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