Posts Tagged ‘cabinet’

Librarian Justin Hoenke acquired and installed a vintage Ms Pacman arcade cabinet at the 2nd floor of the Chattanooga Public Library and set it to free play.

The 2nd floor at Chattanooga Library is aimed at the 0-18 age group; the library wants to increase the sense of community. As they say on their webpage about what teens do at the library ( quote ) “They connect. They laugh. They play. They relax. They share. They read. They make. They grow. They learn.

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Anyone looking trough arcade parts or cabinets will read “JAMMA board” or “JAMMA compatible” at some point. But, who’s JAMMA? What does JAMMA stands for and why do we care?

Up until maybe 1985, arcade machines were wired pretty much in any way doable. Each manufacturer had different habits, and every machines were wired differently. Total mess when trying to diagnose problems, and a headache to upgrade any cabinet to a different game.

Then came an arcade manufacturers association in Japan, named the Japanese Amusement Machine and Marketing Association, and they standardized their interface connectivity into one single standard – that standard came to be known as the JAMMA standard.

Mainly, JAMMA is a standardized connection pattern that permits every game under that standard to work in one another’s cabinet by using specific pins for everything from joysticks to buttons passing by power input, video and sounds. It does facilitate upgrade, but also diagnostic by permitting to interchange potentially faulty boards with known working ones. Any working ones.

It facilitated operator’s job considerably.

jamma

The JAMMA connector which interface between the cabinet’s buttons/joysticks and the board’s game is a 56 pin 3.96mm/.156 pitch edge connector similar to what was used in the days of cartridges. 28 top and 28 bottom pins. It is pretty much an arcade cabinet universal plug-and-play interface that includes all needed for standard 2-player arcades.

The standard went out in 1985 – meaning that any games older than that will certainly NOT be JAMMA compliant. Most games out after that do follow the standard to some extend. Certain games such as Street Fighters needed extra buttons; those buttons are added trough supplemental connectors.

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First of, if you’re into retro gaming or arcades and haven’t seen Disney’s Wreck-it-Ralph yet, maybe you should do something about it. Disney made a good job making nods to classic videogames.

In Wreck-it-Ralph, arcade game characters live a life outside of their designed games. For the movie, they created “new” games – both “recent” and “retro” to convey their story. But they certainly based themselves in what already existed.

The main game “Fix-it Felix Jr.” is clearly a nod to “Donkey Kong Jr.” way of sequelling.  On an arcade standpoint, look at their cabinets: Disney certainly used old Nintendo cabinets for their promotion, likely just reskinning Donkey Cabinets.

FixItFelixDonkeyKong

The game itself resemble an inverted Rampage – you’d play the guy having to fix up after building demolition. Not too shabby for retro game play. They should have released real arcades for promotion in movie theaters while the movies was still out there, instead of just publicity stunts once in a while. Not only of the main game, but also the two other games visited by the characters – one is a crossover between Medal of Honor and Call of Duty and is named Hero’s Duty, the other one is a Mario Kart ripoff in a candyland style racing game named Candy Rush…. even the cabinet is at least inspired by Mario Kart GP.
CandyRushMarioKartGP

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