Video game nostalgia open thread

As promised I’d like to open this post up as an open thread for your Sacramento 80s video game memories. That short-lived arcade at Arden Fair near the elevator above Johnny Rockets, different places where you held the high score, your favorite place to game it up, places you were ejected from and why, etc.

RygarI’ll kick it off with my memory of Rygar at Round Table on 51st. Rygar was that side-scrolling game where your weapon of choice was a spinning axe blade on a chain. It wasn’t a very exciting game but I became pretty OK at it and played every chance I got at the Round Table on 51st.

And of course the best of all: free gaming at that home store in Howe ‘Bout Arden where the Rack stands now.

Discuss. (Please)

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

11 thoughts on “Video game nostalgia open thread”

  1. Centipede was my game of choice, both at Auburn Skateland and the Round Table in the Elm Ave shopping center. I beat mean girl Hilary at it, then defeated her best friend in a student council election just a few days later. It was a banner week. I might have even purchased a new Esprit tote bag in celebration of all of it.


  2. Moon Patrol and Road Blasters at the Original Shakeys in East Sac. I spent many a family trip to all you can eat Tuesday nights playing these games..I almost never sat at the table with the family. Who ever thought of putting the games within 10 feet of the Pizza was a genius. You could go grab a slice and be back playing in under 20 seconds..


  3. Let’s see, first there was Zork on my cousin’s Commodore. Night Driving, Tempest, Qix and Star Wars at the ridiculously cool Chuck E Cheese on, I think, Greenback. It was dark inside and had a giant cheese slide, strobe room, and a lot of animatronics. Then Pac Man, Spy Hunter, 720 Degrees and Yie Ar Kung Fu at the mini golf place that had the giant dinosaurs on, I think, Manzanita. I’d play Gauntlet after school at an arcade that was briefly across the street from Churchill Middle School on Whitney Ave. Then some Atari driving game with a clutch and 5 speed stick shift, Toobin’, Cyberball 2072, Samurai Showdown and Paperboy at the Country Club Lanes. That’s pretty much my arcade trajectory.

    Now I occasionally play those games through MAME.


  4. Oh the irony! A video gaming post is opened but I didn’t start living in Sacramento until 2003. I have fond memories of all of those games- especially Rygar (a personal fav, and re-imagined very well on the PS2). The closest story I could share was when I hosted a Dance Dance Revolution contest at Paradise Island a couple of years ago. Not exactly the same as in the heydays of arcades. For me, when I was still just The Gameboy, growing up outside of Detroit, the regular haunts were Pinball Pete’s, Four Bears Water Park, Skateworld, and Chuck E. Cheese’s. Still, I remember the first time I ever laid my hands on Dragon’s Lair: it was at a 7-11 in SoCal’s La Mirada while visiting my aunt and uncle. It cost $0.75 per play, and it was like looking into the face of God. That was the same vacation where I got my first Transformer (Megatron). Damn that was a good trip.

    As for arcade fave’s, I’ll throw these out and see if any of you Sacto natives remember playing them:

    Jack the Giant Killer
    Donkey Kong 3
    Discs of Tron
    Crystal Castles
    Elevator Action (which had a fantastic sequel that no one played)
    Space Ace
    And of course Street Fighter II

    Quite frankly, I could go on and on- but I’ll save some room for others.


  5. I’m gonna go with Sacpadre on this one…Street Fighter 2 was the only game that excited violence in the players along with yells of “cheater.” After beating a friend he threw a handful of quarters at me and stormed out of the liquor store. later we found he was on ritalin and it was best not to beat him again…like a wookie he’d pull my arms off. I can also spend hours with any version of PacMan. Oh and Zaxxon.


  6. Nothing could beat the Spy Hunter and Moon Patrol at Century theaters…unless it was the “Beserk” at the Straw Hat at Marconi and Fair Oaks.


  7. Endless hours playing Berserk, Centipede, Spy Hunter and Tron at Time Zone in Old Sacramento. Almost all of the money that I made delivering the old Sacramento Union was spent either there or across the street at Straw Hat Pizza.

    /ahh, good times, good times


  8. The funny thing is all of my memorable spots are now long gone…

    I was a video game freak as a kid in the 80’s and remember all of the above too. Here are a few late 70’s and early 80’s haunts I’ll add to the list:

    Missle Command at the theater in the old, old v1.05 of Arden Mall (now long gone). I’m talking about the one in the middle of the mall exactly like the one at Sunrise (not the movie theater later on in the back where Nordstroms is now).

    Dragon’s Lair and Yi-Ar(sp?)Kung Fu at the 7-11 on La Riviera and Folsom (now abandoned for years, the rumor was they were selling smokes and drinks to minors).

    Tron at Cordova Lanes on Folsom Blvd. (now a Safeway and Walmart).

    Way too many games to mention at the best arcade ever in the the greater Sacramento area… “The Game Room” at Birdcage Walk (now a Room Source). I was in heaven when my dad moved into the apartments behind Birdcage!!!

    For sentimental reasons I have to give a shout out to the old mini-golf course at Arden and Watt (in the general area where the closed Krispy Kreme is). It was the place where I played my first video game ever “Sea Wolf”

    There were so many cool places back then. Its funny when you think about it but just about everyone had a video game in their store. I can remember them being in grocery stores, yogurt shops, donut shops, gas stations, etc.


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