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retrorussell

Memories of where and when you first played/saw this game

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I played a lot of Omega Race at the Hillwood Plaza arcade in Nashville, TN in the early 80s when I was a young kid. It was the upright cabinet. Similar to Asteroids Deluxe, it utilizes a mirror to project the game over an illustrated background. The monitor glass is also framed with an elaborate illustration, so it's really a cool effect of stylish, layered images. It's a lot of fun and starts off with a couple of pretty easy waves to let you become familiar with the controls, and then of course becomes faster and more intense. I also like the rather elaborate backstory that is explained in the attract mode.

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20 hours ago, schuwalker said:

I first saw a Omega Race at a Ben Franklin store (those still around)? They also had a Sega/Gremlin Pulsar - another game I love! They had the upright version w/ the cool blacklight effects. It was later replaced w/ a Atari Battlezone.

 

 

Wow, thanks for mentioning that one!  

PULSAR (1981, Sega/Gremlin)

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This seemed to be fairly obscure-- one of those titles that may appear at a drive-in theater snack lobby where oddities often showed up.  But strangely I saw it for the only time sometime in the late 80s, at a bowling alley arcade somewhere in the Seattle metro area.  Not-bad color maze game where you are some sort of tank-looking vehicle that must touch colored keys to open the similarly-colored gates leading to the next maze.  The maze is filled with atomic particle-looking creatures that aren't deadly to touch but can shoot you.  The maze itself has walls that shift and can hinder your attempts to reach the gates.  An electric field can zap your ship.  A giant particle can get in your way and force you to destroy it, splitting up into several small particles that can shoot you!  Don't run out of time or your tank will go bye-bye.  Secret bonuses can be earned, making this a surprisingly decent game for its time.  Simple but engrossing sound effects.  Runs on Sega's "Vic Dual" hardware.

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I first saw Rolling Thunder on location at Fritz Deitel hockey rink in Westwood, NJ.

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Quick recap of games mentioned:

Mappy, Bagman, Venture, Make Trax, Warrior, Pengo, Pac-Land, Mr. Do's Castle, Looping, Loco-Motion, Ms. Pac-Man, Piranha, Mouse Trap, Yie-Ar Kung Fu, Xenophobe, Spiders, Monte Carlo, Mad Planets, any Nintendo VS. Cabinet, Return Of The Jedi, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Pleiades, Targ, Spectar, Blue Shark, Digger, Kick(man), Professor Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, MagMax, Jump Bug, Samurai Nihon-Ichi, Arabian, Bomb Jack, Up 'n Down, Astro Fighter, Baby Pac-Man, Mayday, Track & Field, Mr. Do!, Shoot Out, Hunchback, Space Odyssey, Borderline, Space Zap, Super Zaxxon, Space Panic, Toki, Hard Drivin', Time Soldiers, Gypsy Juggler, Mikie, Puzzled/Joy Joy Kid, Puzzle Bobble, Super Spy, Jail Break, Karate Champ, Superman, Mat Mania, Gunsmoke, Spider-Man, any NEO GEO cabinet appearance, Two Tigers, FAX, Sea Wolf, Legendary Wings, Sprint 2, Night Driver, Robot Bowl, Gun Fight, Sprint 8, Life Force, Rolling Thunder, Gyruss, Sinistar, Ninja, New York New York, Time Pilot 84, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Buster Bros., Sky Bumper, Radical Radial, Renegade, Juno First, Mega Man Power Battle, Robby Roto, US Marshall, Ice Cold Beer, Omega Race, Death Race, Pulsar.

 

Be as late to the party as you like and post memories of any of these!

In the meantime:

 

PHOENIX (Amstar/Tehkan/Centuri, 1980).

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Groundbreaking shooter with great music and enemies that truly test your nerves with their frantic chirping and hyper-fast movement as you whittle their numbers down to a few.  I own this in my living room and first saw it, I believe, at a GODFATHERS pizza restaurant that used to be in Tigard OR by the cinemas.  The whole family would have their jumbo combination pizza, which is still very good to this day!

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Phoenix:  I'm guessing circa '80-82', at the Bassendean West Road Deli/Lunch Bar, in Perth, Western Australia.  Lived 2 blocks away and was directly opposite my Primary School.

Cocktail cabinet (aussie built cocktail cab).  The owner would swap out boards every so often.  I recall a few of the other boards, but they haven't been listed here yet, so won't mention them.

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Next game: 

EYES (1982, Digitrex Techstar/Rock-Ola)

Weird maze game in which you and the antagonists are eyeballs!  You can shoot the enemies and dots.  Eliminate all dots to advance to the next maze; enemies respawn from certain areas of the maze and can easily surprise you (they can also shoot you, and get very adept and fast at it as you progress in the game).  Creepy music and sound effects.  Pretty generous scoring system!

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I first saw this at the Tigard/Beaverton Malibu Gran Prix about 5 or so miles from where I lived, when this game was new.  My sister and I somehow enjoyed this one; it is weird but playable.

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Right now is the first time I've ever seen or heard of a games called Eyes. I feel like I'm pretty knowledgeable about old games, so it's always a surprise to see something brand new. 

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On 7/20/2019 at 5:30 PM, wongojack said:

I did finally play a Death Race cab earlier this year at the Texas Pinball Festival, but I've never seen an Omega Race.

Follow Up!  I finally did play an Omega Race cab this past weekend at the Let's Play Gaming Expo.  They had tons of rare (and not so rare) machines.

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On 7/22/2019 at 3:49 AM, retrorussell said:

Wow, thanks for mentioning that one!  

PULSAR (1981, Sega/Gremlin)

1174960717.jpg

 

This seemed to be fairly obscure-- one of those titles that may appear at a drive-in theater snack lobby where oddities often showed up.  But strangely I saw it for the only time sometime in the late 80s, at a bowling alley arcade somewhere in the Seattle metro area.  Not-bad color maze game where you are some sort of tank-looking vehicle that must touch colored keys to open the similarly-colored gates leading to the next maze.  The maze is filled with atomic particle-looking creatures that aren't deadly to touch but can shoot you.  The maze itself has walls that shift and can hinder your attempts to reach the gates.  An electric field can zap your ship.  A giant particle can get in your way and force you to destroy it, splitting up into several small particles that can shoot you!  Don't run out of time or your tank will go bye-bye.  Secret bonuses can be earned, making this a surprisingly decent game for its time.  Simple but engrossing sound effects.  Runs on Sega's "Vic Dual" hardware.

Thinking about it... that was the only time I ever crossed paths with one.

 

I picked up a kit for one (sans the cab) from a fella on KLOV - again the only time I've seen one.

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Here's a weird one:

JACK THE GIANTKILLER, 1982 Cinematronics

 

Videogame iteration of the classic children's story JACK AND THE BEANSTALK-- and the story of JACK THE GIANTKILLER dates back to the Middle Ages and is a good deal different, so the game's title is misleading-- and it is a bit of a Crazy Climber/Donkey Kong hybrid.  In multiple different stages you climb a beanstalk avoiding gaps (which make you fall to your death) and birds/bees/whatever that try to knock you off.  Touching beans on the way up allows you to chuck them at foes.  Jump off a limb to catch other limbs.  Other stages include a VERY Donkey Kong-like stage where you try to reach the top to get a treasure from the sleeping giant, which is followed by descending the beanstalk as he seems to follow you (though he never actually descends) as rocks drop down from the sky.  VERY frustrating controls immediately doom this rather bland game.  Especially the stage where you navigate clouds to get to the giant's house.  You swear you're at a safe patch to stand on and WHOOP-- down you go!  Total b.s.!

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I saw this at Wunderland (nickel arcade) in NE Portland OR, probably a year or less after it came out.  It underwhelmed me then and certainly doesn't interest me today.

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Hmm...somehow I’ve missed this thread until now.   I’ve never come across Eyes or Pulsar.  First time I played Omega Race was in a bar down the road from where I grew up, ~1982.  They had this and Space Invaders just as you walked in.  We were all too young to drink and were not allowed near the bar area, but the owner didn’t mind taking our quarters, as long as we only hung around the two machines.  

 

First played Phoenix in a local pizzeria. 

 

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New one:

ZARZON/SATAN OF SATURN (!), 1981 SNK/Taito

Really awful fixed-screen shooter, known as ZARZON in the US and originally called SATAN OF SATURN in its native Japan.  Neither Zarzon nor Satan Of Saturn are really any good.  Take out waves of UFOs, then diagonally descending ships, then a comet, and then you fly to Saturn to destroy bug-like enemies and then 3 dragonflies.  Sounds perhaps kind of cool but it really is poorly made and unmemorable.  I saw ZARZON at a drive-in theater snack lobby, I believe, in Vancouver WA back in 1987 when I went to see CREEPSHOW 2 with my mom.

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53 minutes ago, retrorussell said:

New one:

ZARZON/SATAN OF SATURN (!), 1981 SNK/Taito

Really awful fixed-screen shooter, known as ZARZON in the US and originally called SATAN OF SATURN in its native Japan.  Neither Zarzon nor Satan Of Saturn are really any good.  Take out waves of UFOs, then diagonally descending ships, then a comet, and then you fly to Saturn to destroy bug-like enemies and then 3 dragonflies.  Sounds perhaps kind of cool but it really is poorly made and unmemorable.  I saw ZARZON at a drive-in theater snack lobby, I believe, in Vancouver WA back in 1987 when I went to see CREEPSHOW 2 with my mom.

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Exerion is much better (I've never played Zarzon or even heard of it, but I'll take your word that it's bad). I've only ever played the Famicom version but it's alright. Weird player movement though. I think it was one of the first third party Famicom games.

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1 hour ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Exerion is much better (I've never played Zarzon or even heard of it, but I'll take your word that it's bad). I've only ever played the Famicom version but it's alright. Weird player movement though. I think it was one of the first third party Famicom games.

Exerion is definitely cool for 1983.  I enjoy the dynamic of choosing between rapid fire or double shot for specific enemies.  I just wish that it didn't take forever for you to get to the bonus round.

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I put Zarzon up there with Stratovox -  two games I don't care for at all. Never saw Zarzon in the wild

 

Exerion on the other hand is awesome! One of my local arcade had this one in some random cab - later found out it was a kit-only game. Didn't really appreciate it back then unfortunately. Now, it's one of my favorites on MAME.

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EXERION I think I first saw at an Aladdin's Castle in Vancouver, WA.  I played it a bit and enjoyed it, but most of my tokens went to ELEVATOR ACTION.  Exerion is definitely one of Jaleco's more memorable titles (their NES classic Bases Loaded is my favorite).

 

ELEVATOR ACTION (1983 Taito)

I was crazy for this game when it came out.  I think I might have first seen this at Hydrotubes water slide arcade room, in Tigard OR, when it was brand new.  I still really enjoy it.  The jump attack is SUPER useful for enemies close to the elevator shaft as you near their floor, since they get very trigger-happy on the later levels.

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I first saw Exerion the same place I saw Elevator Action.. at Kotla store a 2 minute walk from my house

On 11/8/2019 at 10:30 PM, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Exerion is much better (I've never played Zarzon or even heard of it, but I'll take your word that it's bad). I've only ever played the Famicom version but it's alright. Weird player movement though. I think it was one of the first third party Famicom games.

I wouldn't call it weird.. it just has momentum. :)  I WOULD say it takes some time to get used to, since it's like friggin skating on ice. :lol:

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New one:

JUNGLE KING/JUNGLE HUNT, 1982 Taito

 

I remember seeing Jungle King first either at a bowling alley or Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor around Beaverton OR.  Jungle Hunt I probably first saw at a local arcade called "Pac-Pals" in the suburban district of Garden Home near Beaverton/Tigard/Portland OR.  Jungle King had to be changed to Jungle Hunt (with a non-Tarzan character) by order of the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate due to the Tarzan signature yell.

 

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I remember seeing both versions when they came out, and not understanding how the same game had two different names! I liked the sense of progression in the game, moving from one setting and playstyle to the next. Nowadays it stands out as being unusual, with your character moving from right to left.

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I enjoyed them both.  I was unaware for decades as to why Jungle King had been changed to Jungle Hunt.  I remember thinking Jungle Hunt was a totally new game, and then I started playing it and I was like, "wait a minute...".

 

There was also a version called PIRATE PETE.  The first stage took place on a pirate ship with you swinging from ropes, then the 2nd stage had sharks in the water and the final stage replaced the cannibals with enemy pirates.  I never came across that one.

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15 hours ago, retrorussell said:

There was also a version called PIRATE PETE.  The first stage took place on a pirate ship with you swinging from ropes, then the 2nd stage had sharks in the water and the final stage replaced the cannibals with enemy pirates.  I never came across that one.

 

I never saw one in the wild either. I only played it for the first time a few months ago in MAME.

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I played Jungle Hunt first... thinking it was at a drug store called Perry Drugs - for you midwesterners.

 

King was definitely more ubiquitous at the majority of the Chicagoland arcades I visited. Hunt, I find more rare now due to the artwork, or lack thereof, being atrocious compared to the visually appeal of King's artwork. And who wants to play as an old dude in a pith hat?😂

 

Pirate Pete I don't believe survived the testing phase despite some erroneous information on the net. I mentioned this before, I only know of one cabinet in existence. Some boardsets have surfaced albeit they were conversion boardsets. 

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