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. The Video Game Crash has always seemed weird to me. Supposedly the reason for it was E.T. 2600 and the Pacman port for that console but how does that translate to gaming as a whole? People disliked how badly Pacman was ported compared to the famous arcade original which implies their problem was with home consoles rather than arcade games. I guess I can't ignore facts but when it comes to the general public, people were still going to arcades and enjoyed what consoles they had. Even if Nintendo didn't release the NES, the rising computer market would have been an easy way to sneak Video Games into the home.

    A similar kind of crash happened with the internet. In that case, the reason for that was a sudden influx of interest that eventually got evened out later on, not because internet was bad but because the momentum was too fast for it's own good.

  2. I do have a theory defender was really the first bullet hell.
    Cuz once the planet blows up all the ships turn into mutants.

    And they all swarm around you throwing bullets at your ship.

    That's bullet hell.

  3. But there is a weird caveat.
    There was an interview with Eugene Jarvis.

    When the consumers electronic show in 81..
    When defender was being shown off everyone in the press was announcing that rally X was going to be the next big game.

    While defender was not going to impress anyone..

    In at the exact time defender was being shown off Pac-Man was being shown off.

    And everyone was saying rally X was going to be the big game.

    Totally true interview.

  4. Now there are arcade 1up of some of these arcades you can buy for cheap $400-$1500 price range in 2021

  5. And the arcade 1up minis you can get for $150-$350 prince range today in 2021

  6. Arcade key chains working arcades for $20-$40 today in 2021 and Pandora box arcade joysticks with 200 games for $250 in 2021

  7. And the coleco arcades for less than$100 in 2021 and the Pocket arcade machines for $50-$75 in 2021 and the original arcades shown in the video here from old to new in 2021 price range is expensive for $3000-$40,000

  8. And Mario kart arcade DX arcade machines part 1 in 2021 $99,000
    Part 2 in 2021 $250,000
    Japenese version for in 2021 in US dollars the price is $999,000

  9. The walking dead, Luigi's mansion 3 , and crus n blast and the other newest arcade machines in 2021 today is $2,758,000

  10. New arcade machines for the arcades in 2022 will be more expensive than 2021 all arcade and arcade 1ups the newer they get the more expensive the price range will be but the good news is that all arcade machines that are 50 years old will be cheapest and most of them will not exist anymore because one day the videogame era and the arcade era will end it will be nothing but a old fad that permanently vanished by the year of 2122 will be the end of the gaming era

  11. Very entertaining and informative video. I am 50 but i didn't know I Robot and its relevance (i knew and played the coin-ops of every other games but Blaster)

  12. I would be not surprised if snes vortex was inspired from i robot, it just looks and plays similar to it.

  13. Good video.
    But you MIGHT have one fact wrong.

    When Turbo was made, Sega was an American company hiring Japanese labor to build machines, and the test audience was American servicemen serving in Japan.

    It was a Gulf And Western Company, which also owned Paramount Pictures. That's how Sega easily go the rights to make a Star Trek arcade game.

  14. It seems that PCBWay is sponsoring a lot of my favorite YouTubers, these days.
    But anyway, another good video.

  15. great video. I could watch more of these all day long!

  16. You want to know why blaster failed???
    The game sucks and most everyone thought so.

  17. Great video – I was too young to care about the games I played back in the day, I just played them.

    Now, I love watching these kinds of videos and learning the history and background/making of.


  18. I noticed a change in audio later on. I've developed a couple of techniques to help with this.
    1. Wear the same top & position your mic in exactly the same way (pick a standard way to do it for every video so you don't forget how you did it). That's only if you're using a lavalier mic though.
    2. If you process your audio, make sure you keep an unprocessed version of the original cut of the audio. Then if you need to make corrections with new audio, add this new audio to the existing audio file (at the beginning or end, it doesn't matter), then process the whole lot again. Now take the new audio part and just save that part. By processing the old & new audio together, you get a very similar processing to the original processing, and so the new audio sounds remarkably similar to the old audio.
    Hope that helps! Love the vids. Keep em' coming.

  19. Was it really the first video game hardware with tile based? I mean Intellivision was announced / released before it and it had tile based graphics

  20. I didn't hear of the video game crash till the early 2000's. I'm sure most gamers outside of the USA never heard of it either. We were too busy playing games on home computers such as the Commodore 64 and Spectrum to have noticed any video game crash.

  21. It's funny. Nolan Bushnell of Atari was so used to having multiple processors running their arcade hardware, one of the questions that came to him when Steve Jobs and Wozniak pitched the idea of the Apple I to him was, "Why would someone want a computer with only one CPU?" Of course, back then, one CPU was better than nothing at all. Z80 and the 6809 really dominated the arcades back in 1982. So many great games. Williams deserves credit for introducing blitter chips to the arcades (Joust, Stargate, Robotron, and Sinistar). A bit of trivia…. One of the guys who worked on the Amiga worked on Sinistar arcade. Thanks to Jay Miner and Joe Decuir for thinking up the Amiga design back in 1982 at Atari. P.S. There's a killer version of Ms. Pac-Man on the Amiga 500 available now:

  22. Excellent video as usual. There is an urban legend that 500 I Robot cabinets were dumped into the ocean. You could do a whole episode on I Robot, or perhaps Dave Theurer games in general since you missed Tempest and Missile Command. Tac scan would be another limit pushing vector game to cover. Hell, you should do a whole vector episode.

  23. Look into the TMS9918, it is the real grand daddy off the NES SEGA MEGA DRIVE and other home consoles. Texas Instruments even coined the word Sprite. Sprites and tiles were invented due to the constraints of mid seventies DRAM bandwidth.

  24. Awesome job on digging up I Robot! That's a deep cut. Jaw-dropping graphics for the time. I tracked down a ROM of it and gave it a play on MAME, oh…. I'd say sometime around 2005. It wasn't a bad game, by any stretch of the imagination… but it wasn't super fun or addicting like many of the others on the list.

    I love the content you've been putting out… I do have a small suggestion for you, if you'll humor me… I don't know if it's an "other side of the pond" thing, but most of the folks I know of in the USA that I've talked shop in person with tend to have a pretty standard way of pronouncing processor names. But, once again, this is the YouTube comments section, feel free to take this with as big a grain of salt as you like:

    MOS Technoglogy 6502: "Sixty Five Oh Two"
    Intel 8008: I've…. never heard anyone talk a lot about the 8008. My guess is "Eight Oh Oh Eight" or "EIghty Oh Eight".
    Intel 8080: "Intel Eighty Eighty"
    Intel 80286: "Two Eighty Six"
    Intel 80386: "Three Eighty Six"
    Intel 80486: "Four EIghty Six"
    Motorola 6800: "Sixty Eight Hundred" or "Motorola Sixty Eight Hundred"
    Motorola 68000: "Sixty Eight Kay" or "Motorola Sixty Eight Kay"

    You might notice I've left off a processor. 🙂 Honestly, though, I call it a "Zee Eighty". Do y'all over there call it a "Zed Eighty"? Either way, I agree that the computer that Sir Clive Sinclair made out of it is definitely a "Zed Ex Spectrum"… and the car brand is definitely "Jag-You-Ar", and not "Jag-war", and ABSOLUTELY not "Jag-Wire".

    As far as the naming of other systems goes, there seems to be far more contention. "Super Nintendo", "Sness", "Snezz"… who can say for sure?

  25. So as a person who experienced all of this here is my take on it. When Space Invaders came about you either knew about the 'counting shots' method for 300 point top ships or not. As games moved on there were people in the arcades that just excelled at them. I remember putting my first 10p into a Defender machine and it lasting seconds but then replaying it straight away! What a game, along with Missile Command were games that were hard, they also felt like they rewarded you upon repeat plays. For me all this ended with the C64, followed by an Amiga thing and finishing with a PS1 that I could spend my money on.

  26. Even to this day I find the animation in Pole Position impressive.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

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

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

  31. 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.

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

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

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

  35. Hidden surface removal is known as occlusion.

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

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 🔥 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 💫🥇🏆🚀

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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)

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