Saturday at the Galloping Ghost Arcade
Saturday, a few of us headed out to Brookfield to go play video games at Galloping Ghost – an arcade that features over 200 old-school games. Unlike Nickel City, no tokens or coins are needed: you pay your entry fee, and can play to your heart’s content. You can even come and go all day, until the place closes at 2AM.
En route, we spotted this car. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that Error 33 is ” jargon for the failure due to predicating one research project on the success of another, or alternatively for allowing one’s own research into the critical path of another project.”
Kevin, unfortunately, was running late doing a deployment. Though he was working on a holiday weekend, he was able to join us at the arcade about 20 minutes later.
As I’m standing at the front counter, I started scanning up and down the rows of games. At this point, I’m pretty excited and started feeling like a kid again.
And there, first game first row, is Smash TV. I played a few quick games and the announcer’s voice is as obnoxious and over-the-top as I remember. The one downfall was that the joysticks weren’t very tight… and were a little wobbly. Made it a bit difficult to play.
Peeking down a back room, a few other games near the exit. Specifically: Crazy Taxi and Star Wars Trilogy.
Here. Here is where I spent the majority of my time. I love love LOVED Robotron: 2084 as a kid. And apparently that love is still going strong, as I camped out and played this thing like it was my job.
I remember this game as one of the first dual-joystick games I ever played. While the controls weren’t terrible, they were definitely a little loose. Had they been tightened up a bit more, I would have been in heaven.
After about two hours, we all decided to take a break. And by “take a break,” I mean walk two blocks through some horrific heat to a nearby bar. Since our admission was good for all day, we could come and go as we pleased (so long as we showed the front desk our receipts). So we hopped out to grab a quick drink.
We got directions from one of the arcade staff, and found a place called Brixie’s about 2 blocks away. Given how hot the day was, it was a brutal walk. I could feel myself dehydrating with every moment we were in the sun – it was THAT hot.
Inside Brixie’s. It was a fairly large area, with tons of booths and tables… and a lot of space to just roam around. When we showed up, there was only one other guy sitting at the bar.
Chatting over some beer and Jameson.
A few drinks later, we were ready to head back to the arcade. The walk back was just as brutal. It felt like we had to fight and push our way through the air, it was so nasty outside.
Random photo of an old Elevator Action cabinet. Did exactly what I used to do, playing this game as a kid: tried it out and got bored after 20 seconds.
Off-Road, still surprisingly fun after all these years. This guy used to be one of the machines at the local 7-11 store near my house (where I lost a lot of time and quarters, in high school). It was surprising how quickly I was able to pick up the game again – spinning the wheel hard, to make turns… hitting all the shortcuts and using Nitro to get ahead.
You don’t see quality graphics like this in games, anymore.
Kevin and I played this game for what felt like a solid 20+ minutes, with the two of us eventually maxing out all the improvements to our car. By the time we were all good with brakes and engine advances, we started to put all our money into Nitro’s (which would propel your car forward, with a small burst of speed). Last few games, it was one giant, non-stop Nitro fest.
All in all, I think we were there for maybe 5 hours. It’s been a long while since I’ve been in an actual, honest to goodness arcade… and it felt great. I was worried the Free Play aspect would make all the games seem less fun, but that didn’t happen to me this time around. There were a few other games I was hoping to see but didn’t: Sinistar, Ikari Warriors, 720, Time Pilot. I know there were several games in their back area, under repair. Here’s hoping they have them next time.
Can’t wait to come back and play more games in the future. And by play more games, I really mean Robotron: 2084.