Game Pickup – Tekken 3 (Namco System 12) [Video at end of post]

Picking up Tekken 3 in the UK isn’t as simple as it is in the USA.  There are many listings on eBay from the USA but the postage is almost as much as you’re paying for the game and that sucks.  Luckily there are forums out there and I stumbled upon someone selling a minty condition Tekken 3 board for a reasonable price.  So I got it!

System Board

Tekken 3 – System 12 JAMMA / JVS

I bought it as I saw that it was JAMMA compatible and thought it would be plug and play.  I’ve always been a Virtual Fighter man and never really played Tekken much in the arcades the first time around. Now is the time to fix that! Namco system 12 boards are, indeed, JAMMA but they are strict JAMMA (Unlike MVS).  So, upon hooking it up, the game boots as expected but with only the punch buttons working.

Tekken, it seems, uses buttons 1 and 2 for punch and buttons 4 and 5 for Kick. Although I have button 4 working in MVS games via JAMMA that’s not the case here (should have thought about that really).


JAMMA and EXT connectors

The connector on the left is the standard 56-pin JAMMA connector supporting 2 players and 3 buttons each.  The additional buttons are connected via the 48-pin Namco specific connector on the right. I don’t have one of these connectors.  Luckily System 12 is both JAMMA and JVS compatible and the JVS connectors are on the other edge so i shouldn’t need to get this additional wire harness.

JVS Side

JVS connector side with Dual Audio and VGA (15Khz) out

Here we have the JAMMA Audio amp and volume control wheel (far left) followed by USB JVS I/O, two Audio outputs via RCA, two D-SUB connectors for Video out and then the JVS Power connector. Slightly odd here is that there are two audio and video outputs (which both output at 15Khz ONLY, there is no 31Khz output on this board).  I remember seeing BIG instillation of other Namco System 12 games back in 1995 that had the second outputs wired to really massive video screens and sound system for onlookers to watch (those were the days).  I guess now they are more useful for doing video and sound capture and streaming (a nice plus).  This, I thought, meant I could use the Sega JVS – JAMMA I/O converter to get buttons 4 and 5 working in the Blast City.

Sega JVS IO Rev B

JVS-JAMMA I/O (Rev.B) Sega SP5001-B

This takes the USB and video output from the JVA interface and converts the I/O to the JAMMA standard. When used with My NAOMI 2 this actually allows for full 640×480 31Khz output via the JAMMA connector and the standard (non D-SUB) monitor connector in the cab.  As the output from system 12 is 15Khz only I am hoping it still works.  The board is powered via the JAMMA interface so, essentially, the game and the I/O board are powered separately. Connecting everything up is a bit of an untidy cable mess but it serves its purpose.

System 12

System 12 connected via JVS / JAMMA

Video and USB I/O go to the I/O adapter board, the sound is routed via the main loom in the cab (it’s Sega’s -001 loom that has the ability to switch between line level (JVS) and amped (JAMMA) audio inputs via switching an inline connector).  Power is also supplied via this loom via separate JVS headers.

Happily this all works perfectly with all 6 buttons being recognized via the  I/O board and the game looks and plays great.  There’s an option in the service menu to switch between interlaced and no interlaced video 0utput. I need to play around with that to see what works best…

Until then, here’s a quick video of it all running from boot up, through the full attract sequence and demo fights and, finally, on to the Intro movie (which was way shorter than I remember it being).  NOTE: The artifacting on the screen is the camera being odd (and constantly adjusting focus)

I think I still prefer Virtua Fighter though…


About Alec Dunn (LegoYoda)

Alec is an IT Architect focused around large private / hybrid cloud design and automation. He's also a big fan of the 'arcade' culture and games of yesteryear and loves taking things apart to see how they all work.
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