Recently we’ve been quite busy tracking down all the arcades featuring racing games in the UK. It’s still a long way till our ambitious project is complete, but we’re also trying to discover and verify all the racing cabinets in every single arcade. And so far we didn’t find a single Initial D Arcade Stage machine in the whole UK.
We know that the latest installment of the series officially imported in UK by Sega Amusements was Initial D Arcade Stage 4 and that’s pretty old, but we refuse to accept that there are no IDAS cabs left to play!
For example we know for sure that London Funland used to have two IDAS4 twin-cabinets before closing down. But the venue is (kind of) no more, and even if most of the Funland’s machines are now belonging to Las Vegas Arcade Soho and to The Heart Of Gaming, there is no trace of the wanted cabinet.
Funland closed down in 2011, and at that time the game was still there. Now the options are several. The cabinet could have been sold overseas, and if this is the case, well, so long. On the other hand, if the cab has been sold to someone here in the UK, and this someone is using it for general public purposes, it shouldn’t be so hard to track it down.
Sure there are other trickier possibilities, for example the machine could have been sold and now stored in some dusty warehouse or maybe in someone’s house. Last option: the game could still be inside the chained venue of Funland. We know the place has been shut down because of some disputes with the landlord, but it’s not entirely impossible that some arcade machines are still sitting into the deserted floor on London’s once best arcade.
Our friend Nomax (from Arcade Belgium) just told us they’ve bought two (of the four) machines that were at Funland and that they’re currently renting them (after updating from v1.2 to v.15) to Jeux Americains, a mobile luna park venue in Belgium. So they’re no longer in the UK, but at least we know they’re safe and in good hands.
Still no info about the other two cabinets.