30 Aug 2017

Let's talk about bootlegs

Some may have noticed there isn't any bootleg in my repair logs.
Reason is simple, I don't repair bootlegs.


Well, first they were produced illegally and in my opinion have contributed to the demise of the arcade industry.

Second, most of the time they are poorly built (botched).
Third, and probably the most important, most aren't perfect copies of the original games. Symptoms can vary from differences in the gameplay, graphic glitches or even missing sounds (it's not rare to find an unpopulated area in the sound section to cut costs).

On the other side they have the big advantage of being custom chips and security chips free (there are few exceptions). Which means they are fully repairable with standard parts.
Other good thing is they are Fujitsu TTL free which are known to be evil.

So what do I do with bootlegs that cross my way?

I use them as donors. Especially if they are 100% fonctionnal as it eliminates the need to test the parts you pull from them.

Here's an example: Street Fighter 2 (Alpha Magic bootleg)

As you can see the board has been scavenged a lot.
From the top of my head, I've used the following parts to save the following games:
- M68000 (main CPU) => Chelnov
- Z80 (audio CPU) => Power Spikes
- YM3012 (audio DAC) => Salamander
- 3 EPROMs => Super Pang (unsuicide)
- And a lot of TTL for different games

Last thing, if you combine the individual price of all the parts you realise they are worth more than the working bootleg board.

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