My and M.A.M.E. Cabinet
In the beginning...
Every year, (my now) exwife and I never knew what to buy each other for Christmas. That year (2000) was proving to be no different. We came up with the plan that we both create our "wish lists" and give them to each other by Thanksgiving day. I decided to start looking for something that I would really use, and a real arcade version of William's Robotron 2084 game was the answer! It is/was my favorite game by far and God knows I spend enough money 25 cents at a time to have bought my own by the time I turned 20 years old. Well, she said I was crazy and figured I'd never find one. The last one I even played was a few years prior at Game Works in Las Vegas.
I had complained that they all seemed to have disappeared after the early to mid 80's arcades dried up. A quick query on eBay revealed a couple for auction but the prices were $600 for a heavily beat example on up (and that didn't include the crating and shipping charges). Well, even I wasn't comfortable with spending at least a thousand dollars on a 20 year old game sitein unknown condition, unseen and from someone on the other side of the country.
I knew there had to be an better way. I started searching the internet for anything Robotron I could find. The first site I found was the KLOV site. By following the links on the Robotron page, it sent me to Shockwave.com and actually allowed me to play my beloved classic online.
Was this heaven? Not exactly. Even with as "good" as I consider myself at Robotron, I could not maneuver the keys on my keyboard well enough to play the game very well. That's when I started thinking what if there was a way to hook up a joystick to a keyboard and make the keyboard think some keys are being pushed. That should be easy enough. A quick trip up to Best Buy for a game controller should solve that. Wrong, at least for me. I could only get the controller to handle to move functions. I still needed the keyboard to fire. The fun was diminishing, so back to the internet...
The second website I found on my quest for Robotron belongs to Kevin's Umbach. I have to give the credit to Kevin for the cabinet I built on the pictures page. I had never heard of MAME or any other game emulator. I started following the links on his site and the rest is probably a similar history to the hundreds if not thousands of people world wide that enjoy the benefits of MAME.