Monday, November 11, 2013

Hong Kong November 2012 - North Point

It's been a while since I wrote much on the blog. Whenever I lost inspiration I found it's better to let it be for a while, rather than force myself to write something. Of course that leads to me having a lot of old pictures in the "backlog", but I'm slowly starting to publish them today.
We took our annual trip to Hong Kong in November 2012, and as always I visited some game arcades. I can't believe I've kept these pictures to myself for a year, but here they are.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Space Gun

Let's go back to the early nineties for a moment. The summer holiday was always in the family car, and we often took the ferry to Denmark. Not an easy situation for someone who tends to get seasick, like me! It was on one of these holidays, I think it must be the summer of 91, that a particular arcade game saved me. I was puking my guts out on the rolling Denmark ferry until I discovered Space Gun.
I realized that I felt OK as long as I was concentrating on the game! So I played it for hours. And it more or less saved the rest of my stomach contents until we were back on land.

I never forgot about Space Gun. It was available on the home computer of choice at the time, the Amiga, but it didn't really feel the same without the guns rumbling. When the internet became more widespread I searched for the game, and drooled at pictures of the cabinet. The advent of MAME also gave me an opportunity to play the original arcade version, but the mouse was still no substitute for the positional guns.

Fast forward to 2013. I was searching a Swedish site when I found it. The sales text said something like "Your chance of owning a real arcade cabinet!", but to me it wasn't just any cabinet. Space Gun!

The cabinet looked great in the pictures, so I asked the seller if anything was missing or not working. "No, everything is working, nothing is missing". OK, I was hooked! I had to have it.

The game was at least 800 kilometers away, so I got a friend who lives closer to pick it up for me. And that's when the problems started.
I went to look at the cabinet in my friend's home some weeks later, and I quickly noticed that something was missing. The pedals! And the door panel above them!
I hurried to contact the seller, and his reply was quite surprising. "Oh yeah, the pedals are still here". Why didn't he mention anything if he forgot to give them to my friend? He also said that he never had the door panel. So much for a complete cabinet. But I would soon learn that things were even worse.

Luck would have it that my cousin was going the same direction shortly after, and he could pick up the pedals. And now I realized that this cabinet was neither complete nor fully working. The pedals' wiring harness was badly cut and spliced, and the pedals didn't work at all. The game is playable without the pedals, but one of the guns can't go left, and the other doesn't vibrate.

And there you have it. My intention was to buy a complete and working Space Gun, and that is certainly what I paid for. But now I have one more problem game on my hands! I hope to have it fully up and running soon, but I need to finish some other projects first.
I frankly don't think I learned anything from this, but I should have learned not to trust pictures... and sellers.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fantastic Outrun 2 SP poster!

For those of you who know me, you might know that Outrun 2 SP is one of my arcade favourites.
I don't remember when, but I was surfing the web for random related items when I saw a fantastic poster! It looked like it was from Japan and promoting the PS2 release of Outrun 2 SP.
I couldn't find the poster for sale anywhere, so I started watching Yahoo Japan Auctions. Every week (for months) I searched, but of course it's almost impossible to have such luck that precisely this poster should pop up.
It wasn't until another one of my random google sessions that I finally found someone on a forum advertising this very poster. My heart was jumping as I sent him a message, asking if it was still available... AND IT WAS!

To make a short story even shorter, I immediately purchased it and got it shipped safely from the UK.
But no poster frame could fit these strange Japanese dimensions. What to do?
I bought a cheap IKEA frame which I cut down to size. It worked like a charm!

Looks amazing, don't you agree? This will have a proud space on my game room wall.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Selling some games

I'm downsizing my collection a bit. Partly because I realize that I've been a hoarder and I will never have the time to restore it all, but also because the games take up a lot of space.
So far this year I have gotten rid of:

  • Judge Dredd:
    Sold (cheap) to a friend, who fixed the front with new wood and a decal. It's up and running now, and it looks great.
  • Robotron 2084 (US version):
    After I got the UK version I realized that I don't need two Robotrons. And this one needed a lot of work. I sold it to a friend who is currently restoring it. I'm looking forward to playing it, hopefully at his annual retro party in January.
  • Star Wars Trilogy:
    Although I'm a Star Wars fan, the music in this one felt a bit too repetitive. And I need to downscale my pinball collection. I still feel a bit sad to let this go, but I sold it on the open market.
  • Super Offroad:
    A game that I would love to keep, but I just have too many. I sold it to a friend who is already restoring it. He always does a great job, so I'm really looking forward to seeing the result.
  • Turbo:
    I gave this to the same friend who got the Super Offroad. This one was actually converted to Pole Position, but I purchased all of the needed parts from The Arcade Boneyard. I hope it can be brought back to life.
  • Foosball:
    I gave this away, after realizing it just took up way too much space. I'll just buy another one when I get a bigger house. They don't cost much.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Very sad news

I'm very sorry to say that my local operator friend from this post has passed away.
His health had deteriorated for the last couple of years, but it is still a shock when something like this happens.
I will honor his memory by keeping his old machines alive, like I know he would want.
Rest in peace my friend.
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