Video arcades are places where chance encounters are born.

If you’ve not heard of the 1986 arcade platform classic Bubble Bobble then perhaps getting a miniature NES loaded with the game might be in order. Watching little adorable dragons spitting out bubbles at enemies while traversing 100 notoriously difficult stages has become a fond memory for many Japanese people.

One anonymous Japanese netizen’s game experience was rather different, however, as he didn’t have access to any sort of video game console due to strict parenting during his youth. Nevertheless, he made up for it by frequenting neighborhood game centers filled with arcade cabinets, including the classic Bubble Bobble.

▼ Never underestimate the power of old-school gaming.

According to Hatelabo, an anonymous online diary accessible to anyone, something interesting occurred to him during one of his game center trips back in the day:

“I was slowly progressing through Bubble Bobble stages on one particular day when I noticed a salaryman gazing intently at my gameplay. I was no expert and soon found my little dragon losing its last life. As I was about to stand up, the salaryman silently sat down beside me, inserted a 100 yen (US$0.90) coin into the machine and pressed start without a word.”

Bubble Bobble’s a pretty old game, so there wasn’t any way to continue after losing all your lives. But if the second player joins the battle before the game over screen popped up, one could continue playing. Just when I was about to question his wits, the salaryman inserted another coin and pressed the start button on my side too.”

▼ At least clue me in on what you’re doing!

“Suddenly I was playing with my new salaryman comrade, who must have inserted a total of about 1,000 yen. I can’t recall if we even exchanged words or where we died, but I probably dragged the both of us down. We certainly didn’t reach level 100.”

“I repeatedly thanked the smiling salaryman, who merely commented that ‘It was a shame’. We parted and I’ve never met him again since that day. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime encounter.”

Netizens were moved by the heartwarming tale:

“That’s a great memory.”
“Connecting with people at game centers is really nice.”
“A game center gentleman?”
“I remember panicking when a foreigner randomly joined my game once.”
“It’s a place where people with similar interests gather. Return the favor to someone.”

Arcades are indeed places filled with people passionate about games, and it’s a shame that hardly any conversation goes on in there. Reach out, and perhaps great friends and even lifelong gaming partners can be made.

Source: Hatelabo via My Game News Flash
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso