Braze Technologies
Innovative solutions for the "classic" arcade collector

Congo Bongo    High Score Save Kit

A simple to install high score save kit that permanently remembers the top 6 scores and initials for Congo Bongo. Plus also includes Free Play with full attract mode screeens. Add to that a quick powerup selftest and a flip screen setting allowing either monitor orientation.

Installs in minutes! No special wiring or soldering is required. Simply remove the Z80 chip from your Congo Bongo CPU board, insert this Z80 CPU chip into the daughter card (pictured right) and then plug the daughter card into the vacated Z80 socket on the CPU board. Thats it!

High Score Save Kit

Pricing and Availability

Ready to install kits are available today for $45. To order, call 1-800-514-9506.


Easy Installation. Kit installs in just minutes. No board modifications or special wiring is required.
High Score Save. The top 6 high scores and initials are remembered permanently, long after the game has been powered off. No batteries to replace ever.
Free Play. As an added feature free play support with full attract mode screens. Can be enabled or disabled via DIP switches. (note: original Congo Bongo did not have freeplay support).
Reset High Scores. The top 6 high scores and initials can be reset to the factory default by entering Congo Bongo test mode and following the on-screen instructions.
Improved test mode makes it easy to verify DIP settings. Mini power on self test (POST) diagnoses the HS kit on every powerup.

Congo Bongo    High Score Save Kit -- Installation Guide

There are two types of Sega Congo Bongo Boardsets. The installation is similar for each type of boardset and similar to other HS kits. The key is to locate the Z80 CPU on the controller board. Remove the Z80, install it into the kit, then install the kit back into the Z80 socket. Always pay close attention to pin-1 orientation and be careful not to bend any pins. Detailed instruction links are provided below.

3 Boardset Style (834-5165) 2 Boardset Style (834-5180)
A 3 boardset style which contains two large boards and one 1/2 size board. The HS kit plugs into the z80 socket located on the controller board underneath the smaller 1/2 size (sound) board. The PCBs are labelled 834-5168 (sound), 834-5166 (controller), 834-5167 (video). And the overall product number for the entire boardset is 834-5165.


Congo Bongo 3-Boardset

A 2 boardset style which contains two large boards. With this type the sound board and controller board are combined onto a single controller board. The HS kit plugs into the z80 socket located on the top controller board. This PCBs are labelled 834-5181 (controller), and 834-5167 (video). And the overall product number for the entire boardset is 834-5180.


Congo Bongo 2-Boardset

Congo Bongo High Score Save Kit -- Free Play

The original Congo Bongo game does not have a freeplay setting. It does have an unlimited lives setting which is wrongly documented as free play in the manual. This high score save kit adds true Free Play capability to the game which can be turned on or off via the coinage DIP settings.

Free Play operates just like you would expect. The text "CREDIT 00" is replaced with the text "FREE PLAY" at the bottom of the screen. Attract mode continues to operate in its full normal fashion.

To start a game simply press P1-Start or P2-Start at anytime during attract mode. No coins required. No need to open your coin door.

This kit takes advantage of the coinage DIP combintions to provide a Free Play setting and to provide a Flip Screen setting. To turn on free play, set the coinage DIPs as indicated on the Congo Bongo Test Mode and DIP settings section.

Operating Congo Bongo Test Mode

Congo Bongo is equipped with a diagnostic self-testing program that is initiated by pressing the Self-Test switch located on the Control Board Assembly. It is a momentary red switch located in the corner of the board. Press and release it while the game is on to invoke test mode.

Once in test mode the game will quickly perform some simple self tests and display a screen like the one shown to the right.

Note: this kit enhances this screen to show additional information not found in the original Congo Bongo game.

Resetting Congo Bongo High Scores

Following the general test mode operation instructions above to put the game into test mode. (Press and Release the red test mode switch on the gameboard)

To erase the high score table follow the on screen instructions (Press and hold the jump button until a message indicates the HS table has been cleared).

Once erased, a message indicated the high scores have been reset will appear.

Power cycle the game to return to game play mode.

The game will now have the original factory default high score table is displayed. A sample is shown on the right.

Note clearing the high score table reverts it back to the original Sega factory default table (not 0).

Congo Bongo DIP settings

To aid in setting the DIP switches, the Congo Bongo HS kit enhances the test mode display to show the current DIP switch settings in an easy to read format.

The original Congo Bongo software did not show this information. The additional DIP information is shown in the "settings" section.

Changing the DIPs while in testmode will cause the screen to be immediatly updated to reflect the current settings. See below for the definitions of the DIPs.

DIP Switch SW1

The Congo Bongo High Score Save Kit does not change the meaning of any of the DIP settings for SW1. They are presented here for reference only. However the meaning of some of the switch settings for SW2 have changed (see below).

Note: when using the unlimited number of hunters (lives) settings it is not possible to get a new high score. This is because the game never ends.

Note: from a looking at the congo bongo game software it is questionable if the diffcult settings were ever implmented in the software. It appears on the surface that these difficulty dip settings are ignored by the game. If you have information about this please let me know.

Bonus Difficulty Num Hunters Music Table  
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 GAME OPTIONS (SW1)
ONON         Bonus @ 10,000 points
ONoff         Bonus @ 20,000 points
offON         Bonus @ 30,000 points
offoff         Bonus @ 40,000 points
   ONON      Game Difficulty Easy
   ONoff      Game Difficulty Medium
   offON      Game Difficulty Hard
   offoff      Game Difficulty Hardest
     ONON    3 Hunters
     offON    4 Hunters
     ONoff    5 Hunters
     offoff    Unlimited Hunters
        ON   Attract mode music ON
        off   No Attract mode music
         ON Upright
         off Cocktail (table)

DIP Switch SW2

The Congo Bongo coinage DIP settings are take the 8 switches and break them into two sets of 4 switches. One set for the left coin input, one set for the right coin input. This allowed operators to have, for example, a 25c quarter slot on one side and a dollar coin slot on the other side. The 4 switches then define 16 different combinations of number of coins mapped to number of credits, including all sorts of bonus combinations. See table below.

The Congo Bongo High Score Save kit takes advantage of this, by redefining the 2nd set of 4 coinage switches. This means you cannot have different coinage options for each coin slot. The kit forces the coinage to be the same for each slot. This is generally not a problem for collectors anyways, and most likely you will use the Free Play setting.

So, Original Congo Bongo, SW2 defines Coin-A and Coin-B options. With the HS kit, SW2 forces Coin-A coinage setting to be used for Coin-B. The newly created extra 4 switches are for new features such as Free Play and Flip Screen.

Original COINAGE
1 2 3 4
4 coins / 1 play ON ON ON ON
3 coins / 1 play ON ON ON off
2 coins / 1 play ON ON off ON
1 coin / 1 play ON ON off off
1 coin / 2 plays ON off ON ON
1 coin / 3 plays ON off ON off
1 coin / 4 plays ON off off ON
1 coin / 5 plays ON off off off
1 coin / 6 plays off ON ON ON
2c/1p + bonus 5c/3p, 6c/4p off ON ON off
2c/1p + bonus 3c/2p, 4c/3p off ON off ON
1c/1p + bonus 5c/6p off ON off off
1c/1p + bonus 4c/5p off off ON ON
1c/1p + bonus 2c/3p off off ON off
1c/2p + bonus 5c/11c off off off ON
1c/2p + bonus 4c/9p off off off off

New features make use of the following DIP settings on SW2. #6 = Flip Screen, #7 = Free Play.

Special HS kit settings (SW2) Unused Unused Flip
Free Play
  5 6 7 8
Free Play ON       ON
Use coinage settings SW2       off
Flip Screen     ON  
Normal Screen Orientation     off  

Congo Bongo    High Score Save Kit -- Trouble Shooting

A common mistake is not having the daughter card inserted correctly, either hanging over the socket by 1 pin, or in backwards. In this case you will usually just see the powerup garbage on the screen. This garbage is just the random bits that are in the character RAM at powerup, and it indicates the CPU was not able to run.

Another common mistake is for the Z80 CPU to have been inserted incorrectly, either backwards, or possibly with a pin bent that did not insert into the socket properly.

Power On Self Test (POST)

The Congo Bongo high score save kit will perform a very simple powerup selftest of the HS daughter cards on powerup. The results are displayed briefly before transitioning into gameplay mode.

Included in this display is the current DIP settings.

If the powerup selftest fails, a message indicating the failure will be displayed on the screen.

A sample screen showing the failure is shown to the right. If you see this failure, most likely that means that one of the socketted chips on the daughter card is probably lose. Check to make sure the 8 pin dip (the smallest chip) on the HS daughter card is fully inserted into its socket.