2024 is firing off on all cylanders. It's like spring cleaning came a bit too early this year, it's driving me outta my head. I ask myself, "What game would I like to spot and acquire this year?" Really I should limit myself to one, because that's keeping it healthy, right? So I say "Aight, let's go with Space Tactics. I fucking love Space Tactics. That game is an experience unlike any other, and it's absolutely euphoric." Not even a week afterwards, two show up within the same week. Huh? What? There were ZERO sold in 2023, and only ONE in 2022, as far as I recall. And of course both are outta my driving range. But, what's going on? That's nice and totally normal. I'll definitely try to sink my claws into one, but man, talk about chaos. How about some parts to repair my existing projects in that case? Hell, come to think of it, I've already bought two games this year. A Complex X project that's 50% of the way there, and a Galaxy cab (The one with the psychedelic space woman with the super hair) that I will have run a custom version of Sky Base. Not only that, but a Moon Raker ROM board, and a E.E. Vampire board was found. Even moreso, I found someone who has a Spy Agent bezel and potentially a Spy Agent logic board that I will try to get preserved. There's more action in this month of 2024 (and it's the 20th) than there were in many months of 2023. I can't keep up.

Other games that showed up so far;

  • A GDI 'Slither' project

  • A Midway 'Leader'

  • A Centuri 'The Pit'

  • Both the Slither and Pit are out of my range. Someone actually bought the Slither (converted to Tageki or whatever) and took the GDI/Destron coin door off and resold it for $50 less. Why- whatever. The Leader is in my range, but no way am I paying 700 dollars for a nonworking Ramtek Wipeout clone. $200 maybe? Don't get me wrong, I love Wipeout. It's those power supplies. They're are barebones garbage. Same era that my T.V. Basketball came from, and the only thing that kept that board alive was the LM323K. So if this game runs the same power supply and the LM323K is shorted? Uh oh- that's 15.5vDC delivered straight down the 5v rail. Trashed.


    Welp, pretty much after I wrote this, I caved on Leader. I got it for $300. I offered $280, and they counter-offered with 300. Yeah, I'll do that I suppose. I had to pull yet another Bronzer out of a walk out basement in the snow. Bazooka deja vu. Once I got it home, it was pretty obvious the issue was the power supply and monitor. Typical problems. The 5v was shorted to ground, and the monitor needed new filters and a new rectifier circuit. Once I had all that -boom- the game powered up. And it stayed like that for maybe 30 minutes until the board failed. I guess 45 years of existing finally caught up with it. One of the 161s in the clock circuit crapped out, but the game is finally happy again. Hoping it stays that way for much longer than 30 minutes this time.

    So here's a good one.

    It's 11:30 AM on Friday, and I'm at work going on break. What do I do on break? I satisfy my Marketplace addiction with a little front page browsing. I see this Gauntlet Legends is posted maybe 10 minutes ago in my home town. For free. Nonworking, no shock there, but free is free. Even though I don't give two shits for a games made in the late 90s, I figure 'what the hell it's only been 10 minutes' and send the guy a message saying I can pick this up anytime. Even though I'm at work, 40 minutes away from town with 4 hours of shift still to go. Lol.

    As I get ready to leave work, I notice the seller hasn't messaged me back. The guy didn't even fucking read it. Huh? What- did the guy forget he posted it? Is it Fentanyl Friday? I just thought 'whatever', so I sent a follow up message that night at 1 AM just as I was about to crash for the night so that if he was one of those guys who only reads messages in the morning, he'd see mine first thing. I mean, the guy's gotta have at least a dozen or more pings now, so I have to think ahead. With that, I crash and I wake up around 6:30.

    At 7:00, I pull up Messenger, and good lord still nothing. Now, I know it's a game that I show no real interest in, but at this point, I'm just invested in these shenanigans. It's been nothing but radio silence this whole time. It's about this time I hatch this dumbass idea, and it's a juicy one. I'm not living in that town anymore, I'm a ways outside of it, but I am driving there to clean out some shit. What if.. oh I dunno.. Just kinda stop by the guy's house and see what happens? That's a stupid ass idea, and it's likely not gonna work at all, but fuck it. It's 7 in the morning and if I don't make good decisions during the day, I especially don't make them as I'm waking up. So I pull the guys name from Marketplace and I punch it into the White Pages or whatever basic Internet dox me daddy website shit there is... and I get nothing. Guy's name is "Art" like fuckin Art Garfunkel, so I hatch a bigbrain and type out "Arthur" and -bingo- we got a direct hit. This Arthur lad lives outside of town, but only by two minutes or so in a neighboring town. There's no way I'm not doing this at this point.

    So at 7:30 AM, I drive out there and I arrive at this run down house with grass that hasn't been cut since what looks like a couple months. There are two vehicles in the driveway, so apperently someone's home. No idea who. I pull up into the drive way and debate if I should really do this. I'm already here in the drive way, and someone's probably already saw me. Whatever, the worst that will happen is I get told to get shit and fuck off. I get out, and I begin walking up the sidewalk that leads to the porch. Suddenly, the door opens. and in a split second my brain anticipates what's about to happen. This dude comes out and- no fucking way. It's the fucking guy, the guy from the profile picture. That's fucking him, oh shit. Suddenly, my 'professionalism' kicks in. Something I didn't think I had, especially at 8:00AM on Saturday morning. I say "Hi, you must be Art, I'm here for a game? Hope this isn't a bad time.." and this dude responds "Ah nah, man you're good this actually is perfect, my wife's about to leave for work, so you can pull your truck in her spot." and then he moves to one side and reveals the game is right behind him. My brain wants to shit it's pants so bad, but I can't think about this right now, that's a later problem. Right now I need to focus on not being a dumbass. As her wife is getting ready to leave he asks the question "So, you must be Richard right?" Hm. Yeah. This is about the part where my brain tries to get me to make a face similar to this one;


    So all this time, you mean to tell me that I was just second in line? Even though I messaged 10 minutes after it was posted? In a town that's deader than Michael Richard's career? HUH? As much as I'd like to dawn on this absolute Tsar Bomba of a loaded question I was just asked, I have to actually answer it now. I have to answer it with the only answer I know how. With the truth. Best I can do is say "Oh no, I'm Dill, not Richard. Hope that's alright." in a dialect that is so plain and unassuming, it's fucking incredible. After I say that, you could kinda just see the gears turning in his head for a second as he tries to process that information. He finally says "Oh oh, okay yeah that's cool." after 2 seconds, but those seconds felt like 4 days. I gotta wonder if he thought this Richard guy sent me to pick it up? Fuck if I know. I was finally invited into the house at this point and he had some other games in there. He had a Spy Hunter pinball machine immediately to the right, some Jamma MAME cab thing next to that, and between an entrance into the kitchen was Gauntlet on one side, and Sky Shark in an Astro Blaster on the other. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want that Astro Blaster. It was in really nice shape for a Gremlin cab. Now that I'm in, I had to haul ass ASAP. I didn't want Moody Richard to see me fucking him over like this.

    Somehow and in some way I moved 415 pounds of 1998 dumbass game out of that house, down a few drops and then got it into the truck and got out of there in record time. The game took up my whole truck bed, which in turn caused me to make a whole extra trip later in the day. Poor ass Richard probably got the news later in the day, and I really wish I knew how. After I dwelled on that, I think I figured out what happened. This fucking Richard clown is not an arcade guy. He is a free guy. Richard looks at Freebay all fucking day looking for a quick buck. That makes so much sense, considering nobody in that town cared or cares about video games in the slightest. That's definitely a story to remember.