As we discussed at length in DTA Podcast #1, we all ran out of the theater after seeing The Last Starfighter hoping to find a Starfighter game in the arcade -- so we could blow our little
hometowns home planet forever. Well, now you can have a Starfighter game of your very own -- but you'll have to build it yourself.
Here's the skinny: the great folks at Rogue Synapse -- a resource for movie-aficionados and game cabinet builders -- have not only researched the details of the game cabinet from the movie, they've also developed a working version of the Starfighter game. This is the game that should've hit arcades right after the movie but never did. And it's a free download!
RS already offers drawings of their repro cabinet, and they promise to offer high-res scans of the cabinet art shortly. To build a cabinet like theirs, you'll also need some gear to interface the joysticks and buttons to a keyboard, but thankfully lots of people 'round the 'net have already solved these problems; just Google "MAME cabinet" for lots and lots of answers to your user-interface questions.
But even if you don't plan on undertaking the cabinet itself, you can try the game out on your PC. Just download the installation EXE from RS and install it. The controls are a bit tricky if you've never played a MAME ROM via keyboard, but here are a few tips: the "5" key drops coins in the machine, the space bar fires, the arrow keys target, and ASW and D track. The "1" key switches between laser and photon bolts. Hitting the escape key exits the application. Just try poking around to find other key combinations.
Good luck, Starfighter. And if Centauri comes for you first, you'd better make him stop off and snag us, too. If you leave us on this sorry rock, we'll never forgive you.