Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Again

When I was a sophomore in college it was my habit to meet friends at our campus pub 3 or 4 times a week. We usually made it at 9:30 or 10, after studying or as a break in studying. I always had the same thing-- one Heineken Dark. There was something super satisfying about the mahogany brew, a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet, and awfully smooth going down.

I also learned to play Space Invaders then; the only two arcade machines they had were that and Asteroids, and the spinning carat trying to blast those chunky blobs of the latter game simply did not appeal to me. No, I much preferred the precision of destroying the linear ranks of those crab-like aliens and their flying saucers.

One of my friends, Todd, was particularly skilled at Space Invaders. He gave me valuable tips like stay to the left or the right and systematically shoot the invaders column. He also told me about counting my shots-- 22 exactly before destroying the first space craft and then 14 for each one after would make each ship worth the maximum 300 points. Of course it was a cheat, but in those days waaaaaay before the internet, how did he even know that?

Regardless of its source, it was all I needed to set the high score on that machine. Oh, how my friends cheered and celebrated seeing TAS at the top of that list! Heck! I probably had a second Heineken Dark.

Today at school, I hooked up an old plug and play TV version of some classic arcade games to the LCD Projector in my room. I figured that the kids would enjoy it on game day. These particular games were a few years beyond Space Invaders, but it did have Galaga, which in my mind was always the next step up from my old favorite. I turned out the lights and played a few rounds, and it was fun, but it was missing a little something...

Yeah, I cracked the beer open when I got home.

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