My boyfriend has really taken a liking to a Neo Geo games ever since he modded his first Xbox a few months ago and installed CoinOPS. He has discovered games like Neo Turf Masters and Baseball Stars 2, but has also gone back to old classics like the Metal Slug games. This development has fueled his blazing interest in arcade machines. I mentioned a few months ago that he was in the process of building an arcade cabinet himself to house a small broadcast video monitor we had found, and the plan was to hook up some of our modded consoles to it to play games that way. Well, plans have changed a bit upon discovering the possibility of installing Neo Geo guts into this thing, and that possibility became a reality last week!
It all started when my boyfriend posted an ad on the local classifieds site asking if anyone nearby might have some Neo Geo stuff that they were willing to part with. He was looking for games or hardware to play them on, and he was specifically after a Multi Video System (MVS), which is essentially arcade guts. This is different from the home console version that goes by Advanced Entertainment System (AES), and is just a naked board with a game slot on it that you can “consolize”. This was the most inexpensive option since AES versions of the Neo Geo are ridiculously expensive, and its games are ludicrously priced. For me to say ludicrously priced, it has to be pretty bad, and it is. Depending on the game, some Neo Geo AES games can go for anywhere from $50 to $10 000 if they are complete with their instruction manual.
Like an angel from above, a person responded to my boyfriend’s ad and said that he had a one slot Neo Geo MVS available. Other people had four slot MVSs available, but a four slot is bulky and much more than we
probably wanted to pay for need. We were looking for something a little more streamlined. Here is a photo of the board, and a second one showing the cartridge slot.
Conveniently, the person selling is also a huge arcade buff and had a few games he was willing to part with. My boyfriend was extremely interested in Metal Slug 3, an awesome run and gun game that is part of a well-loved series in the arcade community. The best part? It came complete with its entire kit, including marquee inserts and the instruction sheet for DIP switches that can be adjusted to change variables within the game.
I can’t get over how much bigger these cartridges are compared to the ones that I’m used to. They are monsters! Here’s a comparison between the Neo Geo cartridge and a SNES cartridge. In the bottom photo, you can see the small SNES cartridge board contacts compared to the massive double Neo Geo boards.
We are well on our way to having an up-and-running Neo Geo MVS, but a few things are still required and are on their way in the mail. The first thing we are waiting for is a supergun. The supergun allows the MVS board to be used without an actual arcade cabinet setup and facilitates signal output from the MVS board and game to a monitor. Conveniently for us, it can output in RGB, which is why we are also waiting for a SCART cable to arrive. Because Neo Geo controllers are so difficult to come across, we decided to get some Neo Geo to Sega controller converters. That way, we can use Sega Genesis controllers to play the games, but my boyfriend is also ordering standard arcade buttons as well.
The long story short is that soon we will have not only a working, legitimate arcade machine for our cabinet, but we will also have the availability to hook up games using modded consoles. The best part is that they’re all going to look amazing on our broadcast video monitor for a true retro gaming experience.
I will post more on the cabinet itself when it is complete. There are still a lot of little things left to finish!
Thanks for reading, as always.