Glop Top? Wassat?

Super Donkey Kong Board

The above picture is from my Super Donkey Kong cartridge. As you can see, there is very little to it- Just a circuit board with what appears to be 3 spots of candle-wax on it. However, the "wax" is really black epoxy, and it is there to protect the fragile silicon chips which have been directly bonded to the PC board!

Why go through all this trouble? Easy. It's cheap! This is the cheapest way to make thousands of cartridges with a minimal of cost, since there's no soldering involved, and the chips are machine-placed directly onto the board so there's no labour cost to install them. Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult indeed to reverse-engineer the cartridge to dump the game and get it running on an emulator.

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