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Starting to feel like regulars, it was our third visit to the 8-Bit Lounge and it was as much fun as ever. The atmosphere of these events, the pumping music, it just lends itself to having a good time and results became secondary. Not that we weren’t all gunning for victory of course!

Although still in the Hare and Hounds Pub, April’s event was held in one of the upstairs gig venues – a larger space with a proper stage area that had a proper sound system too! Jon G was unable to attend in the end but fortunately we were joined by two KOA debutants, John M and Thomas J. I don’t think either would consider themselves ‘big’ on KO but both were top blokes and great sports. I made contact with John via the Amibay Forum and he’ll also be going to next month’s Retro Computer Museum event in Leicester. Interestingly, John’s full named is actually the 1975 Aston Villa footy team and he even had the evidence to prove this. His fiancee, I gather, isn’t too keen about having all 13 names read aloud at their wedding next year!

After a few friendlies including an enjoyable best of three with Si, we figured the five of us would form an 8-Bit Fun Cup when Tom P, who also took part in February, came over to join in too. Keeping it old school and minus a laptop, the draw was conducted using good ole pen and paper. Steve and Tom got a bye into the Semi’s whereas the rest of us battled it out…

Quarter Finals
John M 1 – 5 Garry C
Simon K 10 – 0 Thomas J

John although very much a beginner took the lead against me and we went in 1-1 at HT. His questions about gameplay suggest he might be interested to get a better grip of the game in future? He’d certainly be welcome to join us again in the future. Meanwhile Mr King ruled emphatically against Thomas with his I-didn’t-mean-to-but-everything-went-in double-digit scoreline. Yeah, right!

Semi Finals
Steve 7 – 5 Garry C
Simon K 7 – 0 Tom P

During mine and Ste’s match, Evil moved up a notch, just like the sound system’s volume levels! Not only were we unable to hear the tap-tap-taping/whistles, at times we were barely able to hear each other speak! Mad but fun, it was nevertheless a great encounter. I took an early lead only for Ste to storm in 5-1 at HT. Some smart sweeping moves from Evil certainly swept me away. Although never threatening a lead myself I fought back in the second half to at least bring some dignity to my 5-7 defeat. Showing slightly more restraint this time, Si-KO marched into the final with a mere 7-0 victory.

Final
Steve E 3 – 6 Simon K

The final was played in a great spirit and I was in the UK Champ’s Supporters Club for this one! Si was enjoying the banter every step of the way, and would take a celebratory sip of his beer after scoring a goal he was pleased with! Ste had some great situations to bring himself back into the game but this 8-Bit Cup belonged to Simon. After the rough day at work he’d had, this was just what the doctor ordered and no more than he deserved. Played mate.

Afterwards we toured the room of around a 10 consoles/PCs and probably spent more time playing games other than KO2! 4-player Bomberman on the Saturn was quite literally a blast. I didn’t get chance to play Doom (that set up always seemed busy) but beating up Si on Streetfighter felt good! And a coop game with Tom on MAME’s Metal Slug was brilliant fun. Loud, lively and with much going on – which just about sums up the whole evening really. Cheers to everyone who was there and especially to Ste for the lift, I’m looking forward to June’s 8-Bit already……

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