Galaga has often been called the world's most popular video game of all time. Well, who knows, but there's no arguing that it is in fact very popular. It holds its monitary value and for the majority of adults, it may well be the only arcade game that they in fact do remember. For non-arcade hobbyists who think of adding a video game to their new party room, Galaga always springs to mind. Galaga has been popular enough to be produced in an 25 year anniversary edition (combined with Ms Pacman) and the game has been cloned and ported to a zillion other platforms. For me, there's still only one really fun way to play the game and that's on original hardware presented in the original format.

I used to really enjoy playing this game in the arcades when it was released in 1981. It often appeared alongside Ms Pacman and both games were huge money makers, or money eaters, depending on your relationship with the machine.

I had performed a few arcade related repair favors for another enthusiast. As a reward, he gave me Galaga "project". This project had a few things going for it. Okay, so it was also lacking in some ways as well, but what do you want for nothing?


Okay, so basically my buddy gave me a big empty box, but hey, it's a start right?

The restoration process begins again:


What was there to inspect? This was a shell. As you can imagine, this is going to be a another big job. Whoever was the last person to work on this machine, or should I say "assault" this machine, he hacked up the control panel and installed some sort of airplane shooter game. He painted the whole thing black (with the worst paint he could find I think). To add insult to injury, he had also removed all of the original wiring, the power supply, and the original circuit board rack.

When I got this beast home, I had intended to apply black formica laminate to the entire cabinet but later I decided to just paint it all. In the long run and in hindsight, I think that painting it was more difficult and more time consuming than laminating it would've been. Still, laminating the entire thing might have made it look too perfect though. Since it's too late really to go back and change my mind, I like to tell myself that the imperfectness of the surfaces adds character and personality to it. I know this much, I actually like the way it turned out even though I thought that I was going to absolutely hate it every step of the way.


Ordering Parts:

This is the hardest part of the job right here. Before beginning the hard work of restoring the cabinet, I decided to sit down and make a list of all of the hardware that I was going to have to purchase. It took me about 3 days to generate the full list that included all of the sources. For some things I shopped around different sites comparing prices. Here at least is a partial list:

If I remember correctly, when I started this adventure I thought that I was getting off cheap. Total thus far: $760.50. Oh well, a new machine costs $1500 to $2500 depending where you buy from so I guess I'm still okay.


Continue to Galaga page 2 of 4, disassembly and repair

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