A former luxury liner in Wales that had been rotting for over 30 years has been raided to save a treasure trove of over 50 classic arcade games that lay hidden within.
Arcade Blogger reports on the raid of a ship called The Duke of Lancaster, built in 1956 before being converted to a car ferry in 1970, with its last commercial voyage in 1978.
In 1979, The Duke was sold to an investor who wanted to turn it into “The Fun Ship” – it was brought off the coast of Llanerch-y-Mor, North Wales to be converted into a giant floating hotel/arcade/leisure spot. It’s a dream we’ve all had a some point, I’m sure.
Obviously, these plans never came to be. The ship just sat, alone and unloved until 2009, when some plucky explorers got in and took some photos. This soon grabbed the attention of the British arcade collectors scene.
It’s at this point that I should point out by “raid” I don’t mean pirates or hooded youths armed with flick knifes and Crazy Frog ringtones.
A “raid” by arcade collectors instead involves a lot of searching, followed by some polite haggling, and ending in a very civilized collection of the goods.
As you’ve probably worked out by now, the ship formerly known as The Duke of Lancaster was full of very rare, very old arcade machines – many of them in fantastic condition, all things considered.
The owner of the ship was of course contacted before they harvested the bowels of the ship for retro arcade fun.
Collector Oliver Moazzezi was part of a small team allowed inside to scout out the find. He shot a video of the discovery, which you can see below.
You’ll be glad to know that despite racing against a recent leak that threatened to damage the cabinets, the machines are now in the safe hands of collectors across Europe and are currently being repaired and restored.
You can find the full account right here. It’s an awesome insight into a genuinely interesting hobby.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.