Star Wars Arcade

Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari Inc. and released in 1983. The game is a first person space combat game, simulating the attack on the Death Star from the 1977 film Star Wars. The game is composed of 3D color vector graphics.

Arcade Production Numbers

Most video game companies do not disclose their production numbers, but most pinball manufacturers do (go figure?). So finding out how many of a game was made can be a difficult task. Good estimates (or exact numbers), are available for most of the really popular games from the classic era. Most of these numbers come from ex-employees, or from the simple fact that a lot of companies used normal serial numbers that started with 001 and went up from there.

All the really big production numbers were done in the classic era, specifically the period of time before 1984. Back then a great game could easily sell 40,000 units. Most of the popular games from the big name companies did huge numbers (Atari, Williams, and Midway specifically). It was odd for Atari or Midway to make a game with a run of less than a few thousand. But the smaller manufacturers usually had runs in the hundreds, and sometimes even in the tens. This all stopped in 1984 when the game industry crashed. Production numbers started going way down in 1984, and they never came back up. Most games from the 1985-1986 era had runs of around 1000 or less, with a few exceptions from big name companies (Gauntlet, et cetera). The industry slowly rebounded, but they simply never got back into the massive production that they once enjoyed. Today few games do more than a few thousand units (except for fighting game kits), and there are far less titles available now then at any point in the past.

What does all that mean? Well basically it means that the most common games are actually the old ones, and newer games are actually the rare ones. I’ll bet you will find 100 Ms. Pac-Man machines (1982) for every Skull & Crossbones machine (1989). But enough blabbing, lets get to the numbers I have compiled.

Exact numbers and decent estimates
Most of these numbers are really close, and most of the Atari ones are exact. Some are inferred from serial numbers, others come from leaked documents, or statements from employees of the respective companies. These numbers are largely for the US versions of the games, the European versions were usually in slightly different cabinets and were made in much smaller numbers, while the Japanese versions were often totally different (or non-existant in the case of many Atari titles).

Akka Arrh 2 (Both owned by the same person)
Arabian 1950
Arcade Classics 6
Asteroids 47840
Asteroids (cocktail) 8725
Asteroids (factory Lunar Lander conversion) 200
Asteroids (Gold) 1 (Belonged to Ed Logg last time I checked)
Asteroids Deluxe 18142
Asteriods Deluxe (cabaret) 1005
Asteroids Deluxe (cocktail) 3252
Atari Baseball 1050
Atari Football 10450
Atari Football (Four player version) 901
Battlezone 13022
Battlezone (cabaret) 2000
Battlezone (cocktail) 1
Begas Battle 700
Berzerk 39000
Berzerk (cocktail) 1000
Black Widow 1550
Blaster (cockpit) 3
Bradley Trainer 2-3
Breakout 11000
Bruce Jenner (Laserdisc) 2 (both of them currently exist, but there is only one copy of the laser disc left, and it suffers from bit rot)
Burgertime 22,000
Centipede 46062
Centipede (cabaret) 3924
Centipede (cocktail, 13 inch display) 5977
Centipede (cocktail, 19 inch display) 25
City Connection 1000 (Guessed from serial numbers)
Cloak & Dagger (Dedicated) 25
Computer Space (Yellow) 8
Cosmic Chasm 400 (Based on serial numbers)
Crystal Castles 4880 (one of those is mine)
Crystal Castles (cocktail) 500
Donkey Kong (Red) 2000
Dig Dug 10504
Dig Dug (cabaret) 505
Dig Dug (cocktail) 1219
Doom II 1 (Functioning movie prop)
Dr. Sparkz Lab 3 (2 of which are currently accounted for)
Dragon’s Lair 8300 (Guessed from serial numbers of known cabinets)
Food Fight 1951
Food Fight (cocktail) 100
Freedom Fighter 30 (Inferred from serial numbers)
Gravitar 5427
Goal to Go 100
I, Robot 1300 (Highly debated)
Inferno 25
Joust (cocktail) 500 (Debated, could be higher)
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest 500 (Debated, could be higher)
Kangaroo 9803 (One of them is mine)
Kick 1500 (More were made as Kick-Man)
Liberator 762
Lock ‘n’ Chase (dedicated) 800
Lunar Lander 4830
Major Havoc (upright) 300
Marble Madness 2: Marble Man 3-6 (3 known to exist now)
Millipede (cocktail) 1300
Millipede (upright) 8690
Missile Command (cabaret) 1500
Missile Command (cocktail) 3005
Missile Command (cockpit) 100-200
Missile Command (upright) 14044
Ms. Pac-Man (upright) 115,000 (Bootlegs and cocktails would nearly double this number)
Night Driver 2100
Pac-Man 100,000 (US uprights only, clones, bootlegs, overseas versions, and tables could make this number as high as 250,000)
Peter Packrat 500
Pole Position II (dedicated) 2400
Pole Position (sitdown) 3169
Pole Position (upright) 17270
Primal Rage II Less than 10 (1 currently known to exist)
Professor Pac-Man 400 (Most of which were returned to Midway and later converted to Pac-Land)
Quake – Arcade Tournament Edition 20 (A lot of people made their own Quake arcade machines too, those are actually more common than the real ones)
Quantum 500
Radar Scope 3000 (2000 of those were factory converted to Donkey Kong)
Radar Scope (environmental) around 100
Red Baron 1500
Red Baron (cockpit) 504
Shrike Avenger 10-12
Space Duel (cocktail) 1019
Space Duel 11017
Space Ace 5000 (Mostly conversions)
Space Invaders 60,000 (US uprights only, clones, bootlegs, overseas versions, and tables could make this number as high as 150,000)
Space Invaders (Alien “Taiten” headed UK version) 20
Sprint 2 8200
Stargate 26,000
Stargate (cocktail) 1,000
Star Wars (cockpit) 2450
Star Wars (upright) 10245
Starship I 3500
S.T.U.N. Runner (Upright) 1 (The rest were sit down units)
Super Breakout 4805
Super Don Quixote (Dedicated) 50
Tapper (monochrome sideart) 3200
Tapper (color sideart) 100
Tapper (cocktail) 300
Tempest (cabaret) 2176
Tempest (cocktail) 1663
Tempest 25112
Turkey Shoot 450
Video Pinball 1505
War of the Worlds 10
Warlords (cocktail) 1253
Warlords (upright) 1014
Xevious 5295
Less than exact numbers, speculation, lies, and dirty lies.
These numbers come from rumor, memory, speculation, and other inexact sources.

Blaster (wooden cabinet) Probably only a few hundred, most Blasters shipped in the DuraMold cabinet.
Crunch Pod Zero This game existed only as a prop in “Pepper Ann”.
Death Race Less than 1,000
Defender Somewhere around 50,000
Donkey Kong (Entire series) Close to 80,000 or so.
Exidy (All titles) Most Exidy games only had a run of a few hundred. They didn’t have facilities to do much more than that.
Galaxian (25″ display) Not too many, as 19″ models seem to outnumber the 25″ ones about 50 to 1.
Gyruss Thought to be around 10,000, but that number is purely an estimate.
Hard Drivin’: Airborne Maybe 25 or so? It was tested but never went into wide production.
Jack The Giantkiller, Naughty Boy, and Zzyzzyxx (combined) 5,000 boardsets were made for this platform in total.
Jackie Chan In Fists Of Fire Not nearly enough!
Joust Somewhere around 40,000 to 60,000
Manhole Zero This game has showed up as a prop in a lot of television shows (Silver Spoons, Married with Children, et cetera), but it is only an empty cabinet, and has nothing inside.
Moppet Video (total of all titles) A few thousand at best, most of which are long gone now.
Nintendo Vs. Unisystem Less than 80,000 total, because these were made for retrofitting Donkey Kong series games. Probably more like 40,000.
Puppy Pong At least 35, but no more than 100.
Red Baron (original cabinet style, before they started using spare Battlezone cabinets) 3-10
Robotron 2084 11,000 (Unverified, I can’t remember where I read that number)
Shark JAWS Less than 500 (Highest serial number I can find is mine, and that is number 311)
Splat! A few hundred at best, probably less.
Star Castle 8,000-10,000
Street Fighter 2 (all versions) Way too many! (Apparently it was around 35,000. This was the only game ever to break 30,000 after 1984).
Sundance Around 100, almost all of which blew up the minute they were plugged in.
Super Death Chase less than 10.
The Last Star fighter Zero This game never existed as anything other than a movie prop, and a prototype boardset that didn’t work correctly.
Time Pilot (cocktail) Probably less than 100. The serial number on mine is 000007, and I can’t find anyone else who owns one, and an extensive UseNet search only shows mention of two others, both of which were seen at live auctions.
Time Pilot ’84 (dedicated) A few hundred, as the vast majority of these were kits to retrofit Time Pilot.
Vindicators 2 A few hundred

Any good arcades left in Connecticut?

Are there any good arcades worth going to in Connecticut? If you know of any, drop us a line.

Arcade Repair Tips

Before you can fix an arcade game, a pinball machine or any electronic device, you have to first accurately analyze the problem. A few tools and a good eye will take you a long way towards performing a professional repair. In this post, we’ll discuss some simple steps you can take when you are starting a repair job.
Step 1: It’s usually easier to determine what is wrong with a game by determining what is right. Are there any signs of life at all? Does the marquee or other lights work? Do you hear the monitor? Does the game play blind? (i.e. the monitor has no picture but you hear sound from the game) If the game is appears to be dead, start simple. Do you have 120 VAC going into your power supply? If your power supply is good, is it supplying the correct voltage (usually 5 VDC and 12 VDC) to you main board and other components?

Step 2: Always start with the obvious. Try using the self test on the PCB or in the test menu if the monitor is working. Input and output tests will tell you if certain things are functioning properly. Find a manual for the game online and look for troubleshooting tips inside of it. If the manufacturer is still in business don’t be afraid to give them a call. Look for places that look burned or have loose wires or connections.

Step 3: Use a multimeter. Don’t trust your eyes, trust your meter. Check for blown fuses. Read the manual for your meter or find one online. There are many things you can use your meter for from simple tests down to the component level.

Step 4: Check all wiring. Do some basic continuity checks with your meter and make sure you have good connections. The wiring harness can be a common place for issues as previous owners might have flexed the wires or mishandled them. Trace down the wires using the connector on the harness as a test point.

Step 5: Ask for help! If you are ever reach a point where you don’t feel comfortable, it’s a good idea to ask for assistance. There is no shame in asking a question only in being afraid to ask! Make sure you have as much information as possible when asking for help. Information like the name of the game, the manufacturer and time period are very helpful to someone trying to assist you. Please feel free to leave a comment on our site or email us with your question. We will try to assist you in any way possible.

Always make a commitment to doing the job right. Don’t take shortcuts or do it half way. Your arcade game deserves better and you will be glad in the end you took the time to do it right.

The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters

The King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters is a great documentary on the chase to get a high score on Donkey Kong. Here is the trailer:

A lot has happened since this movie came out and the title of World’s Greatest Donkey Kong Player has changed many times. At this point, a perfect game has been achieved.
You can buy the DVD here: Amazon