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FAQ for


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Archive-name: games/videoarcade/faq
Last-modified: Apr-28-95

This is the frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List for

This List is constantly being expanded and modified - please help expand it!

This FAQ is crossposted to news.answers and supersedes all previous posts.

Please send all corrections/comments to

This List is divided into four sections :

What is (RGVA) is a newsgroup dedicated to discussion on the maintenance, support, playability, and preservation of standup (or sit down) arcade video games. There are also two related newsgroups : '' for pinball machines and '' for general video games discussion of non-arcade games -- ie: home systems (NES,SNES,Sega, etc.).

A new newsgroup,, has been created to handle traffic on 'classic' games, mostly of the home type. Please direct your discussions of non-current games to this new newsgroup. This FAQ also applies to r.g.v.c.

Discussions related to *collecting* arcade video games are now on a brand new newsgroup called collecting! Talk concerning purchasing games, rebuilding games, technical issues, etc. take place there.

One quick note -- the most often asked question on r.g.v.a. is "I need a moves sheet for <insert game name here>". Please, please, please see the *separate* FAQ posting on the mailserver for information on obtaining these!

You can get them via email *without* cluttering up the newsgroup!

A general note on game specific messages : when posting a message about a particular game, please include the initials of that game as the first characters of your subject. For example, "SS: Samurai Shodown problems" or "MK: Need Mortal Kombat Moves List". This is as a courtesy to people who prefer to use kill files to skip undesirable messages...

Messages on RGVA are often of a type similar to the following list:

Please note:
If you are looking for a helpful hint, first check the List of Lists to see if there is a hint list for your game. If not, check the questions list to see if it's there. If still no luck, post a message and please e-mail me any replies you get so I can add 'em to this List!

Also, there are a large number of people on the net who own video games, so you can often them to answer technical questions.

See the VAPS list entry for more details.

General comments on Netiquette

This section is mainly aimed towards new users. Those experienced in the ways of Usenet may feel free to skip to the next section.

If you have not already done so, please read the articles in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. They contain a great deal of useful information about network etiquette and various conventions used on Usenet.

Please keep in mind these points:

  1. Always remember that there is a live human being at the other end of the wires. In other words, please write your replies with the same courtesy you would use in talking to someone face-to-face.
  2. The Net is a highly asynchronous medium. It can take several days for an article to make it to all sites. It is also quite common for followups to messages to reach a site before the original. Think of the poor souls who receive their news messages via Federal Express on magnetic tape ...
  3. If you know the answer to a posted message, but are unable to send a message to the requester, wait a few days. It's likely that someone else will post the correct answer, thus sparing you the effort.
  4. Please refrain from posting messages like "I want to know, too" to the net. E-mail the person who asked the question and request that they send you any information they get by e-mail. Only if you cannot reach the person by e-mail *and* no one has posted about the request after several days should you post. You should include the text of the original message, if possible.
  5. If nobody seems to be discussing what you want to talk about, post a (polite) message opening the discussion. Don't just say, "Does anyone want to talk about X" or "I really like X", however; try to have something interesting to say about the topic to get discussion going.

    Don't be angry or upset if no one responds. It may be that X is just a personal taste of your own, or quite obscure. Or it may be that X was discussed to death a few weeks ago, *just* before you came into the group. (If this is the case, you'll probably know, though, because some rude fool will likely flame you for "Bringing that up *AGAIN*!!!" Just ignore them.)

  6. Abbreviations commonly used in this group:
    "By the way"
    "For your information"
    "Frequently Asked Questions"
    "Frequently Asked Questions List" (This List)
    "In my arrogant opinion"
    "In my humble (honest) opinion"
    "Rolling on the floor"
    "Rolling on the floor, laughing"
    "Role playing games", like D&D (Dungeons and Dragons)
    "with respect to"
    "Nintendo Entertainment System"
    "Super Nintedo Entertainment System"
    Street Fighter II
    Street Fighter II The Championship Edition
    Killer List of Video Games (Coin Ops a Poppin')
    Video Arcade Preservation Society
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (The 1st 'quartersucker')
    Mortal Kombat
    Samurai Shodown
    Some technical abbreviations:
    "Red-Green-Blue" as in the type of monitor
    + 5 volts power supply (TTL High)
    0 volts - logic ground (TTL Low)
    Random Access Memory (Video memory)
    Read Only Memory (Usually the game code)
    Transistor Transistor Logic - 74xx series logic chips
    Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor - 40xx series logic chips

Various Lists, Helps, Cheats, etc.

Information on the RGVA FTP site and Mailserver has been moved to a separate document.

Note that all of my regular posts are available either on the ftp site or on one of my mailserver sites.

I need help with this section!!

Please base your suggestions off the existing entries:

Frequently Asked Questions List -- This List.

Coin Ops A Poppin' -- The Killer List of Video Games.

The Logic Board Pinouts Archive

The Comprehensive Manufacturer's List

The Parts Sources List

The Rampart Help Sheet

The Video Game Cheat Sheet

The Folklore List

The ROM Listings Archive

The Video Arcade Preservation Society

Please note that there are also copies of several of the current hot games' hint sheets in the mailserver ... (MK,T2,NBA,SS,etc.) See the mailserver section for more details ...

Also I need information for the list of manufacturer's addresses, the logic board pinouts archive, and any other lists you think should be here.


The RGVA Mailserver and FTP site FAQ

The mailserver info has been removed due to its excessive size -- it is now posted every two weeks to the newsgroup! If you really need info now, send me a message at with the subject "Send help".

Some Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an arcade video game cost?

What do I have to do to maintain my game?

Video games are pretty rugged creatures. They are designed to be abused by adolescent kids in arcades for extended periods of time. What I do is keep my game in a controlled environment (ie: inside the house, in a dust free area, out of direct sunlight, etc.). Generally, any room in your house should be okay. Keep the cabinet clean and make sure you keep any vent holes clear. If your game has a cooling fan, make sure it works and is unobstructed. Be sure to follow your owners manual for specific instructions on maintenance, lubrication, and anything else that should be periodically done to your game. Also, you will want to periodically dust out the inside of the game. The monitors in these games generate lots of static electricity and attract dust like you wouldn't believe. The more dust there is inside the game cabinet, the more heat builds up and heat kills games. Lastly, have fun!

How much does it cost to ship a game?

Where can I get documentation (ie: schematics) for my game?

This is a little more difficult, given the fact that the companies for many of the older games no longer exist or have moved. When I needed to find a schematic for a Krull game, I started with the local Amusement Machine distibutor (look in the Yellow Pages under amusement devices or ask in a local arcade) and talked with the service techs. They were able to provide me with the proper phone number. Request the manufacturers addresses post for more info.

If all else fails, check the VAPS list for someone on the net who also owns your game. They may have a manual.

Also, some Atari people read this newsgroup frequently ...

Where can I get parts for my game?

I just bought a game. What do I do with it?

The first thing you want to do is throughly clean your game from top to bottom. Use a vaccum cleaner and brush to get rid of any and all dust. If at all possible, disassemble as much of the game as possible and clean the parts individually. I did this with my Tron as it was filthy. Clean the monitor and all glass with Windex. Clean the cabinet with a light cleaner (Fantastik or 409) and wipe it down. Check all wiring connections (especially on the power supply and game controls) for rust or corrosion. Clean all terminals and contacts. Make sure your monitor is adjusted according to specs in the owners manual. As a side note, set the brightness as low as you can stand it and still play the game ... it'll prevent burn in on your monitor. Clean the coin acceptors and anything else you can think of. Enjoy your game!

I just bought a motherboard ... what can I do with it ...

A motherboard is just that ... it's the brains of the game. In order to use it, you'll need a power supply, a monitor, and the game controls. The easiest way to do this is to purchase a game cabinet and all the various parts, and install all of them in the cabinet. Voila, instant game. See the parts sources list for info on where to get motherboards and game parts. Note that many newer games use the standard JAMMA game harness. A game cabinet with a JAMMA harness installed can use *any* motherboard using the JAMMA plug. Just swap the boards.

What does 'shopped out' mean?

This means that a game has been thoroughly tested and is ready for use in public areas as an amusement device. For us, that means anything broken has been fixed, and it has been cleaned and adjusted so everything works right. This includes monitor adjustments, alignment of the joystick, cleaning and lubrication of the coin acceptors and other electrical and mechanical alignments. This is a technical term used by people in the amusement games business and is not limited just to video arcade games.

What is SEGA's HOLOGRAPHIC game?

What is the infamous Galaga bug?

From : Marc Lumeyer (, here it is :    |  "I Hate it when I can't trust  | Atlanta 1996 !!            |   my own technology!" - LaForge | Play Pinball !! |--------------------------------------------------
---------------------------  "Thrills!  Chills!  Magic!  Prizes!" -- Hurricane

Auswege: Impressum, Haftungsausschluß, Datenschutz, zurück zur Videogames-Seite, Meine Homepage.
Links: Imprint, back to the videogames page, My Homepage.

Thomas Bätzler,
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