Monday, December 13, 2010

New cab: Ghosts 'n Goblins - Capcom, 1985

Picked up a completely mint, totally restored Ghosts 'n Goblins today and I'm so stoked! Just like when I picked up a Tempest years back, I had to drive throughout the remnants of the big storm that ran through the midwest just a day ago, dropping 5-10 inches with 35-50 mile an hour winds and lot and lots of ice. Which certainly made the 5 miles on completely iced country roads off of 94 to my destination pretty hairy - especially on the return trip, having to do it in the dark! But it was well worth it and the game is in better shape than I could have ever imagined.

I found a posting on craigslist about a week and a half ago for it on the Madison, WI site for $200, which is pretty low for a machine that looked this nice. It's a game I have always wanted to add to my small arcade and one I have always wanted to 1cc. For the price, I expected a player - beat up, functional, but rough, much like my old Marble Madness cab. I offered $125 as the monitor had some screen burn (which actually is barely noticeable when playing it, the camera flash makes it look a lot worse than it really is) and the seller accepted. But when I arrived, I couldn't believe just how perfect the machine was. The CP was new, the actual panel beneath looked brand new - no rust at all -, the bezel had NO marks on the plexi and the marquee was just as clean.

Turns out, the guy who owned it before the current owner I bought it from totally restored it. The insides were so clean that you could have done heart surgery off them. The only oddity is that the previous owner covered the cab sides and kickplate with thick and strangely classy, certainly vintage wood grain. Think Frogger. It looks great with the edges of the thick panels beveled professionally. The original blue vinyl is under it, but I'm going to leave it as is. The stuff is super durable and actually looks fantastic. The cp graphics actually looks great with it with the tree branches on the cp bleeding into the wood grain very naturally.

The pictures here are the sellers as we disassembled it to move it up the seller's stairs and into the Element. It sits in my garage now, right next to the vs. cab, awaiting the apartment. Both will be installed upstairs before the meet in February and I cannot wait.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Makaimura/Ghosts 'n Goblins - arcade

Regular readers of the blog know that I tackled Castlevania 1cc'ing the vs. arcade and the NES console port as it was one of my most feared games of my past. Well, top of that list would be Ghosts and Goblins, a ridiculously hard and unforgiving arcade game by Capcom.

It was amazingly popular in Japan and it was ported to just about every system, including the NES/Famicom, Sharp X68000, Commodore 64 and Amiga, Gameboy Color, Playstation , Sega Saturn, Wonderswan, and the PSP.

It's a beautiful game, even today, with exceptionally well-drawn sprites and a very distinct soundtrack. The opening of the game, where your girl gets stolen away from you by a devil is still very cool and the music during the opening so distinct, that I can recall the piano-synth-organ sound at almost anytime.

Aside from being an excellently drawn and sounding game, it's brutally hard. Crazy, brutally hard. The kind of hard that breaks controllers and keeps you pissed for a while. It's nearly a total memorizer - sequences of events/enemies that need to be totally memorized in order to overcome them. I say almost because there is a fluidity to the gameplay, but one that requires perfect, split-second decisions.

I have just started playing this after loading mame on my Macbook as my Mame box is totally dead. It's a game I never could get far in as a kid, but one that I loved to play, just like Castlevania. And just like Castlevania, it's a game that I really want to 1cc.

I have been playing for a few days, about ten to fifteen credits a day, sometimes credit feeding to see just how far I can get and learn the more advanced patterns in the game. I can now get to the third stage without too much trouble, but the third stage absolutely kicks my butt every time.

I would love nothing more than to pour hours into this on the arcade and have a deal pending for one, which will hopefully be mine before the 2011 Chicagoland Winter Carnival coming up in February, the 18th through the 20th.