Pandora’s Box 6 Community Collection Released

Hi.

Yeah. I figured that title would catch some eyes. Our little effort to bring together a full MAME and FBA ROM set and test out everything has finally come to a close. This site and the community has come a long way since starting up in September. While looking for information, I realized that my own site and our Discord have become some of the best places to find just about anything the English speaking Pandora’s Box community knows. We’re starting to get a bit of recognition out there which is fun.

Thank Yous and Acknowledgements

  • The Main Community Collection Team – for all the hours of testing, gathering data, updating spreadsheets, trying and discovering new things, making suggestions and not just being motivational but enjoying the massive amount of work: airlicious, EvilChris, Matty, mcdmofr, Niel, Norby, Pandoraboxman, robbeno69, Satoshi_Matrix, ZOCKOTRON
  • The hackers behind OpenPB4, Retropan and more – for trying to bring the best experience possible to people with these underpowered and underserved Chinese bootleg arcade consoles: myzar, zanac, and Sebastian404.
  • Everyone hanging out at the Dream Never Ends Pandora’s Box Discord.

How Can I Find The Community Collection?

Come and join the Dream Never Ends Discord and come to the #community-collection channel.

How Do I Set This Up?

The Community Collection consists of three sets of files:

  • PB6 Community Collection – MAME ROMs.zip
  • PB6 Community Collection – FBA ROMs.zip
  • PB6 Community Collection – Movies.zip

For the preview videos, there’s nothing very special that needs to be done. You can extract the zip anywhere and copy all the *.avi files directly into the Movies folder on your USB drive. When Windows asks, choose to replace the original videos as the ones included not just replace the original 1300 game previews but also give you previews for all the added MAME and FBA ROMs too.

You can do the same thing with the FBA and MAME ROMs, extract them anywhere you wish and then directly copying the game ROM zips into the roms_fba and roms_mame folders. However, you will very quickly discover that the Pandora’s Box 6 orders the games in the order they were written to the USB disk which you’ll notice isn’t very orderly at all.

How Do I Alphabetize my FBA and MAME ROMs?

The only way to do this properly is to write the files in the order that you want them shown in the Pandora’s Box 6 menu. You can do that with an application called CopyInOrder.

Makin’ orderly copies to my USB disk.

The only catch with doing this is that the Pandora’s Box will not alphabetize added games along with all the games that are already included by default. What it will do is order them alphabetically like this:

  • Original 1300 games from # -> Z
  • Final Burn Alpha games from # -> Z
  • MAME games from # -> Z
  • PlayStation games from # -> Z

Also, this is going alphabetical through filename, so it is possible that games in the game list look out of order but it’s really because the file name is different from the game name.

Once all your games are written to the disk with CopyInOrder, properly unmount and eject your USB disk and pop it into your Pandora’s Box 6 and have a good time.

Well… Now What?

Well, you could…

Pandora’s Box 6 – Updated Compatibility and Setup Page

Hi, I just wanted to let everyone know here that the old page listing compatible games has been essentially replaced. As part of the Community Collection project, we’ve been using a spreadsheet to keep track of what games are or are not working, what kinds of problems we’ve been running into, that sort of thing. I decided to merge it with the compatibility page that I was hosting here and added all the info that used to be hosted here directly to another sheet in our Community Collection spreadsheet. All the info you need in one place.

MAME 0.106 ROM compatibility, FBA 0.2.97.36 ROM compatibility and general cleanup instructions for the default 1300 games are all now in one place!

Pandora’s Box 6 – Community Collection Update

Hi. You may have seen the post about our Community Collection. So, here is an update on our current progress.

MAME 0.106 ROM Set Progress
Final Burn Alpha 0.2.97.36 ROM Set Progress
Replacement Preview Video for Default PB6 Games
MAME and FBA Added ROMs Preview Videos

So we feel we’re basically done with the ROM sets themselves but I’m leaving them at 99% just in case we find a few more things here and there. In terms of the preview videos, we have almost all the replacements we need for the default 1300 games and most of what we need for the MAME and FBA added games. I’m almost certain most of the work will be renaming videos to match the ROM names for the most part.

If you are interested in helping out or attempting to launch subprojects or just want to hang out with other Pandora’s Box enthusiasts, feel free to join our Discord: https://discord.gg/ZM2b2zd

Pandora’s Box 6 – NEO*GEO BIOS Tricks

One of the complaints that we’ve been hearing and making about the Pandora’s Box 6 is that there is no way to make changes to the BIOS options to do things like change region, change from arcade to home versions or turning on blood in some of your favorite games. Well, we’ve found a way. Together with EvilChris1979FR – one of our Community Collection collaborators – we’ve figured out a way to give you what you’re looking for. It’s not perfect, but it works.

The Setup

Setting this up is extremely simple and we’ve done the hard work for you.

  1. Download our copy of the neogeo.zip BIOS.
  2. Copy neogeo.zip to your USB stick’s roms, roms_fba and roms_mame folders. If your operating system asks to replace, say yes.

And now we’re ready to go.

How to Use

So what we’ve basically done is replaced the standard NEO*GEO BIOS file with the quite well known Unibios. With the Unibios active, you’ll notice your 1P Start button now brings up the Unibios in-game menu.

The UniBIOS in-game menu in all its glory.

If you wish to use cheats or screw around with dipswitches, you can do so here.

Some of this stuff is useful if you want to help train yourself in the game.

For making bigger changes such as region settings and disabling the in-game menu, you will need to choose “Soft Reboot System” from the in-game menu. Once you have done that and you see the Unibios splash screen, you can hold down the B+C+D buttons on your Pandora’s Box to get to a series of menus and tests you can run. Holding down A+B+C instead will get you to the Universe BIOS menu:

Pick your poison.

Here, you can decide to change your region and game type:

Selecting between arcade and home console versions.

Once you are done, you will need to disable the in-game BIOS menu to allow you to play the game properly, otherwise every Start button press will get intercepted by the Unibios and not allow you to play. You can do this by entering the General BIOS Settings:

And checking the Disable In Game Menu box.

Make it so.

You can now exit the Unibios menu by pressing the C button to reboot your game and you’ll find your options and cheats will be in effect until you quit the game

A Reminder

Just like everything else on the Pandora’s Box 6, there is no saving of the Unibios changes you’ve made, so if you want to switch softdips to get blood in Metal Slug, you’ll need to set that up each time you play. Yes, it’s an annoyance but it’s better than not having the option to do this at all, right?

Pandora’s Box 6 – Deep Dive, Part 1

This is going to be a series of posts taking a deeper look at how the Pandora’s Box 6 works and investigating what may help us break it open and get past some of the limitations we currently have with it. I don’t know how much time I have to devote to this task and I’m not sure how deep I’ll be able to get into it, but let’s poke around to see what we can find out.

Just so that you are aware, I am no hardcore hacker but I’ll be doing the best that I can while showing you what I’ve found and how, so this may be interesting to some regardless.

Superficial Looks

Before we attempt our deep dive, let’s attempt to get some information about what we’ve got the simplest way possible – just looking at the disk drives and seeing what we can find out. Let’s first take a look at the udisk – the external USB drive that comes with the Pandora’s Box 6 that you will need to copy the games onto and where you will add games of your own.

The UDisk

The udisk is a 16GB external USB drive that is formatted in FAT32 and looks like this:

Root directory of the Pandora’s Box 6 udisk. Pretty straightforward.

There’s not really all that much here for us. The movies and roms directories are where you will be copying the arcade ROMs and their accompanying videos when you receive the download links from 3A (as they will no longer give you preloaded games anymore). The romsp folder is for holding the default PS1 games that come with the unit (and pushed as if they were the original arcade versions). Inside, you’ll find a few games in .bin/.cue form, most of which are actually missing their soundtracks. You’ll find two identical copies of the PlayStation SCPH-1001 BIOS, both under the name bios.bin and scph1001.bin. A folder called mv contains movies that will play in the front end for these games specifically.

The list of PlayStation games included on the UDisk. Nothing too exciting.

Back in the root directory, we’ve got three more subdirectories which the Pandora’s Box 6 uses to check for games the user has added.

  • roms_fba – ROMs for the Final Burn Alpha emulator, version 0.2.97.36.
  • roms_mame – ROMs for the MAME emulator, version 0.106.
  • roms_playstation – ROMs for the currently unknown PlayStation emulator.

You’ll also find files that list what games the FBA and MAME emulators support… which isn’t entirely truthful as far as I can tell. The Final Burn Alpha game list shows all the various console emulators it normally supports as well as the standard arcade games, but so far, I’ve been unable to get any of the console games to load beyond just showing up in the Pandora’s Box 6 menu. There are also README files in both English and Chinese. That’s all that appears on the UDisk, so let’s create an image of the boot SD card and see what we’ve got there.

The Boot SD Card

I’m going to take the disk image I made of the SD card and I’m going to open it up in ISOBuster which is my tool of choice for poking around these backup image files.

First, we see that the SD card consists of two partitions, a partition containing a FAT16 partition and a partition containing a Linux EXT3 file system. This is pretty common for just about any sort of single board computer, like the Raspberry Pi, but unlike the Pi, it looks like the Fat16 partition does not contain the files you would normally expect to see that are required for booting up the board, such as a kernel. Instead, we see 9 files called boot and are numbered from 1 through 9.

Notice something odd here?

Each file appears to contain data that we can’t easily read, perhaps even some encrypted archives. Unfortunately, there are no magic bytes that match these so there’s no easy way to tell what this data is. I’ve got a slightly educated guess after seeing some of the similar partitions on other Pandora’s Box 4 clones. Looking at the file sizes of them, we see a pattern emerge. Boot1, boot4 and boot7 all are the same size. And if we look at the other files, we do see the same pattern (boot2, boot5, boot8 and finally boot3, boot6 and boot9). I am guessing here that these groupings are based upon the three different resolutions that the Pandora’s Box 6 can boot up in, which matches up to what I’ve seen on other clones. It also appears that the Pandora’s Box 6 supports three different languages – English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. So here’s what I think these files are for:

  • boot1, boot4 and boot7 – likely files supporting booting in 1280×720 in English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
  • boot2, boot5 and boot8 – likely files supporting booting in 1024×768 in English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.
  • boot3, boot6 and boot9 – likely files supporting booting in 640×480 in English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

When comparing files with the same size, they actually did have a lot of differences between them, so it’s not just 3 copies of the same file, which supports our language theory. If we take a look at the Pandora’s Box 5’s FAT partition, we see just two files present – boot1 and boot2, both of which have the same file size as the 1280×720 boot files. The Pandora’s Box 5 only supports 1280×720, however, and I’m not sure why there are two files here and not just one, but so far, I feel like we’re going down the right path here.

Taking a quick look at our EXT3 partition, we see what looks like a standard but stripped down version of the folder structure you would normally see on the main partition for any embedded Linux system.

Pretty standard set of files on the main Linux file system.

One thing that I would like to point out is the Linux partition’s name which appears to show the UUID partition label as well as where it was mounted to during development, which reveals that the main person responsible for creating these SD card images at 3A is likely named Zhang.

The Pandora’s Box 6 main partition UUID, apparently made by “zhang”.
The mysterious zhang appears again on the Pandora’s Box 5’s main partition name.

Just for funsies, let’s take a look at the same system partition on a Pandora’s Box 4s 1299 game clone and…

Uh… Mr. John Smith?

…and clearly, the bootleggers are taking the piss, so to speak.

In The Next Episode…

Now that we have taken a bird’s eye view of the Pandora’s Box 6 file systems, we’re going to start diving down into it to see what we can discover about how it works, the boot process and what fun scripts we might be able to find. Hope that you’re enjoying this so far and I’m looking to put out the next post within a week.

Pandora’s Box 6 – Removing Junk, Compatibility Lists…

So, one of the annoyances caused by getting these all-in-one arcade boards is that it often seems like the people making them don’t know enough about the games being added to realize that there are some games that have problems. Perhaps there are duplicates that are unneeded, perhaps there are issues with controller set up that make games unplayable, etc…

I’m creating several lists to help people when they first pick up a Pandora’s Box 6 to very quickly get set up and have as many unique, known working games as possible.

  • Default Games to Remove
  • Compatible Added MAME ROMs
  • Compatible Added FBA ROMs
  • Compatible Added PlayStation disc images

I’ve only just started working on these lists now so it is a work-in-progress but you can find the start of this over here or by selecting the compatibility lists from the Pandora’s Box 6 menu at the top.

Feel free to leave a comment on that page with some changes you’ve made or games you’d added!

Stupid Pandora Tricks – Running NES games on your Pandora’s Box 6

I’m sure some of you are seeing the title of this post and are wondering the same thing – Why? The obvious answer is, of course, because you can. You might be thinking that we’re talking about running NES games through something like the Vs. or PlayChoice 10 systems. Well…

Thanks, XSplit, for the downgrade to 30fps and somehow making the audio so quiet.

…It Might Be Dynamic Recompilation

One of the best things about the Pandora’s Box 6 is that it includes PlayStation support. Obviously, it was one of the ways that the original creators of the box used to cover gaps in the Pandora’s Box’s MAME playing abilities. Too weak to play Tekken 3? Include the PlayStation version!

I am not 100% sure as I haven’t been able to look at the files on the Pandora’s Box 6 SD card too deeply yet, but I am almost certain that the ability to play PlayStation games on PB6 is down to the use of PCSX-ReARMed. PCSX-R is a port of the PlayStation emulator that uses dynamic recompilation to achieve high performance emulation of the PlayStation 1. This is why Raspberry Pis are able to play PlayStation games so well and the same goes for the hardware in the Pandora’s Box. So I’m pretty sure you see how we’re going to do this now.

…It Might Be NES

I decided to experiment with a NES emulator that was made to run on the original PlayStation itself called IMBNES. Back in the day, I remembered burning a CD-R that had a bunch of NES games on it along with the software and was able to boot it up with one of the hardware mods that you would plug into the serial port on the back of the original PlayStation. In those days, NES emulation wasn’t so far along and the emulator had its own faults but it was playable enough so I was quite happy.

So the end goal here is to create a disc image that contains both the emulator executable as well as all the games you wish to play. Once done, you would transfer the .ISO over to the Pandora’s Box and you should be able to play it!

…It Might Be Guide

Okay, so here’s a little step-by-step guide for getting this all up and running without too much trouble.

Step 1: Download IMBNES and Extract It

First, you will need to download the latest version of IMBNES from the website. I’ve mirrored the latest version below just in case the original site goes away.

Extract it anywhere on your hard drive, it shouldn’t matter where.

Step 2: Create PS1 Disc Image with rombank.exe
  1. From the extracted imbnes folder, run rombank.exe.
  2. Click on one of the two Add ROMs buttons at the top left and find the NES ROMs you wish to add to your disc image.
  3. Use the Tag removal button to remove unneeded parts of file names as we only have a certain amount of characters per filename seen in the NES emulator anyways.
  4. Click on the unsupported mapper removal button to remove ROMs that use mappers unsupported by the emulator.
  5. Adjust other options as you choose.
  6. Click on Build IMBNES ISO button to build and output a proper PS1 disc image with the emulator and ROMs selected. (If any file name conflicts come up, adjust them so that they won’t conflict and try again.)
Just about ready to create our IMBNES PS1 Disc Image with ROM Bank.
Step 3: Copy IMBNES Disc Image to Pandora’s Box 6 Flash Drive
  1. Remove U-Disk from Pandora’s Box 6 and insert it into your PC.
  2. Copy your newly created *.cue and *.bin files to the roms_playstation directory found at the root of your Pandora’s Box 6 U-Disk.
  3. If you decide to rename the *.bin and *.cue files, make sure to also edit the *.cue file to point to your new *.bin file name, otherwise the emulator will not start up properly.

Limitations to Know About

So, there are a few things you will need to remember when using this emulator. Not everything’s perfect:

  • It will screen tear like crazy on any game that has a lot of scrolling such as Super Mario Bros. 3, but will always be playable.
  • This emulator is very old and as such there are some strange emulation issues with some games such as occasionally scrambled graphics (the earned stars in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!), audio not quite sounding right, that sort of thing. Most games should still be very playable.
  • Because the Pandora’s Box 6 does not have writable partitions, just like with the arcade games on it, you are unable to save your game in NES games. This includes anything like save states (which I don’t think the emulator supports anyways). So don’t bother playing any long RPGs unless you intend on completing them in one sitting.
  • I have not found a way to return to the menu to select another NES game other than using the Pause button to return to the Pandora’s Box 6 main game menu again and loading up the emulator. Small but annoying price to pay, I suppose.
  • Aspect ratio is incorrect and there does not appear to be a way to adjust it without adjusting the resolution of the Pandora’s Box itself.

Have fun!

The Pandora’s Box of Copyright

There’s been a really recent new development in the world of Chinese Pandora’s Box maker 3A Game. If you’ve made any attempt to purchase a Pandora’s Box 5 or 6 recently – say, in the last 2-3 months – you may have noticed something unexpected.

NOTE:Dear friends, due to the copyright reasons of the game, from now on, our Pandora Box 5 and Pandora Box 6 Arcade Version and Family Version (including console) series of U-disks no longer contain game files. If you purchased it and found no game files, You can contact the customer service staff to help you.
We feel sorry for any inconvenience caused to you. Thank you!

-3A Game Store ad on their Aliexpress store page.

This is… kind of odd and unexpected. China’s basically seen in the West as a lawless place where copyright is laughed at openly. Indeed, one of the biggest reasons why Pandora’s Box and their clones have been popular is because of it being a complete plug-and-play experience. There’s no need to dick around with not being sure if you have the proper version of ROMs when they are all provided by the company on it’s “U-Disk” USB sticks. Odder still is that all the Chinese companies creating clones and fakes don’t seem to be having any trouble and are throwing ROMs around with impunity, as you might expect.

It appears that 3A Game believes it can avoid any sort of legal liability by simply not putting the ROMs on the USB stick, but by sending customers a link to Google Drive that contains all the ROMs needed. Indeed, even their official YouTube channel features the above quote along with the link to the ROMs on Google Drive *directly* after it. I don’t know how they think that this is any better for them from a legal standpoint but at least it’s not *that* much more painful for the customers, I suppose.

The copyright warning as seen on 3A Game’s Aliexpress store page.

A Personal Theory

I’m going to preface this by saying that I know absolutely nothing at all about Chinese copyright law so this is a complete shot in the dark here.

I think that this is happening now partially because of the Chinese finally  lifting the ban on video game home consoles in 2015. I would not be shocked or surprised at all if 3A Game’s sudden change of heart was caused by those game companies now coming into the Chinese marketplace in the last few years and starting to exercise their newfound legal muscle. Why would anyone want to pay top dollar for the true original console and games when they can get them far cheaper on the black market? With Nintendo being the most traditionally litigious, I can easily see them arriving into the Chinese market with the WiiU or Switch and then going after these companies for including Vs. Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong on all their pirated multi-game arcade PCBs and game consoles.

It just seems odd to start doing it during Summer 2018.

Pandora’s Box 9 – Diving Into The Game List

I contacted a seller for the Pandora’s Box 9 clone and requested the game list. We’re going to take a look through it and compare it to the Pandora’s Box 5 and 6 official boxes. We’ll then see if there are any conclusions to draw from the comparison afterwards.

The Game Lists

Here are the 3 PDF game lists for you to download and take a look at for yourself. Let me know if I missed anything interesting or got something wrong.

We Have To Go Deeper…

Probably the first thing we should do is compare the Pandora’s Box 9’s game list against the version it appears to be imitating the most, the Pandora’s Box 6. Here’s a partial comparison (first 700 or so games) of the games from my quick look through.

Games Newly Added To Pandora’s Box 9 
  • Star River Guard
  • Super Marvel Heroes
  • Sprint 2
  • American Wrestling Federation
  • Runark
  • Mat Mania
  • Ohgon No Siro
  • Success Joe
  • Warriors Armored
  • Super Muscle Bomber: International Blowout
  • Muscle Bomber Duo: Ultimate Team Battle
  • Punch-Out!!
  • Tough Turf
  • Main Event
  • Super Mouse
  • Syusse Oozumou
  • Jungle Hunt
  • Mole Attack
  • Zwackery
  • Big KinKong 3 (likely Donkey Kong 3?)
  • Kangaroo
  • Intrepid
  • Spelunker
  • Hcastlee
  • Driving Force
  • Fast Freddie
  • Fly-Boy
  • Logger
  • The Amazing Adventures of Mr. F. Lea
  • Kung-Fu Taikun
  • Dream Shopper
  • Mariner
  • Marine Boy
  • Cook Race
  • Liberator
  • Taxi Driver
  • Strength & Skill
  • Karnov
  • Time Limit
  • Space Chaser
  • Mouser
  • Lasso
  • Discs of Tron
  • Megadon
  • Marvin’s Maze
  • Pitfall II
  • Monte Carlo
  • Xybots
  • Legend of Makai
  • Victory Road
  • Normandy Landing
  • D-Day
  • Pandora’s Palace
  • City Connection
  • Kero Kero Keroppi No Issyoni Asobou
  • Crash
  • Targ
  • Skull & Crossbones
  • Wonder Boy 4TH Warrior
  • Kamikaze Cabbie
  • Mister Viking
  • Sega Ninja
  • Crystal Castles (likely joystick hack)
  • Guzzler
  • Talbot
  • Freeze
  • Sindbad Mystery
  • Naughty Ghost
  • Springer
  • Jack Rabbit
  • Hunchback
  • Gold Bug
  • Rastan
  • Nastar
  • Magic Worm
  • Jungler88
  • Mr. Goemon
  • Leprechaun
  • Youjyuden
  • Hero
  • Megatack
  • City Bomber
  • Combat Hawk
  • Navarone
  • Cutie Q
  • Catacomb
  • Streets of Rage II
  • Pac-Land
  • Scorpion
  • Saint Dragon
  • Turtle Ship
  • Dragon Buster
  • Golden Axe II
  • Super Locomotive
  • The Pit
  • Combat Patriots
  • Captain America (likely Captain America and the Avengers)
  • Urban Elite
  • Demon
  • Future Spy
  • Pure Green Corps
  • Gaoshan warriors
  • Side Track
  • Trio
  • Hunter

Games From Pandora’s Box 6 Missing On Pandora’s Box 9
  • Kaiser Knuckle
  • Survival Arts
  • Dragon Master
  • Time Killers
  • Blazing Tornado
  • Schmeiser Robo
  • Top Ranking Stars
  • Shogun Warriors
  • Knuckle Bash 2
  • Alligator Hunt
  • Ultra Toukon Densetsu
  • Dyna Gear
  • Action Hollywood
  • Blood Storm
  • Night Slashers
  • zunzunkyou No Yabou
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 1
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Judge Dread
  • Elevator Action Returns
  • Arabian Magic
  • Light Bringer
  • Dark Seal2
  • G.I. Joe
  • Steel Force
  • D-Con
  • SD Gundam Psycho Salamander
  • Ikari III – The Rescue
  • Kero Kero
  • Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
  • Commando
  • Devastators
  • Blasto
  • Ironclad
  • Sexy Parodius
  • Super Spacefortress Macross II
  • Gokujyou Paroudius
  • 4-D Warriors
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Hyper Duel
  • Darius Gaiden-Silver Hawk
  • Koutetsu Yousai Strahl
  • Spectrum 2000
  • Cobra-Command
  • Ufo Robo Danger
  • Cosmic Cop
  • G-Loc Air Battle
  • Xexex
  • Vasara2
  • Vasara
  • Change Air Blade
  • Ultra X Weapons
  • Twin Cobra II
  • Cyvern
  • Sengeki Striker
  • Gekirindan
  • Gunlock
  • Lightning Fighters
  • U.N. Defense Force: Earth Joker
  • R-Shark
  • Silver Millennium
  • Varia Metal
  • Final Star Force
  • Gun & Frontier
  • Super Space Invaders ’91
  • Star Fighter
  • Lethal Thunder
  • The Last Day
  • Twin Hawk
  • Sand Scorpion
  • Ashura Blaster

While looking at the list of gamelist files, I made a little diiscovery: Almost every single one of the games that were in the Pandora’s Box 6 but somehow didn’t make it onto the Pandora’s Box 9 are almost entirely games that were newly added to Pandora’s Box 5. If you open up the Pandora’s Box 5 game list, you’ll see the games that were newly added from the 4S+ are marked in Green and they are almost all the same as those missing on the Pandora’s Box 9.

Another set of games that are missing from the Pandora’s Box 6 are the “3D Games” that are included. These games are all actually PlayStation 1 versions likely running under PCSX ReARMed. I believe they boot directly into the character selection screen, likely with the use of loading a save state along with the game when launching. And those games are…

3D Games From Pandora’s Box 6 Missing on Pandora’s Box 9
  • Tekken
  • Tekken 2
  • Tekken 3
  • Street Fighter EX Plus
  • Street Fighter EX2 Plus
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Mortal Kombat 2
  • Mortal Kombat 3 Trilogy
  • Mortal Kombat 4

Conclusion

It looks like this Pandora’s Box 9 is actually a Pandora’s Box 4S+ with additional games added to it and using the hardware cloning of the Pandora’s Box 6, as it seems like all the games that were added to Pandora’s Box 5 were missing. It’s hard to say what’s really going on without having the box here with me yet, but I would hope that the hardware inside is at least a decent quad core processor matching the Pandora’s Box 5. We’ll have to see when the first videos pop up on YouTube to be sure, I guess.

Pandora’s Box – A New (Fake) Challenger Appears

I was doing a bit of searching around on Twitter for anything related to the Pandora’s Box – because you never know when you might run into something – and I came across an ad for an item on eBay. This appears to be the first clone of the Pandora’s Box 6 that I’ve seen to this point. The PB6 was just released less than 3-4 weeks ago. I didn’t expect the blog post I made only 2 days ago to be made obsolete this quickly. Let’s take a closer look.

A Pandora’s Box 9, eh?

Okay, so you know I am instantly going to take a look and let’s see what we’ve got for pictures here.

The people who created this clone did their homework.

Okay, looks like someone new has stepped into the Pandora’s Box fray then because this is the first time I’ve ever seen any of the pirate boxes make this close an attempt to replicate the real thing before. From the only pictures available to me, it looks like they’ve done a damn good job. From the angle above, we can see that the casing is exactly the same as well as the fan opening in the middle. On the bottom left side, we have the same exact type of sticker that 3A Game uses to denote the date of manufacture. This clone reads as September 2018.

The attention to detail here in this clone is actually quite striking

Here we see a copy of the official Pandora’s Box sticker normally on the top right side of the board. I almost imagine that they chose to call it the Pandora’s Box 9 simply because they could get away with just mirroring the 6 from the original sticker easily. The English marking on the sticker is something the originals have as well, an easy way for them to see if they have an English or Korean version of the Pandora’s Box. 

Another thing to mention here is that because of the style of box matching the real PBs, this one is also meant to have it’s side with all the connections exposed through a large slot in an arcade console case. So this is yet another detail the cloners got right and indeed in arcade consoles I’ve seen that advertise having the Pandora’s Box 9, it shows the same large rectangular slot that the board slides into before it is secured to the case.

USB1 is for the USB stick with games. USB2 is unknown. USB3 is for connecting to PCs/consoles.

What’s also interesting is that it is clearly a clone of the Pandora’s Box 6 instead of 5 because of the arrangement of the USB ports. Most of the previous Pandora’s Boxes had one USB port for the 8GB USB stick that contained the games that would be inaccessible from the outside if placed in an arcade console box. This clone, just like the Pandora’s Box 6, actually moves the port to the exposed side alongside the two other ports. One of these ports usually has a rubber stopper in it (perhaps it is used as a serial port?) and the other is for plugging a USB cable into for use with PC and game consoles. As far as I can tell, the main reason for this change with the Pandora’s Box 6 is because of the added ability to add your own games. You wouldn’t want to add a few games and have to open up your arcade console to insert and remove the stick constantly. Nothing about the Pandora’s Box 9 advertises the ability to add your own games that I’ve seen yet.

Unfortunately, there is no other information on this Pandora’s Box 9 that I’ve seen so far aside from sales sites. No one I’ve seen to this point has reviewed it or posted any videos about it yet. The Pandora’s Box 6 videos only really started trickling in the last two weeks as boxes start to get into owners’ hands. I intend on doing some videos on it myself soon. I am extremely interested in purchasing this Pandora’s Box 9 myself to take an in-depth look at it but money’s not going to allow that to happen at the moment… so maybe next month or something, we’ll see.

Conclusion

This bootleg is so well done that without having it in my hands, it seems almost indistinguisable from the real thing. Even the number of games isn’t too outlandish compared to the Pandora’s Box 6 (1300 vs 1500). I’m very impressed and can’t wait to see more about it. Expect an updated version of the “how can you tell if it’s fake vs. real” guidelines soon.