After more than a year of cabinet design and construction, artwork recreation, and restoration of the internals, here is the result! READ MORE >
Categories: 6 Days Of X-Men
Ground Kontrol’s mission to provide the classic arcade experience on a full-time basis in the present day calls for both preservation and modernization. To meet these sometimes conflicting goals, we try to retain the original look and feel of the equipment as much as possible while using modern parts and materials to ruggedize them for full-time play. Our treatment of X-Men’s joystick controls is a good example of achieving this balance.
The basic components of most arcade games are basically the same: power, processor, input (controls) and output (audio and video.) Our 6-player X-Men is no different, except that some of the components are big and/or customized. We’ll save the controls for tomorrow and look at the rest of the innards today.
Now that we have editable copies of the original art, we set to work adapting it and adding our own creations.
The control panel’s original background, a tiled pattern of tiny X-Men logos, is serviceable but leaves plenty of room for improvement. Deciding that the villains deserve some representation, Isaac drafts a Sentinel mounting a formidable attack on the players:
11/29/14 Update! Some of our reproductions of the original artwork are now available for download. Files are in PDF format and ready to print.
After searching for suitable artwork online and coming up empty, we decide to capture the artwork on our cabinet and digitally restore it ourselves. We start by trying the flatbed scanning technique outlined in excellent detail at Jeff Rothe’s blog.
The bulk of the original cabinet’s size comes from its display hardware: Two 25″ monitors, one facing forwards from the back of the cabinet and another facing upwards towards a mirror that superimposes its image alongside the other to create a single widescreen display.
If we somehow found a way to display the two original images (one reflected top-to-bottom) on a modern LCD panel, we could replace the original rear half of the cabinet with a “slimline” version… READ MORE >
How big? 6-player X-Men big. That’s big enough to:
- Leave enough space in the tiny living room for only a couch, TV and small table;
- Require removing a set of sliding patio doors just to move the game outside;
- Break the patio’s floorboards as we carry each cabinet across them, transforming the moving process into the real-life equivalent of a platform jumping game; and
- Fill the beds of two regular-cab pickup trucks (one truck, two trips.) READ MORE >
It’s been over a year in the making, but we’re just about ready to unveil our restoration of one of the greatest arcade cabinets ever made: The six-player version of Konami’s X-Men.
But first, we’ll tell the story of how it came together, in six daily installments (appropriately enough) starting on Monday, Dec. 14th and culminating on Saturday, Dec. 19th.