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Categories: Raiders of the Lost Arcade

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Double Dragon

Double Dragon

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Double Dragon, so we’ve doubled our Double Dragon! The original arcade version of Double Dragon is here as our new Raiders of the Lost Arcade feature! Prefer the vastly different NES version? Don’t worry, it’s fully playable in our PlayChoice-10 cabinet!

In Double Dragon, twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee (also known as Hammer and Spike) must venture into the territory of the Black Warriors street gang in order to rescue Billy’s girlfriend, Marian! Trained in the martial arts, the Lee brothers are well equipped for combat with a variety of techniques at their disposal, but tracking down and defeating the gang’s leader, Willy, won’t be an easy task. Braving the mission solo or teamed up with a partner, do you have the strategic button mashing skills necessary to defeat the ruthless Black Warriors gang and save Marian?

Developed by Technōs Japan and published by Taito, Double Dragon is one of the earliest successful beat ‘em up games and is commonly considered to be the granddaddy of the genre. Although it’s technically the spiritual successor to the 1986 beat ‘em up Renegade, it was Double Dragon that defined the two-player co-op mode that became central to the genre and inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs in arcades and on home consoles. One of the most exciting features of the game was the advanced combat system, which was relatively complex at the time of the game’s release. In addition to a variety of moves that can be performed with combinations of the kick, jump, and punch buttons, Double Dragon introduced the ability for the players to arm themselves with weapons dropped by enemies, such as whips, baseball bats, and dynamite. The game’s four stages take the players through city slums, a factory, a forest, and finally the gang’s hideout, with plenty of enemies and bosses to beat up along the way.

Did You Know?

• If two players beat the final boss together, they are then forced to fight each other to determine who will win Marian’s love.

• The popular NES version of Double Dragon (playable in the Playchoice-10 cabinet) features several significant changes from the arcade version and lacks two-player co-op mode. Notable features include a level-up system with unlockable attacks, different level design, an alternative story where Jimmy Lee replaces Willy as the antagonist, and a one-on-one battle mode with two-player support.

• According to one of Double Dragon’s creators, Muneki Ebinuma, many of the game’s features were influenced by Bruce Lee movies.

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Double Dribble

The Ultimate Basketball Game!Double Dribble

Konami released Double Dribble in arcades in 1986 as a follow-up to their first basketball arcade game, Super Basketball. The game boasts realistic features including five-player teams with specialized characters, official quarters and half-time switch as well as a national anthem ceremony, cheerleaders, mascots and fans. The player can replicate all of the actions of a real basketball player: dribbling, passing, shooting, and even attempting a slam dunk, shown in a slow motion zoom shot. Referees keep an eye on the game, calling fouls and sending players to the free-throw line. The game is timed so that a credit must be added to continue game play after every minute if the computer’s team is winning, so try your best to get an early lead on the scoreboard! At the end of four quarters, the winning team holds a victory celebration.

After its release, Double Dribble quickly gained popularity and was considered the most realistic basketball game at the time due to the innovative cinematic shot and dunk animations and the impressive attention to detail. The game was then ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and then later released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System under the title Exciting Basketball.

As with all featured Raiders of the Lost Arcade games at Ground Kontrol, Double Dribble might only be in the arcade for a limited time, so come get your dunk on and remember to keep a finger on that dribble button!

Did You Know?

• The Star-Spangled Banner is played during the game’s attract mode, which made it the first arcade game to feature the national anthem

• Unlike other basketball games, the player must actively dribble the ball to move up and down the court

• Gameplay of Double Dribble was featured in the Family Guy episode “Run, Chris, Run”

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Shinobi

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Shinobi

Destroy anyone that gets in your way!

An evil organization of ninjas and outlaws known as “Zeed” have captured ninja children and taken them hostage! It’s up to Ninjutsu master Joe Musashi to venture into Zeed’s headquarters and single-handedly rescue his students while wiping out the opposing villains!

Shinobi is a side-scrolling hack and slash action game released in arcades by Sega in 1987. The player controls the ninja protagonist Joe Musashi with an eight way joystick and three buttons to attack, jump and use ninjutsu techniques against the evil criminals that lie between him and his captured students. An unlimited supply of shurikens can be used to attack enemies from a distance, but the player can also punch and kick enemies at close-range. Rescuing certain hostages will grant the player attack upgrades in the form of a powerful gun for long-range attacks and a sword for close-range encounters. There are also 3 ninjutsu techniques (also called “ninja magic”) at the player’s disposal: a sandstorm, a tornado and a doppleganger attack. The ninjutsu techniques vary depending on the stage, but they all have the same effect of clearing the screen of all enemies.

The game features 5 missions, each consisting of 3-4 stages in which the player must rescue all hostages to advance. In the final stage of each mission, the player must face off against a challenging boss. Defeating a boss advances the player to a bonus stage, where the player must fend off a horde of enemies by throwing shurikens from the first-person perspective. If successful, the player will earn an extra life.

Although Shinobi was not the first ninja video game when it was released in 1987, it remains one of the most popular and highly acclaimed ones from its era. After its original arcade release, Shinobi was ported to the Sega Master System and eventually the Nintendo Entertainment System, PC Engine and several home computer systems and downloadable emulators. Despite many of the ports featuring minor tweaks to the gameplay, the original arcade version of Shinobi is still widely considered to be the smoothest playing, finest version of the game.

Pro Tips

• Activating “ninja magic” will clear the screen of all enemies and can be used only once per stage. If used against a boss, it will inflict a great amount of damage.

• Bonus points are awarded based on how quickly the player clears each stage, along with additional bonuses if the player clears the stage without using “ninja magic”, or using only close-range attacks.

• Extra lives are awarded by achieving certain scores, completing the bonus round, or upon rescuing a special hostage.

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Sinistar

Beware! Sinistar lives!Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Sinistar

Fast-paced, gripping and utterly ahead of its time, the 1982 Williams outer-space shooter Sinistar is an early example of what would become known as a “twitch” game. You pilot a lone fighter ship, initially blasting away at drifting planetoids to mine Sinisite Crystals to create Sinibombs while contending with agile Warrior ships.  Meanwhile, Worker ships work to construct a Sinistar nearby.  When the Workers complete the Sinistar, it comes to life with a frightening “Beware, I Live!!”, and comes after you!

Sinistar represented a number of firsts in game design. It was the first game to use stereo sound (in the sitdown version), with two independent left and right sound boards for this purpose. It was also the first to use the 49-way, custom-designed optical joystick that Williams had produced specifically for this game.

Perhaps one of the most challenging Raiders of the Lost Arcade games we’ve featured, Sinistar is here to wreak havoc and put your reflexes to the test if you want to get on the high score leaderboards! Give it a shot at Ground Kontrol today!


• Short-range Sinibombs automatically targets the Sinistar when fired, but can be intercepted by a collision with an enemy Workers, enemy Warriors, or a planetoid.

• A completed but damaged Sinistar can be repaired/rebuilt by the enemy Workers by gathering more crystals, extending its “lifespan” if the player is unable to kill it quickly.

• Your ship can hold up to 20 Sinibombs at a time, a total of 13 bombs are required to destroy a fully constructed Sinistar!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Phoenix

Phoenix Ad Art

Rising again from the ashes for the first time in 10 years, look at what we’ve had incubating for all of you space shooter fans…

Phoenix is an outer space “slide & shoot” similar to Taito’s Space Invaders and Namco’s Galaxian, but takes the concept further with the introduction of progressive stages of play instead of simply repeating a single playfield over and over with an increasing difficulty level.

The original developer of Phoenix is unknown. According to Centuri’s Joel Hochberg, the game was licensed from “a smaller Japanese developer.” Amstar Electronics (which was located in Phoenix, Arizona) licensed the game to Centuri for manufacture in the United States in 1980.

The Phoenix mothership is one of the first video arcade game bosses to be presented as a separate challenge, before the term “boss” was coined. Phoenix holds the dubious honor of being one of the most bootlegged and cloned games of all time. The Apple ][ clone was called Falcons, and was one of the most faithful ports of an arcade game to the platform.

We’re proud to present you with a beautifully maintained original Phoenix cabinet for your enjoyment. Play it now before it returns to its incubation chamber once again!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Rally-X

Rally-XSimple yet colorful, addictive and fun, Namco’s Rally-X first hit Japanese arcades in 1980. Race your lone car through city streets and rack up points, all while avoiding the mounting number of enemies who are out to wreck your car! The game is deceptively easy at first, but it quickly escalates into an adrenaline-filled race against a dwindling fuel tank.

In Rally-X, players use a 4-way joystick to steer a car around a street maze while attempting to gather scattered yellow flags. All flags must be collected before the car’s fuel runs out in order to complete each level. Enemies working against the player are crash-determined red cars, parked cars and rock piles; all of which can cost the player a life! A smoke screen button can be used to temporarily stun the enemy cars, but utilizing it will cost the player valuable fuel. There is a handy radar display that shows the positions of flags and enemy cars, but NOT the rocks, so try to keep your eyes on the road! Naturally, the game is over when the player runs out of lives. Your ultimate goal is to beat the high score, so accumulate points by collecting flags and having leftover fuel at the end of each round!

Rally-X was introduced at the 1980 Amusement Machine Operators of America, amongst a plethora of other hard-hitting arcade games as a title licensed by Midway for American release. Video game experts had predicted Rally-X to be the most popular game at that event, however, Namco’s other maze game had upstaged it all. That game? Pac-Man. Pac-Man’s overwhelming reception and popularity left Rally-X in its shadow, unfairly so!

Give Rally-X another shot at success and play it today at Ground Kontrol!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Forgotten Worlds

Forgotten Worlds“Emperor Bios, the god of destruction and creator of evil. Eight evil gods he created were destroying every civilization. Destroyed cities turned into ruins called the Dust World. But aura of people’s angry mind created two super warriors to fight against evils.”

A strangely worded narrative from the 1988 promo flyer sends us into straight into the action of Forgotten Worlds! Originally crafted in Japan (thus the slightly lost-in- translation game description and title), this game was the third and last of Capcom’s “Jet-Pack Hero” shooters (following Section-Z and Side Arms Hyper Dyne) and the first to use Capcom’s “CPS1” arcade system that would power dozens of their titles from the late 80s through the early 90s.

Forgotten Worlds can be played by up to two players simultaneously, with each player controlling a futuristic, nameless Marine. The Marines are armed with muscles (lots of muscles), jet-packs and rifles containing unlimited ammo. Player 1’s soldier is equipped with a long-range automatic rifle, while Player 2’s soldier has a short-range wide shot, and your task is to guide the flying space Marines through 9 stages of fast-paced action. Killing an enemy will result in gaining Zenny (Capcom’s in-game currency that appears in several games). Players use Zenny to purchase armor, health, weapon upgrades and tips throughout the game. Weapon power-ups are crucial, with several different effects available to choose from, so don’t miss a chance to enter a Shop! As you traverse the wastelands of Earth now known as the “Dust World”, you’ll encounter daunting battles against evil gods, with the last being none other than the all-powerful Emperor Bios!

This game features a traditional joystick to control your character and a roll-switch spinner that rotates your character in any direction. This allows for incredible multi-directional shooting, a necessity with enemies swarming you from all sides. Pressing down on the roll-switch will fire your weapons; rapidly pressing the roll-switch will result in a Megacrush attack that wipes out all enemies (and sadly, some of your vitality!).

Forgotten Worlds is one of the more creative arcade shooters, standing out at a glance due to its unique controllers and eye-catching graphics featuring detailed sprites and a style that melds more traditional fantasy with futuristic sci-fi. Don’t miss your chance to play this hard-to-find classic in its original form!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Millipede

MillipedeIn a forest faraway, only you can stop the insect invaders. The King is dead and his vengeful spirit has summoned an army of bugs to destroy your kingdom. You, the Archer, must pick up your bow, head out to the mushroom garden and battle the horde of monstrous pests, including the almighty Millipede!

Millipede is the 1982 follow-up to Atari’s wildly successful Centipede (1980). Employing similar graphics and gameplay as its predecessor, Millipede is noted for being the far more difficult of the two games. One or two players use Atari’s fundamental Trak-Ball to control the Archer at the bottom of the screen. A single fire button is used to shoot the Archer’s ammo toward the approaching Millipede and its posse of bugs. Careful! One enemy strike and the Archer loses a life. Players must avoid and destroy all segments of the Millipede and other enemies in order to score as many points as possible.

The arrival of Millipede introduced new enemies and features not seen in Centipede. Additions included inchworms that can slow time, DDT bombs that clear all nearby enemies, and swarm waves as bonus rounds. Despite the additional features and more intense gameplay, Millipede did not achieve the same fame as Centipede. However, popular opinion today regards Millipede as one the most challenging and overlooked arcade games of all time. Stop by today and do your part to save the kingdom in Atari’s Millipede!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Legendary Wings

Legendary WingsWith a fascinating theme that blends ancient mythology and futuristic sci-fi, Legendary Wings is an excellent and underrated Capcom shooter. Two players can simultaneously enjoy Legendary Wings, and like most shoot ’em ups it allows you to join a single-player game at any time. The game begins with vertical shooting reminiscent of Capcom’s own 1942 series, featuring targets both in the air and on land. Your character is a winged warrior armed with a laser rifle and bombs, constantly flying through the air. Fire at enemies approaching you while dropping bombs on ground-based foes. Eventually you’ll encounter a giant face on the surface of the planet, which sucks you in to a mysterious base inside of the massive enemy where you’ll switch to a side-scrolling perspective similar to Contra or Rolling Thunder. These two gameplay modes switch throughout, keeping things interesting.

In the unique world of Legendary Wings, a supercomputer that has helped humanity towards enlightenment since ancient times suddenly goes rogue, and it’s up to our characters to stop it. This computer, named “Dark”, is reached after five long levels of gameplay and acts as the final boss of Legendary Wings. While the story isn’t particularly meaty (or necessary), it’s a strange concept and world that leaves a lasting impression. Curiously, a bit of censorship changed the player avatars for the US release. In the original Japanese release, player 1 is “Michelle Heart”, a female warrior in a pink bikini, and player 2 is Kevin Walker, a shirtless male warrior. US players first saw Michelle replaced by another male character, and both heroes rendered nameless. In an alternate US version, the original characters remain, but Michelle’s bikini is inexplicably green. Michelle has even appeared in obscure cameos in Capcom games, like Marvel vs. Capcom, Namco x Capcom and SNK’s Card Fighters. Most people will likely recognize Legendary Wings from its excellent NES port that faithfully recreated the arcade experience with less impressive graphics.

Anyone who enjoys a good “schmup” will get a kick out of Legendary Wings, with the variety offered by the shifting vertical and horizontal perspectives and the interestingly realized world that looks like none other. A game that stands up nicely next to better-known classics like the aforementioned 1942, Legendary Wings deserves a place in any classic gamer’s repertoire!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: KLAX

KLAXKLAX is a rather unique puzzle game that bears little resemblance to its better known puzzling peers. While Atari was gearing up to release it, they used the term “tic tac tile” to describe the basic gameplay mechanic. This is a fair description, but KLAX is also very animated and at times quite hectic!

Tetris was very popular at the time of KLAX’s release, so Atari wanted to bring another interesting puzzle game to a market that was ready for it. To play KLAX, one or two simultaneous players operate a paddle which can move only left and right. This paddle is situated at the end of a ramp of sorts, some say a conveyer belt, on which multicolored bricks cascade closer in five columns. It’s the player’s job to use the paddle to catch these bricks, then arrange them in a staging area depending on the completion requirements of that wave. Placing three same-colored bricks in a row, stack or diagonal arrangement, which is called a KLAX, is the way to achieve the varied goals of each level. If the player allows three of the tiles to drop off the playing field, or fills the staging area without completing the goal, the result is Game Over, with an option to continue. The player receives bonuses between each wave for extra space left in the staging area. In a pinch, the player can also toss a tile back onto the board, but this is a temporary fix at best, as the board can become quite crowded that way.

Advanced levels of KLAX can become quite frenetic, as more and more bricks fill up the ramp and speed toward the paddle. There is a finite amount of stages (100), so it is possible to actually complete KLAX. The late eighties and early nineties are well-preserved here in the charming aesthetics of KLAX. There are plenty of pinks and purples and bright colorful designs to create a strong visual appeal. It’s also got great sound: the clacking of the approaching tiles creating a sort of dynamic soundtrack, and a pleasant round of applause caps the completion of each wave. (Where’s the audience, anyway?)

KLAX enjoyed several ports to the home console market, which reflected its success in the arcade scene. As both a unique puzzle game and bit of a time capsule, KLAX is an excellent game to learn, and a difficult one to master!