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zaxxon and me

This one is for Jack, who nominated one of my favorite games, Zaxxon.

zax.jpgOnce upon a time, I worked at the Video Vault, which was one of the first video stores to open on Long Island. The Video Vault was located in the lobby of Modell's, which was then a Wal-Mart type store, not a sporting goods store.

Modell's, in their quest to attract dirtbag teens to their snack bar, which shared a lobby with the video store, installed some video games right at the entrance to the store. I think Tron was first, then Dragon's Lair, then Zaxxon.

I probably turned most of paychecks from VV into quarters and spent all of my break time - and time before and after work - playing Zaxxon.

My little anecdote about Zaxxon is this: The Clash song Rock the Casbah has some weird sound effects in it, and they sound so much like one of the sound effects from Zaxxon that every time I hear the song, I am back standing in Modell's, hand sweating, hunched over the Zaxxon machine and making bets with Pete the security guard that I could break the high score. And I always did.

You can find out more about Zaxxon here.


You know, you and I are so much alike it's scary. Zaxxon was my favorite, not even a close second, arcade game. Used to play it at Chuck E. Cheese's back before they were turned into little kiddie land (although it seems they may have grown some recently).

I've downloaded and played it on MAME, but it's just not the same, the atmospheric space sounds as you hovered inside the shell of the game. Awesome memories. I actually used to play it with a friend of mine. He would do the firing and I would do the flying. Damn, Co-Op multiplayer in the early 1980s. Whodda thunk we were so far ahead of our time!

zaxxon, shmaxxon. defender/stargate was the best coin-op game ever!

I clicked the Zaxxon link and soon realized...I had that game on my Colecovision!! I too wasted countless hours playing the game...frankly I was never very good at it, but I loved it nonetheless.
thanks for jogging my memory and making me smile.

Colecovision: http://www.colecovision.com/

the sound from Rock the Casbah was from an ancient handheld backetball game from the early 80's. remember the 4 arrows and the grid of red led lights? that thing. every time you made a basket, it played that little riff.

When I was 18 I worked at a company (that's a very loose term in this case) that did the Commodore 64 version of Zaxxon. A kid with quite the attitude was working on Zaxxon (and got rich from it too). I was such a fanatical nerd that I used to improve on the crude artwork he did for the game (you know saying "it doesn't look like that") until I realized that he was purposefully doing a poor job, knowing that I would fix it up for him. When I asked him if he was doing that he said "you're learning"

We had Stargate, battlezone and tailgunner set up (and requiring no quarters to play) at Synapse... I used to play Battlezone while my programs assembled - I got really good at it too.

I just couldn't get the hang of Stargate. Too many buttons and no joystick.

Zaxxon was the first video game that made me dream about it. Then came the sweet Tetris crack...