THE DUNGEON'S FIRST OFFICIAL T-SHIRTS ORDERED, 1-30-96:
My next soldier in the war with Delta Music had been selected and I wanted the word out as much as possible, so now was the time to advertise. To that end, on 1-30-96, I placed my first order for official "Dungeon T-shirts". The idea for shirts came to me shortly after the war with Delta Music began and was for two important reasons. One main reason was because I wanted to advertise the fact that The Dungeon would soon have Killer Instinct 2 (KI2), the second reason was because I wanted to be able to wear clothes that would glow in the new black light environment I created there. Unfortunately, only the first reason would be satisfied, for despite reassurances from the shirt makers (Bayou Land Screen Printing) that the color we chose would "glow", it in fact did not. Instead of having shirts that reacted to black light, we got shirts that had bright color only in regular light. However, it was not a total loss, for the artwork done by my friend William (Willem) McCormick (same guy who did the artwork for The Dungeon's first sign) did come out great. We also order a few shirts with actual "glow in the dark" paint, but they were more expensive to produce (since it was technically a two color shirt, with glow in the dark paint over white), so we only got a handful of those. Since the glow in the dark shirts were rare, I would only wear them on special occasions; Dungeon Tournaments for example. So in most cases, I would be seen in these:
First official Dungeon T-shirt in original bright green (front, back, and upclose of artist's signature)
For the front
of the shirt, I wanted to advertise The Dungeon game room and the fact
that we were soon going to have Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (UMK3),
thus the slogan "The Dungeon is The ULTIMATE Hangout". The people
drawn on the front of the shirt would include the likenesses of "Dino Duet"
(wearing a "Creole Lanes" work shirt; which will become a thing later on
in the next shirt), "Devin Crawford", "Danny Thibodeaux (Coach)", and "William
(Willem) McCormick". At the same time, I wanted it to be known that
The Dungeon was located inside Creole Lanes, thus I had the Creole Lanes
logo for the time put on the pocket for the shirt. Not to mention,
with the bowling alley's logo on the shirt, it could double as a work shirt
for when I was working the front desk (which I believe was every Tuesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at this point in history).
This would, in theory, garner support from my bosses at the time.
I believe it did, being that I continued to wear Dungeon shirts occasionally
at work from 1996-2002 without any complaints of any kind. In fact,
I gave out extra shirts for free to other employees of the bowling alley
who would also wear the shirts while working; both advertising The Dungeon
as well as the games inside (UMK3 and KI2 were in The Dungeon from 1996-2014).
The back of the shirt advertised The Dungeon and the immanent new arrival
KI2. Unfortunately, the shirts would not be ready for pickup until
2-13-96; a full week after KI2 had already been in The Dungeon.
DUNGEON GAMES BRINGS KILLER INSTINCT 2 AND ULTIMATE MORTAL KOMBAT 3 TO THE DUNGEON, 2-6-96:
With the new
power of the internet (brand new for Houma at the time), I was able to
find out about KI2 (Killer Instinct 2) long before Delta Music knew
anything about it. In fact, I even knew about KI2 before my new distributor,
Distributors, had any clue it was coming out (I was downloading KI2
sound files off the internet on 1-17-96, almost a full month before the
first machines reached Louisiana). This pleased the distributor to
no end to know about new machines from me first, thus allowing them to
be prepared for orders. It also allowed me to get one of the first
units the day they arrived at the distributor. Needless to say, this
gave me a huge advantage in the war; one that would ultimately spell doom
for Delta Music. I had been hounding the distributor for months,
after I had purchased a Jack*Bot from them, to let me know the instant
KI2 arrived; for at this point they knew of the rule Creole Lanes made
over UMK3 and knew of my war with Delta Music. In fact, it just so
happened that most of Delta Music's machines came from this distributor,
giving me another advantage in the war. Since Southland Distributors
already had Delta Music's business and they knew they would lose mine if
I lost the war, this guaranteed I would be able to get almost any machine
in The Dungeon before Delta Music (as long as I knew about it first and
placed the order early). Not to mention, the distributor liked being
informed of new games long before they came out, so naturally they didn't
mind giving me first dibs on hot new machines like KI2.
On 2-6-96, the first KI2 machines arrived in Louisiana and I was ready to pick one up (the drive to the distributor was only two hours from Houma). However, this was on a day I had to work the desk at Creole Lanes, so I wouldn't have time to actually get to play the game, but I nevertheless made the time to deliver it and set it up for play in The Dungeon before it was time to clock on. In addition to being able to get one of the first KI2 machines in the entire state, my salesperson (whose name I do not remember at the moment) who sold me the machine was also able to provide me with the UMK3 upgrade chips I needed for my MK3 machine! So on this same day, The Dungeon got two new warriors in the war against Delta Music that would strike a serious blow in the battle to earn the most "fighting game" profits.
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH MACGYVER, 2-6-96:
Although it had
been a whole week before, on 1-30-96, when I had ordered the first Dungeon
shirts advertising KI2 and UMK3, these shirts would not actually be ready
for pickup until 2-13-96; so you could imagine my surprise when I found
out that people were already visiting The Dungeon to see if we had KI2
yet! It was a Tuesday when I brought KI2 in, and at the time I had
to work that night, so like I said before I didn't even get to play the
machine the first night it was in. I also would not have time to
install the new UMK3 chips until right before Creole Lanes closed that
night. However, that first night while I was working the front desk
at Creole Lanes, I saw for the first time someone who would change the
fate of The Dungeon and Dungeon Games forever. I remember clearly
seeing him for the first time when the bowling alley was nearing time to
close and he walked in heading straight for The Dungeon. Having worked
at the bowling alley for nearly five years at that point, I knew he was
not a regular, so I made it a point to meet him before he left. Apparently,
he had heard that KI2 would soon be in The Dungeon and he had stopped by
that night just to see if it was there yet! So with nothing but word
of mouth, people had already heard that KI2 would be in The Dungeon before
He played KI2 briefly and then we talked at the front desk before he left. His name was MacGyver (his real name I am withholding by request) and I remember we talked briefly that night, but little did I know he would become a regular in The Dungeon and be a great help to Dungeon Games during and after the war! As I spoke to him that night, it became clear he had a LOT of technical knowledge and was a computer expert. In fact, it was later discovered that MacGyver actually hacked one of my brother's BBS servers (Heavy Metal BBS) back in the days before Houma had the internet in the early 90s'! In any case, with MacGyver's help, Dungeon Games now had a powerful new ally in the war with Delta Music; an ally whose great deeds will be told later on as this history unfolds.
DUNGEON GAMES AT THE ST. PATRICK'S ROCKATHON, 3-17-96
For the first
time in the history of Dungeon Games, there would be two locations on the
night of Sunday 3-17-96 (Dungeon Games would have up to five different
locations at one point in its history). Although it would only be
for this one night, Dungeon Games would provide one machine (UMK3) for
this concert (which would include the band "Deadeye Dick"). During
its brief time at the Houma Municipal Auditorium, I was told that
the UMK3 machine was actually played by the singer of the band Deadeye
Dick (Caleb Guillotte) at one point on this day. However, despite
the fact that there was no significant increase in income from that night,
it did set an important precedent that games in The Dungeon owned by Dungeon
Games could be leased out to other locations.
DUNGEON PAINTING HUNG IN THE DUNGEON, 4-16-96:
Although a few small things happened in before the hanging of The Dungeon painting (example: on 3-25-96 the order for one of the first of ten War Gods machines was made by Dungeon Games, and the owner of Creole Lanes at the time said "just put an Out of Order sign on Delta's more popular machines", ect.), the date the painting was hung is historically significant. Unlike the first Dungeon sign, which was much smaller and was temporarily hung in the back of the game room with a glow in the dark skeleton, the official Dungeon painting would be hung from the ceiling near the entrance of The Dungeon game room on 4-16-96. It would remain there until it was removed almost 13 years later on 2-8-09 (I wanted it for my personal game room in my home when I moved to California and still have it to this day)! The painting was originally purchased at a "garage sale", but much of the artwork was altered to say "Welcome to The Dungeon" with florescent yellow paint by William (Willem) McCormick the night before on 4-15-96.
Dungeon painting as it appeared at the entrance to The Dungeon (picture taken on 7-21-96)
Florescent orange paint would be added the next day (4-17-96) and shortly after William (Willem) McCormick added "Delta Music" to one of the tombstones; a prediction that came to pass on 7-24-98 when the war ended with the removal of all games owned by Delta Music (known as "D-D-Day" or "Delta-Death-Day"). Also, the large glow in the dark skeleton that was once in the back of The Dungeon under the first small Dungeon sign was moved to the front poll directly under this painting around this time period. There the skeleton would remain until The Dungeon was destroyed in late 2014 (the skeleton was actually stolen by a fan of The Dungeon after all games were removed; its current location is still unknown to this day).
Enlargement of picture taken on 7-21-96 with "Delta Music" written on one of the tombstone and the relocated skeleton.
DELTA MUSIC LOSES TEKKEN 2, 4-18-96
On the same day
that Dungeon Games made their first shirt advertising the upcoming game
Gods (four months in advance of its arrival no less), Delta Music
had their Tekken 2 machine broken into. Since I was known
to be in The Dungeon every night, I know for a fact that their Tekken 2
machine was working fine the night before. However, when I came in
for work on the afternoon of 4-18-96, I noticed their Tekken 2 machine
was not on and it was pushed away from the wall where it normally was toward
the entrance to The Dungeon. When I first laid eyes on it that day,
I knew right away what had happened, being that the lady at Southland Distributors
told me there was a rash of board theft in the newer fighting games and
that I need to guard against it. My machines already had big paddle
locks on them, plus security screws, so I knew my machines were safe.
However, Delta Music did nothing to protect their boards, so they were
all susceptible to burglary.
In any case, I already knew what had happened to the Tekken 2 machine the moment I saw it from the desk. I remember walking up to it and looking behind it to see that the back of the machine was open and had no board inside. I immediately told the owners of Creole Lanes what had happened and called Delta Music to report it. I also made sure I did not touch the machine, being that I assumed I would be the first suspect and didn't want my fingerprints on the machine (at the time I knew I had never touched the machine and I was out making a War Gods shirt at the time the crime took place, so I was free and clear).
One of the owners of Delta Music showed up, an older man I would see later on in the war, to investigate. However, there was nothing to be done and the man just got angry at the fact that my machines were protected and his were not. I'm sure he suspected me of doing the deed, but I was not there when it happened and I was the one who called it in. Not to mention, Dungeon Games would never own a Tekken 2 machine, so there was nor ever would be an evidence that I was involved in the crime. This would be the first and last board stolen from The Dungeon, as Delta Music from now on put paddle locks on their newer machines.
DUNGEON GAMES BRINGS STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION PINBALL TO THE DUNGEON, 6-4-96:
One of my all time favorite pinball machines, Star Trek The Next Generation (STTNG), was available for purchase used at a good price in Texas. I remember first playing one of these back in 1994, when Delta Music had one at Creole Lanes, so I just had to have one of my own. It was fortunate that this particular pinball was prone to break down, for Delta Music removed theirs shortly after it broke down that same year. In fact, mine was never 100% operational until years later when I put it in my home in the early 2000s'. In any case, my second hand STTNG machine arrived and was put in The Dungeon on 6-4-96 at 3:00 p.m. and would remain there until 8-1-03 when I removed it for repairs and never brought it back (it is now 100% working, including added mods, in my personal game room at home).
Star Trek The Next Generation and Jack*Bot in The Dungeon (photo taken on 8-28-96)
However, as the
war began to heat up in May, I started marking down the dates that Delta
Music brought new machines to The Dungeon. At this point in history,
Delta Music had added an Area 51 and Street Fighter Alpha 2
on 5-1-96, a pair of Cruisn' USA driving games on 5-9-96, and a
Cracker and Metal Slug on 5-23-96! The enemy added six
machines in under a month, so was I worried? Well just a little,
but as of this date Dungeon Games had UMK3 and KI2 taking the lion share
of the fighting game profit and a brand new Jack*bot and this STTNG taking
most of the pinball profit. The new machines were certainly a show
of "overwhelming buying power" by Delta Music, but it was little more than
that. When I was in The Dungeon on my free time, I rarely seen anyone
play these new Delta Music games, except for that pair of driving games
(placed in the spot where their Tekken 2 once was, toward the entrance
to The Dungeon) that were making a nice chunk of profit. I would
later own a pair of Cruisn' USAs myself after the war ended, so I know
this was fact; a fact I will later deal with towards the end of 1996.
For now, I had my attention elsewhere in an attempt to assimilate more
space in The Dungeon for Dungeon Games. This would involve the center
of the game room, which at the time was taken up by two foosball tables
(the only games owned by Blanchard's Refrigeration) that had overhead
lights. These lights when turned on took away the glowing effects
of the blacklight fixtures I had installed and the foosball tables were
taking up much needed space for the war.
DANNY THIBODEAUX (COACH) BECOMES A "DUNGEON REGULAR", JULY 1996:
The date I first
encountered Danny Thibodeaux (Coach) was long before any of the other "Dungeon
regulars". I believe the first time I saw him was actually in The
Southland Mall around 1984-1985. He tried to "coach" me on how to
play "Space Ace" in Aladdin's Castle, if I remember correctly. Ironically,
I did not enjoy his company then and again when he started coming to the
game room at Creole, ten years later. When I was not working the
desk at Creole Lanes in the early 90s', I would hang out in the game room
and was just learning how to use "Eyedol" on the original KI. On
days when he was there he was either playing KI, or trying to coach me
on how to play it. Needless to say, I would not even hang out in
the game room if he was there, because I liked to play the computer and
learn things on my own. However, later on I became friends with Danny
and started playfully calling him "Coach"; a name that eventually stuck
to him like Super Glue! Even before I became friends with Danny,
I included his likeness on the first Dungeon shirt having him wearing a
shirt that said "Coach" on it no less. For the shirt, William (Willem)
McCormick drew Danny with his signature pose of one hand on the machine
and a cigarette, for he always smoked (another unique thing about The Dungeon
is that it was the only game room in town, possible even the state, that
allowed both smoking and drinks in the game room from 1995-2006; because
of Federal law there was a smoking ban started in 2007).
The nickname Coach was very apt, being that Danny was a bit older than the average person hanging out in The Dungeon (Danny was in his early 30s' in 1996 and the average player was usually in their teens) and the fact that he enjoyed helping people learn how to play the fighting games literally by coaching them. During this period of history, Coach was easily the best player in The Dungeon and rarely lost a match. He would also get cocky after winning a few in a row and taunted the people around him by loudly saying "Next!" when a defeated opponent left the machine. As a player myself, I didn't like cocky people jumping in on a game I was playing and then defeating me, but as a business owner I was very pleased to see Coach helping my machines make extra money with his skills, knowledge, and charisma. Coach not only would beat almost anyone who challenged him, he would also literally coach people playing the game if he was just being a spectator. His reputation as being the best fighting game player in The Dungeon was well known as he began showing up every weekend.
Coach became one of the "Dungeon regulars" who came to Creole just to hang out in The Dungeon and never bowled (Coach actually did eventually start bowling when "Cosmic Bowl" started up, but that wasn't until 1999). I have photos of Coach dating back to July of 1996, but I also remember him showing up regularly to play my MK3 machine (before it was upgraded to UMK3) on weekends in 1995. Coach went on to make history in The Dungeon by finding some game secrets as well as winning some of our "Dungeon Tournaments", which will be covered later on as this history unfolds.
Danny Thibodeaux (Coach) in The Dungeon, July 1996
CABEL T-B RECORDS FIRST COMMERCIAL FOR THE DUNGEON AND DUNGEON GAMES, 7-22-96:
became an official sponsor for the outrageous pirate radio station Cabel
T-B beginning in June of 1996. Starting with Cabel T-B recording
#38 Phoenix Erectus (recorded from 6-14-96 through 8-14-97), Cabel
T-B does the first actual commercial for The Dungeon and Dungeon Games
on 7-22-96 at 12:37 a.m. (according to the records kept by Cabel T-B from
the time period). The commercial was recorded "live and after hours"
in The Dungeon and it appears as part of track 6, called Dungeon Games,
on the 2002 CD version. The commercial also includes sounds from
only games owned by Dungeon Games including: STTNG, UMK3, and Jack*Bot.
The voices that would appear in the commercial includes: Cerch Jobe, William
(Willem) McCormick, Dino Duet (Dungeon Master), and Mr. Slut. The
commercial starts off promoting Dungeon Games for the fact that the money
from Dungeon Games goes to paying the paycheck of the gifted and talented
perverts in the cast and crew of Cabel T-B and also makes fun of the fact
that Delta Music had all of their games set at $.25 per play. Although
Cabel T-B's broadcasts and recordings continued to be mostly financed by
Dungeon Games, until January of 2007 (when the business Dungeon Games
was officially sold), commercials for Dungeon Games were limited to a select
few of their recordings. The next recording that contained a commercial
for Dungeon Games and The Dungeon would not be until 2001, which will be
covered thoroughly later on as this history unfolds.
In any case, the artwork and inserts made for the cassette version of Phoenix Erectus includes a photo of William (Willem) McCormick and Dino Duet (Dungeon Master) from 1996 wearing both versions of the first Dungeon shirt (bright green and glow in the dark). Also, you can see the artwork for the first sign made for The Dungeon right behind William's head on the wall in the background. As an added bonus, the picture below provides a link to the actual commercial called Dungeon Games from the Phoenix Erectus recording (uncensored with adult language).
Artwork and photo insert for the cassette version of Cabel T-B's Phoenix Erectus 1996-1997
DUNGEON GAMES DEFEATS BLANCHARD'S REFRIGERATION IN THE DUNGEON, 7-29-96:
The defeat of Blanchard's Refrigeration was no small victory for Dungeon Games in The Dungeon. The only machines they owned were two foosball tables, but they had been placed in the middle The Dungeon, had been there since the 80s', and were now standing in the way of Dungeon Games. The main reason sighted for their removal was the fact that Dungeon Games had on order a full size blacklight air hockey table and therefor needed that space. Also, the light coming from the light fixtures that were mounted over the foosball tables killed the blacklight environment that Dungeon Games was working to have for The Dungeon (when I was there and the foosball tables weren't being played, I made sure to keep those lights off). To that end, on 7-29-96 the owner of Creole Lanes told Blanchard's Refrigeration to remove the two tables and relocate them to the far end of the bowling alley (they would remain there for a few years before being removed from the bowling alley altogether). Once the tables were removed from The Dungeon, there was a perfect amount of space to install the new Dynamo Comet blacklight air hockey table on 8-2-96.
Dynamo Comet air hockey table in The Dungeon (circa 1996)
Again no small
victory for Dungeon Games, this full size Dynamo Comet blacklight air hockey
table on average would easily become the single most profitable machine
in the entire Dungeon from 8-3-96 (it was out of order the first day because
I did not have time to program the price settings, which the default was
giving free games) until removal of all games previously owned by Dungeon
Games on 10-20-14! I told the owner of Creole Lanes, on 7-29-96,
"this machine will still be making money ten years from now", which it
in fact did in The Dungeon for a grand total of over 18 years! Another
interesting side note, this air hockey table was the first to have "sound",
which involved noises made when the puck would hit the walls of the table
and a crowd cheering when a goal was made. Unfortunately, the sound
board was poorly designed and the table lost sound only three days later
However, this had no effect on the huge profits the table made (from 1996-2006 this table made close to a hundred thousand dollars in gross profit and had the highest average weekly profit of any machine ever owned by Dungeon Games). It was also the single most expensive game to play in The Dungeon, being that it was set for $.75 per game (I considered that fair since it was technically a two player game and most pool tables at the time went up from $.50 to $.75 a play). Most games in The Dungeon were set at $.25 per play, since at the time most of the games were still owned by Delta Music and they used this "price cut" to try and compete with the newer games installed by Dungeon Games, which were set at $.50 (which was the average rate for new machines in most arcades in the country at the time). However, this discount Delta music offered would actually have the opposite effect, being that they would make less money in the long run. This also became a major cause for their defeat in the war later on, being that no one would play Delta Music's older games when they could play their newer games at the same price. Since most of Delta Music's machines were older/outdated, this made for a LOT of dead weight and wasted space in The Dungeon at the time. This act of sheer stupidity will be discussed in detail later on as this history unfolds.
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH ERIC AND SEAN CANDIES, LATE AUGUST 1996:
I have no way
of determining the exact date I met them, but according to the pictures
I have, it most likely was in late August of 1996; after I had brought
in the Comet air hockey table and shortly before I brought War Gods
to The Dungeon. I first encountered Eric Candies (later to be known
as "Candyman") on a night when I was off of work and just hanging out in
The Dungeon. He was about 15 years old at the time, but his height
and build made him look much older to me. While I was playing UMK3,
I believe Eric walked up to the machine and asked if it was okay to "jump
in". It was common practice to ask first, but some people just rudely
walk up and jump in without asking (in which case I would try very hard
to win, hehe). In the case of Eric, I know he either asked to jump
in, or he waited until I was about to die fighting the computer and jump
in then, but I just can't remember those details (later on that would be
standard procedure for Eric when we were together in The Dungeon).
However, what I do remember clearly was Eric picking Reptile, royally kicked
my ass, and using Reptile's new fatality that had just been discovered
very recently. In fact, I'm pretty sure Eric was the first person
to actually do that particular fatality in The Dungeon! I then turned
to him and saw a very disarming smile on his face, so I simply smiled back
and said "wow, cool!" and then I just walked away.
In any case, I didn't actually get introduced to him or his little brother Sean Candies (later to be known as "Imperial Dark Lord" or just "IDL") until later on that evening; after I asked a few of the Dungeon regulars about them. Apparently, they were well known to be really good at fighting games and people actually knew them by name. In fact, many of the regulars I talked to did not like them at all and were envious of their talents and wealth. The common phrase I heard when asking about them was "I don't like them; they are so cheap", meaning they would do anything to win on the fighting games. However, I had never seen them in The Dungeon before, so I was intrigued to say the least. The fact that they came from a wealthy family didn't bother me at all, so later on that evening we started getting to know each other. Sean Candies was about 11 years old at the time, but had skills practically equal to Eric's on the fighting games. In fact, I believe the reason they got so good at the games was because they constantly tried to beat each other on them, thus making them able to make quick work of an average player like myself.
From that first night on, Eric and Sean would become Dungeon regulars; making on average two to three visits to The Dungeon a week. Again, like Coach, they never bowled and only showed up to hang out in The Dungeon. Because of that, Coach no longer had the reputation for being the best fighting game player in The Dungeon, however he was still far above average. In fact, during one of my conversations with Eric, I found out he did indeed know Coach from their days at the Southland Mall when the first Mortal Kombat (MK) came out in the early 90s'. Coach actually taught Eric and Sean how to play the first MK, according to what I was told by both Eric and Coach. However, Eric told me that he didn't consider Coach much of a challenge and in fact Eric was quite annoyed that everyone he beat on a machine in The Dungeon would tell him about Coach saying things like: "I know one guy you can't beat". I was surprised and skeptical that Eric was that good at the fighting games, but later on he proved to have been simply stating facts and not just bragging. I got to see it with my own eyes the first night I saw Eric, Sean, and Coach playing against each other; which was shortly before War Gods arrived. It was like an unofficial "UMK3 Tournament", as that was easily the most played game that night. Eric was the clear winner of the evening, as no one was able to beat him consistently on the UMK3 machine that night. I even took some pictures to record the event for posterity.
From left to right: Sean Candies, Coach, and Eric Candies while playing UMK3 in The Dungeon, late August 1996
All six pictures were taken on the same night during the unofficial UMK3 Tournament in The Dungeon, late August 1996
Eric and Sean
quickly became legendary once they became regulars of The Dungeon and would
later dominate the upcoming "Dungeon Tournaments" as well as make world
record high scores that are still unbroken to this day! In fact,
I have played them both literally hundreds of times on fighting games and
can count on one hand how many times I actually won against them.
Even in those few cases, I only really beat Sean once (which was blind
luck) and Eric only let me beat him occasionally so he could put his initials
in the game for having most wins in a row! In any case, their many
accomplishments I will cover later on as this history unfolds.
DUNGEON GAMES BRINGS WAR GODS TO THE DUNGEON, 8-27-96:
Since the first shirt I made on 4-18-96, I had been heavily advertising the upcoming arrival of the new fighting game War Gods. These War Gods shirts were made at the Southland Mall and were mostly made up of images of the War Gods game that I downloaded off the internet and had silk screened onto a white T-shirt. I made my second War Gods shirt on 5-2-96, which I constantly rotated with the first every week, and even put up a sign on the bulletin board of Creole Lanes advertising it; even including the approximate release date. In addition to the shirts and the sign, I even had a promotional message on my answering machine for my business phone line. The phone number appeared in the form of a small metal sign somewhere under the glass of most machines owned by Dungeon Games:
Original artwork used for the Dungeon Games signs and the standard placement on machines in 1996
So the day that
War Gods would be brought to The Dungeon, on 8-27-96, it already had people
waiting to play it. In fact, again it was a Tuesday so I had to work
the front desk, and I saw first hand two people literally running to the
game room to see if War Gods was there! These people were not bowlers
either; they were among many "Dungeon regulars" that came to Creole Lanes
just for The Dungeon game room. On that first day, the machine got
played constantly. That really concerned me, since the bowling alley
would be closed to bowlers the very next day for lane resurfacing!
I knew this would seriously cut into my profits if people were coming to
play the new game and found the doors to the bowling alley were locked.
Since that first day was so awesome, I asked the owner of Creole Lanes
if it would be okay to keep The Dungeon open during the lane resurfacing
and to my surprise he said yes! This would lead to the second unofficial
"Dungeon Tournament" later to be known as "The War Gods Tournament".
Eric would later be the clear winner of this tournament, but fun was had
On 8-28-96, The Dungeon was open for the first time on its own with the bowling alley being closed to bowlers! As I predicted, many people did show up just to play War Gods. I even brought my camera for this historic occasion and took a few pictures!
All six pictures were taken during the unofficial War Gods Tournament in The Dungeon on 8-28-96
Among those present
for this tournament would be: Ryan Bourgeois, Eric Candies (later known
as "Candyman"), Sean Candies (later known as "Imperial Dark Lord", or just
"IDL") and myself (Dino Duet, also known as "Dungeon Master"); wearing
one of the rare "glow in the dark" version of the first Dungeon shirt no
less. There were many other Dungeon regulars present, but I can't
remember all of their names. What was truly amazing was that War
Gods made $457 gross profit for the week (one of the highest weekly figures
ever recorded for any single machine in the history of Dungeon Games)
despite the fact that it arrived on a Tuesday (having no Monday profit
for the week) and the fact that the bowling alley was closed to bowlers
THE DUNGEON MASTER'S PAGE IS ONLINE, 9-10-96:
It is difficult to determine exactly when The Dungeon Master's Page first came online, but the date of 9-10-96 is my best estimate. That was the day that I made the official "Dungeon skull" for the website and it would remain the background image for The Dungeon Master's Page to this day! This skull also eventually became the official symbol of The Dungeon and was placed on many shirts that advertised The Dungeon, as well as shirts that were awarded to the winners of future "Dungeon Tournaments" from 1997-2003.
Original skull artwork used for the background of The Dungeon Master's Page created on 9-10-96
My new friend
MacGyver is the one who introduced me to the art of webpage making, shortly
before I made the skull artwork, and the template he made for the pages
are still in use to this day! The website itself covered all the
"news" about The Dungeon, including upcoming new games with arrival dates.
This would be the only website for a game room in Houma, LA and to this
day is still the only one in existence! This website would also eventually
promote the Dungeon Tournaments; including dates, times, and announcements
of who won. However, for the years 1996-1998, the website would mostly
be about the progress of Dungeon Games in The Dungeon, with announcements
of further "assimilation" (the actual term I used to describe the Dungeon
Games' "take over" of The Dungeon during the war), as more and more space
in The Dungeon would be taken by machines owned by Dungeon Games.
There was also a "photo shoot" done on 10-3-96 of some "Dungeon regulars" and myself made specifically for the website. The photos were shot with my first "digital" camera, which at the time was brand new technology. Also, some "watermarks" were placed on the pictures showing the original 1996 URL for the website (no longer valid) and the name of the game room "The Dungeon" (according to the file dates the watermarks were created on 9-15-96 at three o'clock in the morning). These pictures would include the first "official" picture of me as the "Dungeon Master"; a picture that would remain on the front page of The Dungeon Master's Page for the entire duration of the war (an updated photo of me did not appear until 7-30-00).
Pictures of Dungeon regulars Jason Pellegrin (Dr. Jay) and Ryan Bourgeois taken for The Dungeon Master's Page on 10-3-96
First official photo of Dino Duet (Dungeon Master) taken for The Dungeon Master's Page on 10-3-96
**more to come.