Preserving Sky Skipper

With the US and UK reveals now behind us, we are free to focus our time and energy on the next logical step in the Sky Skipper project – preservation of the game artifacts so that future generations can enjoy this beautiful and wonderful game for years to come.  As arcade collectors, restorers and historians we have strived to make sure that Sky Skipper has been represented in the way we promised Nintendo of America that it would – running on original hardware and restoring our two machines to ensure they are as factually and historically accurate to the original game as is possible.

Once the PCB identification codes were documented and more people knew what to look for, we felt that it was only a matter of time before additional TNX boardsets would begin to surface.  True to form, that has happened and there are now more legitimate Sky Skipper board owners out there that are interested in playing (and restoring) their game.   We feel it proper to pay the favor forward and extend the same good fortune afforded to us and we want to help these board owners restore a cabinet in the same way to ensure their game can continue to work – even if the original hardware were to give way and cease to function at some point in the future.

Since the supply of TNX boardsets is very obviously limited (and largely undocumented – officially and otherwise) we have decided that the best way to preserve the game is to provide a way for Sky Skipper to run on derivative hardware – Nintendo’s Popeye TPP2 board stack.  We’ve successfully accomplished this task with the development of an add-on card that installs on a working TPP2 PCB set and converts that hardware to natively play Sky Skipper.  Our sole reason for developing the conversion board was to provide a way for us to keep our own machines running properly for the long-haul without having to depend on the (temperamental at best) TNX hardware.

With that, our intent is to honor the 12 original Sky Skipper cabinets that landed here in the US at NOA and produce 12 copies of a “kit” that includes the following:

  • TPP2 conversion board
  • Art kit
    • Monitor Bezel
    • Marquee
    • Control Panel Overlay (CPO)
    • CPO instruction card
    • Monitor Bezel instruction sticker
    • Side Art
    • Serial number tag

Our goal is to create an official Sky Skipper registry of verified board owners and help those owners restore their machines by making this kit available to them with the intent of preserving the game they rightfully own.  All kits will be serialized with matching numbers for the conversion board, the serial number tag and the owner of record.

This kit will not be offered for sale “to the public” nor is it our intent for widespread distribution; Instead, we are aiming to help other legitimate owners restore their game.

If you are a TNX board owner and are interested in getting help restoring your Sky Skipper, then contact us here via the website and we’ll be happy to verify your details and then discuss options with you!

UPDATE – 3/22/2018

  • All 12 slots (as discussed above) are now verified and allotted.  If you do turn up a TNX boardset, please submit via the site contact form, so we can add you to the registry.  We’ll reach out to you to discuss further – thank you!

Author: Whitney Roberts

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