Sunday, August 23, 2009

New machine - PC turned into emulation box


After years of decrying Mac owners as left wing computer snobs, I have finally put my PC days behind me and bought a Mac. It's a MacBook to be precise and I am totally in love. It does everything my PC did, but its like someone designed a computer operating system to actually be fun and intuitive rather than laborious.

But rather than sit here and go on and on about why Mac's are awesome (which they are), I'll actually focus on what I did with the boring ol' PC.

Like a lot of STG and arcade fans, I use mame from time to time to try out games I may want to own. I'm not a big fan of using it and definitely prefer the original hardware to an emulated version, but there are instances where it totally makes sense. Especially in an apartment.


I have become enamored with Donkey Kong 3 and the original Donkey Kong recently and have been searching out a dedicated machine for the better part of a month to no avail. Finding one really isn't the problem, though as I have run out of room in the gaming area. As it is right now, I have to move the CC to the basement or possibly in the partition off the kitchen (where we currently have our bikes) when I move the vs. cab in and getting another cab would mean even more moving around of junk to try and find space we really don't have.

So, I put two and two together and came up with mame.

My old PC was ok, not really top of the line or anything, but it runs mame fine - a perfect place to play DK 3 and the like on. I wiped the hard drive and set it up on my NEC XM29 and it sparkles. Super fun and easy to use, I'm really enjoying it. That is, except for the vertical tearing and lack of sound in some roms and the myriad of other problems with mame, but nonetheless, being able t play DK 3 in my gaming room without making any changes is pretty cool.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New PCB: vs. The Goonies


The kit arrived today from oregonarcade from KLOV and it's pretty sweet. I actually have the game for Famicom, but this is one of the few vs. games I wanted to have. When it popped up for $60 shipped, how could I say no?

If you have played The Goonies II for NES and wondered where The Goonies I was in the states - it was in the arcade. It was also released for the Famicom in Japan and for some reason, even though they brought it here in the arcade, they never brought it out for the NES. It's a pretty fun game as far as platformers go with a ton of secret items that make the game more fun. In fact, half the fun of the game is searching for the items!


I hooked it up and got it running in the vs. cab and I'm really stoked I own this. I'll have to get some more tim in on it and make some maps for the later levels which get rather confusing. The time limit is pretty strict so you really have to move.

I'm going to be on the lookout for other vs. games and a Donkey Kong 3 machine (which I have a line on) but first, I have a second Astro City purchase to wrap up...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

vs. Castlevania - no-hit Grim Reaper stage run (stages 13-15) on by me

Did this run as kinda of a tester to see what the resolution of Linda's camera was like when shooting the vs. arcade on my tripod. I ended up having a junky, but no-hit run of the Grim Reaper stage (stages 13-15) and had some good moves in it, so I cropped it out of the full length video and put it up on youtube.

The actualy run of the game had me making a few mistakes on the last set of stages and some really stupid deaths, so I didn't bother with the whole thing.

And, yeah, that's Dave talking to me in the beginning.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicagoland Autumn Carnival 2009 - Oct. 2nd through the 4th


Time for another Chicagoland meet!

The old thread at shmups forums has been updated and the commentary on the October meet starts at page 4. Just like last time, there will be cabs - this time hopefully 4 - console games, my vs. Castlevania, plenty of beer and refreshments and a whole lot of time to get some shmupping on.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New cab: vs. Castlevania (woohoo!)


I'm so stoked on the cab, I can't even begin to tell you. I have been after a vs. cab in which to house my vs. Castlevania pcb for a little over a year and even started looking at vs. cabs 5-10 hours away, just so I could get it up and running.

A little while after I almost pulled the trigger on getting a vs. The Goonies in Iowa (about ten hours round trip), I found this vs. cab on Craigslist Milwaukee about an hour and a half away and pounced on it like a fat man on a free cupcake.


It started life as a Donkey Kong and became a vs. Golf and now lives on as a vs. Castlevania. It was in amazingly good shape and had very few problems: the marquee light was burnt out, two microswitches missing from the controls, few cigarette burned buttons, cracked t-molding. All are easily fixable and I did fix a number of them last night when I spent four hours stripping the parts out of the cab, cleaning it and reassembling it. Those of you who know me rather well, know I can be a bit anal. I even rebuilt the buttons for the cp - ones which I will be replacing shortly.

The monitor is in excellent shape, the cab has no water damage whatsoever, both coin mechs work, all the trim bits are in the cab, the bezel is in near mint condition and the side art is 95% there.

I started to take it apart and wanted to make sure the board fired up and popped it into the cab and viola - it fired up right away. The speaker sounds great and actually throws out some bad ass bass that makes the game sound even more awesome (if that's even possible).


Last night, I played about a dozen games as I was cleaning and making trips back and forth to Home Depot to replace hardware and other bits and loved every second of it. Playing with a joystick is awesome and allows you even greater control over Simon.

I played one game this morning after getting to work and 1cc'd it with Dave watching, only dying once on Dracula, who can kill you in three hits. Brutal.

I do have a vs. The Goonies kit on the way for it and vs. Golf is actually one of my secret favorite NES games, so that will definately get some play time as well.

Thanks to Linda who contributed to the vs. cab fund for my b-day present, Jason (shackleford) for the vs. Castlevania pcb and Scott over at Hyperspace Arcade Entertainment ( for the mint NOS marquee.