back to article Top Ten Arcade Classics

What do you remember about being twelve? I remember spending a whole summer wishing I could hang out with the cool kids but instead nicking stuff from Woolworths and ramming coin after coin into Dragon’s Lair and Defender. Seventeen? Sometimes I ponder my misspent youth playing pool in Sneaky Dee’s and ramming coin after coin …

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Nice list

Some that I played a lot were Mortal Kombat, Terminator, Operation Wolf (which sucks the big one on the wii), Mad Dog McCree, and some helicopter simulator the name of which escapes me.

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Anonymous Coward

Mad Dog Mcree

The only game worth owning a CDI for.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "some helicopter simulator"

Steel Talons, by Atari?

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Thunder Blade!

That blew me away, with its stick and the seat moving. It was the only one of that kind in the small city I grew up in.

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Two words

Mr Do!

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Sir

Wow, this lot takes me back a bit.

Can't really complain about the list, but would like to have seen a few noteable mentions such as

Robotron - move in 8 directions with one stick, fire in 8 directions with the other - mental

Gauntlet - 4 player madness and stacks of fun

Space Harrier - moving seat platform goodness

There are others, but I think most oldies would recognise the above :)

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Gauntlet 2

Gauntlet, had many fun times with that on the Amiga. Okay it was probably Gauntlet 2 by then. On the Amiga you could plug in 4 joysticks using a parallel port adapter. I bought one for Ikari Warriors which wasn't wired right for Gauntlet, a bit of re-soldering later and it was.

Gauntlet was one of the first arcade games that I remember having speech.

Other games I remember well:

Q-Bert

Ghosts and Goblins

Moon Buggy

Scramble

Bombjack

Tron

Missile Command

Paperboy

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Man I loved bombjack

I still know the correct routes for the bombs on an unhealthy number of the levels

Tron discs was good, the other ones not so much

Ghost and Goblins also win (if painfully difficult in the arcade)

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Megaphone

Arcade Speak

I remember playing GORF some years before Gauntlet. I was drawn to its ominous cabinet by the hypnotic "INSUURT COYNE" digitised speech. Cost me a bleedin' fortune, it did!

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Bod

Speech

Star Wars had speech. "May the force be with you", etc.

Best game of the lot. If I had the space some day, I will own a sit down Star Wars cabinet :)

Nice list anyway, and wasted my time on all of those except the last one.

But I'd definitely add Gauntlet. Maybe even Tempest.

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Oh yes!

I can hear that lovely synth voice even now...

"Valkyrie, Prepare to Die"

Bl00dy thing... ;-)

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YOU LOSE, SPAYEECE CAH-DET

KAA KAA KAA KAA!

I think Wizard of Wor had the same speech synth. Legendary stuff.

Memories like the ones in the article are why I built a videogame cabinet of my own. There is a thriving aftermarket is the control boards for these. Swap a couple connectors and you have an entirely different game AND don't have to fret over copyright issues with emulators like MAME

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must have been a close call with ...

Double dragon !!

(that got a lot more coins than the first SF)

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what about...

Operation wolf? Gauntlet? I suppose the list would never be complete....

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Use the Frorce Luke!

Ah, remeber some of these FAR too well. Sixth form it was battlezone and Defender - even have De3ender for Psion and enjoyed even round 200 - now onto Defendguin the Tux clone - still all good. Best memories were with Star Wars - repeatedly failing to plant the torpedo home - probably something to do with 4+ pints late at night in Student Union Bar...at least I *think* I got to firing the torpedo.....

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Alert

countdown humanoid intruder alert

No Robotron? A serious ommission.

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A few more to add to the list...

Gauntlet II - I can still hear "warrior needs food badly" echoing in my head.

Rampage - giant gorilla for the win.

Operation Thunderbolt - me and a friend once spent £13 on a school day trip to Brighton completing this in the arcade rather than checking out the talent on the beaches. We never spoke again after the whole "who shot the hostage?" debacle at the end.

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Too short

Only 10? And no Strider or R-Type?

Tcchh - I'm not coming to your video arcade. Hardly worth getting my change from the grumpy git in the glass box for...

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Strider and R-Type

The two games that took most of my pocket money... Would definitely have made my top 10.

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Uh...

That'd be "shoryuken" (or shouryuuken if you're a linguist). Not a bad list otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Wot no Frogger?

Travesty!

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Ah...the memories...

I'm not sure about Time Crisis, it's a little too modern but for me Silent Scope is the best in the 'got gun' category.

Anyone in Reading should go to the Allied Arms pub where there's still the table version of bomb-jack. Classic.

Street Fighter has to be the number 1.

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#1

I can see why Time Crisis is on there. I'm still drawn to every Time Crisis machine I find.

I bought it on the Playstation too with the Gcon45, and set up a second controller to act as a pedal.

I've not seen a Time Crisis cabinet around in a while, but there is a Time Crisis II cabinet in the Bowling alley in Camberley.

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jai
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absolutely

my girlfriend and i once spent a very happy afternoon in the Trocadero at Leicester Sq determined to complete Time Crisis. i think we also spent about 20 quid each in the endeavour, cos we weren't all that good at it, but it was still good fun

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Time Crisis

I'm not long back from Butlins in Minehead, I know i saw Time Crisis 3 and 4 in the main arcade, but im pretty sure there was a 2 knocking about in one of the dodgy beachfront arcades.

We used to have a Time Crisis at the Laser Quest i worked at about 10 years ago, god knows how much of my pay packet went in that......

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Time Crisis LIVES!

I'm a Time Crisis nutjob, personally - I love light gun games, and every time you think Sega, Taito or someone else are catching up, Namco release a new one that once again blows everything else out of the water. I love them so much I own every single one - I even bought a special gun so I can play the PS2 versions upscaled on my PS3.

I was quite astonished just last month to find an original deluxe edition Time Crisis machine hidden away on the top floor of an amusements in Blackpool, in the same room as deluxe editions of House of the Dead 1, Virtua Cop 2, and GUNBLADE! There's one no-one's mentioned. Gunblade absolutely ruled. (It's out on the Wii now - bloody faithful port, too.)

When I was a bairn - unfortunately not far enough back to play some of these - I played a lot of Daytona USA, Outrun, Terminator 2, Gunblade, X-Men, and Galaga. Actually, surprised Galaga/Galaxian didn't get a mention.

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Unhappy

TIME CRISIS!!!!

I loved Time Crisis, I've not been able to play it for bloody years either thanks to light guns not working on modern TVs. I'm at the point now of seriously considering buying the arcade machine off eBay and putting it in the garage....

The first TC is still the best IMHO as it focused on getting the fastest possible time, whereas the sequels became obsessed with score. Spamming headshots on the same flying body would rack up the points, but it wasn't the same as the pin-point accuracy needed to nail a boss just as he's diving out of cover to shave a few milliseconds off your time in TC1.

Oddly the PS1 version's clock was faster I think, I found it easy to get sub-10 minute completion times on the arcade machine with no practice (aside from familiarity with the PS1 version), yet on the PS1 itself to get a sub-11 minute time was really pushing it.

From what I've seen, modern light guns work like the Wii, using infra-red as reference points, which is a real shame as I find when the Wii remote is used as a list gun it is totally inaccurate and utterly fails to deliver the same accuracy that the old GunCons had.

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Camberley?

Mymy, nice to see a fellow Camberley Lad on El Reg - That arcade is by far one of the best things to have happened to Camberley in a loooong time.

Mainly because of the Time Crisis machine there.

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the wii remote

is ok as a light gun, it just takes some unexpectedly precision calibration to get it working properly.

Took me a very long time to get it to recognise my whole tv correctly for house of the dead.

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Voiceover

My favourite bit of Time Crisis?

Unbelievably cheesy dialogue during the opening:

"GET INTO THE CASTLE, AND RESCUE RACHEL!"

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And how could you forget...

Donkey Kong!

Otherwise 9/10

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New games

As an old person I was in to pinball which was nudged out of the way by machines that took less space and needed far less maintenance.

For nostalgia I use Future Pinball http://www.futurepinball.com/ a free pinball simulator that others write tables for. There are some very welcome reminders of a mis-spent youth especially some of the German machines. There is a good mixture of machines to load in, some carefully recreated from old and some brand new, some are wonderful and some are shite.

The sound of the coin dropping in the slot is just the start , the rest of the evening can be easily lost.

And it's all free.

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Pin ball

People around my age (43) just timed it right for video games, and home computers for that matter. I still remember my friends describing Space Invaders to me, after they discovered it at the local baths: "It's like pinball! All these monsters.. you shoot them its like pinball!". They were in a frenzy about it.

Pinball's not dead, the real machines are still around - aren't they ?

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Heart

I have a Pinball

Much better than Video Games.

Except for maybe Discs Of Tron. Loved that game.

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Pinball

I spent hours playing pinball on Southwold Pier this summer, my kids thought I'd gone nuts...

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Sod Mortal Combat

it should have been Double Dragon, Donkey King, Spy Hunter, Xevious, Lunar Lander or Asteroids

But with the presence of Battle Zone and Defender I will mostly forgive you

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Up voted for being first to mention Spy Hunter!

Spy Hunter was my addiction, and Jail Break. Both bloody hard when I was a kid playing in arcades/family pubs. In fact still hard compared to todays games. The only reason I can get a bit further on them these days is I can play as much as I like with MAME and not run out of pocket money.

Space Invaders had to be on list of course and Pac Man, but so should Donkey Kong! All classics.

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Thank god I'm not alone

Was at college in 79 and remember watching the Iranians on our course playing this.

They were always so much better than us but could afford to play all day!

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Not too bad,

but where is Missile Command?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Not too bad,

Good Q - edged out at the last minute by Battlezone, that's why. There were a lot of heated arguments in the Reg Hardware office about this one, let me tell you.

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Another fatal omission

Golden Axe was another one that deserved a place in there. Good to see I'm not the only one that remembers strider though.

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IT Angle

And a good decission too :)

Missile Command was good, but Battle Zone was both good and different, and for a 12 year old short arse like myself, a real challenge to play.

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missile command...

Where you sacrificed your cities to protect your missiles. Loved the giant track.ball.

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Coat

Ah... Happy memories of mis-spent youth...

...watching kids with some co-ordination play these behemoths. My own 10p would generally give me about 15 seconds of frustrated button-hammering and ultimate fail. Except Dig Dug, for which I had an uncanny affinity...

Never noticed before but isn't Ryu (is that his name? Tom-Cruise-looking bloke in white PJs in Street Fighter...) wearing red stilettos? All this time and I had no idea the game was about catty TVs...

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10p for Star Wars? Nah!

I loved Star Wars but I seem to remember it was not that cheap. In fact I think one of the first machines to accept the new 20p and (in some arcades) was actually 50p a go way back in '83.

However for that outlay you didn't get the usual coin-added bleep - you got Mr. Hamill himself saying, "Red five, standing by!". <*Sigh*> Worra game!

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Green Elf Has Eaten All The Food Lately....

What, no Gauntlet? The four-player coin guzzling classic from Atari was the biggest draw at our local Arcade pit, and consumed far more of my moolah than was healthy.

Other classics that used to part me from my cash were Atari's Marble Madness, Irem's R-Type (damn that was hard!) and Double Dragon (once you found the reverse-elbow move, the game was easy to beat)

Ooh, and Xybots... [drifts off into Arcade game reverie....]

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Not bad

But I'd have to have Exerion and Xevious on my all-time list.

Honorable mentions for Gyruss, Double Dragon and Sinistar (if only for booming "Run coward!!" voice that punctuates the game).

I'm getting nostalgic. TIme to dig up my MAME ROMs....

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Great list but missing ..

Phoenix (played while queueing for the Defender machine), TRON, Karate Champ, Centipede, and CheckMan ...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Great list but missing ..

Centipede = Space Invaders + legs

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Inequality

Centipede had the trackball, and you could move all around the screen -- and the centipede did as well. Nothing like Space Invaders.

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