Mine was street fighter I. I remember the horrible jumpy graphics, like an over-clocked KungFu Master, but with more colours. The cab was in a dingy arcade in Dublin city, on a street that mimicked Birdies stage. I think I played it less than ten times because it was so impossibly inconsistant to get fireballs or hurricanes out.
The next incarnation was probably my most expensive venture yet, I could have bought a small house with the money I spent on Street Fighter II. My older brother and I would skip school and play it in the local bowling alley (which is now gone in place of a massive shopping centre). We had permemant blisters that turned into shoryuken pads between our left middle and ring fingers. I can honestly say I failed my first round of college because of the time spent learning Guiles full screen ‘magic throw’, handcuffs, game freeze and power reset.
I’ll always associated the sound of ChunLi getting KO’d with the smell of ten-pin bowling machines clunking in the background, plus the smell of damp bowing machine grease and blue neon strip lighting (psychologist needed). The scene on Sf2 cabs was great back then. Occasionally someone would crack the coin mech on one and it wouldn’t be noticed for a few days. Smokey athmos, school uniforms in our schoolbags. One arcade would open for a few months, do badly, and then open it’s doors for a free for all… £5 at the door (Sf2 all-you-can-play-buffet) , trying to re-coop losses from a bad venture… should have got more black-jack machines.
The worst SF2 cab I played on (beside the cheap, seaside town ‘Rainbow edition’ versions from Asia, yuk) was a cab in an underground shopping centre in Paris in '93. It had a ‘Simon Says’ quad-sectioned round ‘velocity pad’. The pad doubled as a multi-input device. The top/bottom two quadrants pressed together would equal Hard (Fierce). I played for maybe a minute.
Later years, when the game hit super nintendo consoles, we would somehow beg, borrow and steal the £100 deposit to rent a console out and play tournies for a whole weekend. Buying a console was out of the question.
Sadly, the arcade scene never rekindled over here, in Ireland, for sf4, not one cab to be seen. Although I play occasional casuals with some like minded ssf4 ae addicts in a gaming centre in Dublin once a month. I would love to have the arcade scene of the us or asia in some form over here. You guys are so lucky.
Oh yeah, and Blanka could be ko’d with two st.hp’d stuffed rolls haha. Now that’s oldskool.
A pic of a trophey my bro won playing a Sf2 Turbo tournament, circ '95?