Back in May, my buddy Gene X Hwang sent me a tweet asking, "Guess what machine they just got at Free Gold Watch?" Gene knows that SW:E1 is my favorite machine, and we have been trying to find some time to make it up to PNATB so that I could show him what I know about the game. I replied, "No way!" and we set a time to meet at Free Gold Watch to play the machine... on May the 4th (be with you!) Appropriate, right?
The SW:E1 machine was in okay condition. The pop bumpers were blasted out (a common problem with this machine) and the center gate was having a few issues, but other than that it was working great. Two things made this particular machine different than any other SW:E1 machine I had played thus far: 1) It had a Revenge From Mars cabinet! Originally, the Pinball 2000 machines were going to have a generic cabinet and you would just insert whatever playfield you wanted, and then swap out the backglass. This is still possible, though I had never seen it done, until now. 2) It had a LED screen instead of a CRT monitor. The back was off the machine, so I was able to snap this photo of its insides:
This was cool because it made the picture much more crisp and bright, but also because it meant that the cabinet wasn't quite as heavy. Usually it's pretty much impossible to move this machine around, but it was slightly more possible with this lighter monitor (though the tilt was so tight, we were both tilting). If memory serves, Gene got a high score and I couldn't put a good game together.
Anyway, I'm stoked there's another SW:E1 machine in the Bay Area and I will definitely be playing this more, in my attempt to beat the machine.