The Great Build – The Arcade Machine: Part I


In a previous video post, you may have noticed that we were playing Aero Fighters 2 – an arcade game. At the UCHG we have a little policy of always trying to play our classic games on original hardware – and this is the story (or epic trilogy) of how we stuck to our rules with this game too.

Part One: The Peril of Ideas and eBay

Back in May 2008, I had just bought a Sega Saturn, mainly because I just love those old rubbish games. And believe me, most games for the Saturn are utterly terrible.

One that is not, however, is Die Hard Arcade. This is not to be confused with ‘Die Hard Trilogy’ on the Playstation/PC/Saturn, which is shit. This game, if you believe me that is, is amazing – a full 3D beat-em-up, like Streets of Rage but even more super awesome. Plus I remember playing it when I was a kid, so there was sentimental value in there.

The others were slightly dubious of my claims, and with good reason – my other claims that ‘this game is amazing’ has led to some dreadful errors on my part, including but not limited to:

Battletoads in ‘Battlemaniacs’, Batman Forever, Ghostbusters, Waverace 64…

And there’s probably more.

In fact, probably the worst games we have in the collection could be blamed on me. I take full responsibility. But never mind!

So, they were all rather suspicious, but left me to my own devices.

While looking on eBay, I came across a few versions of the game, but as it is quite rare they started reaching into the £50 mark, which was a bit excessive. I kept looking though, and while scrolling down I came across:

“Die Hard Arcade” for £50

The difference was that this was the actual ARCADE version – as in, it was in an arcade cabinet. For £50?? I could hardly believe it was so cheap…must be a catch. After some research and questioning though, it looked like the real deal.

Arcade machine - ebay sale

During my research I also discovered that ‘MAME’, an arcade emulator I’d used a lot in the past, could actually be built into the arcade cabinet – you just get an old PC, hook it up and boom, you’re done.

A bit more research later, and I had it planned out. I knew what parts to get, and I was about to get a new PC anyway. On a sunny afternoon, while eating a Boots Meal-Deal, I talked it over with Brad to make sure I wasn’t completely mental, and that day I bought it. No other bidders; just me, buying a genuine arcade machine for £50.

Of course it was pick-up only. From Manchester.

How could we get it? Would it work? Was I imagining everything??

Check the blog for the next exciting instalment of The Great Build!

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