Mad Galaga Skills on Display!

On a random Sunday night. There was BBQ & beer and ad-hoc arcading and Mike showing some serious Galaga Skills. He rolled the game over and back to just below 2 million and only stopped because it was past midnight on a work week.

Side note: Youtube struck my first upload b/c of the licensing on the background music from the gameroom. (smh)

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Playfield Protector, meet Indy. Indy, meet Playfield Protector

Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure is still my favorite pinball after four years of ownership with Medieval Madness coming in at a close second.    Probably has as much to do with the fact that my teenager-self played  Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade on the VCR enough times to ruin the tape. 

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Friends often comment on the quality of my games but being their dad I see and know their flaws well.    My Indy, for instance has faded cabinet side art, the usual wear smudges between the slings and a few other small playfield issues.

Side art can be addressed, sometimes.  Playfields can be touched up or even swapped out with effort. 

Replacements for Indy are problematic to find because of licensing and other reasons. I was outbid at $3200 for a Kruzman-restored Indy playfield last year.  I think that's about what the game cost me years ago in rough condition. 🤑

I think people delude themselves with mylar and sometimes, in the words of David Hasselhoff: “Waxing isn’t enough.”

(I’ll wait while you get that mental image out of your mind)

When you put mylar down on a playfield you are committing, one-day, to remove it.  Odds are that eventually when removing it someone will get hasty and they’ll also remove insert printing or other art along with the mylar adhesive.  So, you put down a thing to protect a playfield that will likely damage the playfield when removed later.  Madness!

”Siri, make an appointment for 5 years from now to punch myself in the nuts because I put mylar down.”

As Q*bert was once heard saying:  @!#?@! Mylar!

Roll the tape, Bob…

The playfield protectors are non-adhesive playfield overlays that sit on your playfield and take the abuse that your clearcoat otherwise would be.  They are made of super thin acryllic, PETG or makrolon and are die or laser cut for a specific playfield layout. 

They cost about $120 and you get them here: https://www.playfield-protectors.com/22/Playfield-Protectors

General Instructions for Installation are:

  • Buy One

  • Unpack It

  • Take everything off of the playfield that prevents you from laying down the overlay

  • Put everything back

Result Observations

In this photo I tried my best to catch as much glare as possible off of the playfield protector.  The photo at the top of the post, is shot from player’s position after the install.  (Note: InvisiGlass is also in play in the top image.)

In this photo I tried my best to catch as much glare as possible off of the playfield protector. The photo at the top of the post, is shot from player’s position after the install. (Note: InvisiGlass is also in play in the top image.)

Once installed, the playfield protector more or less looks like fresh clearcoat except in the areas of the cutouts. I’ve observed that gameplay is a bit faster. From the player’s position you typically do not notice the overlay with the exception that you may at times note a (slight) reflection distortion as the ball rolls over the plastic.

Mortal Kombat 11 (Now w/ PTSD!)

Mortal Kombat 11 boasts a strong fighting engine with excellent potential for more technical fighting, diverse combos and amplified attacks. Unfortunately, I found the enhanced gore of the animations to be a heavy distraction from gameplay rather than a motivation to keep me engaged in learning finishing moves.

Mortal Kombat 11 boasts a strong fighting engine with excellent potential for more technical fighting, diverse combos and amplified attacks. Unfortunately, I found the enhanced gore of the animations to be a heavy distraction from gameplay rather than a motivation to keep me engaged in learning finishing moves.

Tagline, 1993. I’m 14. Living in a new town, 600 miles from everything I’ve ever known. Our house is a strange mix of cable-spools and lawn chairs for living room furniture and the smell of new waterbeds wafting down the hall.. I do have a computer and I eventually have a dedicated modem line to run my OBV/2 BBS, The Graveyard. At night, Razor1911 couriers are dialing into the PC to drop 0-Day Warez and I hear mom and dad in the other room arguing -talking about “maybe going to jail” because of [wah-wah - insurance, something-something - wah-wah] that I didn’t fully understand at the time.

We lived in a hotel the previous summer - The Ramada Inn on the Causeway in Mobile, Alabama that has since been demolished - near R&R Seafood. I suppose we were technically homeless but getting a new start. Growing up on 10 acres on the edge of an Indiana Forestry I found myself for the first time with the suburban freedoms enjoyed by kids in my favorite Spielberg movies.

Me, my bicycle and a BP gas station a few blocks away with a Mortal Kombat acade machine & Taco Bell Express. My teenage mind was blown with the opportunity. I fed so many quarters into that machine and played against football-playing high schoolers that were twice my size and a tendency to menace me when they lost. Admittedly, sometimes I let the Wookie win.

Sometimes, I didn’t.

This person named Hillary Clinton was on the television talking about censoring my favorite albums (2 Live Crew, RATM, Tool, Gravity Kills, God Lives Underwater) and the dangers posed by this new menace to America’s youth: Video Game violence.

- ”Is all the world Jails and Churches?”
(well, that was VietNow (1997) but you get the point)


Agreed that is a long walk to get you into my headspace. Now that you are here, pull up a lawn chair and let’s set at the cable-spool turned-coffee table and have a chat about video game violence, 26 years later.

I remember being annoyed when Mortal Kombat (1 and 2) were finally ported to home consoles with minimal gore, no-blood and paired down graphics. It just wasn’t the same game, anymore. Mortal Kombat 1 was the first arcade game I ever bought. I own and often still play a MK4 w/ MK1, MK2, MK3, Mk4 PCBs in it. I let my 13 and 9 year old kids play it and think nothing about it.

Enter, Mortal Kombat 11. MK11 (I’m playing on the Nintendo Switch) continues a trend in the MK franchise through the introduction of mid-fight super-move sequences that can be triggered during a match when a player’s health bar reaches a critical part. MK9 called these X-Ray moves because they used an X-Ray camera view to show the devastation being wrought to the opponents skeletal structure.

If you think of MK3, where there are improbable grapples where an opponent might crack the fighter’s neck or damage their spine during the match. It’s like that. The moves do an incredible amount of damage at the expense of player control for both players but do not necessarily completely drain the opponent. As unlikely has it might seem, Liu Kang can hop back up and keep fighting after Katana snaps his neck..

Mortal Kombat 11 calls these Fatal Blows and they are a strategic crutch that either player can employ to provide momentum for a comeback or level the health meters. The thing is: Fatal Blows in 2019’s Mortal Kombat 11 are the equivalent of 1993’s MK1 or MK2 Fatalities.

Which means.. the fatalities… are more so.
How much, more?

Maybe, PTSD levels of more.

In my best Obama, “Let… me.. be.. clear:” I’m not saying that playing through MK11 gave me any form of PTSD. But I will say that MK11’s fatalities in particular probed the edges of what I’m comfortable watching and classifying as entertainment. Several points during my initial play through of the game, I had a sensation that I can only describe as my neural-net-firewall throwing a warning. “Hey, there are things going into your eyeballs that you should be aware that we aren’t sure is good for us.”

Sure, previous Mortal Kombat games were equally horrible in the fatality death of a character through evisceration, explosion, decapitation and more. This installment in the franchise pauses at the worst bits of horror while the reward and menu system delay to return user control by to the player.

For instance: You get to see Kronica tear your character in half length-wise. Pause. Put you back together through a time-rewind and then tear your character in half at the waste. Repeat as many as 6 times until the menu renders allowing you to navigate the game.

Most fatalities now end in the complete drawn-and-quartered explosive destruction of the opponent and the game developer seems pretty proud of their bloody accomplishment as featured through the game credits.

Searching the web, I found that there is at least one case of an individual who worked on the game being treated for PTSD:

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/05/one_mortal_kombat_11_developer_had_to_see_a_therapist_after_violent_dreams

Take that with a grain of salt, it was picked up as click-bait by half of the internet. No such thing as bad publicity, right?

I’ve met soldiers who operated turrets from inside armored vehicles in Afghanistan. Instead of gunning from an exposed position, “Playstation Johnny" sits in the relative armored comfort of his vehicle as he mows down the enemy from a computer monitor and gamepad. Despite this, Playstation Johnny has just as much potential for combat fatigue and mental trauma as the guy with boots on the ground carrying a rife.

In the mid-90’s I found myself frowning at the Pant-Suited Politician trying to censor my video games and music. 26 years later I find myself wondering if the ratings label on this game is an adequate communication device juxtaposed to the affect it might have on an emotionally developing mind.

I feel like I should love this game but I don’t. The hazards of adulting, I suppose? If my 14 year old self could see me now, he’d probably kick me in the nuts.

“Go get laid, kid.”

About: Tales of the Arabian Nights

GAME DETAILS

Manufactured by: Williams Electronic Games, Inc.
Date: May 1996
Type: Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC-95
Release: 3,128 produced\
Estimated value: $6840 - $7960
Cabinet: Normal
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 2
Ramps: 3
Multiball: 4
Latest software: V1.4 - October 15, 1996


DESIGN TEAM

Game Design: John Popadiuk
Mechanics: Ernie Pizarro Jack Skalon Joe Loveday
Software: Louis Koziarz
Artwork: Pat McMahon
Animation: Adam Rhine Brian Morris
Sound: Dave Zabriskie
Music: Dave Zabriskie

About: Medieval Madness

Game Details

GAME DETAILS

DESIGN TEAM

Manufactured by: Williams Electronic Games, Inc.
Date: October 1997
Type: Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC-95
Release: 4,016 produced
Estimated value: $8690 - $10110
Cabinet: Normal
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 2
Ramps: 2
Multiball: 4
Latest software:V1.0 - July 25, 1997

About: Attack from Mars

What does Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan & Pinball have in common? Campy Little Green Men!

GAME DETAILS

Manufactured by: Bally Manufacturing Co.
Date: December 1995
Type Solid state
Generation: Williams WPC-95
Release: 3,450 produced
Estimated value: $6940 - $8060
Cabinet: Normal
Display type: Dot Matrix
Players: 4
Flippers: 2
Ramps: 2
Multiball: 4
Latest software: V1.1 - June 10, 1996

 

10 Minute Pinball-Shenanigans with Attack from Mars