The golden age of the arcade may have sadly moved on, but that hasn’t stopped it burning bright in the hearts of many a gamer. In fact, it burns so brightly that it drives the current world of custom arcade cabinet building. From replicas cabinets, to Raspberry Pie Ikea tables courtesy of Rings & Coins friend Arcade Hacker, there’s a world of unique cabinets just waiting for those who long to return to the arcades.
In fact, some of these can be truly amazing, just like the recently discovered fan built Legend of Zelda arcade cabinet. First revealed by it’s creator Wyo over on the Arcade Museum forums, the cabinet itself has been outfitted with a NES and even a 20″ CRT in order to give an accurate experience. However aside from this, rest of it is completely custom, and boy does it look spectacular.
Currently Wyo describes the cabinet as 95% complete.
All I have left to do is design, print and emboss the side art and bezel instruction card.
Nevertheless, you wouldn’t know that by simply looking at it. If anything it has a feel of the original Donkey Kong arcade cabinet about it, it’s that good.
As for the finer details about how he created it, well thankfully Wyo was more than happy to discuss this in length:
I’ll just summarize some cliff notes. Basically, it’s an all wood construction. Primered and block sanded smooth and straight. I painted it with metallic gold automotive urethane, and then added a mid coat of .008 gold flake. After I cleared it, I wetsanded it 1000-3000 and then polished it. It turned out pretty cool. The whole cab shimmers in the light with the light bouncing off the flake.
The artwork was a lot of work. I had ro recreate all the images in illustrator. In my design, My intent with the art was to make it look DK/80’s nintendo ish. I then hand cut and gold chrome embossed the control panel and bezel. I will do the same with the side art and instruction sticker.
Inside, is a decased 20″ CRT and an NES wired to the arcade joystick and buttons. I was gonna do a playchoice ten….but now I’m happy I went with the NES. I can play all the NES games with an Everdrive N8.
So there you go, what do you think to this custom Legend of Zelda arcade cabinet? Yes, Zelda may not have been the most practical of arcade experiences in hindsight. But who amongst us can say we wouldn’t want one of these?