• Open Noon-Late Daily
  • All Ages Admitted Until 4:30PM
  • 21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM

Categories: Arcade News

Categories: Arcade News

Slugfest 2: Fighting Game Tournament this Saturday!

Poster by Isaac Sonnenburg

Put on your gloves, step in the ring and practice your quarter-circle-forward technique: Ground Kontrol is hosting the second installment of Slugfest, our fighting game tournament!

What: Slugfest 2 Fighting Game Tournament! Compete head-to-head against other players in your choice of 5 games: Soul Calibur 4 (PS3), Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (PS2), Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Arcade), and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo (Arcade), and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Dreamcast.) Register for as many or as few games as you’d like! Each game will be a separate tournament.

When: Saturday, September 20th, 2008 – registration starts at 11AM, competition starts at 12 Noon and ends by 5PM.

Where: Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, 511 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209.

Cost: $5 entry fee, $3 registration fee per game entered. All tournament matches on arcade games will be free-play. Pizza and soft drinks (first come, first serve) provided to registered participants!

Prizes: Win cash prizes and GK Gift Certificates!

All ages are welcome!


Categories: Arcade News

Mars Attacks Ground Kontrol

If you’re a regular pinball player, chances are Bally’s Attack From Mars is already one of your favorites. Since its release in 1995, AFM has been in many a pinhead’s list of best tables. Thematically, it is pinball’s answer to those campy, broccoli-headed Martians that started invading Earth in pulp comics and toys of the 1950’s. The player contends with vicious aliens in battles across the world, simulating a global call-to-arms with deadpan humor. Attack From Mars has all the variety, artwork and design that make a pinball table unique and fun to play. Ours is sitting right next to its high-tech 1999 sequel, Revenge From Mars. So come save the Earth from invasion using only your wits, a pair of flippers, and mankind’s greatest weapon – the Silver Sphere.


Categories: Arcade News, Bar News

Changes In Our Venue

Ground Kontrol has decided to make some major changes to our Thursday and Friday night musical offerings:

  • Beginning September 4 (First Thursday), we will no longer have weekly live bands on Thursdays. We’re sorry if you’re disappointed, but we felt that shows took too much time and energy to put on every week, and they were too distracting from the arcade.
  • Beginning immediately, we will no longer have monthly live bands on Fridays, for the same reason. Also, we have decided it’s time to shake things up and have some new DJs on Fridays!

If you’ve come in on a Thursday or Friday and felt it was too loud, or didn’t want to pay a cover, we apologize. We’ve made these changes with you in mind, so we hope you’ll give us another chance!

For people who like it loud, we’ll still have metal shows on Sundays.


Categories: Arcade News

New Games!

Street Fighter III: Third Strike – Capcom never followed the rules when naming its fighting games. Rather than releasing proper, numbered sequels, games received “updates,” with new characters and gameplay improvements. Street Fighter III, the true sequel to the six editions of SF II, has now arrived at Ground Kontrol in its final, most evolved edition, Street Fighter III: Third Strike.

Released in 1999, this version has 19 selectable fighters, a streamlined turbo system, and updated graphics. Its fighting engine improves on former Street Fighter games with a new form of blocking: the parry system. Also present are the now-signature Super Art and EX moves.

This series has always been about evolution, and the Third Strike edition represents Street Fighter at its best.


Tekken Tag Marquee

Tekken Tag Tournament – Namco’s 1999 addition to its Tekken franchise was, at the time, a celebration of the entire series, building on the success of previous favorite Tekken 3.

Using the Tekken 3 hardware, Namco released Tag as an upgrade, bringing back every selectable fighter from previous Tekken games and bumping the roster up to 39 characters! This version also adds the “Tag” mode of fighting, where players select two fighters each for 2-on-2 brawling. Rather than switching out characters automatically, however, each player “tags out” to their other fighter. Unlike other tag-team games, if either of your fighters’ life bars depletes, the match is over.

Tekken Tag, the definitive version until the recent release of Tekken 5, is still a shining example of a great 3-D fighting game.


TRON: “Now for some real user power!” Yes, the original 1982 arcade version of the hit film is back at GK, offering four classic challenges: Shooting it out with battle tanks, infiltrating the Input/Output tower, blasting away at the MCP (Master Control Program) cone and, of course, racing the iconic lightcycles.

We’ve paired TRON with its 1983 sequel, Discs of TRON, which was originally intended to be part of the first game but eventually expanded into a separate title.

Come face off with Sark and the MCP, but remember: It’s all…in…zee wrist.


Categories: Arcade News

Micropalooza ’08: Rockin’ the Gameboy

Micropalooza '08: Art by Isaac Sonnenburg
Micropalooza ’08: Art by Isaac Sonnenburg

Ground Kontrol is pleased to announce the return of Micropalooza, Portland’s first 2-Day Chiptune Music Festival! Chiptune music is made using video games such as the the Atari 2600, the Nintendo Gameboy and NES, as well as 8-bit computers such as the Commodore C64. Though more popular in Europe, Chiptune music is quickly catching on in the US.

Ground Kontrol has been hosting 8-bit musicians for years, including Micropalooza I and the International Chiptune Resistance tour. This year’s Micropalooza features musicians from all over, including Sweden! There were too many artists to fit on one bill, so we made this year’s Micropalooza a 2-day event. Details after the jump.


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Categories: Arcade News

Portland Retro Gaming Expo – August 2nd & 3rd

It’s time for the 3rd annual Portland Retro Gaming Expo! Ground Kontrol has participated in the past 2 events, and we’re excited to be a part of the convention again this year.

The Retro Gaming Expo packs a bunch of vendors, collectors, enthusiasts and anyone searching for a piece of their gaming past into one massive room for 2 full days of buying, selling, trading and geeking out.

We’ll be selling classic console games and equipment, along with our ultra-cool t-shirts and whatever other gaming odds & ends we unearth from storage! Everything will be priced at special show rates, so you can get more for your money.

Saturday evening, catch a screening of “High Score”, the documentary film that follows one player trying to top the Missile Command world-record score. Then, those 21+ and older can come to Ground Kontrol for a special “High Score” / Retro Gaming Expo after-party where show badgeholders can get free games!

The show is open Saturday and Sunday, 10AM – 5PM. Admission to the show is $10 per day or $15 for a 2-day pass. Check out the Retro Gaming Expo website for the full schedule, directions and other essentials.

See you at the show!

Portland Retro Gaming Expo Banner


Categories: Arcade News, Bar News

New Serving Hours and Private Rental Options

Beer and NES on the barStarting today, the bar now opens at 5PM every day. If you’re 21 or older, stop in for a brew and some video game or pinball action on your way home from work!

Ground Kontrol is still family-friendly 11AM-5PM on Saturday and Noon-5PM every other day of the week, so you can show your kids what arcades were like when you were a kid!

We are also pleased to announce some major changes to our private rental policy: Private events may now include alcohol service at any time of day, and minors may attend private events where alcohol is being served if they are accompanied by an adult guardian or spouse. For more details, see our Rental Rates and Information.


Categories: Arcade News

Sunday Slugfest: Sunday, July 20th

Sunday Slugfest: Poster by Isaac SonnenburgSunday, July 20th marks a momentous occasion in Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade history: we’re putting the call out to the Pacific NW’s greatest fighters to come down to GK and beat each other bloody… on screen.

It’s time for the Sunday Slugfest, GK’s first-ever fighting game tournament! Participants will compete in 4 games: Street Fighter III: Third Strike (PS2), Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2, special 2-on-2 battle), Soul Calibur 2 (Arcade), and Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting Super Street Fighter II Turbo: Grand Master Challenge (Arcade, special upgrade for the tournament!)

The battles will rage all day long, with pizza and soft drinks (a warrior’s diet) provided for all paid participants. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 players for each title, with more prizes given away to other winners (including a random drawing or two.)

The cost to play is just $5 cover plus $3 per tournament. Sign-ups start at 11AM, tournament starts at Noon (and will end by 6:45PM.) There is a 16-player cap for each tournament, except Tekken Tag Tournament which will cap at 16 teams of 2 players (with one alternate player allowed per team.)

For more details and discussion, visit the Shoryuken.com discussion thread or check back for any updates.

This event is produced in association with RayBladeX, whose dedication to the fighting game community has made this contest a reality!

Note: In order to keep this event all-ages, we’ll be opening the bar at 7PM on Sunday evening instead of 5PM! Minors will be allowed until 7PM when we’ll switch to 21+ only (with valid I.D.)


Categories: Arcade News

New Wheels!

We took our racing games into the shop for a quick tune-up and, what do you know? We came out with all new cars. They’re real beauties, too: all-new titles, with two seats apiece for two kinds of head-to-head racing thrills.

Cruis'n Exotica title screenCruis’n Exotica (Bally/Midway, 1999)
Exotica is the third title in Eugene JarvisCruis’n series. Originally debuting in 2000, players race in beautiful and, ahem, exotic locales like the Amazon, Ireland and Las Vegas.

Too every-day for you? Try speeding through Atlantis or Mars! Cars are all real-life rides, including a Corvette, Hummer, and an on-duty police car.

This new-school arcade game is easily the best of the Cruis’n series and is one of the more engaging racers you’ll ever play, thanks to its imaginative tracks and style.


rush2049-web.jpgSan Francisco Rush: 2049
Fifty years later and, apparently, San Francisco is still a big racing town. The fan favorite of Atari’s Rush franchise, 2049 takes place in a high-speed future where cars grow wings and sail through myriad shortcuts.

Chances are you’ve cracked 200MPH in a Rush game before; this game is no exception, continuing the big air and crazy physics of its predecessors.

Released in 1999, Rush: 2049 was the final arcade game to bear the iconic Atari logo. From 1979’s Asteroids to Rush:2049 twenty years later, we’ve got your arcade history covered!


Categories: Arcade News

T-Shirts Are Back, In Black (and Asphalt)

Ground Kontrol Shirt Design on BlackGround Kontrol’s retro-rad T-shirts are back, black, and better than ever! This time around, they’re printed on American Apparel stock for a comfy fit, and selected sizes are also available in Asphalt, a deep gray with old-school flavor.

Order yours today from our online store, or pick one up at the arcade…in between games of Donkey Kong, of course.