A person who leads, especially someone who is in charge of a country, a company, or a military force, or anyone who has commanding authority or influence.

First and foremost, a leader leads people--not company profits, not bullets or bombs, and not laws. A leader who forgets this--who starts to think of the people under his or her command as numbers, poll results, monetary units, or acceptable casualties--will no longer be an effective leader. His or her "subjects" (for lack of a better word) will know that the leader no longer gives a damn about them, and will begin to no longer give a damn about the company, squad, country, etc.

A good leader leads by example and inspiration.
In Nazism, Der Fuhrer, in Italian Fascism, Il Duce, the position of the Leader is the axle upon which the party structure, and later, when they come to power, the government revolves around.

Hitler, in particular, established a party, and government order of competing interests, organizations, departments, over which he held complete control.

They were always coming to him to resolve the inevitable, and designed conflicts; the Leader continually enhanced his power in this manner.

Leader was an old Bronze Age arcade game released by Midway way back in 1973.

The story

Pong was released in 1972, and by 1973 there were already a dozen different Pong clones on the market, many of which were basically the exact same game. But Leader was a bit different, because it was four player and it had obstacles in the middle of the screen. Those simple changes made for a whole new game.

The game

This title is pretty simple in terms of gameplay. The object is to avoid missing ball for high score, pretty simple right? Well to make it a bit more difficult you had to control two paddles at the same time. Player one controlled the left and right paddles, while player two controlled the top and bottom ones. There was a large cross shaped obstacle in the center of the screen that would deflect the ball in different directions. The four player mode was basically the same, except that each person only controlled a single paddle, and that players would drop out of the game after missing the ball 15 times. The score for each player was kept track of in the center of the screen near the cross.

It looked something like this.
                         
####################################################
#                                                  #
#  ####         ****                         ####  #
#  #                                            #  #
#  #                                            #  #
#                         5                        #
#                         #                     *  #
#           @             #                     *  #
#                    5#########5                *  #
#  *                      #                        #
#  *                      #                        #
#  *                      5                        #
#                                                  #
#  #                                            #  #
#  #                                            #  #
#  ####                  ****                ####  #
#                                                  #
####################################################

The Machine

Leader was available in two different dedicated cabinets. The most common one was the upright cabinet, which was also the same design used for Winner and most of Midway's other Bronze Age titles. This cabinet had an almost straight up and down design, kind of like a soda machine, and it was very heavy. The side of the machine featured painted sideart featuring red, white, and black lines, balls, and shapes in an abstract design. Most early sideart was like that, it looked cool, but it didn't mean anything, or even give a clue as to what kind of game it was.

The front of the machine featured a standard Midway coin door, which was the same one used on later titles such as Galaga. The control panel was unadorned, and simply contained four analog spinners. The marquee and monitor bezel were a single unit and were decorated with a "Leader" logo, and an abstract blue and green design. This machine has a real 70s feel to it, and would have looked just perfect on the set of The Brady Bunch.

The game itself was run by a single circuit board that contained exactly zero processors running at zero mhz, along with zero ram, and no information stored in EPROMS. In fact the entire thing was done with analog circuits and logic gates. You could actually copy this game perfectly just by soldering up an identical circuit board, there was no game code to copy, just hardware. The game is displayed on a standard 19" black and white television with the back of the case removed. They didn't really start making regular arcade monitors for another year, so almost all really early games used television sets.

The cocktail version came in tall square cabinet that had spinners mounted at each corner. The monitor was mounted at a 45 degree angle in relation to the sides of the machine, so it resembled a diamond inside a square. That was a cool idea, but it was kind of strange because the monitor was rectangular, while the surface of the table was a square, so it looked a little bit uneven. This version was only playable by four players, and had no decorations at all, except for a tiny metal nameplate.

Where to play

Actually, you can't really play this game anywhere. It is not emulated by any current software (not even MAME), and would be hard to do because it would require emulating analog circuits. It would be much easier to simply clone this title, than it would be to emulate it.

You may want to add this to your arcade game collection. But you are probably going to have a really hard time finding one that still works. If you do manage to find one, then it will probably be fairly cheap. Most 70s era ball and paddle games sell for very affordable prices, but any individual early 70s title besides Pong will be almost impossible to locate, and this game is no exception to that rule.

Lead"er (?), n.

1.

One who, or that which, leads or conducts; a guide; a conductor

. Especially: (a)

One who goes first.

(b)

One having authority to direct; a chief; a commander.

(c) Mus.

A performer who leads a band or choir in music; also, in an orchestra, the principal violinist; the one who plays at the head of the first violins.

(d) Naut.

A block of hard wood pierced with suitable holes for leading ropes in their proper places.

(e) Mach.

The principal wheel in any kind of machinery.

[Obs. or R.] G. Francis. (f)

A horse placed in advance of others; one of the forward pair of horses.

He forgot to pull in his leaders, and they gallop away with him at times. Hare.

(g)

A pipe for conducting rain water from a roof to a cistern or to the ground; a conductor

. (h) Fishing

A net for leading fish into a pound, weir, etc. ; also, a line of gut, to which the snell of a fly hook is attached.

(i) Mining

A branch or small vein, not important in itself, but indicating the proximity of a better one

.

2.

The first, or the principal, editorial article in a newspaper; a leading or main editorial article.

3. Print. (a)

A type having a dot or short row of dots upon its face.

(b) pl.

a row of dots, periods, or hyphens, used in tables of contents, etc., to lead the eye across a space to the right word or number.

Syn. -- chief; chieftain; commander. See Chief.

 

© Webster 1913.

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