It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire's
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power to
destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire's
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save her
people and restore
freedom to the galaxy....
As some of you know I bought a Star Wars cockpit in the UK mid January, and last weekend it was time to pick it up. Fortunately I didn’t have to do it all alone as my good friend André joined me. We had a great time, which the following report will show. But first of course the …Statistics:
Date: 5 – 7 february 2010
Target: Star Wars cockpit and …..
Trip: Holland – Belgium – France – UK – France – Belgium - Holland
Total length: 1.686 kilometers
Duration: 60 hours
It did take some time and effort to organize this road trip, but Friday 5 February, at 11 AM I was finally ready to take off. I didn’t forget to bring some literature with me.
Although the weather looked fine, and was certainly much better than during my last road trip ( http://www.dragonslairfans.com/smfor/index.php?topic=1335.0
), I very soon got remembered again that it’s still winter, with possible slippery roads
Hm, better drive a bit more careful than that driver.
I planned to be at André’s place at about 3 PM, but first I had to do a few other things. As the Star Wars Cockpit is a heavy cab, I hired a pallet truck to move the cab easily around.
By then I didn’t know yet that the cockpit is on wheels. Stupid me. After I picked up the pallet truck I left for Rotterdam to hire some temporary storage, not only for the SW cockpit, but also for other cabs (but that is another story and probably another road trip). There are more companies who hire out storage facilities, and I picked one nearby
There I have room to store quite a few cabs. But not for long I hope, my gameroom should be finished in a few months.
In the meanwhile I got a call from André that he arrived at home, so I went to his place. There we played some games on his Berzerk machine,
and I concluded that I really suck at the game (however, I blame the joystick of course
). At about 4 PM we went to a car hiring company where we picked up the van that I hired. The van was not quite what I expected though. In fact, you could see that it already had a rough life.
No, it’s not the one in the front, that one is too small, and it is too cold for an open roof window. It’s the one at the back. Oh no, is it?May the force be with you!
But I don’t rely on the force, so we picked up another van. That one was great, had low mileage, a good car stereo, a bit peculiar heating system, fortunately no cracking sounds and lots of space. I’m happy, yes I am.
We went back to André’s place, had dinner (André’s wife had made a delicious Chili con Carne), watched Chasing Ghosts and went to bed at about 11 PM. I had a very comfortable bed, thanks André.
And I also had a good guard
Next morning, 4.30 AM the alarm clock went off! Bloody hell, can’t be right. But unfortunately it was time to get up. A quick wash and after we did put our luggage in the van, we left at 5.24 AM.
It was still pretty dark, sinister dark and both André and I felt that there was something in the air. But what?
After a short while André did put
Into the CD player. Great music, highly recommended. Now we really got into the mood for this trip.
The roads were dry and almost empty
At 8.40 AM we arrived at the tunnel check in. Checking in really is a piece of cake
and after that we first went through French customs and then through British customs, on socks!
We then hopped on the train. Never done it before, but certainly will do it again.
England, crazy people, driving on the left side of the road
However, we had great views
some old rocks
Very pig friendly living habitats
and small roads.
But hardly nowhere a Burger King or McDonalds to be found. And the one we did find was still closed (at 10.45 AM, ridiculous). No nice arcade games either.
The diesel is very expensive in the UK
So without eating something we drove further. A little for 12 PM we entered the cosmopolitan city of
Our destination was at an industrial area, where we arrived exactly at the planned time at Simon’s place, from whom I bought the SW cockpit. We caught him eating his lunch and he offered us also something, but we kindly refused, this is why:
So we entered his workshop, and there she was:
We play-tested a few games on the SW cockpit, first André and then me. Here is some actual footage of André, who is in disguise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bSefSLaPFs
). And some pictures of me.
Although everything was working, it was obvious that the monitor needs some attention as the centre of the screen was out of convergence. Nothing too bad though and with the help of André this problem should be tackled for a large part, maybe even completely. Furthermore the cab has it usual wear and tear, but hey, replacement parts for the yoke and the art is or will be made available. All in all I am very pleased with this great game.
Simon had more games in his workshop like a very nice looking Asteroids upright, an Asteroids cocktail table and an Omega Race which André played a few times.
We had some nice chats with Simon and after a short while we started to load the SW cockpit and some other items which we bought (replacement parts and some game pcb’s) into the van. My god, this beauty is heavy. But fortunately she is on wheels.
At about 1.30 PM we drove off, towards the south coast. It really is beautiful weather, spring is in the air.
But hey, it’s still early, let’s do something more fun today. OK, let’s check out some other games. So we went to a place nearby Portsmouth. There live some guys who have astonishing cab collections. But in the meantime we were very hungry and we had a stop at
After the pits stop we drove further. We actually saw a lot of pigs living on the land. We never saw that before, it sure is very animal friendly, until they are killed of course.
At 4.30 PM we arrived at a storage room from a guy named Rav. (Ravage in full, nickname of course).
Rav is very friendly and his place is amazing, with rows and rows of classic cabs. We didn’t take pictures of them, but check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqfj6gZuBqg&feature=channel
Awesome, isn’t it? It’s great to see those games in real. Both André and I saw some very nice games and beautiful looking cabs. André was particularly interested in Burgertime, but that game was sold a few months ago. Fortunately it got a good home.
Rav told us some stories about his cab collection and he gave some historical information of the actual Mario Bros. game which André owns. But of course this visit was planned as I had some interest in a Qix Taito cab. Unfortunately the cab was not in the desired condition, so I decided to pass on her.
In the meantime Oliver (Alpha1), who lives not too far away from Rav, arrived. He had kindly invited us to stay the night at his place and so we said goodbye to Rav and followed Oliver to his house. Picture this, he said that he would drive calm because we were with the van and a precious SW cockpit in it. But André really had to do his best to follow Oliver, didn’t you André? Oh man, in these occasions I hate roundabouts because I was afraid that the SW cockpit was going from left to right in the back of the van. But we had secured her very good, no chance of transport damage whatsoever.
We had a great evening with Oliver. He told some nice stories about how he got his wonderful cab collection (mostly from arcades who abandoned games, sometimes literally in a field), he has a very nice girlfriend and he took us to a great birthday party of one of his friends. Yes, it was
With lots of
good food, nice conversations and beautiful
It’s obvious that you didn’t miss anything.
We got into bed at 5 AM (more or less), although I really can’t remember that part.
Next (Sunday) morning we woke up at 9 AM, had some cereals for breakfast and left for Oliver’s gameroom at his parent’s house. WOW, what a great collection of games you have, Oliver! Please check out the photo’s:
And he also has some very rare items, like this one:
Jealous? No, why? Not us. Besides, we had no time for that, we were at Oliver’s gameroom with a goal. I had to pick up another game, which is:
I really love this game because it has everything, like great game play and visuals, it’s difficult, it’s a vector game and the cab is very pretty.
You can imagine that I am really very glad with it. I LOVE VECTORS. I also played a few games on another vector game, which is now on top of my wanted list. It’s a Robotron-style vector game (of course Robotron is based on this game). Make a guess!
We could have stayed for hours, but unfortunately we had to catch a train, so we loaded Gravitar into the van, said goodbye to Oliver and left for the train tunnel at 12 AM.
Oliver, both André and I had a great time with you. Thanks again for your hospitality and you are always welcome to stay at my place.
If you look carefully at the next photo, you will see a spacecraft which hasn’t been used for a very long time now in The Galaxy.
Although the weather was not as good as the day before, we smoothly drove to Folkestone. In fact, we managed to catch one train earlier than scheduled, which means that we were at 4.30 PM in Calais again.
One final but necessary stop at
We had a great meal and we drove further to Rotterdam to the storage and unloaded both the SW cockpit and Gravitar. After that we brought the van back to the rental company,
I had one last cup of coffee at André’s place and then I finally drove home, where I arrived at 11 PM on Sunday evening.
It was a long, but fun road trip
That’s it, The End. Again I would like to thank André, Oliver and Rav, you all made this a very memorable trip.