• Open Noon-Late Daily
  • All Ages Admitted Until 4:30PM
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Categories: April Fool’s Archive

Ground Kontrol Classic Apartments – Modern Living, Classic Entertainment

Welcome home, ‪Portland‬!

Since we opened in 1999, Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade has remained dedicated to preserving classic arcade gaming and culture while updating it for the present era. Over the years, we’ve established ourselves as the standard for what an arcade-slash-lounge should be, earning a loyal customer base and fans around the world. We’ve innovated with events and features never before seen in an arcade, and we’ve watched other arcades attempt to replicate our unique approach. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we hope to influence a positive new trend for Portland and beyond with our latest concept: Ground Kontrol Classic Apartments.

Portland has seen an influx of new residents, with its population growing to nearly 2.4 million. New buildings are being constructed constantly, it seems, trying to attract residents and businesses with a popular mix of modern apartments anchored by first-floor retail and restaurant spaces. The face of Portland is changing rapidly, and businesses are trying to keep up with higher rent costs and a competitive real estate market. Sometimes, sadly, we lose a beloved bar or shop as a result.

Recently, after months of speculation, Ground Kontrol announced our plans to expand and more than double our space. Many of you expressed relief that we weren’t closing, and instead were actually growing. This is still true, and we’re working hard to debut our new space later this year. With it, though, will come another brand-new innovation: Modern living and classic arcade gaming, all in one.

Each unit in Ground Kontrol Classic Apartments has a bold, open feel with all of the comforts you expect in an urban home, with a curated selection of arcade hits from the 70s, 80s and beyond. The sounds of Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Asteroids and more provide the soundtrack to your day-to-day, as Ground Kontrol’s customers visit to play a game or enjoy a pint at the full-service bar that easily converts to a more traditional dining area (advance notice and approval required).

Coming To The Pearl: Ground Kontrol’s “8-Bit Bistro”

PORTLAND, OR.– Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade has long been known as one of the more popular  haunts in Portland’s Old Town neighborhood. But now they’re making a play for the high-rise crowd in an unexpected way: by opening a bistro in the Pearl. Ground Kontrol Chef Emeritus Kyle Harasyn explains.

“Downtown fans already know about Ground Kontrol’s excellent food menu. Convincing Pearl residents to make the long journey into Old Town has been a challenge, though. I can understand…I mean, that’s four or five blocks at least, and no valet parking to speak of. Then you have the Park Blocks creating an almost impassable divide and, well…no wonder they hardly ever make it.

“We really want to reach this new audience, though, and we think we’ve found a way: Bring the Ground Kontrol menu to the Pearl, and tailor it to their sensibilities. We’re calling it ‘8-bit cuisine in a 5-star format.'” READ MORE  >

Closing Again For Remodeling

After much debate, the Ground Kontrol brain trust has agreed that our futuristic TRON look, as cool as it is, is just not old-school arcade enough. Therefore, we are tentatively planning on closing from May 1 until August 1 to “de-model”.

After ripping out the laser sinks and glowing tables, we’ll have room for some “new” stuff we’ve been saving since the ’80s.  Among the highlights:

  • Animatronic lounge band, rescued from the dumpsters behind some other arcade chain;
  • Bright fluorescent lighting; and
  • The original GK carpet (Yes, we save everything.)

When we’re done, we guarantee that there will be no escaping the authentic sights, sounds and smells of those ’80s kiddie parlors you know and love.

Check back here at www.groundkontrol.com for further details!

Exclusive New Games from Encom!

Encom LogoWe pride ourselves on seeking out and restoring the best videogame titles of arcade history. One chapter has remained noticeably absent, however: The games of Encom, originally designed by programming wünderkind and arcade legend Kevin Flynn. Space Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad: a whole slew of them, thought to be lost forever.

That’s changing today, however. Thanks to the detective work of a few dedicated fans, we managed to locate an almost complete collection of Encom titles hidden away in a mysteriously abandoned game room. Beneath the layers of dust, they appeared almost untouched in the 28 years since they were created!

Now, we’re pleased to bring this exclusive lineup from Encom’s early days to the Ground Kontrol arcade floor of today!

Space Paranoids MarqueeSpace Paranoids
The fearsome Recognizer made its debut in this classic title famous for its real time 3-D shaded graphics, an impossible computing feat in 1982. Cruise the canyons in your Tank, but stay vigilant or risk being Recognized into oblivion!

Don’t bother trying to top the world record score, by the way…it’s remained unbeaten since Flynn himself set it in his own arcade. “All in zee wrist,” as he would say.

Matrix Blaster Logo

Matrix Blaster
Forget the 1999 movie; blast into the original Matrix with the classic top-down shooter that introduced “bullet time” to arcades. Pilot your Z-fighter through the game grid to blast Bugs in four directions. Things getting a little too intense? Hit the “Warp” button to slow down the action for a limited time.

Vice Squad
Freeze, perp! Vice Squad gives the old game of Cops And Robbers an electronic update, with players facing off on opposite sides of the law. “Hey, if this is about those parking tickets I can explain, okay?”

Arc Wars Marquee

Arc Wars
Encom’s advanced video games sometimes seemed to defy the laws of physics, but nothing could have prepared arcade fans for Arc Wars, the first and only arcade game to feature an X-Y-Z monitor capable of drawing vectors in three-dimensional space. Spin the pitch, yaw and roll knobs to fling your glowing cursor through the air, drawing curves that deflect your opponent’s attacks. You gotta be good if you want to survive!

TRON marquee

No arcade lineup would be complete without this smash hit! Race lightcycles, pilot a tank through the game grid, “upload” yourself via an I/O tower and infiltrate the MCP. It’s all in a day’s work for the world’s top security program!

(Space Paranoids repro cabinet artwork courtesy of Arcade Aid. Thanks, Zack!)

Ground Kontrol Acquired By Noiseland Arcades, Inc.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, a closely held Oregon corporation, has been acquired by Noiseland Arcades, Inc. Terms of the transaction were not released, but sources say the stock and arcade machine swap was valued at “a lot”.

Noiseland spokesman Xavier Quarters says that the Springfield-based Noiseland “is pleased to move into the Portland market, and excited to take corporate kontrol of Portland’s homegrown barcade.” When asked about anticipated changes, Quarters replied, “we’re changing more than just the name. For starters, because of our lucrative partnership with the Duff Beer Corporation, we’ll be clearing out GK‘s selection of Oregon microbrews and opening the bar to sell Duff products exclusively.” Quarters then shouted, “are you ready to get Duffed?!

The newly rebranded arcade will be retaining Ground Kontrol‘s all ages hours, though the only beverage available at those times will be Duff-owned Buzz Cola. One anonymous youth expressed his satisfaction that Noiseland will continue to allow minors from noon to 5pm. “I have to hang out there most afternoons until my dad gets home from the cracker factory. He’s a pretty big wheel over there.”

While CEOs on both sides of the buyout have called the acquisition “excellent,” one nearby comic book store owner and apparent Ground Kontrol loyalist was quick to describe it as the “Worst. Corporate buyout. Ever!” Similar sentiments have echoed around the Old Town blocks where the arcade resides. Melvin Viso, a daily patron of Ground Kontrol called it “A REAL LEMON OF A DEAL!” Regardless of customer and staff concerns, the takeover is effective immediately.

Ground Kontrol‘s current bar staff is being completely rehauled as well. Noiseland‘s new bartender would not agree to a phone interview, citing an endless stream of prank phone calls to his previous establishment. Asked about losing his job at Ground Kontrol, a former arcade worker there was only ambivalent. “Whatever,” he replied, “I heard they’re opening a Wall E. Weasel’s out in Beaverton. I could probably get another gig there.”

New Games!

Noiseland is excited to present the best in slightly used video gaming:


Pac Rat, a classic maze game that bears absolutely no resemblance to any other arcade game, is one of the flagship games of the Noiseland Video Arcade. In this erratic rat race, players rack up scores packing away rejected foodstuffs and running from bratty cats.

Larry the Looterlarrythelooter-copy1

Break into storefronts and window displays as Larry, the greedy criminal with a very destructive streak. Players rack up high scores by lifting stereos, TVs, and jewelry, stuffing them into Larry’s bloated loot bag. Just beware of the protective store owner. Your Game Over screen appears as suddenly as a decapitating blast from his shotgun!

Nuke Canadanukecanada-copy1

This cold war layover has gamers racking up quarters in command of a conflict with our neighbors to the north. America Lite has their work cut out for them as they try to deflect an onslaught of Yankee nukes. Known for its incredible ease, Nuke Canada is one of the only games a player can win with the push of one single button.

Super Slugfestsuperslugfest-copy

Super Slugfest is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a lot more super than the previous Slugfest. However, Noiseland Game Group is currently looking into a trademark lawsuit with Ground Kontrol, whose wildly successful series of fighting game tournaments share the Slugfest name.

Escape From Grandma’s Houseescape-from-grandmas-house-copy1

First in the fan favorite Grandma’s House trilogy, gameplay sees players dodging moldy bread, ancient candy, and mangy cats. In this first edition, Andy the Abandoned fights against a countdown timer until his ride home finally arrives. But as levels increase, the timer gets longer and the enemies more numerous, until the player eventually perishes in a cloud of mothballs and butterscotch bricks.

Meet The New Manager

Xavier QuartersHello, I am Xavier Quarters, the manager of Portland’s new Noiseland Video Arcade. I previously managed Noiseland‘s flagship Springfield arcade.

Let me tell you, based on what I’ve seen of Portland so far, we will be making some major changes!

First off, we will be rid of you hipsters and your hipster music and your funny glasses and your Pabst Blue Ribbon and your hoppy beers. We will only play the finest in skating rink music and serve Duff, the swilliest of beers.

Next, we will be getting rid of some of these so-called classic video games for some real quarter-eaters, such as Satan’s Funhouse, Time Waster, and my personal favorite, Dance Fatty Dance.

And these pinball machines…back in my day, they didn’t even have flippers! Crane games and skeeball would obviously be a better use of the space.

Remember, no touching the machines until after you put a quarter in! Please use the sanitary quarter tongs available at the counter for only $1. Enjoy your stay at Noiseland, and don’t leave with quarters in your pockets!


Ground Kontrol Gambles On Video Poker

New Video Poker lineup!It’s been a long time coming, but everyone’s favorite downtown arcade/bar/music venue can now add a new descriptor: GAMBLING HOLE!

That’s right, double up and bet eight credits, ’cause Ground Kontrol is the proud new home of twelve brand new video poker machines, courtesy of the Oregon Lottery.

“It Does Good Things,” said Anthony Ramos, co-owner and self-confessed video poker fan. “We’re always on the lookout for the newest and most popular entertainments. The time was finally right. Now players can compete for not just for high score and the acclaim of their peers, but for cold, hard cash. Also, my crack habit was getting really expensive, and this will help offset that.”

“We had to clear out all the pinball machines and most of the video games, but we’re sure that players will soon forget them once they see these new machines, and comments from customers seem to be bearing that out.”

Brad, electrician and frequent customer: “I was so stoked to see that they got video poker. I mean, Q*Bert was cool and all, but I think they’re making much better use of the space. One video lottery machine has, like, games galore.”

“Ground Kontrol could have always used a gambling machine or two. Can I get an ashtray?”- Thom, cab driver

“Money rules!”- Patricia, volunteer

“SMELLS LIKE CASH IN HERE!!!”- Doug, probably lives around here or something

“V||)3() p()|<3R |s |337!!!!!!!1!”- Lord Mordicus, teh HaXX0R

So, be sure to stop into the all-new Ground Kontrol: the place for beer, DJs, live bands, and gambling addiction!