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

Clash of the Classics: Centipede VS Millipede

Clash of the Classics - Centipede VS MillipedeWe’ve given our games a bit of a break from our semi-regular Clash of the Classics challenge, where two games compete to earn the most quarters, with the winner earning a spot on our arcade floor and the loser exiled to storage. Now it’s time for another tough decision: Do we keep a well-known classic, or its more complicated sequel?

Centipede (Atari – 1980)

Centipede is widely considered to be the first arcade game developed with the female player in mind, as well as an all-time top-10 classic. Donna Bailey, one of the only women in the games industry at the time, specifically wanted to develop a game that not only stood out from the crowd, but drew a new group of players to the arcade. Both ladies and gentlemen took to the insect-inspired adventure, with the game’s success continuing from its 1980 arcade debut to ports for Atari’s line of home consoles.  Known for its distinctive pastel graphics, its turbulent soundscape, and the top-notch side art, Centipede is a well-known classic for good reason, and deserves every bit of its enduring fame. Not many trackball games were quite so fast-paced at the time, as Centipede’s control scheme depends entirely on twitch movements and high-speed button mashing. And, while it takes after Space Invaders a little bit, the gameplay here is considered entirely original, spawning clones of its own.

The action starts slowly with the titular centipede descending down the vertical playfield. Any time it hits one of the many mushrooms scattered about it, it turns around and continues towards the player, who is shooting up from the bottom of the screen. The centipede splits when fired upon, and each segment destroyed adds more mushrooms to the playfield, further complicating matters. Additional flea and spider enemies take aim on the player, who must employ speed and accuracy to last any amount of time in the increasingly fast levels! NOTE: Centipede was recently moved upstairs at Ground Kontrol, so don’t worry – it’s not gone yet! Simply head upstairs, take a left, and you’ll find it near Aliens Armageddon.

Millipede (Atari – 1982)

Sequels were as unavoidable in the early days of arcade gaming as they are in modern gaming, and Atari worked fairly quickly to deliver a follow-up to their smash hit Centipede. 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 “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, 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!

It’s an age-old debate – what’s better, the sequel or the original? It’s up to you to decide! Each quarter dropped in both games will contribute to its success at remaining in Ground Kontrol’s library. You’ve got until Wednesday 7/20 to play one or both games as much as possible. In a week, we’ll weigh both coin takes and see who stays, and who goes!

CLOSED For a Private Event – Monday 7/11, 6:30-10:10pm

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade will be closed during the following period for a private event:

  • Monday 7/11, 6:30pm-10:10pm

We’ll re-open at 10:10pm. Please remember, Ground Kontrol is 21+ only after 5pm.

Ground Kontrol is a fantastic place to bring your company for a holiday party, to celebrate a milestone birthday, or throw your wedding reception. If you are interested in renting Ground Kontrol for an event, get more info at our rentals page!

No Pun Intendo featuring Anthony Lopez – Thursday 7/21, 9pm

No Pun Intendo - July 2016Stand-Up Comics & Stand-Up Games! Every Third Thursday, No Pun Intendo brings fantastic comedians to our lounge! Plus – video game competitions between teams of audience members with fabulous prizes!

Each month, we feature fantastic comics from Portland & beyond. This month’s lineup:

Anthony Lopez
Shirley Gnome
Timmy Booth
Henry Russell Stoddard
Josh Chambers
Brandon Lyons

Hosted by Nariko Ott!

Just $3 at the door to support local comedy at your favorite arcade-slash-bar! Show starts at 9pm. It’s 21+, so bring your I.D.!

We’d like to thank our sponsors:

The Devastator – Funny Books for Humans – the only all-comedy publisher featuring writers and artists from Adult Swim, The Onion, The Daily Show and Marvel Comics. Pick up their books at your comic book shop of choice, Amazon or direct from http://devastatorpress.com/

Woodchuck Cider – featuring Gumption™, which pairs the fresh juice of common eating apples with dry cider apples to bring you a bold and unique drinking experience.

CLOSED For Independence Day – Monday 7/4

CLOSED Independence Day - Monday 7/4Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade will be CLOSED for business Monday 7/4 so our games (and our staff) can take a break!

Of course, we’ll be open regular hours Sunday 7/3. We open at Noon and welcome all ages until 4:30pm. At 5pm, the bar opens with happy hour until 7!

We’re also hosting a Killer Queen Monthly Mixer Tournament on Sunday 7/3 at 7pm.

Have a safe and happy Fourth, and we’ll see you soon!

Bonus Round Free Play – Thursday 6/23, 10pm-close

Bonus Round Free Play - Thursday 6/23Close out your Thursday night with Bonus Round Free Play!

From 10pm-close on Thursday June 23, every arcade game and pinball table at Ground Kontrol will be set to free play. Over 90 games spanning decades of arcade history from the vector classic Asteroids to the indie game Killer Queen, all for one low $3 cover!

Feel like you’re not quite good enough at pinball to sacrifice crucial coinage? Can’t crack the high score on Frogger without a practice game or ten? This is the perfect opportunity to play anything and everything – no quarters necessary!

As always, we’ve got a full bar and food menu with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, so you can come up with your perfect pairing. Tequila Sunset and Sunset Riders, anyone?

Bonus Round Free Play · Thursday 6/23 · 10pm-close · $3 cover · 21+ only

Indie Game Night: Bum Rush Party & Filming

Indie Game Night: Bum RushEvery Last Thursday, Indie Game Night invites you to play and preview new and unreleased independently-developed video games in Ground Kontrol’s lounge. These games are made by small teams (often just a few people) and are usually retro-inspired with refined game play that’s easy to pick up in just a couple of rounds. This month, we’re very excited to feature Bum Rush at one of our biggest Indie Game Nights ever!

BUM RUSH [Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Diego Garcia & Maxo]
An 8 player car combat dating sim racing game about racing your roommates while you’re on a date in order to be the first one home so that you can use it for your booty call, Bum Rush is a fast-paced party game that was originally created for the No Quarter exhibition in New York. It’s been previewed at events and parties since to great success, and tonight will be no different!

This is a rare chance to play this game prior to its official release. Not only that, but this event will be filmed for a special series on game development, so come down looking sharp and ready to party!

Get down here at 7 and join gamemaster Rich Lau, who will be on hand to help you get started. There’s no cost to play and no pressure to win, just grab a beer and a controller and have a blast!

Nina Freeman – http://ninasays.so/

Emmett Butler – http://emmettbutler.com/

Diego Garcia – https://twitter.com/radstronomical

Maxo – https://soundcloud.com/maxoelectronic

Indie Game Night: Bum Rush Edition · Thursday 6/30 · 7pm-late · 21+ · FREE

Happy Hour Free Play – Thursday 6/23, 5-6:30pm

Happy Hour Free Play - Thursday 6/23Clock out and get over to Ground Kontrol for a special Happy Hour Free Play!

From 5-6:30pm on Thursday June 23, every single game at Ground Kontrol will be available to play with no quarters necessary. We’ll also be offering happy hour on beer, wine, cider and well cocktails. The cover? Just TWO BUCKS!

Grab a drink and step up to an old favorite like Galaga or Ms. Pac-Man, or try your hand at our latest addition, Millipede. Of course, there’s plenty of pinball – we’ve got 26 of the best-maintained machines you’ll find anywhere!

Happy Hour Free Play · Thursday 6/23 · 5-6:30pm · $2 cover · 21+ only

All Ages Free Play! Thursday 6/23, 11am-4:30pm

All Ages Free Play! Thursday 6/23Ground Kontrol’s All Ages Free Play Party offers gamers of any generation a chance to experience our entire selection of arcade games and pinball!

Here at Ground Kontrol, it’s important for us to preserve the classic arcade experience for all ages. Even if you didn’t grow up with them, classic arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man or Galaga are still a lot of fun! Since we’re a bar at night and most younger gamers go to school during the day, our twice-monthly free play parties typically exclude those under 21. Now it’s time to kick off your summer break with our All Ages Free Play Party!

Come down to Ground Kontrol on Thursday 6/23 and play over 90 arcade games and pinball tables, all set to play with no quarters necessary. We’ll also have our entire food menu on offer, so you can take a break for a fully-loaded basket of Killer Nachos, or reward yourself after conquering The Simpsons arcade game with an ice-cream sundae with your choice of toppings!

The doors open at 11am, a full hour early, and we welcome all ages until 4:30pm. The entry fee is just $5 at the door, so you’ll be able to pack in a ton of gaming value for a single Lincoln!

All Ages Free Play · Thursday 6/23 · 11am-4:30pm · $5 cover – Children 3 and younger are free with their parent or guardian’s paid admission · All ages welcome!

NOTE:  Access depends on capacity – if we’re full, we’ll have to hold a line at the door, so arrive early!

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!

CLOSED For a Private Event – Thursday 6/23, 6:30-10pm

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade will be closed during the following period for a private event:

  • Thursday June 23, 6:30-10pm

Join us beforehand at for Happy Hour Free Play (5-6:30pm) or afterward for Bonus Round Free Play (10pm-close)!

Ground Kontrol is a fantastic place to bring your company for a holiday party, to celebrate a milestone birthday, or throw your wedding reception. If you are interested in renting Ground Kontrol for an event, get more info at our Rentals page!