Finish Her : Mortal Kombat Restoration
The game was somewhat functional despite some wonky controls. The sound was very distorted with lead to me eventually having to order a new rebuilt sound board. I also replaced the audio cables in the cabinet just for extra reliability. The sound boards on Mortal Kombat are somewhat notorious for their unreliability and difficulty to repair.
The 25 inch monitor had both a wave and was banding badly, creating a very washed out and distorted image. Notice that despite my attempts to adjust the monitor picture as best as I could, most of the top and bottom are still cut off of the image. These quality issues usually indicate a need for both a cap kit and a new flyback.
Someone had at some point, replaced the original (and far superior) Wells Gardner 7000 monitor chassis with a compatible but inferior Sharp Image one. The chassis didn't even fit in the cage correctly. They no longer sell the proper replacement flyback for these chassis, so I replaced it with a proper and 100% rebuilt Wells Gardner 7000 chassis. Complete with new caps and a new flyback.
The proper Wells Gardner 7000 chassis is installed, again totally rebuilt. I also cleaned the back of the tube since the game was somewhat filthy inside.
Now the colors just pop, the sizing is correct, and the waviness of the monitor is history. After the rebuild, this was one of the nicest WG7000 monitors I have ever seen.
A lot of work went into cleaning the inside of the cabinet, which I feel is a big step most people ignore when fixing games. Come on ya all.. turn on the Shop Vac and take 10 minutes to clean out your games. You can see the new sound board is installed, since the original one was not functioning correctly. It would give the wrong vocal samples, and the over all audio quality was tinny. I also replaced the audio cables going from the sound board to the main CPU. These cables are somewhat unreliable in 90's Williams/Midway games and cheap to replace. As a final touch I wired a new sound pot (the old one was scratchy), and moved the switching power supply (which isn't original to the game) to the slide out shelf for neatness. Some yahoo had installed the power supply without bothering to even screw it to the bottom of the game.
Our control panel has several issues. Firstly badly faded and damaged side and front art. The controls had all outlived their usefulness and would have to be replaced, and there was some damage to the wood itself.
First we strip the control panel down to the bare wood. After a few rounds of wood fill and sanding, the control panel gets painted a hardy semi gloss black. All those nasty missing chunks of wood are now fixed and the control panel is looking sharp again. Control panels for fighting games just take a ton of abuse as you can imagine from the thousands of aggressive players over the years.
New artwork from This Old Game is applied to the sides and front, but we decided to keep the original control panel overlay as is. Even though the control panel overlay isn't perfect, I would rather have a B- version of the original than a reproduction any day of the week.
The front of the game was in poor condition, the years of play had taken its toll on the black laminate front. I'm sure many a frustrated gamer has kicked this machine and yelled a few choice words. The speaker grill on the top of the game would also be taken off and sanded, then repainted. We found a good amount of dried up gum from the 90's all over the cabinet surface. Yummy.
Prep the surface with a nice cleaning, and it's painting time.
We also took out the speaker cover which was full of marks and scratches... it too gets sanded, primed, and then painted. For an extra wow factor I like to paint the tops of the screws before reinstalling.
The side art gets a deep clean, removal of some old stickers, and a touch up with some Prismacolor professional markers. It's slightly faded, but overall in very nice shape for a game that came out when you could still buy Surge soda.
Taa dahhh! Looks great! It's a shame I don't really care for Mortal Kombat (spoiler alert: I am also terrible at playing it). So I decided to sell this one to a Seattle area collector who loves fighting games, and is much better at them than I am.
I like wrapping games in plastic to prevent scratching them during transport. And just like that... it was off to its new enthusiastic owner. Another game restored, and some great new skills acquired thanks to this unique project. Now on to the next game!