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CP System II

Arcade System published 31 years ago by Capcom Co., Ltd.

Not listed in MAME yet

CP System II © 1993 Capcom Company, Limited.


The CP System II consists of two separate parts; the A board, which connects to the JAMMA harness and contains components common between all CP System II games, and the B board, which contains the game itself. The relationship between the A and B board is basically the same as that between a home video game console and cartridge. CP System II A and B boards are color-coded by region, and each board can only be used with its same-colored mate. The exception to this is that the blue and green boards can be used together.

The B boards hold battery-backed memory containing decryption keys needed for the games to run. As time passes, these batteries lose their charge and the games stop functioning, because the CPU cannot execute any code without the decryption keys. This is known to hobbyists as the 'suicide battery'. It is possible to bypass the original battery and swap it out with a new one in-circuit, but this must be done before the original falls below 2V or the keys will be lost.

Consequently the board would just die anyway, meaning even if used legally it would not play after a finite amount of time (Unless a fee was paid to Capcom to replace it).

Primary: Motorola 68000 (@ 16 MHz)
Sound CPU: Zilog Z80 (@ 8 MHz)
Sound Chips: Q-Sound (@ 4 MHz)

Color Palette: 32 bit
Total On Screen Colors: 4096
Colors per tile: 16 (4 bits per pixel)
Sprites: 900 (16x16 pixels)
Scroll Faces: 3
Resolution: 384 x 224
Maximum Rom Capacity: 322 MegaBits


'CP' System stand for 'Capcom Play' System.

The earlier Capcom system board, the original "CP System" (or CPS-1), while successful, was very vulnerable to bootleggers making unauthorized copies of the games. In order to rectify the situation, Capcom took the CP System hardware (with QSound) with minimal changes and employed encryption on the program ROMs to prevent software piracy. Due to the encryption, the system was never bootlegged until unencrypted program data became available.

The CPS-2 Game board (known as the 'B board') comes in six different colors. It was thought that these colors matched up to the language used in game but on getting all the different colored 'A' boards it's clear to see that the color denotes the country of release.
Green: Japan
Blue: U.S.A., Canada, and Europe
Orange: South America
Pink: Brazil
Grey: Asia
Yellow: All (Rent version)

The first game produced on this system was "Super Street Fighter II The New Challengers". The last game (so far) is "Hyper Street Fighter II : The Anniversary Edition". All up, around 50 unique games were developed on CPS2 hardware, with dozens of releases in different regions, totaling over 170 variations. Over the years Capcom have produced a lot of games using the same theme, making numerous spin-offs of their titles with varying subtitles in an effort to prolong the life of the aging CPS-2 hardware (one would assume).


1. CP System (1988)
2. CP System II (1993)
3. CP System III (1996)