GD-ROM spine labels

I got a request for a post on the spine labels I’ve done for my NAOMI GD-ROM’s. Never really thought anyone would be interested in them but wrong I was 😛


I use a Brother QL-570 label printer and design the labels in Brother’s P-touch Editor. It’s got an express mode and a pro mode. For doing your own designs Pro mode is preferred. The GD-ROM spine measures 184 mm x 12 mm (H x W). Even though there is a 12 mm wide roll I use a 29 mm wide roll for printing the GD-ROM spine labels. The reason being that the QL-570 wants a bit of margins on all sides. For this reason I’ve also made the label 187 mm long.

GD-ROM spine labelResources

Here are a few image files for getting started. I’ve picked them all from the Intertubes and I don’t make any claims as to owning any of these.

And here’s my label design in case you want to use it 🙂

Naomi Spine Label

Happy new 2015!

Hoping you’ve had a great 2014 and wishing you a prosperous 2015! 😀

I’m ending this year with a few doujin shmups and other shmup related items.

New arrivals 08/01/14

Puzzle! Mushihimetama「虫姫たま」

The only non-shooter game by Cave released on the CAVE CV1000 hardware. It is also the only Cave release to have a song playing during attract mode.

Mushihimetama PCBMushihimetama marquee

Dig Dug

This is the Namco version of Dig Dug, released in 1982. It uses the same pin-out as Galaga. Still waiting for a JAMMA converter so I can take the game for a spin.

Dig Dug PCB 1 Dig Dug PCB 2Dig Dug marquee

Arcana Heart / Arcana Heart FULL! 「アルカナハート」

Arcana Heart was first released in 2006 by Yuki Enterprise. Later in 2007 after Examu had acquired Yuki a patch called Arcana Heart FULL! was released adding more characters to the roster.

Arcana Heart FULL! PCB

Arcana Heart equipped with the FULL! upgrade and the original version to the left. The pin-out on the PCB is JAMMA but video out is only by VGA. As far as I know this is the only PCB based game with this combo.

Arcana Heart marquee

Cosmic Smash

Released in 2001 by Sega for the Naomi system, Cosmic Smash is a combination of squash and break-out.

Cosmic Smash cartridge

Taito F3 motherboard

Taito F3 motherboard

JAEPO 2014 (Sega)

We’re a week away from Japan Amusement Expo 2014 and the four big ones have already released most of their line ups for the show and while there’s not anything notably new one can just hope that at least one of them has a hidden ace up their sleeve.

First up is Sega

Sega will be showing off a couple of new games. New, in the sense that they’re not released yet. In another way not so new, since most of them are already on location tests and already known to the public.

As always most of them won’t be available anywhere near Europe, except for perhaps Dead or Alive – making its arcade comeback – and Guilty Gear Xrd. I’d love to try both the new Initial D and the super trippy mai mai GreeN music game (check the video clip further down!).


  • SEGA Sound Unit, Beat Mario and Ozaki Junko will be performing songs from the upcoming mai mai GreeN PLUS.
  • The finals of the 1st ARCANA CUP official CODE OF JOKER tournament. This even will also be streamed live.
  • Appearances by Guilty Gear Xrd ~SIGN~ director; Daisuke Ishiwatari and the Initial D Arcade Stage producer; Kenji Arai.
  • and many others. See the related links at the bottom of the page for a link to the full event schedule.

Line up

Hero bank arcade (ヒーローバンク アーケード)

Herobank ArcadeAn arcade version of the Nintendo 3DS RPG with the same name. You play as Kaito Gosho, a young boy with serious money problems, forced to participate in a virtual fight tournament in order to repay his debts. The money you win can also be used to perform actions during the battles. Hero bank arcade is scheduled for release this summer.

Initial D ARCADE STAGE 8 Infinity (頭文字D ARCADE STAGE 8 インフィニティ)

ID8The next installment of the Initial D franchise has the appropriate name Infinity. According to the press release it goes back to Shuichi Shigeno’s original world of the Initial D manga. You’re faced with a single player career mode where you race upgrade your ride. D coins can be used to purchase special parts. To save you progress you’ll need an ALL.Net IC card. Initial D ARCADE STAGE 8 Infinity is scheduled for operation sometime this year.


DOA_MarieIt’s been 13 years since we last saw DOA_Marie2Dead or Alive in the arcades. DoA 5 Ultimate Arcade was released on 24/12/13 and features a new character named Marie Rose (voiced by Mai Aizawa). She’s a French maid and her fighting style is somewhat oddly systema, a Russian martial art focused on controlling the six body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, and shoulders) through pressure point application, striking, and weapon applications.

Marie Rose will be made available to the console versions of the game in an upcoming patch. DoA 5 Ultimate Arcade runs on Sega’s RingEdge 2 system with support for the ALL.Net P-ras MULTI Ver.2 system.


character_mainv_bedmanGuilty Gear is back in full cel shaded 2D glory using Unreal Engine 3. According to rumors it will be released later this month for the arcades and sometime this year both for PlayStation 3 & 4.

Development is once again done by Arc System Works and the series creator, Daisuke Ishiwatari, is back in the director’s chair.

New in this version is the character Bedman.

Final location testing is currently ongoing and like it’s predecessor GGXrd will be released on Sega’s RingEdge 2 arcade board with support for the ALL.Net P-ras MULTI Ver.2 system.


Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax 2Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax is a 2D fighting game collaboration between Sega and Dengeki Bunko scheduled for release in March this year.

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax 1The game features characters from different light novel series under the Dengeki Bunko imprint. Each playable character has its own assist character that can be called into the fight to help in various ways.

All characters are voiced by their respective actors from the anime adaptations. Akria Yuki of Virtua Fighter is confirmed as one of the bosses.

Puyo Puyo! QUEST ARCADE (ぷよぷよ!!クエスト アーケード)

Puyo Puyo! QUEST ARCADEPuyo Puyo! Quest Arcade is an RPG spin off of the populat Puyo Puyo! franchise. The game was released in November last year and seems to be getting a good deal of plays.

mai mai GreeN PLUS

mai mai GreeN is a fast paced crazy music game where you have to hit and swipe on a touch screen to the beat of the music. The updated version (mai mai GreeN PLUS) scheduled sometime this spring will be available for play on the expo. Level: ASIAN!


TWOTKThe World of Three Kingdoms is an epic scale real time battle game set in the Chinese Sangokushi era. You command your troops using buttons and touch screen.

You can battle out against the CPU or other players and as all other Sangokushi style battle games the cabinets are beautiful though in the case of TWOTK they’re combined four and four in a half circle with an integrated live monitor instead of rows of free standing cabs.


Sega will be showing new trailers for Border Break scrambled (ボーダーブレイク スクランブル) Ver. 4.0 and Shining Force Cross Ecclesia (シャイニング・フォースクロス エクレシア) Version B.

Medal games

  • 100 & medal GINGAAAN!! (100 & メダル GINGAAAN!!)
  • StarHorse 3 Season III CHASE THE WIND
  • Onimusha Soul Card Rush (鬼武者Soul カードラッシュ)
  • Fist of the North Star BATTLE MEDAL (北斗の拳 BATTLE MEDAL)

Kids games

  • 遊育右脳教室 うのチャレ (educational game)
  • Take it! Anpanman Popcorn (それいけ!アンパンマン ポップコ-ンこうじょう3)
  • Kids naughty village (キッズわんぱく村)
  • Single satiety Aquarium (シングルまんぷくすいぞくかん)

Related links

Sega Net City HD – part III

Going wide

In my previous attempt on an HD cabinet I was planning on using an Atomiswave SD cabinet. This proved to have more than one drawback. It could only house a 26″ monitor and the tilt of the screen was too large for providing a decent viewing angle. In the Naomi/New Net City we can squeeze in a 27″ wide screen monitor (which is much easier to come by) and it’s also more upright and since viewing angles are an issue with LCD/LED monitors this is preferred. Apart from the usual criteria when selecting a monitor; low input lag and response time, we also had the following:

  • Case (frame) had to be possible to remove.
  • Centered VESA mount directly on the panel (since the case has to go).
  • Easily detachable control panel.
  • Fast switching between 16:9 and 4:3 screen formats.

The big issue of course was how to know what the panels looked like on the inside without taking them apart? Luckily an acquaintance works for a company repairing monitors and he was able to help us in our search. In the end we let go of the fast format switching and decided on a Philips 273E3LHSB. DSC09610 As you can see from the picture above the monitor will fill up the space entirely. There’s gonna be a lot of sawing in both the bezel and the front cover! In the pictures below you can see the bare panel and how it fits behind the front cover. Notice I had to cut away the bezel entirely on the sides – maximized monitor area 😀

Part of the front cover also had to go for allowing space for the monitor.

To test the mounting and rotation I used a plywood board I had lying around. There’s plenty of space between the back and the front cover and I ended up constructing a riser for the monitor mount. I feared the monitor would become wobbly but no. It sits sturdily behind the front cover. There’s enough room around the monitor for housing the front, center and surround speakers without getting in the way when rotating the monitor. Speaking of the speakers…at the moment we’re looking at the Logitech Z-906 system. Plenty of good sound and the satellites are small enough. Only issue is how to house the sub-woofer. But more on that later.

Next up: a new lamp cover.

Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse

Akatsuki Blitzkampf (アカツキ電光戦記) is a Japanese dōjin 2D fighting game.

Originally developed by the dōjin circle SUBTLE STYLE for Microsoft Windows in April 2007. The title earned reputation both in Japan and elsewhere for its high-resolution sprites and older style gameplay.

Later on in 2007 Arcadia Magazine confirmed that the game would be launched for the arcade. The arcade version was called Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse and was released in February 2008 for the Sega NAOMI system.

Akatsuki Blitzkampf is set in a fictional future with many characters borrowing visual style from German soldiers of the World War II era. Many of the characters in Blitzkampf previously appeared in an earlier game, Akatsuki Shisei Ichigō, also by SUBTLE STYLE, released in 2003. In-game visuals supplement this sort of specific militaristic theme and environment, portrayed by the flat and somewhat cubist character portraits and story sequence images.

The game play is considered somewhat old-school in comparison to other dōjin fighter games of the time, relying more on parrying, space control and footwork than chaining combos and heavy aerial combat.


Sega Net City HD – part II

Cutting it down

Our plan is to make a sit-down cabinet, much like the New Net City. So the first step in order to get a feeling for the profile of the finished cabinet was to cut the legs down.


I shortened the legs by 338 mm. Easiest way to get the holes correct was to start with the holes for the two bolts on the base. Then mount the legs and mark up the holes for the three remaining bolts.


With the legs in place it was time to get a glimpse of the future. Since my donor cabinet used to be a Wild Riders I had to find both a control panel surround and bucket. Luckily Johan, who sold me the cab, also had a surround and moshpit over at AO had a spare bucket lying around – et voilà – meet the Net City HD – the WIP version 😉


The looks

Stompp and I have been throwing ideas back and forth for a long time. This is one of the mock-ups we’re working on at the moment.


Base color of the cab is going to be gun metal gray, the bezel will be modified to fit a 27″ wide screen LED monitor and get covered with a carbon fiber vinyl (looks awesome and will be much easier to apply than an A-grade paint job).

Left, right and center speakers goes below the bezel and the VMU cover gets replaced by black speaker grid. The surround speakers will be placed where light cover is and the cover also gets replaced by a speaker grid.

The notch between the bezel and the surround speakers will get a new lamp cover and house a blue LED strip.

No Wild Rider part were harmed in the process!
No Wild Rider parts were harmed in the process!

Stompp took pity for the Wild Rider parts and some day, hopefully, they’ll go Vrooom!! again.

Next up: the monitor

Sega Net City HD – part I

Never heard of it? Well, it’s probably because it doesn’t exist – yet.

The Net City HD is a project between Jonas (Monouchi) and myself. We’ve been planning this for some while since Jonas abandoned his Atomiswave HD project a while back. The background to the project is that both of us has been wanting an HD cabinet for playing newer arcade games and also taking advantage of the many good titles developed for (or ported to) the Xbox 360.

While there are a few HD cabinets out there, like the Vewlixes and Deltas, we feel most of them are quite bulky and not too great looking. Jonas’ Atomiswave project fell short due to a number of reasons, most of them related to the monitor. So, which arcade cabinet would lend itself well as a donor for being converted into an HD cab?

The victim
The victim

We decided on the Sega Naomi Universal.

It has a more upright profile than the AWSD, it will be extremely slim removing the bulky back cover, it’s easily transformed into a sit-down cabinet, there’s plenty of room for making cool mods and last but not least – it will look AWESOME!

Looking for scrappy Naomi cabinets proved much harder than we thought. Suddenly the market was empty of them. Jonas ended up picking the short straw, getting a Wild Rider cabinet for which he had to find a whole new control panel surround since the WR of course is a special one. I was lucky to find a Virtual Striker 2002 cabinet in decent shape only a 2½ hour drive away.

The pickup

A few weeks ago my wife and I jumped in the car for picking up the Naomi at Motala Arkadhall. MAH is a place run by three arcade game/pinball enthusiasts; JFH, Larsson and priest.

Taking the Naomi apart took less than half an hour leaving some time over for coffee and a few credits!

The brainstorming

At the moment Mono’s already cut the legs on his Naomi and started with the refurb. Me, I’ve got two rooms to renovate that kinda takes priority. Meanwhile we’re throwing ideas back and forth: monitor selection, rotation mechanisms, sound system, speaker placement, electronics, wiring etc.

One thing’s for sure: there will be carbon fiber!

Next up: Cutting it down.

Sega Chihiro

Sega Chihiro unit

The Sega Chihiro was introduced in 2003. It is based on an early version of Microsoft’s Xbox console.

Sega Chihiro with GD-ROM drive
Sega Chihiro with GD-ROM drive

The Chihiro uses an nVidia MCPX2 instead of the MCPX3 found on the Xbox. It also has 128 MB (the Xbox has 64 MB) memory and an LCP connector directly on the board. Instead of a DVD drive, the Chihiro (like the Naomi and the Triforce) uses Sega’s own GD-ROM drive. Games can also be loaded from a network server. The games are stored in RAM on the media board (DIMM board).

There’s two versions of the Chihiro; Type 1 and Type 3. The main difference being Type 3 having the media board integrated whereas Type 1 uses a regular DIMM board like the Naomi.

Even though the list of Chihiro games is quite short it boasts a number of popular titles like Outrun 2, Ghost Squad, Virtua Cop 3 and Crazy Taxi High Roller. There’s also a number of Chihiro Satellite Terminal games that are widely spread in Asia but never really found their way to the rest of the world; the MJ (mahjong), Sangokushi Taisen and Sega Golf Club franchises to mention a few. The satellite terminal games use regular Chihiro units linked together over a LAN connection.

Japanese players getting instructions on how to play Sangokushi Taisen 3 (
Japanese players getting instructions on how to play Sangokushi Taisen 3 (

The Chihiro Type 3 consists of two units. The lower unit contains the Xbox and system boards and the upper contains the media, network and security key boards and a battery for keeping the loaded game in memory when the system is turned off.

Top Unit

Sega Chihiro top unitIn the upper unit of the Chihiro we find the media board (bottom) and the network board (top). The media board holds the RAM modules; either 512 MB or 1 GB. Most games are available in two versions. One for 512 MB units and one with (usually) higher definition graphics for 1 GB units.

The RAM on the media board is not directly accessible from the Xbox board. It acts like a solid state drive for storing the game data after it has been loaded from the GD-ROM drive or a network server. The Xbox board accesses the media board like an IDE drive. This serves three purposes:

  • After the game data is loaded the GD-ROM can power down and hence will not wear out as fast as otherwise. The game stays in memory for up to 72 hours while powered off.
  • Faster boot up time once the game data is loaded.
  • Enables netbooting. Without storing the game data on the media board the Chihiro would have to constantly read from a game server. While possible the system would have to have been adapted to this. With the media (DIMM) board the hardware/technology  was already in place.

The small vertical board to the right is for the security key and to the lower left you can spot the battery.

The Chihiro won’t operate without a battery installed. The battery is needed for holding the game in memory during reboots and while the system is turned off.

Jumpers on the media board.On the media board you find a set of jumpers. The ones you have to pay attention to are jumpers 5, 8, 9, and 10. Jumper 5 controls the amount of RAM used and should match the amount of memory installed. Jumpers 8 – 10 switches between GD-ROM and network boot.

Jumper Settings
Jumper 1 – 2 2 – 3
5 1 GB (two DIMM modules) 512 MB (one DIMM module)
8 Always on 2 – 3
9 GD-ROM Network
10 Always on 1 – 2

Bottom Unit

Opened Chihiro system revealing the bottom unit.Lifting off the top unit reveals the system board. The battery on the system board is for keeping system settings and needs to be changed every now and then. It’s a normal 3V CR2032 button cell.

Removing the system board takes several steps:

  1. Remove the filter board. Unscrew the five remaining screws and carefully push the board out.
  2. Loosen the two bolts by the VGA connector. In fact it’s advisable to remove the plate around the VGA and USB connectors entirely.
  3. Disconnect the three power cables on the side of the board.
  4. Sega Chihiro system boardUnscrew the five screws that keep the board in place.
  5. Push the holder (upper right corner of the board in the picture above) aside to release the board.
  6. Gently lift up the board and disconnect the four cables connecting the system board to the Xbox board.

Lifting up the system board reveals the Xbox main board at the bottom. The main thing you have to observe on the Xbox board are the electrolyte capacitors. They are prone to leaking (bad/cheap components) and if they do they might corrode and damage the Xbox board beyond repair.

Sega Chihiro - Xbox boardThere’s at least two different versions of the Xbox board; one with three capacitors next to the GPU and one with five. The board in the picture is the three cap version and as you can see they have started to leak and need to be replaced.

Test Drive

Testing the Sega Chihiro units.

I had two units over for check up and testing. Since all Chihiro games require special type controls (steering wheels, guns etc) and most of them won’t even boot up on anything but JVS hardware and I only have a JAMMA cabinet it took a little trial and error until I found out Ghost Squad version: A indeed boots fine without it’s gun controls or a JVS I/O card.

Sega Chihiro running Ghost Squad

On the filter board there is a green and a red status LED. Only the green should be on for normal operation. If they both blink something’s wrong with the unit.

Sega Chihiro filter board.

Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoyed the post. Let me know what you think.


Dead or Alive 2 Millennium

Latest addition to the Sega Naomi stash

Traded a couple of MVS titles for a DoA 2 Millennium kit. Not that I’m a super fan of the DoA franchise and I’ll still be netbooting the game but there’s something special about the Naomi cartridges. I just love them. They look classy.

DoA2 was initially released for the Sega Naomi system in 1999 and the Millennium update a year later.

DoA2 kit

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