Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast Episode 019 (Zaxxon)

Welcome friends to the 19th Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. For this show I discuss Sega/Gremlin’s 1982 arcade classic “Zaxxon” and we also have a special guest for this episode, John Monkus – one of the chief techs at the arcade. I also made sure to bring a few vintage audio treats for your listening pleasure.

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook Page or you can check in on the Official Diary of an Arcade Employee Facebook Page for your daily fix.

Our new ending theme entitled “River Raid” was graciously provided by the talented Tony Longworth, you can visit his official site by clicking that link and make sure to hop on over to his SoundCloud Page!

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Topps Candy Arcade Games

Topps Candy Arcade Games

I found myself browsing the Toy Archive website recently and I happened upon these wonderful Topps Candy Arcade Games, released in the mid 80’s.

Donkey Kong and Zaxxon are both great games and I would have loved these cardboard replicas as a child! Obviously I needed to know more, and the internet served me well, delivering me to the CollectingCandy.com website which updated the list of released games to six, adding Q*Bert, Frogger, Centipede and Donkey Kong Jr. to the mix.

Topps Candy Arcade Games

I’m sure the “multi-colored coated bubble gum” was a good reason to buy at the time but for me it would have been the “graphics on each box [with] characters right off the video screen”!

Colorforms: “Video Rub n’ Play” Ad (1982)

A huge thanks to tOkKa over at the Retroist Image Pool for sharing this incredible ad for the Colorforms line of Run N’Play Transfers! tOkKa says that he used the Pac-Man transfers on his mother’s woodwork…and she wasn’t very happy about it. In tOkKa’s defense they do state you can “Rub ’em EVERYWHERE!”.

I know I at least had the Zaxxon and Robotron 2084 transfers back in my youth.

Arcade Games and MAME

Despite the presence of GTA4 in my Xbox 360 and a bunch of pressing work and blog issues, I have been playing a lot more MAME arcade games lately. I have always been a fan, well a pretty big fan, but lately its starting to border on maniacal. From Amidar to Zaxxon, you name the game and in the last month I have played it on this very computer.

I guess it doesn’t take a degree in psychology to reason out why I run to these games when my life is filled with stress and chaos. They were developed in a time period that I am obviously fond of and their design is perfect for the occupied mind. The immediacy of the joystick play and the rapid progression of difficulty forces you to commit to their game system far more quickly then you would on new games that are designed to give you 10+ hours. Sure I can cruise around in the sandbox of Liberty City for a few hours, doing missions and collecting rewards, but the game system is such that you have intense moments of immersion followed by several minutes of very cool, but distraction filled driving/running.


Now in the same hour, I can fire up Pac-Man and I am instantly in the Pac World. The only breaks are brief screen loads and short animated cut scenes that give you just enough time to wipe the sweat off your hands and jump into the next level. Because they don’t require much of a learning curve you can achieve the much sought after gamers trance. These games are relentless and they requires arcade game discipline. Luckily I was born at the right time to acquire that discipline, because as an adult I could never do it.

Don’t get me wrong I love all games and some of these new game are just what I dreamed about when I was going to see Tron for the third time in the theater. But if your mind is cluttered and you need a break from the world , I am talking total distraction from reality. Why not download MAME or even better hunt down your local arcade and drop a few bucks on some of the classics.