Qbert Game Download

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You must have Q*bert hop on all the squares of each pyramid and change them into the color that they are required to be. Everytime Q*bert is hit by something, he says “@!#[email protected]!”. You must be careful and be sure that Q*bert does not fall off the pyramid.

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I was able to purchase a Q*bert cabinet for a good price. I never thought that I would be able to find a cabinet let alone a good one that hadn’t been converted to 3 other games over the past 30 years. I got lucky.

The cabinet has been stripped of most the valuable parts before I got it. There is no hint of the original wiring, game PCBs, power supply, knocker, service panel or joystick. Luckily, I have great contacts across the US that can get me these parts. This is by far the most money I have spent on a single game gathering parts, but I have quite a bit of stuff that I need in boxes already from years ago.

Qbert Game Download

What do I have? The cabinet, original marquee, reproduction control panel, speaker and all metal bits which includes the hinges, latches, marquee holder and top vents.

Things that are being replaced with new parts: control panel overlay, front graphics, side art, marquee, glass screen printed bezel, JROK Mylstar game board.

Used items from fellow collectors: original Q*bert Joystick (rare these days) and dual coin doors. I still need a Gottlieb service panel.

First I will tackle the cabinet restoration. Repair the wood bits with bondo and sand everything to at least 220 grit. Q*bert cabinets are know for being hard to paint since they use a MDF type side panel material that can absorb a lot of moisture from water based paint. So I will not be sanding the sides down to the wood like a Williams cabinet. Instead I will sand the sides so they are even (smooth) and prime over the base yellow with sandable primer spray paint. Then the plan is to use my HVLP spray gun to paint the yellow. Yellow is a very thin paint so it will take several coats. Three coats of paint is normal but I am guessing this will take 4 or more.

The cabinet has been cleaned about 5 times with 409 on the outside and painted surfaces. The inside base wood was vacuumed, blown out with compressed air and cleaned with denatured alcohol. I doused the base panel and used paper towels to scrub the surface several times to remove the dirt ground into the surface. (wear a mask) Now the base panel looks new!

Next, I sanded the entire unit with 100 grit to remove the scratches and scuffs. I cleaned everything again and applied bondo in small batches to the remaining dings. More sanding… followed by more sanding.

I like to start with the black paint on cabinets first. Why? It’s better to get the black paint done so you don’t have paint over spray on the sides for example when the plastic wrap slides off or tape, etc. It takes about 1 can of satin black paint each time you spray the entire front, back and interior. Plan on at least 3 cans plus 1 for metal parts and touch ups.

Note – Some cabinets are vinyl wrapped and some use laminate or combinations of both. You can sand vinyl and use bondo and a lot of sanding to get a good paintable surface. Some folks like to re-wrap the vinyl areas after they are fully prepped. If you want to try vinyl I would use 6 mil black pico vinyl or smooth. Smooth vinyl is more difficult to use as is 3 mil product. It wll show all the bumps, scrapes and scratches you have missed.

If the cabinet has black laminate sides you can use vertical grade black laminate over the prepped surfaces. Cabinet supply stores have this in stick and it’s not too expensive at wholesalers. You will need a router, wood slates, contact cement or epoxy and patience to do this. It looks amazing when completed.

PAINT

Warning! This is going to shock some people

I have a row of Williams games: Robotron, Moon Patrol, Sinistar and Stargate. Since I have repainted most of them I have a lot of extra mixed paint around. When I bought the Q*bert cabinet I planned on doing a full take apart restoration so I started looking at paint codes that folks have used in the past.

There are some that use spray cans of ‘safety yellow’ or other standard colors that just aren’t a match. I have also noticed folks trying to match colors to swatches or cabinets with a lot of smoke, UV or other wear and tear. It’s best to match the color from section of the yellow sides where the paint hasn’t been exposed to the elements. Usually this mean under the side art.

On my Q*bert, I had a bit of art on one side about 1 foot by 2 feet. So I removed the section of vinyl and cleaned up the side to inspect the colors. There is a very clear difference in color from the exposed and non-exposed areas of paint. The exposed area is much darker. After thinking about this for a while, I wondered if any of the paint I had already mixed on the shelf was a match to the Q*bert yellow?

None of the spray paint I had was a close match, but one color was spot on: Stargate Yellow. Yes Williams Stargate Yellow matches the Q*bert paint. I tested this by taping off a 2 x 4 inch area on the side of the cabinet and painting it with the yellow. The paint is Valspar interior semi-gloss name “Susan Yellow”. Paint codes are in the photo of the paint can lid.

Q*bert yellow = Stargate Yellow

A couple of notes about painting thin paint colors like yellow BTW.
Q*bert has white primer underneath the yellow. Don’t use grey primer if you want to match the paint accurately. You want a clean, smooth and bright base to get the best match. Rustoleum has 2x coverage white primer that works well for this application.

SANDING and BONDO

Below are pictures of the very long process of sanding, Bondo, sanding, painting and repeat. Qbert is the most difficult cabinet I have ever painted since the cabinet surface needs to be perfect in order for the yellow paint to look correct. Yellow is a very thin color so it shows any defects in the surface.
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Front

Back Panel

Left side

Right Side

HISTORY
I started looking for a Q*bert game almost from day one. They are quite difficult to find for a good price, because most collectors who have one will never sell them. Also, the Q*bert PCBs are known to be plagued with issues and parts are often swallowed up quickly. This combination makes Q*bert boards, controls and artwork fetch high prices.

Luckily for me I was able to find some sources for parts. I managed to purchase a board from ebay quite cheap. The board I bought is a knockoff (bootleg / aftermarket) game board made by a Japanese company. There are pros and cons to this board:

  • The knockoffs are more reliable than the originals
  • Most of them are a single board design
  • Gotlieb boards need a lot of maintenance
  • Original power supplies had a faulty design and failed frequently

The board I own has the basic feature set. This means that it has the Q*bert game and sounds, but no speech or knocker. There are several variations of this board which have the sounds, speech and the knocker. They may be 1 or 2 board designs all of which have the logic on the PCB for the additional chips, but they most likely are not populated.

One of the things that really makes Q*bert special as a game is the strong character design and unique gameplay. Because the game was developed by more than one person a lot of time was spent on the characters sketches. This is unusual because most of the time the programmer also made the graphics and the sounds. The creativity of Q*bert really shines through even to this day because of this.

Original character sketches

Qbert has a unique joystick configuration due to the nature of the pyramid in the game. Qbert uses a standard 4 way joystick that is turned 45 degrees to the right. Here is a drawing that illustrates the wiring configuration.

When I bought this PCB it was missing the required RAM and sound chips. pacmandotcom.com has the chips I needed:

  • 6502 = $4.25 ea
  • 6532 = $5.25 ea
  • 6116 = $2.25 ea x6

Not very expensive to get this classic board running. The 6502 and 6532 are the sound chips and the 6116s are the RAM.

Some more Trivia about this bootleg PCB. The boards I own are single PCB game boards. Both of them have sound chips, but no speech chip or circuitry. They do have the design etched into the PCB for both the speech and the knocker functionality though.

Note the label “Cuit Bird” Made in Japan. I was completely unaware that Q*bert was a Cute Bird?!? 🙂

The SC01 is the speech chip which is difficult to find and when you do they are expensive: $25 – $60 each! The good news is that the board could be retrofitted with all the speech circuitry if I wanted to solder several hundred pins on the PCB. I might be that crazy…. Hmmm?

So what’s the next step? We have some sound chips, RAM and new capacitors. I took the time to recap the board, clean the 22/44 pin connector and get the pinout information for the game. Now it’s time to create a JAMMA adapter so that the qbert game will work in a standard cabinet.

Qbert Restoration Details

A real Qbert joystick mounted in the new control panel with new CPO.

Detail view of a Qbert joystick (bottom)

Control Panel Detail

Playing Qbert after the restoration with a nice, burn free monitor!

ABOUT

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ABOUT

Q*BERT

Q bert

Q*bert is back!

Q-bert Games

Help Q*bert solve puzzles while avoiding danger in this all new experience! Using intuitive swipe controls, jumping around ever-changing levels has never been easier. Outwit Coily and a whole crew of colorful enemies by choosing your own path across dozens of patterns. Complete levels and tackle the classic Arcade Mode to unlock and play as Q*bert's friends. How long can you jump?
@!#[email protected]!
Features:

  • Dozens of puzzle-based levels
  • Classic and new arenas!
  • Jump on cubes to change them to the target color
  • Unlock Q*bert outfits and characters
  • Avoid Coily!
  • Use rotating disks to lead enemies to their doom
  • Upgrade Q*bert’s abilities
  • Score higher to earn more coins
  • Climb the leaderboard in Arcade Mode
  • So much swearing!

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Q*BERT

Now Available to Play on Mobile

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Qbert Game Download

*Purchases not made on this site*Requires a Mobile device to play.

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