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Video Hall of Fame, Category 1: Coin-Op Games

[ED NOTE 12/6: The nominations for VECTOR COIN-OP GAMES ONLY are closed. You are still welcome to leave nominations for all other coin-ops. To vote in the official poll for this category, go here]

I see I'm not the only one that drools over old video games, so I'm going to go ahead and start up the nominations for my awards/hall of fame type thing. I think this is much better than doing a year-end round up of my favorite things because, honestly, 2003 sucked for new music and music would have made up the bulk of my posts.

Anyhow. We're going to start by nominating Coin-Op stand alone games. Because I drew the cut-off line here at BP (Before Playstation), we'll keep it at before 1995, which is when Playstation was first distributed in the U.S. So, for this category:

I'll then whittle down your choices in each category to five, and have a poll for those five, and then we'll move on to other categories. If you have a suggestion for a category (for instance, should I break them down by type of game, or by platform?) just add it to the comments.

First Category: Coin-Op games before 1995.

Gentlemen (and women), start your nominations. And yes, you can nominate as many as you like.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Video Hall of Fame, Category 1: Coin-Op Games:

» Pac Man Fever from Catch Me If You Can
Michele is taking nominations for Best Coin-Op Standalone Video Game (Pre-1995) for her own Video Game Awards. I'm sorry, but in this category, much like with the Immortals, there can be only one: Accept No Substitutes!... [Read More]

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» Video Game Hall of Fame. from Stupid Evil Bastard
Michele of A Small Victory has launched her own retro-video gaming awards thingy in response to the awful Video Game Awards show that took place on SpikeTV the other night. I only caught half of that pathetic excuse for an awards show and Anne wasn't a... [Read More]

» Back To Basics from Wizbang
Well this has been a particularly shitty week for blogging from these parts. Normal blogging about subjects unrelated to web awards will resume tomorrow. For now here is a sampling of other on the 2003 Weblog Awards.Norbizness offers up Weblog... [Read More]


Street Fighter 2 and Ms. Pac-Man

I was a huge fan of Rygar.

Dig Dug and Joust.

Berserk, Defender, Galaga, and the frikkin' kewlest coin-op game ever,


I'm with Matt:
Dig Dug and Joust
(strangely, I had both of those and only those two in mind before I even clicked on the comment link).
Now that I think of it, tho, I loved "Karate Champ", too.


Two oldies: Xaxxon and Galaxian

Dragon's Lair was the first 3D arcade game. I had a crush on Dirk.

Sorry to drag y'all back to pre-85 but:

Astroids and Missile Command

(Michele- I think this should be a separate category)

I was going to nominate Dragon's Lair but you beat me to it Michele!

BeastBusters. Where you shoot at zombies once and they fall down; hit them again and they explode in a shower of organs.

Total Carnage.

Defender. The first really good video game I ever saw, at the age of 12. My jaw slackened. My eyes glazed over. I fed it all my money.

Magic Sword. Cool dog pack sounds, and shooting causes a "booah booah" sound, leading me to believe that the hero went to Yale.

The Star Trek "simulation trainer."

Speaking of Evil Otto, check out this sound (and many others at the same site).

Joust, Dragon's Lair, Qix, Tempest.

I can't believe someone already said Tempest. I've never met anyone who's ever even heard of it.

1. Outrun (Sega) The version where you stood, had a steering wheel and it rumbled...I thought it was so cool when it came out....I was always a bit clostraphobic in those sit-down race games.

2. SpaceInvaders

3. The cop game with the one red gun and the one blue gun...forget the name

4. Sega's Rambo

Earlier! Earlier! Vector graphics in monochrome:

Star Castle (Vector graphics with COLOR PLASTIC on the screen surface to simulate color!)

Space Wars (Vector graphic Star Destroyer vs. vector graphic Enterprise! Two player! Not the pretender game "Space War")

Lunar Lander (Tough, tough game)

Tail Gunner (You can sit down! What a concept!)

And of course, the ultimate in monochrome vector graphics, BATTLEZONE.

Joust, Defender, Tempest, Missle Command, Asteroids, Robotron, Street Fighter II, Cyberball

Creative (i.e. unusual themes or gameplay):
Crazy Climber, Marble Madness

Cute Fun:
Major Havoc, Crystal Castles, Pengo

Does anyone (else) remember Rip-Off or Wizards of Wor?

Okay, so they aren't all hall-of-famers, but I liked 'em:-).

-- Erik

Oof. Jason's right:

How could I possibly forget Battlezone and Tail Gunner.

Bad Erik. No cookie.

-- Erik

Lunar Lander is a sentimental favorite.
I liked Evil Otto from Berserk.
Never could resist Crazy Climber.
The last coin-op game I was addicted to was Gauntlet. Great with friends. Cibus! Cibus! we shouted as we ate the food.

In (probably wrong) chronological order:
Pole Position
Star Wars
Demolition Derby
Double Dragon

Battle Zone
Star Wars

I'm of the opinion that the apex of coin-op videogaming would have to be Marble Madness.

Also have some fond memories of Galaga 3, Star Wars, and Paperboy.

Am I the only one who remembers Mappy?

Apparently, Taito agrees with Michele:
Yahoo News

Somebody's already mentioned Gauntlet, but I'll second it, as the original was a fucking great game.

I'll also add to the mix SpyHunter.

Both of my favorites were already mentioned: Rastan and Gauntlet.

Yellow elf needs food badly!

<a href="http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?letter=A&game_id=6916"ARKANOID!!


And Bubble Bobble...Which, sadly, kept me sane (and ate all my spare quarters) through my first year of college.

As for the "newer" stuff...Killer Instinct made me happy, as did any of the myriad car racing games out there...

BTW: If you get bored, <a href="http://www.klov.com/index.php"this site is a compendium of many different video and arcade games, and this site has a list of places in NY that still keep coin-op arcade games in their stores/business. Just a thought. :D

Tempest! Tempest! Tempest!

Oh and Qbert.

Whoops! Hit the "post" button instead of the "preview" button. My apologies.

Again, my apologies! :(

Ah, I forgot all about Klax!

"Am I the only one who remembers Mappy?"

The local minigolf/arcade joint has a Mappy. (I think as part of a 3-game emulation.) I play it.

i used to love Crystal Palace (back in 1985... it had the trackball and you had to maneuver a bear through a palace and there was warp zones and all that.. it was pretty funky)... and also circus charlie (the latter was pretty girly, but i kicked arse on it)

What? No mention of X-Men? Come on, two screens, six players :) I'd give a link to a picture of it but I'm unable to find a really good one.

Still, it's a classic.

Here's the X-Men game. They still have it at the Nathan's by my house. I play it every time we go there.

Tempest. No question.

Distant Second: Discs of Tron. Tron was pretty damned good, too. The one I was personally the best at, though, was Galaga.

Um, I know I'm anal, but I missed where you said what these are nominations for, besides "Hall Of Fame." Hall of Fame for what? Best graphics? Best storyline? Most compelling? Most original? Best implemented? Most imaginative? Most fun? Game I played most?

Ah, screw it. I just wrote an endless post about the blog poll. I'll just read this thread, and nod.

But I was killer at a lot of them, I tell you. Killer.

Just nod, Gary.

Let's just say fun. Hall of Fame of Video Fun!

Yeah, I found that X-Men pic. Four player, one screen, not the behemoth X-Men. I guess I'm the only one around that appreciated the TMNT arcade game? I was so excited when it was released to the NES, only to find that they took out the voices. Two extra levels, but no voices. Ah well.

Okay. Most fun coin-op from my college years was Carnival. I could play for half an hour on a quarter. Next came Tempest, then an obscure one called Cosmic Guerrilla that was similar to Galaga but better.

There was an ongoing battle for top initials between me and some guy. Anytime I saw his initials it was a matter of honor to knock them off. Ah, ten MAY's in a row.

Tron (already mentioned, of course) but my sentimental gory favourite is Splatterhouse- Nothing like whacking the heads off of giant satanic insects with my trusty machete and hockey mask...

Ack! Mappy! I luuvvved Mappy. So here are my nominations, keeping in mind it's hard to remember what was a coin-op creation and what was Atari:


And yes, I'll be the first to say it...Donkey Kong. Without the ape, there'd be no Mario, super or otherwise.

Asteroids and Robotron

Without a doubt, the machine that ate the most of my money was Rampage. Eating soldiers as a 10 story tall mutant. great fun.

Anyone remember NARC? I think it was the first truly bloody game I can remember playing. When you shot the crack heads with rockets and limbs flew everywhere...classic.

In alphabetical order since ordering them otherwise would make my brain explode...

Star Castle
Yie Ar Kung-Fu

I'm going with Krull. It was the only coin-op game I was better at than my friends.

Shinobi and Track & Field. Spy Hunter too.

Here's some more games that no one has mentioned:

1. Golden Axe. I recently got a GameBoy port of Golden Axe and was marvelling at its keen sense of how combat works: When you strike enemies with your sword they fall down wounded, but if you bump them with your shoulder it's instant death.

2. The Simpsons. Whackin' people with a big hammer ... throwin' cats ... what more could you want?

3. Area 51. As far as I can tell this game was released in 1995, but I must plead for a dispensation. Not because you blow away aliens, or because you get points for destroying everything else in sight, but for this reason: Area 51 has Mr. T. Do other video games have Mr. T? I think not. Consider the nominations closed.

(I was in a bar when a fellow showed me a very cool Area 51 Easter egg: Shoot the friendlies three times in a row, and suddenly the screen is covered with alien writing. You become an alien!)

I guess I have to go with what I spent the most tokens on from ages 8-16 at the Aladdin's Castle:

Pole Position, Star Wars, Cyberball, and, of course Escape (the Journey video game)

1. Galaga - great game, and it's in "War Games"

2. Centipede - the perfect date game

3. I have no others, really

4. Space Invaders, of course

5. Tron
4. Star Wars
3. Joust
2. Heavy Barrel

Mr. Do.

Donkey Kong

I can't believe there aren't any recovering Defender addicts here. Stargate, too.

You definitely need to check out mame.org for a big nostalgia hit....


I think the advent of the two player cooperative was a big step forward, and it let ops get our quarters twice as fast or more--because how could you abandon your buddy in game if you had a quarter?

Do any of you own games? I have Thunderblade, Trivia Whiz IV, Heavy Barrel, and Arkanoid.

You can see pix of the Heavy Barrel and Trivia Whiz on my blog in the Atari Party IV page at my blog. Every year at the end of summer my beautiful (and tolerant) wife and I fire up the arcade games and four or five Atari 2600s we have around the house and invite all our geek friends over.

Michele, I'm interested why you set the cut-off date at 1995. Most games come from that era. I would have marked an era ending in 1987 with the introduction of Street Fighter. The entirety of the 1990s seems to be retreading the side-by-side fighter (and no matter how many people you throw in it--as in X-Men and the Avengers, it's the same game), driving games, and gun genres.

Tempest - "Avoid Spikes"

Time Pilot - From biplanes to jet fighters

Qbert - Bizarre and original

Tapper. The only game that matters.

Q-bert March Break 1984 at the Mall. Spent a whole week there

Someone's already mentioned Crazy Climber so I'll just take a moment and brag about how I own an original standup arcade unit for Crazy Climber with screen burn-in and everything. Still works too. Though I still can't make it past the fifth building. Some of the other's I loved:

Discs of Tron
Elevator Action
Bump and Jump
Karate Master
Boot Hill
Red Barron
Space Invaders

You could definitely run a thread on this topic, but for the vector games alone.

My choices:

Off The Wall (Atari)
Stun Runner


It's not just about blasting the invading space ships, its about Save the Humanoids!

Please, foe the sake of all that is good, dont let them become Mutants!

Plus, it was the only game I was any good at.

Crazy Climber

Defender, by all means!

Galaga and Missile Command.

Riyadh delenda est!

Centipde for me is the classic!

You people are all sick. The greatest game of all time was:


Spyhunter was a close runnerup.

Donkey Kong.

Hours and hours of Donkey Kong...

Crazy Climber. I still have calluses from the twin joysticks.

wow crazy climber...


1) air buster
2) crater raider
3) disc of tron

My addictions: (all mentioned except #4)
1. Joust
2. Ikari Warriors
3. Time Pilot
4. Mario Brothers. NOT "Super". The single-screen, hit 'em from underneath, kick 'em off the platforms, hit the POW box, bounce on Luigi's head Mario Brothers.
5. Galaga
6. Yes, I remember the multi-screen X-men... awesome.
7. Tempest

Are you all F*cking MAD?????????????


I must have a retro vrsion you can play on the ps2 or on disc some where...any ideas??

Are you all F*cking MAD?????????????


I must have a retro vrsion you can play on the ps2 or on disc some where...any ideas??

Are you all F*cking MAD?????????????


I must have a retro vrsion you can play on the ps2 or on disc some where...any ideas??