I really lucked out when I ended up buying a house 15 minutes away from the Galloping Ghost Arcade. Opened in 2010 in Brookfield, IL, Galloping Ghost Arcade has fast become the largest arcade in the world with 599 games available to play. Yesterday, that total hit 600 with a Mystery Monday reveal of SEGA AM3 and LucasArts’ Star Wars Arcade. This Model 1 game released in 1993 to Japanese arcades and remained an exclusive. Few machines are known to exist, with only three listed on Aurcade as being publicly playable in the US. The game is best known for its SEGA 32X port, which is a faithful home version of the game. However, having now played both I have to say that the arcade version feels much bigger and livelier, with a higher polygon count, more ships and more hazards. Interestingly, I did not notice the Y-Wing as being playable in the arcade version, with the one and two player co-op modes both piloting the X-Wing fighter.
Just as in the 32X version, Admiral Ackbar sounded nothing like his on-screen appearance, with the voice sounding more like a New Yorker (“Destroy enemy fighta’s!”). On screen radar is much easier to read, thanks to the larger screen and improved graphics. Also, of course, enemies are easier to see.
Anybody who has played After Burner should feel right at home with the controls. The flight stick controls your ship and fires lasers and torpedos, while the throttle speeds your ship up and down. Single player is the most hectic, as you have to pilot and shoot down enemies. Two-player mode is a bit easier, when you have a good team, as the pilot focuses on piloting and shooting whatever is ahead while the gunner moves the retricle around the screen shooting anything they can. Once the game ends, a digitized Return of the Jedi end screen appears and you enter your initials while the cantina band plays. Kind of weird to see the ewok celebration combined with the cantina music, but I’m not complaining.
I also played SEGA’s 1990 System 18 game Laser Ghost which is one of those rare games that have to be experienced in person to understand why its so great. The game is basically a Ghostbusters-style shooting gallery where you move a mounted gun around and look through a viewer which overlays a red laser effect to create a 3D feel. It’s a pretty cool effect that I haven’t seen utilized anywhere else. Rad Mobile was also great fun. I had forgotten how many gimmicks that game has, from headlight and windshield wiper buttons to the Sonic ornament hanging from the rear view mirror. Check out these and other SEGA games in the gallery below.
Learn more about Galloping Ghost Arcade by visiting their website, and if you are ever in the Chicagoland area stop by in Brookfield, IL for a few hours or a full day. It’s only $20 to play unlimited games all day long (1pm-2am Mon-Fri, 11am-2am Sat-Sun).