Can I convert my Killer Instinct PCB to play Killer Instinct 2?
- You must have a Killer Instinct 2 hard drive controller/interface PCB to convert a KI PCB to KI2. Without this component, it is not possible.
- You must use the boot ROM specifically for KI 2 conversion hardware. This ROM is available as part of a hard drive replacement kit or via the Downloads page.
- You must swap all (8) sound ROMs and replace them with KI2 ROMs.
What is the Killer Instinct conversion kit interface/hard drive controller PCB?
- The Killer Instinct 2 hard drive controller/interface PCB was part of factory Midway kits that allowed operators to convert KI to KI2.
- It is the updated hard drive controller for the larger KI2 hard drive.
- This component is very rare and can be difficult/expensive to find/buy.
I want to convert my KI to KI2 – how do I find an interface PCB?
Is it worth trying to find an interface PCB?
- My opinion is a solid “no.”
- If you want to play KI2, save your money and find a dedicated KI2 PCB.
- To swap between the games you will have to swap (9) EEPROMs. Even if you are careful, you will inevitably break/damage a leg on a ROM. If you are doing this once/year – maybe … I found it to be a huge PITA.
What is the “Any-IDE” ROM for KI?
- It is a ROM that allowed operators to use an IDE hard drive replacement that was not the Seagate ST9150AG that shipped with KI machines.
- There is nothing special about the KI “Any-IDE” ROM. I discovered that non-US machines shipped with different hard drives, and this ROM seemed to work for any IDE hard drive I used. I chose a name that (at the time) explicitly stated the purpose of the ROM. Keep in mind that this naming pre-dated hard drive replacement kits, and it just stuck.
- I wish this ROM were not included in modern MAME releases, as it is merely a ROM someone from Australia sent to me eons ago.
What is the “Any-IDE” ROM for KI 2?
- Midway had Seagate add two extra digits to the ST9420AG’s serial number. This was an extremely effective form of copy protection and prevented operators (and guys like me) from copying drives. It forced operators to purchase expensive replacements from Midway.
- KI2 was not a huge success and Midway stopped selling replacement hardware not long after its release. This stranded a lot of operators and hobbyists without a means to keep their machines (aka “investments”) operational.
- The Any-IDE ROM for KI2 is a modified version of the final release version of the KI2 boot ROM and included the same method MAME used to bypass the serial number check when using a CHD (hard drive image).
What do the Hard Drive Replacement Kits actually do?
- They only replace dead/bad hard drives. That’s it.
- If your boot ROM was bad, the kits would also fix that (albeit inadvertently).
Will Killer Instinct boards work without the sound ROMs installed?
- Yes, both KI and KI2 boards will power up and play without sound ROMs.
- You will, of course, have no sound.
What is the The Killer Instinct Project’s “origin story”?
- I was in college when KI was released. I was into Mortal Kombat II at the time, but I just fell in love with the game, especially Riptor.
- Arcade games were and still are a huge investment for operators – if you spent $$$ on a machine, and the game sucked – it’s just like dropping $60 on a crappy game today, “tough luck kid.”
- A bar near my apartment had (2) KI machines side by side and one sat powered off for a while, so I asked the owner about it. He said Midway wanted “more than the machine was worth” for a replacement hard drive. I asked him if I could try and image the working drive to a ST9150AG that I would buy on-line (the drives were readily available and at 130MB they were around $60 new). To my surprise, he said “go for it.”
- Success! I used the exact same method to image the drive (‘dd’ in Linux) as I do every kit I have built for the last 20+ years.
- This is a passion project … If you offset the cost of several EEPROM programmers, web-hosting, ordering adapters from China, keeping a stock of ancient CompactFlash cards and MC274001 ROMs, ever rising shipping costs, the time involved in making and testing each and every kit, plus countless trips to the post office – it’s questionable if I make any profit at all. I provide a service the original manufacturer abandoned long ago. I do not consider this “theft” as you must own the arcade hardware to use the images/kits.
- These days, I might sell (12) kits each year. That’s still 12 machines that would otherwise end up being converted, or scrapped … but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered throwing in the towel on numerous occasions (whether it was worth the time and effort to update this website was certainly one of them).
- So … why do I keep this up? I get e-mail from all over the world about these games and I genuinely enjoy helping people fix their machines. I wish I had a map of every country I have shipped KI kits to. When I stop and think about how many machines I’ve helped to keep going and how much “extended play” I have added to this game, it feels good and makes me really happy.