A Look at SEGA's Old Electro-Mechanical Arcade Games | SEGADriven - jadeusgames.com

A Look at SEGA’s Old Electro-Mechanical Arcade Games | SEGADriven

SEGADriven.com
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We take a look back into the past and discuss SEGA’s pre-video arcade electro-mechanical games and talk about how they could be archived for future generations.

Video credits:
Missile –
Helicopter –
Moto Champ –
Grand Prix –
Combat –
Rifleman –
Jumbo –
Sonar –
Killer Shark –
Gun Fight –
Jet Rocket –
Stuntcar –
The Original Mobile Games –

Music used is Hyperfun by Kevin MacLeod

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63 Comments

  1. Crazy… I knew arcade machines existed before the video game boom, but just assumed they were all quite simple and quaint. These machines are gorgeous, unique, and have a true mystique to them. Shame that searching youtube for "history of electro-mechanical arcade games" yields nothing major. THIS was the first video I clicked on and I appreciate you for it. Now we really need Sega or owners of these machines to step up!

  2. I was born in 1970, I remember many of those. Loved them.

  3. I feel like I've done something similar to the Helicopter one in London's Science Museum way back when. May not be the same thing, but super similar?

  4. Dreamland in Margate has (or had, I haven't been for a few years) a nice collection of Electro-Mechanical arcade machines like this, no Sega ones though sadly.

  5. I love this stuff. Really cool design and engineering work.

  6. Gun Fight is awesome, got to play it at some sort of throwback day (even now I'm not really sure what it was) a few months back. Can imagine all of these are a pain in the arse to maintain though and that's probably why they've fallen by the wayside but fascinating video and subject!

  7. That Guy Pete You Refuse to Invite to Gatherings says:

    Sega and Midway were the two big players in Electromechanical arcades' golden age in the 60s. Other companies like Namco, Atari, and Nintendo threw in their lot a little bit, but those were the big two.

    Before these electromechanical games that started cropping up more commonly in the 50s and 60s, most machines were strictly mechanical, though electromechanical games do go as far back as the turn of the 20th century.

    But before the 50s, a lot of coin ops were made by Caille Brothers and the Mills Novelty Company, but there were others, too. The most popular among them were Gottlieb's pinball machines, games modeled after sports, gun games, fortune tellers, strength testers, and games of chance like slots and trade stimulators. Coin ops in general can go ridiculously far back, but before the late 1860s, most coin op type deals were isolated incidents lost to history. There were automata and other cool display pieces, but it wasn't the same as actual games.

    Before that were board games and before that were sports.

    From the first sport in the caveman days and the board game Senet in Ancient Egypt all the way to modern video games, people never stopped innovating and trying to find new ways to seek entertainment through games. It's quite remarkable actually. Anyway cool video.

  8. I think some of these machines use Pepper's Ghost effects, but I could be wrong.

  9. I'll never understand why only creators in the UK ever document these classics? We had a ton of them in America but nobody shows them off. I restore some of these machines myself and can attribute the lack of footage to owners simply not playing them a lot. The content creator correctly stated that these are works of art and I cannot begin to tell you how difficult some of these machines are to maintain and restore. It is a true labor of love to keep these running but it is sadly a dwindling one as parts and experienced people are drying up. So please if you see any of these machines working, thank the person who keeps it running, and the content creator who keeps it alive by showing them to the world.

  10. Thanks so much for posting this! Have been watching it and all the linked videos for hours!

  11. Awesome video, @SEGADriven – my only complaint is that it's too short, I'd love to hear your thoughts in more detail on some of these individual games. Maybe you'll do some follow up videos, or maybe it's too niche for your channel. I've been doing a lot of research on these myself for my own channel, would love to collaborate w/you if your'e ever interested. I just did my first doc on EM games a few months ago, on the history of mechanical versions of Pong in arcades, handhelds, and consoles. Just subscribed, looking forward to checking your channel out

  12. These games were so much fun and the level of engineering that went into making them wasis absolutely amazing. Unfortunately they're all just about extinct today. Thanks for the video my friend, good stuff!👍 👍

  13. Are you the Techmoan guy?

  14. I love this stuff! Glad to see some more Youtube content acknowledging them. Long ago I started 3D modeling some of these machines. Now that I'm starting to get back into 3D I'd love to experiment with making a video game version of at least one of them.

  15. Oh man…..I remember the missile game at 3:50. Would have never thought of it without your video. I’m going to horrify my 11 year old tomorrow to show her what dad use to play in the day.
    Jet Rocket too at about 3:10!!!

  16. Love your video. Just makes me want to collect more of these games. Currently restoring Sega Helicopter, Missile, Grand Prix and Jet Rocket. One day hoping to open a small Electromechanical Arcade Games only Museum here down on the Isle of Wight UK.

  17. I have been hoping for years for a Sega coffee table that covered their machines pre-videogame era

  18. Electro-mechanical arcade has it's own very nice charm:-)

  19. Jet Rocket looks interesting but how the fuck they're labeling it as the first open world video game ever is beyond me. It's just like any of those 2d scrolling airplane video games that force you to move forward the whole time. Not like GTA open world

  20. I agree with you that Sega should help to preserve their early history with either a coffee table book or some type of video game conversation of these classics. And I was pleased to see a game I played as a kid: Killer Shark at 3:30

  21. The Happyland arcade on Bournemouth seafront had all of the electro-mechanical games right through to the turn into the nineties, including the ones in this video and many more. I used to like periscope and killer shark.

  22. Mechanical games are by far the best games. When they work perfectly. Sometimes that happens but usually electronic games play more smooth. With today's technology, perfectly functioning games are definitely possible. Start with the basics. Make a mechanical Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Make them actually work as well as an arcade machine from 1980. I know I'd buy them no matter how much they cost. Then the Holy Grail will be mechanical Pitfall, the first mechanical game with rudimentary scrolling.

  23. Killer Shark was the first "video game" I played outside a Pong console and it's the first arcade game I played period. At an old water park in fact. Rather fitting really.

  24. You know what.. I'm impressed at the creativity of SEGA at the time. It's sad that they used that much creativity back then, and nowadays, you almost don't see it as much anywhere.

  25. Played a lot of these games as a kid at Canobie Lake’ Park’s excellent arcade in the early 70’s. I fact, the have the “Gunfighter” game roped off for people to see.

  26. You're right. There isn't much on the mechanical arcade games. Definitely deserves more attention.

  27. Oh man I had forgotten about Periscope until I saw that picture. I remembered Grand Prix though and also Moto Champ I think. And Killer Shark.

  28. played some of these games in my youth. They are as cool as they look. A lost era. Of course modern games are far more interesting, but it's quite cool the creative ideas the engineers had for making electromechanical arcade games.

  29. Oh ! I remember Moto-Champ ! Okay now I'm flooded with new memories … just what I was hoping for !

  30. Found my way here after digging for info regarding A Sega Sea Devil. I'm a VR enthusiast that regularly plays Pinball in VR. So I'd love for these EM games to be modelled in VR. Now that would be awesome! Great vid by the way….!

  31. Hi I started about 7 years ago collecting toys but have in the last year or so really turned to collecting Mechanical toys and games. I couldn't afford these arcades but they really are a dying breed and so so beautiful to look at and play. I 100% agree with u.

  32. I remember this jet fighter game. There was a fighter jet cockpit seat well sort of with a joystick on the side. You would move a target on the screen which was possibly a projection of sorts and target enemy fighter jets. I think it had artwork of Sabre fighter jets on it.

  33. I could swear that there was a home version of that Helicopter game.

  34. Just played Jet Rocket at a retro arcade for the first time. Never seen anything like it. 👍 It was fun. Wish I could try the others on this list. They need to bring back a limited production.

  35. I'd like to see that Periscope game in action.

  36. I loved Helicopter. Marine Parade, Napier, Aotearoa (NZ)

  37. Aside being a retro video gamer, I have a great affinity for electromechanical games. Everything from handheld EM toys like Digital derby or Hit N Missile to the various EM games from the arcade and especially the gun games. They are absolutely fascinating marvels. They have a pretty wide variety too. Everything from racing games (one of which showed in this video) to moon buggies or helicopter games complete with a flying toy helicopter controlled by a joystick.

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