New King of the Castle? Warlords has arrived.

Friday I wrote that I finished re-stenciling another Ms. Pac-man, this time for another collector here in Illinois. Part of the exchange included a complete and supposedly working Warlords.

First Atari arcade game in my collection

Kind of weird to think that Warlords is the first Atari game that will permanently be in my collection. Warlords has a nice blend of classic and mindblowing artwork. The cabinet has a largely orange, red and black color scheme, with some standard colored bars melding with a stylized knight and horse.

Warlords Arcade Game

The game uses a black and white monitor that is mirrored with a color overlay and some textured terrain to give a very basic game some depth. This particular Warlords is in pretty decent condition, it only needed a cleaning with a magic eraser and some orange citrus, and will need a new front corner leg leveler – it had a small splint in its place.

Warlords Control Panel DetailWarlords Sideart Detail
This Warlords ownership history

This Warlords had quite the little back-story. Rich S. said that he bid and won the Warlords on eBay, only, it was out east. So he planned his whole vacation where he could swing back through and pick it up. They went to the east coast, MA, NY and came back to Pittsburg PA at 2:30 on a Friday to get it and the arcade shop was closed. A retail store of some sorts. So, did he stay over? No! He drove all the way back out to Pittsburgh to get it three weeks later. Wow. And he was willing to trade it to me. Make me that much more appreciative. At nearly 320lbs, I’m not looking forward to putting this in the basement.

Warlords is a much more engaging Atari’s Breakout

Ever played Breakout? You know the game, you have a paddle and bounce a ball around to break blocks. Warlords is like that, but instead of a dot, it’s a blazing fireball that you bounce and break the opposing King’s castles.

I played this game in person the first time at Troy Akey’s in 2008 and although I think the four player cocktail beats the upright in playability, I am still an artwork guy, and the cocktail artwork basically stinks in comparison to the upright. Chris was equally impressed with the upright, right after the party he traded a Pooyan for it.

But as I played this game again at Chris Moore’s party in October, I wasn’t as wowed as I was the year prior. So I have to guess that when I run out of room and have a tough decision to make, this game may be up for sale. But that is a long way into the future, and its still a really fun two player game.

“Castles and Kings” – The Warlords Prototype

I am doing some research right now for photos of the Warlords prototype, Castles and Kings. I don’t know that I’ll be able to turn up anything, but a photo or two would be nice. If you can help me out getting some photos of one of the two Castles and Kings cabinets, or even just of the one or two control panels that have floated around over the years, drop me a line.

Here are some similar arcade posts

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It’s nice to see that game out of the storage unit into a home that will use and enjoy it! It looks real clean, nice pick-up. You will re-discover your love of the game once your son takes interest, trust me.

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I tried the spinners briefly, should they be a little more firm on a Warlords because they only turn so far? Or should they be loose and able to spin really quick like on a Tempest?

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Beautiful. Just beautiful. One of the gr8 simplistic games… let alone the artwork. I’m also a sucker for art. Unfortunately, I’m almost 100% sure this legend never made it too Australia… hence unfortunately only ever played it on mame and a usb spinner. Not ideal by any stretch I know … but the best I can get for now ;)!!
Congrats JR.

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Sprig…so none of the collectors over in AU have imported a Warlords? I know when I talked to David R. he indicated that most of you built the cabs and import all the parts. But some collectors in Europe import the games, do not many Aussies do it too?

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Grab a coffee .. 🙂 Sorry to hijack .. but too expand my answer to your question 😉

There definately are collectors that import .. but there would only be a few handfulls (I’m next on the list hopefully soon). A couple of the lads from New Zealand (our close cousins persay) have imported a few. But I’ve never heard of or seen anyone with a Warlords. I must ask my fellow collectors on Aussie Arcade if any have a dedicated one. Maybe I’ll be the first 🙂

As you’ve probably heard b4 .. Leisure & Allied Industries were the main aussie conglomerate that imported, built and fulfiled the golden era of arcades in OZ… and into the 90’s
In the 70’s, they imported the classics to start.. so you will find original dedicated Space Invaders (usually the Taito versions), ‘Universal’ cabs (like my cosmic guerilla or cosmic alien etc), Breakout, lotsa cocktails like taito, old nintendos like Space Fever, Nichibutsu’s like Galaxian Part X or Moon Alien/Cresta. It really picked up in OZ during the whole 80’s decade .. so LAI purchased licenses from Taito, Williams and others to either replicate the original artwork, or completely design their own and build the cabs from scratch. The gameboards (and a few handfulls of original cabs like Defender, Dig Dug) were then either imported or bootlegged by techies. They still imported cabs that were not viable to replicate, as they pulled decent coin to cover the import costs. So games like, Dragon’s Lair, DOT Enivornmental and later Outrun, other LD titles like Badlands or Cobra Command, Space Harrier etc.
They got a bit artistically lazy and started to use a LAI designed caberet they called the ‘Lowboy’. Wood grain sides and then moved to colored laminate to change with the times. Generic marquees and generic LAI cpos with very simple graphics and the game title, but with the original or bootleg pcbs.

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Good story. Hadn’t heard / research about the specific brands or cabs that were imported, and can’t even imagine licensing to reprint all of the artwork locally. I assume someone over there knows what happened to films / NOS parts that were made that were overstock?

Lowboy is such a funny name….

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Still hijacking 😉 Sorry m8.

Yeh .. probably about 5 years ago (not long before I left the hobby) .. I spoke to an old operator who stated he knew a fella who had all the old LAI artwork films. I can’t locate him now unfortunately.
Lai also made the ‘Fatboy’.. yes a fat lowboy with bigger monitor and a ‘Tallboy’, Can u guess why? 🙂

Here’s a few pics of some aussie stuff (links only. Not sure what code to use to post picks on your blog)
Aussie LAI Scramble… http://img46.imageshack.us/i/laiscramble.jpg/
Aussie Asteroids CT (notice the LAI logo on cp) … http://img260.imageshack.us/i/laiasteroids.jpg/
Generic Lowboy with generic CPO and Marquee … http://img689.imageshack.us/i/genericlowboy.jpg/

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