A Classic Console experience – PAX AUS 2013

There is nothing more satisfying than when a plan comes together.  Four Retro Sites, one Arcade Site, twenty-four consoles, and literally thousands of people. What does that sum up to? A very special and exciting time at the Classic Console Area at PAX AU 2013.

PAX has been and truly gone, and while there have been many articles and reviews on this year’s event, we wish to focus on the raw emotion from the people that gave up their time to sit and play, and relive those lost memories.

Big Top

The Big Top. This is where the magic happened!

To set the scene, twenty-four awesome retro consoles were on show and playable to the general PAX punter.  Rarities such as the failed Panasonic 3DO, the ever impressive Neo Geo AES, and Japanese only: Sega Mark III, Twin Famicom, Super Famicom, and PC Engine.  The American dream: Sega CDX, and the vintage computers: Commodore 64, Amiga 500 and Amstrad.  The UK-born Amiga CD32, and the antiques: Atari 7800, ColecoVision and Intellivision.  The new to retro: Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation, the awesomeness of the Sega Saturn, and over-hyped Nintendo 64, and let’s not forget the lonely NES Toploader, Sega Genesis and Master System, and the weird: Samsung Neuon and Arcadia 2001.

Classic Consoles

We had classics systems from far & wide for people to experience!

All of these beauties were attached to their own CRT TV set and switched to ‘ON’! From the hours of 8am to 11:30pm, these consoles got more game play in three days than they have had in three years.

Armed with a sturdy new camera and an American (sorry Gregg), we went about taking some fantastic footage of people having fun: sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Mums and dads, sons and daughters, and even grandchildren were picking up the antique control pads to play their favourite games. In fact, it was beautiful to see a young boy on his dad’s lap moving the control paddles on the Arcadia 2001 console.


A future retro gamer in the making! This youngster sits with his dad to play the Arcadia 2001 console!

But it wasn’t just homo-sapiens that came to greet us at the Classic Console Area, and no, we’re not talking about “Retro” Tim Arnold.  Iron Man, Sonic, Robocop, Mario & Luigi, and even Wario made an appearance, and to top it off, Shinobi was caught playing Shinobi on the Sega Master System, and Scorpion playing as Sub Zero in Mortal Kombat on the Genesis!

Yasemin Arslan, RD friend and great Cos-Player even made an appearance as Lili from Tekken.

Yasmin & Beethy

Yasemin Arslan cosplaying as Lili from Tekken & long time community member Beethy!

Some very special guests came over to pay homage to the consoles on show, including Richard Parnell “Bev” from that 90’s video game show: The Zone (a huge favourite with fond memories here at RD). We spotted him playing some Sonic & Knuckles on the CDX as we all reminisced over the television show we watched religiously as younger gamers.

Tim & Bev

Tim with Bev from 90’s video gaming show “The Zone”!

Tony Cruise (not Tom), Owner of Electric Adventures, Homebrew expert, and panellist for The Rise of Homebrew at PAX, got his game on!

Enthusiastic Mick Gordon, Music Creator and Musician for the New Killer Instinct, commanded some KI SNES action, and special mention goes out to Randy from Vancouver.  Randy dropped by to deliver some very special and awesome gifts from Johnny Millenium and the Rob Man. Cheers, guys!

Pete & Mick Gordon

Pete interviews Mick Gordon, music creator for the new Killer Instinct. A dream come true for our illustrious leader!

A warm welcome and an even fonder farewell, RD was honoured and humbled to host Gregg “Handsome” Hansen from Arcade Impossible.  Gregg, being the enthusiast he is, travelled 9,993 miles from Rockford, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago, to join the RD team at PAX.  Amazing!  Gregg, who will be featuring his adventures down under in a new episode from Arcade Impossible, was a well oiled machine.  With hardly a wink of sleep, he managed to record everything!  The sounds and sights of pure excitement at PAX AU has been captured on film, with Gregg also being responsible for the famous time lapse video of the Classic Console Area.  Make sure you check out all the episodes of Arcade Impossible and subscribe if you haven’t already. We miss you Gregg.


The man himself: Gregg “Handsome” Hansen from Arcade Impossible!

Lets not forget the showdown of all showdowns: Retro Domination vs. Retrospekt, in a battle to the death for glory!  One must understand that the nature of retro is irreplaceable…  The guys were brought together to play the Super Retro Game Trivia Challenge.  Check it out exclusively on the RD Facebook wall.  Who won?  Well, you will have to watch and find out for yourself, and see how your retro gaming knowledge stands up.

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Retro Domination vs Retrospekt in the Super Retro Game Trivia Challenge. Who will win?

More shenanigans took place in the form of Peter Biu, the illustrious owner of the Console Domination Gaming Network (CDGN), who was owned! Double ‘KO’d’ on Street Fighter 2 with a ‘PERFECT’ by the Shadowloo guys.  It’s interesting to note that Peter chose Ken for this match up.

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Pete takes on the Shadowloo…and fails miserably!

There was so much going on at the Classic Console Area, and to beat the first level in Robocop 2 on the Amstrad is no simple feat, but an avid gamer did it.  Epic games were being completed by retro fans all round, such as Sonic & Knuckles on the Genesis, and Wonderboy in Monsterland on the Mark III.


Games were be being “clocked” and high scores broken all weekend long. This gentleman held one of the highest scores on Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar!

RD’s adventure at PAX AU 2013 would not have been such a success without your support.  Thanks go out to many individuals and teams that made this experience so damn enjoyable: the team from Retrospekt, Twitter sensation Aus Retro Gamer, Alex Boz, and Australian Retro Gaming.  It was a real pleasure working with you all.  Working? Nah, it was more like playing! We’d also like to an extend a big thank you to Ali and the guys and gals from Shadowlogic, for supplying those psychedelic CRT TV’s, Gregg Hansen, for just being there and doing everything and of course Yug from PAX AU.

CC Banner

The Classic Console banner, signed by all of the team!

Bring on PAX Australia 2014!  We hope to see you all there, and who knows what we will have in store next time.

PAX Team

The PAX AUS “Classic Console” Team. We miss you guys!