Bagging the Bagman

Bagman Rebuild

Moving on from “Saving the Condor,” the next restoration project was for the 1982 arcade cabinet Bagman. This golden-age game was created by the French arcade company Valadon Automation, and licensed to Stern in the US and Taito in Japan. Valadon followed-up with Super Bagman (1984) that I have yet to see or play in the wild, but I must say the original Bagman is difficult enough!

I bought this cabinet here in Italy, and I choose it because it was in good shape and almost entirely original—not to mention a bit off the beaten arcade path. The glass bezel is the only original piece missing, and I must say the comic margins add a nice touch:

I’m considering getting the original image embedded above printed to the glass bezel fitted to the cabinet, but first I have to find someone who does that work. Not essential, but that would truly be the finishing touch.

Bagman Teardown

Bagman Teardown

Anyway, the cabinet did have some water damage towards the bottom, similar to my  Scramble project but far less extensive. I stripped the cabinet of all its internal parts, control panel, coin door, marquee, etc. so that all was left was the bones so that Alberto could take it and do his woodworking magic. I documented all the parts removed and various connections so I would remember how to put it back together, although for this one I really didn’t need the photos because the game board and power supply are all housed together in a drawer at the bottom of the cabinet.

Bagman Teardown- draw with PSU and game board

The Flickr album with all the photos I took of each of the various Bagman parts removed and the various connectors might be useful should someone out there find themselves trying to so something similar.

Bagman Teardown

The teardown went surprisingly smooth thanks to all Duke’s hard work 🙂

Bagman Teardown

And after removing the marquee light and monitor the game was out the door. I got it back a couple of weeks later and had previously matched the yellow at a local paint store.

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

Alberto not only cut out the water damage and replaced the base, he also added some really elegant hidden wheels to the bottom of Bagman that lift the game about a quarter inch off the floor. You would never know the game is on wheels, but castors like this definitely make moving the game around the basement a lot easier. The wheels are not lockable, but I find the game remains stable when leaned against and only moves when pushed with some force. That said, I do think keeping a game with these wheels flush against a wall would avoid any possible issues. I liked them so much I had the same wheels added to the Donkey Kong Jr cabinet, but more on that in the next post.

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

You can see the original wheels for tilting the game back to move it are still there, but having castors for moving the games around is really the way to go with a home arcade:

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

After covering the Bagman side art and the existing T-molding with masking tape, I gave the cabinet a clean coat of yellow paint on the sides and back, and touched up the black on the front panel. This is my favorite part because it’s really the only thing I can do 🙂

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

Bagman Cabinet Paint Prep

And once I did a few coats and made everything beautiful it was time to rebuild:

Bagman Rebuild

Bagman Rebuild

Again, it went quite quickly and I was left with a gorgeous specimen! I love the monitor on this machine, it is running a spiffy G07.

Bagman Rebuild

And with that I have bagged the Bagman cabinet, and it is looking brand spanking new!

Posted in bavacade, video games | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Save the Condor

Sometimes the blog post titles just write themselves…but on with the show.

Over the past month or so I’ve been fixing up several cabinets in the bavacade that have cosmetic issues. I’ve been pushing hard on this because I want to ensure the current games in the collection are in tip-top shape before the next wave of games invades in June 🙂 So, I’ll start a series of posts talking about some of the work that’s been happening to make sure it’s all documented. First up is Condor, an interesting bootleg of the venerable Phoenix arcade cabinet by the Italian game company Sidam. Condor is basically identical save the music and fuel gauge that makes it infinitely more difficult than Phoenix. I picked this up in March and it is all original but there where a couple of gouges in the back of the cabinet.

Gouge in Condor Cabinet

Gouge in Condor Cabinet

The other thing is the edge connector which connects the game board to various other parts of the cabinet like the control panel, monitor and power supply was a total mess, so that needed an overhaul.

Condor Edge Connector

I did some repair soldering on the edge connector, but I know it needed a total overhaul, so that was on the list. The marquee light was also not working, so I went ahead and added an LED marquee light that worked well, and I took a quick video describing that process.

The fun thing about these refurbishing projects is you really have to strip the cabinet down to nothing, which often means documenting every piece so that you know how to put it back together again. This might make the camera on the standard smart phone the greatest thing for how-to DIY projects ever—not to mention the flashlight.

Condor Teardown

I have started making albums in Flickr with all the photos for each project that requires dismantling a cabinet so that I have an easy reference for re-assembly, and here is the Condor prepped for surgery:

Stripped Condor

And here is the cabinet after Alberto, the woodworking magician, cleaned up the gouges:

Condor patched up

Condor patched up

Condor patched up

Condor patched up

It is perfect, I do paint the cabinets when needed, but Condor needed some black touch up paint, so Alberto did that and it basically came back to me ready to be rebuilt immediately.

Condor patched up

I was also able to get the edge-connector cleaned up with some help of another local electronics miracle worker, Roberto, you’ll notice a theme emerging here wherein I am doing next to no work. Forbo, as they say in Italian.

The final pieces on this game’s revitalization project was getting some wing nuts to secure the control panel, which was loose. The other was getting the spare board fixed given it was throwing garbage when I tested it—despite the fact the seller noting “it works fine!” Gotta keep your spare boards in good shape, you never know when one is gonna blow. Mine extra Condor board is still be looked at back in the US, but hoping to retrieve it when I am back in the Midwest two weeks from now.

Condor amongst its Sidam brethren

Nonetheless, this project is finished and it sits comfortably between two of its similarly minted out brethren to make for a gorgeous trinity of Sidam bootlegs in the bavacade.

Posted in bavacade, video games | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Form of an Awesome Superfriends Trivia Quiz

In preparation of Reclaim Edtech‘s first Flex Course on Gravity Forms next month, the great Tom Woodward has created a fun Superfriends Triva Quiz using, you guessed it, Gravity Forms 🙂 You can take the quiz by clicking the image below, which is both entertaining and difficult all at once. But even better, you can learn how to build this and more as part of this 4-week, intensive Gravity Forms Flex Course!

Click on image below to take the Superfriends Trivia Quiz

Posted in reclaim, Reclaim Edtech, Uncategorized, WordPress | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Adding Ghost Config Variables in Reclaim Cloud

Tim Clarke is helping a faculty member get Ghost up and running on Reclaim Cloud, and has used Reclaim’s EdTech Discord channel to ask for clarification around Mailgun settings and environmental variables. Both of which I did not document fully in my Ghost series earlier this year. Tsk, tsk, Jimmy! What’s more, Taylor Jadin has showed me an easier way to add environment variables to Ghost since then, so I figured I would quickly document it. This below method allows you to add the Ghost site’s URL and/or Mailgun settings to the container without editing the config file on the server, this makes any updates easier to do.

His questions also helped me realize we do have all the necessary stats around open rates for our newsletter in Mailgun, but that data is not being recognized/shared with Roundup’s Ghost install, so will have to dig in a bit deeper. I am also quite glad Tim asked this question cause I was really happy to learn almost 60% of folks subscribed to the Roundup have at the very least opened it. Yeah!

N.B. – The variables option illustrated here works for a Ghost instance installed directly from Docker Hub on Reclaim Cloud. If you install Ghost within Docker Engine you no longer have the ability to add variables directly to the container’s Variables setting in Reclaim Cloud, you will need to edit them within Ghost at on the container at /var/lib/ghost/config.production.json and then reload the container being sure to give it some time to come back up.

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An Explorer in “The Bishop of Battle”

Image of Bishop of Battle title screen

Chapter Two of Nightmares: “The Bishop of Battle”

I recently welcomed a new game into bavacade, namely Pleiades. The acquisition of which reminded me of a scene from a childhood favorite b-movie horror omnibus called Nightmares (1983). I just posted about this film and its relationship—at least in my mind—to another 80s cult classic Repo Man. As I mentioned in that post, there is a scene where JJ Cooney (Emilio Estevez) is hustling a kid out of money at Pleiades while listening to Fear’s “Let’s Have a War.” You can see that scene in the clip below:

And for those with a discerning arcade ear, you might realize the sound effects that they link with Pleiades are actually for Moon Cresta, but that may be outside your golden age of video games arcade trivia pay-grade.

Anyway, all that led me back to Nightmares to play one of my favorite movie games, identify the video game cabinet. I should do a whole series of posts on video games that show up in 80s movies—it speaks volumes to their ubiquity and also tells an interesting tale of just how popular arcade games were during the early 1980s. In terms of business revenue, I love this bit from the “golden age of arcade video games” Wikipedia page:

In 1982, the arcade video game industry’s revenue in quarters was estimated at $8 billion[22] surpassing the annual gross revenue of both pop music ($4 billion) and Hollywood films ($3 billion) combined that year.[22][23] It also exceeded the revenues of all major sports combined at the time,[23] earning three times the combined ticket and television revenues of Major League Baseball, basketball, and American football, as well as earning twice as much as all the casinos in Nevada combined.[24]

The idea that arcade games had more revenue than all major sports combined is mind-blowing, not to mention Hollywood and pop music. It’s easy to forget just how big a phenomenon they were in the early 80s, and while they never really lost steam in terms of growing popularity (in fact, they are once again bigger than Hollywood and professional sports combined in the US thanks to the pandemic) they can be easily overlooked given how ingrained into the culture they’ve become. So, it’s always interesting to see early 80s takes on arcades, video game addictions, delinquent youth, and punk rock—and “Bishop of Battle” has it all and more. But that’s not what this post is about, it’s actually about what I discovered when re-watching Nightmares, and this is where things get a bit geeky.

Sidam's Holy Trinity in bavacade

Over the last several years I’ve worked with Tim to create Reclaim Arcade, which has been a total blast and has pushed me into all kinds of cool corners of not only buying these old games but also repairing and restoring them. When it became clear during the pandemic I was not going back to the US anytime soon to enjoy Reclaim Arcade, I started collecting games here in Italy, hence the bavacade. One of the coolest things I discovered was a whole bootleg market in Italy wherein companies would “borrow” games from the US market (such as Asteroids, Scramble, Phoenix, Dig Dug, Galaga, Missile Command, etc.) and then reverse engineer them, re-name them, and create new cabinet designs to hop on the wave that was invading Europe as well. The premier Italian company doing this was Sidam, and I have three of their games: Asterock (Asteroids bootleg), Condor (Phoenix bootleg), and Explorer (Scramble bootleg). The Explorer cabinet’s side art is particularly beautiful, it is like panels from a comic book of an astronaut in space.

Sidam Explorer side art at an angle

Sidam Explorer side art

So, it struck me when I was searching for screenshots of the “Bishop of Battle” episode to come across side art from an Explorer:

The Explorer side art in Bishop of battle

The Explorer side art in Bishop of battle

I recognized that red astronaut behind Emilio, that’s Explorer! I was pretty excited, and it prompted me to go through the scene in the arcade when JJ Cooney gets to the 13th level of the game, at which point it is no longer a game. The collapse of the virtual and real worlds is realized on level 13—kinda like the 13th floor—and the space shooter is now taking place within a mall arcade in the Valley. The animation for this sequence is pretty amazing, and according to the IMDB trivia page it almost killed the production given how much it ran over budget.

Image of a red ord super imposed on a video game arcade

Don’t shoot the Explorer JJ! You can just make out the Explorer cabinet to the right of the red glowing orb

But back to Sidam’s Explorer, it actually plays a key role in this scene as the arcade cabinet that is routinely blown up by JJ Cooney as he tries to shoot the adversaries that have come out of the game into the arcade. Below you can get a good shot of the Explorer cabinet falling like a chopped tree:

Image of a video game falling after being shot with a laser gun

A falling Explorer

And sadly, below, you see the cabinet lying lifeless on the arcade floor. It breaks my heart.

A destroyed video game arcade cabinet

A downed Explorer

In the following shot you can just about glimpse the Explorer marquee as it is being shot for a second time in this sequence, turns out Explorer was one of the games they deemed unworthy enough to sacrifice multiple times. I mean it’s just an Italian-made knock-off of Scramble, which they already have in this arcade. And you don’t see them destroying an Asteroids, it’s way too valuable!

Image of a video game being shot with a laser gun

You can just make out the Explorer marquee in this shot

The morning after JJ’s late night exploits the Explorer can be seen, once again, lying dead on the floor.

Image of a destroyed Explorer the morning after

And when the arcade proprietor, Willy, picks up a piece of the wreckage to bemoan the vandals, he grabs a broken part of the Explorer cabinet which can be identified by the side art.

Image of Willy, the arcade proprietor, removing a broken piece of the Explorer cabinet

Willy, the arcade proprietor, removing a broken piece of the Explorer cabinet

It’s an Explorer bloodbath! I would really love to know how many of these Sidam cabinets made it to the US, and even more interesting—why? Seems like selling to US distributors/arcades would be against Sidam’s interests given they were clearly ripping the intellectual property off from US and Japanese companies, so it would behoove them to keep it in Europe. Anyway, not sure on those details, but following the fate of this Explorer was quite fun. It was a sacrificial lamb, and I can’t help but think its status as foreign fake, hence lesser, was part of that decision.

Posted in bavacade, movies, video games | Leave a comment

From “The Bishop of Battle” to Repo Man: the Bus Journey of an 1980s Film Punk

I recently picked up Scream Factory’s 2015 blu-ray release of Nightmares (1983), a low-budget urban legends/horror omnibus in the vein of Creepshow (1982) and Cat’s Eye (1985)—the latter of which my brother loved. I’ve been watching and re-watching “The Bishop of Battle” episode of Nightmares because it is not only the best of the four chapters by a long shot, but also because it has some vintage footage of early 80s arcades—not to mention a prolonged sequence highlighting the gameplay of Pleiades to the soundtrack of Fear’s “Let’s have a War.”

It’s a lot of fun to watch this 25 minute episode and try to identify the various games of the era in the arcades. In fact, there was a pretty big surprise for me in my recent close watchings, but I’ll save that revelation for my next post. Like and subscribe!

Bishop of Battle Bus Scene

Here I want to highlight something I stumbled upon that provides an interesting link, at least for me, between the “The Bishop of Battle” episode another childhood favorite: Repo Man (1984). To set the stage, in “Bishop of Battle” young punk JJ Cooney (Emilio Estevez) hustles some kids in a downtown LA arcade to raise money for his video game addiction. He and his accomplice just barely escape on the bus after being found out and pursued. In the above scene, immediately following their getaway, you see them exiting the bus and heading to their local arcade in the Valley which is like totally in a mall.

Repo Man Edge City Bus scene

In this companion scene from Repo Man you also have a young 80s punk, Otto, played again by Emilio Estevez just a year later who also listens to the same LA punk bands he did in “Bishop of Battle.” And it’s almost an identical shot of Otto returning from LA, but this time not to an arcade but his parents house to get some promised college money. Otto is ultimately frustrated when he hears his hippie parents have given his college money to a TV evangelist who is supplying bibles to El Salvador.

What’s wild about these scenes is almost as if JJ and Otto are the same character walking out of one film into another at different, yet chronologically aligned, moments in their young adult life. In “Bishop of Battle” JJ admits stealing quarters to his concerned parents but promises it’s all about to end once he beats the Bishop.

In Repo Man, you find Otto a year later having graduated high school in a dead-end job at a super market looking for a way out.

After Otto loses his job and his parents can’t help him he resigns to becoming a repo man. And after working with Bud (the great Harry Dean Stanton!) for a while you find him wearing the shirt and tie rejecting his punk past as he jokes about ever liking the Circle Jerks. So good!

I don’t know why it hit me so hard—like a diamond through the forehead— but after seeing the bus scene in “Bishop of Battle” and an almost identical Emilio Estevez, if only a bit younger, it got me wondering if Alex Cox had scene Nightmares and said, “That’s my Otto!” And, on top of that, used his Edge City bus scenes as a subtle homage to Joseph Sargent’s episode in Nightmares, which is really the template from which Otto seems to be built. Probably not, but I like to think the lattice of coincidence is alive and well in these films 🙂

Posted in film, films, movies, video games | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gyruss Multigame Mod-Kit with Time Pilot and Pooyan

Trying to play a bit of catch-up on my bavacade given I have made some significant strides towards getting fully operational. One of the recent highlights was finally getting the Gyruss multigame mod-kit installed so that it can also allow you to play Time Pilot and Pooyan. This mod-kit was by far the most complex yet with the need to desolder 5 chips and install as many daughter boards, and that was just on the main board. There is an additional daughter board for the auxiliary/sound board as well, bringing the gran total to 6 additional boards on the boards.

Here is a look at the Gyruss boards before the mod-kit was installed:

Gyruss board before the mod-kit

And here is an image after the installation:

Main Gyruss Board with All Mod Chips

Gyruss Multi-game Board (top-connecting board)

The A6/A7 daughter board in the image above (you can identify it by the white stick with writing) has a socket for connecting to the main board, which gives you a sense of the Frankenstein creation of the whole thing 🙂 If you want more details images of the game board chips there is a Flickr album here.

Screen for selecting Pooyan, Time Pilot or Gyruss

I love having Pooyan and Time Pilot easily accessible on Gyruss by simply pressing down the player 1 button for 5 seconds and being brought to the selector screen to choose my game of choice.  I particularly love Pooyan, so that is a total treat for me—it’s the three little pigs fairy tale come to video games:

Pooyan (close-up)

Although one thing you might notice here, and also on the Time Pilot screen below is that there is a bit of bleeding in the graphics under Free Play, Round One, and the momma pig’s elevator.

Time Pilot on Gyruss

You can see the bleeding pretty starkly against the black background of Time Pilot’s opening screen, particularly underneath the red “LICENSED FROM KONAMI.” Not a deal breaker per se, but I would like to know if that is an issue with the mod-kit, or something else. The strange bit is Gyruss shows no signs of that bleeding, so I am thinking—perhaps mistakenly—it’s the mod kit.

Time Pilot on Gyruss

That said, the actual game play of Time Pilot shows no bleeding at all, so it is bizarre.

Pooyan

One of the things I learned after trying to desolder and socket chips on the Stargate board which resulted in breaking a trace was that using a desoldering gun on these boards may not be the best approach for a newbie like me. I gave this board to Roberto, a local game repair guru, and he desoldered the five chips and added sockets for me. He recommended as much after seeing my early attempts on the A2 chip on this board, but luckily I knew I was heading into troubled waters and swam back to shore immediately. I guess desoldering a pristine board like this Gyruss with hot air rather than a gun that touches the board is both a cleaner and safer way to go.

Pooyan on Gyruss

This was the last of the multigame mod-kits I had to install in the cabinets I have here in Italy. And it feels good to have gotten that done because as of today I officially have 14 more games on the way to the bavacade, and I have a few mod-kits on-hand to install on those games when they arrive, most excitedly Pac-man and Elevator Action! What’s more, I have to figure out where I’m going to put the 30+ games I have amassed!

Posted in bavacade | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

LED Marquee Lights in Condor and Robotron

Below is a quick video showing off the LED strip setup for lighting my Condor marquee. Most of the tube marquees I have work, but for those that do not I am installing a simple LED solution because it will be a bit more efficient, last longer, and help preserve the original equipment. Not to mention I don’t think you can buy old gold florescent lights in Italy any more. I know some might take issue with using LEDs for some abstract notion of purity, but after dealing with enough of these games that you want to actually play, you quickly learn that old power supply units represent a huge amount of overhead, and if you can modernize that alongside the original components you can save yourself some serious headaches.

Anyway, it was a pretty simple conversion. You can get strips of 12V LED lights and put them in a cut-to-size aluminum LED channel with a diffuser lens. After that, you would use a 12V switching power supply to convert the AC voltage (between 110-220V) coming into the original florescent light and convert it to 12V DC for the LED strip. Finally, I used silicon to fasten the aluminum LED channel to the pre-existing light fixture and that was that. It should cost about $20 to do this for a game, and it might save you at least that in electricity if you use them a fair amount.

I do think the Robotron and Condor LED marquees are looking quite good with their new LED light overlords!

Image of Robotron Marquee lit up with LED lights Image of Condor videogame Marquee lit up with LED lights

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Reclaim Roundup Four Months On

It has been a pretty amazing start of 2022 at Reclaim Hosting, with the creation of an Instructional Technology group, the building of an edtech professional development community, and then all things Reclaim Cloud, there has been no shortage of things to get excited about. In fact, it’s been a challenge keeping up with the fire hose of awesome!

Image of April's Roundup

Click image for April’s Roundup

Thankfully we are now 4 months into another highlight of 2022: the monthly newsletter Reclaim Roundup. Friday saw the fourth issue of this monthly chronicle of the work happening around Reclaim, it is something to behold.

And as I mentioned on Twitter this weekend, it can do wonders for keeping a distributed team like ours connected. And while we now have over 500 subscribers (more on that dangerous number in a bit) and has potential as a marketing tool, I think more than anything it provides a look inside the daily work at Reclaim Hosting which makes it an ideal hiring tool. We have been unbelievably fortunate with attracting amazing talent over the last year—Pilot Irwin‘s work on the Roundup is one of many examples of that—and I want to believe the newsletter not only provides folks important announcements, but also a look inside the work folks are doing at the company more generally.

This would be particularly relevant for anyone who might be considering applying for our recently announced Instructional Support Specialist position. I think it was Cloudflare that noted their blog was as much, if not more so, a recruiting tool than a broader marketing channel for new business. It’s a way to give potential colleagues a sense of what’s happening and who is doing it—I love that perspective. For me blogging was always about documenting the work, and the newsletter is just documenting all the work from everyone at Reclaim all at once. It’s like a monthly mega-blog!

On a more technical note about this month’s newsletter—and back to that 500 subscribers number—we had an issue with sending out the email for the first time. When Pilot published the newsletter in Ghost we got an error that no emails could be sent. Turns out the official Docker instance of Ghost we’re using runs SQLite for the database, which after some quick error searching seems to have some issues. In particular, it throws an error when trying to email over 500 people.

This awesome GIF found here: https://www.waywardsparkles.com/technical-difficulties/

What’s more, once the post is published in Ghost there is no going back to parse and re-send the emails to smaller groups, so you have to copy and paste the entire post into a new post and re-publish in order to try and re-send email. Small inconvenience, right? Theoretically, but turns out it is particularly annoying given the way in which the text blocks work to prevent you from getting a clean version of the code from the editor, forcing you to copy the published post into a new post editor and then do a clean-up of any embeds to make sure it all works as you like—tell me again about why you love those “easy to use” block editors? They’re oh-so-easy until they’re a complete pain-in-the-ass. Sometimes dumbing-down basic web literacies in our tools does more harm than good.

Anyway, all worked out and I can now do some research to figure out how to resolve the SQLite issue before next month’s issue. And, to be fair, in the end I can stomach some of these new fangled editing tools given how focused Ghost is at being a slick, clean newsletter—but is a clean way to copy and paste a post’s code from the editor too much to ask?

Posted in reclaim, Reclaim Roundup | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Pleiades or Pleiads?

This week (Wednesday) I went to pick up a mint Pleiades stand-up cabinet for the bavacade. Seeing it next to its older cousin Phoenix is really something special:

Pleiades is the fourth Centuri game to join bavacade, and I really do love their cabinets. Phoenix, Pleiades, and Challenger have nearly identical cabinets, and the control panels is an expansion of the subtler Challenger control panel:

Image of Centuri Challenger's control panel;

Centuri Challenger’s control panel

image of Pleiades Control pabel

Pleiades Control panel

My connection to Pleiades is linked to a gas station/deli in my home town nicknamed the Iranian Deli given it was owned by Iranians, and that was definitely a sign of the times during the early 80s in Baldwin, Long Island given the hostage crisis and a general sense of hostility with Iran that never really truly abated in the US. I would go there regularly for months in 1982 to play this game, and it was a favorite of mine. The mythos of the game got even greater for me in 1983 when I watched Nightmares, the Creepshow knock-off that had an episode starring Emilio Estevez as gamer J.J. Cooney who hustles folks to take their money so he can beat the Bishop of Battle video game at his home arcade. In fact, the name of the episode is “Bishop of Battle,” and it provides so gorgeous shots of a full blown video game arcade in downtown Los Angeles that is amazing. In fact, that is where J.J. comes all the way from the Valley to hustle some unassuming L.A. kids while playing, you guessed it, Pleiades!

Image of Pleiades in Bishop of Battle episode of Nightmares

Pleiades in Bishop of Battle

J.J. is locked into Pleaides with Walkman on!

Pleiades also make a special appearance in another 80s film, in fact the first of the now legendary Coen Brothers’s Blood Simple. If you look close you can see it in the screenshot below.

Image of Pleiades in the film Blood Simple

Admittedly Pleiades is not as central to the plot development in Blood Simple as “Bishop of Battle,” but an appearance is an appearance.

Another interesting act about Pleiades is the Marquee is spelt differently than the title programmed in the games. It’s Pleiades on the marquee and Pleiads on board. Not sure if it was a misspelling or a lack of room on the main screen, but it is an interesting quirk for sure.

Pleiades or Pleiads?

The last bit of information the awesome seller of this game told me, Danielle, is that the music for this game is not on the bootlegs or Mame ROM sets available. I guess, like Phoenix, it is consider fairly interesting as an early instance of what they called “doorbell chips” that were distinct from the ROMs given they used pre-programmed chips that you might find in the melody generator of a doorbell. The technical details around this are well outside my comfort zone, but there is a fascinating forum post on KLOV about the background sound effects and music that might be of interest to some electronic sound/music nerds.

Possibly the craziest thing of all is that it is not the first Pleaides cabinet in the collection, although definitely the nicest. In December of 2020 I bought a Pleiades cocktail cabinet for $450 with a 13″ monitor on Long Island right before Reclaim Arcade opened. That game will soon be on its way to Italy with 14 other games, but that is fodder for a whole different post. YEAH!

Posted in bavacade | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments