I was born in 81 so I grew up in the arcades and today I thought that I would have some fun by looking at some of my most memorable moments playing games in the arcade. These might not be the greatest games of all time or even my own personal favorite arcade games, but it is more the memories I wanted to share.
Here in the UK, there is a tourist hot spot called Blackpool and each October we would go for a long weekend. One time we stayed in this hotel and it had a tiny arcade, it had about four games in it, but that was more than the one we stayed in last year had. The best game was Double Dragon. One night I was given some money to go and play the games, I went down to play Double Dragon and another kid was there!
Rather than wait, I asked if I could play too and he said yes. Me and this other kid, whose name I never even learned kicked that games ass and beat it! I could not tell you another thing that happened on that vacation, but I will probably remember that forever.
In my high school, we did not have to stay on campus for lun~ch. We were allowed to go into the town. One of the places that me and my buddies would go was a very popular fish and chip shop (it is a UK thing) and they always had an arcade machine, it was some terrible soccer one, but then one day the line was out the door. Not for the food, but for Mortal Kombat!
The line was way too big and our lunch break too short to actually get to play it that day. So my buddies and I hatched a plan that the next day, we would meet at the school gates and sprint down to that place so we could play Mortal Kombat. We spent all of our lunch money on that game. The next few days I would get lunch money of my dad, but little did he know I was also making myself a sandwich and taking that to actually eat!
Another popular place families go here in the UK is Scarborough. Scarborough had a lot of arcades back in the day and they still have a lot now. I hate to think how much of my parent's money was spent at the arcades in Scarborough! One arcade had the brand new (well at the time) WWF Wrestlefest game and to say my mind was blown is an understatement.
My dad and sister went to go on some of the rides (we were on the pier where there were also rides) my mum stayed and just kept feeding me money to play Wrestlefest. Want to know how bad I got into this game? Well, you had to mash the buttons to win grapples and I played the game so much and so hard that my fingers were a mess with blisters…. And I did not regret it for a moment
Street Fighter II
As I mentioned before at my high school we did not have to stay on campus for lunch. As a result, a few places would tempt kids in with arcade machines. One of these was a video store called Good News Video. They had a Street Fighter II arcade machine and I was already good at the game thanks to the SNES version as were some other kids so there was a real competitive scene around this game.
I would love to say I was the best, but I was not. It was a kid around 4 years older than me, but a good friend of mine called Paul and I would always be battling it out for second place… only for the real king of the machine to come and kick our butts.
War Gods…… really? Is what you are saying right now, but please hear me out. Again this relates to my high school. My high school was a short train ride away from a city called Dundee. Dundee had a few arcades, one of which was great as it got in all of the latest games. Me and my buddies knew some of the people working there quite well and in 1996 there was a lot of buzz about a new game called War Gods. Not so much the game itself, but the fact it was like a 3D version of Mortal Kombat.
We found out when the game was coming to that arcade and knew that if we waited until Saturday we would have to deal with a huge line. So a plan was hatched that on Friday we would all skip school, take the train to Dundee and play War Gods. It was a master plan and we thought we had pulled it off. We got to the arcade and were blown away by War Gods. I do not mean that sarcastically either, at the time we all thought this was one of the greatest games ever made.
Now there is an extra part of this arcade memory. We had a great day in Dundee, we all called into school pretending to be each other’s parents so we thought we had pulled it off and we very well might have. Had it not been for a school guidance counselor who had seen us going into the train station before school had even started that day! So we had gotten caught before we had even started and had no idea. We got into huge trouble for not just skipping school, but for also “committing fraud” as the school put it by pretending to be someone else. You know what the memory of that day was well worth the two weeks detention that we all got…… the actual game of War Gods, maybe not so much.