Thursday, July 7, 2011

UPDATED: 'Empire Strikes Back': My Latest Arcade Addition

Of little known knowledge is the fact that Atari came out with a sequel to their 1983 color-vector classic arcade game ‘Star Wars’ (my personal favorite video game of all time) aptly titled ‘Empire Strikes Back’. Similar to Star Wars in look, feel, and gameplay, this game was never released as a dedicated arcade cabinet and was only a conversion kit for existing Star Wars machines (Atari released a non-vector ‘Return of the Jedi’ in 1984 but it was not met with the same enthusiasm as the vector game. Personally I never really was into it. Just wasn’t “fun” like Star Wars).

Anyways, original Empire Strikes Back’s (ESB) are uber rare and most operators back in the day never converted to them because the original Star Wars games were still so popular ($$$-makers). In the past decade though, a few guys have produced “kits” that use the same programming of the Atari originals, but that you can install on your existing setups to have both Star Wars and ESB playable on the same machine; easily switchable with a button press.

I recently purchased one from Vector Labs. It’s in the mail as we speak and I’m super excited to install it and play ESB, a game I may have played in the arcades 20 years ago once or twice!

One guy has gone through the trouble of posting a full install video for this kit for anyone curious about what the install entails. Pretty plug-in-play. Highly recommend a buy if you have Star Wars already!

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