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BillyHW

Seeing the USA (ND, MN, WI, IL) in my Chevrolet, any arcades along the way?

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Hey folks,

 

I'm doing a road trip through some American states this summer. There are no classic arcades left in Canada, but I was wondering if I might be able to pass by any in the states I'm driving through (North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois).

 

I think I heard there was a big one in Chicago, but I'm not sure how much time I'll have to go to it when I'm in Chicago, unfortunately.

 

Thanks.

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I'm not sure which one I meant. They both ring a bell, but I don't remember there being two. Which one is better? For sure there will only be time for one.

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Galloping ghost is bigger, has more games, and is sometimes very crowded to the point of being "I wanna get outta here!" Underground retrocade is smaller, less busy, and some of the games need some work - like color accuracy. Neither arcades recreate the 80's feel.

 

For that I might even try 257 or a Dave & Busters. 257 is an eatery, bowling alley, and arcade. The selection of games is less than the above 2, and focused more on pac-man (how passe'). But you'll get your Defender, and Tempest gameplay in. D&B is full of redemption machines, but still is sort of 80's. You won't find many classic games however.

 

I still prefer the latter 2 arcades because they are not as squeezed in. there's room to move around. Go to the latter 2 and bring a laptop with MAME and you'll do alright.

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One thing I'll say for Galloping Ghost: they do have some rare and prototype stuff you're not likely to see anywhere else. That said, the comment about them being packed solid and wanting to escape is pretty accurate, at least from my one trip there a couple of years ago.

 

Definitely not bad, certainly worth a visit, but if we lived in the area it probably wouldn't be a regular haunt.

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Would a particular time of day be less crowded? What's the worst time, to avoid it?

 

I'm not sure what day(s) of the week we'll be in town yet though.

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Best bet would be to call them and ask what least busiest time is. Say you hate crowds and it would cut short your visit.

 

If anything I would say they tend to mirror local entertainment hours and night hours. So like early morning when they might first open the doors.

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I highly recommend Galloping Ghost. I was there on a Sunday, and they might have been 20 people in the entire place.

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Make sure you get a pizza from Giordano's Pizza while you are in Chicago. They are all over the place, so wherevr you are, there will be once close.

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Would a particular time of day be less crowded? What's the worst time, to avoid it?

 

I'm not sure what day(s) of the week we'll be in town yet though.

 

I would definitely recommend Galloping Ghost. I mean, if you're in the Chicago area or passing through and enjoy classic arcade games, do yourself a favor and check it out. In my opinion, it is a sight to behold.

 

Yes, there are A LOT of machines crammed in there, so it can be pretty cramped. From my experience, the best time to go is during a weekday afternoon, while school is in session. It can be very dead. Late afternoon and evening, it tends to get pretty crowded. Some aisles are difficult to navigate because of close quarters and too many people. A weekday afternoon during the summer probably wouldn't be too bad. But I would probably avoid going on the weekend. The amount of people might ruin the experience of just being able to walk up and pretty much play whatever you want.

 

Nothing against the Underground Retrocade. It's a cool classic gaming arcade, as well. It's roomier, for sure. And they have more pinball machines. I haven't been there for a while, but on my last visit, they had close to 10 pinball machines. Galloping Ghost only had 3 or 4 on my last visit in May. They're both fun places well worth a visit. But if I'm going to recommend one, it would be Galloping Ghost. The amount of games just makes it so impressive. Check out their website for a list of games.

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Last year the wife and I went to Galloping Ghost the second Thursday in September right at 1:00pm, we were the only folks there for about a half hour. We left around 5pm and there were still only about 15 people in there. Wish we coulda stayed longer. And I agree with Keatah, Lou Malnatti's >>>>> Giordano's as is Gino's East :)

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One thing I'll say for Galloping Ghost: they do have some rare and prototype stuff you're not likely to see anywhere else. That said, the comment about them being packed solid and wanting to escape is pretty accurate, at least from my one trip there a couple of years ago.

 

Definitely not bad, certainly worth a visit, but if we lived in the area it probably wouldn't be a regular haunt.

What "prototype stuff" are you talking about?

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What "prototype stuff" are you talking about?

 

For starters, they have Atari's prototype Beavis and Butt-Head arcade game, the NARC machine has a level that was never released, they have several Midway and Gottlieb prototypes on the floor as well.... They also have games that have never been released in the US like Silent Hill, Metal Gear, Castlevania (this is a theater style game where you hold a wiimote like contraption for your whip,) Left 4 Dead, Sega Sonic the Hedgehog Arcade

 

Another arcade I'd add is Pixel Blast in downtown Lisle, IL, a suburb of Chicago, then in Joliet there's the Chicago Street Pinball Arcade.

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For starters, they have Atari's prototype Beavis and Butt-Head arcade game, the NARC machine has a level that was never released, they have several Midway and Gottlieb prototypes on the floor as well.... They also have games that have never been released in the US like Silent Hill, Metal Gear, Castlevania (this is a theater style game where you hold a wiimote like contraption for your whip,) Left 4 Dead, Sega Sonic the Hedgehog Arcade

 

Another arcade I'd add is Pixel Blast in downtown Lisle, IL, a suburb of Chicago, then in Joliet there's the Chicago Street Pinball Arcade.

Thanks, I was hoping for some old school stuff prototypes that are pretty much non-existent, but thank you for the info.

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I don't think they have prototypes of released games, save the extra NARC level, but there's a Gottlieb game called Arena from.. I think '83 that was never released, a Midway laserdisc game from '85 called Specter Files, and a standard Midway game from the same time frame called Blasted which was never released, all from the classic era.

They also have Primal Rage 2, a puzzle game called Freeze, and more. One thing I wish GG would do is put a sign on the prototypes announcing them as such.

One other great thing about the Ghost is that from time to time, you may see the original game creators like Eugene Jarvis (Robotron, Blaster, Defender) Brian Colin, (Rampage and Xenophobe,) Jeff Lee, ( Q*Bert,) or the actors from Mortal Kombat, Daniel Pessina (Johnny Cage,) Dr. Phillip Ahng (Shang Tsung,) and others pop in from time to time.

Edited by Inky

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Galloping Ghost Arcade is the biggest one in the country. You need two full days in there for a first time visitor to get the full effect. Saturday is the busiest day, but during the week it's far less crowded. I go there every couple months. Highly recommended.

 

GGA's Protos are flagged as protos on the marquees. Chimera Beast is another rare proto...

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GGA's Protos are flagged as protos on the marquees.

 

I must have missed that. I'll check it out next time I go in.

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Galloping Ghost is the king of them all for arcade games.

 

For MN haunts:

 

1. Blainebrook Bowl - 50 or so pinball machines. Great food, bowling, Texas Hold 'Em, etc.

2. Tilt Pinball Bar - a bunch of modern(and some classic) pins, all for a quarter/credit

3. Up/Down (not too far from Tilt). Lots of arcade games, some pinball, but busy. On the weekend it's weird to see EVERY game being played at the same time.

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I don't think they have prototypes of released games, save the extra NARC level, but there's a Gottlieb game called Arena from.. I think '83 that was never released, a Midway laserdisc game from '85 called Specter Files, and a standard Midway game from the same time frame called Blasted which was never released, all from the classic era.

 

They also have Primal Rage 2, a puzzle game called Freeze, and more. One thing I wish GG would do is put a sign on the prototypes announcing them as such.

 

One other great thing about the Ghost is that from time to time, you may see the original game creators like Eugene Jarvis (Robotron, Blaster, Defender) Brian Colin, (Rampage and Xenophobe,) Jeff Lee, ( Q*Bert,) or the actors from Mortal Kombat, Daniel Pessina (Johnny Cage,) Dr. Phillip Ahng (Shang Tsung,) and others pop in from time to time.

 

IIRC, they also recently received a prototype / pre-production version of Wizard of Wor with some gameplay and artwork differences to the production models.

 

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Does anyone here know if the original Twin Galaxies arcade still exists in Ottumwa, Iowa?

 

It's possible I might be able to take a quick detour there.

Edited by BillyHW

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Does anyone here know if the original Twin Galaxies arcade still exists in Ottumwa, Iowa?

 

It's possible I might be able to take a quick detour there.

 

If I'm not mistaken (and I very well may be), I believe that it's now an optician's office.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/227+E+Main+St,+Ottumwa,+IA+52501/@41.0165737,-92.4108492,3a,75y,238.49h,82.95t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5RHd-sIsDiO6XUMWcAYn-A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x87e61c27d27cb1a1:0x1e012b4a983ac690!8m2!3d41.0166108!4d-92.4104119

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