SNES Game Take-Apart (Mortal Kombat)

Curious to see what the inside of a Super Nintendo game looks like?

I love the Mortal Kombat series. The first game that I played was the Nintendo 64 game Mortal Kombat 4. Anything that was before that game I didn't really get to play since I was young. This game was originally released in North America on September 13, 1993. I was only 1 year old at the time. Now that I am fixing up a couple of SNES I figured that I should start a little collection.

The reason for this post is to show people how these wonderful games of our childhood look on the inside. These were magic to me back in the day and I like learning how they work. Let's take a look.

The first thing that you need to do is remove the two screws on the front of the game. This is the only thing that is holding the cartridge together.

There's pretty much... nothing on the inside. So much empty space! I wonder what the purpose was to have that much extra inside. This is the "back" of the chip, let's turn it around and see what is really going on.

This specific board (SHVC-1A0N-20) for SNES games is used on quite a few different games, here are a few:There are two main microchips on this board. The one on the left is the CIC chip labeled U2, and the Mask ROM on the right labeled U1.
  • The CIC chip is called the "lockout" chip, and is used to make sure you don't play a game that isn't made for your region. There are many ways to get around this, but I won't cover those.
  • The Mask ROM chip is where the game actually lives. It is Read-Only Memory that is programmed by the manufacturer. This is a very complicated subject so if you would like to be overwhelmed with information, read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mask_ROM
That is the teardown of Mortal Kombat (or any other SNES game)! I got a great deal on Ebay for it and couldn't be happier. I am going to try to get the other two games that were released on the SNES to make the initial collection complete.


Thanks for reading!

#mortalkombat #snes #games #takeapart #retro