OWN A 720?
All content © 2008-2012, Jeff Civitate, all rights reserved.
Welcome to the 720 Zone, your source for all things related to the Atari 720 Degrees arcade game, plus general arcade collecting resources and my own collection.
UPDATE (Jul-09): 720 at CAEX 2009 - Well, from the 720 perspective this year's California Extreme was unfortunately a bust. The 720 represented at the show looked to be in good shape, and had a relatively smooth joystick. During the early part of the first day of the show, it was powered up and appeared to be working, but the controls were unresponsive. It was set on free-play, but would not start a game. By late in the day it had been turned off. On the bright side, this allowed (forced) me to focus my time on other games I donít often have a chance to play. I heard the 720 may have been working by day 2, but I was not there. In terms of the entire show, one non-working game is a tiny inconvenience in an otherwise awesome event. The show was fantastic again this year. For more on my full show opinion, see my KLOV post here. I do hope to be able to SKATE OR DIE!! at CAEX 2010.
UPDATE (Jul-09): 720 - The Restoration - One of my favorite things is seeing a battle scarred 720 reintroduced to the world in like-new condition. Kevin ďKillerKadesĒ has done just that. His month long restoration included dismantling the cabinet, sanding, bondo, paint, art and everything in between. The final result is a pristine 720. Check out the full KLOV thread HERE.
UPDATE (Aug-09): 720 Mini Scale Model - Inspired by the tiny paper arcade cabinets on the Papercade site, I decided to try my hand at making a scale model 720. Itís a bit smaller than 1/12th scale, and made of balsa wood, grey construction paper, printed stickers and a few LEDs and batteries which light up the marquee, screen and coin door. Iíve already started on a 2nd model that will be slightly bigger and have many more features. Check out a full slideshow of various stages of creation:
720 Mini Model Flickr Slideshow.
Gameplay - Itís been a while since Iíve had time to devote to the arcade collecting hobby and to my 720, but I do still find time to play on occasion. Last weekend I got through one full game, scoring in the 420K range - not bad, but way off my personal high. Iím still struggling find the secret of the blue flags; if you have any idea, please contact me.
720 #2 - A few months back I purchased a 2nd 720 locally. It works fine, but is of course in need of cosmetic help. When I get the urge again I plan on doing a full restore. Since doing my 1st 720 in 2002, Iíve learned much more about bringing these old games back to their original glory. Iíve got a full set of reproduction artwork, as well as the newly available vinyl and 2 ľ T-Molding for the base. Iím very happy with my current 720, but have always been bothered by the restoration items I could have done better.
Site Update - Iíve added a few more recent sales to the 720 Sales Page. Like everything else, the economy has effected classic arcade game sales. 720 is no exception.
UPDATE (Jan-10): Registry Reminder & 720 Total Production Numbers - If you own a 720, please add it to the registry. My goal has always been to record as many of the 720s still in existence today as possible. According to Atari production numbers, originally saved from the Atari offices by Scott Evans (www.atarigames.com), there were a total of 2,265 units of 720 produced. They were originally priced at $2,995. So based on the serial numbers of our registered 720s, It looks like the original range was: UR01000 to UR03265. We currently have UR01005 and UR03262 registered. With 56 registered as of 1/20/2010, we have just under two and a half percent of the original 720s accounted for. I know there are more out there, so please register.
UPDATE (Mar-10): 720 Paper Model Available for Download - For some time a few small paper models of arcade games have been available HERE. Recently a huge number of new models have been made by TM520 and posted on KLOV; 720 is one of the new additions. Thanks much to TM520 and a few others for creating an entire arcade worth of paper models, and especially for adding 720 to the mix. The 720 model, and a picture of one I built after printing on regular notebook paper are to the right. Check out the all of the new models in this KLOV post: New paper arcade models.
UPDATE (Mar-10): 720 Google Sketchup 3D Model Available for Download - If youíve never used it, Google Sketchup is an extremely powerful, well-designed, 3D modeling program that allows even a novice to quickly learn to model precise 3D models from scratch. There is also a huge library of user created components and models that can be downloaded. A while back I taught myself the program and made a scale model of a demolished movie theater from the original plans. I always had it in my mind that Iíd like to create a 720 model, and was finally motivated by this KLOV thread: New Google Sketchup Arcade Models
Here is my sketchup model: Atari 720 Degrees Arcade Game
UPDATE (Apr-10): 720 Restoration - Check out another great 720 restoration by Jedidentist on KLOV. This very thorough job included full vinyl treatment and all new art. Yet another very beat up 720 brought back to like-new condition. The post includes lots of pictures and commentary. A pristine 720 is now part of Jedi's great collection.
Jedidentist's 720 Restoration KLOV Post
UPDATE (May-10): Vintage 720 Reviews - Thanks to Clytor at KLOV for finding a very cool old article about the development of 720 in Thrasher Magazine. Solvalou.com also has many great reviews for tons of arcade games. Their site includes several vintage 720 reviews from early/mid 1987.
Thrasher Magazine - Mar 1987
Computer & Video Games - Feb 1987
Sinclair User - Feb 1987
Crash Magazine - Apr 1987
Your Sinclair - Oct 1987
UPDATE (Jun-10): More Cool 720 History - Just before the Atari facility in Milpitas closed its doors forever, Scott Evans was able to salvage and store much of the history that would otherwise have been lost. In addition to supplying original art for many of the reproduction Atari pieces available, heís created the site: Atarigames.com, to share what he saved. Check it out for lots of Atari documents, pictures and videos. Heís recently shared a couple of cool 720 related items. First is a video of a full size ramp, and pro skater Steve Caballero inside the Atari facility back in the mid 80s. Their skate sessions were taped as research for the 720 game design. Second is a prototype skateboard attachment for 720 that would allow the player to press the kick button by actually ďkickingĒ on the small skateboard. Needless to say it didnít make it to the final design, but is still a very cool piece of history.
** Atari 720 Skaters at Atari Campus Video **
** 720 Prototype Skateboard Kick Button **
UPDATE (Jul-10): Game #7 Added - Iíve finally finished a full restoration on a Pacman cabinet which Iíve fully jammatized and made it into a 60-1. The Pacman Plus was completely stripped, refinished, repainted, and stenciled. I originally got into this hobby with the intent of having two or three of my all time favorites in the garage, and that was it. The more I learned, the more I wanted a chance to own and play the classics: Pacman, Donkey Kong, Galaga, CentipedeÖetc. I like original cabinets as opposed to MAME or generic multi-cades, so I picked the most original/classic game I could come up with, hence the Pacman. Itís great to finally be able to play so many of the classics.
** Check out the full Pacman Restoration Picture Album **
** Check out the 720 Zone Collection Page **
UPDATE (Oct-10): 720 (zone) at California Extreme 2010 - I'm very late in updating, but I did attend the California Extreme Arcade Expo again this year, and am happy to report that 720 was well represented at the show. I met up with several very good 720 players, and had a couple of great 2 player games. I don't recall the final number, but I believe my best at the show was around 460K (with one additional continue beyond tournament settings). The 720 at the show was in excellent condition. The monitor was beautiful and most importantly, the joystick was absolutely flawless. It was smoother than my current joystick, which is in need of some tuning. After a couple of years of bad luck for 720 at the show (non-working or bad joystick conditions) it was so great to finally have an excellent 720 experience at CAX. Overall the show was a blast once again. I continue to be amazed at the quality and sheer number of classic games available. I had a blast playing Warlords. I always love that Punch Out and Arm Wrestling are available, and I really enjoyed playing the rare vector game, Aztarac.
** Here is a YouTube walkthrough of the entire show - see yours truly playing 720 at 1:10 into the video **
UPDATE (Jan-11): Atari 720 Design Drawings - Scott Evans again comes through with some more interesting 720 history. This time it's an original design drawing of Skate City. It's interesting to compare this early version with the final layout. The overall map was done, but notice the early versions of the mini-parks, and the swapped location of the Ramp and Downhill parks. Here is the original thread: Atari 720 Design Drawings, and if you haven't seen it, check out www.Atarigames.com.
UPDATE (Mar-11): 720 Room at Nike Event - Back at California Extreme 2010 I heard news of a California arcade reseller being asked to quickly provide a restored 720 to Nike for some sort of sponsorship event. I never heard additional details until a recent Craig's List posting for a 720 game and neon sign lead to news about the Nike ďMotel No TellĒ at the US Open of Surfing last summer. At this event Nike decks out a bunch of rooms to match themes for their shoes; one was 720 and included the neon sign and game that showed up on CL. Click the image to the right for a larger version. It's very cool to see 720 alive and well at recent events.
** Here is the event site: Nike Motel No Tell Website
** See more pictures and info in this KLOV thread: Los Angeles Craigs: 720 + Lrg 720 Neon Sign
UPDATE (Mar-11): 720 Featured in New Book - Sean "Gozer5454" Newton has again made a great contribution to the arcade collecting hobby with the new coffee-table book: Bits, Sticks, and Buttons: The Unofficial Guide to the 50 Greatest Arcade Games. It's chock full of content, including detailed articles covering 50 great games, and general info about the hobby. Personally I'd have put 720 much higher up the list, but I am very flattered to be included in the book and highly recommend it to any arcade enthusiast. Click the image to the right to see the 720 pages, which Sean offered as samples for the site.
** You can order the book online from BLURB at this link: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2010021
** For more info check-out this KLOV thread: My Arcade-themed/ KLOV coffee-table book
UPDATE (Jun-11): Game #8 Added to the 720 Zone Arcade - I was a full-on participant in the fighter era arcade resurgence of the early nineties and played a ton of Street Fighter 2. I played lots of Champion Edition and the subsequent bootlegs that came out shortly after. To me, the series peaked with Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting when game speed and balance were almost perfectly polished. In my opinion, later SF versions had too many new characters, looked too cartoony, and put too much focus on special graphics and stats associated with the new combo systems. So, I'd wanted to add a Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting to my collection for a long time. I finally found a HF edition in a Dynamo HS-9 on Craig's List. Over a few weeks I completely restored the cabinet, and customized the color scheme to loosely follow the Capcom "big-blue" cabinet look.
** Check out the full Street Fighter II: HF Restoration Here **
** Check out the 720 Zone Collection Page **
UPDATE (Jun-12): 720 & MAME - It's been a full year since I've had a chance to update the site. Family, work and other interests have kept my 720 and arcade collecting hobby sidelined but I'm thrilled to have some great 720 news to report.
I've often received questions about playing 720 on MAME. I would generally directly people to J. Stooky's site here: http://jstookey.com/arcade/720/index.php. I knew of a few attempts to create a MAME interface that would mirror the unique 720 joystick experience, but hadn't seen much success until longtime 720 player Rob Arreguin pointed me to Mike Reezy's BYOC post and video of an original 720 controller working perfectly with MAME. Rob was able to duplicate Mike's success of getting the original controller to work, then decided to take the project a step further: He created a complete, custom housing for the Joystick assembly which looks as if it was made at the Atari factory right along side the original cabinet. Rob's USB 720 PROJECT video chronicles the building process with plenty of pictures, then explains the Joystick set-up and shows the unit in action.
I really love seeing current interest and new developments in our favorite 25 year old arcade game. Click the video links below to see Rob and Mike's amazing work: