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Classic Games (Games) Japan

Grandmother Buys Old Building In Japan And Finds 55 Classic Arcade Cabinets 133

An anonymous reader writes A grandmother agreed to purchase an old building in Chiba, which is just outside of Tokyo. When her family arrived to check out the contents of the building it was discovered that the first two floors used to be a game center in the 1980s. Whoever ran it left all the cabinets behind when it closed, and it is full of classic and now highly desirable games. In total there are 55 arcade cabinets, most of which are the upright Aero Cities cabinets, but it's the game boards that they contain that's the most exciting discovery. Boards include Donkey Kong, Street Fighter Alpha 2 (working despite the CPS2 lockout chip's tendency to kill old boards), and Metal Slug X.
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Grandmother Buys Old Building In Japan And Finds 55 Classic Arcade Cabinets

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  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @05:25AM (#47358309) Homepage Journal

    due to metal slug x being in there..

    so a neat find, but it's not an '80s arcade been in the dust for 25 years.

  • Re:Boards or ROM's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @07:11AM (#47358589)

    A lot of old programs relied on some very specific behaviour of chips to perform accurately. They'd exploit bugs in the microcode or timing imperfections to make their games small and efficient. Older games did a lot of very weird crap to get around limitations of the time. I remember reading quite fondly how the makers of Monkey Island 2 hacked their way around the scene where you dive to the bottom of the ocean to make the blue fade to black scene work despite not having a colour palate setup to do so.

    What typically happens is if you faithfully emulate what an old console is supposed to do then at best a game plays with minor bugs, at worst it becomes completely unplayable. Correctly emulating an old console on the other hand is a processing nightmare which can bring multicore 3GHz machines to their knees. What really happens is that the people who write emulators figure out how the original game exploited the hardware configuration and then code the emulator to look at which game is currently being played and apply an appropriate hack to make it work. I.e the emulator works differently depending on the game.

    Trivial nonsense would actually prevent you from playing the game at all in some cases.

  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @07:14AM (#47358593) Homepage Journal
    For a lot of reasons really. First of all, the article doesn't say where in Chiba prefecture this find was made, while there is a small part of Chiba prefecture that is close to Tokyo(including the part that is home to Tokyo Disney), the prefecture itself is quite large and includes a large peninsula that is quite a long distance from Tokyo.

    Secondly, even in Tokyo proper if you travel to any point in the city that is more than a 10-15 minute walk from a station(and there are plenty of them) you will find plenty of run-down and abandoned buildings. Property in Tokyo seems to follow an inverse square law, the value is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the closest station.
  • Re:Boards or ROM's (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @07:20AM (#47358611) Homepage
    Ever played Asteroids? If you haven't played it on the original arcade machine, chances are you're missing out on a large part of the experience because it runs on a vector monitor. Those beautiful glowing bullets simply don't show up on raster hardware in close to the same way. Same can be said for Star Wars - the sit-down vector monitor game was incredible.

    I'm speaking as someone who has an arcade cabinet running MAME, and who regularly uses emulators on a Mac as well. I'm not perfectionist for a lot of the standard stuff, but I do appreciate that in some cases there are material differences to the real thing.
  • Ah, Man (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @08:45AM (#47359009) Homepage Journal
    I haven't seen one of those old arcades in ages. You could walk into any mall in the 80's and hear the centipede game from halfway across the mall. The one I spent a lot of time in had a very distinctive smell of electronics and carpet cleaner. I could play Spy Hunter as long as I wanted to on one quarter, and my sister could do the same thing with Galaga. I remember being horrified the first time I wandered into a mall in Florida and realized they didn't have an arcade. That situation became more and more common as time went on. I think the demise of the American mall is in some way linked with the demise of the American video game arcade.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2014 @09:24AM (#47359325)

    Also Japanese are super tidy and maintain things despite them not being used.

    Actually, this is incorrect. They may be a generally clean and tidy people, but they typically *don't* maintain buildings - they re-build many (if not all) of their temples every few years rather than perform maintenance. Couples almost never buy used homes - that's why there's so much odd arcitecture in that country; you don't have to worry about resale value because everyone's just going to demolish the building anyways.

    There was a neat bit about it on an NPR economics podcast a few months ago, if you're willing to do the search for it.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein