Japanese Retro Arcade Store That Took 10 Years To Build Goes Up In Flames 1
Image: @living_bird

A Japanese retro arcade which housed many iconic arcade machines was consumed by fire this week, destroying 10 years of hard work.

The Living Bird store, located in Towada City, Aomori Prefecture, was devastated by a blaze which started in a neighbouring unit and spread through the roof. The fire took half a day to be extinguished.

The arcade moved to its present location in December of 2022 following the impact of COVID-19. A crowdfunding campaign was set up to help the arcade secure its future following the closure of its previous location in 2021. Now, all of that hard work has vanished.

"Everything I had worked on over the past 10 years since I got my first [cabinet] was gone in just a few hours," says the owner's Twitter account. "Even though we were running out of funds and had no customers, we managed to get through it, but we never imagined it would end like this."

The store showcased cabinets for games like Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter, Super Street Fighter Ⅱ, Street Fighter Zero 2, Columns, Puzzle Bobble 4, Golden Axe, OutRun, After Burner and Super Hang-On. It also sold candy for customers to eat while they played.

"Would you like to touch the cabinets from the era when games were really fun?" asks the store's official website. "Have fun once again conquering the games you couldn't complete back then. For those of the generation who don't know the craze of the time, I think you'll be able to enjoy the game with a somewhat nostalgic yet new feeling. You'll definitely remember the fun and excitement of playing each game carefully."

Despite the destruction, the owner has expressed gratitude for the help they have received since the fire broke out. "I am truly grateful to the regulars who rushed to the area immediately after the fire broke out to buy us clothes and daily necessities, and to give us money to live on for the time being, and to the local acquaintances who provided us with a place to live. I also feel very sorry for those who were looking forward to the holidays and those who were planning to visit us in the future, such as Golden Week."

[source twitter.com]