the time I upgraded a War Gods hard drive

back in the heyday of that one time I was tasked with making a classic/vintage/retro (whatever label you choose) arcade, I was able to acquire some games from a former Midway employee that had to sell off his collection to move. he had a dedicated Saurian Front (which I owned for about 5 years and had no choice but to sell last year) and another game he worked on, War Gods. I had no particular attachment to either game from a gameplay standpoint, but he asked if I could use them for the operation, and after some dabbling with shipping arrangements down to the wire, they arrived by us in summer 2016. the arcade wound up opening in early 2018, War Gods was placed on the floor with no marquee and its incomplete game. finally one night in August 2019 I decided to correct this issue as I’d obtained what was projected to be a bad Killer Instinct 2 hard drive (Seagate ST9420AG), which at the time was the only compatible hard drive type that would work with War Gods. here is everything in pictures.

the setup, one of the decommissioned office computers that happened to have IDE support

the Killer Instinct 2 drive in Disk Management (never initialize, unless you want trouble)

I think I tried dumping the Killer Instinct 2 drive to verify its integrity

War Gods version Beta 4 screen

seen here the game’s incomplete state with a blank SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW

original Windows 10. I’d updated the computers to Windows 10 in 2015 and they were never turned on again for about 4 years(!)

the actual CHDMAN command I used to copy wargods.chd to the Killer Instinct 2 drive (this is a very old CHDMAN, obviously, and I’ve found that the commands varied between versions)

War Gods was updated to its release version

I think I took this picture because there were no character bios in Beta 4

so in the midst of me moving about 4 times in the span of a year, I haven’t seen the Beta 4 drive in my collection anywhere. I had to make a release version drive for the War Gods board I have last year and while I don’t think I copied over the Beta 4 one, who knows. I sent the man at XLArcade a picture of the control panel on this game and they noted it was different, so it had prototype art of some kind (I think the font was different). ultimately the pandemic wiped that place out and they sold every single game. I am uncertain where that War Gods wound up. I also didn’t have the foresight to dump the boot rom, I’m uncertain if it was different. but that’s my War Gods story.

further reading about working with CHDMAN: and if you need Killer Instinct compact flash drive replacements I highly endorse RevisionX.