Archive for arcades

Walking through The Fun Hub arcade from Ping Pong Summer

Posted in movies, nostalgia, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

Back in June the Cult Film Club watched a movie from last year called Ping Pong Summer.

Ping Pong Summer

It’s a quirky summer comedy set during the summer of 1985 in Ocean City, Maryland.  We all loved it.  Well, one of the locations that is lovingly showed throughout the movie is a community center/arcade called The Fun Hub.  It has air hockey, ping pong and a ton of video games.  So, I think it’s time for one of my patented video arcade walk throughs, don’t you?

If you haven’t seen the movie, I urge you to watch it.  It’s pretty great.  Now check out the awesome, awesome arcade in which most of the movie is based, The Fun Hub.

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Brad (nicknamed Rad) and his family arrive in Ocean City, MD for their summer vacation.  While there, Rad walks into town and finds Anthony’s Beer & Wine.  Here our hero, gets schooled in proper Icee pouring etiquette.  Then he’s told about a door hidden in the alley behind Anthony’s.

That door leads to the Fun Hub.

Fun Hub

Within the Fun Hub are games galore for all types. There are skill games like air hockey and ping pong as well as arcade games lining the blue cinder block walls. Let’s see how many games we can identify.  I get lots of help from The International Arcade Museum.

Super Chexx Hockey SCH flyer

As you can see in the establishing shot of Fun Hub above, our first games to see are the air hockey table on the right as well as this Super Chexx Hockey table from 1983.  This game may look familiar as it was seen previously in the Golf n’ Stuff arcade in Karate Kid.

Karate Champ and Commando
Here’s a quick shot of Data East’s Karate Champ (right) and Capcom’s Commando (left) machines.  The former is one of my favorite fighter games and I recently got to play it at The Galloping Ghost arcade in Illinois.  The other is the precursor to the much more popular Bionic Commando game.

DK Jr and Harlem Globetrotters Harlem Globetrotters pinball flyer
Here are the heroes of our movie, Rad and Teddy. Just over Rad’s right shoulder is Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Jr from 1982. Just over his left shoulder is the amazing Harlem Globetrotters On Tour pinball machine by Bally from 1979.  I love pretty much all things Harlem Globetrotters, so this was a nice one to spot.

Harlem Globetrotters pinball Harlem Globetrotters pinball
The guys actually play the Globetrotters pinball later in the movie and you get a great shot of the awesome art and lights in the table.

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Crashing the Galloping Ghost, The Largest Arcade in the United States

Posted in nostalgia, personal, pop culture, roadtrip, video games with tags , , , , , on May 1, 2015 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

It’s not often I get to profile an actual arcade on Cavalcade Arcade, but that is my pleasure today. While you’ve probably seen and heard that both the Nerd Lunch and Atomic Geeks podcasts united in Chicago for C2E2, a few of us broke away from the convention nuttiness to live out a boyhood dream of playing in a dedicated video arcade. And one just happened to exist in the suburbs of Chicago.  And it’s called the Galloping Ghost Arcade, reportedly the largest indoor video game arcade in America.

Galloping Ghost arcade

So, without further ado, here is a journal of my adventures with Jeeg and Christian traveling to outer Chicago to find the mythical Galloping Ghost Arcade.

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The day started off with breakfast at McDonald’s, then Jeeg, Christian and I had to hightail it to Union Station to catch a train to Brookfield. We were cutting it close, but we made it. Here’s Jeeg running for the train.

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Jeeg, Christian and me.  Train buddies. Traveling to a mythical nirvana of pixels, CRT monitors and nostalgia.

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Right off the train stop in Brookfield, there was this awesome little ice cream shop called Cock Robin. I was afraid to walk over to it because I didn’t want to ruin the illusion of a time warp to a 50s diner in perfect hibernation.

Galloping Ghost entrance
And after planes, trains and automobiles, we finally arrive. The Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL.  HALL-LE-LU-JAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

Walking through the door for the first time, you literally have to stand back for 5 minutes to even process everything that you’re looking at.

Galloping Ghost wide 01

Galloping Ghost wide 02

Then expect another 10-15 minutes just walking around open mouthed looking at the games. You’ll literally say over and over again in your head, “They have THAT?!” or “I haven’t seen that in YEARS!”

So you shamble over to the counter, pay a $15 cover and begin your own personal spirit walk.  Everything is set to free play.  No quarters.  No tokens.  Just bliss.

After taking stock of the situation, it was really hard to decide which game would come first.  What should start off this massive orgy of electrical consumption?  The arcade made that decision for us.  Or at least, for Jeeg and me.

Krull game

We had literally just done our Krull episode for Nerd Lunch and I discussed how 100% of my knowledge of that movie comes from this game.  We had to play it.  And play it we did.

Krull Pax Krull Jeeg

That game was a fun blast from the past.  And with that, the seal had been broken.  Before we split up after playing this game, Jeeg and I stated that our goal before we left the arcade was to play each other in Karate Champ, a very favorite of both of us growing up. Making that pact, we split up and explored the wonders that lay within The Galloping Ghost.

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Nerd Lunch Episode 140: Video Arcades

Posted in podcast, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , on July 14, 2014 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are down a CT so Jeeg and I invited our good friend and my Cult Film Club co-host Shawn Robare to sit in CT’s chair as his fill-in. With Shawn in place we got The Retroist to come back for his third appearance on the show. #HatTrick

Mr Do(Via arcade-museum.com)

With the Retroist on board we are discussing video arcades.  We talk about our first experiences with arcades, we talk about our favorite arcade games, we even have lively discussions on Showbiz Pizza Place and the controversy surrounding Dig Dug and Mr Do!  It’s a pretty fun discussion, won’t you join us?

Download this episode from iTunes, Stitcher or listen to it on Feedburner. Or listen to it online right here.

A tour of the Golf ‘n Stuff arcade from the 1984 Karate Kid movie

Posted in movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on July 24, 2013 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

Late last year I took a look at the Pinball City arcade from the 1980 movie Midnight Madness.  It featured lots of good, awesome vintage arcade games for us to take a look at.  It was a pretty popular article so I thought I’d take a look at another movie arcade.  This time, I’m looking at the famous Golf n’ Stuff arcade from The Karate Kid.

Here is that spinning red sign.

Golf n Stuff sign 1Golf n Stuff sign 2

Until grabbing screenshots for this article, I never noticed the sign has a hole in it right by the ‘S’ in Stuff.  Interestingly, the director, John Avildsen, has been posting film he took in 1983 when they were rehearsing for shooting The Karate Kid. Some of the Golf n’ Stuff rehearsals are out there. The spinning sign has that same hole in it.  I love that continuity.

So, Daniel and Alli go to this mythical Golf n’ Stuff amusement center for a first date.  The first part of the date is quickly spent in the Arcade.  Here they are walking into the entrance.

Walking into Golf n Stuff

Inside during this adorable music montage (Can You Feel the Night by Baxter Robertson) we get a glimpse of a few vintage video games. Click any of the below screenshots to see them BIGGER. It makes it easier to see the games in some instances.

Super Chexx HockeySuper Chexx Hockey

Up first is this awesome Super Chexx Hockey by ICE.  Manufactured in 1983.  There was also a regular Chexx Hockey released the same year, but I think the Super version was what was used in this scene.

Flight 2000 pinballFlight 2000 flyer

Daniel appears to score a goal on Alli and he sort of overreacts to his victory.  During this douchey hockey celebration, right behind Mr Larusso, is a Stern Flight 2000 pinball machine from 1980.

Alli

Nope, no video games here. I just think Elizabeth Shue is achingly adorable in this movie. I thought we should all just take a moment and drink it in.

Okay, let’s move on.

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What 10 video games would be in my dream arcade?

Posted in nostalgia, pop culture, video games with tags , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

I-Mockery put up a fascinating question on Tuesday. What games would be in your own personal dream arcade?  I thought this was a good topic for a lazy Friday afternoon.

So I decided to pick 10 arcade machines I would love to have in my own personal arcade.  They are in no particular order.

I want to thank the International Arcade Museum for the awesome images of the video game cabinets. I surf their site regularly for images of my favorite arcade and pinball games as well as images of some awesome video game advertisement flyers. To see more images (including screen shots of game play) of these and thousands more arcade games as well as get more detailed info, click the images to go to the International Arcade Museum.

Anyway, on to the games.

Street Fighter II Champion Edition
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (1991) – There were like a million different versions of this game.  I’d take any of them, but I hold a special place in my heart for Champion Edition and Champion Edition Turbo.  This was one of the first great fighting games. Great for competitions. It attracted large audiences to watch two guys just go at it.  Lots of fun characters with cool move combos.  The character I preferred to use was Chun-Li.  She was both pretty and deadly.

Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II (1993) – The only one in the arcade franchise to use Roman Numerals. The next two games would be MK3 and MK4. The first Mortal Kombat was almost too easy but Mortal Kombat 3 was way too damn hard. This fell right in the sweet spot of hard but fun. Also, this game rivaled NBA Jam for the amount of hidden Easter Eggs you could find. Characters, finishing moves like fatalities, friendships, etc. It was insane and fun.  I liked to use Sub Zero and my friend, Steve, liked Scorpion.  I still hear Scorpion’s “GET OVER HERE!” in my nightmares.

NBA Jam TE
NBA Jam: Tournament Edition (1993) – I talked about this game in-depth over on Strange Kid’s Club. Greatest. Basketball. Game. EVER. I would also like to have NBA Maximum Hangtime, but it’s so close in gameplay to NBA Jam that I am reluctant to have two machines that are so similar in the same arcade.

Karate Champ
Karate Champ (1984) – This is the game that got me into fighting games. I LOVED THIS GAME. I used to play it at my local movie theater arcade.  I got pretty good and made it through a punch of matches.  The scenery changed constantly.  One time you’d be in the forest, then on a log spanning a cavern, then on a cruise ship deck.  The bonus stage had you battling a bull.  This game was kicked all kinds of ass.

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