Outrunning Out Run - John Monkus

Running A Retrocade Means Outrunning Out Run Technical Issues

Friends, a couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to watch John Monkus repair Sega’s Out Run. If you are familiar with the Diary podcast or have visited the Facebook page. You already know John is one of two techs that keep the almost 137 vintage arcade cabinets in working order. Adam Jenkins as I’ve shared on the Facebook and Instagram posts is our newest technician. The arcade is thankfully popular enough to require the necessity of two such talented individuals. After all it’s not like 32 years ago when Sega released Out Run to the arcades that they thought it would still be used on a daily basis, right?

Out Run is a favorite at the arcade to say the least. It is in almost constant use from our younger Players. One of the reasons of course is that Sega designed this particular model to basically make you feel you were in an actual vehicle. While not quite like the Ferrari Testarossa Spider you drive in the game itself, it’s a nice design. Furthermore there were four different versions of the arcade game produced. Two of them were upright models with two others being sit-down cabinets.

Outrunning Out Run - Segabits
Image courtesy of Segabits.

A Popular Game Means It Will Finally Break Down.


Outrunning Out Run - Out of Order
Nothing quite as sad as seeing an out of order sheet stuck to any of the games. Like I mentioned though, with Out Run being so popular, the techs work fast. Now the truth of the matter is that John and Adam have lives outside the arcade. So for John it’s easier for him to drop in after the arcade closes. Did I mention that he just so happens to be the guy keeping the pinball tables operational at Pinpoint?

Yeah, not only is NW Arkansas lucky enough to have Arkadia but we also have an amazing pinball bar. It happens to be owned and operated by a former tech of the arcade, the esteemed Bo Counts.
Outrunning Outrun - Bo Counts - Arkadia Retrocade

Back to Out Run. We have the simpler version of the Sit-Down cabinet. Meaning while the game has the benefits of hydraulics to move the ‘car’ around. We do not have the molded plastic race car model. In addition as the arcade is Family friendly the hydraulics are disabled…no one wants a younger Player getting hurt.
Outrunning Outrun - Boot Up

Power To The Players…And John!


John had to pull out the beast of a machine a bit to get to the insides of the cabinet. Which prompted a couple of photos. One being what I believe is certainly a “Why are you just taking photos instead of helping?” look.
Outrunning Out Run - Checking Power Supply

Rightfully so I might add. It also allowed us to see within the ‘cabinet’ itself. The game as you might imagine puts off a bit of heat which is why a fan is necessary to cool things off.
Outrunning Out Run - Fan

Or a behind the scenes look at the CRT monitor…that I am deadly afraid of. If you’ve not heard of my experiences with them in the past. You might want to check out the Space Invaders podcast.
Outrunning Out Run - Monitor

John also pointed out some special mask ROMS he created for the game. Using the arcade’s ROM burner he was able to tweak what you might think is a minor detail. Such as listening to the exceptional music options at the beginning of the game.
Outrunning Out Run - Mods

Out Run is pretty well known not just for it’s gameplay but the music by Hiroshi Kawaguchi. My personal favorite is Splash Wave!

[Via] VintaGamers Paradise

In the end it turned out the issue with the game was a low power supply. Kids climbing up and over probably jostled things. It took John a couple of minutes with his multimeter to locate the issue. Increasing the power was all it needed to get the game back in working order. Although while he was under the hood so to speak it allowed him to check out the game’s wiring connection, etc.
Outrunning Outrun - Game On

WithOut Run Operational It Was Time For John To Take It For A Test Spin!


Hey, I don’t think it will suprise anyone that one of the best things about working at the arcade…is the arcade games, right? I think it’s safe to say that John Monkus is also incredibly great at the game. Especially considering he has the high score on it at the arcade. Which is how he was able to beat the game by following Course C – giving him the genie ending.
Outrunning Outrun - Game Over

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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