Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PAPA Visit Part 2

When I left off last week, Elizabeth had taken me around the facility, and showed off the layout, the competition banks, and some of the equipment that the PAPA wizards use to arrange the machines in around.  After our initial lap, we went back to the front desk and Elizabeth gave us a cup of tokens to play games with at our own leisure.  It was an amazing opportunity.  Much to my pleasure, and surprise, I found that the cups were FILLED with tokens that I had designed!?!  

They were already set up for Pinburgh the next weekend.  This was a very surreal moment for me.  I was with Josh and Joyana at PAPA HQ, and we decided that the best thing to do was to go around and play 3-player games on each machine that struck our fancy, rotating who gets to decide which machine we try.  Here are some of the gems we found while circulating around.


 The art on these machines was really inspiring.  Even though the art on a playfield is still screen-printed today, you can really see that on these older machines.  I can see some of the color combinations and tricks that we use on paper printing.  These machines have bolder areas of color with broad areas of overlap.  It's smart printing with great impact.  It reminds me of the feelings that I had when Alec and I were first getting into pinball.  The art on the pinball playfield and cabinet was a big deal to me.
 <- Heh heh, what??  This goblin is the creepiest thing that I've ever seen!!!
 <- Tattoo Assassins is a Data East game that PAPA high wizard Kevin Martin worked on as an Engineer.  This game is a fighting game in the tradition of Street Fighter, or more appropriately, Mortal Combat, complete with 2,196 finishing moves.  The game was never released, and two of the five cabinets produced have a home at PAPA.

As an interesting aside, Bob Gale, the co-writer of Back to the Future, was the director of Tattoo Assassins (!?!!?)
 <- Motor Show, made by Mr. Game from Italy.  The game looked like nothing to call home about, but what really floored me was the bonkers shape of the cabinet.  The legs were made out of plastic, and the cabinet had a plethora of angles.  The cherry on the crazy sundae was that the front of the game had two gun-handle-type devices that the player used to control the flippers.  That's right, NO FLIPPER BUTTONS.

Please, take a look at this profile image HERE for a better look.
 <- A hold over from Pinburgh 2013.  A mini version of the poster I made.  Really dreamy to see it under the glass.
 <- Verily, I can't remember what machine this was, but it was a cops and robber themed machine.  The cover to the pop bumper must have broken, and this is what they found to cover it with :)  Too funny!
 <- So cool.
 <- I thought that Shaq Fu was the only way that I could enjoy Shaq in the gaming realm, but I was happily mistaken.  We only had so long in PAPA HQ, so we had to curate which games we played.  I love how he has to freakin' crouch down just to get onto the backbox!
 <- The PAPA Champion gets to wear this badass belt like a wrestler.  I barely had the nerve to touch it!  Forget about trying it on!  THIS IS ONE HONOR THAT ONE EARNS!  I wouldn't sully that magnificent belt with my novice waist!

 <- Another shot of the pinball banners.  These ones are from Haunted House, Addams Family, and Fireball.
The bulk of games that we played were on the Zaccaria machines.  Knowing that I wouldn't get a chance to play them any other place.  I'm going to hold off on my thoughts on those games until next week, but I will say that I was NOT disappointed.  Other than that, we played games on Black Hole, Haunted House, Roller Disco, Wizard of Oz, the old Spiderman Game, and a couple of others.  Josh and Joyana were great sports, and we really had a blast!  Needless to say, each of the machines we played worked impeccably, and every surface on every machine was spotless.

I feel very lucky that Elizabeth took the time out of her day to hang out with us and show us around.  She and the other staff members of PAPA work incredibly hard to keep things running smoothly, and bring pinball to players in new and exciting ways.  If you are even NEAR Pittsburgh anytime in April or August, see whether it is around when one of the PAPA tournaments is, and plan accordingly.

Thanks Elizabeth!!!!

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