Wayyyyy back in time, Minneapolis airport had a great arcade in it, or at least I thought so as a kid. Travelling back and forth between NY and the Dakota's I played many a game in that arcade. One of them always stood out more than any other, and really fueled this entire hobby for me. The Beautiful Beast as some call it. Haunted House. It is one of three machines that are my core, the games that brought me here. Haunted House is the first pinball machine I remember ever playing. This game, above all others, has held a very special place for me ever since. There is just something about the artwork, the back-glass, and that basement playfield, that have called to me for nearly forty years.
Surprisingly I've never owned one, and I honestly cannot remember playing one since then. But I have never forgotten.
I've lurked for a long time. I've studied. I've watched the marketplace. But the timing never seemed right. As some people say, you should never meet your heroes. I feared disappointment. I feared that golden part of my childhood would be broken, and the whole house of cards would follow. This isn't a mere 'Grail' machine to me. Haunted House is the foundation by which my EVERYTHING pinball is built on. I resisted with every fiber of my being.
But some things cannot be forgotten.
And some things cannot be denied.
Temptation has won and a project has come home.
It is time for me to take on this beautiful beast.
But let’s not forget that this is me we’re talking about. If I’m going to do this, it’s going to be MY way. This will be my 'Magnum Opus', throwing everything I've learned into one single project.
Right now I am sitting on an original playfield set that is as dirty as it is stunning, and I have a lower cabinet en-route to me. This of course leaves me some significant missing parts. I have no head, no backglass, no boards, and no displays. So I am going to have to scavenge and create the rest of this game, and I think this is a perfect opportunity to improve upon the things that are lacking in the game.
My plan is to use a P3-ROC controller to build new rules, new lighting, and new sounds, into this cabinet. I'll use the soul of the original game as my guide, to mold it into something worthy of that pedestal I have put it on. There will be a lot of custom stuff under the hood, but anything visible MUST be worthy of the original art design work. There will be no multi-ball. Any changes to the appearance will blend with the 1982 style as best I can. Sounds and music will change in quality and how they are used, but all the beloved elements of the original will still be there. Speech is undecided at this point. The thought is something along the lines of Vincent Price and Orson Wells for style, and it will be minimal if there is any. I want anybody who plays this game to think it's a natural and worthy extension of the original.
Also, this will not be a fast project. I'm going to work on it when I am inspired. I'll take breaks when needed. But I will see this through to the end.
In my next post we will start getting to work.