I recently picked up my first Atomoswave board and it came with a copy of Metal slug 6. Which was nice. Now, I’m a huge fan of the series but, having played 6 before in the arcades and being a little underwhelmed I’m not super bothered if it’s original or not. This one most certainly isn’t legitimate. Happily, all bootlegs seem to have the same serial number on them so I KNEW this at time of purchase (and the price reflected this).
It works, so the obvious thing to do now is see what’s inside and if it’s as much of a hack up as most of the old Neo Geo MVS boots tended to be (with wires and EPROMs everywhere).
Flipping the cart over there’s a very obvious set of 4 x phillips screws to undo that should allow me access to the main PCB. No ‘warrenty void’ stickers or anything (well, it is a bootleg).
With the metal plate off we get a good view of the underside of the main PCB. Not very interesting… A connector, some traces and a small sticker helpfully telling me this is a Metal Slug 6 Board.
Taking the board out it does, indeed, look very clean. I don’t know if the writing on the sticker is the S/N of the bootleg or something else… Note the holes on the top left and bottom right edges of the PCB (next to the screw holes). These are guide pins to stop the PCB being inserted in the wrong direction during assembly. So far, this is a well made bootleg. I mean, that sticker is even straight!
Flipping the board over to reveal the front of the PCB is far more interesting. ROMS and chips galore! Again, a very clean layout and quality job. No EPROMs or hacked in wires / resistors, just a regular repro production run. Taking a closer look at the chips for identification of function and type though reveals…..
…Nothing. Every single chip on the board has had its identification and markings sanded off (neatly) so there is no way of identifying the components used or the supplier (I’m guessing this was the point). Still, there’s been multiple levels of quality control (or multiple stages of QC stickering) so, again, looks like a quality job! I’ll have to revisit this a little later when I have a legit cart to compare against so I can work out the chip functions (I’m pretty sure the long one populated in the bank of 4 is the main storage ROM thought).
Not much else to say about this cart really. It plays fine with no graphics wobbles and it doesn’t need any jigelling around in the motherboard to make it work. A good experiance really. Obviously it’s not legit so it’s not ‘worth’ anything. Happily, anyone buying this should be able to spot a boot quickly with the serial numbers all being the same and it being VERY easy to check the ROMs by asking for a ‘legit’ cart to be opened. You’re not gonna dammange anything by checking.