• Making the Master System a Master of Speech

    The Intellivision Voice Synthesis Module was released in 1982, giving the 16-bit console the power of speech. But unfortunately, most other consoles weren’t quite as lucky. Sure, some systems, like the PC Engine CD and Nintendo Famicom, have the ability to play samples directly, so at least they can do pre-recorded speech. But the Sega Master System can’t even do that. So how do we manage?

  • The World's Most Popular Arcade Board?

    What’s the best-selling arcade game? The usual answer seems to be Namco’s Pac-Man. But there have been a lot of years since 1980. And so, doing a very scientific survey of one (1) barcade, I’ve found that there might be another competitor; at least, if we only look at boards. And hey, look at that– it even plays Pac-Man.

  • Nowhere to go but down: MicroGraphicImage's Spelunker!

    Imagine, if you will, a western computer game about exploring caverns, turned into an arcade game in Japan, and then making it onto home consoles. “But Nicole, you already did a post on Pitfall II!” As it turns out, it happened twice. And things got a bit weirder than you might expect. Here we go again, but this time, it’s Spelunker.

  • Pinball Takes Buttons: Building a controller for Panic Road

    So, the central conceit of the supergun enthusiast is that arcade boards are interchangeable. Pop out Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, pop in Dottori-kun, it’s all the same and it’s all interchangeable, right? But sometimes that just isn’t true. Some games take control schemes aren’t a few face buttons and sticks; sometimes, a game is a pinball game. But we still don’t have room for a cabinet– so what’s a girl to do?

  • Finishing the job: Fixing the audio on Athena, for real this time

    SNK’s Athena is a game that’s lingered in the background of this blog. As we saw, her game board requires -5V to create audio, so when I first got the game, I had no sound. But we solved that issue, and so I should be happy to play Athena forevermore. It turns out I missed something. It also turns out my Athena board may have a more complex past than I thought. In Athena, nobody can hear you scream. Not without a YM3526, anyway.

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