U.K.VAC Meeting 1.5.1

Milton Keynes October 2nd, 1999



There is no list of Meet 1.5.1 attendees, but let’s say they are a subset of Meet 1.5:


A big thank-you should go to Matthew, who took it on himself to buy in a load of grub ‘n’ drinks in the anticipation that a bunch of would take him up on his offer. We were not disappointed.

The Arcade

Like video junkies, we all pilgrimaged around he back of Matthew’s house and into the large conservatory that has been constructed there. Matthew’s not into just vid’s, but also pinball, fruits and quiz/skill games. So what was on offer?

Starting with the dedicated’s, there was a MINT Galaga cocktail, US style, which he imported personally. (See? It is possible.) Matthew is one if these people who just takes things too far. When I first saw the machine, it was pretty near mint, but he thought there were some scratches on the top, so he acquired a pattern tabletop overlay, and some brand new glass. Now it really IS mint. We were lucky, because he’d only just had it fixed after some fool (me) put one of his EPROM’s in around the wrong way on a previous occasion, and nearly deprived us of a game for the night. (I did fix it for him, though.) Actually, this cabinet is interesting because of it’s styling. It’s a US cocktail and fills the space from the top right down to the floor, has a full size monitor and tends to be a bit taller than the European cocktails. The whole side of the unit including the monitor assembly hinges out for access, like a big wooden Pac-man character on it’s back.

Figure 19: Phillip Eaton tries out Galaga


Gorf. Say no more. I think it was Matt’s favourite, and definitely attracted most attention. There were some droolers there, and if Matt wanted to part with it, I don’t think he’d have problems getting rid of it. As you would expect it was in great condition, even though it had been well used.


Figure 20: Bruce Smith (Baz, Red) and Pete Davis (P3TE) fall in Love (with the Gorf)


Next along was Baby Pac-man. This is a bit of an oddball, with a cut-down Pac-man running on a screen at the top, and a miniature pinball game at the bottom. You transfer from Pac to Pin by moving out of tunnels in the Pac-man maze. I’m not sure whether I liked it or not, but it certainly isn’t an easy game.


Figure 21: Pinball 2000? Pah, this is the REAL classic



Dedicated Killer Instinct was there too. We all have our opinions on what games are the best (generally dependent on our ages) and needless to say, this monster of a cab was running Ravage’s R-Type II for most of the time.

Matthew has some JAMMA cabs too, and these are used to play various other games. During the evening, we saw R-Type, R-Type Leo (completing the set), New Zealand Story and others. Hmm… R-Type or R-Type Leo? What’s your favourite? I prefer the original, ‘cos I think it has better gameplay. I know others out there prefer the better graphics of the (significantly) newer Leo version. Whatever your preference, it was great to play them back to back.

Figure 22: One corner of Matthews Arcade



Bootleg Pac-man in a generic cocktail, fruit machines, Monopoly, an odd looking billiards table, board games etc. etc. you get the impression that Matt like his games.

More Serious Chatter

So the night continued, with more chunky video chat, with all topics raised, how to win at eBay, the impact of collector/trader type people, trading with the States, what’s coming in Meet 2.0, what’s the real value of a Mars bar and other hot topical stuff. Oh, and of course, continued trading. If you weren’t there, you should be kicking yourself.

In fact it turned into a bit of a marathon (Snickers?). I think myself, XY-Man, Skitz and one or two others were last to leave somewhere after three in the morning, still chattering with each other up the Garden path.

Figure 24: Pete (left) & Rav relax. Remember; It's only a game...



So that was it. All those who came loved it, and I’m sure they are looking forward to the next one. They know what’s to come…