Cactus Flack's II: The Flackening

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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:11 am

Awwww yeah! There's a few variations of the lineup of games for Williams cabs. Did yours look like any of these?
Battle City Blaster Bubbles Defender Do! RunRun Ghosts N Goblins Gradius Ice Climber Joust Kick Rider Mario Bros New Rally-X Rally-X Robotron: 2084 Sky Kid Solomon's Key Splat Stargate Super Mario Bros
or
* Berzerk * Bubbles * Crash * Defender * Frenzy * Joust * Mario Bros. * Moon Patrol * New Rally-X * Qix
* Rally-X * Robotron * Sinistar * Splat * Stargate * Tetris
* Wizard of Wor
Or maybe something else entirely?!

You're right that the Williams is a better-looking cab than the 60-in-1 there.
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Post by Flack » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:40 am

I believe it's the former, although I'd rather have the latter.

EDIT: From my 30 seconds of research on the matter, it looks like the former boards sell for $150 and the latter ones sell for $400.

Why do "19-in-1" (or whatever) PCB makers put filler on these boards? They're all pirate boards, right? I mean, nobody's paying Midway for the rights to these games I assume. Are there really people out there that would prefer "Sky Kid" over, say, "Berzerk"?
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Post by Flack » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:06 pm

After one long ass weekend, here is the current state of the Flackening.

Completed the deal for the Multi-Williams 19-in-1 yesterday. Got rid of 6 cabinets ... that leaves me with 10:

720
MAME
48-in-1
Multi-Williams
Commando
Centipede
Rampart
Road Riot 4WD
Super Off Road
Road Blasters

The first four machines on that list (720, MAME, 48-in-1, Multi-Williams), I'll be keeping. 720 will have to live out in the garage for the time being; the other three are coming inside and going upstairs.

Of the remaining six, three (Commando, Centipede, and Rampart) are working and ready to sell, while the other three (Road Riot 4WD, Super Off Road, and Road Blasters) all have issues of varying degrees.

With the six machines I got rid of yesterday, that made it to where all the machines I own will now fit in my garage. It's been an unbelievable non-stop weekend, my knees are throbbing and my shins are beat all to hell, but I have now completely emptied out my storage unit.

I brought the Multi-Williams in the house earlier, just to get it inside and to let it warm up. I got to playing it and, although the emulation is a little wonky on some of the games ... I had fun. I actually had fun playing an arcade game, and it's been a long time since that happened. I also rubbed the paint off in a couple of spots while moving it and I'm actually looking forward to patching those up. I've been so overwhelmed over the past several years by having so many projects that I'm actually looking forward to working on this machine a little, and I REALLY can't remember the last time I felt this way. It's a good thing. A good, good thing.

Image

(That's not its final resting place ... but that's where it's staying for the night.)
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:09 am

Whoa, you kept Commando and Centipede! How did that come about!? I thought they were goners for sure!
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Post by Flack » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:54 am

Commando and Centipede were part of the proposed "8-game trade" for his new 60-in-1 Multicade. When we changed the deal to the 19-in-1 Williams (which he was selling for $400 less than the 60-in-1), it dropped down to six of my games, and since Commando and Centipede were worth roughly $400 combined, I ended up keeping them.

I ended up trading him four working games (Heavy Barrel, Shinobi, Karate Champ, and Speed Buggy) along with two non working games (Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3). Of the working games, I hadn't tried to sell the Karate Champ yet, but the other three I put on Craigslist for $150/each and didn't get a single bite. I think game buying season has dried up until people start getting their tax refunds. The two non-working games I figured I could get $50-$100/each for, as both were in good shape and had great potential for future MAME projects.

For what it's worth, the Multi-Williams board I got is a fucking mess. I mean, it's no fault of the seller's, but the emulation is pretty bad and the control panel layout is terrible. I just read a 7 page thread about it on KLOV (should have read it before, haha!) but the general consensus is that the default CP layout is terrible and the emulation is worse. Those JROK boards are apparently a lot better and selling for around $200, so maybe in a few months I'll pick one of those up and swap the boards out.
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Post by Tdarcos » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:49 pm

Flack wrote:I believe it's the former, although I'd rather have the latter.

EDIT: From my 30 seconds of research on the matter, it looks like the former boards sell for $150 and the latter ones sell for $400.

Why do "19-in-1" (or whatever) PCB makers put filler on these boards? They're all pirate boards, right? I mean, nobody's paying Midway for the rights to these games I assume. Are there really people out there that would prefer "Sky Kid" over, say, "Berzerk"?
Perhaps it isn't so much as respecting one company's intellectual material as being able to find a board that they can pirate, and being able to emulate it.

Realize, they're making some hardware pretend to be other hardware, e.g. making a button simulate the credit switch in the coin counter. So they have to figure out what hardware to send the pulse via the correct simulated instruction.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:18 am

Flack wrote:For what it's worth, the Multi-Williams board I got is a fucking mess. I mean, it's no fault of the seller's, but the emulation is pretty bad and the control panel layout is terrible. I just read a 7 page thread about it on KLOV (should have read it before, haha!) but the general consensus is that the default CP layout is terrible and the emulation is worse. Those JROK boards are apparently a lot better and selling for around $200, so maybe in a few months I'll pick one of those up and swap the boards out.
Well...

jrok made a limited number of those boards. They sold for $200 at the time. However, supply has been zero for months, if not years, and last I saw, people who are selling them are getting 300 or 400 bucks for them.

But the board IS awesome. I don't know if you remember playing any Williams games on my cab, but that's the board I was using.

jrok really should spin another round of those boards, demand is insane for them due to the amazing job he did.
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Post by Flack » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:09 am

That's awesome. And by "awesome" I mean "f me".

On the 19-in-1 Multi-Williams (MW, from here on out), you can configure the PCB to play in either 1 player or 2 player mode. In 1 player mode (get ready) all the games are only 1 player. This includes Joust and Mario Bros, two games that are best with two players. Mine is currently set to 1 player mode.

If you change the PCB to two player mode, each player must use his own joystick and own buttons for every game, even on games where normally players would simply alternate using the same controls (ie: Defender).

The control panel has 2 joysticks and 6 buttons, which is unnecessary since Defender has been hacked to use the joystick to thrust and reverse, so you really only need to use 4. Player 1 has buttons 1 and 2 and Player 2 has buttons 3, 4, 5 and 6.

By putting the board in 2 Player mode, Player 1 now does not have enough buttons to play Defender or Stargate.

By leaving the board in 1 Player mode, not only can you not play Joust or Mario Bros, but some of the buttons are really laid out funky. For example, when playing single player Joust, you use the joystick on the left and button #5 (all the way on the right hand side of the control panel). In Super Mario Bros. You use buttons 3 and 5 for jumping and running fast.

The two solutions people on KLOV have suggested are (a) constantly flipping the board between 1 and 2 player mode through the setup menu depending on what game you want to play, or (b) making a new control panel with 2 sticks and 4 buttons per player. Obviously solution B is a more permanent solution, but that would mean (a) the MW CPO would no longer work, and (b) you're getting pretty crowded with 2 sticks, 8 buttons, and 2 start buttons all on a 24" Midway cabinet.

I have never been a devout purist, but even I can tell in Robotron on this thing that your character walks too slow and shoots too fast. In Super Mario Bros., the Goombas are blue (it was so bad I was adjusting the monitor until I saw the green tubes and realized it wasn't a monitor issue).

My personal opinion is that the quality of the 19-in-1 MW is much lower than the 60-in-1 boards. While some of the games on the 60-in-1 weren't 100% accurate, I thought they were at least all playable. I don't think all of the games on the MW are.
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Post by Tdarcos » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:43 pm

Flack wrote:On the 19-in-1 Multi-Williams (MW, from here on out), you can configure the PCB to play in either 1 player or 2 player mode. In 1 player mode (get ready) all the games are only 1 player. This includes Joust and Mario Bros, two games that are best with two players.
Question. If I am thinking of it, Joust is the one where you're flying some sort of ride-able ostrich in which you bump others and the one who is higher up in the collision wins. Now, is it that the AI version is too easy, too hard, or what?

I mean, some of the stuff they've done in video games amazes me. I mean, I know I can be a real wizard in writing programs - the fact I was the first to think up how to implement a teleporter for a Text Adventure game that allows transport to anywhere in the entire game shows I do have some skills - but some things they've done are really surprising.

Also, and this is something I'm not sure about, how do they regulate gameplay when it's two people? After all, the purpose on a coin-op machine is to dump the player (with a loss) and get them to pay again, so if the customers aren't regularly dumped it's costing the arcade/machine owner money.

I remember with Gauntlet that there is a timer you have to finish the level by or you had to do something or you lost a life.

Also, if, while playing one of the levels in Gauntlet with others, you got dragged over to where your comrades are if you were too slow or too far back in the maze, my memory is fuzzy because it's been years since I've played it. Maybe I should go eat something, perhaps this is a sign that Wizard needs food, badly!
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Post by Flack » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:03 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:jrok made a limited number of those boards. They sold for $200 at the time. However, supply has been zero for months, if not years, and last I saw, people who are selling them are getting 300 or 400 bucks for them.

But the board IS awesome. I don't know if you remember playing any Williams games on my cab, but that's the board I was using.

jrok really should spin another round of those boards, demand is insane for them due to the amazing job he did.
Do you know if the JROK boards perform any better or any worse than MAME?

My current plans are as follows:

01. Get the 19-in-1 Multi-Williams upstairs.
02. Get the 60-in-1 Multicade looking top notch.
03. Get the 60-in-1 Multicade upstairs.
04. Finish my MAME cabinet.
05. Get the MAME cabinet upstairs.

There are two or three really good spots for arcade machines upstairs, so that shouldn't be a problem. The MAME cabinet kind of trumps the other two, but there's nothing wrong with having a bit of overlap, especially if the kids are going to be playing them.
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:18 am

Flack wrote:Do you know if the JROK boards perform any better or any worse than MAME?
Muuuuuucccccch better than MAME. Now, you know that I hate MAME. (Well, I think it's the best program ever written, but you know what I mean.) But Flack, I can tone it down and be realistic. That being said: jrok's board kick's MAME's ass.

And you almost certainly will be able to get a jrok board, it's just that it would be at a higher price than what he originally shipped them for.

(I am soooo buying a backup when he spins them again. In fact, I am gonna bump his thread on KLOV.)

What makes it better than MAME? The config options, the lack of a boot-up time frame, flash disk saves and the fact that he is only doing emulation for a bit of sound. He placed real chips on his board, so the code is run through the actual processors that the real PCBs had.
My current plans are as follows:

01. Get the 19-in-1 Multi-Williams upstairs.
02. Get the 60-in-1 Multicade looking top notch.
03. Get the 60-in-1 Multicade upstairs.
04. Finish my MAME cabinet.
05. Get the MAME cabinet upstairs.
These are noble plans. I agree with you.
There are two or three really good spots for arcade machines upstairs, so that shouldn't be a problem. The MAME cabinet kind of trumps the other two, but there's nothing wrong with having a bit of overlap, especially if the kids are going to be playing them.
Hey tell us again.... what cabinet are you using for the 60-in-1? Is this the 60-in-1 that you had previous to buying the new house?
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:20 am

Tdarcos wrote:Also, and this is something I'm not sure about, how do they regulate gameplay when it's two people? After all, the purpose on a coin-op machine is to dump the player (with a loss) and get them to pay again, so if the customers aren't regularly dumped it's costing the arcade/machine owner money.
With Joust, there was plenty of "team-killing." So eventually, players would fight each other!
I remember with Gauntlet that there is a timer you have to finish the level by or you had to do something or you lost a life.
In fact, you only get one "life" in Gauntlet! But yeah, eating food gets you more health, and you can extend your game that way. And health constantly counts down. It, in theory, makes owning it at home a bit shit, but it's such a fun group game it makes it OK. :)
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Post by pinback » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:05 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:With Joust, there was plenty of "team-killing." So eventually, players would fight each other!
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Post by Flack » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:10 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:Hey tell us again.... what cabinet are you using for the 60-in-1? Is this the 60-in-1 that you had previous to buying the new house?
Nope, sold that one.

The one I'm building now is in a Midway (Joust) cabinet. Someone converted it to a Buster Bros. before I bought it. (Here is a picture of it.) I paid $50 for the game at an auction, non-working. The problem ended up being the power cord wasn't connected inside to the power supply. Wired it up and the game fired up just fine.

Other than a somewhat dim monitor, the game's been working fine. Then about two months ago, it just up and died. I did some basic troubleshooting and figured out that it was the motherboard that died. (Remind me to quit buying games that use suicide batteries ...) The game's got two joysticks with two buttons each, so it's practically begging to be turned into a Multicade.

I was kind of looking at this auction which has 2 pieces of Multicade side-art and a marquee for $50. And to be honest, I was kind of planning on just painting the cabinet myself until I saw that artwork. Either way though, the goal is to sand the cabinet down (it only has a few scratches on it, nothing bad) and get it ready. The only real eyesore on the cabinet is the cracked plexi covering the control panel, which I may just end up removing.
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Post by Flack » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:44 pm

Had kind of an interesting situation pop up over the past week. Apparently this has been going on for a while and I just didn't realize it.

Some of the guys who have been buying games from me already had other buyers lined up. I guess they're like ... video game brokers, or something. They keep asking what all I have for sale and are then turning around and beating the street, trying to resell my games at a markup. I'm not upset by this because I could be doing the same thing I guess. I'm at the point where I would rather sell one of my games for $100 today than $150 next month or $200 six months from now.

One of the games I have left, I haven't had any interest in at all. Suddenly this week I have three people all trying to low ball me and get a great deal on it. Two of them didn't mention reselling it, but the third guy was honest and told me he had another buyer for it and was going to flip it and make $50 on it. By the end of the conversation the guy was buying three of my machines, so I made the deal with him. None of the other guys had made a firm offer yet so it's not like I'm undercutting any of the other buyers.
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Post by pinback » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:40 pm

If you said you'd pay me $50 to move one of those monstrosities ten feet, I would decline.

WTF are these maniacs doing.
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Post by Flack » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:01 pm

$50 profit is the exception. Typically what these guys are doing is buying games I'm selling cheap that need small repairs, performing those repairs, and then flipping them for a few hundred dollars profit.

I agree with you. For $50, I'd rather bash these god damn machines into little pieces.
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Post by Flack » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:16 pm

Flack wrote:Got rid of 6 cabinets ... that leaves me with 10:

720
MAME
48-in-1
Multi-Williams
Commando
Centipede
Rampart
Road Riot 4WD
Super Off Road
Road Blasters
Sold Centipede, Road Riot 4WD, and Super Off Road today.

All that's left to sell is Rampart, Road Blasters, and Commando. Everything else I'm keeping.

Both the Rampart and the Road Blasters are spoken for, although no money has exchanged hands. That just leaves me with Commando, which is odd because of all the crap I owned, it was in the best condition. It works good and looks good ... just no love for it, I guess.
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Post by Flack » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:58 pm

Can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but Susan and I tried moving the lightest of the four games I'm keeping upstairs. We made it up one stair. One single, lousy stair. That game (the Multi-Williams) is back in the dining room until we can figure out a plan B.

Which reminds me, Jonsey ... how's your back? :)
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Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:05 pm

Flack wrote:Can't remember if I mentioned this or not, but Susan and I tried moving the lightest of the four games I'm keeping upstairs. We made it up one stair. One single, lousy stair. That game (the Multi-Williams) is back in the dining room until we can figure out a plan B.

Which reminds me, Jonsey ... how's your back? :)
It's FUCKING MIGHTY.

That game will be moved by the weekend I get there, at the latest. It WILL be moved. It WILL be moved!!

So I have one of those Sony Wega TVs in my spare room. Downstairs. I'd love to sell it. I can't move the fucking thing on my own because it's too big for my arm span.

My brother came to visit a few weeks ago and I thought, psh, we'll absolutely get a chance to bring it upstairs where I can sell it.

Well that didn't happen. ERGO, the first night I am there, the arcade games get moved Flack. The Midnight Arcade Mover What Moves At Midnight.
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