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The Story

City Connection was an awesome arcade game released by Jaleco in 1985. Kitcorp licensed this title and sold it as Cruisin (Midway later released Cruis'n USA, which was an unrelated driving game, but had to be spelled differently due to Kitcorps prior release).

This title was widely bootlegged, and individual "City Connection" machines may bear totally different copyright and manufacturer information, but only the Jaleco and Kitcorp versions are authentic.

This game was also a hit on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES version was quite good, but was not a perfect translation.

The Game

This is just a great game. You drive a little orange car in a side scrolling platform environment. The object of the game it to drive over every surface in the level (the road turns green as you drive over it).

But that would be too easy, so you are given a little competition in the form of other vehicles and a truly evil little cat. The other cars are no problem, you can just chuck oil cans at them to make them go away. But the cat will simply appear randomly in the middle of the road (often right in front of you), the cat cannot be killed, so you have to dodge him instead. If you hit the cat, then you die, and the game plays a very annoying little ditty while you die (much longer than the normal death sound). If you can get the cat off the visible screen, then he will vanish for a while, so if you are headed for him, just turn around and drive the other way until you cannot see him, then when you go back he will not be there anymore.

Driving over all the roads requires a lot of jumping around, as many of the roads are merely floating platforms. This usually entails eventually driving off both edges of each platform. It is possible to turn around, or jump at the edge of a platform (while still managing to "paint" the entire thing), but it is hard, and takes a lot of practice. One strategy that works (on some levels at least), is to get on the highest level, and simply drive straight, even if you fall. Once you get to the bottom, simply make your way back up to the top (to a different road section), and drive straight again (try this on the first level, where it is most effective).

The only effective difference between the arcade version, and the NES version of this game is the way coloring in of the road is handled. On the NES version the road is marked in visible chunks about a half a car length wide, while the arcade version paints the road one pixel at a time. This minute difference makes the NES version much easier, because you can always turn around or jump at the edge of a platform without missing any road.

The cabinet

I looked high and low and I could not find so much as a picture of one of these bad boys in original format. I was able to track down a single machine located in an arcade in South Africa, but no pictures. I was able to locate a single image of the marquee (which could possibly be a bootleg), it is red, yellow, and green and shows a small car in a cloud of dust. Thankfully the PCBs for the game seem to be a little more common than the cabinets (I have one myself).

A genuine City Connection PCB is a single small board with 13 ROM chips and two M6809 CPUs. The bootleg versions tend to come on larger boards, and may use different processors altogether.

A City Connection control panel needs at least one 8-Way joystick and two buttons, but it can be wired for separate controls for each player (your choice, just use whatever your cabinet already has). This title requires a horizontal monitor, and is not JAMMA compatible like most titles are. It requires a different wiring harness, which is detailed below.

Arcade Wiring Information

The following is the unique wiring harness you will need to construct to install a City Connection PCB (the alternate titles and bootlegs appear to use the same harness as well). Luckily this title only uses positive voltages, and since play is alternating, you can actually wire up the player one and player two controls to the same joystick.


   ====================================================================
            Solder Side            |             Parts Side
   ================================|===================================
              GND              | A | 1 |            GND                 
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              GND              | B | 2 |            GND    
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              GND              | C | 3 |            GND   
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              SPEAKER-         | D | 4 |            SPEAKER+   
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              +5V              | E | 5 |            +5V   
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
                               | F | 6 |                
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P START         | H | 7 |            1P START      
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
                               | J | 8 |            COIN          
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
                               | K | 9 |                       
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              +12V             | L | 10|            +12V          
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P UP            | M | 11|            1P UP
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P DOWN          | N | 12|            1P DOWN     
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P LEFT          | P | 13|            1P LEFT         
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P RIGHT         | R | 14|            1P RIGHT         
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P FIRE          | S | 15|            1P FIRE         
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              2P JUMP          | T | 16|            1P JUMP           
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              VIDEO BLUE       | U | 17|            VIDEO RED        
   ----------------------------|---|---|-------------------------------
              VIDEO SYNC       | V | 18|            VIDEO GREEN
   --------------------------------------------------------------------
Game Genie codes

If you have the NES version and a Game Genie, then you can use these codes to cheat at the game. These also work on most NES emulators.

SZNSTPVG        Infinite lives 
IEKEYIZA        Start with double lives
AEKEYIZE        Start with triple lives 
SXKPZGVG        Infinite oil
AXSAPIIA        Start with extra oil 
PEKEIIAA        Start on level 1
ZEKEIIAA        Start on level 2
LEKEIIAA        Start on level 3
GEKEIIAA        Start on level 4
IEKEIIAA        Start on level 5 
Where to play

You can play the original arcade version on your computer using either MAME or a dedicated City Connection emulator (which is also called City Connection and runs under MSDOS). The Nintendo port seems to be widely available (and cheap on eBay), and can also be run under a variety of emulators.

You might have a hard time adding this to your arcade game collection. Or more correctly, you might have a hard time finding a real machine. Luckily the PCBs for this title seem to be available if you look long enough (often cheaply), but most of them seem to be dead. This is actually a very, very, very rare board, but no one seems to be looking for it, or seems to realize, thus the prices on it are no different than other boards of the era.

Thanks to
http://www.mameworld.net/emuadvice/mreview2.html
http://www.mame.dk/gameinfo/citycon/
http://www.gamegenie.com/cheats/nes/genie/city_connection.shtml
http://www.klov.com/C/City_Connection.html
and my own City Connection PCB

Update

After years of searching I have located and purchased one working City Connection boardset, one working "Cruisin'" boardset and one cruddy looking City Connection marquee.

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