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Arcade Sounds
November 1, 2005 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Arcade Sounds. We recorded video games from 1982 until 1988. Fortunately I managed to save all fourteen audio tapes of video game sounds and arcade ambience which were recorded from a variety of locations in the US. Most of the recordings are from Ithaca, NY, Albany, NY and Ocean City, MD.
posted by rxrfrx (46 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I caught another site like this one awhile back, and downloaded a bunch of their stuff. Thought, at first listen, that it would before long be headache inducing, annoying stuff, but in fact, it was a strangely addictive, comforting background.
posted by dreamsign at 3:00 PM on November 1, 2005


I'm suddenly in front of my TRS-80 playing Zaxxon again...
posted by squared at 3:02 PM on November 1, 2005


Now all I need is that ozone smell.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:03 PM on November 1, 2005


LOL. I spent ~3000hrs in an arcade 1986-1991. Easiest $20k I ever made.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:10 PM on November 1, 2005


I like the timewarp for the author via his youthful voiceover - remids me of the time span covered by the Raiders tribute.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:15 PM on November 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


TRS-80! That was a great machine. I'm so sick of this damn retro hip obsession with crap like the C-64. The Apples were nice, don't get me wrong, but nothing like the wonderful open invitation to programming and computing that the TRS-80s were. I still put ColorBasic on my resume, just to see if people are down.
posted by freebird at 3:22 PM on November 1, 2005 [1 favorite]


here's some hour-long, year-specific samples, go to the download page for more info
posted by atomicmedia at 3:23 PM on November 1, 2005


"RUN COWARD!"
Man, that scream from Sinistar still freaks me out.
Totally radical post!
posted by numlok at 3:24 PM on November 1, 2005


While playing Defender:

Attendant: Are you recording this machine?
Player: Yea, why? - not for reproductive purposes.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:26 PM on November 1, 2005


These are terrific! Like dreamsign said, I find them quite comforting. I can't say I spent a ton of time in the arcade at the mall but we went to Ocean City every year and I was at Playland all the time. I can almost smell the ocean and french fries now.
posted by LeeJay at 3:28 PM on November 1, 2005


ahahahahaha not for reproductive purposes (2'12")
posted by rxrfrx at 3:34 PM on November 1, 2005


There was a site that had CD's worth of ambient arcade sounds. It's v cool, but I can't seem to find it. Somewhat like this, but just audio.
posted by tomplus2 at 3:45 PM on November 1, 2005


TRS-80 -- That was my first machine! 32K of RAM! It really screamed. With lower case even. Ahh the 'good old days'. sigh...
posted by michaelonfs at 3:49 PM on November 1, 2005


numlok, if you miss your Sinistar, you might get a kick out of this cheesy (but kind of catchy) and very representative videogame remix:

http://www.empire-of-the-claw.com/files/mp3s.htm

Look for "sinistar", of course. Lots of screams and "Run, Coward!"s
posted by anthill at 4:00 PM on November 1, 2005


One of these is the arcade from my hometown! I'm fighting the urge to call my mom and ask for quarters.
posted by arialblack at 4:09 PM on November 1, 2005


Another person whose first machine was a TRS-80. Could do everything. Program in BASIC or play games. *sigh*
posted by terrapin at 4:26 PM on November 1, 2005


I love how the list starts in roman numerals then suddenly switches to Arabic numerals aft 12.
posted by terrapin at 4:30 PM on November 1, 2005


My first job was as an arcade attendant in about '83, so all these sounds mixed together send me back in time to when I was skinny with nearly no body hair and making $4.35 an hour.

Whether that's good or bad, I have yet to decide.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:32 PM on November 1, 2005


Thank you for "Tempest." Hadn't heard that in 20 GD years. My gawd, how we age.
posted by moonbird at 4:51 PM on November 1, 2005


Uh, correction.

$3.35 an hour.

My mistake.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:54 PM on November 1, 2005


"I still put ColorBasic on my resume"

Hey, me too! My first serious homegrown programming project was a database manager on the CoCo.
posted by mischief at 5:34 PM on November 1, 2005


Awesome, thanks!
posted by es_de_bah at 5:37 PM on November 1, 2005


While playing Defender:

Attendant: Are you recording this machine?
Player: Yea, why? - not for reproductive purposes.


That's hilarious! A 10-year-old lawyer.

There was a site that had CD's worth of ambient arcade sounds. It's v cool, but I can't seem to find it. Somewhat like this, but just audio.

Are you talking about Andy Hofle? Arcade Ambience? Fun stuff (though indistinguishable from a modern casino).
posted by mrgrimm at 5:45 PM on November 1, 2005


Would it kill them to alphabetize this?

Galaga is there but it is missing the other mainstay of my early life
QIX!


I miss that random noise that an arcade had - time to find one this weekend.
posted by fluffycreature at 6:05 PM on November 1, 2005


Most of the recordings are from Ithaca, NY, Albany, NY and Ocean City, MD.

I remember taking (hellishly long) bus-rides from home (boston) to school (ithaca)...the main bus terminal in Ithaca was this weird old time-capsule of a building...half of it was a weird mostly-brown ticket counter/waiting area, and the other half was a blocked off all dark wasteland of old dusty stand-up arcade games (Zaxxon, Warlord, Centipede, etc).

That's the first thing I thought of when I read this. Who knows if that bus terminal is even still there.
posted by tpl1212 at 6:12 PM on November 1, 2005


Yeah, mrgrimm, I think that's it. Thanks!
posted by tomplus2 at 6:38 PM on November 1, 2005


This is really wonderful. Thanks. I've always loved those old machines.
posted by jefbla at 6:49 PM on November 1, 2005


"GET THE HUMANOID! GOT THE HUMANOID!"
Berzerk was the best. Suck it, haters.

(And I rocked the Atari XL, which could program in basic, play cartridge games (though not the bigger ones) and had a tape drive. In fact, I still have two of them chilling in my basement, though I'm not sure if they still work. And a 300 baud modem!)
posted by klangklangston at 7:04 PM on November 1, 2005


To do: use "I hunger!" in everyday conversation. Breakfast?
posted by yhbc at 7:07 PM on November 1, 2005


Are you talking about Andy Hofle? Arcade Ambience? Fun stuff (though indistinguishable from a modern casino).

Not to toot my own horn(honk honk), but I posted about the very similar Arcade Ambience project a while back:

http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/30195
posted by 40 Watt at 7:09 PM on November 1, 2005


Oh Man! I spent summers in the '80s playing video games in the arcades up and down the boardwalk in OC, MD. Hell, I still play a few whenever I'm "down the ocean." Thanks for the memories, rxrfrx.
posted by shoepal at 7:20 PM on November 1, 2005


My parents owned an arcade in the '80s, and I spent most of my childhood there. This brought back some of the best memories of my life, thank you rxrfrx.
posted by HSWilson at 7:23 PM on November 1, 2005



That's the first thing I thought of when I read this. Who knows if that bus terminal is even still there.


Yep. Still there, although half of it is a bank now. It's down by the river, right next to 6-mile creek?

Still has games; I seem to remember a Ms. Pacman, but I think the oldoldold games are gone.
posted by metaculpa at 7:30 PM on November 1, 2005


Too many spaces.
posted by metaculpa at 7:30 PM on November 1, 2005


The Ithaca Bus Terminal now only has a very crappy Neo Geo 4-game machine. All of the games are from the mid-90s. Right side has busted controls, as I recall.
posted by Remy at 7:43 PM on November 1, 2005


Uh...has this guy heard of MAME?
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 8:03 PM on November 1, 2005


That took FOREVER to download manually.

But it was worth it.
posted by jscott at 11:41 PM on November 1, 2005


It's down by the river, right next to 6-mile creek?

yeah, right next to my van, where i live.


/m. foley
posted by Hat Maui at 12:53 AM on November 2, 2005


This zapped me straight back to spending hours in arcades in the summer holidays. The Gauntlet 2 one in particular brought on waves of nostalgia - "red wizard shot the food", "red valkyrie needs food badly". I like the cries of despair as the 2 people playing get killed... and then the organ-tastic game over music.

*sighs wistfully in remembrance of a more innocent age*
posted by greycap at 2:46 AM on November 2, 2005


Heh. First program I wrote was on a CoCo. Russian Roulette with character graphics and "animation."

I was an odd child.

My first spreadsheet (BasiCalc) was for an alien brothel...
posted by Samizdata at 3:49 AM on November 2, 2005


Uh...has this guy heard of MAME?

Did you listen to any of the recordings?
posted by rxrfrx at 4:17 AM on November 2, 2005


You could use these sounds in conjunction with 3D Arcade, set the time machine dial to 1982 and never come back again. You'll find me by the Crazy Climber machine.
posted by Otis at 6:55 AM on November 2, 2005


...it was a strangely addictive, comforting background.

It is strangely soothing. Spy Hunter, Dig-dug, Moon Patrol...Man these take me back.
posted by Gamblor at 7:33 AM on November 2, 2005


Not to toot my own horn(honk honk), but I posted about the very similar Arcade Ambience project a while back

Which is where I likely heard of it. Thanks, 40 Watt.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:59 PM on November 2, 2005


Torrent?
posted by krebby at 3:27 PM on November 2, 2005


thanks rxrfrx. Great post, especially the non-newsy link.
I had these playing on repeat for hours yesterday at work. It was that sort of day yesterday.

Now I think of it, it's that sort of day today....
posted by Catch at 2:32 PM on November 3, 2005


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