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Yet another project: The Mortal Kombat II(hundred)!


Andyman

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I have got to stop collecting cabinets. That said, I think I'm done for now, as I'm out of space in my game room. My wife is pleased. Haha.

So, about a month ago, while scrolling through Facebook Marketplace, I stumbled into a fairly ugly MAME conversion (photo 1). I didn't give it a second glance at first, especially with its $800 price tag. Just... ew. Fast-forward a week, and I happened upon it again. It had been reduced to $500. OK, that got my attention. I took a closer look at the photos and spied... a Midway cabinet, and it appeared to be in pretty good condition! The red T-molding tipped me off that a Mortal Kombat of some sort was probably lurking under the hideous two-tone paint-over and silly game logo decals.

Intrigued, I began to haggle with the guy. After a few days, we settled at $400 cash. I hooked the trailer up to the Escape and high-tailed it to his place to retrieve my latest acquisition.

I arrived and he demonstrated the cabinet in operation. I was highly amused by the plain vanilla frontend (a very early build of Attract Mode, I think) and vintage MAME 0.102 on it - complete with nag screen you had to push left-right on the stick to get past. The multicolored buttons and sticks were lighted - it looked like Las Vegas. Oh, and the CMOS battery in the PC was dead, so he had to hit F1 to get past the POST screen. Priceless.

He graciously offered to help extract it from his tiny bedroom-turned-gameroom. The lighting in the room was such that I spotted the two dragon logos under the black paint on the front of the control panel. Oh boy, here we go. Then he pulled it out of the corner it was crammed into, and I looked at the tag on the back... and about fell over (2). No way I was this lucky! A Mortal Kombat II cabinet! Even better, I could see the Mortal Kombat II vinyl side art peeking through the paint, thanks to a scrape. Score!

Armed with that knowledge, my plan morphed into to restoring it back into Mortal Kombat II form, but since the control panel was already drilled to feature 6 buttons per player, I decided to keep it a multigame setup, but featuring fighting games only. It made good sense, since the Gauntlet Legends cabinet already features tons of classics except fighting games, since it only has 3 buttons per player. Tons of racing games on the Cruis'n World cabinet, and our Time Machine pinball. Tidy little arcade room. I dig it.

But I digress. We loaded the fugly MAME cabinet up and I hauled it home. The next day, I began the teardown process and set to work removing the paint and hopefully reveal that awesome MK2 artwork shortly after that. Sadly, that wasn't to be. It turns out the guy used some sort of impervious gray spray primer that stubbornly resists all attempts to remove it (3). So, instead, I smoothed out any imperfections with filler and I'm awaiting spiffy new MK2 cabinet artwork to arrive in the mail. Oh well.

In the meantime, I've acquired the rest of the parts I want to use in the cabinet. I found a pair of new-old-stock red Happ Competition sticks and new red-white-blue pushbuttons to make the control panel as close to original as possible, along with a pair of black pushbuttons to use as stealth coin/select buttons on the side of the box, since those holes are already drilled too.

Monitor-wise, the MAME conversion had a hideous old Curtis LCD from like 2007 that was secured with deck screws and 2x4s. Not exactly ideal. Fortunately, I have an extra free 25" Samsung TV left over from the Cruis'n World build that will slot in nicely. I found a good frame for that on Ebay too. I got lucky again on this front - the guy left the 4 CRT mount brackets in place behind the wood. Sourcing those wouldn't have been fun at all.

That silly Retro Classics marquee ended up being a blessing in disguise. It's a vinyl sticker on the back of the original marquee glass, and it came right off. The glass is in perfect condition. A Mortal Kombat II translite will replace the sticker, because of course.

The PC inside was a very weak eMachines AMD from the early 2000s - that had to go. I sourced a very nice Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF i7 with 16GB RAM on Ebay super cheap. I added an upgraded video card and a 500GB SSD for super-fast console game loading and buttery-smooth gameplay. Arcade games load super fast anyway, but nobody has the patience to stand around bored waiting for a 4GB PS2 game to chug along.

I'm using HyperSpin again this time around, and again with the CRT version of my Pure 4:3 theme, but I've modified it to feature the game logo wheels horizontally scrolling across the top now. Instead of disappearing when the video plays, I'm keeping them on the screen with the selected game's logo being oversized and opaque, and the adjacent logos still faintly visible (4-7). I love the new look so much, I think I'm going to update Cruis'n World with it too.

I also replaced the black background in the Pure theme with the very slick Mortal Kombat II dragon logo background (8). It displays a moment before the game preview video plays. I also added this same image to Images/Backgrounds and Images/Backgrounds/Interstitial, so that it displays when selecting games as well. I think it ties everything together very well.

For anyone interested, I've included the updated Pure 4:3 theme for Mortal Kombat II (easily adaptable to any other game by replacing Background.png), along with my MAME.ini and Settings.ini files to make the whole setup display the way you see in photos 4-7.

So... "Why Mortal Kombat II(hundred)?", you're asking? Because there's an even 200 fighting games in this setup, that's why! It was a ton of fun digging into the game catalog and hand-picking arcade and console fighters I thought would work well. It features systems from the Sega Genesis up through the Nintendo GameCube. Being the weirdo I am, I included 3DO, SegaCD and Atari Jaguar fighters, just because I can. I may add Microsoft Xbox in the future, if its emulation performance improves enough to make the games smooth and glitch-free. I also like the idea of 360/PS3/Wii fighters on it, but assorted issues prevent that as of now.

I'll be updating this thread with more photos once the artwork arrives and I begin to put the cabinet back together. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading my (really wordy) post!

377795401_24591357493796883_5081707095454652063_n.jpg

20231022_153056.jpg

20231028_115108.jpg

mortalkombatii.jpg

bushidoblade2.jpg

fightclub.jpg

soulcalibur.jpg

default.png

Default.zip MAME.ini Settings.ini

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1 hour ago, brudibru said:

By the way, where are you with your racing setup now ?

It's coming along nicely! Configuring each game fully with the wheel and pedals is quite a bit more involved than just joysticks and buttons, so it's very time-consuming.

I've come up with a good method to keep it in a playable state at all times, though. I use the Wheels Only filter and keep the wheel images for the games still to be configured in a subfolder. That way, HyperSpin only displays the games that are ready to be played, and I don't have to keep modifying the database. Also, it helps me keep track of what's done and what's left to do.

Thanks for asking!

P.S. The MK2 cabinet artwork vendor said my order is just about ready to ship, so I should be receiving the vinyls here soon, and applying them shortly after that!

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I made a minor adjustment to MAME's display settings, zeroing the alpha of the adjacent wheels (small_alpha=0) while leaving the selected wheel solid. I think it cleans things up quite a bit, and really looks cool when it's spinning to select the next game at random.

hyperstreetfighterii.jpg

spinning.jpg

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16 hours ago, Andyman said:

P.S. The MK2 cabinet artwork vendor said my order is just about ready to ship, so I should be receiving the vinyls here soon, and applying them shortly after that!

keep us updated ! We want to know the rest of the story !

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  • 4 weeks later...

Vinyls are on! Just the control panel overlay to do. I discovered the panel I have is homemade and doesn't match the stick and button holes, so I have a new one ordered. In the meantime, I'm getting the hardware end of things squared away. Next up - decasing the 25" Samsung CRT TV I acquired for the project and mounting it in the cabinet!

vinylson!.jpg

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6 hours ago, floatingyeti said:

Sure, the arcade machines are awesome but is that a trampoline in your game room?!

EPIC

Hahaha! It is indeed a trampoline! There's also a bike and a treadmill in there too. Our house began life as an oversized garage workshop with an apartment above it, and the garage's unusually high ceiling provides plenty of room for activities. We're eventually going to finish the back third of it into a proper game room, but for now it's wide open for maximum fun. 😁

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/10/2023 at 10:05 PM, Andyman said:

I have got to stop collecting cabinets. That said, I think I'm done for now, as I'm out of space in my game room. My wife is pleased. Haha.

So, about a month ago, while scrolling through Facebook Marketplace, I stumbled into a fairly ugly MAME conversion (photo 1). I didn't give it a second glance at first, especially with its $800 price tag. Just... ew. Fast-forward a week, and I happened upon it again. It had been reduced to $500. OK, that got my attention. I took a closer look at the photos and spied... a Midway cabinet, and it appeared to be in pretty good condition! The red T-molding tipped me off that a Mortal Kombat of some sort was probably lurking under the hideous two-tone paint-over and silly game logo decals.

Intrigued, I began to haggle with the guy. After a few days, we settled at $400 cash. I hooked the trailer up to the Escape and high-tailed it to his place to retrieve my latest acquisition.

I arrived and he demonstrated the cabinet in operation. I was highly amused by the plain vanilla frontend (a very early build of Attract Mode, I think) and vintage MAME 0.102 on it - complete with nag screen you had to push left-right on the stick to get past. The multicolored buttons and sticks were lighted - it looked like Las Vegas. Oh, and the CMOS battery in the PC was dead, so he had to hit F1 to get past the POST screen. Priceless.

He graciously offered to help extract it from his tiny bedroom-turned-gameroom. The lighting in the room was such that I spotted the two dragon logos under the black paint on the front of the control panel. Oh boy, here we go. Then he pulled it out of the corner it was crammed into, and I looked at the tag on the back... and about fell over (2). No way I was this lucky! A Mortal Kombat II cabinet! Even better, I could see the Mortal Kombat II vinyl side art peeking through the paint, thanks to a scrape. Score!

Armed with that knowledge, my plan morphed into to restoring it back into Mortal Kombat II form, but since the control panel was already drilled to feature 6 buttons per player, I decided to keep it a multigame setup, but featuring fighting games only. It made good sense, since the Gauntlet Legends cabinet already features tons of classics except fighting games, since it only has 3 buttons per player. Tons of racing games on the Cruis'n World cabinet, and our Time Machine pinball. Tidy little arcade room. I dig it.

But I digress. We loaded the fugly MAME cabinet up and I hauled it home. The next day, I began the teardown process and set to work removing the paint and hopefully reveal that awesome MK2 artwork shortly after that. Sadly, that wasn't to be. It turns out the guy used some sort of impervious gray spray primer that stubbornly resists all attempts to remove it (3). So, instead, I smoothed out any imperfections with filler and I'm awaiting spiffy new MK2 cabinet artwork to arrive in the mail. Oh well.

In the meantime, I've acquired the rest of the parts I want to use in the cabinet. I found a pair of new-old-stock red Happ Competition sticks and new red-white-blue pushbuttons to make the control panel as close to original as possible, along with a pair of black pushbuttons to use as stealth coin/select buttons on the side of the box, since those holes are already drilled too.

Monitor-wise, the MAME conversion had a hideous old Curtis LCD from like 2007 that was secured with deck screws and 2x4s. Not exactly ideal. Fortunately, I have an extra free 25" Samsung TV left over from the Cruis'n World build that will slot in nicely. I found a good frame for that on Ebay too. I got lucky again on this front - the guy left the 4 CRT mount brackets in place behind the wood. Sourcing those wouldn't have been fun at all.

That silly Retro Classics marquee ended up being a blessing in disguise. It's a vinyl sticker on the back of the original marquee glass, and it came right off. The glass is in perfect condition. A Mortal Kombat II translite will replace the sticker, because of course.

The PC inside was a very weak eMachines AMD from the early 2000s - that had to go. I sourced a very nice Dell OptiPlex 7040 SFF i7 with 16GB RAM on Ebay super cheap. I added an upgraded video card and a 500GB SSD for super-fast console game loading and buttery-smooth gameplay. Arcade games load super fast anyway, but nobody has the patience to stand around bored waiting for a 4GB PS2 game to chug along.

I'm using HyperSpin again this time around, and again with the CRT version of my Pure 4:3 theme, but I've modified it to feature the game logo wheels horizontally scrolling across the top now. Instead of disappearing when the video plays, I'm keeping them on the screen with the selected game's logo being oversized and opaque, and the adjacent logos still faintly visible (4-7). I love the new look so much, I think I'm going to update Cruis'n World with it too.

I also replaced the black background in the Pure theme with the very slick Mortal Kombat II dragon logo background (8). It displays a moment before the game preview video plays. I also added this same image to Images/Backgrounds and Images/Backgrounds/Interstitial, so that it displays when selecting games as well. I think it ties everything together very well.

For anyone interested, I've included the updated Pure 4:3 theme for Mortal Kombat II (easily adaptable to any other game by replacing Background.png), along with my MAME.ini and Settings.ini files to make the whole setup display the way you see in photos 4-7.

So... "Why Mortal Kombat II(hundred)?", you're asking? Because there's an even 200 fighting games in this setup, that's why! It was a ton of fun digging into the game catalog and hand-picking arcade and console fighters I thought would work well. It features systems from the Sega Genesis up through the Nintendo GameCube. Being the weirdo I am, I included 3DO, SegaCD and Atari Jaguar fighters, just because I can. I may add Microsoft Xbox in the future, if its emulation performance improves enough to make the games smooth and glitch-free. I also like the idea of 360/PS3/Wii fighters on it, but assorted issues prevent that as of now.

I'll be updating this thread with more photos once the artwork arrives and I begin to put the cabinet back together. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading my (really wordy) post!

377795401_24591357493796883_5081707095454652063_n.jpg

20231022_153056.jpg

20231028_115108.jpg

mortalkombatii.jpg

bushidoblade2.jpg

fightclub.jpg

soulcalibur.jpg

default.png

Default.zip 486.74 kB · 3 downloads MAME.ini 2.02 kB · 1 download Settings.ini 2.13 kB · 0 downloads
 

 

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Wow, I am speechless ❤️

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