Bosconian - by Midway
Bosconian, by Midway
Kerry Stair of Mantis Amusements posted to RGVAC one weekend that he had a non-working Bosconian for sale.
Being that I was going to be up near him that weekend and that his price seemed good, I gave him a call and arranged to go take a look.
Boy was I pleased. When I first saw it I knew it had great sideart. In fact, this cab looks better than the one shown in KLOV IMHO.
I say that mainly because the kickplate art (which is normally all beat to heck) is almost untouched.
Needless to say, I bought it. Only problem was that it was missing the PCB set. Kerry, not missing a beat, found a working set for me. Now the CP does have some cracking at the bend and the bezel glass has a spot towards the rear where the paint has lifted. So I still have to address those small concerns, but I'd still rate the game a solid 9/10.
Sweet - unmolested side art!
Here is the kickplate art
The marquee looks perfect.
Also (no pix, coming soon), thanks to Sean Kovacs for eBay'ing a Bosconian manual. I thought I was s.o.l. on finding one.
There was not even an image in the Stormmaster manual archive. Anyway, because of Sean I now have a manual in decent shape. (BTW if the archive needs a scan, I would be happy to provide one. Contact me at MONGOOSE@[this domain].org)
Here is a Midway filter board that I fished out of the bowels of my Bosco. It is filled with beads and caps. It is used to get FCC approval for the game. It is also a big pain and a source of failure. The guys on EFNet #rgvac say: "Chuck it in the trash with great prejudice!" Good advice.
Some Bosco History
It is said that Midway, in an attempt to fulfill an explosion of orders for the very popular Galaga, pulled Bosconians from the line and converted them to Galaga. When you hear a person (or seller) talking about a "rare white Galaga," they may talking about one of those factory converted Boscos or they may be talking about the Pac Man cab they just painted white and installed Galaga in. How do you tell the difference? Look for the serial tag on the white Galaga - It should display a Bosco serial number if it is the real deal.
Anywho, I kinda like having the Bosco. I liken it to owning a Lunar Lander, which shares a similar history (Atari pulled Lunar Landers from the line to convert them to Asteroids, which was selling like wildfire at the time). And besides, the truth of it is - the lines to play Galaga were always so long at the arcade I hung out at, I played Bosconian instead. And honestly, I like it more. Gameplay is just better in my opinion. I also like the sounds and voice synthesis. 'Aloiyt! Aloiyt!' (wtf is that guy saying hehe :)
Also worthy of note: a programmer who goes by the handle "Redhead" produced a game that comes prepackaged with some Linux distros. It is called "XKobo." It is remarkably similar to Bosconian. If you have Linux and KDE or Gnome, you can try it. Download XKobo from Freshmeat.