Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene


Up un­til now, the most re­cent ex­am­ple of a vec­tor-graph­ics ar­cade cab­i­net was Ex­idy’s 1986 game Top Gun­ner. But thanks to pro­gram­ming group 68 Crew mem­bers An­drew Rei­tano, Michael Doo­ley and Todd Bai­ley, a mod­ern ma­chine has now sup­planted it. VEC9 sees play­ers take on the role of a Soviet pi­lot who has been wo­ken from 30 years of sta­sis in or­der to avenge an ap­par­ently fallen USSR.

The ma­chine is built around an Elec­tro­home G05 mon­i­tor, the same dis­play found in the orig­i­nal As­ter­oids cab­i­net. But while the hard­ware may be au­then­tic, the ad­di­tional horse­power un­der the bat­tle­ship-grey cab­i­net has al­lowed the team to cre­ate true 3D vi­su­als which more closely re­sem­ble Star Fox than early vec­tor games. Play­ers steer their ship us­ing the gun­ner con­trols from an M1 Abrams tank (the de­sign of which pleas­ingly re­sem­bles the con­troller for Atari’s 1985 vec­tor ma­chine Star Wars: The Em­pire Strikes Back), and this heavy-duty mil­i­tary aes­thetic is car­ried over to the rest of the cab­i­net. Those grey sur­faces are bro­ken up by a monochro­matic, green se­cond screen, a bank of ten in­can­des­cent in­dus­trial lights which pro­vide feed­back ed­back on your sta­tus, a row of red ed and green LEDs for or health, and some safety-pro­tected tog­gle switches thathat come into play dur­ing ur­ing VEC9’ s endgame.

There is cur­rently tly only one VEC9 cab­i­net binet in ex­is­tence, now a per­ma­nent res­i­dent nt of Chicago’s Lo­gan n Ar­cade, but the team eam plans to cre­ate ad­di­tional ma­chines nes later in the year.

Game VEC9 Man­u­fac­turer 68 Crew

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