William Chow's Personal Web Page


Prince George was a boring town. A nice safe and boring town to grow up in. We had to make our own fun. However, there were a few arcades at the infancy of arcade gaming which caused me to spend some of my spare change playing.

My hand and eye coordination was not like it is today but back then, holy crap, I not only did I sucked bad, I blew... But even though the machines were eating all my money, I still had a lot of fun playing them.

Here are some fond memories of my arcade escapades in Prince George.


Click on the topic you would like to read more on.

I remember my first exposure to a stand up arcade game that I actually played was Asteriods in the old Stedmans store a strip mall called Spruceland. Stedmans is like a Saan or K-mart but that closed when I was in high school. I remember I would stand there for hours watching people like Marty and Andrew playing the game. I remember Marty wrapped that score, this game only went to 99,990 points and it would wrap around to again. I also remember Andrew was doing a ship hunting mission (where you just leave an asteriod and just gun after the alien ships). He was getting cocky and he was rubbing his nose on the screen. He got distracted and he hit his head on the top of the machine. He was dazed long enough to get killed.

The first game I was any good at was one called Outpost. A really simple concept game. You were a fort in the center of the screen and you 4 guns pointing in the four directions, up, down, left and right. You had four buttons to correspond to the directions and you shot space ships and missiles and shots heading towards your base. It is more or less a hyper fast version of Simon or an applied version of the Japanese "Bishi Bashy game" or that "bash the mole game with the hammer" except of course there are only 4 holes and you just press the button.

The only arcade that had this was the one at the end of Spruce land beside the Macdonalds and a Pizza Hut. But I think it should be more the Shopper's DRUG mart, as it was the underground choice for under the counter stuff.

Damn!!! Now you know why their pizzas are so addictive.

I remember when we were at Lakewood, I would go to the metal work shop in the morning to get scrap metal and melt it in the forge and pour a mould to make quarter slugs. I also remember taping fishing line to a quarter so we could pull the quarter back out of the machine once it activates the sensor. I am sure these are not new tricks and probably every kid has done these and more.

The next game I got really good at was Tempest. There was one of these machines at the downtown arcade on the main drag of Prince George downtown which is 3rd Avenue. At first, I played it like any other kid, playing and dying. But then I remember we found out codes to do things like get 40 free credits and play the game in demo mode and unlock all the levels. So we had it to a system. First play to level 21, die with your score ending in 48 or something like that. That will give you 40 free credits. Use the credits for 2 players (that gives you 2 chances) to end your score with 20 (I think) and that would unlock the levels up to level 81. Then the next game we would dial the machine up to level 80 and then use 2 players to try and clear that level. What a bitch that was. Level 80 is the first of the invisible levels. If you can clear it, you get billions of points! High score time! I wasn't consistant but I did beat it a few times.

Pine Centre Mall had an arcade it. I remember going there with Geordie, Cameron, sometimes Bob. Always went there almost once a week during lunch break. The games they had that were cool were Defender, Stargate and Galaga.

Defender I sucked at. Stargate I was a bit better but not like some guys. They would pick up the men to do the warps. The levels got so disgusting at that high level.

Galaga was fun because this place and the place at the end of Spruceland had the machines that had the no shooting bug. On the first level if you let the top guy on the right hand side keep diving down to attack you and you let him keep diving down. After he fired off over 254 shots, he will fire no more because the machine thinks there are over 254 shots on the screen. So from level 2 onwards, no galaxian will shoot at you. They might ram you, but nobody will shoot bullets. I remember Geordie sitting for hours playing that. I think after 99 waves of attacks, the game crashes.


Sinstar was my next favourite game at that time I played. I remember the arcade downtown had that one. It was fun but sometimes when that Sinstar head comes alive, it would just blast out "I am alive!!!" and that would just scare the shit out of me as I was so busily concentrating on mining ore for Sinibombs.

The fun began when we discovered a bug in Sinstar. I am not sure exactly how it works but basically when the Sinistar is chasing you, you quickly launch out all your bombs. If he eats you, you die and you are 0 fighters. Then all of the sudden, those bombs you released, homes in kills the sinistar. But you are dead, so it takes another one off at the clearing phase. This will make it -1 fighers or since this is 8 bit, 254 men! Yay, I could play for hours. I only really remember doing this three times.