Gyruss Restore Part 1

Posted February 13, 2015

About a month ago I picked up my first arcade cabinet, yes, it’s Gyruss! No not that Gyrus. The 1983 game by Konami with two s’s. Most people I’ve mentioned this to don’t remember it, though if they heard the Bach score they may. Gyruss was perhaps advanced for its time, packing in five sound chips, a DAC, two Z80 and one 6809 microprocessors. Its creator, Yoshiki Okamoto, who also made Time Pilot for Konami, went on to oversee 1942 and Final Fight for Capcom.

I like Gyruss, but it wasn’t on the top of my list. I wanted to start a restore project this year and this cab was relatively cheap and close by. The very first thing that I realized too late that I needed was an appliance dolly — the thing’s crazy heavy. I also need a lot of basic gear that I’ve never owned, like a multimeter, soldering gun, and hand sander. But even before that I need to clean out our basement space to create a little workshop. You know, with things like electricity and more lighting than one 75 watt bulb.

Then there’s the machine itself — while it’s really all there, much of it needs restored or replaced. For starters the previous owner said the PCB produces scrambled video and audio, so getting the game working will be my first goal. The marquee is in ok shape but has a crack down the center so I found a replacement. I also ordered a reprint of the control panel overlay and new t-molding. The cardboard bezel I can recreate, and the original art bezel is fortunately still in great shape. I still haven’t found the original Monroe joystick but they come up for sale often enough. It came with an extra Wells-Gardner K4900 monitor and chasis which I’ll swap with the current Gyruss-burned CRT. Nice to have would be the original Centuri-labelled coin door and Matt Ozborn’s high score save kit.

Sure wish I had a nice, shiny Egret II to keep me warm through this project. Seriously, look at this guy — a Taito stool refurbish!

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