Philippe Lafortune

Here’s my story about Defender: This was my favorite arcade game of all-time in the 80’s; I was 15 yrs old. I’ve played this great game all-day and almost every day; was able to play for hours with a single quarter. Williams arcade games were the best, great gameplay, fantastic sounds!

When STARGATE came out 1 year later, I was in aww and so happy. The possibility of having 20 characters for the highest score was great; I couldn’t let anyone take the spot.. so when someone did beat my highscore even if I had it in the multiple millions, I would be in shock.. I was known as “Phil The Defender” so everyone would tell me about it; that someone has beaten YOU!..

So one day, took my bike early morning to my favorite arcade in the Old-Montreal (45 minute ride). I’ve decided to put an end to this high-score war with a one that no one would be able to beat..

Once arrived, I’ve waited for the arcade to open, saw the owner start all the machines at once (that was cool), pop in a quarter in Stargate and played all-day until it closed.. got a score of over 16 millions which naturally I would sign “Phil The Defender”. Now, if anyone wanted to beat me, they had to play all-day like I did.. and that was way too crazy! lol..

I remember people putting quarters on the control panel, and telling them they would have to wait awhile.. lol.. Many people were watching and I did let some of them play so I could get myself a sandwich/drink and go to the bathroom which I haven’t plan ahead before starting my challenge.. second time around though, people were getting me the food/drink. I did lose many ships during that time from my pile of ships but that didn’t matter much.. I was able to pile some more. I can’t remember how many waves I’ve done but I did go over the 255 waves at least twice I believe.

The next day, the owner of the arcade told me that he would give me a t-shirt with “Phil The Defender” written on it if I would promise not to play Stargate anymore at his arcade.. must have been because he only made 1 quarter for the whole day for this popular arcade game and buying me a t-shirt would be a good investment.. lol.. So, I did accept his offer but I made him promise not to reset my highscore.. we shook on it and I did get my T-Shirt.. best day of my life.. lol..

Now, that would have been cool if some alien guy would come after making that high-score to get me for a special mission in space just like in the movie ‘The Last Starfighter’ in 1984.. I remember saying to myself that Alex Rogan could have been me!.. was a great movie to watch for someone like me.. lol..

“Well, you may have thought it was a game, but it was also a test. Aha, a test! Sent out across the galaxy to find those with the potential to be Starfighters. And here you are, my boy! Here you are! :: Centauri (Robert Preston, RIP 1987)”

Good times, best times, been a teenager in the 80’s was great in arcades!

Made a blog awhile back about the 80’s and Arcade Nostalgia, check it out.. http://arcadegameroom.blogspot.ca/


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