We were at a family wedding. Rehearsal dinner, the night before, was at a bodega owned by the groom’s family. In the back corner was one of my all time favorite pinball machines, the Pat Lawlor project from Williams: Fun House.
Watching the kids play it brought back the excitement I always felt. Is Rudy alive? I must have spent $20 just watching my (then 4 yr old) daughter and her cousins just try to reach the buttons to play it. It had been years since I had sold my 1977 Bally Eight Ball project. I had the fever again.
After pricing what it would cost to find even a well worn Fun House, I looked into other pinball machines that I loved. Medieval Madness, Jurassic Park, Addams Family, Getaway: High Speed 2, Twilight Zone: they were all astronomical in price. I thought, these things are already so huge, I’ll only be able to fit one in the game room anyhow. How to choose?
Why not all of them?
I’ve got an arcade emulator, I’ve got it tweaked to as close as I can to the exact feel of the games I so miss from my youth in the noisy arcade. Why couldn’t we do that with a pinball cabinet? Luckily I found that there’s already a wonderful like-minded community for just that!
Here are a few links right off the bat that were instrumental and are absolutely mandatory resources for this journey:
Pinscape controller, plug real pinball buttons, plunger, some lighting, and it’ll treat you to a great interface into the games. It also has an accelerometer to detect tilts and shakes. We’ll cover this.
The Atari primal rage cabinet featured Atari CAGE: Total Immersion Audio. This meant it had 4″ stereo speakers above the screen and a sub-woofer in the lower cabinet next to the coin doors. This was intended to give games more impact with the extra dynamic sound. That being said, since I was working with an empty cabinet, it did not have a CAGE chip and amplifier, only the speakers.