Galloping Ghost Gives Arcade Gaming an Extra Life

DMCA / Correction Notice
- Advertisement -

arcade one capture Unique place in the history of video games. In the late 1970s and 1980s, a string of hits such as space invaders, pac-man, And donkey Kong Introduced new gameplay mechanics and bright, crisp pixel graphics. The fighting game boom appeared in the 1990s with street fighter ii, mortal kombat, And Virtue Fighter State-of-the-art graphics and gameplay performance.

- Advertisement -

This was when the cutting edge in video games, from texture-mapped polygonal graphics to peripheral control inputs (including steering wheels, light guns, and dance-mats), could only be found in immaculately designed cabinets. , complete with their attractive bezels and marquees. Arcades dodge hardware limitations because of their ability to adapt hardware specifically to play a game. Home consoles and computers had yet to catch on.

But as technology advanced, the cutting edge found its way to a new generation of console hardware—particularly in the late 1990s, with the launch of sixth-generation consoles, including the PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, and Sega. Dreamcast included. Then came the introduction of online gaming, which further fueled the demise of arcades. These days, you’ll still find some arcade cabinetry at Dave & Busters and Chuck E Cheese. Of course, Real The arcades were often dark, cramped and sweaty, with the smell of overheating circuitry. Trying to find one these days proves to be a difficult task, but there is hope!

Photograph: Daniel Hull

In the quiet suburbs outside of Chicago, Galloping Ghost Arcade aims to preserve this unique period of gaming history by assembling an impressive lineup of cabinetry. It makes sense that Galloping Ghost Arcade found its home in Brookfield, Illinois. It is right in the middle of a booming arcade gaming scene where people are passionate about retro games. Chicago was once the headquarters of arcade heavyweights Gottlieb, Bally, Midway, and other major arcade publishers of the ’90s. As of this publication, the arcade offers upwards of 851 games (and counting!).

humble start
- Advertisement -

Galloping Ghost began in 1994, when a chance encounter with the owner and founder, Doc Mack mortal Kombat Cocreator Ed Boon. A lifelong gamer at heart, Mac wanted to be a game developer. ,[Boon] told me how hard it would be to get into the industry,” Mack says. “So I went and did my job.” The same do-it-yourself attitude would prove to be the essential fuel running his company. He was only 18 when He founded Galloping Ghost with the intention of developing his own fighting game, dark appearance, Although the title has not been released to date, Mack’s company has never slowed down, contributing to a number of projects including Galloping Ghost Arcade.

The arcade’s origin story began on an arcade location tracker website called Aurcade. Mack thought it would be a worthwhile endeavor to get involved in the local Chicago arcade culture. “We thought we’d contribute a bunch of data that would help us figure out where we’d sell our arcade games.”

Mack scoured bars, restaurants, and many other businesses in search of arcade cabinets. In his search he made a startling discovery. “So many machines weren’t playable—the buttons and sticks didn’t work, the cathode-ray tube monitors were all faded,” Mack says. Most of the cabinets were in dilapidated condition, leaving the once prized technology to crumble in the corner of the laundromat or stashed near the restrooms of a family restaurant. But, Mack says, “I had to write the business model for what would become Galloping Ghost Arcade.”

Mack found a Craigslist ad selling 114 machines that were stored and neglected in a warehouse in Denison, Iowa. “We got out there, talked to the guy, and found out he had another warehouse full of games in Tennessee.” MAC adds 87 more machines to Galloping Ghost’s collection; These cabinets formed the basis for the arcade’s grand opening on August 13, 2010. “We started with 130 machines, and have since continued, constantly expanding the arcade.”

one of a kind

Among Mack’s 851 acquisitions (and counting), there are a few rarities and one-of-a-kind machines, including prototypes of unreleased titles. initial anger was a one-on-one dinosaur-themed fighting game developed in 1994 by Atari Games to compete directly with Mortal Kombat II and other fighting games of that time. Its success prompted Atari Games to rapidly develop a sequel. that would be the game Primal Rage II, but it was postponed after Midway bought Atari Games. midway developed mortal Kombat, And this Primal Rage IIThe cancellation was probably a move to eliminate any competition with the company’s Pride and Pleasure franchise.

Photograph: Daniel Hull

“There were a lot of rumors spreading about this Primal Rage II To be bad,” says Mack. Rumors that the game was nearly over the internet at the time of its cancellation, but hopeful fans heard nothing for more than a decade.

during a Mortal Kombat 9 Tournament in which Galloping Ghost Arcade sponsored a team of gamers from the Midwest, Tom Brady, a competitor, visited the arcade and quickly fell in love. “He told me he had Primal Rage II, Mack says with a laugh. “I didn’t believe him. He told me that if he ever sold it, he would sell it to me because he wanted people to play it. A month or two later, Mac got a call from Brady. Sure enough, it was The game was built for on-location beta testing. “There’s probably five boards out there,” Mack says. There are only a few printed circuit boards in the game, and it never left the beta testing phase of development. Galloping Ghost Arcade is the only place where players can enjoy the game.

Other rarities, hidden among the maze-like arcades, include prototypes and one-of-a-kind renditions Beavis and Buttheada prototype version of trogo, unreleased digital one-on-one fighting game tattoo killer, And rebithandjob sequel Frogger Which never really came out.

is then NARC, A run-and-gun shooter. During an event in the arcade, hellJorge Petro, the original programmer of the U.S., asked Mack if he had a spare board. “I didn’t think anything of it. I kicked him out and the next day, when he came out for the event, he returned my board. Petro told Mack there was a bonus level where the user flies a helicopter and has unlimited missiles; it crashed the game, and the developers ran out of time to fix it, so they dropped the level for an arcade release. Petro added the level to Galloping Ghost’s copy of the game.

galloping ghost dark appearance
Photograph: Daniel Hull

Arcade Galloping Ghost has only one side. Galloping is Ghost Breeding, focusing on components and parts development, and at its center is all Galloping Ghost productions. What if an arcade cabinet breaks down, especially one of a kind? It is here that a team of four experienced professionals lead a mission focused on arcade parts and restoration. They can do everything from building a new marquee for a cabinet to completely recreating a rare part, like a steering column or a rare joystick, from the ground up. “We’ve been running for 11 years and there’s nothing that can’t be repaired,” says Mack. If this ever happens, the reproductive department can reconstruct the part if necessary.

There is a documentary about a recent project dark appearance, a 2D digital one-on-one fighting game designed and developed by the company as a flagship fighter that not only pays homage to his influences (arcade fighters like mortal Kombat) but it is also an evolution of the arcade 2D fighter itself. Not contrary to the title of development for a long time like Duke Nukem ForeverThe game was designed at a time when technology developed overnight.

Nevertheless, the production team was able to bring out its first title, the 2017 full-motion video adventure, The Specter Files: Deathstalker, in the vein of Dragon’s Lair, the game is based on an unfinished project by game creator Brian Colin, whose oeuvre includes arcade classics such as violent conduct And xenophobe, ,[We were at breakfast], and he was telling me about this laserdisc game the team shot. The goal of all the living actors in this mansion was to be a low budget B film, which was very lucrative. Using footage from the film, the productions worked out a budget, and they ended development on the game. It is available to play on the arcade or for download on Steam.

future is past
Photograph: Daniel Hull

“Walking in the arcade, it’s like you’ve time-travelled to 1989,” says Chris Daly, a gamer who made the five-hour pilgrimage in November 2021 to experience the Galloping Ghost Arcade. “With the sound of games and people playing, I felt like I was nine years old again. All that nostalgia in the air. ,

The arcade is 7,500+ square feet of arcade nostalgia. It is as if in the past, at a time when these Hawking machines were the gateway to the new world. “Every time I stopped near the arcade, I would always hear countless sounds of games being played around me,” says Kevin Jimenez, a loyal gamer who has been visiting since the arcade opened in 2010. “You can see other people around you getting into different sports, the old and the new generations alike having fun.”


- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Recent Articles

Related Stories