The Crazy Tale of a Sundance Cabinet

A short time ago, a poster on the KLOV forums (a well-known forum for arcade collectors) made a significant arcade discovery on a website dedicated to taking pictures of abandoned man-made structures called ArtificialOwl.com. On this post, they took a look at an abandoned bar/restaurant called the Little Sweden, where laying among the piles of junk is an arcade rarity – Sundance by Cinematronics. The thread on KLOV virtually exploded, with 83 pages(so far) of discussion and forum drama, some trying to figure out how to obtain the game through legal means, others eschewing the headache of getting hold of the site owners if they were to be found. They were found but in the end that didn’t amount to much. It’s a lot to read through but fortunately Rotheblog sums up the entire situation and KLOV thread nicely where in the end it just came down to one guy stopping by the decrepit site and digging the game out himself. Of course now he has to tread lightly, having already been contacted by the police, they didn’t arrest him but advised him to be careful as it’s become a sensational local story in the area (that there was an abandoned, rare multi-thousand dollar arcade game just sitting there collecting dust) that it’s almost turning into story worthy of a Hollywood treasure-chase movie.

In fact for those interested one KLOV member made their own GameMaker-based video arcade game based upon the situation, called Arcade Bandits and the Raiders of the Lost Bar. It’s good for a laugh as you must retrieve a Sundance cabinet from a trash-ridden drug house.

The first time I had heard of that game was in an interview with Tim Skelly in a little-known and short live eclectic game magazine called Syzygy Magazine which was published back in 2000 by Jason W. Cody. There was a lot of love for vector games in every issue (all four of them) of the magazine and that’s also where I learned about other rare vector games like Warrior. It’s hard to top Sundance however as there were only two known instances of this game sitting in the hands of collectors as you can see at the bottom of the KLOV entry for the game – only 15 or less are believe to exist according to Rotheblog. You can sort of get an idea for how the game works on the KLOV entry, it’s a strange puzzle game that has to do with catching stars in a grid.

So what would you do for a true holy grail arcade game?

Sources: KLOV Thread Page 1 / Rotheblog / GameSetWatch

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4 Comments on “The Crazy Tale of a Sundance Cabinet”

  1. Phil Arrington Says:

    What would I do????

    Most likely the same thing that guy did. To have a game that’s rare and no one ever heard before I would never use it. It would be on display as if it was in a museum in an arcade.

  2. BDD Says:

    While I was in the coinop business, AND collected arcade games, I only bought games that I would play. Games like Sundance, Warrior, I,Robot, Quantum, and other high-dollar games never meant much to me, and I would crack up at the RGVAC posts about someone’s “minty” Blaster cockpit that they had found. Of the games listed above, I have only found Quantum and I,Robot to be mildly enjoyable (in their original coinop forms, mind you), and the others to be boring (especially Sundance… blah). I collected games for enjoyment, and not “prestige”. That always seemed like a shallow and utterly worthless concept for those with low self-esteem to me in high school, and it still does.

    BUT… since I did business with many of those collectors back a few years ago, I am curious as to who went and got it. I bet I won’t be surprised, knowing the mentality some of those guys. Not judging yet, though, until I find out who it is… 🙂

    • BDD Says:

      As a followup, I remember seeing that Little Sweden post a couple of years ago, then forgetting about it. I did remember noticing the Sundance machine…


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