I’ve really enjoyed fixing up my Neo Geo MVS Arcade cabinet. At this point all of the really important stuff like the PCB, joysticks, buttons, monitor and sound are working great. So before I tackle why my Memory card isn’t always seen by the Neo Geo I’d like to do something a bit more fun and something that will help make the cabinet a little bit more pretty.
In an arcade cabinet where you’re able to play one of four games you need a way to select your game of choice. Across the top of my Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet is a marquee made up of four Mini Marquees. A Mini Marquee is really just a small poster displaying the name of the game and some artwork to give you a quick idea of what it might be. Pressing the Neo Geo’s Select button will cycle between each game lighting up the currently selected poster/game so that it is illuminated and stands out from the rest.
Even though it’s entirely unnecessary I would like to have a Mini Marquee for each game I have. So when I switch cartridges I can also slide in a Mini Marquee that will match the game.
Below are a few that I’ve made. Keep in mind I can’t take any credit. All I’ve done is some cutting and pasting of other peoples work. I searched the Internet for a large high resolution image that I liked for a particular game and make it the backdrop. I would then find a high resolution title for the game and paste it on top.
You can click on any of these custom Mini Marquee’s to see the full sized image that is ready for printing.
I’ve had a bunch of these mini marquees printed on 12mm backlit film. They are 4.44 inches by 5.44 inches and they cost about $8 CAD each. It’s not cheap but it really makes the cabinet look excellent.
So far I’ve whipped up four Metal Slug Mini Marquees. I think they all look great thanks to the high resolution artwork and graphics available online.
NAM-1975 turned out really well. I was concerned that it might be too dark to see well when it’s not lit up but as it turns out it looks great in both states. Same with Metal Slug 5 (above). It’s a dark image but it is still clear and easy to see and read.
Burning Fight printed very well. I just wish I could get the Title a bit larger without loosing quality but the source is not big enough. I also wish there was a better place to position the title so that it’s not covering faces. So far this is the best I’ve come up with.
There are so many King of the Fighter games (KOF 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003) that I’ll start with one mini marquee as generic as possible to represent the series. I had this one printed and I think it looks excellent!
Ninja Commando is one of the more recent Mini Marquee that I’ve worked on. This one was tough. I had to remove the Title from the image (which was in the upper right corner) and cover up what I cut out. I used Photoshop’s smudge feature to blend the yellow to orange covering the white gap I left after cutting out the title. When I get a chance to print it I’ll know for sure if it will be good enough. Typically the bright and vibrant images always look great when both lit and not lit.
I tried really hard to find a sharp and large resolution title for Ninja Master’s but I just couldn’t do better than what’s below. I very slightly increased the size of the title image, placed it on the background image and sent if off to the print shop. Both Ninja Master’s Mini Marquees printed really well. Turns out the title image is just fine. I’m really happy with these two. There is only one Ninja Master’s game but I could not decide which mini marquee image I liked more so I printed both.
There are six Samurai Shodown games for the Neo Geo (SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS5 Special). So just like King of the Fighters I started by making one as generic as possible for use with any Samurai Shodown game.
There is a lot of really nice artwork out there for this series. It was easy to find a bunch that look really good.
Pretty much any artwork you find for Neo Geo games was drawn for one particular edition of a game. This one above was meant for Samurai Shodown 5 so when I found a good high resolution title I made it again.
This one below was also too cool not to use!
Bust-A-Move is pretty good but it’s lower resolution does show a bit. When printed the title suffers the most. I will try to find something better but it does print OK and I will use it.
Just like Bust-A-Move, the image quality of Crossed Swords is a little on the low side. But since I’ve been playing and really enjoying this game I decided to print it anyways. As it turns out it printed very well and looks very nice in the cabinet. The title is a bit hard to read but that’s mostly because of the font and not because of the image itself.
I’ve made others but above are the only ones that I think are worth printing. Eventually I’d like to have at least one Mini Marquee for each of my Neo Geo MVS games.
Below are some that I’ve printed. They look as good under close inspection as they appear here. I think they turned out really well.
World Heros in the image above isn’t good enough yet. The title is just too small. I’ll have to find a better source.
Unfortunately taking a picture while they’re lit doesn’t really work. But in real life these Mini Marquees are working perfectly; just like the old originals.
Above are what original MVS Mini Marquees look like. In addition to the name of the game and some artwork you would also find instructions on how to play the game. I like the cleaner look of the custom Mini Marquees that I’ve made. However, I understand that some people will always prefer more authentic reproductions.
I tried recording each marquee getting lit-up but video also has the same trouble as pictures. In this short video below each Mini Marquee looks washed out when it’s lit. But in person this is not the case. They keep their vibrance and detail while been illuminated.