Missile Command – Part One – Coming Home

The day I picked up the Battlezone Cabaret was big. On the long drive to Northern Washington, I stopped off in the town of Centralia (so called because it is just about halfway between Portland and Seattle), to pick up a change dispenser that had been advertised on Craigslist.  When i got there, it turned out that the dispenser was owned by an arcade collector whose garage arcade is still one of the best I have ever seen.

Missile Command!

Missile Command!

As he was showing us around, he also mentioned that he was looking to sell his Missile Command, and was hoping to replace it with a Centipede.  It didn’t take me long at all to agree that the classic would soon be mine.

In general, the game was in pretty good shape. The PCB seemed to be functioning perfectly, the cabinet was in good structural shape and clean on the inside, the coin door and marquee lights worked, and the game was complete.  The side art is a little rough, but not nearly as bad as some others I have seen.  Missile Command seems to be a particularly attractive target for vandals, and as such is often pretty thrashed.  The track ball was also in need of a rebuild,  the Plexiglas bezel was a little crazed and scratched, and the monitor showed some significant burn-in, but overall the game was perfectly serviceable. I left with a handshake promise to come back the next day for the pickup.

The next morning, Maile and I set off in the Xterra with cash in hand, and came back a few hours later with a Missile Command!

This is a game that had been on every version of my “gotta have it” list, and I was quite happy to get it into the collection.  The first order of business was to get a Braze multi-game HSS kit installed, which also added “Super Missile Attack” to the game, which is a nice hack by the same group that developed Ms. Pac Man.  If you ever find that regular MC is just too easy, Super Missile Attack is the game for you.  I know it’s going to be quite a while before I’m worried about that…

Old track ball roller on top, new roller on the bottom.

Old track ball roller on top, new roller on the bottom.

Also, I replaced the Plexiglas bezel with a glass one from This Old Game, and rebuilt the trackball using new bearings and rollers purchased from The Real Bob Roberts.  Finally, I ordered a new cardboard monitor shroud from a KLOV member who makes them.

I do still want to swap the tube, and I’ll probably throw on some new T-molding.  After that, I may or may not decide to redo the side art.  Once I’ve done that, there’s nothing left but to start trying to improve my high score.


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