Sinistar - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Sinistar (1983)

Sinistar! For this week’s Retro Arcade Art pick, CTupa has certainly picked a classic. Furthermore this legendary arcade title was the subject of the 15th episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee Podcast. And really when you get down to it. It has indeed hard to deny the importance of Sinistar as an arcade icon.

I honestly believe that there is no other game, from the Golden Age of Arcades. That causes you to start panicking, your palms to sweat like Sinstar does. Think about it for a second. While Donkey Kong is busy tossing barrels at you, he stays put. The ghosts from Pac-Man certainly can give chase but at the very least you have the power pellets to ward them off.

Sinistar however seems to take pleasure in your impending doom. Announcing his arrival and taunting the Player as well. Before of course rushing towards your tiny space vessel in an attempt to eat you in a single bite. The speakers on the cabinet vibrating as it lets loose a mighty roar. Which I can truthfully say made me jump the first time I heard it in my youth.
Sinistar - Boom

Not that the Player is totally defenseless of course. Thanks to shooting the various floating planetoids in a stage, you receive Sinibombs. Easier said than done as mining these planetoids generally will let those bombs float out into space. Where the red enemy Worker drones hastily scoop them up…to build the fearsome Sinistar. The Player can blast the drones with their fire button and reclaim the Sinibomb if they are quick enough.
Sinistar - Red Enemy Drones

Throw into that mix the Warrior vessels. Who are constantly dogging you, taking aim and blasting your ship into atoms. The Player can destroy the Warriors by shooting them as well. However in later levels they kind of swarm you and it’s hard to dodge and shoot back at the same time. Back in the day I think this was considered one of the toughest games at my local arcade.
Sinistar - Warriors

Friends, you generally play a round just valiantly trying to keep alive. On the run. There are so many times you will release your payload of bombs to see them intercepted by a Worker or Warrior. However thanks to the scanner at the top of the screen you can attempt to fly away and mine more planetoids. As well as constantly keeping an eye on the location of Sinistar!
Sinistar - Run

When Williams Electronics released Sinistar to the arcades in 1983, they already had a slew of classics under their belt. The previous year they released the likes of Joust as well as Robotron: 2084. Throw in Moon Patrol and Bubbles, you have a pretty stellar line up. I must add that the game also had one of the most beautiful environmental cabinets ever produced!
Sinistar - Rear of Cabinet

The design elements on the cabinet are astounding, such as the engines at the rear of the cabinet. Not to mention how its very design really gives you an immersive experience. Especially with the rear speakers behind your head while playing. It is a version of the arcade game I didn’t even know existed until we got it at the Arkadia Retrocade.
Sinistar - Front of Arcade Cabinet

You have some info on how Sinistar works now. So why not watch the game in action for yourself?

[Via] World of Longplays

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art Project as well!

Let’s Play 1984’s The Temple Of Doom Board Game!

By the time that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom hit theaters back on May 23, 1984. I was impatiently counting the days up until it’s release. When my Father and I finally had the chance to see it, I was all set to join Indiana Jones again and brave that Temple of Doom.

Film Trailers

Of course it helped that television ads were all over the place. It must be remembered as well that Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of took everyone by surprise in 1981. It seemed like the studio was truly doing its best to get the word out about Temple of Doom.

Having said that I must admit that I do not ever recall seeing the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom board game back in the day. Thankfully this matter was corrected when the Arkadia Retrocade received a copy of it a few months back.

Joining me for this special event was none other than my fellow author on The Retroist, PLCary.

I must point out the nice design of the Temple of Doom board itself.
Temple of Doom

Each Player also receives a little board that connects to the main board – which features exciting moments from the film as well. Such as the plane crash, waterfall, the palace and of course Club Obi Wan!

After a go with the spinner, a Player must travel the full number of steps. At the very beginning you must choose to take the shorter path which is more dangerous. Or the longer path giving you more opportunities to avoid landing on a danger – sending you back precious steps or even to the beginning.

Dotted across the board are symbols featuring both Indy’s hat and whip and the visage of Mola Ram. When landing on these symbols a Player spins the spinner – if it matches the symbol you have landed upon, two outcomes take place. A match of symbols while on Indy’s hat means a Player can move a piece up to 3 spaces. Where as if you match while on Mola Ram’s symbol – you lose your next turn…probably trying to avoid having your heart ripped out.

Another key point is that a Player isn’t allowed to jump over another of their pieces. Which means there are moments in fact during the game where you are stuck. An opposing Player is allowed to land on your piece – placing your piece where they just were. An act by and large that can become beneficial in certain cases, especially when you enter the temple itself.
Temple of Doom

After navigating the treacherous temple, avoiding the sulfurous pitfalls. By foot or using the stairwells as shortcuts, you begin to move Indy, Willie, and Short Round to the appropriate colored mine carts. A Player must get all three of their playing pieces on the cart before they can race for the finish line.

In our game, while PLCary pulled ahead at the beginning – I made it through the mines first. But on the negative side you need an exact number to cross the rope bridge and win the game. All three of your pieces must have crossed before you can claim victory.

I was getting bad spins and PLCary easily caught up with me. It was a battle across the rope bridge but in the end I lucked out and managed to get all of my pieces across first.

Which in the spirit of Temple of Doom meant I of course paused to cut the rope bridge.


Generally speaking board games based on 1980’s franchises were something of a crapshoot. I can say though that the Temple of Doom game was exceptionally fun. If you can get your hands on it – it is most worth adding to your collection.

Bit Brigade

Bit Brigade Powered Up At The Arkadia Retrocade!

I am sure for most of you it might feel like I’ve gone on ad nauseam about how wonderful it is working at a retro arcade. The simple fact of the matter is however that is 100% the truth. Constantly being around not just the shining and warm glow of the arcade games of the Golden Age. But seeing happy Players outweighs the few times it might start to feel like work.


In particular though there are those moments when the bar of awesomeness is raised even higher. Like last evening when we had very special musical guests drop into the arcade. Thanks to local musician Robert Baldomero aka LucioPro who performed at MagFest last year. He was able to get the ball rolling to have none other than the Bit Brigade perform at the arcade this year.
Bit Brigade - Title Screen

LucioPro has been a guest performer at the arcade in the past but last evening was the first time he actually revealed he was also secretly Soundwave of the Decepticons!

Now Bit Brigade as well as LucioPro had also just performed at PAX South four days previously. But they totally brought their A game to say the very least. One of the mind-blowing aspects of Bit Brigade is a member of the group is actually playing the game live. The band is playing the music for the level that is being projected behind them. In the case of this video for the opening level of the classic Castlevania!

Bit Brigade

I do apologize about my tablet’s inability to truly get a great image. I was standing on a chair holding it up over Sinistar while Bit Brigade was rocking out.

Now for those of you that have been or are now rightfully swayed by the power of the Bit Brigade. I have some very good news. They totally have an incredible amount of merchandise that you can purchase from their official store. Items include not just CD’s but Vinyl, T-Shirts, and digital downloads.

Now that you’ve seen the Bit Brigade entertain at the smaller venue that was the arcade. Check out this video from the 2012 MagFest to see some glorious Mega Man 2 action and music!


There is a bit of salty language from the legions enjoying the concert – just a heads up.

[Via] Infinite Bacon’s Channel

Retro New Year's Eve

Vic Sage’s Retro New Year’s Eve 2016!

When you work at an arcade in this day and age, a retro New Year’s Eve is to be expected, right? Over the last couple of years I have been glad to share with you the Holiday event at the Arkadia Retrocade. What better way to celebrate a retro New Year’s Eve than being surrounded by vintage games.
Retro New Year's Eve - 2016

For the many fans of the Golden Age of arcade games, this is most certainly the place to be. Especially on a New Year’s Eve. From my previous posts for the Holiday you might recall that I try to bring something special as well. I am referring of course to the vintage Kool-Aid, nay, that sweet nectar of the Gods. The Great Bluedini!

While I do in fact still possess a precious few of those Great Bluedini packs I bought 26 years ago. Like the previous year I had to turn to e*Bay for help to make sure I had enough. And let me expain that I insist on using only the vintage Kool-Aid packets to make the delicious beverage. Although having said that…it’s getting harder and more expensive to do so every year. But it is all worth it for the Players to be able to enjoy five gallons of the greatest Kool-Aid flavor ever created!

Friends, I don’t believe I’ve ever shared this bit of info before. But back in my youth I had another name for the Great Bluedini. I called it the Pure Source – in reference to 1982’s TRON of course.

Anyway, there was a bit of a hiccup in this retro New Year’s Eve plan…I had to work at the hotel. I was not happy about this to say the least. But that is part of being an ‘adult’ I suppose. So I made sure that the Great Bluedini was dropped off at the arcade before work.

In addition I enjoyed some of the tasty beverage with some very special people at the arcade. The Retroist’s own Gary Burton with our good friend, Alex.

One of my fellow concession employees at the arcade, Jonah Bright aka The Iron Monkey. Who I think you’ll agree has the greatest glasses ever made!

As well of course – sharing a cup of the Blue with Shea Mathis. Who you might remember is the owner and manager of the Arkadia Retrocade – besides being one of my best friends.

There is one other thing I had to do differently this year, while dropping off the Great Bluedini. In the previous years I’ve made a point of always pulling off the Minus World glitch in Super Mario Bros. After the clock has struck midnight and the New Year has officialy begun. Why? Well – quite simply, the first year we had the retro New Year’s Eve party, there were Players present who had never heard of this glitch.

So in this case, I had to perform the trick to visit the Negative World a little earlier than normal.

With a bit of a heavy heart but a belly full of the Blue I had to go to work. I’m not sure how many of you work the night audit shift at a hotel. But as you can imagine – New Year’s Eve can be a handful. Thankfully the fact I was missing the fun at the arcade was lessened by the photos that were being sent to me throughout the night.

Hannah, Lisa, and Shea supervising the disbursement of the Blue!

So how did I celebrate my own retro New Year’s Eve this year?

By reading Guillermo del Toro’s At Home With Monsters and sipping my own mug of Great Bluedini!

So here is to 2017, my friends. May it be a brighter and filled with even more retro fun!

Gary Burton

What The Retroist Means To Me By Gary Burton

(The Esteemed Gary Burton is our next writer to share his thoughts on what he loves about The Retroist site! – Vic)

I first stumbled upon the Retroist podcast in the fall of 2012. I had just started a new job that required driving 160 miles each day – five days a week. With limited radio reception available, I turned to my iPhone for entertainment and the Retroist Podcast was exactly what I was looking for.

My first episode was about the film “Crocodile Dundee,” and I quickly filled my phone’s free memory with all 120 shows that were available at the time.


Listening to the podcast made me feel like I was in someone’s living room and we were reminiscing about our lives in the 1970s and 80s. The episodes were complete with history, trivia, fun facts and personal experiences from the Retroist.

I soon began to get my family involved, starting with my son, William, who was 6 years old at the time. I would take him on many road trips and we listened to all the shows together. They always took longer than the posted listening time to complete because William kept wanting me to pause it. He would either ask a question about the podcast topic, or share in his own delight that he made a connection to his modern world by something mentioned in the show. He enjoyed hearing about how many of the topics related to my own memories as a child.

Ok, that last paragraph isn’t entirely true. We only made it through the first 10 minutes of the Gremlins episode. To this day, William has never seen the movie, but knows enough from a snippet of the Retroist podcast that this is a film he wants NOTHING to do with!

I tried to think of my favorite episode, but I couldn’t pick between two.

First, I loved the Jetsons episode from 2011. The interview with Janet Waldo was a special treat and the unscripted feel was a delightful change from the show’s regular format. The episode is even more wonderful because Ms. Waldo didn’t do many interviews during her last days – and passed away just a few months ago.

My second-favorite episode comes from #188 on June 13, 2015. Why? Thanks to social media, I felt like I was a part of the show in an unusual way.

Just a week earlier, I had posted to Facebook that I was watching The Black Hole with my kids. It was their first time, and they commented that the special effects were “interesting.”
I befriended the Retroist in 2012 on Facebook and it was neat to see his postings in between the show releases. I even had the chance the chat back and forth with him during a late-night delivery while I was on the New Jersey Turnpike. We had some great laughs while I rode through his childhood stomping grounds. The Retroist was the first of my Facebook friends to “like” my post, and that alone made me smile thinking that he noticed it.

My smile grew even wider when the Black Hole episode appeared shortly afterward.

I asked him if it was a cosmic coincidence between the couch time with my kiddos and the podcast, and he politely referred me to his rights under the Fifth Amendment.
The Retroist has also led me to scores of new friends – both online and in person.


I knew of the Arkadia Retrocade opening in Northwest Arkansas a few years ago, but I was just an enthusiastic customer at the time. Then, I found Vic Sage’s ongoing series on the Retroist blog about the arcade and initially thought it was a franchise chain coming to my area. I had no idea that Sage lived only 18 miles away.
Gary Burton - Vic Sage

Thanks to the Retroist blog, I’ve also become friends with Earl Green, Rob O’Hara, Robe Flax, and many, many others who enjoy reminiscing about our childhood.
We would not be the tight group of friends we are today without the Retroist – someone I’m proud to say answers my crazy emails when I shoot them his way.
I raise my glass to you and hope you have a great 2017…!

[Via] Bionic Disco