The Evolution of The Golden Age of Arcade Games - A History of Pushing The Limits! -

The Evolution of The Golden Age of Arcade Games – A History of Pushing The Limits!

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This was always going to be a clumsy title. Games that push the limits of the golden age of arcade games… it doesn’t make much sense but I hope you see what I’m getting at. A look at the evolution of arcade games from 1978-1984 kind of thing. Featuring a whole slew of games from that period.

00:00 Intro
01:32 PCB Way sponsorship
02:37 Space Invaders
05:42 Galaxian
10:13 Scramble
11:36 Defender
12:55 Robotron 2084
14:12 Blaster
16:02 Turbo
17:18 Pole Position
19:27 Battlezone
20:41 Star Wars
21:50 I, Robot
25:35 Ending waffle and patron thanks


  1. Sheer opinion based on how old you were. Arcade games speak to a period of your own experience. Arcades were at their peak in the 80's, after that everyone had their own in their bedroom. Don't listen to this guy, you enjoy what you enjoy.

  2. The bullets and ship explosion in Defender still look and sound fantastic today. Can't believe that the CPU that drove my humble Dragon 32 was also at the heart of the defender board.

  3. I wondered what the floaty head shooter game was called! I'Robot looked good!

  4. Crush Roller is from 1981, not 1978. Taito ???

  5. The hardware used in Turbo Buck Rodgers and Subroc used a bank of 8 voltage controlled oscillators to provide the clock pulses to the the object ROMs as they were read out and drawn to the screen as the beam moved across the CRT. The slower the VCO frequency the longer the pixel data took to be read out and the larger the object would appear on the screen. Essentially the hardware raced the beam like an Atari 2600 when drawing the sprite layer.

  6. Had to click "LIKE" due to the "shitty Starfox" comment.

  7. "Nightmare fuel" Donkey Kong looks like …whatever hardware incompatibility made so many CGA era games use the wrong color palette

  8. I love vector graphics games and I'm sad the technology didn't catch on (directly controlling the cathode ray and all that).

  9. Hidden surface removal is known as occlusion.

  10. I'm pretty sure Crush Roller wasn't released in 1978.

    Arcade games of such graphics details only appear from the 80s onwards.

  11. Galaxian was the very first game that I've enjoyed in the arcades back then.

    Most of the time i just watch others playing all the arcade games like pacman, crazy climber, space invaders etc as i had limited allowance back then.

    But I did play galaxian enough to reach 14 flags as far as I can remember.

  12. Gun fight was my game as a little kid back in the mid-70s. Five year old me standing on a bench at the pizza place destroying my 13 year old brother repeatedly and he just would throw a fit. So many great memories from back then, I could go on and on.

    One thing to mention (at least in the U.S.): the Golden Age of video games was so great because video games were a genuine fad at the time, right along side Rubik's cubes. People of all ages were playing video games (for lots of people, video games like Pacman were the first interaction they ever had with a computer) and video games were everywhere. Arcade machines in every gas station and supermarket, along with each decent-sized town having an arcade or two. Hit songs on the radio, coverage from TV, radio and newsprint, fast food promotions, cartoons, cereal…all so exciting. The crash of 1983 was due to many things, but one major driver that never gets mentioned is that the fad was over. Videogames lost their limelight across generations and everyone (except for kids and a few die hards) moved on.

    Excellent video!

  13. 🔥 I grew up in the arcades the stuff we have now is not the same, you don’t need alcohol to enjoy old school gaming with other people.
    Gaming in the arcades was a great way to socialize with people you already knew we’re gonna have things in common with you.
    Elon Musk could do a lot better with all that money, he could start a worldwide chain of real arcades that don’t rely on alcohol and he could bring back greatness.
    Instead he’s out here having sex with married women
    The more you know 💫🥇🏆🚀

  14. Why is there an 80’s anime ova in this ‘pushing the limits’ playlist?

  15. I have a few comments regarding the almost complete flops of Blaster and I, Robot. Those games were hyped unbelievably in the coin op magazines and elsewhere months before they actually came out, generating a lot of buzz and "high" expectations. Everyone expected them to be amazing, like the awesome experience of playing Robotron or Defender for the first time. And they just weren't. They were incremental improvements in doing pseudo 3d, but they didn't have the smooth gameplay and crispness of their simpler predecessors. Also, it was really hard to find arcades that had them. I think they overpriced them, and by that time arcade owners had begun favoring generic, cheap knockoff games by obscure companies in order to turn a quick profit. The games became more about enticing you to keep putting tokens in than giving you a great experience.

  16. You can't understand how someone could mistake that Alec Guinness voice for a sample???
    C'mon mate, transport yourself to back in the day and try to remember the first (100) times you heard it. I always thought that's what it was, it's only because you pointed it out that I realise it was synthesised!

  17. eeermz, afaik galaxian/galaga was the first game that had 'powerups' … from time to time you get the opportunity to get a second rocket so you'd double your firing power. If I'm not mistaken it's when the "boss' comes down the first time, together with 2 scouts, if you kill them on the first descent you should get a bonus rocket (it sits next to your primary rocketship, and if i'm not wrong it also allowed you to take 1 hit before dying, but the rocketship that took the hit would be removed again…)
    The golden age of arcades didn't die in '83 when the console crash happened (it was mainly the consoles that crashed because every company was selling a console and every day there came a new one on market, also since atari didn't do any Quality Assurance about the games that get released there was a gigantic ton of crap released which were pure moneygrabs. Games that looked nice on the box-art, but actually were either a clone of an existing game or were games that looked like they were developed by a toddler. The arcade hat it's highdays until the end of the'80s, and it suddenly dropped in the mid '90s, when consoles like the playstation delivered a lot more power than the average arcade game. Also pc was getting a much more serious approach from developers. Microsoft created directx so games would run a lot better compared to dos games of the previous age, it also allowed that gamedevs didn't have to add drivers or API's into the games to support the ever growing list of soundcards, gfx cards, etc. (that's also why most '90s era soundcards have a "soundblaster compatible mode", so they could have sound in the many dos-games that almost always had support for soundblaster cards. For me the golden age of Arcade consists of games like Double Dragon, Golden Axe, 1942, Wonderboy, Gyruss, Outrun, Chase HQ, The Simpsons, Operation WOLF, Ikari Warriors and many many more…
    By the time StreetFigher II and a bit later Mortal Kombat came on the scene the arcade was at it's last 'high' period, soon people would stop coming to the arcades and they'd start dying off. There were a lot less arcades in the 90's and most arcades i knew started adding gambling machines and the typical 90's "fotoplay" systems with touchscreen and simple games. Kids didn't come to the arcades anymore as they had consoles with the same games, so arcades started first having an 18+ section (gambling) and later turned 18+ completely so they could put the slots machines closer to the entrance to lure in gamblers. The arcade games were put into the back. From the early 2000's on most arcades were gone or were gamble-halls with maybe a pinball machine or two and one or two arcade games. The arcade became something young kids would only see at the fair where mobile "luna parks" would be that had a few old games, maybe one or two recent games, and claw machines and coin pushers (operated with tokens instead of real money). Only in Japan you still have some real arcades, even the big sega building doesn't exist anymore (that was a multi-level arcade, very big). I had great times in the arcades when i was young, i learned to know a lot of friends in those smoke-loaded, soggy smelling, noisy places… (yeah back then you could smoke while playing games… the smoke ban killed a lot of business if you ask me)

  18. I, Robot doesn't look much worse than some games on the Jaguar. Like the "where did you learn to fly" one. Lol

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