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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 29th Sep 2017, 5:39 pm   #1
Biggles
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Default Old arcade games

Not sure whether to put this in the wanted section or this one but here goes. Does anyone know if the old "favourites" from the days of the pub drinks-table type of arcade games machines are available at all to play on a PC? The sort of games I am talking about are Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender, Space Firebird, Galaxians and the like. Just a bit of nostalgia kicking in from my mis-spent youth. Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 5:53 pm   #2
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Default Re: Old arcade games

I have never had an interest in computer games. However a friend of mine made a table top 'space invaders' thing from readily available free software.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 5:57 pm   #3
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Default Re: Old arcade games

You mean...?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Atari-...Games+%28PC%29

Unfortunately that particular version only goes as far as Windows XP, but you may have a 'legacy' PC which will be just the job. If you look further the same collection might have been re-launched in a Win 7 compatible version.

Appears to be a mixture of Atari 2600 and Arcade Classics, the the second category being what you're after, obviously.

Also there are video game emulators available, many of each even run well on the humble Raspberry Pi. Some of those emulators are emulators of Arcade machines, rather than home computers.

Edit: here's one. MAME.

http://mamedev.org/

That's an emulator only. The code for the actual games would have to be found elsewhere.

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Old 29th Sep 2017, 6:31 pm   #4
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Default Re: Old arcade games

If you want to emulate old arcade cabinates on a PC then Mame realy is the way to go. I've built loads arcade cabinates containing an old PC's running mame and from the outside you would think your playing an origional machine. it will even run on a rasbery pie.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 6:59 pm   #5
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Thanks for that. I feel a project coming on. A one employing computers and software is a bit of a new horizon for me. I keep toying with the idea of getting a Raspberry but have only made it as far as a PIC programmer so far, and that is only for application specific tasks. I don't know if I would go as far as building an arcade console yet though. The tops on those machines must have been really well sealed as most of the ones I remember were always wet with spilled drinks.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 8:50 pm   #6
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Default Re: Old arcade games

respberry pie can take some getting used to especially if you are unfamiliar with linux, for mame any old pentium 4 (can usually be got for free) will do for the older games you mentioned in your origional post.

reguarding old video games, you know the ones that spent most of there life in pubs and bars, the smell of nicotene and beer is unmistakable when you open them.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 9:27 pm   #7
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Go have a look at Picade by Pimoronie.. I am not afiliated but I bought one of their kit's just for this purpose. Has every game I remember...
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 10:00 pm   #8
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I have bought summat off Pimoroni. No complaints.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 10:35 pm   #9
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Default Re: Old arcade games

I will check that out. Thanks.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 11:27 pm   #10
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Default Re: Old arcade games

About 20 years ago you could do all this with MAME or MAME32. I've still got all my old MAME(32) arcade ROMs from back then and just dug out an old backup CDROM and had a quick go at playing Defender on my Win7 PC. The colours were wrong but it ran OK otherwise, even the sound was right. I'd expect it to run great on an older PC.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 11:58 pm   #11
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I just changed the compatibility settings to run my old copy of MAME32 in a window and Defender runs perfectly on my Win7 PC. It looks and sounds just like the original game and all the colours are correct. You just copy the ROM into the ROM folder and the game becomes a live option in the game selection menu. You can also edit the keyboard settings for the various functions if you want to use custom controls for Defender. It also supports a joystick but I didn't try that.

About 35 or so years ago when Defender first came out you could put 10p coins or a 50p coin into the machine to get several games. But when I was a student we discovered that if you forced/flicked a 2p coin backwards up through the coin reject slot it would eventually land in the 50p bin having activated the 50p credit switch. So for quite a while we played Defender at 2p for several games. it was either three games or five games for 50p. I can't remember for sure...
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 12:16 pm   #12
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
The tops on those machines must have been really well sealed as most of the ones I remember were always wet with spilled drinks.
Alan.
I can assure you they weren't.

Many an hour was spent replacing the instructions/graphics sheets under the glass and repairing/replacing the things that went Phtttt... inside when I worked for one of the arcade game companies in Sydney.

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Old 30th Sep 2017, 3:24 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
That's an emulator only. The code for the actual games would have to be found elsewhere.
There are plenty of ROM images available for download. A quick search with DuckDuckGo will find loads of them. It's amazing how small the images are. The entire program for things like Space Invaders fitted in a few kB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G0HZU_JMR View Post
But when I was a student we discovered that if you forced/flicked a 2p coin backwards up through the coin reject slot
Someone I knew discovered that if you took the cover off a piezo-electric cigarette lighter and used it to generate sparks whilst held next to the game machine, the stray currents could be made to change the credit counter. The bar where I used to play those games had a separate games room so the landlord couldn't see what was going on. He could never work out how people could play the games all evening but there was never any money in them afterwards.
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 4:32 pm   #14
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Default Re: Old arcade games

I seem to remember a story going round at the time where you could attach a bit of thread to a coin and jiggle it up and down past the coin mech to give multiple credits. I also heard about the piezo lighter thing. I was never a dedicated arcade enthusiast. Probably because the nearest one was thirty odd miles away in Whitley Bay! I just played the machines in pubs which were a great novelty when they first came out, in the early eighties at a guess.
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 9:01 pm   #15
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Ah! I had a Barcrest fruit machine as a money box back in the early '90s. I wondered why there was an 'aerial' wire emenating from the MPSU 4 (?) control box.


I guess it was for detecting people trying to crash or latch up
the processor?
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 10:23 pm   #16
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Spot on. It was the pink wire on the Misc. connector next to the PSU connector on the MPU4.
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 11:38 pm   #17
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepilot View Post
Someone I knew discovered that if you took the cover off a piezo-electric cigarette lighter and used it to generate sparks whilst held next to the game machine, the stray currents could be made to change the credit counter. The bar where I used to play those games had a separate games room so the landlord couldn't see what was going on. He could never work out how people could play the games all evening but there was never any money in them afterwards.
I didn't know about that one but the other trick we did in the early days was to claim the coinslot was faulty and call over the old guy from the 'change' booth. He would use a key to open the small hinged front service panel to access the coin mechanism. He was happy to do this most days and I guess this was a welcome relief from sitting in a booth handing out change all day every day...

He was quite chatty and easy to distract and it was easy to reach inside and find/press the small credit button. Presumably this button was there for the maintenance people to test the machine. But in a few seconds it was possible to add loads of free credits via the button. We discovered this button because the old guy would press it to give a credit if we said our coin got lost in the machine.

Maybe this was morally wrong, but we were all still at school at the time

The 2p trick via the coin reject slot was eventually discovered by the owner and he screwed a self tapping screw in the slot to stop us doing it
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 11:58 pm   #18
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Default Re: Old arcade games

To get a really high score in the original Space Invaders there was a way to always get 300 points from the top spaceship. The spaceship was worth anything from about 50 points to 300 points and we discovered it was dependent on the number of missiles fired by the player. So if you counted your shots (and waited...) you could get 300 every time. With this in mind it was worth leaving a small cluster of 'invaders' on the screen for as long as possible and keep firing/waiting for the spaceship to get another 300 points. It meant the game took ages to play but I could play it like this through several screens of invaders to the point it kind of started again with them higher up the screen again.
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Old 1st Oct 2017, 2:30 am   #19
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Default Re: Old arcade games

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepilot View Post
Someone I knew discovered that if you took the cover off a piezo-electric cigarette lighter and used it to generate sparks whilst held next to the game machine, the stray currents could be made to change the credit counter.
The game companies soon got wise to that and a counter-measure was developed.

Basically a little circuit that detected (via a short aerial) the static discharges and prevented credits being racked up.

Some of us actually wired it to the reset circuitry of the game board, which was a no-no according to company policy.

One of the better parts of the job was getting out of the factory to fit these counter-measures on-site, rather than wait for the machines to come back in for service or rotation.

Terry
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Old 1st Oct 2017, 12:03 pm   #20
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Originally Posted by bluepilot View Post
There are plenty of ROM images available for download. A quick search with DuckDuckGo will find loads of them. It's amazing how small the images are. The entire program for things like Space Invaders fitted in a few kB.
I'm restoring a 'Galaxian' game PCB (1980 vintage) at the moment and the program memory is 10kB with an extra 4kB of graphics. That's it! So much fun, and so many 10 pence pieces, for so little complexity.

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