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Posts Tagged ‘Taito’

Willis Zoo Keeper cpo

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I recently got a peek at Brian’s amazing, scratch built Zoo Keeper arcade cabinet, and it got me thinking about this under rated classic arcade game by Taito. Released back in 1982, it combines simple yet challenging game play, with full cabinet artwork. A welcome break from Taito’s typical cabinet scheme. Somewhere in my artwork stash, I knew I had one of these.

Zoo Keeper

This particular Willis replacement overlay does a good job at trying to keep the original feel of the game. With bright colors, fun character’s from the game, and the brick motif, it could actually be used as it was intended – to replace your worn out original overlay. NOS overlays are tough to find and reproduction cpo’s have long been sold out, so this replacement might be your only choice. Insert coin to continue…

Spy Agent or Bootleg Elevator Action cpo

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I’ve always thought that this control panel overlay was the Willis version of Elevator Action. At least that’s what I had been told and never had any reason to doubt the claim. Until one day when the KLOV “machine of the day” was a Spy Agent. Whoa, that’s the Willis EA overlay, what gives?

After some more investigating, it appears as if the overlay is a bootleg for Elevator Action. The first picture is an overlay I found available at QuarterArcade and the second a copy I own. The QA copy has some text on the middle right that I can’t quite make out, unfortunately, as it might shed some light on the true manufacturer of the kit. The cabinet picture is from KLOV and shows the overlay installed on a Taito cabinet control panel. According to KLOV, Spy Agent made by Taito, is a bootleg of Elevator Action. Huh? Elevator Action was made by Taito. Why would you bootleg your own game? Since Spy Agent was a bootleg and seems to have been a conversion kit, I’m guessing Willis had nothing to do with it. The overlay is missing all the tell tale signs. If you have any more information, post a comment.

Space Wars flyer translated

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

I recently discussed the very cool Space Wars flyer up at TAFA (check it out here) and since then have been lucky enough to get it translated. Lisa has a good friend that is part Japanese and she was nice enough (Thanks Kim!) to ask her Mom to do some translating. Here it is:

“It is about playing a space game. By pushing the optional button from 0 to 9, and combine with valiational button from 1 to 5 you can enjoy 50 kinds of space game. And the details follows. 100 yen for 90 seconds (2 people can play) and etc.”

Kim asked for a little more detail and got this:

“I try to translate as much as I can. As I don’t play video game it is sometimes not so easy to translate. It could be “lost translation” but I hope he can use my help. Quote – You can pick button #0 to #9, combine valiation button #1 to #5 and you can enjoy 50 kinds of space game. (how to play) 100 yen for 2 people – 1 play. Put a coin and select from 0 to 9 and you push the button. Next push the validation button from 1 to 5 to select the game. You gain the point by attacking the enemy’s ship or avoiding the collusion of the sun, stars and enemy’s space ship. By pushing spaceship-operating button, you can turn around to the right and left, go forward, fire missile and can emergency-escape. The rest of missile, playing time and score will be desplayed on the screen. By 100 yen you can play for 90 seconds (90 seconds x the number of coins). For beginners – button 0 to 2, semi-pros – 3 to 5 and pros – 6 to 9″

While I didn’t get any hidden clues about the licensing of this game to Taito, it is still a fun read and a fantastic looking flyer. Again, if anyone actually has the Japanese version of this game, drop me a line.

Japanese Space Wars flyer at TAFA

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

This one was news to me. I was browsing The Arcade Flyer Archive and saw a flyer for the Taito version of Space Wars! I had no idea Space Wars made it over to Japan as a license. Maybe I need to re-read the story about the games creator, perhaps I missed something? (Read Tim Skelly’s History of Cinematronics and Vectorbeam over at dadgum) The license seems to have changed hands a few times so perhaps one of the final owners sold the rights to Taito?

Taito Space Wars flyer from TAFA

If anyone knows more about the Taito version of Space Wars, please share your comments, I’d love to hear them. If you haven’t been to The Arcade Flyer Archive, take a moment to check it out, great resource for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Happy gaming.

February 2, 2009 – Update
I was able to get this flyer translated. Read it.