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William Arkush Video Game Data Books

Back when home television games were just a gleam in Ralph Baer’s eye, and the penny arcades were full of B&W machines like Pong, Tank, and Death Race; William Arkush was distributing technical manuals that provided sophisticated troubleshooting information. Since the industry was just getting started, such quality information was very useful when trying to keep location games running. The manuals covered a wide range of subjects for specific game titles, and covered them thoroughly.

The list below is taken from the last page of the Video Game Logic Textbook, Vol. I, and believed to be all inclusive. According to the textbook, some of the manuals have never been published or released. Links to manuals in PDF format are provided if available. Special thanks to “p1001” for Wheels I, Wheels II, Gunfight and Tank. Additional thanks to the “cityofberwyn” website for Seawolf and the Video Game Logic Textbook, Vol. I. Watermark free versions of the manuals are available for trade. I’m looking to fill the gaps in the technical manual collection, please contact me if have any of the missing documents, or new information about them.

Video Game Data Library

Pin Pong

Volume one of the Video Game Data Books, also known as the Video Game Data Library. This manual covers Pin Pong by Atari Inc., which was released in 1974. Pin Pong was touted as the only video pinball game, complete with flippers and realistic pinball game play.

Wanted: the Video Game Data Library Vol. I, Pin Pong manual.


Wheels I

Volume two of the Video Game Data Library covers Wheels I by Midway Manufacturing Co, released in 1975. Wheels is a one player B&W racing game. Volume two was released in two parts, Wheels I and Wheels II, both labeled Vol. II.

Download: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. II, Wheels I manual.


Wheels II

Volume two of the Video Game Data Library also covers Wheels II by Midway Manufacturing Co, released in 1975. Wheels II added a second steering wheel and player 2 option during game play. Volume two was released in two parts, Wheels I and Wheels II, both labeled Vol. II.

Download: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. II, Wheels II manual.


Tank

Volume three of the Video Game Data Library series covers the classic B&W game Tank, by Kee Games, released in 1974. Kee Games, while promoted as a competitor to Atari, was actually a wholly owned subsidiary of Atari, Inc.

Download: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. III, Tank manual.


Gun Fight

Volume four of the Video Game Data Library series covers Gun Fight by Midway Manufacturing Co, released in 1975. Gun Fight is a unique B&W two player game that utilizes a joystick for movement and a pistol grip for firing. The artwork is reminiscent of Midway’s classic EM styling.

Download: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. IV, Gun Fight manual.


Sea Wolf

Volume five of the Video Game Data Library series covers Sea Wolf by Midway Manufacturing Co, released in 1976. Sea Wolf is a timed B&W game that utilizes a periscope for the controls. The artwork on the cabinet is beautiful, reminiscent of Midway’s classic EM styling.

Download: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. V, Sea Wolf manual.


8080 CPU

Volume six of the Video Game Data Library series covers the 8080 CPU. The 8080 is an Intel 8-bit CPU chip introduced in 1974. It was the successor to the first commercial 8-bit microprocessor (8008) and precursor to the x86 family. A popular chip in early arcade games.

Wanted: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. VI, 8080 CPU manual.


Ramtek/Volly

Volume seven of the Video Game Data Library series covers Ramtek/Volly. Listed as a “6 game issue” which could refer to any of the games produced by Ramtek from 1973 to 1979, including Volly. It may also be a typo, referring to Volley, another game manufacturer at the time.

Wanted: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. VII, Ramtek/Volly manual.


Exidy/Chicago Coin

Volume eight of the Video Game Data Library series covers Exidy/Chicago Coin, but doesn’t discuss any of the content details. This manual is listed as “unreleased”, but I’m hoping that’s not the case. Exidy and Chicago Coin games would be so much easier to work on if I had an Arkush manual in hand!

Wanted: the Video Game Data Library, Vol. VIII, Exidy/Chicago Coin manual.


Video Game Logic Textbooks

Phase I

Volume One, Phase One of the Video Game Logic Textbook series. From the summary, “…the first of a series of general education books which directly apply themselves to our occupation, keeping the DAMN things running.” Pretty funny, but the book is a great tech read. Check it out.

Download: the Video Game Logic Textbook, Vol. I, Phase I


Phase II

Volume Two, Phase Two of the Video Game Logic Textbook series. A robust book that covers digital integrated circuits, theory of TV monitor operation, video game architecture, power supplies and much more. Unfortunately this is listed as “unreleased”. Anyone have this book?

Wanted: the Video Game Logic Textbook, Vol. II, Phase II


Phase III

Volume Three, Phase Three of the Video Game Logic Textbook series. If published I’m sure it is chock full of all kinds of wonderful arcade game technical goodness. Unfortunately this book is also listed as “unreleased”. Anyone care to prove me wrong?

Wanted: the Video Game Logic Textbook, Vol. III, Phase III


Video Game Supplements

Vol. III B

Volume Three B, from the Video Game Supplements. This volume deciphers the workings of Tankers (a copy of Tank) and BiPlane by Fun Games. Interesting cabinets and just plain fun classic B&W games. If you have this manual, please contact me.

Wanted: the Video Game Supplements, Vol. III B


Vol. A

Volume A, from the William Arkush Video Game Supplements. This volume is labeled as a seminar book for Kurz-Kasch. Kurz-Kasch created numerous pieces of test equipment and fixtures for the arcade game industry. Not sure about the contents of this one, but if you have this manual, please contact me.

Wanted: the Video Game Supplements, Vol. A


Vol. B

Volume B, from the William Arkush Video Game Supplements. This volume is labeled the Video Game Logic Reference Book, produced for Kush N’ Stuff, the business William Arkush created to market his technical products. Not sure about the contents of this one, but perhaps it discusses the logic circuits of various games at the time.

Wanted: the Video Game Supplements, Vol. B


As far as I can determine, this is the extent of the William Arkush technical library. If you have knowledge that adds to or disputes any of this information, I am more than happy to hear about it. I only have a handful of the manuals available, and would be interested in borrowing, buying or trading for any books or manuals that are missing from the list. Any documents related to Kush N’ Stuff, Kurz-Kasch, or William Arkush would be of interest. Thanks!