Nothing I have seen or heard in my life compares to the amount of happiness an arcade can bring me. If you have known me for a long time and seen my face when in a normal state, the joy should be clearly visible once I’m standing outside the entrance to an arcade. I can feel it now just thinking about it.
The sights are visually striking from top to bottom. The neon lights, bright colors, and flashing displays pull me in just like they’re designed to. Moving graphics spanning over four decades, firing synapses and making me mentally process the massive amount of time the creative teams spent imagining, designing, and crafting vivid multi-media works of art meant to extract one-quarter from your pocket in exchange for minutes of entertainment.
The sounds play a huge part in an arcade as well. The bleeps and bloops sounding from old arcade cabinets give away their floor location, name, and timeline. Soundtracks so memorable and legendary that fans now listen to the songs like famous rock bands, buying their recordings, and even attending live symphonic performances of the most popular selections.
The most memorable combination of these attributes from classic arcade cabinets has to be, Galaga.
I remember going to an Aladdin’s Castle in Middlesboro, Kentucky. I now consider it to be a life-defining moment. My love for video games spans over 30 years and I would say that it all started at that arcade.
Galaga was located in the first left favoring row of the arcade. The giant illustration of a giant pixelated alien with the title above it in green text burnt into my mind to this day.
The bleeps and bloops that make up the soundtrack are defining of a by-gone technological generation of video game music.
The “pew-pew” of shooting tiny missiles into the enemy lines. The “wha-oo” when they connect with their target. The “do-do-doo-doo-loo-loo-loo-looooo” when the level was completed. The digital waving sounds when the “mother” Galaga turned on its abduction ray. The memories are so vivid, I feel like it was just yesterday when I celebrated my five-year Birthday party at that location.
The legacy and impact throughout the years of Galaga, a game that is ultimately an upgraded version of Space Invaders, proves the amount of love that exists for such a timeless arcade cabinet.