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Can you remember your 1st favorite arcade game?

50 replies to this topic

#26 butterburp OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Dec 1, 2018 5:55 PM

Oh man. For all my storied arcade-loving history, my answer to this question would have to be no. I vaguely remember my first ever arcade experience around 1980, somewhere in the San Francisco area. It was a crowded madhouse filled with smelly teenagers. I was a little kid and remember getting absolutely freaked out at the fiery crashes in Atari's F-1 (the projector game) and cowboys dying and turning into tombstones in Boot Hill. I also remember being mesmerized by the flashiness of the vector game Warrior, though to date I don't think I've ever played it. So none of those were favorites.


I do remember the first game I kind of "joined the bandwagon" on, and that was Pac-Man. It was everywhere. You couldn't even go to a store without seeing some Pac-Man themed item. Everyone loved it, and I would play it just like everyone else...but secretly I disliked it, because I sucked at it. If I had to guess what my first genuine favorite was, it was probably Fire Truck or Tempest, but I don't recall for sure.

#27 toiletunes OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Dec 1, 2018 6:18 PM

Rally X. Fuzzy memory, but it seemed like the 'boom' was loud enough to feel the cabinet rattle. It scared me.

Tron. I was convinced you could get a free game if you moved the spinner fast enough at the right time during the game over music.

Ms Pac Man, Super Pac Man, Pac Man Plus.

#28 Silverfleet OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 4:23 PM

The first arcade game I ever played was Moon Patrol! 



I was with my older sister and cousins. My aunt had taken us to an old bowling alley in Hull, MA that is LONG gone, and after bowling, she gave us some quarters to play some games. I couldn't have been more than 3 at the time. In fact, I was so small, I needed a step stool to play it! I was instantly hooked. I'll never forget that moment as long as I live. 

#29 SlidellMan OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 7:56 PM

Spy Hunter, in the cockpit cabinet.

#30 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Dec 3, 2018 8:52 PM

Night Driver, which is also the first arcade game I can remember playing.  The black metalflake fibreglass cabinet is still pretty vivid in my mind, as is the way the posts at the side of the road would ghost their way down the black-and-white CRT.

#31 ChildOfCv OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2018 3:33 PM

The first I can remember playing regularly was Donkey Kong.  But Joust became my all-time favorite.  I'm seriously tempted to buy that 1-Up Midway selection that has it...

#32 bigfriendly OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Dec 5, 2018 4:05 PM

The first I can remember playing regularly was Donkey Kong.  But Joust became my all-time favorite.  I'm seriously tempted to buy that 1-Up Midway selection that has it...

Joust was a lot of fun. Cool two player game also. Atari also did a good job on the 2600 and 5200 versions. That damn pterodactyl ranks 2nd behind the Baiter from Defender as the you are taking to long to finish the level enemies.

#33 yoras OFFLINE  


    Star Raider

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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:30 AM

I used to play this in the theater before and after the show.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever being able to disable your opponent and crippling his ship. 

Cinematronics Space Wars!!

#34 bigfriendly OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:22 PM

I used to play this in the theater before and after the show.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever being able to disable your opponent and crippling his ship. 

Cinematronics Space Wars!!


My older brother and I played Space War at the new Aladdin's Castle in the new Eastdale Mall in the late 70's. And you are exactly right about the ships taking damage during battle. It was cool how the star trek ship could be blown to hell except for the hull and still be able to fire. The other badass thing was the huge amount of gaming options available. I was only 8 years old but if memory serves there were 20+ options to select that would vary the gameplay. It would still be fun to play today:)

#35 Ransom OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:25 PM

First arcade favorite that I can recall was Asteroids. Before that, I played a number of the great B&W games over the years, but none was what I'd call a favorite at the time, until Asteroids. That was, I believe, the first game I'd ask my parents to drive me somewhere so I could play it (versus just playing a video game because we were somewhere that had them, such as a pizza parlor).

#36 Butt_Rogers OFFLINE  


    Space Invader

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 9:10 PM

I grew up in the 90's in Northern California and my arcade experience was limited to the games they had at the local pizza parlor and movie theater.

This consisted of Toki, Super Off Road, Galaxian, and 1942. Of these Galaxian was the only one I really developed a fondness for.

At about this same time I discovered that Champ Games released an updated version of Galaxian for DOS called Galaxia, and I had my dad mail away for the full version. Champ Games gimmick was that they made very accurate versions of these classic games, but included a new and improved mode as well. In the new and improved mode your ship could get double fire and triple fire, shields, and speed ups, all while retaining the original Galaxian aesthetic. It was tons of fun.


#37 vw57drvr OFFLINE  


    Star Raider

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Posted Fri Jan 4, 2019 10:49 AM

Donkey Kong, Defender, Asteroids. And that was the order they sat in the convenient store I lived near.

#38 Spriggy OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 11:02 AM

My earliest memory is playing Speed Race, in the very late 70's, at Perth Airport (Western Australia).  The grandmother lived right near the airport.  Grandmother being from Poland, relatives used to visit from overseas quite often.  I was more interested in going to the airport to play the machine instead of waiting for the relies to arrive/depart.  :) .



#39 Machine OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 11:11 PM

Space War. My brother and I use to play at the Minneapolis Airport when our parents would pick up relatives(1978ish?).

Later Vanguard became my favorite at the local college's bowling/arcade/pool hall.  (GAC)

#40 20ohm20 OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Jan 7, 2019 2:53 PM

Star Fire in the Starcade at Disneyland about 1980 or 1981.  They had an upright on the upper level and a cockpit on the bottom level.  It was the only time in my life I've ever seen this machine in person until I went to Funspot in 2009.

#41 5200Fanatic OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:44 AM

I remember playing Lunar Lander. 

#42 atarilovesyou ONLINE  


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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:55 AM

What a great story! (the one about Mario Bros) Thanks for sharing...MAME is just as big a nostalgic moment for me as any other. Being able to play REAL video games on your home computer?...amazing. Too bad it's a lot harder to get into now than it was then.

Edited by atarilovesyou, Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:56 AM.

#43 firebottle OFFLINE  


    Star Raider

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:13 AM

Two things come to mind...


I remember playing Boot Hill at a restaurant in the late 1970's. Probably the first time I ever played an computer arcade game.


Then being at some school kid's birthday party at an indoor miniature golf park... in the lobby they had Space Invaders.

#44 NE146 ONLINE  


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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:36 AM

i remember they had a area towards the back that had many arcade machines you could play.  It was then I saw it, Mario Bros. the arcade game.    At the time, this confused poor little me, I remember thinking I have Super Mario Bros on Nintendo, so what the heck is this......  The animations were well beyond what Nintendo could do. 


Cool man. It's kind of funny because I have kind of an opposite story involving the same game. Back in the early 80's, all I knew were arcade games, and for the home meant Atari VCS and Atari 5200. I'm from Guam so Japan is literally a short plane ride away, so my family would travel there for shopping vacations.. still do.  Anyway I still remember one time I was on the streets and spotted a store display and was AMAZED. It was Mario Bros running on a tv! I could not believe how close to the arcade game it was.. much much more than was possible on the consoles we had at home. I couldn't get it, since buying an entire console was pricey for me at the time, and I didn't know if it would run fine back at home with the electricity. etc.  But I came home telling everyone about the amazing video games they had in Japan that looked and played as fluidly as the arcade. Of course now we know better (with the smaller sprites, etc. as you mentioned) but back then that MARIO BROS. was the most amazing and exciting thing to see. :)  


'Course it wasn't much later that very same video game system hit the US w/ Super Mario Bros. and the rest is history. 

#45 ClassicGMR OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:49 AM

I had a paper route from the time I was 8 years old until I could work at 14. It was great having spending money I earned that, in my mind, didn't cost me anything to get. I spent 40 minutes walking around the neighborhood 6 days a week and got $20-$30 a week.


Quite a bit of that money found its way into the local arcade cabinets in the laundromat down the street. My friends and I would ride down and play Pac-Man a lot. Now I suck at Pac-Man but it's what they had. (They also had a pinball but I never did care much for it. I actually can't even tell you which one it was. I just know it was there for at least 10 years... hell it might still be in there. The laundromat is still owned by the same people.) The rare occasions we were able to get a ride to the mall we would wander Aladdin's Castle and randomly put coins in games. I enjoyed most of them but we were there so rarely I never got "attached" to one.


ANYWAY - one time we were riding past our laundromat with no intention of going in that day. Scott turned and saw the Pac-Man was gone! We had to go check it out. They had replaced Pac-Man with a Mat Mania cabinet. Now we're a pair of 12-year old 4-Horsemen Hulkamaniacs (forgive us we were young!) so wrestling is just fabulous! I dropped a coin in the slot and proceeded to lose every match that day to Insane Warrior. From then on we were a fixture in the corner huddled between the dryers and the pinball machine (yech!) at least 3 times a week. $20 isn't much when I spent it trying to down Golden Hulk and then defend MY BELT damn it! :lolblue:


There were sad, sad days when the machine was down... well... we won't speak of the dark times.


Mania Challenge is better in one way since it added reversals and more moves but it also retired some characters. Mat Mania will always be the first choice. :)


#46 cvga OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:02 PM

It's funny how certain events and/or places will remind me of my favorite games...


There was a convenience store a couple of blocks from where I lived in the early 80s. They had 2 arcade games, Ms. Pacman and Galaga. We used to take our quarters and wait in line to play them. I know those are two of the most popular games of all-time but they were new then and I still think about that store (Burger's Dairy Store) and the fun we had, even waiting to play, whenever I play. Certainly two of my early, and current, favorite games.


I was also a big fan of Donkey Kong but I wasn't very good at it, especially the level with the springs. My best friend went on vacation with us one summer (must have been 1981 or 1982) and the hotel we stayed at had an awesome arcade (probably 50-60 games). We discovered that the pop machine would not only give us a pop but more change than we put into it. We spent what seemed like hours drinking soda and using the change to purchase another can and play Donkey Kong.That's how I learned how to finally get past the spring screen. Fun times for a couple of kids that were 12 or13.

#47 griz OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:51 AM

Biplane (1976) was the first Arcade game I put a quarter into. I remember playing it with my dad and it was cool.


Space Invaders, Galaxian and Pacman were my favorites for a while. Major Havoc later on. I also have a weak spot for Defender. Hard to have only 1 favorite!

#48 Inky ONLINE  


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Posted Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:14 AM

Space Encounters.

#49 NE146 ONLINE  


    Dumbass Atari Fan

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Posted Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:55 AM

Lots of love for Space Encounters! Surprising. :)  I recall seeing the cab maybe once in a restaurant.. but it wasn't exactly widespread that I know of. 


That game is a pretty interesting example of "real" vs. emulation. I think Mame does a pretty admiral job of trying to recreate the experience with the cabinet & coloring overlay, and also the simulated blinking lights with the red. But obviously it's simply a physical experience that can't be matched exactly :lol:  

But then again it's not like real working cabinets are common, so what you gonna do? 




Edited by NE146, Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:56 AM.

#50 VectorGamer ONLINE  


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Posted Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:14 AM

Space Encounters is awesome. I could play that for hours. The cabaret is better than the full size cabinet because of the controls.

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