Arcade cabinets in the bathroom, bedroom, and more!

Arcade collectors are a funny breed. Wherever there is room, we think we have space to cram another cabinet. It doesn’t matter if it’s in mint condition, in need of some repairs, or if it’s a total project machine…we’ll find somewhere to keep it until we have it fully restored and ready for placement in our arcade rooms or for sale.

My wife was very patient with me while we were living in our condo and despite having a garage, we both were scraping ice off of our cars each morning during the winter or getting heat blasted each time we opened a car door. Since we didn’t have room in the house, my cabinet projects owned the garage. However, my obsession pales in comparison with some of the dedicated arcade collectors that shared the pictures you’ll see below. Many of these pictures are of living rooms, bedrooms, and even bathrooms of your typical house. I imagine there are either some angry or very patient wives out there…maybe both.

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So do you any of you out there have games stuffed in corners, behind doors, or next to your bed? If so, email them to me at jar155 [at] gmail.com and I’ll add them in or include them in future posts.

Update on the haunted Ms. Pac-Man machine

Cue the X-Files music…now!

Yesterday I posted about a possibly haunted Ms. Pac-Man machine out in Boston that a Craigslist user was just giving away. Well, by the end of the day the “seller” of the machine had stated that somebody had claimed it, and nobody in either the BYOAC or KLOV forums (two very prominent arcade collector sites) had picked it up, so I figured we’d never hear about it again. I was wrong, however, as a new Craigslist ad popped up for a free Ms. Pac-Man in the same area, just in a neighboring town. Here’s what the ad said:

READ ENTIRE AD: free aracde game

Reply to: sale-604098211@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-03-12, 3:51PM EDT

Free arcade game Ms Pacman. We got this game yesterday from CL. The owner warned us this was haunted and based on what we experienced last night we don’t want this in our house anymore.

Game is in our backyard and under blue tarp. THE FIRST person who picks it up gets it. The person who takes it must understand this is not a joke but that this is serious.

WE WILL NOT ANSWER YOU E-MAILS OR QUESTIONS. WE DON”T WANT TO GIVE OUR ADDRESS OUT TO THOUISANDS OF STRANGERS. WE WILL PICK ONE PERSON, WE WILL CONTACT THAT PERSON ONLY. WE WILL REMOVE THE AD FROM CRASGS LIST WHEN THIS MACHINE IS GONE.

———————————————-

So, it appears that the plot has thickened. Hopefully this time it ends up in the hands of someone who I can contact for firsthand info. Would you take a gamble on this?

Capcom semi reveals new Street Fighter IV character

Popping up on Capcom’s Japanese Street Fighter IV site yesterday was a fuzzy image of a new character for the series. The character, currently given the name El Fuerte, looks to be a power type character. Here’s the image that was posted on the site:

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You can’t tell much from the pic, but it appears that the character is wearing a mask. Some are speculating that he’ll be a lucha libre type of fighter, but no specific details have been released as of yet.

Do you want a free Ms. Pac-Man? What if it was haunted?

This is definitely one of the strangest things I’ve come across during my days browsing through message boards. It’s not so much disturbing as absolutely fascinating. Here’s the basic story, followed by a few links.

BYOAC forum member, JMB, shared with the forum that he had come across a Craigslist posting offering up a free Ms. Pac-Man cabinet. Yes, somebody was willing to give away one of the most sought after and beloved arcade games of all time. All that was required was that somebody come by and pick it up. In fact, here is the listing word for word:

arcade game: Ms. Pac Man


Reply to: sale-601115305@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-03-09, 11:20PM EDT

full-size stand-up arcade game.

Ms. Pac Mac.Works well, in very good condition.

MUST BE ABLE TO PICK-UP at 9:00 AM TUESDAY MORNING.


JMB contacted the “seller” to see if it was still available, if he had any pictures, and why in the world he’d be giving away a free arcade cabinet. Here’s the reply he was given:

“When I bought this machine the previous owner told me it was haunted. I laughed, didn’t believe him, because I didn’t believe in that sort of thing.

Got a bad feeling the day it was delivered. Game started on its own in the middle of the night several times, had a tech service the machine three times (very pricy housecalls), but he couldn’t find the problem.

Three-year old daughter started talking about the “man in the video machine”, didn’t think much of it, then my wife saw a dark figure move across the basement and into the machine. She ran out of the house, would not return until the machine was out of the house. I moved it to my business garage (two miles away), and several times I have opened the garage to find tools missing or scattered, things tipped over.

This is why I am giving away a $1000 machine for free.”

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I don’t know so far if anybody has claimed the machine, but I’m secretly cheering for somebody from the BYOAC or KLOV forums to pick it up so we can find out whether or not this Ms. Pac-Man is in need of a old fashioned exorcism or if paranoia is just playing with people’s minds. Whatever happens, it’s definitely something the seller believes in, because you don’t simply throw away that kind of money, and surely don’t tell somebody that what you have to offer is haunted, unless you feel morally obligated to do so.

Original Craigslist posting: Haunted Ms. Pac-Man?

BYOAC Forum Thread: Where the story is unfolding.

Street Fighter IV (arcade) to cost $23,000?

No, that’s not the cost of development, but rather the price to own one of the arcade machines. A price listing for Street Fighter IV appeared online today, and it came in at 2,394,000 yen, which is about $23,092.52. I’m really hoping than extra zero was tacked onto that price accidentally, because it would take quite some time for an arcade operator to make a profit on a single machine, let alone a whole row of them.

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Ok, so you want to know the real reason why the listing is so high? Well, it’s because the game uses LAN to handle matchmaking, and the game comes in sets of 4 cabinets (minimum). Basically operators still have to drop the $23k, but at least that gets them four cabinets. But still, it’s going to take a while to turn a good profit on those things…

The Vectrex is Coming!

No, there’s not a new version of the Vectrex being released, and no, a successor isn’t in the works. What is happening is that I picked up a Vectrex along with 8 games, and it’s on its way right now to my humble little home. The Vectrex will take up residency in the arcade room, right between Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man on a table (which also has a Virtual Boy fighting for attention).

I’ve always loved the vector games and how impressive they look in person. I’ve never owned a Vectrex, so this is going to be quite the treat for me. Ever since I added Asteroids to my arcade, I’ve been itching to get more vector-based games. While the Vectrex isn’t exactly an arcade machine, it’s pretty close.

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Now if I can just get my hands on that Star Wars arcade game I’ve been chasing around…

The Arcade is looking good!

So the wife and I moved into a new home last week and one of the first things we got set up was our home arcade. For the past 6 months or so I’ve been collecting, fixing, and selling arcades, but the only place I could store them in our 2-bedroom condo was in the garage. Now that we’re in a 6 bedroom house, I was able to dedicate a room to the cause. So, here are some pics of the room (details of the arcade follow the pictures).

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The arcade consists of:

  • Donkey Kong – fully restored
  • Asteroids – 90% restored (needs a little work on the control panel paint)
  • Ms. Pac-Man – 100% restored (will still do a cap kit on the monitor though)
  • Jurassic Park pinball machine – 100% original in A+ condition
  • Neo Geo MVS 4-slot system in a Japanese Candy Cab. Games include:
    • Metal Slug
    • Metal Slug 2
    • Metal Slug X
    • Metal Slug 3
    • Metal Slug 4
    • Metal Slug 5
    • Samurai Showdown II
    • Ghost Pilots
    • Ninja Combat
    • Aero Fighters 2
    • Strikers 1945 Plus
    • Garou Mark of the Wolves
    • Puzzle Bobble
    • Magical Drop III
    • Baseball Stars 2
    • Shock Troopers
    • King of the Monsters 2
    • SNK vs Capcom SVC Chaos
    • Neo Mr. Do
    • Andro Dunos
    • Blazing Star
    • …more on the way
  • MAME cabinet w/ 25″ horizontal display, 2 player setup, spinner, trackball, and thousands of games (you name it, it’s on the machine)

The green tint you see to everything is due to the lighting I have. I have both a black light and green fluorescent bulb in the arcade. In person it looks great, especially with the dark blue paint on the walls. I still have room for some more cabinets, but right now I’m happy with it as it is. If the right game pops up in local listings however, we’ll see…

A video clip of a short walk through the arcade is available here (1 minute 8 seconds): http://youtube.com/watch?v=6wzsT7SuJdc

Sorry for the shaky footage. I was using a digital camera, and they aren’t the most stable things in the world to film with.

Starting an MVS Neo Geo collection

The first of many Neo-Geo MVS titles arrived in my mailbox today and I was all giddy as I hefted the carts and checked them out. While I still don’t have a cabinet to play the games in, I’m working on resolving that very soon. I’ve always been a big Neo-Geo/SNK fan, but I’ve never owned either an AES or MVS system. My exposure to SNK had been through console ports or within the arcades themselves. So for me, it’s all very exciting. I already have more games on the way, and I have a good line on a cabinet source, so here’s hoping it all comes together soon.

Oh, here are the two games that showed up:

Ninja Combat

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Samurai Showdown II

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Oh, and here’s some awesome SNK-inspired art. Enjoy!

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A rare discovery

The wife and I were in the mood for some pasta tonight, but our options are quite limited in this area. After considering a trip on the freeway into the city, we remembered that there was this little pizza place down the road that we’ve never tried. I grew up just a couple of miles from this place, but for some reason had never stepped inside. Upon arriving, it looked busy, and it smelled great on the outside. We stepped in and I immediately was attracted to the decor. They had a jukebox near the entrance and a ton of vinyl records and album covers all over the walls.

Just next to the order window, however, was what will definitely bring me back. There was a Flash Gordon pinball machine in good shape, an Area 51 cabinet, and an original Asteroids! The game was in great shape and played like a dream. After dropping a quarter into the Flash Gordon and earning 3(!) free games, I sat down and scarfed my calzone and breadsticks before making my way to the Asteroids. It was really in great shape. On the first play I managed to get my initials into the fourth position and on my second (and final) try I secured the number 2 spot. My score came in at about half the top score…so I gotta get back and sink a few more quarters into the machine to take that spot.

It was pretty surprising to see an Asteroids still on location making money. The machine has probably been there all its life or for a good part of it. I had to ask if it was for sale and the guy working there just shook his head and said, “sorry, man, it’s been a customer favorite for as long as I can remember.”

Tim’s Custom Console Arcade Sticks

Every once in a while gamers have to take things into their own hands if they want to get the most out of their hobby. Timoe, of the BYOAC forums, is creating custom made arcade sticks for consoles, using only the highest quality authentic arcade hardware. In addition to quality components, Tim sports some solid construction and amazing style in his builds. You honestly aren’t going to find a better arcade stick out there.

You’ll have to contact Tim directly for a pricing quote as things are handled on a project by project basis. If you order more than one stick, I’m sure he’ll be willing to work out special pricing as well.

So far Tim has created sticks for the PC, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. I personally am thinking of getting an Xbox 360 one built so I can finally stop screaming at my d-pad during Pac-Man: CE rounds. Also, a 360 compatible stick could be used on the PC via USB. See the pictures below for a look at his work:

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To contact Tim, register at the BYOAC forums (http://arcadecontrols.com) and shoot him a PM. He’s pretty quick at responding, and he’s easy to work with. I’ve worked with him in the past when building arcade control panels.