Author Topic: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game  (Read 663 times)

Offline RussG

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What's your first memory of a special arcade game or pinball machine or multiple or both?

Were you a kid, teen or an adult?  Where was it and what are your greatest memories?

I'll start off with my first memory of ever seeing an arcade game and my first real memory of pinball machines- it was 1978 or 1979 and there was a new arcade in our mall called the Nautilus and it looked outside and inside like Jules Verne's depicted Nautilus submarine from 20,000 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Anyway I walked in in awe and complete wonder.  I was around 8 years old at the time.  I remember seeing classics like Lunar Lander, Tail Gunner, Asteroids, Death Race, Sea Wolf, and the pins I remember were Future Spa (big muscle bound dude/s and women with bigger "guns"  :roll:.
Anyway it was thrilling and I was hooked.  Later I remember Galaxian coming in and the colors were amazing! Battlezone and Missile Command came in and others like Warlords table top.
It was an enchanted time I'll never forget!

My first pin of infatuation but I wasn't good at at the time was Gorgar!  How can one not forget that big devil on the backglass and playfield with that fighter and hot chic!  The speaking was the icing on the cake!  "Gorgar!" "Beat me!"  It just sat there evil and enchanting at the same time!

Offline tufnel1530

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 03:56:48 PM »
I had played earlier games like Pong, Stunt cycle etc at the bowling alley my dad used to go to.

The first game that really blew me away was Space Invaders.. that was a whole new thing.

It seemed like it was so advanced at the time.. the sounds, the look, everything about it.

First pin I ever really got into was Funhouse in the 90s... I was in a band that played a bar in New jersey that had one and i would stand there between sets plopping quarters in it non stop. I never really cared for the 70s and 80s pins, still dont.

Offline k7

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 05:46:34 PM »
elevator action, chuckEcheese in the mid-80s. i remember well playing a single 50 cent game of dragon's lair. never played it again.

used to ride my bike about 9 miles to the boca mall on federal highway, and leave it in the bushes. played dig dug there. early 80s.

a dennys on federal highway. a pacman with The Glob hack roms, in the early 80s. i really liked that game.

gran prix raceorama in hollywood. late 80s, early 90s. played race drivin', street fighter ii, time killers, dig dug, and elevator action. game cabinets were generic and white. i remember hating gran prix for doing that.

friend managed a movie theater, and there was a small arcade 2 doors down. played rbi baseball in a nintendo orange cabinet and 720 there. 1990-1995.



i played 1 pinball from birth to 2008. never cared for it. this damm village changed all that. :P
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Offline Old Pin Guy

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 07:20:43 PM »
My first memories are failing at skeeball, at the age of 3, 1963, at Rockaway Beach.
I was allowed to play the roll the ball Bingo game for tickets, which usually meant a smelly plastic coin purse, or a wood paddle ball, rubber ball on a string! The sounds of Transistor Radios playing the current Yankee Game, Coppertone smell, and the Hot Dogs on the Boardwalk.

Next was the local soda fountain stationary store,which was on my way to school. The first pin I can remember battling was brand new...Shangri la, 1967.
In elementary school, Id get $1.00 for Lunch, which meant a slice of pizza and Soda for $.50, and either 5 games of pinball, or a comic, and some games....I was So excited to win a free game, sometimes after school, when it got dark shortly after school got out in Winter, Id be still playing, and my father would drive up and smack my ass for not coming home....."But Dad, I still had 3 games on it"

Lastly were summers on Atlantic Beach....the tip of a barrier island. The Beach Club, was like the movie Flamingo Kid,
and the Concession stand always had 2 pinball machines.
We quickly learned we could plug them back in after hours, and slam the door and get credits.....we played all night...
Gottlieb Melody, was a favorite.  Im sure they saw the meter run, so later, they cut the plug, and we brought our own.
Then they locked the outlet up, and we brought extension cords.
Finally they put a fence cage around them and locked it at night....They won...But at Nathans, you could use their hot dog fork
in the coin slot and get free games.....I spent all day Saturdays playing, and getting kicked out, of course.
I did of course put all my allowance in these games too.....

Happy 4th!

Offline Steve O

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 09:05:37 PM »
I remember when the pinball machines switched from EM to solid state.  At the time I thought it was a terrible idea but soon I was pumping quarters into Flash, Kiss, Silverball Mania, Space Invaders... 

Missile Command is the only video game I was hooked on, probably because it is the only video game I can play well.  At college, my friend Stuart and I played that game for hours.  He was the first one to reach 810,000 and get a bonus 100 cities or whatever the number is.  I eventually got that score.  I almost got into fights at bars from guys wanting to play while I could last a long time on one quarter.

Offline weeze

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2018, 09:25:30 PM »
the first game i got onto was a Williams "Stockade" shooting arcade. I had played other games previous to this but I cannot recall thier names. Then the first pin I played and returned to play some more till "mastered" was  Gottlieb "NORTH STAR". That was while in prep school in Lenox, Mass. Used to run the games up and then sell them off. I own  beautiful example of this to this day and consider myself lucky to have found what I believe was a 2 or even possibly one owner. Man, thats a game everyone should spend some time on, itll teach you ball control quickly because otherwise itl kill you.
 Then in college there were a few machines but the one that really stuck out was Gottlieb "DIMENSION". cool game with drop targets up the almost entire length of both sides of the playfield. unfortunately that is a game that can be mastered to the point of being able to turn it over literally 10 times or more until you get sick of the continued play for hours if you want. Still tho from first playing to the point you vou got the game down si a very fun expierience. Not too many of those were made and they are really hard to find, people dont part with them. You see a lot more of the 2001 games which were free game style which just isnt the same.
 When I think of all those add a balls all over New York State when i was younger that I got to play.........and then when I got to a place when I could afford to actually buy them, and have space for, the add a balls have become hard to find and quite frankly usually overpriced since they need complete rehabs most ot the time!
 No matter how old ya are, we all have the good ole days dont we?
 Cept for "OLD PIN GUY" when he first started playing it was on a bar top "BALLYHOO"!
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Offline paul400

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2018, 09:41:31 PM »
pong at pathmark....sprint at movies...both b/w
taking on monitor chassis repair. wells gardner u2000, k7000 19 and 25 inch, k7201, k7203 , k4600, k4900, k7400, k7500 med rez. electrohome G0-7..
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Offline Rasavage

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2018, 10:53:31 PM »
I'm from a small town, but even still growing up there wasn't really a shortage of Ms Pacs, DKs, or Galagas. Pins however were a bit rarer and oriented toward an older crowd. Nonetheless, we had a pizza joint that always had 3 or 4 vids and 2 or 3 Williams pins. I never really understood what was happening, but I can so distinctly remember putting in a quarter or two and trying to take in Pin-Bot, f14, Taxi, Bride, ES, WW, and Wh2o. Taxi particularly stuck with me.
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Offline Old Pin Guy

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2018, 11:44:54 PM »
Cept for "OLD PIN GUY" when he first started playing it was on a bar top "BALLYHOO"!

Come on Weeze, You KNOW I invented Ballyhoo!

Offline RussG

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2018, 11:49:37 PM »
Great stories!  Thanks for sharing.

Another memory I had was gathering 16oz glass soda bottles that littered the end of my street where teenagers and such played in vacant fields.
I'd gather enough of them up at 10 cents each return deposit and also cutting lawns gave me enough money to ride my bike to a local Majic Market and if I was really adventurous a 7-11 that was further down the road.  Sometimes I''d ride up with wsrainc here from the village and other friends.  I'd buy a Slurpee or Slushie, a comic book, and some candy and play some games. It was here that I played games like Berzerk, Defender, Phoenix, Pleiades, Ms. Pacman, and later games like Twin Cobra.
EVERY convenience store at that time like most pizza places and most restaurants had at least a game or two in them. They always seemed to grab the quarters out of my pocket and my parents! 

Were these the best and simplest of times or what!?

Offline lutesaware

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 06:11:17 AM »
Wow, what a journey down memory lane!  The first pin I recall playing repeatedly was at a bar in the early '70s called "Cramers" near the University of Dayton.  It was an EM and a buddy and I would spend hours drinking beer (Wednesday was "quart" night, two-for-one).  Once while I was playing he had a beer in one hand and another under his other arm piinned to his side.  I was struggling to get a higher score than him and he tried to nudge the game with his shoulder and dropped the quart bottle of beer he was holding pinned to his side, it hit his ankle and broke, cutting him badly.  Because the place was jammed with people the bar tender thought he got jostled by the crowd and, after bandaging his leg, gave us free beer the rest of the night.  I went on to play pins all over the world during a 24 year Army career.  I remember being in San Antonio at a military conference once, staying in a hotel that had a small bar with a couple of vids.  Several times we went across the street to a bank and got rolls of quarters for Centepede, probably putting in over $100 between two of us in one night.  That's when the fascination started I think.  It wasn't until I retired and moved to Florida that I was able to get my first pin.  I watched them on eBay for a year or so and quickly realized that I didn't know anything about buying one.  I found a guy on ebay that was selling quite a few and I sent him an email and asked if he had any projects, I couldn't afford the ones he was selling on eBay.  He was in Orlando and said to come on down, he had a storage building full of them.  My teenage son and I went down and met "Wayne".  He had all kinds of coin op stuff all over his house, nicely restored and very pricey.  He took us to his storage unit and it was a double bay, littered with pinball cabinets and separated heads, along with video cabinets.  We found a good head and cabinet for a Williams "Pokerino" and paid him $400 for it in 1995.  It took me two years to learn how to fix it, get boards repaired, find parts and learn all the ins-and-outs of bringing a dead machine back to life.  That's when the addiction started . . . Hi, my name is Tom and I'm a Pinaholic!  Then I started finding pins all over the place for sale; looked forward to the auctions a couple of times a year over at Orlando, found you guys, and started feeding the addiction.  Now, after over 20 years, I can say that I'm curred.  I don't currently own any pins (sold off most of my hoarded part stock), went through about 50 pins or so, a couple of dozen vids, dozens of juke boxes, and shuffle bowlers.  I've got a new crop of grand kids keeping me busy, but they're getting to the age when their very interested in the bar-top game I have, and the EM shuffle bowler that is setting in my shop, waiting to be put back together.  It blows me away to see the prices, both new and resale of pins today.  I wish I had kept my Tommy, Fun House, Medusa, Pinbot, PlayChoice Ten (several of them) and many others just so my grand kids could enjoy them.  We have a juke box in the house, a bar top, gum ball machine, and the aforementioned EM shuffle bowler.  My neighbor has a Donkey Kong and a Pac Man in his garage that he keeps asking me to restore for him, but I keep putting him off, not sure I can fight the addiction . . . you see I'm still in recovery.
Tom

Offline scarabaeus

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 07:01:24 AM »
elevator action, chuckEcheese in the mid-80s. i remember well playing a single 50 cent game of dragon's lair. never played it again.

used to ride my bike about 9 miles to the boca mall on federal highway, and leave it in the bushes. played dig dug there. early 80s.

a dennys on federal highway. a pacman with The Glob hack roms, in the early 80s. i really liked that game.

gran prix raceorama in hollywood. late 80s, early 90s. played race drivin', street fighter ii, time killers, dig dug, and elevator action. game cabinets were generic and white. i remember hating gran prix for doing that.

friend managed a movie theater, and there was a small arcade 2 doors down. played rbi baseball in a nintendo orange cabinet and 720 there. 1990-1995.



i played 1 pinball from birth to 2008. never cared for it. this damm village changed all that. :P

My memory of the old Boca Mall is pretty hazy at this point.  Was there an arcade there in the early to mid 80's or just an alcove with some games? 


Offline PinRush

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2018, 08:00:53 AM »
My memory of the old Boca Mall is pretty hazy at this point.  Was there an arcade there in the early to mid 80's or just an alcove with some games?

The movie theatre had some games. We used to take the bus from west boca to boca mall just to play hang on when it first cane out .


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Offline PinRush

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2018, 08:05:53 AM »
First memories I have is don carters in boca playing missle command, joust, dig dug etc. Then we got an arcade right near my house in American Homes next to mama’s pizza . Played a ton of black hole there.

Those times were the best like was said above.  So simple and the adventures we had left us all with some awesome memories. Most Kids today have no clue.


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Offline k7

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Re: Your first memory of that special pinball machine or arcade game
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »
russ, big thank you for this thread. i'm enjoying the read.

so boca has the 1980s built town center mall, which is still there. i did go there less often (parents drove to sears for something)...i remember going upstairs, by myself, to play the sears telegames cloned 2600 TV arcade game. then the 1st store on the left as you left sears was a kay bee toy and hobby, and they had atari games hanging on a hook close to the entrance. i took a decathlon and dropped it into my dad's sears bag...ah, i learned much so young. :)


but the boca mall (75ish to 88ish) was on federal highway, just south of glades road (now mizner park). that mall had a DINGY almost pitch black full arcade, across from a meat shop which is actually in the only picture i could find. the arcade was inside, across from whatever that import meat shop was named...
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