PDA

View Full Version : Arcade memories



Harrison
4th January 2007, 01:02
What are your best memories of the gaming arcades when they were at their peek in the late 70's, 80's and early 90's? (Obviously this is only for those who can remember the 80's and were actually born. ;) )

For me the most memories are of the arcade in Southsea near Portsmouth. I used to go there when I could to see what the latest arcade machines were. I remember seeing the full Namco Ridge Racer with the full sit in car for the first time at that arcade. And the linked up Virtua Racer cabinets. Another memory that sticks is playing the full sit in After burner machine and the Xybots cabinet with it's rotating joysticks to turn corners.

My earliest arcade memory is probably playing Pacman, Space Invaders and a couple of others at Butlins around 1980. Butlins was also the first place I saw and played (and completed with help) the original Laserdisc game Dragon's Lair.

Another great arcade memory is of an arcade in Brighton. I visited the city with my family to see the Lego exhibition at the Brighton Centre and the arcade was just up one of the side roads near by. It was a week day so not very busy and I remember it well because the first Robocop game had just been released and they had it. I played that for some time but could not get past the ED209 at the end of the first level. I also played Pacman, Galaga and a few others I can't remember.

LowercaseE
4th January 2007, 13:22
Our local mall (the one the original DAWN OF THE DEAD was filmed in) had a pretty decent arcade. I remember going there to play the first Mortal Kombat almost every day for months on end when it first came out. People would line up quarters along the base of the screen to "hold their place" in the playing order. I got really good at it and I could play for quite a while on a single quarter while others challenged me. Those were the days.

I also remember when I was even younger and my parents forced me to join a bowling league. I didn't really care to bowl, but I LOVED that the place had the original arcade TMNT game. My team used to get pxssed at me because I'd spend more time playing the game than actually bowling. Good times!

Harrison
4th January 2007, 13:31
That's quite cool having the original DOTD mall near by. Is it still in good condition?

Your mention of bowling also reminded me of the Arcade games they had at my local bowling alley. That was the first place I ever played Hard Drivin'. The 3D graphics in that game look quite primative these days, but at the time it looked really realistic. Even though it wasn't a dedicated arcade they used to have some great arcade machines there and updated them quite often. There must have been 20 machines at a time there.

I really need to go to some arcades again soon. :)

J T
4th January 2007, 13:44
I never really got into arcade games all that much. there weren't many around, and the machines at the bowling lane for example were quite expensive.

I think the most fun we had on the arcades was in 2-player Scud Race. We had some awesome races, lot of fun. Plus it was around when we were about the 16-18 years range when you first start going out properly and having drinks and stuff.

LowercaseE
4th January 2007, 15:49
That's quite cool having the original DOTD mall near by. Is it still in good condition?

Yes, it's still a very active place, maybe too active because it's hard to find parking most times. People from all over the PGH area come to the Monroeville Mall to shop. Most (if not all) of the stores from the DOTD days are now gone, but the basic layout is still the same. Regardless, it's still pretty easy to identify where certain scenes were shot which is really cool. The little "wooded paths" on the lower floor have since been removed too. That really sucked because those used to be nice to walk through and play in when I was a kid. I think they still have the fountain at one end, but it's been a while since I've been there so I may be wrong. To be honest, I try to avoid going there if possible because the area was not originally designed for the amount of traffic it now gets and it's a nightmare getting in and out most of the time. Still, I have my memories.

Great call on Hard Drivin'/Race Drivin' too. I used to LOVE that game! I think it was the first (and maybe only?) arcade racing game that had an actual clutch that you had to use.

Demon Cleaner
13th February 2007, 11:56
As there are some Dragon's Lair topics here now, I'll tell you my story and memories with this special game.

There was a fair coming to town twice a year for 2 weeks. I spend all my money I got there, and mainly on the arcade machines. We called the arcades Luna Park (still call them like that nowadays). One "magical" day, it had the Dragon's Lair cabinet, and we were pretty amazed of that one. It was very pricy at the time, it cost double the amount of the other games, meaning 0.50

So my friend and I began playing on it, and learning all the scenes by heart, to finally beat the game, as it is not very hard, once you know the moves to perform. When I play DL now in Daphne, I see that there is a sign on the screen, when to make a move, giving you a better timing for reaction, at the time, it wasn't there, so you also had to take care of the right timing.

So we played and played, and finally came to the endstage, where you have to fight against the dragon, and save princess Daphne. This one is harder, as the scene lasts a lot longer than the previous ones, and lerning it by heart was a bit harder. But with our young brains, no problem.

After finishing the game for the first time, it was very easy to beat it all the time. So we went for high-scores. Playing through the game with 1 live, fighting the dragon and at the last action you had to take, which was pressing the button to ram the sword into the dragon, we let Dirk die, and had to begin the dragon scene from the beginning. Then finally with the last live we had (5 at the beginning), we killed the dragon, giving us the highest score ever possible.

You can imagine, we were the stars at the fair, and we always had tons of people around us, when playing the game.

We even played at home!! One of us announcing the scene, and the other one making the correct movements to complete it. So we played through the game, without the game. Were we crazy, I think so, but it was fun.

Of course, we had also fun, letting Dirk die at all the scenes, to watch the death sequence, as it was so much fun, we had a lot of laughs with that. I recommend you all to do that, even funnier than the rest of the game.

Then came Space Ace, shortly after DL, and we did the same with that game. It was so great fun to play these 2 games, and for your 0.50, you had a very long playing time. And what's so fun, we didn't get bored of finishing it all the time. We played the game every day during the fair, and never got bored, but even couldn't await the fair coming next time, to play again. Crazy, but a very unforgettable memory of mine.

Harrison
13th February 2007, 14:40
We even played at home!! One of us announcing the scene, and the other one making the correct movements to complete it. So we played through the game, without the game. Were we crazy, I think so, but it was fun.

That is quite mad, but shows how much you both loved the game.


Of course, we had also fun, letting Dirk die at all the scenes, to watch the death sequence, as it was so much fun, we had a lot of laughs with that. I recommend you all to do that, even funnier than the rest of the game.

The death sequences were definitely some of the best moments in the game for sure. Instead of making you upset for dying they always used to make me smile and you didn't mind making a mistake and seeing them. :)

Dragon's Lair's gameplay is extremely simple and when explained it seems there is not much to the game, but it just goes to show how good design and interaction, as well as perfect visuals can make something so simple one of the most loved and enjoyed Arcade games, even today.

Submeg
13th February 2007, 23:07
Ohhh yeaaaa! That is awesome DC. That is the reason why i love it so much...sadly, I cant fight the dragon...will have to look into that! So what is time warp like? And space ace? Looks like I will be looking...

Toasty667
2nd May 2007, 16:33
It doesnt fit into your timeline but beating a complete stranger playing Street Fighter Alpha with the old Ryu and Ken grudge match.:)