What did you get for your birthday? James got a Street Fighter IV cabinet built from scratch by his friends, the lucky bastard.
During midterms and work, Steve and his roommate Figge collectively spent 4.5 man-hours over five days to build the arcade. A hundred nails were hammered into the handsawed wood panels. A FightStick and SFIV artwork fleshed out the cabinet.
Full story from Steven below:
I want to tell you guys of the story of how my roommate and I built an arcade for my buddy's birthday. My name's Steve Sy and my buddy and roommate, Michael Figge wanted to get our friend, James Lhi one of the new Mad Catz Fightsticks for his birthday a few weeks ago. Since James had gotten sf4 for his birthday and was playing it til his thumbs bled, I proposed to Figge that a cool gift to get would be a fightstick.
Figge, a grandiose character by nature, blurts out, "That's cool... But let's build him the whole arcade!!!!"
Stunned and in bewilderment, I said "I'm down!! That sounds awesome!" With an idea this solid, nothing could stop us. So the project began.
At the time, I had midterms and Figge was working from 9am-9pm. So over the course of five days, we collectively had 4.5 man-hours to build the arcade. Four point five.
Oh and we didn't have any power tools either.
Hell, we didn't even have the FightStick! After calling every gamestop, bestbuy, and pawnshop in the tricounty area, we discovered that FightSticks were sold out everywhere. Upon brief inspection, our bullet-proof plan had more holes than a post-hadouken slice of swiss cheese.
So Figge and I handsawed several panels of wood, then nailed in about 100 nails and we come up with this ugly, ugly POS. (See unadorned arcade pics below.) Figge says he's got an idea of how design some artwork on the front, but I think the whole thing is pretty hopeless. I'm pretty close to giving up. This'd be around 1pm Saturday, while his bbq was already happening.
But then, the Miracleland I love and hate known as craigslist reminds me of a last and LOCAL opportunity for the FightStick. "Figge!" I shout, "I'll get the stick, you stay here...and figure out how to make this look good!" A war-torn Figge looks up and mutters, "I hate you as a human being." And with that, the plan begins to click back into place.
I pick up the FightStick for a very digestable $100 (msrp $70) and come back to our apartment to see Figge putting the finishing touches on a now-pretty-AMAZING looking arcade. By the time we're finished, James' party has about 2 hours life left.
It took four people to carry to Figge's car when we encountered the biggest failblog moment of the whole adventure. The cabinet wouldn't fit in Figge's car. We collectively sighed and nearly smashed the arcade out of rage, but our good friend stopped us just in time by letting us borrow his station wagon.
We arrive to his house and some of the guests are on the driveway chatting, some are about to leave. Figge and I say, "Hey guys check this out" and bring our the arcade from the back of the station wagon. Figge and I carry the arcade into his house while a ton of ppl are crowding around wondering what was going on.
James "What the hell is that? A coffin? Hahaha. What are you fools doing??"
We set it upright in his living room and I say:
"Alright James, we know how much you like street fighter so Fig and I made you your own arcade cabinet. It should fit your TV perfectly. And whenever you decide you'd wanna get a joystick, this thing'd be perfect for it."
"But....we'll start you off with your first." And we pulled out the fightstick from the oven-like cabinet door.
He was delivering hugs and wiping tears for half an hour.
I thought this would be a geeky endeavor but it turned out far better than I could have anticipated and everyone was thoroughly impressed.
Happy birthday James!