June 1985. Now that was a helluva a summer! RJ Reynolds Company proposed a merger with Nabisco. Coca Cola announces they’d bring back their 99-year-old formula. That went well. (Sarcasm). 18th Space Shuttle Mission (51-G)-Discovery 5 launched. Weird Al Yankovic released his Dare to Be Stupid album. And the Goonies was released in theaters, proving that a Sean Astin is apparently good when it comes to “Adventure” movies. Can you believe that Josh Brolin played the older brother and now he is going to play Thanos in the Avengers: Infinity Wars movies? Weird.
But yes, Goonies was a movie that made me really want to be adventurous when playing with my friends. So where am I going with this? I’ll get there. So, one of my favorite parts of the movie was when they went down the waterslide to the area where One Eyed Willie’s ship was. I just thought that was the coolest thing ever and wanted to do that too. And believe it or not, the day after I saw the movie, I got to go to an indoor waterslide at Southridge Mall. It was one of the first of its kind in Iowa. The place was called the Hydrotube. And it is long gone now.
So unfortunately, you could only go down the slide 10 times. But when you do go down, it so felt like the scene in Goonies where they go down one of the traps and down the waterslide. Yes, I felt like Chunk. Shut up, I had a weight problem. But when I was done, I waited near the lobby and low and behold, an arcade. Wait, an arcade at a waterslide? What were they…. ok I’ll play some games while I wait. It was the normal games of the times. But one game that stood out for me was Paperboy by Atari. This was actually a good game. Playing like you were on a bike and throwing newspapers while avoiding dogs, fights and those danged remote control cars was a really interesting premise.
What struck me as funny today, was, the sound and music styles that were part of Paperboy and Marble Madness which were released in 1984 were pretty much the “staple” sounds for more future games. Even to games that didn’t do well, they just tried to add it to anything. But this, like other games was fun. It’s was a very fast paced game and you wish that they had a continue option because if you really sucked at the game, like me at the time, you would want to continue.
Sadly, the Hydrotube closed down. One issue was they were having leaking problems into the arcade. Did you know that water and video games don’t co-exist very well? Who knew? I have some friends who have collected games for a long time, and when their basement got flooded, there was a tremendous loss of games. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what insurance is for. But for my friends, they just had to…
Keep Calm and Insert Coin