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Author Topic: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)  (Read 26681 times)

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SodaPopinksi

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Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)
« on: October 29, 2007, 03:07:08 am »
Mamey Winner!!! Misc. Category


This past January I started coming up with ideas for a series of bar top machines and one of them was Metroid inspired. Indeed, Metroid never had its own dedicated cab but I thought it might be neat to make a cab for it... in this case a bartop and perhaps a one that may have been created in 1987? However, the idea of a vintage looking design shattered when I saw a "bubble light" made by Mutant Mods. The red style reminded me very much of the barriers in the Mother Brain stage of the original Metroid. From there I thought "Wouldn't it be kinda neat to somehow make a Mother Brain and place it inside a bartop?" Like maybe hovering inside some gelatinous goo or facsimile thereof. After much thought I browsed around and saw a few clay modeling sites and read up on Super Sculpey clay.

I decided to create the Mother Brain from this polymer clay. Two of them, one for each side and visible by plexiglass windows. I figured the Brain should be kinda powerful, she should remember everything!! So I hooked her up to an Athlon 64x2 4800, 2GB of Ram, EVGA 7800GTX KO edition card, Biostar Tforce 550 motherboard, Soundblaster eXtremeMusic and Logitech R-20 w/subwoofer for sound. I scored some good deals on some components... I took a chance because I bought them over many months hehe but good thing they all work! I got the cpu on a price mistake for $52, ram for $53 no rebate on a Memorial Day sale and $99 EVGA (refurbished) card on an anniversary sale.

Additionally, I hooked her up with 2 NES, 2 SNES and 2 Adaptoid adapters built in to the front of the cp for easy retro controller support.

  • Plywood construction, MDF cp front, adjustable arcade casters w/ rubber feet
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  • DVI-out on the back plus Optical-out for external screen/home theater
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  • 3 cold cathodes, one 15" white for the marquee, 2 non-uv "purple" Ultra cathodes above the Mother Brain
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  • Character art by various DeviantArtists, I gave them credit in the video, but I don't know who made the Samus art... I did the rest of the art, I took pieces from in-game Metroid screens and modified them.

Here's the video I made for it, it's about 15MB and runs just over a minute and a half. I originally thought "wow this came out awesome!" and then saw the file size was 959MB lol, so I got it down pretty good. It looks better when you hit the little screen on the left to minimize it.

Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 03:19:45 pm by saint »
"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

The Chugnut

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 06:37:01 am »
That is one of the coolest things I have ever seen!  :o

Warborg

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 07:40:41 am »
All I have to say is...   :o

That is incredible...   :applaud:

NinjaEpisode

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 09:51:47 am »
Awesome work!  Please post Pics!  I'd love to post that on the front of RetroBlast!  :notworthy:

javeryh

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 02:43:03 pm »
Wow!  Awesome job!  I love how the Chozo statue is holding the trackball on the CP.  The theme is very well thought out and it shows.  Post some build/final pics!!!   ;D

metahacker

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 04:53:47 pm »
this project totally rules.  i love how the bartop can apparently act as a 'console' for hook up to a larger a/v system + controllers as well.

please post pics!!!!!!

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2007, 05:15:30 pm »
That's too cool. Love to see some pictures too.
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Kaytrim

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2007, 05:39:13 pm »
The video is sweet :o  but I got to see detailed  :pics.

stephenp1983

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2007, 05:39:50 pm »
That is one of the best looking themes/bartops I have ever seen.  Great job

SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 12:46:29 am »
Wow thanks for the kind comments everyone! And it would be an honor indeed to see this on the cover of RetroBlast, or even an inside page for that matter!

I have a few build pics at various stages. Here's how I made the holes for the adapters, basically I just traced them with a pencil against the MDF and then I used a scroll saw with a thin blade to cut them out just a hair smaller than they should be. Then I just filed and filed until each of the adapters would fit. They fit in so tight this way that I don't have to use anything to secure them. I actually broke one of the NES adapters, well just the backside of its plastic casing trying to get it out when I was testing the fit. The Adaptoid holes required a little routing on the back side as well in order for them to jut out a bit.



The front USB port is the only thing that didn't fit too well so I braced it with a large L bracket and some velcro in the back. Below is under the cp lol, what a mess! I have a powered USB port handling all the adapters. I placed some electrical tape over some of the metal areas under the cp, just in case, so they don't interfere with any buttons or wiring. I mounted a Sanwa button on a small piece of wood in the right corner and screwed it down. I also had to route some small areas out of the top edge of the cp front for the trackball plate to fit hehe it barely made it! I was just placing the bezel to see how it fit at this point I attached it to a piece of black foamboard then cut out the inside monitor area.


Cutting the holes in the CP material was tough, the adapter holes had rough edges... so after I cut them I masked the areas around the adapters with black vinyl, carefully cut to the shapes of the adapters with Parts Express Dayton sub material.


All the black areas of the cab are parts express vinyl. Here's a view from the back, I didn't install the t molding yet here. The back fan has a long enough wire on it that the back panel opens without any problems. I left the screws alone, thought about black screws or coloring them but I like the look of them. The bottom left is the Logitech's speaker pod, I hacksawed its plastic case in half and screwed it right into the 1/4" plywood. I used 1/4" plywood for the back and top in hopes of making it lighter but the brains really take their toll on the weight lol. I drilled two holes for the volume control and headphone input. Next to that is a 2 port USB and DVI panel from DataPro. The USB ports are overkill but were already on that panel. Next to this is an LG DVD drive - masked with a Nintendo logo from some leftover space on the Mamemarquees CP order ;)


Next to the DVD drive is a small hole where the optical out is screwed in behind the plywood. The Creative adapter that connects from the audio card was a weird shape and I took it apart to place a couple small screws through barren areas of plastic inside it to mount it. Finally the pc power button is wired up to a Happs purple pushbutton. I wanted to place a lock on the back here about an inch or so under the fan, trouble is the Video card's DVI cable is blocking that area, it's a tight fit! I don't want to have it offset... so I just secure the back panel with a little strip of velcro -each stapled to the wood to ensure it stays put. I can open the panel with a finger in the fan hole. The hinges are concealed Euro style I bought on eBay, howeever the 1/4" plywood was too thin to conceal the screws hehe, I attached them to the panel with small machine screws and washers to sturdy it up. I also covered the strips of white on the side with parts express material later on. Both the back panel and front cp are screwed/l bracketed on... I could change them in the future this way.

"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2007, 01:12:38 am »
Real nice bartop!

I really like all the detail around that theme.
Especially the statue/trackball and the clay mother brain.

all I can say is WOW!

Jay  :cheers:

SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2007, 01:47:58 am »
I haven't made anything with clay since my play-doh days in the early 80's so making the Mother Brain out of Super Sculpey clay was unexplored territory. I read up about modeling on some internet sites though and gave it a shot. I started with a picture of the MB blown up and aluminum foil for an "armature." I made the aluminum foil in the basic shape of the brain and with latex gloves I rolled out the polymer clay in sheets of about 3/8" and folded them around the armature. I then made the "spines" or bones seperate and baked them in the oven at 275 degrees on a small tinfoil tray. I took the cooled spines and molded them onto the body.


After that I baked the entire brains at 275 for about a half hour since they were thick in places. I made holes for her wires and a bowl shaped area on the side that fits silver painted coaxial cables perfectly hehe.


I painted the brains with "perlacryl' pearlescent paints, red and purple. I painted the spines with white acrylic and gave them some tartar stains hehe. Finally I painted this triple thick acrylic gloss over the skin areas only. The contrast is cool since the spines look and feel like bone material, while the skin is wet and disgusting looking.


The brains are attached to little square plywood enclosures (non-velcro areas covered with black foamboard) with velcro. The velcro is enough to hold them, but I went a step further and added dowels inside the silver and purple cable cover "tubes" under them. The dowels hold up a small piece of wood hidden under the brains attached with velcro as well. The aluminum wires (painted white) coming out of the brain go deep into the aluminum foil armature and also serve to secure them in place even better.


The sides are 3/4" plywood painted twice with kilz 2 primer and left to dry for 2 weeks. The side art went on very smoothly however the camera flashes bring out some bubbles I hadn't noticed! The sides look great under normal viewing conditions though. Here is a pic of a side piece I scrapped (I decided to make it bigger, boy am I glad I did) The windows in the sides were cut with a scroll saw then routed down to about 1/4" on the edges where a plexiglass window was inserted and secured by clear drying silicone.


The plywood enclosures that hold the brains and display them on each side have one side, the back side open and I closed this off with black foamboard stapled down. I can always get into the enclosures this way if I have to. I also cut holes in the foamboard to accommodate the purple cathodes attached above the brains with velcro.
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SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2007, 02:21:24 am »

Here's an early picture of the monitor installed. I attached the monitor to a 1x6 with the mounting screws on the back of the lcd and then used L braces to position it just so. You can see the plywood enclosures with the Mother brains in them in the back, I really think the space they took up made the build about 50% more difficult! Below is just a picture of the guts before they were installed to serve the evil purposes of the space pirates.


The Scythe Ninja heatsink is a monster but what I like about it especially is that you can position the 120mm fan on any side of it. The motherboard is secured to an mdf board with pcb feet. The board is screwed into the left Mother Brain enclosure and the pc sits vertically. The Scythe fan sits above the graphics card and shoots upward through the heatsink at the subwoofer/top fan. The back fan shoots air out just above the back of the graphics card. The subwoofer floats above everything secured with a bevy of twist ties lol. A small wooden arm from the other Brain enclosure with a pcb foot on it holds the graphics card in place better. Lots of wires for USB, Cathodes, Fans and Speakers going here and there lol. But everything works just fine  :cheers: even after extended hours of usage. The Bits Smartstrip sits on top of the left brain enclosure. The sound of the three fans isn't that bad, I've found Yate Loon fans aren't too shabby considering they are fairly quiet and often priced low.


Here's a look at the Ultralux button for Player 1 Start. I can't get a good shot of the insert when lit, you can see it better on the reflection in the bezel though. It is the "E" energy symbol in the Metroid game on some MameMarquees Ultimate Marquee material inserted in an Ultralux button. It works nicely and I also made a Nintendo style insert for the Happs coin return from this material. You can't see it in this picture but it says Insert Coin under the 25 cent symbol.


Here's a picture of some more button inserts for the Ultralux buttons I had these printed from the same material. These are for future projects :) Although the Nintendo coin rejects are going on my homemade Punch-Out cab too. You can put just about any small graphic you want in the buttons this way. The inserts are illuminated extremely well in clear buttons with a 5v led, black stays black too and does not wash out, hard to capture them lit on camera though. Ultimate Marquee material is awesome, it's tough but cuts pretty easily as well with an exacto or scissors.


« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 02:27:10 am by SodaPopinksi »
"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2007, 03:52:06 am »
Various Pics:














This is link to MegaUpload, it's a zip with two higher res pics at around 4mb: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EYR1RJOZ
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 05:07:02 am by SodaPopinksi »
"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

Konrad

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2007, 12:00:16 pm »
That's so cool. I love it !

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2007, 01:41:18 pm »
Awesome job man...very original.   I like.

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2007, 06:21:42 pm »
Totally awesomeistic!!  (Checked the urban dictionary, it's there)  :)


Better submit this for a Mamey.
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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2007, 07:49:06 pm »
That is so flippin awesome. :notworthy:
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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2007, 07:57:50 pm »
Very nice indeed. Definitely worth a look-see for a Mamey!   :cheers:

What is that adapter you used for all the console gamepad - USB called? Did it cost much?
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SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2007, 09:17:10 pm »
Well just to be mentioned in any way for a Mamey is quite a compliment, pI think the Misc category could be fitting hehe.  The adapters are each USB and there are 6 individual ones hooked up to a USB hub... the hub cost about 20 dollars and is powered, I didn't think of the overall cost of the adapters since I bought them all separately and over time but now that I think of it they were not cheap as a whole lol. Let's see, four of them are from http://www.retrousb.com, 2 NES adapters ($22 each) and 2 SNES adapters ($22 each) for a total of 88 bucks plus shipping... then two N64 controller Adaptoids which are somewhat hard to find now. The only place to get them it seems is eBay or http://www.ztnetstore.com/ the Ztnet store seems to have them in stock once every three months or so and they sell out within two or three days. I believe they sell them for $39.00 a piece which is a lot, but for a while they were selling on eBay for sixty dollars or more. One nice thing about all these adapters is that no extra software is needed to install them and the controller is instantly recognized when you hook it up. Geez, now that I think of it,  $166 is quite a lot of money for retro controller support... lol  :o
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 06:09:16 pm by SodaPopinksi »
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NickG

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2007, 12:15:54 am »
I love how the Chozo holds the trackball, such impressive and creative theme integration!  Mamey suggestion thirded.  Awesome work!

P.S. - what are you gonna do with those lantern button inserts?  You've got me in suspense.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 12:17:48 am by NickG »

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2007, 02:59:30 am »
Really fantastic original idea.Love the way you turned it into a work of art with the brain.

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2007, 08:25:20 pm »
   This one's a keeper.  :applaud:

 Cornchip.

SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2007, 05:39:47 am »
Thanks! This was a lot of fun to work on, I had it in my head for some time and when I learned about Metroid Metal in the spring it was a driving force behind the idea as well hehe. I got to a point where I began to question my sanity though lol. It was during the time where I actually started placing the components in and around the brain enclosures. I was like, "why did I do this??" Like I mentioned before, if I had that extra space it would have been much easier to fit everything inside. I can definitely see the difficulty of using a crt type monitor. Others questioned my sanity throughout the build. I was labeled a "mad scientist" by some lol, especially those who have no idea what Metroid is, let alone a Mother Brain.

I have a new favorite button:



Wico's with an O-Ring are great, less travel, silent, precise... and nostalgic. I guess I grew up with these buttons in the arcades so I'm biased too. I don't remember them being so tall, but then again I wasn't such a keen observer of detail when I was 10 years old. The particular O-Ring I use is listed here: http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMAKA=75748822 The 1/8" thickness is probably the most you'd want to go with.

Also just wanted to show the adjustable leg levelers and the rubber covers for them. I'm not sure how you're supposed to install the levelers, but I screwed in the mounting plates from the bottom and then secured them with the nut and a washer on top. The leg levelers I got at the Real Bob Roberts along with the buttons and trackball. Bob Roberts has the trackball listed as Atari 2 1/4"... I don't know if its the same as the Happs. The Happs red translucent trackballs seem to look orange enough, this trackball is quite orange though. I imagine you'd have a tough time getting it to look red! This is the first time I dealt with the Real Bob Roberts, really great service. The rubber covers were 5.95 from Marco Specialties. A bit pricey but they are really nice, fit perfect and definitely no skid. I built the table the machine is sitting on from some plans http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/workshop/2846191.html for a Parsons table. I used 3/4" plywood and painted it with some leftover arcade semi gloss black hehe. I also used some leftover T molding around the top edge of the table to disguise the rough plywood edges.



NickG, the lantern inserts as well as the skeleton/ivy inserts are for some Xbox 360/Mame sticks I'm working on and I'll post them in a separate thread pretty soon. Each of them will be dedicated to a lovely lady from famous fighting games... oops did I say ivy?  :-X
"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2007, 06:05:26 am »


truly excellent  :) love it. but tell me, why does it have such a humungous heatsink?


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SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2007, 07:49:23 am »
I used the Scythe Ninja heatsink in an effort to keep everything inside cool as possible. It may indeed be overkill, but I noticed it works so effectively on my Conroe e6600 setup that I used it here as well. I like how you can position the fan on any side of it and its fan also helps move air around the huge graphics card sitting directly below it. With the big card, the cpu, the subwoofer that also gets hot above it... I figured every bit of cooling could help. Besides mame and classic emulators I push the system to its limits as well to play some more modern pc games/system heavy emulators and output them to my projector. I wanted to give the Mother Brain the resources to remember just about everything! lol Now that I think of it, knowing nothing about hd on a pc, I wonder if this system could handle a hd-dvd/blu ray player. Since I'm using it with my projector and all that might be pretty nice and somewhat cheaper than a dual format player.
"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2007, 10:56:36 am »

Awesome, the artwork is especially killer. :cheers:

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2007, 04:22:12 pm »
An unbelievably cool thing! And maybe the biggest compliment you might get is, that you actually made me play Metroid!

Shame on me, I read alot about it but never played it though. After watching your video on you tube I got interrested and watched some of the linked Metroid gameplay movies and BANG it hit me! I almost instantly ordered a "buy it now" Metroid NES Classic for the Gameboy Advance on ebay. Received it today and have some great fun playing it on the Gamecube's Gameboy Player.

So, I guess everyone is curious which great classic you wull make us play or play again with your next project? ; )

Anyway - awsome piece of work (and piece of art)!

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2007, 10:16:11 pm »
I really love the way you took this to a new level by your art/clay project.

Excellent work.

 :cheers:
Seriously. Will it fit in my basement or what?

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2007, 01:56:23 am »
Wow cool Akuma, that certainly is quite a compliment, I wish there was a way to have the Metroid Metal soundtrack actually play in those in-game areas hehe. Also, if you haven't played Super Metroid for the SNES, then it should be a must play sometime after finishing the original.

I remember trying to get the game when I was around ten years old and all of Southeastern Connecticut was sold out for many months after its release. I kept seeing it towards the top of the Nintendo Power list of peoples favorite games and I even started to call stores in the area each week lol. I think they might have started pre-orders because of this kid in CT (and probably others across the nation) who would keep calling and checking if the game came in lol. One week I decided to call the Toys R Us fifty miles away in Warwick, RI and lo and behold they had it! My parents drove me all the way over there to get it. I wasn't rich growing up... but I sure was spoiled lol. It's a relaxing game compared to some others like Castlevania for example where almost every jump is life or death.

Quote
So, I guess everyone is curious which great classic you will make us play or play again with your next project? ; )

How did you figure out my next arcade machine is based on a great classic?! Hehe, I actually have all the parts for it now and I hope to have it finished at the end of this month or the beginning of next.  :)

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davieboynj

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2007, 03:07:46 pm »
Normally i hate anything with a console theme, but your project..

A. has controller ports
B. METROID!
C. Kicks Ace!

Amazing work.  It can't be mentioned enough times how well everything is tied together, esp. the Chozo...


SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2007, 06:55:28 pm »
Thanks NinjaEpisode for the RetroBlast! article, it's an honor to be featured on your site  :cheers:

I'm gonna try and make a small video of the frontend theme (Mala), it's kinda funny.
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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2007, 08:22:08 pm »
 :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:
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SodaPopinksi

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2007, 07:53:35 am »
I'm so proud to say this project won a Mamey!!!!!!!!! (Misc Category)  :o

I can't believe it! Thanks to all the judges Zakk, leapinlew, markrvp, DrewKaree and missioncontrol and thanks to everyone in this thread who encouraged me to submit this project for review. And of course, saint and the many people and their projects in these forums without whom I would be lost in creating my own arcade controls. Wow, what an honor to have a project inducted into the hallowed halls of Mamey :)

I will be sure to sit back tonight and pour a victorious frosty mug of Diet Caffeine Free Coke to commemorate this day! Also, I haven't forgotten the vid of the front end, still workin' on it...
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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2007, 12:35:34 pm »
thats just rediculously awesome

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2007, 09:11:48 pm »
That is insanely cool!  I recall following your progress on the Punchout! cabinet a long while back, and then being shocked that you were residing here in Southeast Connecticut!  (Didn't think there were too many of us fanatics here in CT).  I have just moved into my first home and the only thing I regret is not having a garage to build my own cabinet.  (It's a cape style house and has an open basement, but no real ventilation down there).

Anyway, one of these days I would love to buy you a beer at Stash's and just pick your brain about the whole experience of building a cabinet and the work and costs involved!   ;D
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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2007, 12:51:28 am »
You just got mentioned on Joystiq.com. Prepare for a lot of traffic.  8)
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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2007, 05:45:33 pm »
It just made it on Gizmodo too.

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Re: Metroid Mother Brain Super Console (Mamey Winner!!)
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2008, 05:32:40 am »
I've been away from the forums and this thread for way TOO LONG, but I haven't -forgotten- about showing the front end, I just have to finally record it! lol, It's nothing too special really, but I just tried to capture some of the essence of the original game and try use Mala's animation ability to the fullest I could.

Jdurg, I was reminiscing about when I used to live in Mystic, CT, I moved from there to Virginia four years ago. Stash's is a blast from the past indeed! I think my old band played there once, or was that the Bank Street Cafe? I dunno my head was too foggy in those days. I would have gladly taken you up on the brew offer though, although make mine a diet caffeine free coke! Fresh off the tap even! And with a lime!

I can't believe how many hits the video got.  I thought 800 was a lot and then that turned to 30,000 in a day lol. I was killed by reviewers on the film quality though... lol I have a good camera but shot it in the dark theater room where it sits mostly to show off the lights. It was shot in widescreen too and I don't think my Youtube conversion skills were up to par either. The file went from 900mb to like 15, lol.
"Seimitsu LB-39's make me thirsty"- SodaPopinski

  
 

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