As stated on a few of the other pages on this site, since about 3rd grade I've had this... thing... for Pac-Man games, more specifically Ms. Pac-Man. So I suppose it only makes sense that I'd eventually want to get an actual, authentic Pac-Man arcade machine of my own. But, as anyone in the arcade collecting "biz" can tell you, one is never enough... thus begins my addiction.

My First Machine

About two years ago, I got the bug. I had some expendable cash, and I had mostly convinced my parents that it wasn't such a bad idea. (ha ha ha) So, I began watching e-Bay, perhaps a little impatiently. The above atrocity came with "NewPuc2" in it, a bootleg Pac-Man board with hacked ROMs. The sideart is... ugly... the cabinet, while very solid, was... ugly. The foremost reason I bought it was because it was "cheap," I got it for $160. That's, of course, not including the shipping costs. Shipping a 300lb unit from Texas to Michigan is, well, expensive. By the time everything was said and done, it became rather expensive. Too expensive, really. Not to mention the adventure-and-a-half it was to pick this thing up in Detroit. No, I won't go into details. Let's just say: make sure you know the actual address of the Forward Air terminal BEFORE you go. At any rate, the machine worked fine, the monitor was very crisp and clear, and NewPuc2 was mildly interesting. Thanks to the generous help of Kev from (who converted my bootleg board to a Ms. Pac-Man because he wanted the NewPuc2 ROMs), I had a working Ms. Pac-Man machine. But, I soon came to realize that the cabinet just didn't lend itself to Pac-Man-ness. In fact, it was downright ugly.


My Next Machine

So, this past summer, I sold it, and bought an authentic Pac-Man machine for $280 from a nice guy in Ohio, drove down to pick it up, and spent some time working on it. It still needs some work. The side-art is in good shape, the marquee is good, but the monitor overlay needs replacement, the paint is slowly peeling off at the top. I'm working on getting the monitor looking good again, the picture is bent and slightly wavy. I have no pictures of it to show you until I get my digital camera. So you'll just have to play pretend and imagine what it must look like (hint: it's yellow and looks like a Pac-Man arcade game.)

My Latest Machine

Just before the end of 2001, I got the bug again, and I once again started watching e-Bay. I came across the above with about 5 days left on the auction, at a price of $15. I kept watching it, because I had always sort of lusted after having a cocktail table arcade game... and this thing was very similar to a Pac-Man style cabinet. Plus, it's a "Warp Warp," the neglected love-child of Namco and Rock-Ola. No one likes this game. Just ask the people on, they'll tell you. Honestly. Download MAME and the ROMS and see for yourself. The game is horrible and not even remotely fun to play by any realistic measure. I've tried to love the game, really I have. But I just can't bring myself to like this game. At any rate, the fact that no one likes it worked in my favor, I got this cabinet for $120. (Keep in mind that Ms. Pac-Man cocktail tables sell for $1400 on e-Bay on a regular basis.) I spent 10 hours of a nice cold Saturday driving to McLean, Illinois (population: maybe 3 people) to pick it up from a really nice guy with several buildings full of arcade games and parts. Mmm... someday... At any rate, the game's in very good shape: the glass has a few slight scratches on it, the control-panel overlays are obviously not original (and they're falling off), and the monitor needed a bunch of capacitors replaced. But, on the plus side, all the voltages are the same as Pac-Man, so I ordered the parts to make an adapter so I can plug my Pac-Man and Jr. Pac-Man boards in. I've also done a cap-kit on the WG4600 monitor, and now the only problem left is to eliminate the slight "ripple" that runs through the picture.

Note in the background my fine taste: Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, a copy of The Road Warrior on LaserDisc, an NES Advantage controller, a pair of Converse Hi-Tops, a mini-fridge with Magnetic Poetry (Genius edition, no less). Also barely noticable behind the copy of the Mel Gibson classic is an Intellivision III. Does life get any finer than this? I think not.


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