Closed for Vacation! No Shipping from 6/14/19 to 6/24/19

We will be away for vacation Friday, June 14th, through Monday June 24th, 2019. Our website will remain open, but orders will NOT ship until we get back on Monday June 24th, 2019.  Thanks for your understanding and patience.

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20 January, 2014

Arcade Game Glossary

Don’t know the difference between a bezel and marquee? Want to know exactly what we mean when we refer to sideart or a control panel overlay? 

We’ve compiled a glossary familiarize you with the most common terms specific to arcade games. 

Attract Mode
When a game is not being played, it will rotate through "Attract Mode." These screens serve a few purposes: First, they entice players to play the game. Second, they usually demonstrate game play or give directions on how to play. And third, they constantly change the image on the screen so that the screen does not develop screen burn in. 
 
Bezel
Also known as the monitor glass. This is the glass that is located in front of the monitor of an arcade game. It most games the bezel is silk-screened with artwork relating to the game.
 

A Galaga bezel.
Board
Refers to the computer circuit board that contains the programming code for the game. 
 

A game board from Galaxian.
Burn In
Over a long period of time, most games get a slight "burn in" on the front of the monitor. Even when the game is off, you will notice a slight discoloration on the monitor, almost looking like a shadow of the game. A classic example is Pac-Man: frequently you can still see the Pac-Man maze when the game is turned off. 

While this doesn't affect game play in any means, signifigant screen burn in can be distracting. To avoid screen burn in, don't keep your monitor brightness turned up too high, don't leave your game on to extended periods of time (when not in use), and be careful of games that don't have a true Free Play mode. 
 
Cabinet
The wooden structure that houses the arcade game.
 
Cabaret Game
Also known as a Mini Game. A cabaret game Is a smaller version of an upright game. Cabaret games are usually 75% or so the size of an upright and typically have a smaller monitor. Many cabaret games have wood grain finished sides, as opposed to the sideart of upright games. Obviously one of the appeals of cabaret games is that since they are smaller they can fit in a smaller location. Cabaret games usually had much smaller production runs that their upright counterpart games.
 

A mini Pac-Man game.
Cap-Kit
Refers to a package of electronic components, known as capacitors used on monitors. Over a period of many years, capacitors tend to “dry-out” and fail, leading to a distorted picture display, which is somewhat common on games of our era, since the monitors are 20 years old and usually have not been serviced in many years. 

Fortunately, these capacitors can be replaced with new ones, bringing the picture back to normal. We service all of our monitors with cap-kit to ensure a crisp, colorful picture for years to come. 
 
Cocktail Table Game
A "cocktail" table or "sit-down" arcade game is like a coffee table with (usually) adjustable legs. There is no difference in game play between a cocktail table game and upright game, although cocktail tables usually have slightly different artwork, two control panels (one for each player) and sometimes smaller monitors. Cocktail games generally had much smaller production runs than their upright counterpart. 
 

A Ms. Pac-Man Cocktail Game.
Coin Door
The metal door (usually black) that accepts quarters for game play. 
 

Coin door commonly seen on most Williams games.
Control Panel
As its name implies this is the panel that houses the joystick, buttons and related controls of an arcade game. 
 

A Joust control panel
Control Panel Overlay (CPO)
A control panel overlay is the decal (usually a vinyl-like material) that covers the control panel. Most CPOs have artwork of the game silk-screened on them. 
 

A control panel overlay for Q*bert.
Credit Switch
A switch (usually concealed) that allows you to “coin-up” a game to play it. A credit switch allows you to play games without having to use quarters. Note that all of our games are either on Free Play or have a concealed (but easily accessible) credit switch to play games. We generally do not check the coin mechanisms for our games, since our games are mostly for home use. 
 
Free Play
A feature on some games that allows people to play games without using quarters. Note that all of our games are either on Free Play or have a concealed (but easily accessible) credit switch to play games. We generally do not check the coin mechanisms for our games, since our games are mostly for home use.

Not all classic games have a true Free Play setting. (For example, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.) While these games can be set to free play, the screen stays at the "Start Game" screen, and it does not run through the Attract Mode. Staying fixed on one screen is not good for the monitor, and greatly contributes to screen burn in. On games like these, we will install credit switches. 
 
Marquee
Is the “sign” that identifies the game. The marquee is typically located on the front of the game at the top and has the name of the game silk-screened. Marquees are usually backlit with highlight the game. 
 

A Breakout marquee.
Mini Game
See Cabaret Game. 
 
Monitor Glass
See Bezel. 
 
New Old Stock (NOS)
Refers to any item or part that has never been used, but is many years old (thus the term old stock). However, since its never been used is considered “new”. Examples of a NOS item may be a control panel overlay or sideart. 
 
Power Supply
As its name implies, this is circuit board that provides power to game. 
 
Raster Monitor
A raster monitor is used in most arcade games from the classic era. The monitor is much like a TV monitor and is usually 19” on upright games from the classic era. Examples of games that use raster monitors are Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug and many others. 
 

A screenshot of a raster monitor, in this case Pac-Man.
Sideart
As its name implies this is artwork on the sides of a game. Some games (such as Pac-Man and Joust) have the artwork painted on sides, while others (such as Donkey Kong and Q*bert) have decals of artwork applied to cabinet sides. 
 

Asteroids Deluxe sideart.
T-molding
Flexible, plastic molding that is on the front edge of a game. Many games have black t-molding, although a few, such as Pac-Man or Galaxian use color t-molding. 
 

A Donkey Kong Game with white t-molding.
Track-ball
A round ball usually the size of pool ball that is used as the main control in such games as Centipede, Missle Command, and Crystal Castles. 
 

A track ball from a Crystal Castles Cocktail table.
Unshopped
Refers to a game that has not been restored and is usually is not fully working. Most games from the classic era have been sitting for many years and require a thorough cleaning as well as technical work and a good bit of restoration before we consider them “shopped”. An unshopped game is one in which we have not completed any restoration work. For more information on how we restore our games see “About our games” and “Joust Restoration”. 
 
Upright Game (UR)
A full-size, standup arcade game, usually measuring about 5 1/2' tall, and approximately 2 1/2' by 2 1/2'. These are the most commonly seen games. 
 
Vector Monitor
Also known as an X-Y Monitor. This monitor is draws images by using x-y coordinates, much like plotting lines on a graph. Images on the screen are always frame based with new color in the middle. Examples of games that use vector monitors include Asteroids and Tempest. 
 

Screenshot from Tempest, a color Vector game.
X-Y Monitor
See Vector Monitor. 
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14 February, 2013

Qrazy for Q*Bert

People who know me, know that when I pick up a new hobby I tend to get quite serious about it and I guess you could say obsessed. Well before I realized you could actually own your own arcade games I was obsessed with collecting vintage Star Wars toys and memorabilia. I later moved onto classic videogame consoles such as the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision. 

Once I began collecting arcade games I soon discovered that there was a bunch of arcade memorabilia. When rummaging through thrift stores, flea markets and browsing eBay! I would occasionally come across something like a Pac-Man coffee mug, Donkey Kong Boardgame or Pac-Man lunchbox and snatch it up. Since then, I’ve accumulated a few boxes of memorabilia, mostly related to Pac-Man and a few Donkey Kong items. However, some of the coolest stuff that I’ve come across has to do with that “Qrazy Qharacter from the Exciting Video Game”: Q*bert.

    

Q*bert has always been one of my favorite arcade games. Gottlieb released the game in 1982 and was really Gottlieb’s only arcade game hit. The company was one of the bigger Pinball manufacturers of the time, but only released a few video games. Gottlieb released a sequel to Q*bert, known as Q*bert’s Qubes as well as a pinball game, Q*bert’s Quest. Both games had were low production runs are very difficult to find nowadays. For more information about the history as told by its creator I suggest taking a look at the following site: The History of Q*bert. 

Despite never reaching the popularity of Pac-Man or Donkey Kong, Q*bert was probably the second most merchandised arcade game of its time behind Pac-Man. As shown below, the funny looking character with had his own action figure line, boardgame, lunchbox, puzzles and even his own trashcan. According Q*bert’s creator there even was a short-lived TV show based on the game.

Q*bert Memorabilia
I know I haven’t found all of it, but here’s most of the Q*bert stuff I’ve seen in my years of collecting. 

Q*bert Plush: What kid wouldn’t want to go bed with their own Q*bert stuff animal. Released in both a 8” and 12” plush this one is “Quddly… Caressable… Plush… and Orange.

Q*bert Collectible Miniature Figures: Collect all six of them! Ranging from “Q*bert pitches a Qrazy Qurveball” to “Q*bert gets disQued Way”. These small figures were made by Kenner and released in 1983 and are just 2-3 inches tall.

Q*bert Boardgame and Card Game: Promoted as “Based on the Exciting Arcade Game”, these two games were released by Parker Brothers.

Q*bert Puzzles: I’ve found two of these so far, a 200 piece jigsaw featuring all the Q*bert characters by APC as well as a slide puzzle show.

Q*bert Lunchbox: What kid wouldn’t be complete without their Q*bert lunchbox? Thermos made this plastic lunchbox.

Q*bert Housewares: Some house related things that I’ve found include a very cool looking Q*bert trash bin and a Q*Bert tray. I’ve also heard of a Q*bert sleeping bag, although I’ve never seen one. My guess is there are a few more items like this I’ve yet to discover.

   

Q*bert Books: There’s at least two of them: The Adventures of Q*bert and Q*bert’s Quazy Questions (a riddle book), both released by Parker Brothers. Coloring books were also released.

  

Other Stuff: Some other random stuff I’ve come across include the plastic Q*bert bank, Q*bert pencil case (as pictured), Q*bert wristwatch and a Q*bert handheld electronic game.

Well that’s it, as I’ve mentioned I’m positive I’ve missed some items, as I come across new items I’ll try to update this listing. At some point I hope do a similar article on arcade board games (there were quite a few made) as well as an article on Pac-Man memorabilia. Until then happy gaming! 

Anth

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09 June, 2012

Joust: A Restoration Story

Those of you have seen our website have probably noticed that we frequently mention the restoration end of the games that we have for sale. Some people have asked us exactly what restoration of an arcade game entails. Although we have described our restoration process in the “About our Games” area of our site we thought it would be a good idea to walk you through an actual restoration project.

The Project Game
Most of the games we obtain have been sitting unused for many years and have accumulated a lot of dirt and grime as well as some wear from their time in service at an arcade. This particular game, Joust (made by Williams in 1982) was found in the back of warehouse that was partially exposed to the elements and, as you can see from the pictures was not in the best condition. We figure the game was sitting for at least five years before we found it.

     

The game’s control panel was covered with so much dirt you could hardly see the text and artwork on the control panel. The game’s coin door bolts were rusted and the game had significant paint loss and wear below the coin doors. The monitor glass was so dirty it was hard to see the monitor behind it and, as you can see below, the monitor itself had a heavy coating of dirt. Needless to say the game was not working.

  

The Restoration
The first thing we do when restoring a game in this condition is too strip the game down to just the cabinet. As you can see we remove almost every part to the game: the control panel, the monitor, the marquee, the monitor glass (or “bezel”) and the coin doors.

   

After the game is stripped of its major parts we work on restoring the cosmetics of the cabinet. The sides are cleaned and the inside of the cabinet is vacuumed. We also replace the “leg levelers” on the bottom of the game. Most games have some minor scratches and wear marks that we do not touch up, unless they are very noticeable. In this case the paint wear around coin door areas was awful and needed to be repaired.

   

Rather than repaint the black area of the cabinet we used black vinyl contact paper to restore the worn area. The vinyl paper is a very close match to the original black and when finished makes the game look fantastic. 

After the vinyl was applied, we replaced the “t-molding” on the game. This is the plastic molding that runs on the front of the game, as shown below.

The next step in the restoration process is to clean up the parts we removed from the game. We took apart the two coin doors to repaint them. 

      

After a light sanding to the doors and bolts they were repainted. The monitor glass and marquee were also thoroughly cleaned as well as the control panel. As you can see below, it’s amazing what a good cleaning to a dingy control panel will do. We also cleaned the contact switches on the joystick and buttons of the control panel.

      

Next we service the monitor. In this case the monitor was filthy and was hosed down before we did any technical work. After a cleaning we removed the monitor circuit board and replaced all suspect components. The most common failing in these monitors are components called capacitors, which tend to “dry out” over a period of years. We replaced all the capacitors in monitor. In this case we also replace a part known as the high voltage transformer with a brand new one. (In this model monitor the transformer is known to fail after a number of years.)

With our serviced monitor complete we began piecing the game back together and focused on the getting the game working again. The monitor is put back in the cabinet so we can test the game. NOTE: Since writing this article we have since starting installing brand new monitors in all of our games (unless noted otherwise). We find that this provides the most trouble-free operation for new game owners. For some games we offer the original monitors, refurbished, with the option to upgrade to a new monitor.

After cleaning the transformer unit in the game we power the game up to diagnose the problem. A common failing on these Williams’ games is the power supply unit, which we found to be at least one cause of our problems. In this case, we are able to upgrade the power supply with a newer, more reliable power supply.

After replacing the power supply the game came up, but with a ram error, leading to the dashed lines shown in the picture below. After replacing the bad ram chip the game appears to be working fine, although we still needed to test the joystick and buttons on the control panel.

   

With the game appearing on the screen, we reinstalled the coin doors and control panel to play test the game. The marquee was also put back on the game (after repairing the florescent light behind the marquee). The controls were then tested to ensure that they are working properly (they are in this case) and the monitor glass was put back on the game. We also put new locks on the coin doors. 

   

After the parts are put back in place the game is virtually complete. The only steps left are to set the game to free play and leave the game on for a couple of days to ensure that it continues to work properly.

A Word About our Restorations
Well, that’s how we restore our games in a nutshell. As you can see we take great pride in bringing these games back to their original state. In all, we spent over ten hours during the course of a week restoring this Joust. While this is an extreme case, on average we spend about eight hours restoring each game we sell. Before we ship the game out, we will do a "burn-in" test and leave the game on straight for at least two days to ensure that all electronics are working perfectly.

Obviously every restoration varies by the game and its condition. Some games require carpentry work (in some instances a corner of the game may have broken off), while others require additional technical services (some games are missing circuit boards for example). In some games, we are able to purchase and apply professionally reproduced artwork the cabinet sides and control panel. 

Note that we always try to describe the important points of each restoration we do and always provide pictures of the finished product. However please don’t hesitate to ask any questions about are games and their restoration. 

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29 February, 2012

Arcade Board Swapping 101

One of the more frequent questions we get asked is can I play “Board X” in my arcade game cabinet? Swapping game circuit boards is one of the easiest ways to play a variety of games in one cabinet. Its ideal for collectors who might not have enough space to fit another arcade game and want to try something different. 

Board swapping typically does not require any modification to your existing game and is usually most feasible on games made after 1986, which include games that use the JAMMA wiring standard (we’ll discuss this in detail later in the article).

There are number of things one must consider when determining if another arcade game board will work in their cabinet. This article is intended to cover the basics of changing the game board in your cabinet to play a different game. Note: while we try to cover all relevant issues in this article, all games vary in some regards. If you’re not comfortable working on your game, board swapping may not be for you. Readers agree not to hold us responsible for any possible damage from swapping boards, etc. 

Note that the disclaimer is done with, if you want to skip some of the technical jargon and background, just go to bottom of this article: “A Quick and Dirty Board Swapping Checklist”.

Let me start off with a quick arcade game refresher. Arcade games are relatively simple machines: they typically consist of a game circuit board, power supply, monitor, input controls (joysticks, buttons, trackball, etc) and a wiring harness that connects everything together. There are other parts to each game, but with these five major components you could play most arcade games. 

Board swapping is simply a means of changing games by installing a different game circuit board in a cabinet and using its existing power supply, monitor and controls to play the game. The key to determining if a board is compatible with your game is to confirm that the board you want to install uses the same components of your game. Let’s examine these components one by one:

Power Supply

In most games made before 1984, power supplies can differ substantially. Some games require unique power requirements. With that being said, all game circuit boards require +5 Volts DC to power the circuit boards, and nearly all use +12 Volts DC to power the sound amplifier and in certain cases -5 Volts DC in the sound generation section of the board as well. In addition certain games require additional voltages such as –12 VDC to power certain chips.

Games made after 1985, generally have the necessary power requirements (+5 VDC, +12 VDC and –5VDC) to play any game board, making this step a breeze. If you’re still interested in what kind of power your game uses you can look up its pinout. The game’s pinout shows you the wiring of your game board, including the power it uses. Links to most game manuals and pinouts can be found at www.GreatGameDatabase.com. As we’ll discuss later, this is usually not an issue with games made after 1985, since they all share a common pinout.

Monitors

Monitor Type - For the most part, arcade monitors are relatively uniform. Most arcade games use 19” or 25” raster scan color monitors (much like TVs) to display the game. As a result most game boards use the same type of monitor to display a game. Nearly all games made after 1984 use raster color monitors, making most boards made after 1984 compatible with other monitors. 

The one exception is the resolution of the monitor, the vast majority of game boards from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s use “standard resolution”. However, some games (such as Atari’s Toobin) use a medium resolution monitor. Medium resolution monitors are not compatible with standard resolution monitors.

There are other exceptions that apply to a handful of classic games are those that use vector monitors to display games. Examples of such games include Asteroids, Battlezone, Star Castle, Space Duel and Tempest, among others. In addition, most arcade games made in the 1970s use black and white monitors. It is impossible swap a game board that uses a vector display with one that uses a raster display, or vice versa. The same goes for black and white games. 

Monitor Orientation – One must also consider how the monitor is oriented. In some arcade games (such as Pac-Man), the monitor is oriented vertically (the longest side of the picture tube is up and down). In other cases (such as Street Fighter), the monitor is oriented horizontally (similar to a TV). 

Games that use vertical monitors will play in games with horizontal monitors, HOWEVER the display will be turned sideways and vice versa, making the game virtually impossible play, that is without causing neck injury or soreness :) 

Input Controls

Input controls refer to items such as a joystick, button, trackball or other means used to play a game. If the game board you want to swap uses a trackball and your game has a joystick, then you won’t be able to play it. Similarly, if your game has two buttons and you want to play Street Fighter (which uses six buttons), then you’ll have a hard time playing it.

Most games made from 1985 through the mid 1990s use two joysticks and two or three buttons, making most games compatible with each other. There are exceptions, as some games use more than three buttons, some use different main controls (such as a trackball or spinner). You just want to double check on this before buying a board to swap. 

Wiring Harness (Pinout) 
The wiring harness, or board pinout is probably the single most important factor to consider when changing boards. The pinout of a board is used to map all of the wiring of the components of a game to the circuit board. Most boards have an edge connector pinout, which consists of a series of flat metal pins. This is best understood by looking at a picture:

Each pin has a unique purpose for the game. For instance some pins accept the +5 Volts DC to power the board, others accept the ground connection, while others put the color signals out the monitor. The JAMMA standard pinout is shown below:

JAMMA Pinout

     PARTS          SOLDER
---------------|---------------
         GRD  1|1 GRD
         GRD  2|2 GRD
         +5V  3|3 +5V
         +5V  4|4 +5V
         -5V  5|5 -5V
        +12V  6|6 +12V
         KEY  7|7 KEY
   COUNTER 1  8|8 COUNTER 2
 C LOCKOUT 1  9|9  C LOCKOUT 2
     SPEAKER 10|10 SPEAKER
             11|11
         RED 12|12 GREEN
        BLUE 13|13 SYNC
   VIDEO GRD 14|14 SERVICE SW
     TEST SW 15|15 SLAM SW
      COIN 1 16|16 COIN 2
    1P START 17|17 2P START
       1P UP 18|18 2P UP
     1P DOWN 19|19 2P DOWN
     1P LEFT 20|20 2P LEFT
    1P RIGHT 21|21 2P RIGHT
   1P FIRE 1 22|22 2P FIRE 1
   1P FIRE 2 23|23 2P FIRE 2
   1P FIRE 3 24|24 2P FIRE 3
             25|25
             26|26
         GRD 27|27 GRD
         GRD 28|28 GRD

If a game board has the same pinout as another game that swapping boards is just a matter of installing the game board in the existing cabinet, since it uses the same pins. Unfortunately, most classic games (games made before 1985) use unique pinouts and can’t be swapped easily with one another.

Sometime around 1986, the arcade manufacturers decided that using different pinouts for each game was a bit of pain and that if a standard was developed, games could more easily be converted to other games. This standard pinout that was developed is know as JAMMA (which stands for Japanese Arcade Machine Manufacturers Association). With the advent of JAMMA swapping game boards between cabinets became much easier, since the boards used the same pinouts the primary issue to contend with was/is the orientation of the monitor and input controls (see above).

Prior to JAMMA there were a few pinout classes that were used by multiple games, allowing some board swapping to be feasible. I’ve summarized some of the larger pinout classes and their games below (there are many more not listed here). Remember just because these games have compatible pinouts, you’d still need to check the monitor orientation and control setup before being sure you could play one game in another’s game cabinet.

JAMMA – JAMMA is compatible with nearly every video game made after 1986, over 1,000 in all. 

JAMMA+ – JAMMA+ is a catch all for boards that use the JAMMA pinout but require additional inputs (typically control related). JAMMA only supports two joysticks and three buttons, but some games (such as Street Fighter II) require six buttons. The “+” represents inputs for these additional controls. Four player games are another good example. The additional inputs are usually wired uniquely for each game. You can play JAMMA+ boards in JAMMA cabinets, but won’t get the use of all “+” aspects of the game.

Konami Classic – This pinout supports a quite a number (over 60) of Konami’s earlier games, including games such as Amidar, Gyruss, Hyper Sports, Jail Break, Time Pilot, Track and Field and Yie Ar Kung-Fu.

Taito Classic – Taito used the same pinout in a number of its classic games (over 70). Some of the more popular titles to use the pinout include Arkanoid, Elevator Action, Front Line, Jungle Hunt and Jungle King.

Capcom Classic – Includes a number of Capcom games (about 15) released in mid-1980s such as Commando, Ghost and Goblins, Gun Smoke, Section Z, and Trojan

Irem – Supports a handful of games including 10-Yard Fight, Kid Niki, Kung Fu-Master, Lode Runner and Moon Patrol among others.

Sega Classic – Sega used a common pinout with games such as Congo Bongo, Zaxxon, Future Spy and Super Zaxxon.

A Quick and Dirty Board Swapping Checklist

Enough of the detailed information, here’s what you really need to know when determining if board swapping will work for you:

  1. Board Pinout (Wiring) – Most important factor. The game board must use the same “pinout” as the game your installing it into. Most games after 1986 use a common pinout referred to as “JAMMA”.
  2. Monitor Type – The game must use the same type of monitor (most are color raster monitors, so this is usually not an issue).
  3. Monitor Orientation – The game’s monitor display must correspond to your game (horizontal or vertical). This is very important otherwise your game may come up sideways.
  4. Controls (joysticks and buttons) – The game must be compatible with your game’s controls. If your game has one button and the game board uses three, then you won’t be able to play it properly.
  5. Power Supply – Usually not an issue with most games made after 1985.

We’ll I think I’ve covered the major points regarding board swapping. Remember, the keys to board swapping is to make sure that your game’s system (wiring, monitor, controls, power supply) is compatible with the board your swapping with. A cabinet with JAMMA wiring is generally the best option for swapping boards as many JAMMA boards exist and adapters can be made to play some of the older classic boards in a JAMMA cabinet. We carry a wide selection of game boards as well as JAMMA adapters for some classic games. Visit our parts section for more details.

The Bluth Collection

Growing up in a fairly remote part of Upstate New York, I didn’t get the opportunity to visit many arcades. I was mostly limited to playing games on the Atari 2600. That’s not to say that I didn’t keep up with the popular games. On the contrary, on those occasions that I did make it to the arcades, I had a Pac Man pattern memorized and ready to test out.

One of my most vivid arcade memories is waiting in line to play Dragon’s Lair. There was one game at the arcade I frequented, and they had mounted a television on top of the game so that people waiting in line could watch. I can remember stepping up to the game, dropping in my two quarters … and promptly dying! 

What a blast!

Several years later, during college, I would go over to a friend’s place and play Dragon’s Lair owned by the homeowner. He was a technophile who really loved owning such an interesting game. Even then, the not-quite-outdated, the game hadn’t lost its charm. I thought it was a little strange that this game was in a person’s living room. (I don’t really think it’s all that strange anymore.)

When I began collecting games, I knew that eventually I would add a Dragon’s Lair to my collection. But as it turns out, the first full size game that I purchased was a converted Space Ace 1991 that was originally a Dragon’s Lair II machine. I completely restored that game, and documented the restoration on the web site www.DragonsLairII.com. I was pretty lucky to find one of the approximately 1,000 Space Ace 1991 kits that were made. 

Being that Dragon's Lair II was one of the first restoration projects that I did, I went through great lengths to restore the game to almost perfect condition. This included purchasing hard to find "New Old Stock" (NOS) side art to replace the worn side art on the cabinet and going to great lengths to find original yellow "Sword" backlit buttons.

About a year and a half after restoring the Dragon’s Lair II game, I found an original Dragon’s Lair complete with side art. I bought this Dragon's Lair off of a private collector who lived in West Virginia (special thanks to my younger brother who made the trip to pick it up). 

The final Don Bluth game that I own was originally a Dragon’s Lair. By this time we had already formed QuarterArcade.com and we were purchasing games by the dozen. We were extremely lucky and found a Dragon’s Lair tucked away in the back of a warehouse. I have nearly completed the conversion process by installing the Space Ace ROMs, laser disc, and marquee. I am still searching for a good condition control panel to make my collection complete. (And as of 9/20/2001, I have found and installed a NOS control panel overlay. It is almost complete, as now I have to install the Annunicator board.)

My Collection:

  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Space Ace (converted)
  • Dragon’s Lair II
  • Space Ace 1991 conversion kit

Technically, I don’t own the dedicated 1984 Space Ace. Maybe some day I’ll come across that machine and add it to my collection. But until then, I am pretty happy to own all three machines and conversion kit. 

JB