Tuesday, November 18, 2014

R.I.P. Sassony Arcade

It was earlier this month that a well-known arcade in Downtown Los Angeles permanently shut its iron curtains for good.  That place is the Sassony Arcade, located on 7th & Broadway.

The Sassony Arcade in Downtown L.A.
Man, I already miss this place.  I had a lot of good memories (and dates) here at this arcade.

August 2nd, 2007 - The day I turned 23 years old.  I met my best friend of seven years here, too.  It was your typical summer day in LA--hot and humid.  I decided to play hooky from French class and jumped on the 68 (before the route was shortened and became the 35) from Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to 7th and Broadway, just so I can play a particular game (see pictures below).

Best damn game to ever come out of Japan

Made in response to bootleg versions of the game
Now I must confess...I already have a copy of Street Fighter II for the Super Nintendo (or SNES, for short).  Actually, I have four (two copies of The World Warrior, one of Turbo: Hyper Fighting, and one of Super: The New Challengers).  I was just getting used to playing it on arcade again after a long time.  There's also a backstory behind the actual story.  I had a fear of playing SF2 on the arcade.  It was all because of some crappy bootleg version I played at a laundromat in Inglewood, California (see below).

Rainbow, an infamous bootleg version of Champion Edition
I wouldn't touch another Street Fighter II machine until 2004.  But fast forward to my 23rd birthday--I wanted to get in a game, just for fun.  That was when I saw this tall, handsome young man who (would become my best friend) playing on another SF2 machine (there were six in total back then).  He was playing as ol' bristle-head Guile, breezing through his opponents until he came across a weasel Blanka player who kept rolling all over the place (the machine was another random bootleg version of Champion Edition, by the way).  The young man lost to the ugly green beast, but his skills were unmatched.  Seventy-five cents later (after losing numerous times to M. Bison), I completed my session as Chun-Li.  Some time passed, and I gave this slim, gorgeous stranger the last of my credits after complimenting him on his playing abilities.  I jumped on the 40 and took my butt home, relaying that memory in my mind.  Needless to say, that same young man and I became tight afterward.

Flash forward to the summer of 2014--It was June 9th.  I took a trip to the arcade after completing the last of my final exams for a pick-up game related to Street Fighter (see below).

Crack, in the form of pixels
Playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2 damn near drove me into the poor house, because it was so dang blasted addictive!!!  I usually play to see if I could crack two billion points with my team (my squad is Guile, Chun-Li, and Cable).  It was a cute lil' fella watching me play another game (topped two billion plus points the first one).  I cracked two billion again, but my score ranked 2nd.  The same young man who watched me thought I was skilled at this game, so we had an interesting conversation.  Three months later, we became a couple.  So thank you, Sassony Arcade, for letting me meet two special people in my life.  And thank you, Capcom, for such great fighting games.