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Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V Release Night Tournament – Monday 2/15, 11pm

Street Fighter VJoin us for a special release night tournament on Street Fighter V, the latest entry in the legendary fighting franchise!

Sign up from 11pm-11:45pm on Monday February 15. At midnight, we’ll unlock the game and kick things off!

We’ll be playing on PS4. Bring your own controller or stick if you’d like, but we’ll have controllers on hand!

The top winners will receive Ground Kontrol gift certificates, and the grand prize winner will also receive 2 weekend passes to Wizard World Comic Con, taking place at the Oregon Convention Center February 19-21!

Street Fighter V Release Night Tournament · Monday 2/15 · 11pm · 21+ · FREE

Superb Owl Sunday: Extended Happy Hour! Sunday 2/7, 5pm

Superb Owl SundayNeed something to do on Sunday night that doesn’t involve sportsball? Stop by for some classic arcade gaming and extended happy hour in honor of the highly effective bird of prey from the order Strigiformes!

Known for their nocturnal schedule, ability to rotate their heads more than most creatures, and a tendency to swallow their prey whole, owls are sorely underrepresented in classic arcade gaming and are rarely seen in arcades or game rooms. In fact, should you see an owl near any type of arcade game or pinball table, it is advised to call an animal control professional so that the bird can be safely removed and released in the appropriate habitat.

Possessing sacred knowledge regarding candy lollipops, owls gain the ability to speak perfect English while wearing a square academic cap, and have no reported interest in alcoholic beverages. That’s good news for you, because Ground Kontrol will be serving draft beer, draft cider, PBR, Tecate, Coors Light and well cocktails at happy hour prices until midnight! Enjoy a pint without fear of swift and silent retribution from the fearless predator with razor-sharp talons, and play your favorite games from the past four decades with absolutely no broadcast of any sports competition whatsoever!

Over 90 arcade games; beer, wine, cider and well cocktails at discount prices; and freedom from being consumed and turned into a pellet or having to watch hours of sports – it’s Superb Owl Sunday at Ground Kontrol!

Superb Owl Sunday – Extended Sports-Free Happy Hour · Sunday, February 7 · Happy Hour 5pm-midnight · 21+ · FREE

2 Towns Ciderhouse Tap Takeover – Wednesday 2/3, 7pm

2 Towns Tap Takeover2 Towns Ciderhouse takes over Ground Kontrol during a special Cider Conference event!

We’ll be serving five distinctly delicious 2 Towns Ciderhouse craft-brewed ciders including limited and seasonal options, so hardcore cider fans and those more casual or curious can both find something to suit their tastes. Grab a drink and head over to compete in the hourly mini-tournaments on various games around the arcade, or spin the prize wheel to see if it’s your lucky night. More surprises await, so get here early to make sure you’ve got a chance to win – and find a new favorite cider while you’re at it!

The full lineup at the bar:

On tap – Dark Currant (limited), Made Marion (seasonal)

In cans – OutCider, Ginja Ninja

In bottles – Rhubarbarian

If you’re not sure which one’s for you, just stop by the 2 Towns table where they’ll be on hand to sample a variety of ciders and tell you about what makes them unique!

Whether you’re visiting town for Cider Conference or Portland is your home, you don’t want to miss this night of crisp, refreshing cider and classic gaming with local flavor!

2 Towns Ciderhouse Tap Takeover · Wednesday February 3 · 7pm-late (giveaways while they last) · FREE · 21+

Categories: Arcade News

New in the Arcade: Missile Command

Missile CommandWhile the Cold War chilled American culture, a video game about a missile defense system captivated players in the country’s then-widespread arcades. Using simple graphics and gameplay mechanics, Missile Command brilliantly captured the existential tension of the times. Basic gameplay consists of the player using a large trackball and three buttons to launch air strike defenses against a battalion of attack missiles descending on six cities spread through the horizon. Save your missiles and receive a bonus; use them all and you’ll run the risk of leaving your cities unprotected. You’ll also get bonus points for your surviving cities. Accumulate enough points and you’ll get a bonus city, which you will most definitely need. As the game progresses, the missiles speed up and are joined by other threats – bombers, MIRVs, and smart bombs.

Missile Command has an enduring legacy, and is a favorite among casual and diehard retrogamers alike. The Killer List of Videogames website named Missile Command one of the 100 greatest coin-op video games. It is also popular among world record seekers, as the game can allow the player to build up many extra cities (effectively lives), allowing for some sustained marathon gameplay.

An arcade classic that can only truly be played in its original form thanks to the trackball controls, Missile Command delivers addictive, challenging action. Save the world, one quarter at a time, and play it today!

Categories: Arcade News

Indie Game Night: Move or Die Edition – Thursday 1/28, 7pm

Move or DieEvery 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, Indie Game Night features the frantic four-player party game Move or Die!

Move or Die [Those Awesome Guys]
Move or Die is an absurdly fast-paced, 4-player local and online party game where the mechanics change every 20 seconds, currently available on Steam. The very definition of a friendship-ruining game, Move or Die is easy to pick up but hard to put down!

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!

Indie Game Night: Move or Die Edition · Thursday January 28 · 7pm-late · 21+ · FREE

Categories: Arcade News

New in the Arcade: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper FightingThe biggest fighting game franchise ever, Street Fighter, picks up the pace with Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting. Choose from twelve unique challengers and take a trip around the world with one ultimate goal: Conquer the World Warrior tournament!

Capcom didn’t have much need for a deep story when it came to producing the Street Fighter series, but over the years the details started to fill in. At this point, though, it was mostly about the character that you thought was the coolest. Do you respect Ryu’s stoic presence, Ken’s flashy moves, Chun-Li’s lightning-fast kicks, or Blanka’s wild style? Or, do you show your dark side by choosing to play as one of the game’s four villainous boss characters? Whatever your decision, you’re immediately on a plane to a variety of destinations across the globe. Face Guile on a military base in the U.S., Zangief in a Soviet factory, Dhalsim in a temple in India, or E. Honda in a bathhouse in Japan – the game lives up to its name, so be ready to fight anywhere and everywhere! It all leads up to the final showdown with the big boss M. Bison on the streets of Thailand, a challenge that demands many coins and continues to this day. Bored of watching someone else play or want to prove to your friend they can’t take your Vega? Drop a quarter in at any time and challenge them!

Those familiar with Street Fighter II and the follow-up Street Fighter II: Champion Edition will feel immediately at home here, as SF2 Turbo is really just an official souped-up SF2: CE. At a basic level, moving your player around with the joystick (simply pointing upward to jump) and landing a range of punches and kicks with 6 attack buttons is extremely easy to grasp. But the series’ real innovation is special moves, allowing you to throw fireballs, defy gravity with spinning kicks, shock your opponent, and even teleport. This particular entry’s primary innovation is just cranking up the speed, so quick reflexes and precise timing are even more essential whether you’re taking on the single-player campaign or going head-to-head with an arcade rival. The game is both fan service and intellectual property protection, as it was developed and released in response to widespread SF2 bootlegs and fan hacks. The people wanted bigger, better and faster Street Fighter, and they couldn’t wait!

Luckily, Capcom learned quickly that sometimes the players make the game. While the Street Fighter series can sometimes seem frustratingly good at milking multiple sub-and-pseudo-sequels from each numbered entry, the series is a smash for a reason. Countless fighting games were heavily inspired by SF (with SNK’s Fighters’ History notoriously toeing the line between imitation and inspiration), and the 6-button configuration became the gold standard in arcades (and fighting sticks produced for home use). It wasn’t until Midway’s 1993 release of Mortal Kombat that another fighting franchise really took a noticeable shot at Capcom’s throne with a intentionally unique approach. Twenty-plus years later, Street Fighter is still the king, and Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting is still one of the best fighting games of all-time!

Categories: Arcade News
Star Wars Pinball

New in the Arcade: Star Wars Pinball (1992) & Star Wars Episode 1 Pinball (1999)

Two classic pinball tables inspired by the recently revitalized Star Wars film franchise return to Ground Kontrol, better than ever! Longtime Ground Kontrol patrons will recall the Data East Star Wars table as part of our selection way back in 2006, until it succumbed to the dark side and was removed for extensive repairs. More recently, Star Wars Episode I has rotated in and out of our pinball lineup as we dialed it in for optimal play. Now, your quarters are their only hope!

Star Wars (Data East, 1992)Star Wars (Data East, 1992)

A chirping, moving R2-D2 is your co-pilot as you navigate the Death Star trench, the Sarlacc Pit, Yoda’s Lair, and Jabba The Hutt’s palace in a pinball adventure spanning all three original Star Wars trilogy films!

Star Wars had a strong video game presence early on in arcades thanks to Atari, but it took a little while for the franchise to really make an impact as a pinball experience. Two pins with very limited runs preceded this game – The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Hankin) and Star Wars (1987, Sonic) – but flipper fanatics didn’t have a real opportunity to use the Force until Data East released their version of Star Wars in 1992.

Equipped with a control lever instead of a traditional plunger, your first objective in the game is to take out a TIE fighter in the video-based skill shot. Hit the ramp to score big points, light S-T-A-R W-A-R-S and unlock awards. When you see the red light above The Force scoop, hit it to collect a Force Award. The Force Awards range from lighting other special shots to increasing your bonus to activating the Tri-Ball multiball! If you hit The Force scoop when it’s not lit, your carelessness can be rewarded by a Dark Side shot (worth 25 million after 5 shots), complete with the ominous breathing of Darth Vader. Shoot the Death Star several times for another path to Tri-Ball, and don’t forget about your control lever – after your 5th Death Star hit, you can push it down and press its fire button to lower the Death Star and buy yourself a quick opportunity to start Tri-Ball early with a carefully-placed shot. Veteran players know that the game’s original code allowed you to conquer the table by simply hitting the center ramp over and over, but in December 2012, Chad Hendrickson released a comprehensive 20th Anniversary “fan edit” of the software. The 1.04 ruleset greatly enhances the game so you’re encouraged to explore the many shots on the playfield, creating a more challenging and more rewarding experience for casual and experienced players alike. We made sure to install the upgrade on our table right away, because this is one Star Wars “special edition” that’s actually an improvement!

Covered in detailed comic-book style artwork featuring iconic characters and scenes, Star Wars backs up the visuals with high-quality music, sound effects and quotes. Especially impressive and unexpected are the detailed models of R2-D2 and the Death Star. R2 reacts to the action as if he was accompanying you on the Death Star run or a trip to Dagobah, even hopping up and down if you achieve something truly awesome, like scoring a replay. If you think this pinball table is just a bucket of bolts, think again – after just one game, you’ll be rushing to return to the change machine in less than 12 parsecs!

Star Wars Episode I FlyerStar Wars Episode I (Williams, 1999)

Special in many ways, Star Wars Episode I was the last pinball table produced by the legendary Williams company. It is also of course, one of two “Pinball 2000” tables, the other being the Attack From Mars spiritual sequel, Revenge from Mars. Pinball 2000 features a tinted playfield glass that reflects a monitor hanging in the backglass, creating the illusion of sprite-based graphics on the playfield for a hybrid between video games and pinball. Generally regarded at the better of the two Pinball 2000 titles, Episode I makes good use of its unique design and instantly recognizable license.

Episode I was designed by John Popadiuk, the master behind Cirquis Voltaire and Theatre of Magic. The main goal in the game is to advance as a Jedi, starting as a Youth and ending up as an all-powerful Jedi Sprit. Along the way there are tons of fun and interesting modes that all fully utilize the monitor, creating a dynamic experience that would be difficult if not impossible in traditional pinball. Jar Jar and Anakin are ever-present here, much to the chagrin of the pickier fans, but fortunately the awesomely creepy Darth Maul and the “Duel of the Fates” score feature prominently as well!

The game’s modes range from serious space battles to the undeniably goofy “Jar Jar Juggling”, taking you through a fairly accurate representation of the film’s attempts at pleasing hardcore Star Wars fans and young Padawans not yet trained in the ways of the Force. The key multiball mode is a lightsaber duel between the Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul. Simply participating in this special mode will advance your rank, but if you manage to defeat Darth Maul, you’ll earn 5 million points each time! Some of the game’s thirteen modes also offer “Perfect Shooting” bonuses as an alternative challenge to simply completing the conditions. Once you’ve beaten all thirteen, the modes unlock again with double the bonuses.

Say what you will about the Episode I film – the pinball adaptation ended up a memorable experience with a lot to do and see. Of course, credit must be given to its excellent design and ambitious technical achievements, which sadly did not lead to enough success to keep Williams afloat. Since you don’t have to shift your attention between the playfield and a traditional score display, some may find this an easier introduction to the world of pinball. Amateurs, kids, pros and dedicated Star Wars fans can all find something to like in this game that seems flashy at first, but reveals a lot of depth!

Killer Queen Monthly Mixer – Sunday 1/3, 7pm

kq-mixer-january-2016-posterOur monthly Killer Queen Arcade League Night has evolved! We’re now hosting casual “mixer” tournaments that are a great opportunity for new players to learn the game and seasoned veterans to mix it up with new teams.

Randomly drawn teams of five will compete in best-of-five matches. With five teams or fewer, the tournament will be run Round Robin style. With six or more, it will be Double Elimination. Winner of a coin flip will choose their pick of map or cabinet, and the loser will then make their alternate choice. Maps will alternate every game.

Registration is from 7pm to 8pm SHARP. No names will be taken after 8pm. Once the list is full, we will draw queens at 8pm before drawing colors to fill out the teams. We will allow ~15 minutes for everyone to get situated and organized before the first game will start.

This tournament is designed for people to make new friends in the KQ community! Competition is certainly encouraged, but this is a bit more of a social event. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged! Best of all, playing is completely free.

Don’t forget, Ground Kontrol serves draft beer, draft cider, PBR, Tecate, Coors Light and well cocktails at happy hour prices from 5pm-midnight every Sunday! Be sure to join Killer Queen Mercury Squad Portland to keep up with fellow players, special events and bee puns! Find it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/217794108556683/

Killer Queen Monthly Mixer Tournament · Sunday January 3rd · Registration 7-8pm, first match shortly after 8pm · FREE · 21+ 

Categories: Arcade News, Bar News

OPEN Regular Hours New Year’s Day – Friday January 1

new-years-dayGround Kontrol Classic Arcade will be OPEN regular hours on New Year’s Day, Friday January 1st. Doors open at Noon, and we’re all-ages until 5pm.

At 5pm, the bar opens (with happy hour until 7) and we’re 21+ until close.

If you’ve got the day off, we hope you’ll join us for a few rounds of Pac-Man and pinball. Here’s to another great year!

Indie Game Night: TinderBox Edition – Wednesday 12/30, 7pm

TinderBox seen at PAX Prime 2015This month, Indie Game Night is featuring two awesome productions from Portland’s indie game scene: TinderBox, the 4-player indie arcade cabinet, and one of its fan favorite games – Sh**ty Voltron!

Sh**ty Voltron [Jack Meade, Oliver Smith, Terence Lee, Clifton B]
The name kind of speaks for itself. Each player controls one limb, QWOP-style. The goal is to get to your Sword of Power and defeat the UFO destroying the city. Sh**ty Voltron is hilarious and hilariously difficult to conquer, but with 4 capable humans controlling this superpowered robot, can you really blame anyone but yourself? Game by Terence Lee (programming, sound), Jack Meade (art) and Oliver Smith (programming).

TinderBox [Jack Meade, Oliver Smith]
TinderBox brings multiplayer indie gaming to the arcade! This custom-built 4-player cabinet was designed by local developers Jack Meade and Oliver Smith to showcase party-friendly indie games from small teams. TinderBox has been demonstrated at PAX Prime 2015, Portland Retro Gaming Expo, Rose City Comic Con and TechFest NW, to name just a few, and we’re excited to see what you think of it!

Indie Game Night: TinderBox Edition · Wednesday December 30 · 7pm · 21+ · FREE

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