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Fantasy Raceways
Mar 26th, 2013 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I was in Rochester, NY last week. I was born and raised there and since the Internet wasn’t on everyone’s Nokia Ngage when I was born (through no fault of the Ngage) I was forced to make friends in real life. Well, I made them through calling local BBSs. This is really getting preachy and judgmental (towards me) so let me just continue.

My friends Aaron and Jeff (you may have been insulted by them on the JC forum as “The REAL Man” and “Jethro Q. Walrustitty”) told me about Fantasy Raceways, in lovely Greece, NY. It’s at 3787 Dewey Ave in case this blog post inexplicably comes up when you are searching for it in the future. I took a careful look at my schedule, which was mostly the word “pizza” written seven times. I’d be able to fit a trip in, all right.

I brought my camera because I love taking pictures of arcades. Though Aaron and Jeff mentioned the slot cars, I really didn’t take them literally and I was surprised to find that, yes, there is an enormous slot car setup here.

Fantasy Raceways has a number of arcade games and pinball tables as well. By my meticulous notes, which is to say I took none, I counted Centipede, Monaco GT, Ms. Pac-Man, Mr. Do!, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders (not working), Environmental Discs of Tron, Tron, Missile Command, Galaxian, Monaco GP, Virtua Racer, Battlezone (don’t believe it was working), Sea Wolf as the arcade games. There was at least one other sit-down racing game that I forgot to get the name of.

Initially, I saw that the pins were Scared Stiff, Indiana Jones and Road Show.

However! I had to use the bathroom at one point. I went through the fire exit doors and took a left. (There was a Pole Position II back behind the store proper.) When I came out I saw that in one corner… was The Twilight Zone! I know that my arcade buddies are not impressed. I don’t care, I love it and made us all stick around for another half-hour to play the greatest pin of all-time.

There are two TZ on location in Colorado that I know of, and to have one in a place like this with nobody around was pretty special. Honestly, if I had one, there would be zero chance that I would let filth like myself play it. So kudos to the owner of Fantasy Raceways.

The three of us had a great time. Afterwards, we went to the new Nick Tahou’s that is in the suburb of Henrietta. Look, we’re hardened Rochestarians that could have gone downtown and enjoyed it without a problem or incident, psh. It just seemed like a better idea to go to the closest one when we picked up Walrustitty’s kids. Don’t look at us like that. Again with the judging!

Q*bert Serial #1 Found!
Dec 13th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

koolmoecraig on the Killer List of Video Games arcade forum recently posted about finding the “first” Q*bert game – one that was still technically a prototype!

He says the following:

I scored probably my ultimate “grail”, the 1st Q*bert machine ever made. Complete with hand-drawn marquee artwork and one-off CPO artwork, the machine was purchased by a Gottlieb executive after being out on test and stored in his basement for the past 30 years. The cabinet is a 9.5 out of 10!

Notice that Q*bert wasn’t even in his final stage at this point. He still looks roughly drawn and more similar to concept drawings. He even looks different on the CPO artwork. Also, the Gottlieb trademark is above the “How To Play” instructions on the left side of the CPO. On production games it’s within the instructions.

The prototype cabinet has stencil painted side art. I assume they hadn’t decided on side art yet. There are no graphics on the monitor bezel. Just black paint on glass.

Lastly, I noticed the Gottlieb trademark on the attract screen itself. I’m pretty sure this is different than production versions but I have to confirm that.




Interestingly, this version does not appear to have the knocker installed… (the arcade version of Q*bert features a physical “knocker” that makes a BANG! sound against some wood in the cabinet when you lure Coily off the pyramid, or fall off the pyramid yourself!)

There’s more photos — including some gorgeous pics of the inside of the cabinet — and discussion on KLOV.

Who Framed Wreck-It Ralph? (As A Launching Point To An Arcade Post)
Jun 8th, 2012 by Ice Cream Jonsey

There is a movie in development called Wreck-It Ralph. I hope it makes a billion dollars and everyone involved had that moment where they go see it in a theater and sneak in some scotch to celebrate a job well done, because if I worked on movies I’d totally sneak in a little bit of the old Johnny Dapper when a movie I worked on premiered. I know this because I don’t work in movies and still bring a flask.

I want those things for the crew behind Ralph because I am a liker, and I like things. But then there’s stuff like this promotional poster:

Ha ha! Remember those guys from that game??!

Rather than face the outrage of this insult a moment longer, I took my concerns to Twitter, which left me about a million characters short to express anything meaningful on the subject. Not that I didn’t try.

My pal Jason asked me if I would have thought the same about Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It’s different, but I sure wasn’t going to be able to express that on Twitter. And please keep in mind that none of this is really as annoying in the real world as a paper cut or a stubbed toe, but let me be a crazy person anyway.

The fun parts, to me, of Roger Rabbit involve the plot of Bob Hoskins trying to solve a crime in this unique world we’re presented with. I don’t want to call Eddie Valiant a classic noir protagonist, because I haven’t seen it enough times to name his characteristics, prejudices and arc by memory, but he does wear a trench coat and is a private eye, so let’s go with that. I like noir. Photographs of Jessica Rabbit literally playing patty-cake is hilarious. Roger Rabbit has an annoying voice, but isn’t annoying. That’s amazing. It really has a great script. I think reasonable people agree it’s a good movie, maybe even a great one. I’m sure it’s hundreds of spots below Seven Samurai and the bed jumping scene of Return of the King on IMDB, but what good, maybe great movie isn’t.

With that in mind, I couldn’t have cared less about all the other cartoon characters they tried to cram into Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

The part where Donald Duck and Daffy Duck engage in dueling pianos was stupid and dragged. Maybe if Elmer Fudd was actually murdering denizens of ToonTown with a sawed-off shotgun that’d be something and a decent use of all the characters the filmmakers licensed, but all the other appearances were fan fictiony. Seeing Dolan Duck in the background of frames 1,023 through 1,046 isn’t just automatically interesting to me.

(Popeye wasn’t in it, I remember. I always liked that. I felt like he was on my side. If you have a guy who eats spinach all the time not do something that apparently every other character who had ever been in an animation cel agreed to then you know he is standing up for his principles.)

I don’t know anything about the movie of Wreck-It Ralph, other than the fact that the plot (an arcade bad guy trying to make good) is perfectly fine on its own. That’s a legitimate idea for a movie, and I am going to try my best to make some kids tonight so I can bring them to the theater and they can enjoy it when it gets released. OK I was gonna do that anyway, bow chicka bow.

But what would be even better than Q*bert and Slick being destitute in a promotional image (and the image is great, don’t get me wrong) would be a Q*bert movie. Written by Warren Davis and/or Jeff Lee. It’s their stuff!

I know I am crazy when it comes to this, and that’s fine. I think that you get a special relationship with the character of Q*bert when you are soaked in sweat on a summer day trying to figure out why your Q*bert machine is spontaneously resetting in a cool basement. You develop a thing for Mr. Do! when you accidentally push it down the stairs to your game room and spend 20 hours over two days trying to get the thing working again. I mean, there was a stretch of time, before Mr. Do! was famous, where kids went into an arcade and sized the thing up. They knew nothing about it. The game became a thing we (well, er, I) still care about 30 years later because it was awesome and amazing and interesting on its own merits. We’re now living in a world where the interesting stuff to consume increased exponentially and I think it’s cheating to shove the heads of Pengo and the Lode Runner down in the water so you can float a little yourself.

So. Maybe Kazutoshi Ueda will get unfrozen from whatever cybernetic think tank the world stashed him into when he was done creating the masterpiece Mr. Do!. Maybe he wants to make a screenplay! Maybe that was his lifelong dream, I don’t know. The character of Bugs Bunny wasn’t going to have possible future films closed to him based on how Roger Rabbit did, but arcade characters have nowhere near that much pull. This is probably it for them. I just think it’d be cool for the people who developed the games in the first place to have their opportunities (as — last I heard — the games Joust and Asteroids do), rather than prop up this other thing, Wreck-It Ralph, that ought to die or flourish based on its own qualities.

… Oh. And regardless of how dramatic I was being over Twitter, I would still maintain that a Food Fight movie staring a kid whose jaw can dislodge to ten times its normal size would be an amazing disaster movie.

Arcade Manual PDFs on the Internet Archive
Apr 3rd, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Well, well, well: lookee here. That’s a the manual to the arcade version of Pac-Man, in pdf form.

There is already a nice stash of arcade manuals on pdf.textfiles.com, but Jason Scott, who was recently hired by the Internet Archive, has kicked things off nicely with a tip of the hat to arcade games. I can’t stress how irreplaceable these things are when you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with your own games.

Marble Madness, Pac-Man GDC Post-Mortems
Apr 3rd, 2011 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I have a Marble Madness cabinet currently being shipped to me. I have been turned onto these Game Developers Conference post-mortem vids – won’t you let yourself be turned on with me? We’ll get a blanket.

Marble Madness by Mark Cerny

Pac-Man by Toru Iwatani

The 1984 Arcade
Aug 15th, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

(For another look at the weekend trip to the 1984 Arcade, please visit Rob “Flack” O’Hara’s blog post on it here.)

It was a trip that wasn’t supposed to work.

One of the Bruces had wanted a bunch of us from Jolt Country to go the 1984 Arcade for a little while. This thread was started by Flack, and in that thread, we were talking about going to the 1984 Arcade, but at first I thought it was a different arcade (in Nashville) and then Flack also mentioned an arcade that burned to the ground in a wholly seperate thread. I had no idea where I was going. I was just leading my normal, everyday life and throwing quarters at anything made of wood, hoping I was “doing it right.” There are, what, fewer than six real arcades in the American mid-west, and I managed to confuse them all? It all came together for me when I bought my ticket for St. Louis, although it was disappointing that when I bought my airplane ticket, I then had a good idea of how the trip was going to go. An unknown was slain. I much, much prefer the policy of PAX to not fucking tell anyone who’s going to be speaking on what days three weeks before that venture.

So with a heavy heart I arrived in St. Louis.

Bruce has his beard back, so if you play the IntroComp version of Cryptozookeeper and get into the second room, you’ll see a pretty good likeness. Of the beard. I added 300 pounds to him in the game, so don’t take anything from that. I was also able to say hello to his dog Golem, who plays the part of “Puzzle” in Crypto – and of course, I took a downright uncomfortable number of photos of Golem, because he is the best boy ever, and possibly the most chill and laid-back doggie I have ever met in my life.



We loaded up the van with One of the Bruces, his wife Amy and then Tracy Jo, Martin and Rupert. Flack and Jeff were leaving that day from Oklahoma. On the way down, we played along to the text adventure Bruce is working on, Stiffy Makane in Mentula Macanus: Apocolocyntosi. I was given gummi bears by my girlfriend for the trip, and those lasted about five minutes during the ride to Springfield. It was a gummiocaust. There’s gonna be a candlelight vigil down at the park where people cry into each other’s shoulders, trying to make sense of what happened.

My party parked and walked a block over to the arcade. A goateed dude in a black truck rolled down his window and shouted something at us, which Martin took as a random guy identifying us as arcade players and basically shouting, “NERDS!!!” But it was Flack and Jeff – all of us were at the arcade within a minute of each other. Flack had, earlier, written the following in an e-mail:

“I will be parked as close as possible to the front door in a big black Chevy Avalanche[.]”

And this was true, he parked as close as humanly possible to the 1984 Arcade.

The arcade’s fantastic – I didn’t really run into any of the control panel issues that Flack and others had, although this is probably because I played a lot of games where I had no idea what was going on in the first place. I actually use an extremely light touch on my Gyruss at home, so I thought the fire button wasn’t too bad. (It’s completely indefensible that I play games I own at remote arcades, but – wait. Wait! Stay with me for a sec. Bear with me for a sec, then: if you only play the games you don’t own, then you inevitably suck at all of them. If you DO play the games you own, you get to be a big shot and set the daily high score on one, and… and – well, this defense sounded better in my head.)

The 1984 arcade had a nice Nintendo row with Donkey Kong, DK Jr. and Popeye. I can’t say enough about how fun the atmosphere is – there’s a TV played 80s music videos, with the music piped into the speaker system, a pinball row (the only things that took quarters – a $5 fee covers everything else) and a few hilarious touches, like framed and signed photos of some arcade characters. The entire place is air-conditioned nicely although one of the reasons the place was so cold was due to the sheer amount I was sucking at Mappy and Robotron. I should have been a little better at those two. I drew some conclusions on a few of the other games, although my note taking wasn’t much more than going into the “Notes” app on my 3G iPhone, waiting two minutes for it to load, and then giving up and shutting the thing down with the button, accidentally hitting it twice, and bringing up the godforsaken, motherfucking global search function. So a few of my notes may be “tained” by what an unusable piece of shit the 3.x iPhone operating system is.

Defender: I’ve got jrok’s circuit board. The Williams Multi-System board gives you most of the games from that publisher, and the only thing he’s really emulating is sound. The games on this board are arcade-perfect because he’s using the chips they used originally. However, there’s a problem for me, personally, because the board is on my JAMMA cab – it was a converted fighting game of some form, and there’s two joystick and six buttons per player.

This is not perfect for Defender.

I can figure it out… I can play it… it works just fine. But God, the control scheme on Defender itself was designed for Defender and Defender only, and trying to play Defender in any other configuration sucks. The design… the artistry… the cheese…. the sauce…

I knew that it makes it a completely different game, and I knew (having played it before) that the scheme is soooo perfect… but it was nice to play it again and refresh my memory.

Karate Champ: This I’d never played before! Not even in MAME! Flack actually owns it, and he waved me over at one point to give it a shot. The Player One joystick didn’t go “up,” and the controls mirror, so on one hand Flack wanted to have the joystick he was familiar with, on the other, he was missing a good portion of his possible moves. I couldn’t have been beaten worse by Flack if he had a third arm and copper pipe. I got a few shots in when he was telling a story, or pointing out something about the game I didn’t know, or when my unyielding, white-hot anger towards the judge in Karate Champ (whom I do not care for) bubbled over and gave me a “20 seconds of the Force in The Empire Strikes Back on the 2600″-like skill to get some special moves down. But those are rare. I just really don’t like the face of the judge. Is that a Fu Manchu or a scowl? I don’t know that we ever determined what it was. Other than smug.

Donkey Kong: I will probably play it again without an authentic Nintendo joystick, but I won’t ENJOY it. What a joystick. What a perfect moment in time for that game.

That church filled with cretins was in Springfield that evening, but we didn’t encounter them. I did eat one of the worst chips in the world, however. Our two groups split up at 11:00 PM, with Flack and Jeff heading back to Oklahoma. With any luck I’ll be seeing Flack before too long because he has a nice Centipede cabinet I’ve wanted to purchase, and hell, I’ve never been to Oklahoma, so why not? We played more of Bruce’s text game on the drive back and I fell asleep twenty seconds after hitting the pillow.

On Sunday, I was able to geek it up on Bruce’s MAME cabinet, depicted above. It is really what you hope for when you get a MAME cab – four joysticks, pointed correctly (thus giving it the advantage over Gauntlet, where they are NOT aligned to benefit the player). A beautiful 25″ monitor, spinner and trackball are included, and shitty extraneous buttons are not. Bruce and I also played his Atari 2600 text game “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” via emulation on an Atari 7800. Bruce has a fantastic retro-computer setup in his basement – I am pretty sure I saw versions of Apple Computers down there that I had previously only ever seen in commercials spreading lies about the IBM PC. I held a 2600 Indy 500 controller in my hands for the first time ever, and Bruce drove me back to the airport in a bright yellow Smart Car. I had a great time with everyone, and can’t wait to see everyone again for the next adventure.

Invading Spaces by Rob O’Hara Review
Dec 8th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

ďHe can get the virus.Ē –†Bill Parcells, speaking of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton’s pass-happy playcalling.†

Oh, I hear you there, Tuna. We all have those little, involuntary spasms of impulse, don’t we? Maybe it manifests itself in a former college quarterback calling his 47th pass of the day as a coach, his proxy All-Pro QB destroying defenses in a way he never could. Maybe we see it when we’re listening to a catchy song in our car, and we flick the “rewind” knob for the eighth straight time because the song’s so catchy.

Or, more appropriately for our discussion today, maybe we see†the virus as the silent protagonist in the new book from Rob O’Hara titled,†Invading Spaces: A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Arcade Games. In this instance, the virus†takes control of our mind by having us click on the “reply” button to a guy on craigslist selling a three-hundred pound wooden joybox that plays a single game that can be emulated on a watch you could find for free after eating enough boxes of “Circus Fun.”

It’s got to be a virus. No healthy person would make it a habit to collect real arcade games. Right, ha ha? But hey, there’s good viruses and bad viruses. Bad ones make you lose STR, DEX and CON, while good ones have your team passing for 400 yards against the hated Niners, and put two Scrambles in your home.

Er, all right, onto the book! O’Hara begins by putting us into a situation that is not untypical for the type of person that is interested in collecting arcade games: he’s somewhere between Oklahoma City and Austin, completely lost. (In fact, the very first sentence of his book takes a shot at MapQuest, and there is no better way to get me, a reader, onboard, than to correctly paint MapQuest as a server of lies.) Rob and his buddy Justin are on their way to get a game called Heavy Barrel, which is just a great name for a full-size arcade game, like calling one Out of Space or Staircrusher. It isn’t even a game that O’Hara particularly likes, but he makes the decision to go get it anyway because he loves these goddamn things, and this one is a good deal.†

The pair ultimately find their destination, after an eleven hour journey, and meet one of the, ah, †ten types of people you meet when purchasing an arcade game. †They return home with a grim sense of satisfaction, and while reading this, I’m personally struck by how comforting is in knowing that there are other people making the same type of journeys that I have made, for these things. If there is a book out there that stands as a written testament to how maybe, just maybe, I haven’t been driven insane trying to recapture my favorite hobby as a child, then Invading Spaces is it.†

While the tales regarding ‘the hunt’ of an arcade machine make up a significant portion of the book, the other goal that Invading Spaces easily achieves is in describing how to maintain or fix them once they are home. It can be intimidating to find a problem with the monitor or joystick of a thirty-year old machine if it’s been years since your last course on electronics. I bought my first machine in 1999, and did not get another one until 2005 – not really because of space issues, but because I was scared to death to even work on my first game, much less a few others. I got over my fear at first by paying almost retail prices for nicely restored games, but things eventually did go wrong, and I had to scour the Usenet group rec.games.video.arcade.collecting for help, picking up whatever bits of knowledge I could from others. I can safely say that, almost literally, every single piece of information I picked up about this hobby over the first two years is in this book. I was almost smiling in anger seeing it all collected here. (The anger really stemmed from having to use Google Groups to search Usenet all those years, I should clarify.)

For instance, O’Hara explains that a common problem of PCBs is that they are not getting five volts from the +5v line – I cannot begin to explain the frustration I had with a couple of my games acting wonky, until that dawned on me a few months ago. When I read the chapter on Repairs(Electronics) and got to the bit about +5v, I held the book skyward and cursed, loudly. It was here. It was all here. Invading Spaces is an invaluable resource for the non-electrical engineer thinking of purchasing their first arcade game.†

More, O’Hara’s style is friendly and conversational. He doesn’t go off on a berserker’s rant about MAME, like Stuart Campbell or I would do, but does explain that, while it’s nice, it’s not the same. He describes why someone would be miffed to see one of the 26,000 Defender cabinets converted to, say, a 48-in-1 cab, without unfairly slagging the more, ah, extreme group of preservations. And the stories! The stories really are entertaining and well-written throughout – anytime somebody’s retarded brother (their words, not mine or O’Hara’s) mysteriously skulks around a game that may have once functioned before some retard strength saw to it, like some kind of luddite-touch BigFoot… well, I know I am in for a good time.

My absolute favorite part of the book is the last bit, where O’Hara talks about the games he has owned over the years, and how he acquired them. I can personally listen to that sort of stuff forever, and each little story has a photo of the cabinet associated with it. I have a theory that RoboCop games are unique like fingerprints, and sure enough, both of O’Hara’s RoboCops are different. (Once we assign all three hundred million Americans JAMMA RoboCop games, crime in this country is going to disappear overnight.)

I’ve had Rob’s book around the house for weeks now, and I still find myself going back to it, to re-read a chapter or passage here and there, just to stay sharp. I can’t recommend it strongly enough. If you find yourself with the arcade-purchasing virus, while I am sad to say that there is no cure, this book functions as a wonderful†protease inhibitor to let you live with the sickness and still maintain a happy and healthy existence, otherwise. I’ve found that chicks are more than willing to accept this hobby if all the games work, and as this book is a means to that end, it is worth its price four times over in couples therapy.†

Lovely Vegas
Oct 21st, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Lovely Vegas

“Vegas is the city of Las Vegas. No one is quite sure how the Soviet missiles managed to miss the city, but most folks figure it was because the “house” was betting against a missile landing — and no one wins against the house.”the Wasteland manual, 1986, Interplay

Ha ha, yeah. Goddamn, am I psyched for Fallout 3, you know? Fallout, the spiritual successor for Wasteland, was great, I did enjoy Fallout 2 and in between #2 and the upcoming third game, we all were entertained by the batshit-vomiting crazies that make up the Internet’s community of Fallout fans. Every last one of them is convinced that only they should make Fallout 3, none of them have so much as picked up any kind of SDK. I am intentionally trying to not learn anything about FO3, only that I think there’s a nuke in it, but I did read somewhere that it takes place not in the American southwest… but in Maryland or something? Ha, ha, what’s this now? A Fallout game is gonna finally have the graphics engine to do Vegas justice and they set it in near Baltimore, which could be successfully depicted on the original Gameboy? I could make a better game than these idiots at Bethesda! I am now going to delete my install directory for the Hugo programming language.

I was in Lovely Vegas over the weekend for a wedding. You may remember the character of Brian Pang from Necrotic Drift – the actor (Matt) was the dude getting married. Pang was originally a character in Chicks Dig Jerks, and I’d like to say he was “based” on my friend Matt, but even that isn’t being fair. I tried to make him an almost exact, written, duplicate-replica. He is a good guy that is oftentimes out of his goddamn mind.

Almost nobody gets married in the same city they live in – or, I should say, nobody gets married in the same city I live in. I’ve flown for almost every wedding I’ve ever been to. This was my first time traveling completely alone in over five years. I had never actually done the thing where you enter an airport… and there is nobody there to pick you up & you don’t have a rental. I was vaguely aware that there might be a good spot to catch a cab, so I got to do that for the first time. I took it over to the strip, where I was staying. Oh… yeah. That.

I was staying at the Casino Royale, because I guess I make bad decisions. 

Well, yes and no – I didn’t expect to do much in my room except sleep, so in theory, it shouldn’t have made much difference where I stayed, right? Well, yes and no – my friends were staying at the Luxor, Mandelay Bay and the Monte Carlo. Those are all somewhat close to each other, but since I didn’t exactly have a date and I wasn’t getting married, I didn’t see the big deal in trying to impress anyone with an expensive room. I wanted to look for something like the Wikipedia List of Cheap-Ass Hotel Rooms, but somehow, I don’t think Wikipedians get to Vegas much. (I was going to link to my favorite page on the Internet, which was the “List of Wikipedians with Asperger Syndrome,” but in heroic Wiki fashion, they seem to have deleted it.)¬†

Anyway, I got to the hotel room and unpacked… and none of my friends were in Vegas yet. I think for the first time, it really struck me that I was traveling… “alone.” I don’t know how to best describe it – for some reason, being in a hotel room with paper-thin walls, sort of waiting for my buddies to get into town was almost… crippling. I immediately dialed a few numbers to get some prostitutes over.

Kidding! Long-time readers of my website will have no difficulty in believing me when I instead state that I took a nap until my friend Luddy and his wife called. I can never sleep the night before I fly, so this was all right. Luddy, his wife and I made plans to have dinner at the ESPNZone. 

It had been about a day since I had any food at that point, and I ended up walking from the Casino Royale to ESPNZone – it took about 30 minutes with all the people around. This ended up being a somewhat common theme for me, although I did relent and take a cab home Saturday night, which was (spoiler) for the best. It’s great to walk the strip anyway, isn’t it?

After dinner, the three of us went over to the Pinball Hall of Fame. I was able to catch it for the first time last year, during the Classic Gaming Expo, and the place was packed. (The CGE was running a shuttle back and forth, and there was definitely an effort made to get CGE people over there.) There were only a handful of people at the HoF this time, and I was able to play The Pinball Circus, which was a prototype that I didn’t get a chance to see last year. Like an idiot, I confused “Cirqus Voltaire,” currently rated the #4 best pinball game of all-time at the Internet Pinball Machine Database, with “The Pinball Circus,” which is not. Whatever, fuck the list! TPC was amazing to play, and I was cognizant that I was playing — since it was a prototype — one of two such machines in the world.

And then, since I am not a Wikipedian with Asperger Syndrome, we all met up with the rest of our friends and had drinks for the rest of the night. 

***

I woke up Saturday to a mass of people jumping in and out of the Casino Royale. Well, actually, I woke up to housekeeping SCREAMING THEIR FUCKING HEADS OFF to get into my fucking room. I didn’t set the “do not disturb” mechanism correctly, so it’s my fault, but goddamn – if the door is locked, give up, housekeepers! It’s gonna be fine! Nobody shot themselves! Actually – well, back to the first bit of this paragraph:

People from the strip were entering the Casino Royale, I discerned, because the strip itself was taped off. What I heard, but was not able to confirm through Google News, was that someone got shot overnight. (So yeah, when people asked if the Casino Royale was at all like the movies, I was able to say sure: there was a similar number of gunshots, har har.) Maybe that’s just how rumors spread, I don’t know.¬†

All right, let’s hit up part two tomorrow. Either that, or maybe my brother will write something horrible about Barack Obama.

Get Your Goddamn Multi-Q*bert On
Oct 15th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

The Multi-Q*bert board is coming back! I just received an e-mail from Mike Doyle, and the thing is coming back into production, with the intent to get it to people by Thanksgiving. 

All right, just what is the Multi Q*bert board? It allows you to play the following games: 

Q*bert

Q*bert Qubes

Faster, Harder, More Challenging Q*bert

Insector

Curveball

Mello Yello Q*bert 

 

And of course, the standard Q*bert board plays one of those games… Q*bert. I have no idea what Insector and Curveball are like – I could load them up in MAME, but it is sort of more fun to not know at this point, y’know? There is also going to be a bonus game in this iteration of the kit: 7-11 Q*bert. That would be 7-11 as in the convenience store 7-11. What does that have to do with Q*bert? I have no idea, but again, I can’t wait to see how it is different.

The instructions for the kit seem pretty straight-forward, just popping some ROM chips and a few RAM chips. If you’d like to get on the list for them, just write Mike Doyle — which is his site directory name,¬†http://www.members.aol.com/kilkeeslps/ at aol dot com. You’ll get the kit and a shirt.¬†

For me, personally, the real prize is FHMC Q*bert – I run into the wall on regular Q*bert after 30,000 points, and being able to switch over to a new game in the same “style” would be fantastic.¬†

Greg’s BurgerTime Story
Sep 26th, 2008 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Ahhh… the weekend! Another stressful week complete. Relax as I did, won’t you? …By heading over to The Post-Pessimist Association!

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