American Classic Arcade Museum: Rastan



Every year I try and head north to the American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot in Weirs Beach, NH.  When I was young we would vacation in Hampton Beach, NH and I would pour an unreasonable amount of pocket change into these machines.  The ACAM is like walking back through time and on busy days the sounds, people and lights are pure mid-eighties.

Rastan has vexed me since 1987.  Overall, it isn’t that difficult and can be finished in twenty minutes, but it requires a good bit of memorization and a few rolls of quarters until you are an expert.  I finally went back years later and finished it.  I will always play if it is currently working in the ACAM.

Rastan has a pretty strong Conan the Barbarian vibe, even down to almost copying the closing shot of the eighties film in the title screen.   The music, which is excellent, has almost a Harryhausen Sinbad movie vibe to it, and the sound effects are visceral clangs and digitized screams of protagonist pain that I remember so well from the days when I still had hair.

Gameplay wise it is a standard platformed with a thin skin of RPG mechanics in the form of multiple weapons with varying stats and items that give you additional abilities.  I’m not sure if they make a dramatic difference in difficulty, but I remember how cool it felt to get the mace early on in the game.

Eventually I will build my own arcade cabinet for the house, but will always make the pilgrimage up North when I am able.  If you find yourselves in the area, please stop by.  This is a good group of people and the museum is a non-profit.  A lot of these machines would be lost to time if it wasn’t for the hard work of volunteers who care about that era.