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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 Arcade Collection. SKATE OR DIE!!!
Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting

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:
UPDATE (Aug-13): BACK IN ACTION - After a long hiatus from the hobby, Iím happy to have the 720zone Collection fully functional. My games were unplugged and turned sideways along the edge of the garage for quite a while. When I powered everything back up almost all of them had some sort of issue.  A few weeks of tinkering in the evenings has everything fully functional again, plus, Iíve cleared enough wall space for one more game, and just had my next project delivered:
On the 720 front, after repairing an issue with my boards, and giving my joystick the regular maintenance, Iíve finally been able to get some games in. Due to the board issue I ended up resetting all of my high scores. The long break has me struggling to break 400K, but Iím hoping to get back in high-score shape soon.
UPDATE (Nov-13): 720 Vinyl Package Available - I plan on updating this site more frequently with 720 and arcade collecting info, and am happy to start off with some great news for 720 collectors restoring their games. Rich at ThisOldGame, creator and provider of top quality reproduction arcade game art, has begun to offer a new improved 720 vinyl set. The set includes 3M 1080 series vinyl. TOG offers the vinyl cheaper than if it were bought from a wholesaler, and of course, the pieces are cut to fit all 720 cabinet parts. If you own, or are thinking of getting a 720 that will need restoration, here is a good reason to get started: http://www.thisoldgame.com/products/720-vinyl-kit
UPDATE (Oct-13): Punch Out!! Added to the 720 Zone Collection - Iíve had Punch-Out listed on my wanted page for the better part of a decade, but could never seem to find the right time to pull the trigger. Finally this year I realized I had the space and time to get this done. I was fortunate to find a KLOVíer willing to sell me his Punch-Out in good shape. I had it shipped down to San Diego from the bay area in late August, and then began a full restoration detailed here: KLOV - Punch-Out!! Restoration. The game now looks and plays perfect and is a great addition to the collection. Iíve also been pulling together parts for Super Punch-Out and Arm Wrestling, with hopes of one day fulfilling the long-time goal of all three working in one cabinet.  More to come on that (I hope) in the near future.
UPDATE (Dec-13): 720 Zone YouTube Channel - Iíve always had very limited YouTube involvement; I would only occasionally post videos, mostly related to help with a
technical issues, or the occasional tour of my garage arcade. Lately Iíve consolidated 720 content from my other YouTube account, and posted a few full 720 gameplay videos.
My hope is to have a more formal, dedicated 720 Zone channel, with more regular content related to 720 game play and strategy, as well as videos related to my other games
and arcade collecting in general. If you like, check out the channel and subscribe: 720 Zone YouTube Channel.
UPDATE (Jan-14): 720 Zone Collection Update - I decided
to start off the new year with a quick video update of the current
state of the small garage arcade. Only one game has been added
since my last video walk through several years ago, but the layout
has changed, and small improvements have been made to various
games. If you're curious about the rest of my collection, please
check it out: 720 Zone Collection - 2014
I'm also working on a video highlighting the 720 soundtrack along
side some random screenshots, pictures and trivia about the game,
so please stay tuned to the YouTube Channel.
UPDATE (Jan-14): Cab & 720 Degrees: 1986-2014 and Counting - The story goes that in 1985 or early 1986, pro skater Steve Caballero was brought in by Atari to do some ramp skating as part of 720 design research. Atari built a ramp in their headquarters and filmed Cab and others in a very primitive session of motion capture, which they used as a basis for certain character movements in the game. As part of his compensation Cab was later given a 720. (See a video from that skate session here - From Atarigames.com).

After stints in his home, and I believe a local skate park, that 720's joystick reached the grinding (eventually frozen) state most 720 owners & players are familiar with. After many years in storage the control panel made its way to me through mutual friend: Rich Cooley. A full tear-down found the stick in surprisingly good condition. I donít believe it had ever been disassembled before, and of course was never used commercially. I replaced the version1 roller and stick with the updated version, replaced a bit of hardware, and of course cleaned and lubricated everything. The 720 is now working again in Cabís home where he and his friends and family are enjoying it almost thirty years later.

Below is a picture from Cab after the repair (Jan-2014), next to a photo from a 720 ad that he did back in 1986. Also see the disassembled joystick and the full ad, scanned from Thrasher Magazine (Mar-1987)
UPDATE (Feb-14): 720 Soundtrack Video - I finally got around to finishing this video, which pairs the epic 720 soundtrack with some random 720 facts and tidbits. If you're interested in some 720 trivia, or want to revisit the songs, please check it out: Atari 720 Degrees Soundtrack: Music & More.
UPDATE (Jul-14): 720 At California Extreme 2014 - After skipping last yearís CAX I was happy to be back in action at the show this year. As usual the event was
awesome. Excellent venue, and packed with games and cool people. This year there were again two 720s on the floor. Both were in good shape with clear monitors and smooth
joysticks. I spent the majority of my time on one near the back of the hall that I had not seen before. The other is part of the massive shared inventory of show organizers Ken
and T.J. The high score table on that machine is still pretty well covered by myself and my good friend and fellow 720 enthusiast Rich. Unfortunately neither of us was able to
best our efforts from prior years. I think in the one game I completed this year I just broke 400K, well off the 460K I have on that same 720.

Iím already looking forward to next yearís show, and hope to see more 720 players there. If youíve never been to the show and like classic arcade games or pinball, it is well
worth checking out. For more details please check out the show site here: California Extreme Arcade Expo

Below is a picture of yours truly playing the 720 near the back of the hall, as well as two pictures showing the other 720's row of games:
UPDATE (Aug-14): John's Arcade Adds a 720 - John Jacobsen is a busy guy with a bunch of gaming related activities including several gaming themed podcasts, a great YouTube channel, multiple bands,  and of course a killer arcade collection with a dedicated website. Check out some of the great content here:

Arcade Outsiders Retro Arcade and Pinball Collector Podcast
John's Arcade Game Reviews & Tech YouTube Channel
Johnís Arcade Website

A couple weeks back John finally added the holy grail of arcade games to his collection. As usual, he meticulously documented the gameís pickup and a very detailed run-through, both inside and out. A large portion of the video is dedicated to a complete rebuild of the 720 Joystick. It should be entertaining for any 720 fan, and anyone diving into the joystick for the first time will find it very useful. Thanks to John for the great 720 info and steady stream of arcade related entertainment.

John gets a 720į arcade game! - Atari 1986 - Skateboarding - Rebuild Joystick
UPDATE (Sep-14): 720 History, Scoring & Twin Galaxies - If youíre not familiar, Twin Galaxies is a long standing arcade scoring authority that was brought much
visibility in recent years by the movie King of Kong. When the original owner finally stepped down, the organization, its name, web site, score database and forums, were sold to a
group of collectors. Varied drama ensued for a couple of years with the site being re-launched once or twice, only to disappear for many months at a time. Iíve made my own
comments on TGís handling of scores (mostly on their comparison of scores based on stories from ďback in the dayĒ versus scores that went through strict documentation

As it relates to 720, TG maintained a list that was always dominated by one of these heyday scores until a small group of us began making attempts and submitting scores.
Discussion surrounding these score submissions was housed in a years-long forum thread called ď720 Gamers in the House?Ē, that was full of some great 720 players' memories,
tactics, stories of rivalries, links to other 720 posts on the internet and tons of other great 720 discussion. Especially significant were posts by a good friend of the record holder,
as well as a poster named ĎFlywingí who initially pointed me to the thread. I owe many of the tactics I used today to these posters. The latter part of the thread details a more
recent scoring rivalry between Mike Stephenson and myself.

Needless to say for me personally, having that post, so full of 720 histories, removed from the internet was the biggest loss associated with the TG turmoil. For the meantime at
least, it looks as though the site has been returned to stable ownership, and all content brought back online. Regardless of my take on the recent drama or new scoring submission
system, Iím very glad to see that the score and this special forum post are back online.

If you have any interest in 720, please check out the post for some great reading here: 720 Gamers in the House?

And here are a few good excerpts:
** A post by a good friend of the record holder: http://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/116692-720-Gamers-in-the-House?p=618296&viewfull=1#post618296
** A great post full of strategy and memories by 720 player "Flywing": http://www.twingalaxies.com/showthread.php/116692-720-Gamers-in-the-House?p=625157&viewfull=1