Original Pilot


Starcade was envisioned quite differently from the way you see it today -- a series of team competitions with the winner from each team competing against each other for the Grand Prize!
More About the Original Pilot
  • David Dyche
    Original Starcade Pilot
    taped: 8/30/1981
David was the big winner on the original Starcade! Pilot. He blew away the other 8 players on Defender with 20,400 points. His closest competition scored 9,975 points.

In the Playoff on Berzerk it was a bit closer but he pulled it off again with 1,570 points, winning an Asteroids Deluxe video arcade game, Apple IIe Computer and the chance to play Larry Wilcox, star of the TV show "CHiPs", just for fun. Wilcox had the edge, having played the game almost constantly for hours before, but David put up a great fight, trailing Wilcox by just 300 points.

David was a great player and, as it turned out, he carried that winning spirit into his future. In 2005 David checked in to say, "I went on to a military career as an Army paratrooper, then an Air Force intelligence officer, and am currently deployed to Baghdad, Iraq."

What happened to his prizes? David says, "the Apple IIE I sold right away - I wasn't much of a computer guy then. I got $2500 for it, in 1980 dollars, so you can see I did the right thing, given the dramatic improvement in capabilities and depreciation of computer values since then. The Asteroids Deluxe was a lot more fun ... I borrowed my dad's Plymouth Volare station wagon, and went to some place in the bay area to pick it up. I just barely fit, on its side and sticking out the back. Then, I immediately drove over to a friend's place in Larkspur (Marin) and set it up in his garage. We played all night with other teenagers from the neighborhood. The next day we loaded it up again and I took it home to Turlock (near Modesto), where I lived, and put it in our garage."

"I played it some while looking around for someone who was interested in buying or leasing or renting it, or something. I found a guy who owned a video rental store (a new thing in 1980, no Blockbusters around then) who also had a couple arcade games in his shop from one of those companies that puts it in and splits the profit. Well, they were splitting it 40/60 with him, so he was happy to go 50/50 with me. However, it turned out to be the most profitable machine there so he got tired after about two months of splitting the profits with me, and bought it outright for $1500."

"I cleared $4k plus about $700 in quarters from my part of the 2 months. Add in inflation since then and that would be at least $10k in today's terms, pretty heady stuff for an 18-year-old kid. I went off to UC Davis for my first year of college, and pretty much blew all that money in the year on parties, girls, the usual. I almost flunked out of school too, so I came home to Turlock the second year, and brought my average up, got a job, etc."

"At the end of that year (1982) I got tired of school and joined the Army as a paratrooper, ended up in Germany for a while. Got out in late 1987, went back to college at Fresno State, graduated in 1991, got commissioned as an officer in the Air Force, went to Omaha, Japan, Germany, Las Vegas, Montgomery, and now Belgium. I'm deployed to Iraq as part of NATO, training the Iraqi military."


Quite a story ... Great to hear from you, David. Thank you for helping us make the magic come alive and thank you for what you do now for America and freedom!
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