show episodes
 
Arcadology is a podcast focused on looking at the history of video games. The show explores the earliest days of the medium up to present day with examinations into how some of your favorite games and franchises got off the ground. The show will also feature interviews with game developers and designers, as well as journalists and other subject matter experts. New episodes will be posted every two weeks.
 
A PODCAST FOR ARCADE LOVERS. From the owners of 100+ arcade and pinball cabinets, and the proprietors of a real-life arcade comes PODOUKEN, a brand new podcast that takes a deep dive into the world of video arcade games, and explores the history, story, strategy, art, music, restoration, preservation and fun of arcade games.
 
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show series
 
We answer Tyler’s call to talk about the arcade game based on the animated show based on the Ghostbusters movie (but not the Ghost Busters TV show, and definitely not the animated show called Ghostbusters), Data East’s The Real Ghostbusters. What existing game did Data East repurpose as The Real Ghostbusters? Do we ever come close to pronouncing it…
 
It’s the sequel to the game concept that dared to say, “Hey, you know what people love? Waiting for the elevator. Let’s turn that into a game!” Taito even kept with the theme by making fans wait 11 years for this episode's game - Elevator Action Returns. What is the cool backstory that led MomSecretRecipe to nominate this game? Why are we complaini…
 
We’ve heard your pleas and are happy to say your prayers have been answered. That 90s beat ‘em up that you always ask us to cover is finally getting an episode! As the first game in our (new) Listeners’ Choice miniseries we’re covering The King of Dragons! Steve (LowTierSteve), longtime friend and friend of the show, joins us to discuss the majesty…
 
They’re obscure. They’re underrated. They’re our choices for the Arcade Obscura shmups! Mr. SNK brings us a lovely bouquet of Sega space shooter (please consult with your physician before playing). Rob (AKA Ron, AKA Robdog Storm) goes meta with an arcade shooter about arcade characters that takes place in an arcade. PastBlaster tells a tale as old …
 
We’re bringing the Flying Pancake in for a landing on the Shmup Dump miniseries with Psikyo’s Strikers 1945 series. Can you stop the evil forces of C.A.N.Y. and find the very suggestive secret ending? How many times is PastBlaster going to mispronounce the Focke-Wulf aircraft? Can you guess the four NeoGeo games in Mr. SNK’s 4-slot MVS? We also exp…
 
This episode we talk about the Cave shooter series that is almost as fun to say as it is to play - Mushihimesama. We are joined by Gameboy Guru, host of the Shoot the Core-cast, to pick up Rob’s slack on this series. Why does this game fulfill our bug life fantasies in a way that Pixar never could? How do the insane Captain Auction prices from the …
 
Time to cover the complete arcade history of Treasure - the game developer that gave us Radiant Silvergun, Ikargua, and… that’s it! We explore these two fun SHMUPs that mix the shooter genre with a dash of puzzle mechanics. What mysterious explosion set us up the bomb for a plot device? How is Treasure still open after no new game releases since 20…
 
Our 50th episode is ESPecially good as we explore Cave’s bullet hells with butterfly wings - ESP Ra.De., Espgaluda, and Espgaluda II. How do you pronounce these games? What does the Michael Bay masterpiece, and Ewan McGregor/Scarlett Johansson star vehicle, “The Island” have to do with ESP Ra.De.? Did Rob make it past level 1? Enjoy an hour of bonu…
 
Are you ready to get prosecuted to the full extent of the jam? If so, join us as we whack the beehive that is the DonPachi series by Cave - and others. Why was DonPachi considered a critical failure even though it launched Cave shooters? When did counting the number of bullets on screen become the measure of the best STG? How did the death of Toapl…
 
We get loopy with the historically (in)accurate Capcom shooter series based on middle-aged white men’s favorite war, the 194X series. Count with us as we cover 1942, 1943, 1941, 19XX, and 1944 in a way that’s totally not confusing. How easy is it to beatbox the 1942 theme? What was famed game designer Yoshiki Okamoto’s highest grossing game? Is Jar…
 
We’re blasting off on the first episode of our new SHMUP miniseries with the shooter that set the mold for horizontal STGs - Konami’s Gradius. How did this accidental hit become such a groundbreaking series? What anime movie had a huge influence on the design and weaponry of the Vic Viper? How many aliases do the Gradius and Salamander games have? …
 
It’s time for another Arcade Obscura where each of the hosts pitch their choice of underrated or under-appreciated driving-based arcade game. Rob goes full ‘Merica with a cross-country racer that features the first appearance of a beloved video game mascot. Mr. SNK breaks all the rules (or does he?) and doubles down on the obscure part of the episo…
 
Explore the arcade series birthed by the unholy alliance of a Nintendo license developed by Namco running on a Sega board - Mario Kart Arcade GP. It’s the two biggest video game characters in a race to the finish as we close out our final featured episode in the Drivers miniseries. Why didn’t Namco include more of their characters in the GP series?…
 
We’re drifting into the final turn of our Drivers miniseries by talking about Sega’s most prolific driving game series, Initial D. So hop in our Trueno GT-APEX - just don’t bump the tofu - and settle in for a two plus hour exploration of this manga turned anime turned arcade. Why does this mix of Japanese mountain racing and pop music Eurobeat work…
 
Hop in and take a ride down Memory Lane as the Podouken crew tours the USA, world, and other exotic locations while exploring the Midway Games classic Cruis’n USA. How did this game give Rob his most gruesome arcade injury and almost get him arrested? What led the creator of Defender and Robotron to create a digitized racing game? Which arcade deve…
 
The hosts let loose with their inner Florida Man to discuss the quintessential Florida game - Daytona USA. Let’s go away to the land of alligators, bath salts, and bike weeks and explore how Sega ended up creating the most iconic NASCAR(ish) game ever. How did this music get composed for a stock car racing game? What kind of money did Sega spend to…
 
It’s time to gas up the Ferraro Testabossa, select our favorite synthwave radio station, and feel the wind in our hair as we take a drive with Sega’s OutRun. Join us as we take a ride through Yu Suzuki’s career and talk about the birth of Taikan games. How did OutRun’s memorable music nearly become lost forever? What type of innovations did Suzuki …
 
Warning: Listening discretion is advised. We hold a serious discussion about the first truly controversial arcade game - Death Race. What led Exidy to release this death simulator upon an unsuspecting public? How did something so outrageously graphic make its way into the American arcade? Who was responsible for shining a bright light on this dark …
 
It’s time for another Arcade Obscura where each of the hosts pitch their choice of underrated or underappreciated sports-based arcade game. PastBlaster serves up a gorgeous attract mode, but may not deliver on the gameplay. Mr. SNK comes out of the gate with what could be the best disc game on the Neo Geo. Rob flexes his muscles with a game that in…
 
It all comes down to this! We hit the highlights from the best arcade football game - Midway’s NFL Blitz. The Jamming of sports continues as Midway hunts for their next hit and scores a touchdown with a new technology. How did this “quicker-hitting game” go over with the NFL? Did Blitz fulfill its creator’s promise of being “the most violent footba…
 
It’s our 37th episode (in a row) and we’re crashing the net with our most requested sports game - NBA Jam. We break down all the boomshakala basics and dig deep to uncover some little known facts with the help of author Reyan Ali - who literally wrote the book on NBA Jam! How did a vid kid go from a Pong console to making the most iconic basketball…
 
It’s time to hit the links with maybe the best arcade golf game, but definitely the best Neo Geo golf game - Neo Turf Masters! We put skin in the game by exploring the Major Titles that led up to Turf Masters by its developer Nazca. Is a camel a vehicle? Can Mr. SNK settle on what Neo Geo carts will fill his six-slot? What part did Jimbo Fisher pla…
 
It’s (somehow) our first Nintendo episode! And just like real life we wait until our mid-thirties to get into Nintendo games. We talk about a sports game way before it’s time - Punch-Out!! How did a company directive to use more hardware lead to this game? Does arcade Punch-Out!! cross the line with racial stereotypes? Is “Body Blow” the first waaa…
 
A new miniseries kicks off with “the dumbest, simplest game ever made” - Pong! You’ll want to sit in on this history lesson as we recount the origin of video arcade games which includes hippy candles, Nolan Bushnell, celestial bodies, Al Alcorn, and all the *bleeps* and *bloops* that built Atari. Exactly how many Pong clones were there? Which came …
 
Insert Coin is a new Documentary released by Director Joshua Tsui and Writer Andrew Hayward that discusses the history of the Midway arcade teams responsible for several smash hits of the 90’s. The Podouken Crew watched this together and provided a short review of the film! Please support this awesome documentary by renting/buying via Alamo Draft H…
 
Spoiler Warning: This podcast contains spoilers for Red Dead Redemption 2, Doki Doki Literature Club, The Last Guardian, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, and Mother 3 In this episode, we took a look at how Melancholy can provide release and catharsis for video game players. Personal stories about their favorite moments come from Dylan Perry, Lady Pelv…
 
We hit the Pac-pot of obscure Pac-Man games as we cover the Pac arcade games from 1984 to current: Pac smuggles fairies across borders in Pac-Land, enters the isometric 3D world in Pac-Mania, goes virtual in Pac-Man VR, fights to the death in Pac-Man Battle Royale, gets ticket rabies in Pac-Man Chomp Mania, and goes big before going home in World’s…
 
We go Pac in time to review the Pac-Man games of 1983: Pac & Pal, Professor Pac-Man, and Jr. Pac-Man. Namco and Bally/Midway are not happy with each other and it’s leading to a messy divorce. Pac-Man gets a pal that is either a ghost or a dog (but sadly not Forest Whitaker), receives a doctorate in annoying image quizzes, and leaves the missus to c…
 
Our Pac-xploration continues as we talk about the remaining Pac-Man games of 1982: Pac-Man Plus, Super Pac-Man, and Baby Pac-Man. Bally and Midway get into “quantity over quality”, Namco follows up Puck-Man with their first official sequel, and pinball (which inspired Pac-Man) becomes part of the Pac-family. We also get the story of Baby Pac-Man’s …
 
Honey, doncha you know, she’s more than Pac-Man with a bow! The Pac series continues with the ultimate genderbend - Ms. Pac-Man. We waka-waka-walka through the crazy origins of the best Pac-Man game (don’t AtGames us) as we explore its very litigious history. How did a bunch of college dropouts make one of the best arcade games ever? What part did …
 
It’s time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man with the start of all Pac miniseries! Podouken finally talks about the big yellow ball in the room, NAMCO’s Pac-Man. We delve into the often recounted (and often incorrect) history of arcadedom’s most influential game and tell what part pinball played in birthing it into existence. How did the …
 
We get in the damn robot and play some of Sega’s Virtual On! The final Listeners’ Choice episode takes on your second/third/fourth favorite brand of giant, bipedal, murder robots. Listen as Borelo, Madlle, and Rod-TGH tell of the history and lamentations involved with buying and moving a Virtual On: Cyber Troopers unit. We marvel at the technical a…
 
I OFFER YOU 80,000 SWISS FRANCS TO LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE.* The second Listeners’ Choice is all about the first arena fighter - the precursor to Super Smash Bros. - NAMCO’s The Outfoxies. Join a full house of co-hosts as we talk about this rather obscure game that features a unique cast of characters like a chimp assassin and some eleven-year old h…
 
Shall we play a game? For the first episode of the Listeners’ Choice miniseries we distill Capcom’s trivia arcade game, Quiz & Dragons, back to its truest form - a board game! Who will win the trivia battle of 80s sports and Richard Dreyfuss questions? Why does one letter (eclipse vs. ellipse) cause so much drama (thanks autocorrect)? Will knowledg…
 
HOLY SH...EBOYGEN! It’s time for another Arcade Obscura where each of the hosts pitch their choice for underrated or underappreciated two-player beat ‘em up game. PastBlaster brings us a game from a familiar company that uses six-buttons to possess and destroy your enemies. Rob brings us a sequel from a company that only made two arcade games. Mr. …
 
CYBORGS AIN’T LADIES!! We grab Technos Japan’s ultra-violent and over-the-top The Combatribes by the heels and take it for a spin - and have a lot of fun doing it! Join us as we rediscover this often overlooked beat ‘em up playing characters that all skipped leg day. Did we just find Pastblaster’s long lost pappy? How did a thrash metal band mascot…
 
The Mad Gears must pay. We are joined by special guest co-host Chris Antista to discuss Capcom’s Final Fight! Capcom goes “huge and cool” to bring us one of the best beat ‘em ups ever made. Who is responsible for the Final Fight/Street Fighter II universe and why is it not who you may think? What part did a French historical novel and manga have in…
 
Are you a bad enough dude or dudette to listen to this episode? That’s right, we’re talking about the game that sounds like it was made by an 80s word generator (and probably was) - Bad Dudes Vs. DragonNinja. The President has been kidnapped! What will it take to get Blade and Striker - the baddest sweatpant-wearing dudes in NYC - to go rescue him?…
 
What do you get when you mix a little Rambo, a lot of Conan, some Altered Beast, throw in some swords and sorcery, and put it all on a PCB that likes to kill itself? Golden Axe! Somehow this is our first featured Sega game so we play a game to see how much Sega history we include in this episode. What exactly makes a game an “arcade game”? How did …
 
Did you know that American retailers initially rejected the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)? That's right, the launch of the NES was filled with rejection in the United States, Nintendo even had to redesign and rebrand the console. We know that the NES was ultimately a huge hit, but getting there was painful and challenging. This is the epic st…
 
A new miniseries kicks (and punches) off with twin brothers trying to rescue their one lover -- Technos Japan’s Double Dragon. What 1970s film did Technos use for inspiration to bring about the age of the arcade brawler? How many enemies does it take to really slow down a game? Why did we record the worst skit in podcast history? We take a serious …
 
It’s time to put all the pieces together and finish the Puzzlers miniseries with our choices for the overlooked or obscure games in the genre. What virtual insanity leads us to consider Jamiroquai a villain? Can Windows screensavers make compelling gameplay? Why does Mr. SNK know so much about adult-themed arcade games? Along the way we attempt to …
 
Capcom brings us the perfect mix of fisticuffs with gem debuffs - plus a heavy dose of chibi - with Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. What is the connection between puzzles and violence that makes us love this game so much? The hosts go down the rabbit hole of Kirsten Dunst movies (beware of spoilers), talk about hyperphantasia, and determine who woul…
 
In this ground-breaking episode we dig into a family tree that spawned not one, but two NAMCO classics. We discuss Mr. Driller and use geological genealogy to trace his origins to Dig Dug. Along the way we start spilling some arcade collecting stories that include how Jarrod first met Adam and Rob. Is an “arcade sense” a real thing and if not what …
 
Bustin’ makes us feel good as we explore the origins of Taito’s Puzzle Bobble (or Bust a Move). We try to make sense of the Bubble Bobble family tree which includes a long, lost ancestor. Why was this MVS cart one of the most bootlegged Neo Geo games? What about Bub and Bob made them so attractive to the fairer sex? What reasons are given for poppi…
 
Independent game development is hard. Like any creative endeavor it involves pushing yourself for months, or years. And in the end, there’s no guarantee that it will connect with the audience. Littered across the various video game storefronts are small games, put together by people hoping to connect with others through play. A seldom few find succ…
 
It’s all downhill from here as we roll with Marble Madness. We discuss the Doogie Howser of arcade games who at the age of 18 created a major arcade hit for Atari and went on to do a whole lot more in the video game industry. How hard does this soundtrack slap? Why has this world record score held up for over 35 years? Is marble racing the new spor…
 
Strap in for our most profane episode yet (or not, as we’ll explain). It’s time to talk about Gottlieb’s biggest arcade hit - Q*bert! Find out how this game by Warren Davis and Jeff Lee became a pop culture sensation. How did this isometric exercise become so @!#?@! good? What are some alternative uses for 9-inch floppy disks? Are air fryers magic?…
 
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