Secret Project #1 Pac-’Manic Miner’-Man

So folks, the wait is over, Turnarcades Secret Project #1 is complete and can now be announced – a special custom dedicated cabinet for Jim Bagley’s reverse Spectrum-Arcade port of the classic and much loved Manic Miner.

This machine is first in a line of collaborative projects Turnarcades will be working on in an effort to resurrect the arcade roots of all retro and modern gaming by creating proper ‘New Old Arcade’ machines with proper arcade game play that never existed and deserve to now be created with modern materials as our gift back to the retro community who deeply miss the arcade scene and want some ‘new retro’ to get excited about!

This game was reverse-ported by Ocean legend Jim Bagley (famed for his excellent arcade-home computer ports during the 80′s and 90′s) from the ZX Spectrum onto the original Midway Pac-Man PCB hardware as a personal challenge, and has been accomplished well.

As friends of Jim’s with very similar ideas on retro gaming and it’s arcade roots, we at Turnarcades decided to give a proper homage to the game and create a dedicated machine specifically for it so it could be played properly using quality arcade controls in a machine that gives a game borne out of the gameplay style of the arcade era a befitting home for the way this style of game was meant to be played.

The cabinet has a classic look and feel with a deep-set cabaret style monitor layout in vertical orientation, plus curved lines, a single player, ambidextrous control layout and artwork style very typical of proper classic arcade machines, but has been built in a modern space saving Bar-Top style in a unique shape to house the original PCB connected with modern hardware such as energy-efficient and silent power supply, marquee light and stereo speakers, 19″ LCD monitor and high-quality Sanwa, Happ and IL controls.

To finish it off, the machine gives a nod to the various influences and people involved in it’s creation with a Pac-Man style control panel layout with bezel, joystick and T-moulding colours as reminders, side artwork and custom marquee and control panel artwork reworked from cassette cover art and in-game sprites of the original Spectrum Manic Miner game, the game itself obviously reworked by Jim and branded with his and his wife’s joint company logo Pixel Pyro, plus of course our basis for the project acknowledged through artwork branding, our familiar cabinet construction style and of course our trademark business colours of black blue and yellow throughout the control layout and cabinet colour scheme.This machine will be unveiled for first gameplay at Play Expo 2012 and it’s reception gauged as a basis for whether we will produce a limited run of these machines for arcade collectors as the first ‘New Retro’ arcade machine produced for the best part of 20 years.

If successful, Turnarcades will be working closely with Jim Bagley as a true icon of the age as well as some other independant developers on several more arcade projects that show our commitment to the retro scene, cabinet building (proving we are not just about emulation) and our ultimate premise of reviving in some way a scene we all have to thank for our gaming roots.Big thanks to everyone involved in the production of this cabinet: Jim Bagley for the reverse port, Matthew Smith for writing the original Manic Miner, Colin Davies for the hardware and rom programming work, Max Hall for providing quality artwork scans, Jim’s friend Pab for the custom artwork creation, Scott for the consistent quality artwork printing, my family and friends for their support in helping me reach this point with Turnarcades and of course Bobby and the Turnarcades team for the excellent work in producing the cabinet.

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