as you guys know, our beloved hungarian member bela is on a mission: he's trying to collect all the zaccaria cabs ever made
he has already made a lot of progress, but the further he proceeds, the more difficult it gets to find the missing games, because they get rarer and rarer. at the end of the last week bela contacted me because of a posting he had spotted in the classified ads section of ebay germany. on offer there was a dedicated zaccaria space pirate
! this game is so damn rare, klov shows only one member who has one, marco "vernimark" from italy, but he "only" has the cocktail version - and the ad was talking about the full upright. what makes this game so special is the fact that it is one of two vector games that zaccaria produced back then.
so bela asked me if i could get in touch with the seller to make the necessary arrangements. it wasn't easy to get a hold of the person, but eventually i managed to talk to HER
on the phone. she sounded pretty young and told me she was selling the game for her father. she said that the game was fully operational, the only problem it had was a loud sound coming out of the speaker once the game is credited. i asked her if she was SURE
that the correct game was inside the cabinet, she said YES
, but asked her father again just to be 100% positive - he confirmed! i had heard similar answers in the past and was pretty sure that this game had been converted at some point in the past, but no matter what, bela said I WANT THAT CAB!
there was just one problem: the seller wasn't willing to wrap up the cab and fix it on a palette, she said she had put the ad up in the classified ads section on purpose for a pickup by local people only. ladies and gentlemen, coming to the stage now: superully! because i want to support bela's dream, i offered to pick up the cab for him, although the seller's location was 300 kilometers from my place - one-way! "whatever, i'm going to get that cab for bela", so i set a pickup date for today!
i didn't do a roadtrip report this time, but i will tell you a little bit more about it: when i arrived at the seller's location after three hours on the road, i was greeted by the father. the first thing he told me was that his daughter had made a critical error when putting up the ad: the price! let me tell you this: it was EXTREMELY
low, four persons spend that amount of money at mcdonald's on one visit. he told me the price he had in mind and i was a little bit shocked at first. not that it was rude, but it was way above the listed price - way above!!! he told me that he had bought the game 10 years ago for 1,500 euros and that he had set it up in a bar for quite a while - without registering it with the public authorities
. he said it got a lot of gameplay back then (but the counter only shows 3020 plays)!
i asked him to show me the cab first, because up to now we had only seen one small picture. so he walked me down into the basement and turned on the game. i immediately realized that this was indeed the real deal: zaccaria space pirate full upright in great conditon with a working pcb and a working vector monitor! holy maccaroni, holy ravioli, holy moly, holy smokes, holy whatever!!!
enough said (for now), here's what i saw (i'll be revealing the cab step by step with the lights coming up slowly for dramatic purposes
there was only one problem left: the price! i couldn't call bela because he was on a skiing holiday in austria (plus i didn't have his phone number with me), but i knew how much he wanted to have the cab and that i couldn't simply walk away from this once-in-a-lifetime chance (i guess bela would have killed me
). so i started negotiations with the seller and after some hard bargaining we agreed on a price which made both of us happy (well, i have to tell you that i think bela will be happier than the seller was
). in the end, i made the decision to get it and bela promised me he will be filming a video of himself dancing around in joy IF
the cab is the real deal and IF
i bring it home for him! your turn, bela, get out that video camera ...
so we loaded up the cab (i realized that those zaccaria cabs are pretty light) and off i drove! on my way back, i made a small detour to visit saschak "laschek" where we tested my paperboy roms and where i loaded sascha's atari system ii pcbs (paperboy and super sprint) for trying them out in my cab. of course, i also took a lunch break at the golden m
because bela had invited me to do so
i dropped the cab off at The Storage™
where it is waiting for a delivery to hungary. i'll be adding more items for bela next week (stay tuned), but for now i want to end this looong story with the following resume: the cab is in almost immaculate conditions, it came with the manual and with all the keys (!) and it is going to be one of the highlights of bela's zaccaria collection! ENJOY, BELA!!!