Friday, 6 May 2016

[Mention] Crazy Climber PCB hack

Making your own hardware to expand a game's functionality is a fine skill that deserves plenty of recognition. But doing so while taking the luxury to add artistic elements to your work is a thing only left to the gifted ones.

This is what UKVAC forum member "ajhippel" has done with a Crazy Climber highscore save mod kit, made it memorable by adding demo-scene like music and effects to his work.

More info over here:

Sample music routine:

Monday, 2 May 2016

Arcade Vintage Video Tour #ArcadeCon2016

Over the weekend I had the pleasure to be a speaker at ArcadeCon2016 and spend a couple of days at Arcade Vintage in Petrer. I was pretty much speechless at what those guys have built, plenty of hard work and passion in there.

More info about this arcade shrine over here:

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Important Capcom CPS2 Announcement

Dear colleagues,

It is our pleasure to announce a very important milestone in arcade conservation, the successful reverse engineering of Capcom's CPS2 security programming. A major development giving full hardware control of this popular platform over to the community, and helping preservation by enabling the clean desuicide and restoration of any dead games without hardware modifications.

This achievement has been made possible thanks to the help, support and collaboration of many dedicated individuals who just like you have an altruistic passion about arcade games, their hardware, history and legacy. All the discoveries and results generated by this project will be soon shared publicly, free of charge.

Over the coming days the project will see a limited release to selected testers to help ensure maturity before the public disclosure happens.

Stay tuned to further details.

The ArcadeHacker project

CPS2 project credit goes to: Artemio Urbina, Ian Court and Eduardo Cruz, with the key collaboration of Digshadow, Ougun, Brizzo, Rockman, Tayoken, and the valuable donations by Juan Felix, Alberto Fuentes, Alex Cmaylo, Bill de Leo, Alexander Schütz, François Lefebvre, Tormod Tjaberg, Felix Vazquez and Pau Oliva.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

My visit to A.R.C.A.D.E.

Today I had the pleasure to spend a few hours at this fantastic arcade near Barcelona. As you can see in the video below the selection of machines is fantastic and so was everyone in there. If you are interested in visiting them you can find more information on their website:

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

CPS2 Project

The ArcadeHacker project is now officially working to unravel the security mysteries of one of the most popular arcade systems ever: Capcom's CPS2.

As already delivered with Kabuki and CPS1, the ArcadeHacker project aims to understand the internal workings of the security features inside these systems. Our ultimate goal is help the arcade community preserve games as working originals: No more phoenixes, hardware hacks, or rom replacements.

Project status
Some of the CPS2 chip internals are already documented and we are currently dealing with the system main cpu. This gigantic 3 layer IC is taking significant time and resources from us, and is requiring the usage of new lab tools in order to finish the reverse engineering.

Your support is now needed to help secure and accelerate the project goals.

How can you help?

CPS2 samples
We need CPS2 B board donations in any condition: dead, damaged, phoenixed, no case... it does't matter. Any condition is valid as long as the capcom square chips are in there.

Please email/contact me for further details if you are willing you send in B board donations.

Attacking the CPS2 chips is a lab time consuming and tool expensive process. If you are willing to donate (any amount helps), please do so by paypal at

In exchange for your support you will join our list of supporters and receive internal updates about the project status, as well as early access to any desuicide tools generated by the project.

[UPDATE] Donations no longer necessary, the project came to a successful end on April 30th 2016.

Thank you all for your support.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

CPS1 Project update #2

I have just updated the programmer code on github (link below) adding support the remaining games. You should now be able to program Cadillac & Dinosaurs, King of Dragons, Captain Comando, and Quiz and Dragons without any issues. Thanks to Marcel, Bill D. and Joaquin for their support testing.

You can download the latest code from the follow site:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

CPS1 Project Update

Programmer code
The code needed by the programmer has been made available on the following github account:

Each folder contains the base code for the systems supported by the programmer. Before using your programmer make sure you run the right code for the target system to desuicide. 

Supported systems*
Pre-CPS Kabuki Z80 CPU based boards (Capcom and Mitchell)

CPS1 & 1.5 QSound titles 

*Important: make sure you read the known issues block further below.

Building your own programmer
The base of the programmer consists of two Arduino pieces:

I/O with the target arcade pcb happens via the 7 pins found just above of the lcd shield right side, look at the Kabuki pdf instructions for further visual reference, tap ground feed from the ICSP connector

Updating your programmer
In order to update your programmer or switch target systems you need to download the code using the Github mentioned above, look for the .ino files. Once you have downloaded the code just plug your programmer via USB to your computer and upload the right .ino code file using the Arduino IDE. If you don't have the Arduino IDE please download it from the following link:

Once updated just follow the programmer on-screen instructions.

Programming instructions

CPS1 & CPS1.5:
There's no documented guide yet (pending task), please follow these steps:

CPS 1 C board pinout as follows:
Connect programmer pin 3 to CNB pin 61
Connect programmer pin 4 to CNB pin 62
Connect programmer pin 5 to CNA pin 19
Connect programmer pin 6 to CNA pin 20

Please watch this video to see the whole process in action:

IMPORTANT: The programmer does not have enough power to drive the C
board. Watch the video to learn how to piggyback power from the game

Known issues [March 7th 2016 all issues fixed]
The following Pre-CPS titles have been reported not to work or have issues with the desuicider: Super Pang, Poker Ladies
Current behavior: Games start but freeze.

The following CPS1/1.5 titles have been reported not to work or have issues with the desuicider:  Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, Captain Commando, King of Dragons, Quiz & Dragons
Current behavior: Some graphic layers are missing.

Note: Thanks to Corrado, Tormod, Sylvain, and Bill D. for their patience and assistance.

Next steps
I'm currently converting one of my CPS1.5 titles into Cadillacs & Dinosaurs to be able to research the issue common to all four CPS1/1.5 games listed above. ETA before I start the research is 2 weeks from now.

Project pending tasks
Research and fix all known issues
Create a project wiki
Properly document CPS1/1.5 desuicide process