for and then apply a wholesale discount. Still think our number is funny? Check back again once the auction has closed and we’ll post the final total to see how far our guess was off.
If arcade monitors were candy bars, the Sharp XM-2001 would be the Reese Peanut Butter cup of the monitor world. Part Nintendo, part Sharp, it offers the best of both worlds without having to sacrifice convenience. The monitor can be used as a decent replacement for Nintendo cabinets, as well as cabinets that would normally take a more traditional monitor. Also known as “the red tent monitor, the Sharp XM2001 was used periodically by Nintendo when they faced monitor shortages at their factories. Like all Nintendo monitors, the Sharp XM2001 has a unique tube that makes it stand out. The chassis itself looks a bit different than the normal Sanyo chassis that Nintendo liked to use. The curve on the board makes the chassis L shaped compared to the normal rectangular pattern that you’d expect to see.
While it offers a crisp clear picture and doesn’t have any known defects, there are some downsides to the Sharp XM2001. This monster has 2 different fuses that can short out and that are unique sizes. Luckily, Sharp included two extra fuses in the back of the chassis to use as a backup, so if you do manage to short your fuse, you get a 2nd chance before having to wait for a special order in the mail. The chassis itself is a little hard to get to. It’s screwed in and tied to the monitor’s frame in such a convoluted way that it almost doubles the time it takes to do a simple cap kit. Trying to get replacement parts for it can also be a major challenge. Because the flyback is no longer being made, it’s left a void in the market that collectors have taken advantage of. The subsequent hoarding of these flybacks has only caused the price of replacements to skyrocket to a point where it’s almost more cost effective to buy a brand new universal chassis.
One of the more interesting things about the monitor is that they built in a degaussing button on it that allows you to reset the electrons inside of the tube. Most arcade monitors will do this automatically or won’t do it all, so it was unique to see this built in. Like most of the monitors that you’ll find in Nintendo games, the Sharp XM-2001 was incredibly resilient and it’s rare to see one with significant screen burn on it..
The following is a list of the capacitors that you’ll need, if you want to do a cap kit on yours.
Cap Kit Listing
C301 – 10UF/16V
C302 – 10UF/16V
C304 – 10UF/160V
C305 – 330UF/160V
C306 – 100UF/25V
C310 – 470UF/160V
C401 – 47UF/25V
C403 – 10UF/50V
C405 – 330UF/25V
C406 – 330UF/25V
C408 – 100UF/16V
C409 – 100UF/25V
C504 – 1UF/50V
C506 – 33UF/16V
C508 – 10UF/25V
C509 – 330UF/50V
C513 – 330UF/50V
C520 – 1UF/50V
C514 – 100UF/16V
C605 – 4.7UF/50V
C609 – 100UF/16V
C610 – 10UF/16V
C614 – 1UF/50V
C617 – 330UF/25V
C705 – 47UF/50V
C706 – 330UF/160V
C707 – 100UF/160V
C708? – 470UF/160V
Neckboard – 22UF/250V