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Run Run Rudolph

2007-12-27 - 11:57 a.m.

Well, now that it's after Christmas and folks have money gifted to them, work has picked up. We're not getting hammered - it's pretty steady. But sales have, of course, risen exponentially.

A couple weeks ago, we got something new - a BIG something new - called Derby Owner's Club. This game consists of TWO big-screen TVs linked together and eight "satellite" units where the players sit and play. The object is to raise a horse and train it to win horse races. You get a small card similar to Maximum Tune or Initial D that has your horse's data on it, and you insert the card into a reader to play (along with the appropriate number of tokens, of course). The game runs races constantly - you insert your tokens and/or card and you're assigned to the next race (you don't get to choose to wait - you have to watch when the race you want is next and then insert your tokens and/or card). There are championship races every sixth race, and your horse is eligible only after it has won $1 million. You do a training session with your horse to improve its abilities, and then you run in the next race.

The popularity of DOC is something of a surprise. Quite often it sits there, running races. But we have a few groups of folks with their horses that come in and run several races in a row, competing against each other and the computer horses (there are twelve horses in each race, so even if all eight "satellites" are used, there are some computer-controlled horses). Some of the cheering is quite vocal, and it's kinda fun to watch, even as a spectator. I've seen folks standing on the sidelines, watching and cheering on the players or whichever horse they want to win.

The only real annoyance for us is if you have to put a satellite unit into Test Mode. The network that links the units dies if ANY of the units goes into Test Mode, so you have to reboot the entire system to re-establish the link. Maximum Tune does this too, but there's only FOUR units there. This one has NINE - eight satellites and the big screen (which I presume houses the actual race software).

There are, of course, a few translation mistakes. The most obvious one is one the customer doesn't see, because it's on a sticker inside the game. It says:

All satellite units will be affected if one of them enters Teat Mode.

I'm not kidding. I'm sure they MEANT "Test Mode". But A and S are next to each other. And both words clear a spell-checker. And...well, horses DO have teats, don't they?

What I DO know is this - if any arcade game actually DID have a teat mode, it would be the most popular arcade game in existence.


I also did a little shopping. I have ordered one of my favorite TV series on DVD...and the collection is less than the individual seasons. When it came out, the seasons were about $70 each. They've since dropped to $40-50, but the entire collection is $170 at this writing over on

The show? Oh, just a little piece of classic television history.


Well, I have a few things to do before work. So onward.

If you're going out shopping, don't get trampled.

Be seeing you.


1 comments so far

Bob - 2007-12-28 02:29:50 -
Yeah, the local (Milpitas) Dave & Busters has a bunch of the DOC machines. I didn't really give them a good look.


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