28 Dec 2016

Heavy Unit - Kaneko 1989 (repair log)

I'm sorry I missed my weekly publication last week (I was on holiday, well, still am).

This game has a similar hardware to other Toaplan games of the same period.
The game starts but the picture flickers and colours are bad:

Once again this game uses DRAM for graphics and once again all 4 are bad (@ A3, A4, B3, B4).
Once replaced picture is better but sill flicker: some legs of the kaneko custom chip are lifted. I resoldered them, the flickering stopped but colours were still wrong: one of the 2 colour RAM was bad (@ R7). I replaced it and now graphics are back to normal (ok crappy photo here):

This photo is better:

Game fixed.

14 Dec 2016

Hidden menus in Playstation 1 demo discs

Back in 97/98 I remember having discovered hidden menus in some PlayStation 1 demo discs.
Since then I haven't read anything about that (either in specialised magazines or online).
Recently I dug out some demo discs and this little discovery came back to my memory.
Unfortunately I can't remember the trick I used to access the hidden menus, but with the help of an Action Replay/GameShark, I've been able to make them appear.
For instance in one of my demo discs there's a hidden "Tech" menu:

Entering this menu gives you access to an other "Ultra Cheats" menu:

This menu contains super saves for various games of the era you can load onto your memory card:

Please leave a comment if you have more info about those menus.

7 Dec 2016

Rush & Crash (The Speed Rumbler) - Capcom 1986 (repair log)

I got this game in very good condition (lacquer was still shiny).
At power up I was greeted by a black screen and no sound.

This board was populated by a lot of Fujitsu chips... First step was to identify and replace all the dead Fujitsu chips. After a first batch (around 20 ICs) I managed to get something on screen:

Then I had to change more bad Fujitsu chips with floating inputs, harder to diagnose.
Each time I ran the game in the hope of any improvement:

To finally obtain correct graphics:

The battle wasn't over as the game was still silent. The audio RAM @ 3F (on top board) was dead. Replacing it restored the sound.

Game fixed.