Arcade

About: Mario Kart Arcade GP & GP2

Game Details

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Name: Mario kart Arcade Gp
Manufacturer: Namco
Year: 2005
Type: Videogame
Subtype: Driving game

Cabinet Styles:

  • Upright/Standard

source: KLOV

Name: Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
Manufacturer: Namco
Year: 2007
Type: Videogame
Subtype: Driving game

Cabinet Styles:

  • Upright/Standard

source: KLOV

 

10 Minutes with Mario Kart Arcade GP2

Mario Kart Arcade GP -> KLOV LInk
Mario Kart Arcade GP2 -> KLOV Link

ACQUISITION

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“Thank you for your service, Mario Kart”

One of my cabinets came by way of a hookup through a friend in Birmingham. This cabinet still has a stock tag on it from asset inventory or from an auction perhaps. The inclusion of an NSN number leads me to suspect it may have spent some time on a military base or perhaps it just passed hands through an auction authority that frequently deals with US Government or Military items.

The other cabinet came by way of a miniature golf closure in Southern Mississippi. Both cabinets are in good shape, they have a few cabinet repairs here and there and some scuffs in artwork or missing decals.

 

Hardware

The game is based on the Namco, Sega, Nintendo Triforce platform. Typically a IBM power PC w/ 512mb of RAM roughly similar in architecture to the Nintendo Gamecube. The cabinet is a JVS wiring class, includes a Triforce CPU, a JVS IOS Interface Board, a force-feedback controller board & sound amp.

This game also includes Namco’s Namcam(2) camera, a gimmick to snap photos of the player to be used in leaderboards or as in-race identifiers to distinguish players from bot-racers.

The game originally shipped with a 29” CRT but I was forced to put in Wells-Gardner (the video mentions Vision Pro but my memory for these details is crap) 27” LED Monitors in order to get support for Mario Kart Arcade GP2.

Gameplay

The gameplay shares similarity in racing dynamics to the console Mario Kart games with key differences and Namco cross-licensed characters (pacman, ms pacman). The original game advertised 6 worlds and 24 tracks but they phoned-in the effort in that each world really only had two track variations and then environment or reverse traffic flow on those two comprising the remaining 12 tracks.

Mario Kart Arcade GP2 expands the track offering by adding deeper variation between tracks, bringing the total up to 8 cups & 32 tracks.

MAINTENANCE, VALUE, RARITY, FUN-FACTOR

These games are pretty rare and tended to be higher maintenance games when placed on location because of camera failures and force-feedback failures.

I’m not sure what they are worth but I have roughly $1400 in the Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 upgrade, roughly $900 in the monitors, $400 in force feedback repairs on top of an average price paid of over $3,000 each. With incidental repairs I’d put the total cost of ownership in the pair a little over $9,000. After about 4 years of ownership they continue to be the most-played-arcade games in our game room. Pinball-inclined friends like to comment:

“You could put three pinball machines in the amount of space these consume”

With that out of the way, I estimate that the Mario Kart Pair has gotten more play in four years than every Pinball machine I’ve owned over that amount of time; combined.

It isn’t just kids and friends of kids, either. Adults have been known to use it as a form of rock-paper-scissors or as a sobriety scale. (Legal Disclaimer: Accuracy of Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 to determine a person’s ability to drive safely has not been established)

Is it fun? Yep.

Review Shenanigans

In the coming weeks I’m posting a series of arcade and pinball reviews of games that are currently being fostered in the basement. Ten minutes (+/- a few minutes) with each game to talk about gameplay, maintenance or whatever comes to mind.

As I post them, I’ll go back and make the game entries below clickable.

Pinballs

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Attack from Mars
Medieval Madness
Indiana Jones The Pinball Adventure
Scared Stiff
Tales of the Arabian Nights

Arcades

Cocktail Table Arcade-SD Multigame
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 - Review completed on 4/19/19
Ms Pacman (Cabaret)
Centipede (Cabaret)
Donkey Kong (Multi Kong w/ Arcade-SD)
Namco Reunion
Tapper
Tron
Q*Bert (Mylstar FPGA)
Robotron (Multi-Williams FPGA)
Tempest
Mortal Kombat 4 (and MK1, MK2, MK3 w/ RiddledTV Switcher)

Console

Nintendo Entertainment System Online (Nintendo Switch Online Service)

Donkey Kong: The Re-Kongening

Not a restoration log… Maybe….a player’s revival log?

I got my first project cabinet a little over 5 years ago. It was a mostly-empty Nintendo cabinet with no monitor, a non-wide, unpopulated Mario Bros control panel and an incomplete power brick. I wasn’t looking for a project at the time and this one was bound for the landfill before it was diverted to my garage.

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The cabinet was structurally sound - just missing some hard-to-replace stuff and victim to a few cosmetic scrapes and scuffs.

Got Project, Will Derp…

I was really unprepared and quite green in this hobby. While investigating the power brick’s completeness I almost electrocuted myself and welded kitchen scissors cutting through a cable inside the cabinet  while the cabinet was plugged in. [dumbass]

I was really unprepared and quite green in this hobby. While investigating the power brick’s completeness I almost electrocuted myself and welded kitchen scissors cutting through a cable inside the cabinet while the cabinet was plugged in. [dumbass]

Knowing I was short on available time (and frankly out of my league) I ended up slapping in an old Dell Optiplex tower running WinXP & Hyperspin.

Looking back, I think getting Hyperspin “just right” took more time than a full DK restore would have…

..and for years, that is how I left the cabinet. Mostly, people playing NES/SNES emulation and limited MAME on Hyperspin.

Two DK’s

In 2015, I ended up getting a complete but not working Donkey Kong. Still mostly punching out of my educational-weight-class, I bought it thinking it was a really-nice original cabinet. It had a 2-board boardset with a Nintendo logo silk-screened on the board, after all…

Over time, the fog of derpy-ness lifted somewhat and I discovered that the second cabinet was an ArcadeShop remake. ArcadeShop circa 2005-2010 sold these complete DK’s running DK boards in remade cabinets with a K7200/K7300 monitor (not the Sanyo EZ), a JAMMA harness and DKJamma adaptor.

The cabinets were really nice. The controls were a little generic but felt good. Nice & clean modern power supply. The only downside I could see was the blue on the cabinet was a big decal, not a real (thicker) laminate. Of course, you aren’t going to qualify for any world-record play on these cabinets but they were super nice, in all.

FWIW, Arcade Shop in 2019 still sells a hella-nice DK repro cabinet: http://www.arcadeshop.com/i/968/donkey-kong-upright-new.htm

I’m told that item picture is dated and they now have the full-laminate treatment now with speaker slats instead of the black speaker cover. Unfortunately, CRT’s are all gone so that kit includes an LCD.

At this point in the story, I had two blue Nintendo cabinets. One as a DK-Restoration in waiting with the Hyperspin set up and another with the reproduction JAMMA-fied cabinet.

I decided it was time to finally give the DK project some time.

DK Sit-Rep

I decided to let the perfectly-fine repro cabinet go to a friend, in service of Gameroom - cabinet density and as a mind-hack to start the timer on getting my other cabinet restored. Good friend gets a good game for a good price and I get a free-machine slot to work with, everyone wins.

My intention was to eventually use the DK cabinet for an OCD-level restoration. Re-laminate the sides, acquire some DK boards and wiring harness, power and the Sanyo EZ. Get an original control panel and restore it…

cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching (cash register sounds)

Donkey Kong is a $800-$1200 game. You can buy a nicely restored one for $1200 or you can buy one with authentic battle damage for $800. You … might… be able to buy something totally abused for less or you might be able to abuse your own character with an uneducated seller and offer more. They made ~80,000 of them.


If I go through the OCD restore, I’m going to be $2000 in parts alone and some of those parts are going to be tricky to get without buying another populated cabinet and furthering my DK-Gameroom-Density problem.





 
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This is where the current (high) pricing on parts and games seems to really screw me on this. For the full restore I’d have > $2000 and countless hours in cabinet prep and rejuvenation….

All that I really want… is to have a good-enough looking cabinet, something that plays really well and looks original or original-adjacent.

I’d like to keep the price down b/c I tend to drop more in games than I sell them for.. Like the Star Wars Trilogy I essentially gave away last year..
If I keep that crap up, I’ll qualify for a 503c charity.

 

Also, to complicate things I find myself with a stash of NIB burn-free G07-compatible Korean-made pristine 19” CRT monitors w/ Samsung tubes. Well.. a modest stack of them, anyway. Do I really want to go pay an arm, leg and first-born for someone’s Sanyo EZ for the sake of originality alone?

Practicality > OCD

My success parameters are:

  • A game that works

  • A game that uses a CRT

  • A game that looks good & doesn’t smell like a dying animal

  • Play more Donkey Kong, become a better player

My rules of engagement are:

  • No 60-in-1’s

  • Don’t spend more than a DK should cost

  • No 60-in-1’s

  • Less than 40 hours of precious-fleeting night and weekend time

  • No 60-in-1’s

Decision Time

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Instead of going with a Sanyo EZ, I decided to use one of my spare CRT’s.


On the upside, this decouples me from the weird 100V stepdown stuff and the need to work with a Sanyo EZ restoration and I get to use one of my stockpile.

On the downside, it sort of informs the rest of the build. We’ll be going with JAMMA and a modern switching power supply..

Also downside, these are all horizontal frames, so I committed to a chassis-frame transplant as part of that decsion.

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On thing that I didn’t mind splurging on…. The Control Panel. I wanted it to “feel” right from the player’s perspective.

I decided to go w/ a repro control panel from Mikes Arcade, a little pricey but includes a reproduction TKGU-23-50 joystick and a more appropriate button setup than the direct-click generic buttons you often see.

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As a time and sanity savor, ArcadeShop sells a really well-built JAMMA harness that is nicely labeled and includes a reasonable set of connectors that are pre-installed and wire-management tabs for inside the cabinet..

 
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They also sell a pretty bitchin’ little 20amp ATX-like power supply with matching connectors & flexible switching capabilities.

 

Not the cheapest offering for either but I’ve been running one of these power supplies for 3 years without issue in another game. The JAMMA Harness is a huge time saver and promotes some tidy habits in the game, also reducing the likelihood of a stalled project while I pay $10 in shipping for $.75c in connectors because of a shortage in my parts bins.

Monitor and power supply during the install.

Monitor and power supply during the install.

I had to make some slight adjustments (drill new holes) to get a repro upper monitor mount to fit with this not-from-a-DK monitor frame. Nothing too nutty, though.

JAMMA-Adapted Boardset or Something Else?

For this iteration, ArcadeSD won my vote of confidence. I’ve been on an FPGA binge lately but I didn’t see a quick turnkey solution yet available with the quality of the Mylstar FPGA for Q*Bert or BitKit for Pac hardware. While emulation, ArcadeSD plays, sounds and looks really-really good for the Kong games and gives me the ability to do the multi-Kong thing and get DK1, DKJr and DK3 in the one cabinet. Side note: Timber, Tapper - are inexcusably poor on ArcadeSD. He clearly spent the time getting DK right. Like, really-really right.. Also as a bonus you get support for D2K and Foundry.

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Yep, that’s the factory plastic on that CRT…. :)

Yep, that’s the factory plastic on that CRT…. :)

The only real downside I’ve seen so far with the ArcadeSD is that the single-game-boot for DK isn’t compatible with the free-play cabinet-pricing options and they don’t have a simple “back out to menu” option in single-game-boot mode. The multi-Williams FPGA board in my Robotron cab, by comparison - can boot directly to Robotron (with free play intact) and you can exit out to a menu and select Joust, Defender, Bubbles, etc.. ArcadeSD doesn’t really work that way. So, for now, I’m stuck with it booting to a menu. Not the end of the world: it isn’t a 60 in 1.

I could see in the future if a solid multi-Kong FPGA gets released moving to that as a replacement. Less likely, I could give it the multi-board JAMMA switcher treatment that is in my MK4 cab. Though, the idea of a JAMMA Switcher and multiple adapters to DK Edge connectors makes me lean away from really wanting that level of PCB-purity. Because.. you know - no JAMMA Switcher/Adapter survives contact with the installation in a way that wouldn’t raise Purity concerns from the sticklers, anyway.

I’m not that stickler-y.

Other Stuff

I picked up a repro monitor overlay, marquee and instruction card from ArcadeShop and side art from Phoenix Arcade.

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One corner I decided to cut: The blackout surround / bezel.

It was hard for me to justify ~$70 shipped for the Nintendo-like cardboard blackout bezel. The previously-available supply of plastic trim-your-own bezels with CRT curvature seems to have dried up. Instead I used black weed-cloth, staples and gorilla tape. Go ahead and send me hate mail. It looks great with the monitor overlay installed. And.. for $10- I’ll spend the remainder of my savings on an okay bottle of Whiskey and be much the happier for it..

Next Up, I’m going to work on the wood damage in the speaker slits and add the missing quarter instruction card. I’m thinking I’ll have to revert to paint instead of laminate for that touch up work unless I can find a source for laminate that isn’t $200.

All in all, though - as of this weekend I have a playable multi-Kong, so I’m a pretty happy camper.

Done-enough for a Guinness, finally got to spend some time on St Patty’s day putting some plays on the cabinet and new control panel. I’ll continue to whittle away at the cabinet’s idiosyncrasies and while I didn’t end up doing the full-on OCD restoration I originally planned, I’m feeling pretty good about where it sits for the investment in time and treasure to this point.

Which.. leads me to the last game in my game room that isn’t operational… Up Next:

Tempest…

Ms Pac-Man Progress

It’s nice when a full row of games is complete enough to power on and everything is playable..

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This project Ms Pac cabaret came to me complete but not working.

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So far, I’ve recapped the monitor, changed the top CPO, added a marquee light and new T-Molding. New Buttons, rebuilt the joystick and tumbled some of the metal.

Still, plenty of rust on the door hinge and the game counter that I need to address.

The game came with a full not-really-working Ms Pac boardset and original power supply.

I cleaned the original harness, boards and power supply and wrapped and stored them for future purist endeavors. To get the game going, I decided to go FPGA instead - Bitkit to the rescue.

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Storing the original harness, PCBS and power brick in the bottom wrapped in plastic and brown-paper. I built up a power-block with a new 8-liner and isolation transformer and switched the game to a JAMMA wiring harness. I installed Ms Pac on the Bitkit and set it to directly boot to the game instead of a game selection menu.

The BitKit in action:

I still need to address rusty spots, the side laminate and the game could use a new monitor overlay.

All said though, it is running great with the Bitkit with only one caveat.

There are sync frequency differences between the Bitkit menu and the MsPac Rom.

I can get the monitor dialed in for one or the other but not both, so at this point it has little value as a multi-game, it is strictly a dedicated Ms Pac. The bitkit offers some choices for this, including reversing the polarity of the Sync through a jumper. I’m more inclined to blame this on the monitor than Bitkit, though. I’ll spend some time to determine the sync polarity and attack that problem more surgically in the near future. My guess is that I may be able to solve it with some combination of tweaks between V-Sync, h-Sync or sync-ground tweaks on the harness.

UPDATE 3/20/2019: Aaron (from Bitkit) saw this post and proactively reached out to me (because he is that kind of awesome). He confirmed that (paraphrasing him here) the Bitkit’s origins in Nibbler (Fantasy, Pioneer Balloon, Vanguard, Zarzon) so that the original menu was built with the Nibbler hardware in mind. There are some sync differences between the Nibbler hardware and the Pac hardware. He said he intends to release a future update (early May) to port the Bitkit menu system to the Pac hardware.

That said, in my case I haven’t spent a ton of time (aside from pot adjustments) experimenting with the the sync and grounds to see if I can get both the MsPac and the Bitkit menu dialed in equally. As I alluded to above the best I can do, today with the adjustment pots is to get the Bitkit menu w/ MsPac having a large g07-like curl on the right or I can get MsPac dialed in perfectly at the expense of the Bitkit sync.

I’m more inclined to believe this is an out-of-variance condition on this monitor than any real fault or weakness in Bitkit. Don’t take my report here as a strike against Bitkit - I’m extremely happy with the Bitkit board. It plays perfectly, boots fast and was super-simple to get running.

One of those situations where I triaged this to: “okay it plays great overall situation is good enough for now” and I moved on down the line to the next dark marquee in the lineup.. :)

I’m not sure about my long-term intentions having (effectively) three cabinets that will play Ms Pacman in some capacity but I’m sure this could be excellent trade bait for something else down the line, if it comes to that..

"We have too much stuff!"

The hobbyist / collector’s quandary. Doesn’t really matter what your hobby or collection, whether RC Planes, Collectible Toys, Alabama Football Memorabilia or full-sized arcade and pinball machines, there is never enough space. It also doesn’t matter what part of the storage spectrum you are on. Your collection can be limited to a curio case in the corner of your living room. Like me you could feel fortunate to have a full room-sized converted storage area to work with or even have full warehouses at their disposal. Space always fills up and seems to be the limiting factor for most people I’ve met in this hobby and others.

Last year, I set my arcade & pinball hobby sights on the theme of out with the old, in with the new.
This year, I’m starting the year looking at the concept of Quality over Quantity. I’d like to spend more of the time playing rather than repairing games that I don’t end up keeping for more than 6 months.

After taking down Christmas decorations, I felt the need to work off some of the night’s alcohol. I spent a portion of New Years Day moving things around in our game room and taking a mental inventory of what will stay and what will go.

RIP, The Dome 2015-2019

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The Dome is out.

I built the Dome in 2015. Since that time the primary game I had in mind for it (a single player star wars arcade-style space battle game) was never released. A few games that were epic experiences in the Dome have been removed by their respective software publishers. Still, we found some titles that played well on the curved surface over the years.

It has made people go “Whoa!!”

It gave some folks motion-sickness

It gave some kids (and grown ups) hours of play in a sitting

I even flew a drone from inside it once.. Illegally, I suppose. (shhh…)

One thing was static. It took up a ton of space and it was only played 4 times in 2018. 2 of them by me.

I never was fully satisfied with the “finish” of the cabinet surround that I came up with. Maybe I’ll endeavor a v2 at some point.. VR being cheap and awesome probably challenges the likelihood but you never know..

The home-made cabinet enclosure (that I was never fully satisfied with) cut into pieces and committed to fire..

The home-made cabinet enclosure (that I was never fully satisfied with) cut into pieces and committed to fire..

The formed acryllic dome remains available for free pick up for anyone that might have the need for such a thing.

The formed acryllic dome remains available for free pick up for anyone that might have the need for such a thing.

RIP Dome Cabinet. You gave us 560 hours of playtime while occupying roughly six Donkey Kong’s of real estate. We commit your remains to R'hllor

On a brighter note - Results!

Now this is what I’m left with. The back corner housed four full-sized cabinets in the same space occupied by the Dome and a Pinball. Still have some cleaning to do and a few more games will be leaving (or trading out).

This is what I ended up with after the Dome came out.

This is what I ended up with after the Dome came out.

Drawing Lots

Looking at the first part of 2018, I already know a few games that won’t make the cut this year.

The Midway Horizontal (Home Use Cabinet)

I know that this game will be listed for sale very soon. I need to adjust the monitor a little and may bullet-proof the cabinet a little but all in all the cabinet is in good condition. I bought it with intention of harvesting the monitor for a cabaret project but I’ve decided to do something else. It’s all there and works.

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Roadblasters

Atari RoadBlasters

Atari RoadBlasters

I’ve only had for a few months but I had bought it considering an Indiana Jones Temple of Doom conversion. After playing IJ on MAME for a bit I don’t think that will be worth the many-dead-bothans necessary to pull off. I’ll play my fill of Roadblasters and it will be for sale within a month for less than what I paid for it.

Hyperspin, Super Mario Donkey Kong Frankenstein

Hyperspin Multi-Console living in a Nintendo Cabinet

Hyperspin Multi-Console living in a Nintendo Cabinet

When I first picked up this cabinet everything had already been removed and it was headed for a trash heap. The cabinet is in pretty good condition but has a few nicks and gashes in the laminate - especially around the speaker grill slits.

With this Windows 7 / Hyperspin setup, I’ve been running NES, SNES and Sega Genesis emulators. At the time that I put this together RetroPi and Emulation Station weren’t really a thing.

I really like Nintendo Cabinets and this looks to be of a DK Variety. I’m leaning towards putting this back to some sort of JAMMA-based Donkey Kong. More-than-likely running an ArcadeSD PCB and one of my non-Nintendo spare 19” CRT’s. I would also consider selling or trading it for other classic-era arcades.

Any Arcade Purchases on the Horizon?

Moving The Dome out of the room does free up some space but I’m not in a big hurry to fill it up. I’d still like to find a MsPac Cabaret and I’m always a sucker for a nice condition Nintendo-anything. (DK, Popeye, etc)

Any Pinballs on the Chopping Block?

I’m still very happy with Medieval Madness, Attack from Mars and of course, Indiana Jones. I’ve toyed with the idea of trading or selling STTNG or TOTAN but not definitely. I don’t play either of them as much as I’d like but when I do - I still enjoy both pins. I’ve historically not wanted to own any more than 6 pins at a given time. Still, I have a wandering eye so anything is possible, I suppose.

My short list of “interesting” pinballs is:

Lord of the Rings
Simpsons Pinball Party
Tron
Star Trek (LE Stern)
Metallica
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Monster Bash (Original)
Cactus Canyon

I’m not feeling compelled to action towards any of these, at the moment but we’ll see how the year goes, more to come!

Seven Days in Sin City

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For the last couple of years, I’ve made the trip out to Las Vegas after Thanksgiving to take part in Amazon AWS re:Invent. Last year’s trip chronicle can be found here: http://arcadeshenanigans.com/blog/2017/12/2/vegas-arcade-y-goodness-at-amazon-aws-reinvent?rq=vegas

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AWS is Amazon’s technology and web-services division. Before Microsoft pushed the branding of “Cloud” into the collective conscience with Microsoft Azure, AWS was already there and already disrupting the industry in creative ways. The over-simplified Genesis story of AWS was that Amazon built highly scalable and resilient web-services platforms to serve Amazon’s growing needs. Someone on Andy Jassy’s team emoted: “Hey, I’ll bet we could see this stuff.” and presto-change-o, Amazon Web Services was formed.

In 2018, Amazon Web Services had around $26 billion in revenue and have a profit margin 5x larger than Amazon Retail in North America. AWS averaged 28% operating profit margin while AWS North American Retail averaged 5.1%.

All this to say, AWS is kind of a big deal and this annual conference is pretty massive. It takes up the majority of the Las Vegas strip.

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This means lots of walking :)

This means lots of walking :)

But what does this have to do with Arcades and Gaming? Re-Invent, knowing their nerd audience tends to work gamer references into the curriculum.
Last year, the certification materials were based on the theme of an 8-bit adventure. This year, a Pac-Man reference during a keynote discussion about Machine Learning advances.

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re:Play Party

The end of the work-week feature the re:Play party. Three football-field sized venues, this year erected on the Festival Grounds.

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Building One is the Club Tent, featuring DJ acts, a respectable collection of classic arcades. Skrillex was the headline act.

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New York, New York

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Exploring Vegas after the conference, I always try to drop in the Arcade at New York, New York. Here you find most of the recent Stern releases. The machines are well maintained and there is never a line to play.

Pinball Hall of Fame

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a $12 Uber trip from hotels on the strip. Rumor has it that it is moving closer to the strip in 2019.

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Each time I’ve been to Pinball Hall of Fame on a weeknight it is almost always empty of patrons. There were a few folks running around servicing games, this time.

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The parking lot of Pinball Hall of Fame. It was a ghost-town.

The parking lot of Pinball Hall of Fame. It was a ghost-town.

A Gamer’s Paradise

Next door to Pinball Hall of Fame (in an adjoining parking lot) is a non-chain classic gaming store.

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The store has arcades and pinballs in the back (for sale at typical retail markup) and a vast collection of classic console gaming items at a fair price. I picked up an Atari 2600 and had it shipped home.

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Home Sweet Home

I’m not much of gambler and 7 days is really too long, especially around The Holidays. I was very-glad for the flight home and the quiet sanity of Alabama. :)

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Fall 2018 Game List

Sometimes, in this hobby you get to a point where you think: "Okay, now I'm done."  But, you seldom really are :)

That said, I think my gameroom titles are more-than-likely locked in for the remainder of 2018, with one potential exception.

Youtube rejected my first recording of this b/c of background music so I reshot it pretty quickly without voiceover and turned down the gameroom music.

The Arcades

Tron

My Tron has some of the usual lower particle board damage but isn't bad. The Artwork and Marquee are pretty good but not perfect. Let's call it authentic battle-damage. :) Picked it up from a Pawn shop in Saraland thinks to a heads up from fellow collector-friend, Mike.

My Tron has some of the usual lower particle board damage but isn't bad. The Artwork and Marquee are pretty good but not perfect. Let's call it authentic battle-damage. :) Picked it up from a Pawn shop in Saraland thinks to a heads up from fellow collector-friend, Mike.

Tapper

Owning a 3400 in 1 Games Family Multi-Cade I noticed my wife always played Tapper on it. Took awhile to find this one and a little work to get it to this point. Reproduction CPO, powder coated cup holders. Monitor issues galore... I eventually found an overpriced 19" Vision Pro CRT that works well in it with original mounting and wiring. It has the high score save kit & switching power supply on a factory harness.

Owning a 3400 in 1 Games Family Multi-Cade I noticed my wife always played Tapper on it. Took awhile to find this one and a little work to get it to this point. Reproduction CPO, powder coated cup holders. Monitor issues galore... I eventually found an overpriced 19" Vision Pro CRT that works well in it with original mounting and wiring. It has the high score save kit & switching power supply on a factory harness.

Nintendo Hyperspin

A couple years ago I came by this empty cabinet while it was on its way to the dump. No monitor, power supply or anything. I put Super Mario Artwork on it and a PC running Hyperspin. Recently I realized by the serial number on the cabinet that this was, at some point a Donkey Kong. I’m planning on do a conversion back to DK on this cabinet soon.

A couple years ago I came by this empty cabinet while it was on its way to the dump. No monitor, power supply or anything. I put Super Mario Artwork on it and a PC running Hyperspin. Recently I realized by the serial number on the cabinet that this was, at some point a Donkey Kong. I’m planning on do a conversion back to DK on this cabinet soon.

Star Wars

Many Bothan's died to bring this arcade to my game room. Procured from Michael @ Automated Services / pinballs.com. I parted with a Star Wars Trilogy stand up to make room for it, first part of 2018. I fixed the marquee light and worked out some cabinet swell. It has some typical wood-hardener-repairs on the cabinet bottom. It has a Wells 6100, Empire Strikes Back kit as well. I replaced a damaged AVG chip with a modern remade AVG chip, recapped the power supply and fixed some sound-issues to get it to this point.

Many Bothan's died to bring this arcade to my game room. Procured from Michael @ Automated Services / pinballs.com. I parted with a Star Wars Trilogy stand up to make room for it, first part of 2018. I fixed the marquee light and worked out some cabinet swell. It has some typical wood-hardener-repairs on the cabinet bottom. It has a Wells 6100, Empire Strikes Back kit as well. I replaced a damaged AVG chip with a modern remade AVG chip, recapped the power supply and fixed some sound-issues to get it to this point.

Q*Bert

This is the Arcadeshop remake Q*Bert Cabinet running the Mylstar FPGA boardset. Modern switching power supply and this machine and recently mounted a NIB 19" CRT w/ a custom-built chassis. The knocker works too! Fun game.

This is the Arcadeshop remake Q*Bert Cabinet running the Mylstar FPGA boardset. Modern switching power supply and this machine and recently mounted a NIB 19" CRT w/ a custom-built chassis. The knocker works too! Fun game.

Robotron

Original Robotron cabinet with a late series Wells 19" CRT. I believe it was an ArcadeShop machine back when they had CRT's available. A number of board issues, so it is currently running the FPGA multi-Williams board and direct booting to Robotron. The multi-Williams control panel is pictured here but it also has a Robotron Control panel that appears to have been adapted from a Bubbles. Original Wico sticks on the Robotron Panel, Groovy Game Gear leaf switch sticks on this control panel. The original boards are stashed away safely for "one-day-maybe" troubleshooting and repair.

Original Robotron cabinet with a late series Wells 19" CRT. I believe it was an ArcadeShop machine back when they had CRT's available. A number of board issues, so it is currently running the FPGA multi-Williams board and direct booting to Robotron. The multi-Williams control panel is pictured here but it also has a Robotron Control panel that appears to have been adapted from a Bubbles. Original Wico sticks on the Robotron Panel, Groovy Game Gear leaf switch sticks on this control panel. The original boards are stashed away safely for "one-day-maybe" troubleshooting and repair.

The Mutt

After a few failed attempts at acquiring some cabarets, this happened. It started as a joke, re: "Hey here's this thing, it's a piece of junk anyway and you won't owe it anything, just have fun with it." Typically found for $100 or less, the Konami 12 in 1 is my RPi3 MAME cabinet for discovery and play of vertically oriented arcades. The 15" VGA monitor and small cabinet footprint paired with the RaspberryJAMMA / ArPiCade setup are going to make it a pretty versatile little game that isn't taking up a ton of space. The Attract-Mode, Raspberry Pi-based Multi-MAME boot image is ridiculously customizable if you are comfortable with linux command-line and bash scripts. Converting it to JAMMA and using VGA to CGA adaptor, the front hatch access will make it a convenient test bench for JAMMA games. Currently working on building a different control panel with less-crappy stick and switches. I'd kinda like to find the Midway 12 in 1, equivalent horizontal cabinet now...

After a few failed attempts at acquiring some cabarets, this happened. It started as a joke, re: "Hey here's this thing, it's a piece of junk anyway and you won't owe it anything, just have fun with it." Typically found for $100 or less, the Konami 12 in 1 is my RPi3 MAME cabinet for discovery and play of vertically oriented arcades. The 15" VGA monitor and small cabinet footprint paired with the RaspberryJAMMA / ArPiCade setup are going to make it a pretty versatile little game that isn't taking up a ton of space. The Attract-Mode, Raspberry Pi-based Multi-MAME boot image is ridiculously customizable if you are comfortable with linux command-line and bash scripts. Converting it to JAMMA and using VGA to CGA adaptor, the front hatch access will make it a convenient test bench for JAMMA games. Currently working on building a different control panel with less-crappy stick and switches. I'd kinda like to find the Midway 12 in 1, equivalent horizontal cabinet now...

The Cocktail

The first arcade I ever bought.. Picked it up from a central-Florida area arcade repurposing business. I overpaid and it arrived smell like Geritol and discount Wal-mart paint. Featuring a 60 in 1 , wrong controls and a sketchy slot machine monitor barely hanging onto a rebuilt top. Sketchy power supply, dead bugs and rusted-through leg levelers rounded out this $1050 Craigslist find. I didn't know any better. Custom cut glass, new control panels, new controls, new wiring harness, new power supply and running ArcadeSD, this arcade gets more play than any other in the room.

The first arcade I ever bought.. Picked it up from a central-Florida area arcade repurposing business. I overpaid and it arrived smell like Geritol and discount Wal-mart paint. Featuring a 60 in 1 , wrong controls and a sketchy slot machine monitor barely hanging onto a rebuilt top. Sketchy power supply, dead bugs and rusted-through leg levelers rounded out this $1050 Craigslist find. I didn't know any better. Custom cut glass, new control panels, new controls, new wiring harness, new power supply and running ArcadeSD, this arcade gets more play than any other in the room.

Multi Mortal Kombat

No side art on the cabinet so I'm not sure what it was originally but the inside stickers and serial numbers all match a MK4. Added IL sticks and fresh buttons. Still needs some T-molding and a little cabinet love. I added Mortal Kombat 1, Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate to Mortal Kombat 4 via a JAMMA switcher and a vertical rack. It also has a Pandora's box on a spare JAMMA Channel for exploration of horizontal arcades. This winter, I'm planning to add two auxillary LCD panels to the marquee and a deep-learning enabled camera to provide glanceable real time moves-and-fatalities to each player based on their current game and character choice.

No side art on the cabinet so I'm not sure what it was originally but the inside stickers and serial numbers all match a MK4. Added IL sticks and fresh buttons. Still needs some T-molding and a little cabinet love. I added Mortal Kombat 1, Mortal Kombat 2, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate to Mortal Kombat 4 via a JAMMA switcher and a vertical rack. It also has a Pandora's box on a spare JAMMA Channel for exploration of horizontal arcades. This winter, I'm planning to add two auxillary LCD panels to the marquee and a deep-learning enabled camera to provide glanceable real time moves-and-fatalities to each player based on their current game and character choice.

Mario Kart Arcade GP 2

Hands down my most expensive and time consuming arcade-effort has been in the acquisition, repair and maintenance of these two Mario Kart Arcade GP machines. Both machines are running HAPP LCDs in order to get compatibility with the new version running in the game, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. 4 Triforce Main PC's, 4 cameras and two force feedback controllers later, they run and stand out as my kids' favorite. The problem areas are the wheel control loom being pinched by a cam in the steering column (item button not lit), camera failures in POE power transmission and force feedback controller failures (usually relays) related to walk-aways during a game and the carts vibrating themselves down the track at default speed.

Hands down my most expensive and time consuming arcade-effort has been in the acquisition, repair and maintenance of these two Mario Kart Arcade GP machines. Both machines are running HAPP LCDs in order to get compatibility with the new version running in the game, Mario Kart Arcade GP 2. 4 Triforce Main PC's, 4 cameras and two force feedback controllers later, they run and stand out as my kids' favorite. The problem areas are the wheel control loom being pinched by a cam in the steering column (item button not lit), camera failures in POE power transmission and force feedback controller failures (usually relays) related to walk-aways during a game and the carts vibrating themselves down the track at default speed.

The Dome

The Dome is my custom-built Star Wars Battle Pod wanna-be. Its strengths are racing games, flight sims, space games. Its weaknesses are First/Third Person shooters and sheer size. Currently running w/ a PS3, xBox 360 and Wii U which all exhibited a good selection of titles for this format. I've also used it as a mixed experience sit-down VR booth with a PS4. Future enhancements to this would be to acquire a professional quality planetarium optic for direct projection or upgraded first-surface lab-grade mirror for improved reflected projection. However, this is currently the only Arcade game that I consider "for sale" and even then only because of its size. If I sell the dome, it opens up some rearrange opportunities in the game room.

The Dome is my custom-built Star Wars Battle Pod wanna-be. Its strengths are racing games, flight sims, space games. Its weaknesses are First/Third Person shooters and sheer size. Currently running w/ a PS3, xBox 360 and Wii U which all exhibited a good selection of titles for this format. I've also used it as a mixed experience sit-down VR booth with a PS4. Future enhancements to this would be to acquire a professional quality planetarium optic for direct projection or upgraded first-surface lab-grade mirror for improved reflected projection. However, this is currently the only Arcade game that I consider "for sale" and even then only because of its size. If I sell the dome, it opens up some rearrange opportunities in the game room.

The Pinballs

Indiana Jones

The longest lasting Pinball in my collection, Indy is still my favorite pinball. An upgraded player's quality game, it has custom golden-vein, relic-inspired powder-coated metals. It is running a customized Pinsound orchestration to bring John Williams iconic sound to the gameplay experience but still nods to the original mix quite well. The playfield is pretty good and the plastics look great. It has OCD LED on the controlled lamps and I recently went back to incandescents in the GI, trying to add the warm-fire-glow back to the game. The side art has alot of fade and a few gashes. Instead of cabinet decal, I'd like to find a mural artist to brighten the colors back but keep the original elements in-tact.

The longest lasting Pinball in my collection, Indy is still my favorite pinball. An upgraded player's quality game, it has custom golden-vein, relic-inspired powder-coated metals. It is running a customized Pinsound orchestration to bring John Williams iconic sound to the gameplay experience but still nods to the original mix quite well. The playfield is pretty good and the plastics look great. It has OCD LED on the controlled lamps and I recently went back to incandescents in the GI, trying to add the warm-fire-glow back to the game. The side art has alot of fade and a few gashes. Instead of cabinet decal, I'd like to find a mural artist to brighten the colors back but keep the original elements in-tact.

Tales of the Arabian Nights

Low production numbers and not being part of the current projected CG Remake roadmap seems to make this a hard pin to find. Having a designer who was nearly run out of pinball and being the free table offered in Pinball Arcade probably didn't hurt, either. Scarcity and such. Acquired from Big Bob in Atlanta, by far this game came to me in the nicest condition of any game I've ever bought. The Mike Chestnut-gold plating on the rails has a few wear marks but not enough to make me want to undo the legend's work. I added OCD LED and GI LED. It isn't as purple and blue as it appears in the photo. Color Changing LEDs in the BAZAAR inserts are one of my favorite additions to this game.

Low production numbers and not being part of the current projected CG Remake roadmap seems to make this a hard pin to find. Having a designer who was nearly run out of pinball and being the free table offered in Pinball Arcade probably didn't hurt, either. Scarcity and such. Acquired from Big Bob in Atlanta, by far this game came to me in the nicest condition of any game I've ever bought. The Mike Chestnut-gold plating on the rails has a few wear marks but not enough to make me want to undo the legend's work. I added OCD LED and GI LED. It isn't as purple and blue as it appears in the photo. Color Changing LEDs in the BAZAAR inserts are one of my favorite additions to this game.

Attack from Mars

One of the byproducts of the CG Remakes is that games that were once astronomically priced can now be in the cloud-city price range, instead. This is a player's quality game with alot of additions and repairs. It came missing the strobe electronics and with various issues in the saucer area. New ramps, upgraded strobe board, reworked the power driver board, fixed a few careless grounds and it was back in business. Added chrome-plated metals from  Pinball Plating , OCD LED board on the controlled lamps and  Convolux  protectors for extra pop. A few wear spots with sloppy mylar work left to address on the playfield but nothing major.

One of the byproducts of the CG Remakes is that games that were once astronomically priced can now be in the cloud-city price range, instead. This is a player's quality game with alot of additions and repairs. It came missing the strobe electronics and with various issues in the saucer area. New ramps, upgraded strobe board, reworked the power driver board, fixed a few careless grounds and it was back in business. Added chrome-plated metals from Pinball Plating, OCD LED board on the controlled lamps and Convolux protectors for extra pop. A few wear spots with sloppy mylar work left to address on the playfield but nothing major.

Star Trek: The Next Outlane

Second time around with this title.. Bought one and a sold it to get Stern's Star Trek. Eventually I came back to STTNG through a convoluted trade of my Ghostbusters. The cabinet is really nice with nearly no fade and the playfield cleaned up very well, shows minimum wear. It came with a RD MPU board and I'm still looking for an original WPC-95 MPU to swap back in because of some (very) subtle differences.

Second time around with this title.. Bought one and a sold it to get Stern's Star Trek. Eventually I came back to STTNG through a convoluted trade of my Ghostbusters. The cabinet is really nice with nearly no fade and the playfield cleaned up very well, shows minimum wear. It came with a RD MPU board and I'm still looking for an original WPC-95 MPU to swap back in because of some (very) subtle differences.

Scared Stiff

Another title that I've previously owned and came back around to. Limited production numbers and the hard life of living in a bar, increasingly make this title hard to find for a decent price. An abundance of new pinball, rumors of a future Elvira themed game and a somewhat shallow gameplay dynamic helped to bring this game into my price range. A pretty nice player's quality game, it was at a pinball clubhouse & weed dispensary in the Rhode Island area. The power driver board has some interesting hacks and the left portion of the cabinet has a substantial fade in the Red accents. I'm a little young to have been a consumer of Elvira's TV shenanigans but I really appreciate that this is an all-around fun game and in my opinion the all-around winner for best Halloween theme. Just the right amount of dime-store knock-off Boris Karloff and playfully suggestive callouts mashed with classic 90's feeling generic halloween music make for an excellent sound design. The shots have excellent flow and a nice balance of control versus random bounce. My favorite edition to the pin is the MindOrbits color changing shooter knob and the custom bony-beast lighting.

Another title that I've previously owned and came back around to. Limited production numbers and the hard life of living in a bar, increasingly make this title hard to find for a decent price. An abundance of new pinball, rumors of a future Elvira themed game and a somewhat shallow gameplay dynamic helped to bring this game into my price range. A pretty nice player's quality game, it was at a pinball clubhouse & weed dispensary in the Rhode Island area. The power driver board has some interesting hacks and the left portion of the cabinet has a substantial fade in the Red accents. I'm a little young to have been a consumer of Elvira's TV shenanigans but I really appreciate that this is an all-around fun game and in my opinion the all-around winner for best Halloween theme. Just the right amount of dime-store knock-off Boris Karloff and playfully suggestive callouts mashed with classic 90's feeling generic halloween music make for an excellent sound design. The shots have excellent flow and a nice balance of control versus random bounce. My favorite edition to the pin is the MindOrbits color changing shooter knob and the custom bony-beast lighting.

Medieval Madness

For a couple of years I've let myself get talked out of buying this pin. The excuses ranged from the high average cost to the shot-map similarity with AFM and MB. This summer CG ran another batch of remakes for this title and they started showing up in distributor inventory. Typically, whenever distributor inventory stacks up on a re-make you can temporarily find an original for less-than MSRP of the Remake. Medieval Madness is my newest pin and last new-to-me pinball for 2018. Really enjoying it so far!

For a couple of years I've let myself get talked out of buying this pin. The excuses ranged from the high average cost to the shot-map similarity with AFM and MB. This summer CG ran another batch of remakes for this title and they started showing up in distributor inventory. Typically, whenever distributor inventory stacks up on a re-make you can temporarily find an original for less-than MSRP of the Remake. Medieval Madness is my newest pin and last new-to-me pinball for 2018. Really enjoying it so far!