Pick Date: 6/24/07    For those who remember Paperboy, its the unique handlebar controller that sets it apart from other games. And what’s not to like about this game? You are paperboy, delivering newspapers to a suburban neighborhood, just doing your best to survive to the end of the week. From its rocking soundtrack with a whole lot of cowbell, to its high detailed graphics, this is one of those games that you just couldn’t pass up playing back in the day.

The year was 1985, and Paperboy just hit the arcades. You walk into your local arcade, surveying all the different games available to play, all the while looking for any new games that may have just come account. Your sizing up which game to play first going down the rows, joystick, joystick, joystick, trackball, wait a second, handlebars? What’s this? Now as a 13 year old boy before the days of the internet, satellite tv and 24 hour cartoon network, you spent a lot of your time riding your bicycle around the neighborhood with your friends. This was THEE mode of transportation back in the day. Now here we a brand new game in the arcade with bicycle handlebars. Oh, this is going to be good. I gotta try this. And try it I did. Paperboy soon became an arcade favorite.

This particular game I bought off ebay. I ended up being the only bidder for this game on ebay, and got it for the starting price. Unfortunately I forgot to grab a camera to document this road trip. After I arrived at my destination, I was able to see that the monitor is nice and sharp and the cab is in decent shape. Well that's good news, because I am sure those medium resolution monitors aren't cheap and I didn't want another monitor project on my hands. I played it onsite and thought the sound was a little off but after a 768 mile round trip road trip I wasn't going home empty handed. After getting it home I discovered it had a bad right amplifier on the ARIII board. Well, the auction did not state that. An email to the guy said he never noticed it. I think he knew, and didn't know how to fix the problem

Well I replace the bad amplifier chip on the ARIII board and it fixed the sound. WAIT....not so fast, about a week later the portions of the video became corrupted. I tried swapping the video RAM chips around but it didn't fix the problem. After emailing the seller he told me "Yeah I noticed that problem off and on and I would adjust the power supply to clear it up. Maybe you can rebuild the ARIII board for a more stable power supply." WOW......you never mentioned that in the auction either. I seem to remember the words "works, game plays great!" for the auction description and follow up email. To top things off messing with the power supply voltage as he mentioned didn't fix the problem. And he was an arcade operator? Nice diagnosis man.

Well something was definitely not right on the video board and swapping the video RAM didn't fix it. Someone on the arcade message boards offered to sell me just the lower video board. I bought it, replaced it, got the T-shirt and saved the whales. Now everything works great....just as it should have to begin with. From now on, I think all my arcades will come from Craigslist. I can show up and look over the game, and if it isn't as described I can laugh out loud and go home with cash still in hand. Anyways I now have a working Paperboy, a classic and fun game to play, gotta love it. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Update 7/31/10:
Around the summer of 2008 the red color on the game screen started flaking out. It would phase in and out, and eventually it was more "out" than in. Although 99% of color issues are monitor related, I was able to confirm that somehow the game board was losing the color red. This lack of red somehow always turned me off from playing it in my arcade. Luckily I had the spare video game board for Paperboy with bad graphics. Previously I had just swapped the RAM of the same type around on the board. The problem was still there. This time I replaced the RAM with a different type which was similar but newer. This time I was able to fix the bad graphics by replacing that RAM chip at location 3B with the newer type. I put in the fixed board and I now have Paperboy in full color again. I give the game a quick play and finished all 7 delivery days in the game. It's like they say, you never forget how to ride a bike. To this day, Paperboy is still a staple in the Vintage Vault Arcade. Now you have a friend in the paper business!


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