Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Repressed memories

Gentle reader,

Something happened over the weekend that recovered long forgotten memories from my childhood. This caused sleepless nights and much anguish. I bought Midway Arcade Treasures.

According to the above review... Midway Arcade Treasures includes 24 games: Spy Hunter, Defender, Gauntlet, Joust, Paperboy, Rampage, Marble Madness, Robotron: 2084, Smash TV, Joust 2, Bubbles, RoadBlasters, Stargate (called Defender II in this and most other classic game packages for some mysterious reason), Splat!, Blaster, Rampart, Sinistar, Super Sprint, 720, Toobin', Klax, Satan's Hollow, Vindicators, and Root Beer Tapper. However I only noticed 20, and didn't find the interviews with the developers, but then again I have the PAL version, not NTSC.

Just looking at these games brought me back to my childhood. Or more particularly to a childhood holiday somewhere on the coast of Sligo. Well, more particularly to the arcade on the beach near where we stayed, where I happily spent most of that week.

This arcade was a little run down, so while this game (games?) has a few problems with the controllers, it's a realistic experience of that arcade with battered old machines and a lot of fun.

I have to admit, I played a little with MAME, and I poked a bit for roms, but the above collection more of less covered what was in there, add Asteroids, Q'Bert and Pac-Man and remove Satan's Hollow, Vindicators, and Root Beer Tapper. My machine isn't powerful enough to cope with the roms I threw at it (long since deleted when I discovered I couldn't play them mr copyright person, sir), so I could never recreate my dream arcade. That and the hydraulics needed for Space Harrier far beyond me, and I can't afford an "Addams Family" Pinball game. Everything that came after is available for the PS2. Including the just released Anniversary edition of Street Fighter II.

It's strange what will kick off a series of memories. Playing gauntlet, I remembered the cannon on the beach. The "sit-in" type ride, of a helicopter that had an articulated arm that raised the rider up a good 10 feet (if you are small enough to fit comfortably in one of those children's rides, you will figure out just how dangerous it is to have your toddler 10 foot in the air). The chipper attached to the arcade. And finding my twin brother.

Ah yes, the other Will. While I can't remember the name of the place, he lived there. Not quite born and bread, but still. Born on the same day, at more of less the same hour, in the same place. I have no idea where he is. Or who he is, maybe we shouldn't have swapped identities :) .

As for the anguish... well playing arcade games in the afternoon until the dawn chorus indicates that I've over done it a bit. I was wrecked all weekend.

take care,


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