Ground Kontrol’s secret arcade machine history

Ground Kontrol, a bar and arcade located in Portland's Old Town district. Photo by Christian Profeta

Ground Kontrol is Portland’s premiere barcade, collecting decades worth of rare arcade cabinets and pinball machines under one roof. With so much history contained in one place, it would be criminal not to look back at a few of the crazy histories and minor details inherent to these cabinets.

Mark Kart Arcade GP 2
A relatively innocuous version of Mario Kart, it contains many of the same tracks and karts found in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart DS, but also includes an additional playable character: Mametchi of the Tamagotchi series. Mametchi’s inclusion was the result of a merger between two game companies: Namco and Bandai, the resulting company of which developed the arcade Mario Kart games.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Often considered to be one of the most egregious “quarter eaters” back in the day, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of a handful of arcade games popular enough to warrant a console release. As with most arcade to console ports in those days, the game took an overall hit to quality in sound and video. While the arcade version supported four players, the home version supported only two. The arcade version also supported multiple enemy types on screen, whereas the home version did not.

Unlike Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Arkanoid received a port to the Amiga that was largely touted by media as one of the best arcade ports to date. Arkanoid, the original block breaker, lives on today in the form of mobile games that have adopted its gameplay mechanics as a genre unto its own.


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