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THE HISTORY OF SPRECTRE FILES Back in the early-eighties, gaming was a much different place. The games with the best graphics and sound lived at the arcade. Back then, however, this usually meant an A/V experience which the Nintendo Entertainment System could decimate on the home front just a few years away. There were a few developers, however, who were coming up with a new way to play games which would absolutely blow the tiny pixels off of everything on the floor. These became known as full motion video games. Utilizing the relatively new Laserdisc technology (think DVDs the size of records, or a small pizza if you’re under 30), game developers began producing games which were interactive movies, showcasing live video or animation which the player could determine the outcome. While the presentation of these games were leaps and bounds above the rest, FMV games offered only limited gameplay options. This usually involved making a correctly-timed input or choosing from a menu and watching the scene play out. While these games looked astonishing, they didn't exactly offer much game for gamers. Regardless of their limitations, classic FMV games like Dragon's Lair (1983), Space Ace (1984), and Time Gal (1985) left their mark. FMV saw a brief resurgence in the early 90’s, with infamous titles like Night Trap (1992), The 7th Guest (1993), and Phantasmagoria  (1995) cementing themselves in the gaming history books. Now, the gaming community has another entry in the history of FMV games: The Spectre Files - Deathstalker. Spectre Files was a slated to a cheesy choose-your-own adventure game designed by Brian F. Colin, the man behind arcade classics like Rampage and Arch Rivals. The plot follows Ed Spectre taking on the case of a missing person named Buffy McGuffin. He must survive the horrors of an abandoned psychiatric institute and solve the case. Planned for release in 1985, the game was cancelled by Midway due to their insistence on using their fickle optical disc hardware and the fall in popularity of the FMV. The 16mm film was ready to go, but without a game, it languished in Colins's basement for over thirty years. Skip to 2017. Galloping Ghost Productions, the crew behind the world- famous Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois, announced they would be resurrecting the lost Spectre Files project. In 2018, led by the efforts of owner Doc Mack and Colins, the cabinet released to the floor at Galloping Ghost, ending a 34 year development cycle! Level 419 was able to acquire this piece of gaming history through coincidence and circumstance. Owner Chris Zasada met Doc through a mutual friend eight years ago. Zasada made it a point to visit Galloping Ghost whenever he was in town, awestruck by the selection of rare and forgotten games on display. He happened upon Spectre Files just after launch and was immediately intrigued by it, even if he hadn’t realized true history of it just yet. In September 2018, Zasada was operating a booth at the Cincinnati Comic Expo though his other business, BUF's Otaku Stop. He just so happened to be across the aisle from Colins’s booth. Zasada spend the weekend chatting him up, and the conversation somehow turned to Spectre Files. Zasada made the connection and was fascinated by the series of events unfolding. Colins mentioned Doc was planning on doing a limited production of Spectre Files cabinets. It didn’t take long for Zasada to start pestering the arcade proprietor to claim one of his own. Level 419 is proud to have received this almost-lost classic so our players can enjoy this curiosity! To make this event even more historic, this is the second cabinet produced ever, and the very first to be released outside of Galloping Ghost Arcade! Only fifty will ever be produced, so don’t miss this rare chance to play The Spectre Files - Deathstalker! Special thanks to Brian Colin for hanging on to this project over thirty years, and Galloping Ghost Production and Doc Mack for bringing it to the gaming masses! MORE INFORMATION Daily Grind Article Arcade Heroes Article Galloping Ghost Youtube
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