Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The arcade games of my dreams. Literally.

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 25, 2014

I had another dream about a “lost” arcade game the other night.

I have these dreams periodically. I don’t know why, especially since the whole “age of the arcades” was a relatively brief chapter of my life by this point. Maybe they are repressed memories of my playing Polybius that are trying to break to the surface. Or maybe, as a designer, my quest to dig out the gems of gameplay out of classic games that may have been forgotten in the modern era appears in my subconscious. Perhaps it is the fact that we’re living in the indie era, and I’m feeling overwhelmed with more games than I have time to play, and I know that some of these unplayed titles – many of which are getting pretty old – will prove to be just fantastic fun.

Or maybe it’s something Freudian. Who knows?

Whatever the case, what usually happens in these dreams is that I discover a place that still has these old classic arcade games. Either they are an old traditional venue like an arcade or restaurant (yes, kids, the more low-brow restaurants of my choice and budget often had arcade machines running in a corner, right by the coin-op candy dispensers). Or maybe it’s some special event, like a convention display or a special museum showcase. Anyway, as I’m browsing some of my old favorites, I see a game that I’ve either never seen or heard of before, or a game that I  had completely forgotten about over the years, but on playing the game, I suddenly remember how amazing it was for its time, possibly even showing up more modern games in their scope. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen, but hey, my dreams force the issue.

In my dream the other night, it was a previously unknown sequel to the 1983 Star Wars arcade game. Borrowing from real life, it was called TIE Fighter. Hey, the PC game was pretty amazing, so why not its imaginary arcade precursor?

Sadly, I can’t remember a ton of details about this game, other than it was also vector-graphics based, and while it was certainly a richer, more detailed universe with a lot more interesting gameplay, it didn’t seem as polished as Star Wars. Was it a project that failed to hit a minimum quality and thus was canceled just before it went to manufacturing? Or was it an unlicensed title back back in the day when such things were kinda fast and loose, but its distribution was halted by the lawyers before it could reach mainstream distribution? Both ideas occurred to me in my dream, believe it or not.

Usually, in these dreams, I discover that these old games have incredibly full worlds to explore that were somehow hidden inside the old 16k memory chips. I know that was an old childhood fantasy / urban legend, but I have a tough time understanding how that still resonates inside my subconscious mind.

Weird, huh?

Filed Under: Geek Life - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • McTeddy said,

    Not weird at all.

    My game dreams are usually in rental stores. I walk around until I see something that I’ve never heard of it. I read the back of the case and eventually start playing these unique and amazing new games.

    Where my story gets weird is that I’ve actually turned some into real games here in the waking world. Admittedly, though the “Amazing” aspect usually falls short in reality.