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Vanløse, Copenhagen, Denmark
Mathematician. Working programmer/system developer. Nerd. Married. Father of 3.


Taito Double Dragon Bootleg Repair Log

This game is a true 80's classic (well at least around Roskilde, Denmark where I grew up). Back then almost all of my arcade gaming was done at burger joints with names like: Torvegrillen, Burger Place, Burger Boss, and Wopsi Burger. The latter was the best as it had 10+ standard cabinets with games changing about once a month...

Well enough nostalgia for this post; I proudly present (a bootleg of): Double Dragon!
I bought this just a few days ago, and by the symptoms it looked like an easy fix, so I started right away. A self test looking like this is always a good sign.

...but then trouble started. An intro screen looking like this:

Also the sprites where pretty messed up with stripes through them and some parts misplaced:

And the game had no sound at all!
Well easy to see that these two cabs in the sound section had seen better days

and not all that surprisingly, changing them brougth the sound back };-)

The board had some other obvious physical damages that needed fixing.
Here a knocked-off smoothening cap

1 transistor with 2 pins ripped off and the other one missing all together

A physically broken 157; the 04 just beside it had also taken a big knock at some point and was replaced for good measure as well. Both spares was taken from scrap boards.

Now I did expect to see some kind of change when replacing the broken 157, but not the kind that I saw when hooking the board up again...

Hmmm, must have done something wrong when fitting them sockets. Pulled the 157 again and had a look. Now I really appreciated myself for always using breakable header sockets instead of normal sockets, as this gave my a clear look down between the two rows. I found one of the tracks between a via and one of the pins suspicious, and the continuity tester confirmed my hunch. 

Patched it up with a little piece of kynar on the solderside.

Now the boot error had gone, but there was still no change in regards to the graphics on screen.
Until now I had only concentrated on the primary PCB, so now I had a look at the secondary one. The component side looked incredibly fine, considering the damages found on the primary one. The solder side however had a fair among of scratches and was also pretty dirty.

I gave the worst place a light scrup with rubbing alcohol and tooth brush, and I found 1 pin touching a nearby via and a track that was scratched in 3 places. Again the continuity tester confirmed...

So straitened the pin (along with about 5 others that I found, for good measure) with a Stanley knife a alot of caution. Then patched the broken track with kynar.

And NOW, the intro screen

and the sprites where alive and kicking again };-)
(please take note of the cute up-skirt view you get in this pic };-P).

Now all was good, and I started test-playing the game. But when I tried a 2-player game, the hit-button for player-2 was unresponsive. A quick glance at the input section on the primary PCB, and my eyes caught this broken resistor array.

By measuring on one it's sisters, I found that this was not the same type as nomally used for pull-ups (with a common point). It was more like 4 parallel resistors just packed into one house. I couldn't find any of those on any of my scraps, so desided on just fitting 4 standard 220Ohms resistors. Now the original bootleggers had put 2 componentpins into each hole, but with the pin-diameter of the standard resistors, I had no chance of doing that. So I desoldered the standard pull-up array

and resoldered it so that it was possible to access the pins from the component side. Then I soldered the 4 standard resistors directly on the pins from the component side.

And once again our Red Hero is able to swing his pork chop against the baddies };-P

And finally this case is closed };-D


  1. You da man!

    Happy you could salvage it :)

  2. Thnx there, Alex; please subscribe if u like teh blog };-P

  3. Hi bud...i bought one DD bottleg like that....and i got the same video problem,can you help me ?
    Look this thread :
    ...and if you can please contact me at:

    This game is awesome and i love it...i need save them :)

    Best Regards

  4. Hi Macck, I've written a reply to your thread over at neo-geo.com

    Don't forget to subscribe to the blog };-P

  5. Hi man....well today i finally fixed my DD...see the NeoGeo.com post......



  6. That's jawsome newz dude; congratz };-P

  7. Hi there - great post, I have x2 boards and one has an issue with sprites + sound so will try what you have done here.
    One question is would you be open to a request for some cab photo's? Finding an original DD cab where I am is impossible (only the boards were imported and fitted to generic cabs) so I'm building a reproduction one and need some photos of the monitor/glass/bezel holder - its that weird block of wood stuck to the inside of the cabs sides that permits the monitor to swing out.


  8. Sounds like a cool project, however I only have the PCB and not the cab.

  9. Hi, congratulations with your repair.
    I have an identical board I'm trying to repair so I need your help.I'd want to know, please, what type of transistors are the two near the JAMMA edge (the ones you have reapired).
    Besides, also your board have a fix between + speaker and - speaker of the JAMMA connector?
    Thanks in advance!

  10. Hi caius

    Sorry for the late answer...the two transistors I replaced, are just plain old NPN BC337.
    I don't understand what you mean with 'fix between + speaker and - speaker of the JAMMA connector'? can you clarify?

    Kind Regards
    };-P Elgen

  11. Thans Elgen.
    For fix, I meant that someone has cutted the track from speaker + and tied it to speaker - (if I remember well because now I no longer own this board, it belonged to a customer of mine).
    Besides, do you know where to get some Fluke 9010A pods?I'm looking for 68000 and Z80 ones but at a reasonable price (someone ask me 300$, mad people...)?
    I'm looking also for some keys that are missing from my unit.

  12. Hi caius

    No, I think you have to be lucky to find them cheap. So keep an eye on eBay and the different arcade forums and be patient...that's my best advise, sorry };-S

    Kind Regards
    };-P E