Joust

Show  me a person who doesn’t like Joust, and I’ll show you a dirty, filthy liar.  What’s not to like about mounting a flying ostrich and jousting knights, while avoiding pterodactyls and lava?  To make it even more fun, two players can play simultaneously – where you can either work as a team or square off as enemies.

While I’ve always had a fondness for Joust, my desire to own it admittedly increased after reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which features the game in a pivotal sequence.  If Steven Spielberg includes the scene in his film adaptation, which I suspect he will, expect interest in Joust to explode.  If you want one, get it now while pricing is still decent.

In August of 2015, I accompanied a fellow collector who was driving to L.A. to pick up an empty Donkey Kong cabinet.  Southern California is a treasure trove of arcade goodness, so I withdrew some cash prior to leaving town, in hopes that a new game could hitch a ride home in my buddy’s truck.

While crashing in the spare bedroom of Track and Field record holder, Hector Rodriguez, I found a Joust in Garden Grove on Craigslist, but the guy wanted way too much for it.  Normally, I brush aside ads where people are on a completely different planet with their pricing, but I figured I had nothing to lose.  I sent him an email and told him that if he’d take much less (I gave him a specific number), I’d be there within an hour, cash in hand.  Deal!

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The game cleaned up nicely and played fine, but over time, it began booting with RAM errors, which is a very common issue with Williams games from that era.  After messing with it off and on for several months with no success, I decided to put a Jrok board in it, along with an adapter harness.  Now it plays like a champ.

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