Monday, March 9, 2015

Introducing... Arena!

So Target Alpha is out and that freed up a spot and oh look what has arrived!


peek-a-boo!





Gottlieb's 1987 ARENA!
My first Gottlieb Sys80b.

I found a few preliminary things even before even powering on:
hmmm.. original battery?  Thank goodness for no leakage

yeah that might cause an issue with the sound.  :)

the glass was dirty in the seams and was near impossible to slide out!

The game didn't start up readily, and the issue was it couldn't find the balls.  Hmmm where could they be?


2 balls were stuck in at the back.  I also found a manual and a big set of Gottlieb system80b documentation wedged in to the back of the cab!


Entering inside, let's check all of the cool areas in this very original playfield:
this bagatelle styled plunger shot comes in to play a lot in the game.  It has the coveted MILLION POINT SHOT, which is the key of the game.  Like bagatelle of yore, the ball can loop through twice on a good plunge.  Lots of fun.
 Oh but look:  missing that lower plastic, the upper right plastic, and the upper right cover that prevents some airballs.  Plastics are all disintegrating as well, and lots of caked on dirt.

Shot to the upper left rollovers is pretty much always ready for progressing the lock stages.  Lights can be rotated via right flipper.

checking boards online, this ramp (busted on the right) is unobtanium.  WANT.  It seems a new spinner piece had been installed at some point because it is in excellent condition.  Spinner shot sends ball up to upper-left lock area.

LOVE the wall and the guard.  The sounds here are AMAZING, and smashing your way though a wall to get to other targets is lots of fun. 



Once you get all 4 wall drops down, you have a timer to hit the 3 guard shots before the drops reset.  Luckily you can often hit 2 of the guard lights before the 4th wall target is down.  But DAMN what great satisfying sounds!

The game actually played fairly well!  Time to begin some initial cleaning:
ummm what's that white gunk?
 So turns out that white gunk it caked on pretty hard.  It wasn't until I got closer to that post on the far right that I realized what it was:  The rubber on that post had disintegrated in to some kind of sticky goo that had spread everywhere and fused to the playfield.  eep!

right sling with the plastics off.
 Right sling had one of the very few wear spots on this playfield.  After cleaning around it carefully I added a clear plastic sheet in that area.  I'm confused as to how that would be the high traffic damage area though.
This pic also shows the dual gate mechs that allow balls that come in to the shooter lane from the ramp to be redirected back to your flipper.
That first gate can also act as an outlane saver.


repairing the cracked with superglue and plastic sheets on the backside.

left sling area with plastics out:  just dirty.

Here are the right and left sling areas after initial cleaning and repairs:
Right sling area.  You can see the plastic repair at this angle, but not while playing.  Also put some plastic on the big wear spot on the inlane.

left sling area had no breaks and cleaned up easily.

A world of difference.  The old sling rubbers weren't really functional and/or in the right spots.  I also adjusted the sling switches so now the game plays a lot harder than before.

I will eventually start shopping the playfield above the slings.
I did some general playfield cleaning and found that non-mylared areas are EXTREMELY sensitive.  Saw a couple areas with preliminary paint flaking and so a LOT of care will need to be exercside to remove the muck but not strip any more paint.


First impressions:  This game is pretty fabulous, and reminds me of Bride Of Pinbot:  Great art, fabulous sounds, lots of fun...  but basically just one really important overly generous scoring opportunity to go for.

This is the third person that has loaned me a game for shopping.  I am loving this arrangement.  It works great for me because this is what I would normally do:  buy a game, shop it, and eventually sell it and hopefully recoup my material costs.  This way, I don't have to worry about money in any way shape or form (people pay for all parts needed, and transport,) and I get a steady flow of new games to play and tinker with.
Luckily I have discovered a well of people with more games in their collection than time to shop them all, so they're fine with me keeping a game for 4 months.

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