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retrorussell

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

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Fantastic thread

 

jungle hunt/king was a funny one.  I remember when crazy kong cabs started coming around and the concept of “grey market” clone games started appearing led me to assume jungle hunt was an illegal clone of jungle king

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Edit sorry folks I only read last couple of pages so didn’t realize this was a once a week post , apologies 

 

Ok here’s my contribution: Star Fire cockpit!

 

i played this one in the old place du centre arcade in Hull, Quebec, Canada. Let’s remember this predated Star Wars and it’s awesome cockpit so the look on this baby was quite a draw to scifi fans. 
 

The one thing I can never about Star Fire was the incredible bass on the sound that you get from playing in the cockpit. It’s one of the few games that unless you play it in that same cabinet, I don’t think it can be replicated .

 

i loved it so much I would walk about 30 min one way to go play it at least once a week during a span of two months and then it was just... gone and I never returned to that arcade again

 

not my fav arcade game by a long shot as it’s very basic gameplay but still, who can resist that merging of art assets with Star Wars tie fighters mixed in with the battlestar galactica vipers?  :)

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Edited by Loafer
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I'm not sure I saw STAR FIRE right when it came out but a few years later.  It may have been one of my first few trips to the nickel arcade WUNDERLAND in Portland OR probably around 1982 or 1983.  I think it was either a cockpit or cabaret.  I like when you shoot the Exidy mothership; it says "GOT US"!  CRASH was the first Exidy game I remember seeing.  I think I covered that one on this thread already.

Edited by retrorussell

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Next one: 

SUPER BAGMAN (1984) Valadon/Stern

I only saw this once, at an Aladdin's Castle.  Loved the music in this one but boy, just like the original BAGMAN, this was tough as nails.  So much to draw you in though.  And this time, you can actually ride down an elevator WITH the wheelbarrow (only the one on the last screen, though).  You also got to free your imprisoned buddy after all the gold was collected and deposited, so you had to go find the key.  It's like playing the same level a new way.  And you got to use bombs and guns!  And you could jump over gaps!  Very fun but rather obscure game.

 

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Oh my! I was one of the first responders to the original post- didn't realize it was still going! OK, my two cents (but only the ones I have seen):

 

Pengo was at a small roller rink up the street from my home called Columbia Skateland. The advertising poster for it was hanging right next to the machine. Kickman was there too.The place is still there, full of games, the owner hasn't opened it in years, and I know for a fact that all of the cabinets are still inside.

 

Pac-Land was at an arcade in Akron's Rolling Acres Mall. I remember that by the time I saw it, the cartoon was already long cancelled and I thought it was strange to make a game based on it. Spider-Man was there too.

 

Ms. Pac Man was at a Gold Circle store in Canton just off of route 62. I was amazed by the cabinet art!

 

Yie-Ar Kung Fu was at a little snack place in our local mall (New Philadelphia) called "Der Dog House" played it quite a bit with a fountain Pepsi and a pile of deep fried cheddar bites sitting nearby.

 

Xenophobe was at the travelling arcade at one of our many local annual festivals. Played it endlessly and obviously took my screen name from it. There was a line to play Hard Drivin' at the same place a few years later. Mat Mania, Elevator Action,  and Rolling Thunder made an appearance there as well over the years.

 

First Nintendo vs. I saw was Excitebike at the local Peoples Drug Store.

 

Temple of Doom got lots of my money at Aladdin's Castle in the Belden Village Mall. I got the C64 conversion for Christmas in 8th grade. It sucked but I played it anyway. Karate Champ was there too.

 

Return of the Jedi- I played that one in a supermarket on vacation trip out west. Can't remember the town anymore but I know I was terrible at the game. It was in a pizza shop back home called Pisanello's for a few years after that.

 

I saw Baby Pac Man in a mall in Daytona Beach when I was on vacation there. I was baffled by the design and remember telling friends about it when I got home. They didn't believe me.

 

Track and Field- I saw this one on vacation at the Grand Canyon. It was a cocktail version. I wrote a letter to a friend describing it in much detail.

 

Mr. Do was in a local pizza place for years. Two Tigers was right next to it. As an adult I tried to buy the Mr. Do machine from the owner. He refused to sell it (even though it hadn't been plugged in for years) and then proceeded to tell me how he saw Jesus in a fresh coat of paint on his garage door. No joke.

 

Hunch Back was at a local convenience store called the Quick Shop. Over the years (and several name changes) that place was home to Omega Race, Pac-Man, Road Runner and Qix.

 

The Super Spy was in a Neo Geo cab at our "new mall" when I was in high school. Loved that game.

 

Superman was great! I played that one at an arcade in Gatlinburg, TN. That was the first vacation I took without my older brother and I was old enough to hang there as long as I wished. I remember playing Superman and Chiller there!

 

Sprint 2 was in a farm supply store my dad dragged me out to when he was looking for mower parts. It was the mid 80s by then and I remember thinking Sprint was the oldest thing I had ever seen- that record was previously held by a Stunt Cycle cabinet my brother and I found in an unused fitness room (full of Nautalis equipment- including one of those shaker things with the bellt you slipped around your waste) in Daytona one year.

 

Gunsmoke was in our Big Lots (when it was still called Big and Small Lots) store when it first opened. Hated that game. Still do.

 

I played Street Fighter II on a vacation to Myrtle Beach. It was the only game in the hotel and I was terrible at it. I was depressed and in pain because I had just gotten my braces on the day before we left. I remember not being wowed by that game and realizing that the classics I had grown up with were old hat. Fighting games like this one just weren't my scene.

 

Eyes was in a laundromat somewhere in Massilon. I saw it as an adult.

 

Phoenix was in a Montgomery Wards game room somewhere in the Canton/Akron area. Kinda fuzzy on that one.

 

Jungle King was at a movie theater lobby in Mellet Mall in Canton. I snuck away from my parents to play it.

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3 hours ago, dr. kwack said:

Sprint 2 was in a farm supply store my dad dragged me out to when he was looking for mower parts. It was the mid 80s by then and I remember thinking Sprint was the oldest thing I had ever seen- that record was previously held by a Stunt Cycle cabinet my brother and I found in an unused fitness room (full of Nautalis equipment- including one of those shaker things with the bellt you slipped around your waste) in Daytona one year.

I also saw a black & white Sprint and a Stunt Cycle back in the day, at the arcade on the first floor of the 100 Oaks Mall in Nashville. I remember being amused by how Stunt Cycle used decals on the screen to represent the tunnels the motorcycle went through, rather than in-game graphics. But I also remember how good the controls for both games felt. It seemed to me that that arcade was intentionally curated to show older and newer games side-by-side.

 

I was also remembering that shaker-belt thing that you would see in fitness centers back in the day. As a kid I had the impression that it was implied you could "shake away" your body fat somehow, but maybe it was just supposed to loosen up your muscles?

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Ah yes, STUNT CYCLE (1977 Atari):

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Kind of unique game inspired by Evel Kneivel driving through a series of pipes and then over a line of vehicles for points.  A cool set of handlebars was the controller.  This was at my local Malibu Gran Prix back in the day when I was REALLY little, and before Pac-Man and Asteroids cabinets appeared.  I would play some pinball, Gypsy Juggler, Depthcharge and Gun Fight, my dad would play Foosball, and my stepmom would play this game.  It looked a little too complex for me.

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Oh man! Stunt Cycle was the very first video arcade game I ever played. It was at Columbia Skate in Vancouver, Wa. I remember by the next time I went there, it had been replaced by Death Race, and by the next visit, Stunt Cycle was back again.

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On 12/26/2014 at 10:06 PM, retrorussell said:

Heh.. how about this one?

SPRINT 2 (Kee Games, Atari 1976)

I saw this Sprint far more often than any other (even more than Super/Championship Sprint). I played a lot of it back in the day, when I was barely tall enough to see what was going on on the screen. Black & White game where the track changes AS you drive through it! Multiple cars race you and you just keep completing laps to try to get a good "grade" at the end.

 

I saw this at ALL the arcades back then, so I can't pinpoint an exact one I remember seeing this at specifically.

I remember playing Sprint 2 at a county fair tent arcade and loving it. A few years later I got to stop at Malibu Grand Prix with my wrestling team and they had a Sprint 8, which blew my mind. Such a huge machine and all the cars were in color!

 

 

 

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There was a big store in town called Grand Central, where I bought my Atari, that used to have a few arcade games up front...At first it was Combat (or whatever the actual arcade game was called...I was a kid and called it Tanks) and of course Stunt Cycle!  Later they had a separate area for games and it was basically a small arcade at that point...Mainly I remember games like Super Bug, Asteroids, Star Hawk, Football, Sprint 2, and eventually Defender.

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Next game: DRAG RACE (1977, Kee Games/Atari)

I have no idea how to play this!  It is similar to DRAGSTER for the Atari 2600.  Shift gears carefully so you don't blow your engine and reach the finish line before your opponent.  If ANYONE can elaborate on the game and how to beat it, please do-- I've wanted to make a video on how to play this game for a long time.  I saw this at numerous arcades but mostly Malibu Gran Prix.

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DRAG RACE UPDATE: I finally figured it out-- I was able to beat the computer for once!  

When the light turns green, you hit the gas and shift to 1st gear.  You have to listen for the hum of the engine to increase in pitch.  When it gets high, shift into 2nd gear.  Then listen again for the hum to get higher and you'll need to shift into 3rd.  A little later when the hum gets high again, shift into 4th and that should carry you to the finish.  In the meantime, each higher gear will make your car a bit harder to control as it likes to drift towards the rails.  This will slow you down, so you want to keep this from happening.  If you blow your engine (stay in one gear too long) you have basically lost the race against the computer, who makes no such mistakes.  If you get under 5.9 seconds you get one extra heat (you get 4 to begin with).  The computer gets much better when you start beating it.

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A classic I just thought of:

STAR CASTLE (1980), Cinematronics/Tim Skelly

Tough black and white vector game with a color overlay and a bullseye-type of look in the center.

Fly a spaceship around a circular fortress with rotating walls.  Blast through the walls to get to the enemy ship in the center.  Once it has an open shot at you through the walls, it can fire back!  Destroy the ship for a free life and you also move to the next stage.  3 star-like entities fly off from the walls and follow you.  They are no points and just serve to harass/destroy you.  Use all edges of the screen to warp through to the other side-- the stars can't follow and the enemy ship must rotate back towards you.  This is what you should exploit to get anywhere in this game; destroy enough of a wall (destroying a WHOLE wall will make a new one appear) and then fly off the screen to the other side and blast the next inner wall, and repeat until you nail the enemy ship in the middle.  Such a hard game!  This appeared in GHOSTBUSTERS (1984).  I first saw this probably at either Malibu Gran Prix or an arcade in my local mall (back then known as Beaverton Mall, now Cedar Hills Crossing), which was called Electric Palace.

star_castle_arcade_cabinet.jpg

Starcastle.png

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I first saw Star Castle at a local bar.  The owner would let us kids play as long as we didn’t come near the bar area.  So we had to bring plenty of quarters, otherwise it was No Star Castle for You!!

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1 hour ago, sramirez2008 said:

I first saw Star Castle at a local bar.  The owner would let us kids play as long as we didn’t come near the bar area.  So we had to bring plenty of quarters, otherwise it was No Star Castle for You!!

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NO STAR CASTLE FOR YOU!

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STAR CASTLE was, well IS one of my Favorite games EVER!!!!!!

 

I even have a poorly fitting T-Shirt of the marquee to Star Castle...

 

Time Out in our local mall (Cheyenne Frontier Mall) had it.  I was so bummed when they replaced it with something else.   I really wish I had a picture of that place when they first opened.  They had so many Amazing Classic games,...Many of them very obscure by today's standards...Off the top of my head, they had games like Rip Off, Red Baron, Phoenix, Star Castle, Space Firebird, Astro Blaster, New York, New York,  Zero Hour, Armor Attack, Black Knight Pinball (and many others), Omega Race, Space Invaders (and Space Invaders Deluxe), Moon Cresta, Space Panic...Oh, to go back in time! 

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On 7/22/2019 at 2:49 AM, retrorussell said:

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.

If I may back up a hair because I'm new to this thread...Our K-Mart put in a short lived arcade in the mid 80s.  It had it's own lower ceiling and was dark like a game arcade should be...I do remember a couple of kids from high school going there sometimes.  Suddenly I can't remember if it was kids ditching high school, junior high or college haha, but the K-Mart was just down from the high school...Anyhow they had Pulsar and I thought that game was Awesome!  The evil sound effects really sold me on it along with the gameplay...For each arcade I generally remember which weird/obscure/rare games they had, whereas a game like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, or Tempest I won't remember .... K-Mart had Tunnel Runner, Pulsar, and Satan's Hollow along with the usual suspects...

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10 hours ago, retrorussell said:

A classic I just thought of:

STAR CASTLE (1980), Cinematronics/Tim Skelly

Tough black and white vector game with a color overlay and a bullseye-type of look in the center.

Fly a spaceship around a circular fortress with rotating walls.  Blast through the walls to get to the enemy ship in the center.  Once it has an open shot at you through the walls, it can fire back!  Destroy the ship for a free life and you also move to the next stage.  3 star-like entities fly off from the walls and follow you.  They are no points and just serve to harass/destroy you.  Use all edges of the screen to warp through to the other side-- the stars can't follow and the enemy ship must rotate back towards you.  This is what you should exploit to get anywhere in this game; destroy enough of a wall (destroying a WHOLE wall will make a new one appear) and then fly off the screen to the other side and blast the next inner wall, and repeat until you nail the enemy ship in the middle.  Such a hard game!  This appeared in GHOSTBUSTERS (1984).  I first saw this probably at either Malibu Gran Prix or an arcade in my local mall (back then known as Beaverton Mall, now Cedar Hills Crossing), which was called Electric Palace.

star_castle_arcade_cabinet.jpg

Starcastle.png

 

 

Believe I first saw a Star Castle at our local roller rink; the Zayre we shopped at had one too. When I look back...  I don't think I ever came across a mom and pop arcade that didn't have one.

 

I really need to get my monitor fixed 😕

2 hours ago, GoldLeader said:

If I may back up a hair because I'm new to this thread...Our K-Mart put in a short lived arcade in the mid 80s.  It had it's own lower ceiling and was dark like a game arcade should be...I do remember a couple of kids from high school going there sometimes.  Suddenly I can't remember if it was kids ditching high school, junior high or college haha, but the K-Mart was just down from the high school...Anyhow they had Pulsar and I thought that game was Awesome!  The evil sound effects really sold me on it along with the gameplay...For each arcade I generally remember which weird/obscure/rare games they had, whereas a game like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, or Tempest I won't remember .... K-Mart had Tunnel Runner, Pulsar, and Satan's Hollow along with the usual suspects...

Out of all the heavy hitter of department stores from that era, Kmart and JCPenney are the two stores I never saw any games in. I seem to recall Kmart having those machines where you dispensed quarters in and get some trinket. The one with the mini NFL helmets was one I was highly invested in.

Edited by schuwalker
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12 hours ago, retrorussell said:

star_castle_arcade_cabinet.jpg

 

 

There was a department store called Two Guys that had an area tucked away with arcade cabinets. One of them was Star Castle. Loved that game back then and still do today.

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I saw Star Castle a bunch and funnily enough I never saw the attraction to it and never put in a single quarter. It just didn't seem like a fun game.. I don't know. 😛

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6 hours ago, schuwalker said:

 

 

Believe I first saw a Star Castle at our local roller rink; the Zayre we shopped at had one too. When I look back...  I don't think I ever came across a mom and pop arcade that didn't have one.

 

I really need to get my monitor fixed 😕

Out of all the heavy hitter of department stores from that era, Kmart and JCPenney are the two stores I never saw any games in. I seem to recall Kmart having those machines where you dispensed quarters in and get some trinket. The one with the mini NFL helmets was one I was highly invested in.

Oh man, I collected the hell out of those helmets too.

 

4 hours ago, NE146 said:

I saw Star Castle a bunch and funnily enough I never saw the attraction to it and never put in a single quarter. It just didn't seem like a fun game.. I don't know. 😛

Yeah, Pac-Man started making a lot of those vector games look really simplistic.. also, the difficulty is steep for first-time players.  I remember Hoei making a blatant ripoff called FORT COSMOS that I saw at the bowling alley my dad played league on Monday nights.

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Next game: 

KANGAROO, 1982 Sun Electronics/Atari

Very cutesy game with the titular marsupial hopping up various multi-floored structures to rescue her baby Joey.  A gang of monkeys (whom are called "Nasties" IIRC on the bezel) try to throw a monkey wrench in your endeavor (pun intended, I guess) by throwing apple cores at you (well, I guess it's better than poop).  Whereas kangaroos normally are more renowned for their leg strength, here you punch your adversaries with boxing gloves on (perhaps inspired by the kangaroo in the Sylvester cartoons).  I remember this appearing at just about every arcade BITD, and on occasion grocery store/laundromat/restaurant.  Very cute with cute sound effects and graphics, though it does rip off Donkey Kong a bit (save for the odd stage 3, where you have to take out a column of monkeys holding up the cage with Joey).  "Turkey In The Straw" is played with each successful rescue.

I think the first place I saw this was either the Fred Meyer department store in Tigard, OR or Malibu Gran Prix less than 10 miles from there.

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