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Initial Version

  • CP SYSTEM III FAQ v 0.00002a
  • supaTurbo, 2004. Thanks to MKL, CPS3, RealBout c.f. and the other guys who provided me with information.


I dont think much people will read the preface so I make myself short. Why I wrote this FAQ? Because I think there was a high demand for it. Same questions all day, some unanswered due to the fact that there is so little information about CAPCOM´s CP System III (CPS3). Having a central ressource to collect questions and hopefully answer them will lead to a ressource without redundancy and mis-information. The CPS3 is an interesting system although it has VERY few games on it, nearly all of them ported to the Dreamcast. The only one not ported is a game called Red Earth / Warzard. I hope this FAQ will bring some light into the dark CPS3 background and hopefully will answer your questions. Maybe you join the CPS3´s hall of g33ks.

If someone can provide me with additional information or correct me on existing information, dont hesitate to contact me. My e-mail address is supaTurbo (at) gmx (dot) de.

Frequently asked questions

01: Can the games be swapped so only one Motherboard is needed?

A: Yes, that is possible. You have to make sure you got enough flash Chips with enough capacity installed, though. So better buy a board with more flash chips (3rd Strike) than one with less (Warzard/Red Earth). Additionally there are flash chips with different sizes. Please take a look at the memory chart submitted by MKL.

02: What is under the white plastic case on the board?

A: Additional place for a battery (1/2AA). I am not sure whether there are boards that use them. Maybe it is for high scores. For instance, 3rd Strike has no battery installed there. Note: This is NOT the suicide-battery! Please read further in case you want to know what a suicide battery is.

03: My board died. What can I do?

A: There is no chance of bringing it back to life without help of CAPCOM. It has to be sent back. But only an arcade operator can do that and only in the country the game was made for. So you need to find yourself a friendly arcade operator. The picture below shows the picture you receive in case the cart is dead.

Picture of dead CPS3 Monitor view of dead CPS3

04: Can I change the CD-Rom?

A: Yes you can. On most CPS-3 it is a Panasonic 6x CD-Rom unit, model number CR-504. But another one makes no difference. Just buy a standard SCSI CD-Rom drive unit and set jumpers on the back properly. . Note: If you have to mount the game vertically be sure to to get a CD-Rom with clips to lock the CD inside the tray. Newer units dont have this feature.

05: I heard of No-CD versions.. whats this about?

A: There are game boards that do not have a CD-Rom included in the package. The data for the game is stored on the board itself. Not all games have No-CD versions. One game that has is SFIII: 3rd Strike. It is better to have a CD version because No-CD versions are more rare to find if something is broken and if a flash chip fails, you can replace it easily and re-initialize the game.

06: Is it possible to use different region discs?


07: Do all region boards from one game use the same encryption?


08: What should come with a full CPS3 Kit?

A: A full jap/euro/us CPS3 kit should include the following things:

  • CPS3 Motherboard
  • SCSI CD-Rom Drive
  • SCSI 50-Pin Ribbon Cable
  • Power Cable
  • Game Disc
  • Security Cartridge
  • Kick Harness
  • Cable
  • Manual
  • Flyers
  • Instructions
  • Mounting screws and casing

If you got yourself a No-CD version, the game disc, CD-Rom and associated cables wont be there. The picture below shows the minimum setup for running a CPS3.

CPS3 Kit Minimum requirements for CPS3

09: What does a CPS3 board do on first time startup?

A: It initializes itself. The data from the CD will be copied into the flash chips on the board. Some say this process must not be interrupted else the board dies. The author thinks that is not true (although never tested) because such things will happen and it would be a hassle for CAPCOM itself.

10: What does a CPS3 board do on startup?

A: It will decrypt the data needed to boot and then load the game from the flash roms. Decryption data is stored inside the security cart.

11: How do I open the security cart / battery case?

A: There are special tools called ?TODO?. But it is possible to use a small pliers and get the screws out using the edges of the pliers. ?PICTURE?.

12: Is my CPS3 board dead?

A: This is quite easy to tell. If it IS dead, you will get a scrambled screen on bootup. It looks like a switched on TV without antenna with the picture being still. Well, of course there could be another reason but it is quite unlikely. If it shows a black screen with CD-Rom running check whether the security cart has good contact with the motherboard. Cleaning with electronical cleaner may help too.

13 Is there a CPS3 Emu available?

A: No, there is not (09.01.2004).

14 Where can I get CPS3 hardware and software?

A: Please take a look at the link section below. There you will find suppliers of game boards. Be sure to allways ask for insurance for defective boards (yes, boards can die during shipping!) and if information can provided, for the running time of the board. When you receive your board, be sure to swap the battery or let someone else do it for you. This is the only way to be sure it wont die soon.

15 How to connect a CPS3 board to my supergun / cab? Is it JAMMA?

A: Due to the fact that a CPS3 board delivers standard JAMMA through its JAMMA edge (unlike the NeoGeo MVS for instance) it can be directly hooked up to a cab or a supergun. For six button support you have to wire up the kick harness You wont need any additional things like an audio amplifier (as needed for the NAOMI) as long as you use only mono sound. For stereo, an amplifier is needed such as CAPCOMs Q-Sound system.

16: I need manuals / art for my game. Do you have it?

A: Please look under the Manuals & Art section on the main page.

17: Can I swap batteries on my CPS3 board?

A: This is by far the most asked question out there. Good news: First of all it is possible. Bad news: Unlike changing batteries of CPS2 boards it requires more skill to change a battery of a CPS3 board. And you want to do it with a second person to help you, because desoldering the old one alone is a pain in the ass (for myself I would never do it alone). And that isn´t all. There are two versions of boards out there, an early version and newer one. Please take a look at the hardware section to find out about the different versions. An extremely good guide to desolder the batteries can be found here.

18: How does the CPS3 boot-up screen look like?

A: -

19: I heard the CPS3 system is very fragile. Is it? I´m scared.

A: NO, IT IS NOT! You have to take care, yes, but you also have to do that with your other PCBs. The only fragile part is the security cart (which is only because sensitive data is stored on it). The CPS3 is like a PC motherboard. Take it this way if you want. These arent too fragile also.

2 CPS3 Overview

2.1 History 2.2 CPS3 Hardware 2.2.1 Specs Board shot Board shot 2.2.2 Memory Chart

This information was provided by MKL. Facing the Jamma connector we have 2 slots on the right and 5 slots on the left. This is the correct RAM location for each game:

SF3:NG One 64Mbit SIMM in the last slot on the right, two 128Mbit SIMMs on the left and one 64Mbit SIMM. Red Earth / Warzard same as SF3:NG SF3:2nd Impact Two 64Mbit SIMMs on the right and three 128Mbit SIMMs on the left. Jojo's Venture Two 64 Mbit SIMMs on the right, three 128MBit SIMMs and one 32Mbit SIMM on the left. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Two 64 Mbit SIMMs on the right,four 128MBit SIMMs on the left. SF3:3rd Strike Two 64Mbit SIMMs on the right and 5 128Mbit SIMMs on the left.

Each SIMM may or may not have a little sticker on it which indicates the data stored on it (CHR, SND, PRG). SIM would be a general label. Remember: The setup on your board MAY differ! For instance, the author´s personal 3rd Strike (japanese) only has 4 128 Mbit SIMMs on the left.

2.3 CPS3 Software 2.3.1 Red Earth (Warzard) 2.3.2 Jojo´s Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the future 2.3.3 Jojo´s Venture (Jojo no kimyouna bouken) 2.3.4 Street Fighter 3: The Generation 2.3.5 Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact 2.3.6 Street Fighter 3: Third Strike General Game Information Console Ports

Like the other CPS3 games also SFIII: 3rd Strike got a Dreamcast port, which includes features such as a Training Mode and options to change the game´s balance (Air block and much more). The port was released one year after the arcade version in 1999 and is available to the US, Europe and of course, Asia. The port is a near perfect port. The nasty breakbeat tunes have made it into the game and except some details (see below) the game is as good as its arcade counterpart(s).

The DC version lacks some animation frames and runs a bit faster, which makes it harder to actually link combos. For instance, Ken´s MK crossup, standing HP, standing MP canceled into the Shoryuken is a lot easier on the CPS3 version of the game. Some say the parry timing is different. I cant verify that but it makes sense that the difference comes only from the slightly higher game speed. On DC, the damage model is different. You do less damage in general. There are a few more things, mainly noticeable to higher level players. I have to quote BillyKane here:

BillyKane on UPG forums, 12-10-2003

  1. The first arcade version of 3s has unblockables, whereas the revised and DC versions don't.
  2. The sprites are noticeably smaller on DC, changing the timings of some setups and combos.
  3. The DC version has input lag and takes longer to register whatever command you input (this makes hit verification slightly harder).
  4. Chun-Li's cr. MK can be linked into super on arcade, but only late canceled on DC.
  5. I'm pretty sure Yun/Yang's dive kicks and a couple of other specific moves are also different, although I can't really point out where the the difference lies yet (speed/range/angle/priority/stun?).
  6. If you're just starting the game, don't worry about those differences, chances are you won't even notice them for a while. It's important for confirmed players to know them however, because depending on the character you play they can influence your performance.

Grahics: Apart from the technical side, some graphics are different too. I cant verify BillyKane´s opinion that the sprites are smaller on the DC (see below pictures, sprites are equal size). Maybe he is referring to hit boxes?

Gouki Stage CPS3 Gouki Stage DC CPS3 Version

DC Version

Music & SFX: The tunes have been remixed and generally sound better (author´s opionion). Nothing noticable changed in the sound effects.

There may be other things but I did not notice them yet.

A Glossary

Suicide Battery: The suicide battery on CPS3 boards keeps the encryption data placed in a chip alive. The chip and the battery are located in a cart called security cart. Replacing them is a hassle and requires some electronic skills, especially first generation carts (Red Earth, SF3:NG) due to an extra wire. A typical battery is a 1/2AA Lithium battery. ?PICTURE?

Security Cart: The security cart is needed for decrypting startup game data. It SHOULD come with every board and is the most fragile part of the CPS3 because of the suicide battery located inside. Security Cart Security cart

Kick Harness: The JAMMA Standard only supports 3 action buttons. Capcom fighting games are often played with 6 buttons. The motherboards offer an additional connector through which the additional buttons are supported. The wiring for it is called the Kick Harness (quite obviously, because it is needed for the kick action buttons).

JAMMA+: The JAMMA+ standard is an "enhanced" JAMMA standard. The difference between standard JAMMA and JAMMA+ is the additional connector for 3 more buttons. It is connected to the cab through the kick harness.

JAMMA: A standardization of the game board´s connector to monitor, speaker and inputs.

Supergun: A supergun lets you play your arcade boards on a standard TV.

B Links

Here you find some links regarding CPS3 but also other arcade stuff. My rating goes from 1 to 5.

Battery replacement

http://members.lycos.co.uk/dangspot , Rating: 4/5 http://cbsata.emu-france.com/pile_cps3.htm , Rating: 4/5 http://www.arcadebase.de , Rating 5/5

CPS3 suppliers

http://www.fillmoregames.com , Rating: 3/5 http://www.coinopexpress.com , Rating: 4/5

CAPCOM resources

http://www.capcom.co.jp , Rating: 2/5

Arcade resources

http://www.cps2shock.com , Rating: 5/5 http://www.gamesx.com , Rating: 5/5 http://www.neo-geo.com , Rating 5/5