Some games machines, however, take this attempt to attract players to another level of ridiculousness - and are housed in hardware which is in itself an attraction. Indeed, it's probably fair to say, that most modern arcades are entirely full of machines of this ilk, like being at an entertainment industry party where everybody is trying to be noticed.
Maybe somebody should tell them not to do drugs!!!!!!
Here are ten arcade games which took their cabinets to the absurd heights of peacockery, ensuring that players had to have a go, regardless of whether the game itself was any good or not.
Multiple monitors wasn't the only TX-1 innovation: it was also the first arcade racing game to feature force feedback, via a vibrating steering wheel, and branching gameplay. At each checkpoint, the player was confronted with a choice of paths. You know: like when you're up the woods.
I was so inspired by TX-1 that I later stole its display when I was working as a graphic designer for Ladbrokes Racing. I created a similar Formula 1 animation sequence to run in Ladbrokes betting shops, but get this - mine ran over six screens. Thus: it was six times better than anything Atari ever did.
With a visual style inspired by the movie The NeverEnding story (running time: 94 minutes) and the prog rock album covers of Roger Dean, the motorised cockpit-style cabinet responded to the player's joystick movements. Sega had been initially hesitant to commit to a machine with such high production costs, but a cocksure Suzuki reportedly offered his own salary by way of compensation, were it to fail.
It did not fail.
Also... ha ha: "cocksure".
Fire Truck was probably the first video game ever to feature co-operative gameplay, as two players - one lurking behind the other - controlled the steering, respectively, for the front and rear portions of a fire engine.
I've no idea whether this is how a real fire truck is controlled - frankly, I can't be bothered to find out - but it scarcely matters, given that Fire Truck didn't exactly (ha ha) set arcades on fire. Here's a thought: had it done better, they could've released a sequel called Pantomime Horse, and a six-player game called One Of Those Chinese New Year Dragons They Have.
Nevertheless, the optical illusion - its black backgrounded video footage was reflected onto a curved mirror - was damned impressive, and certainly made it look like a hologram, a bit. Time Traveler wasn't built for longevity, however.
Apparently, if a player was able to make it through to the pant-tighteningly hard choices without dying, it would only take them about ten minutes in total to reach the end.
Notably, this deluxe cabinet featured prominently in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, foreshadowing John Connor's future as an heroic warrior, while the T-1000 searched an arcade for him, like a disappointed parent.
As well as two more mundane cabinets, the deluxe version boasted one of the first ever motion control systems, with players mounting a replica motorbike, and steering by tilting their bodies left and right - viewing the action via a monitor built into the windshield.
This is the closest I've ever come to riding a motorbike, though I have been on a Segway, and did once have a go on my brother-in-law's moped. I attempted to ride it down the length of my parents' garden, but took off at such speed that I wasn't able to apply the brakes before crashing into the shed. I was catapulted off the seat, and landed on the crossbar, hurting my testicles.
Apparently, it was really funny, and nobody cared that I was crying.
I remember finding one on a day trip to Calais with my parents, stuffed away at the back of a little arcade, and being blown away by how mysterious it looked. The game itself wasn't all that, but the cabinet... man alive, that was some sweeeeeeet hardware.
Interestingly, that was one of several day trips my parents and I took with some friends of their called Jo and Tony. On another we took the train to York, and my father blocked the toilet with a massive poo. Some boys found this hilarious, and kept returning to look at it - "Urrrgh! It's huge!" - until my furious and embarrassed mother told him to go and "break it up" so that it would flush.
He did as he was told, and for years I've wondered whether he used his foot or something else.
I didn't learn to drive until I was 30-ish. The closest I got to it prior to that was playing Ridge Racer Full Scale - a super-deluxe version of Namco's Ridge Racer, which you played by sitting inside a real Mazda MX5, in front of a massive front-projected screen. Even starting the game required you to turn an ignition key, and braking was done using - yes - the actual brakes.
I can't have been the only person to play Ridge Racer Full Scale while screaming "I'm a big boy!" at the top of my lungs.
There were a number of safety features included, such as an emergency stop button, pressure sensitive mats which triggered an alarm if anybody got too close to the gyrating machine, and a plexiglass safety barrier. Typically, the machine would have an attendant supervising at all times, to ensure nobody, y'know, died.
Not included: vomit bags.
Up to six players could compete simultaneously on the shooting gallery-style game, firing at enemies superimposed on a pre-rendered backdrop, running from a pair of laserdiscs. The entire thing sat on an hydraulic platform which vibrated the floor in synch with the on-screen action, and featured a pneumatic arm which would occasional pop out and slide a hot cone into the players' mouths
The Theatre 6 hardware - as it was known - was reconfigured for a follow-up, the less well-remembered Attack of the Zolgear, whatever that was.