Wednesday, August 31, 2011

'Medieval Madness' Madness!

A friend of mine recently purchased a Medieval Madness machine. It's in pretty good shape, except that the castle didn't work! Well, as anyone who has played MM knows, the castle is the biggest toy in the game. The previous owner included a replacement gate/drawbridge assembly. I looked up instructions on how to replace the assembly online, and was shocked to find that the instructions were over 20 pages long! (Here's a link to the tutorial.)

 So, with a stack of instructions in hand, I set out to swap the gate assemblies. Besides shopping an entire game, this is one of the largets projects I've worked on. I figured it would take about 5 hours, and I was right on. That included time to install Cliffy protectors and plastic protectors, and clean anything I came across. Besides stalling out while testing the gate. It did take about 4.5 hours. Unlike the instructions, I opted to unsolder the optos, and that only took a moment. I assume its much faster to unsolder and resolder the optos, than to pull all the wires out, one by one, but both methods work.

Here's a few photos I snapped along the way:

Here you see the old mech in the foreground, and the new mech behind it. The silver disc on the drawbridge is a weight that was added to allow the drawbridge to drop. I'm not sure why this was needed, the only issue seemed to be the obviously broken gate (in the top photo you see that it snapped clear in half!). A little adjustment of the set screws and switches on the drawbridge link allows you to properly raise or lower the bridge. I also found shards of soda cans taped to the underside of the gate. Someone needed shims and got creative! We've all been there...

Here's a shot underneath the game, with the mech and moat removed. It's a pretty large hole.

This is a shot with the exploding castle mech removed, as well as the stone pathway into the castle. In order to install the Cliffy around the sinkhole here, I had to remove the catapult and left ramp, as well as much of this area. I removed much more for the Cliffy than I did to actually replace the gate mech! I love seeing that clean, untouched wood though... niiiice... 

It was fun, and I learned a bit about MM. Namely, DON'T TRUST TEST MODE. I was able to get each item to work in test mode, but not all together in order to pass the test. I finally got fed up and just played a game, and it worked perfectly in game mode! We played about a dozen games, and it worked great every time! Don't be afraid to dig into your pins. Most were made with operators in mind, and are somewhat easy to pull apart. If you don't trust yourself, take lots of photos! Every time I have to mess with soldering, I take lots of photos to be certain and get all the different colored wires in the correct spot. Mixing wires leads to more repairs! Now onto that playfield swap....


  1. Hey Don,

    Any chance you know of anyone selling NOS habitrails for Medieval Madness (or making new?)... I have a new project in mind and it's the one thing(s)I'm missing. I'll check back on this blog post to see if you responded if my email isn't available with my google account or something.

    Congrats on the swap though... tons of work!

    1. Just saw this! I haven't seen the habitrails available anywhere, but I will DM you if I see some. Thanks for reading.