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Arcade gamer breaks more than Tapper record

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    William Rosa, of Vermilion, attempts a world record on the Tapper arcade game Friday at Full Blast Arcade in North Ridgeville.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

  • Tapper-champion-2-jpg

    William Rosa of Vermilion attempts a world record on Tapper in North Ridgeville on Feb. 8.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE — “Snowflake” went for it again.

And he did it.

Will “Snowflake” Rosa, of Vermilion, who once held the world-record high score in the 1983 arcade game Tapper, started his attempt at the world record once more at 9 p.m. Thursday.

His goal? Beat Lauren Featherstone’s high score of 14,000,600, set on July 15, 2017, at Free Play Arcade in Arlington, Texas.

And Friday night, he did just that — but like a true video-gamer, he kept on playing.

“He beat the record about 30 seconds ago,” his wife, Brandy Rosa, said at 8:35 p.m.

Will Rosa continued to play the game even after surpassing the record.

By 10:30 p.m., though, he had to call it quits — but not because he wanted to.

The machine broke.

“The run just ended. The machine broke,” Brandy Rosa said. “He was upset the machine broke because he would have went a lot longer.”

But, is that normal to have a machine break?

According to Brandy Rosa, the answer is no, but there’s a catch.

“It’s not normal, however. Arcades weren’t really built to play that long consistently,” Brandy Rosa said.

By 10:30 p.m. Friday, Will Rosa had played the game for 25½ hours while sitting in a chair in front of the game at Full Blast Arcade in North Ridgeville.

“We are trying to figure out his final score because it has to be from the moment the machine stopped working,” Brandy Rosa said.

By 10:40 p.m., the final score, and new world record, was revealed — 14,826,200.

“I know that I will look back on the machine breaking and laugh,” Will Rosa said at 11 p.m. Friday. “I want my stream to be entertaining and for people to have fun; so of course I prefer a higher score, but I know that this ending does make it more memorable.”

Tapper involves players guiding a bartender on a screen as he fills beer mugs at kegs for his thirsty customers and slides them down a set of bars, making sure not to let empty glasses fall. He can earn bonuses by collecting tips.

The game originally was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch brewers and features Budweiser branding, with the game originally to be sold to and played in bars complete with Budweiser beer tap handles as joystick controllers. A more family-friendly version called Root Beer Tapper followed in 1984.

Will Rosa had to strategize before hand, planning out speedy bathroom breaks so he didn’t lose out on the record, Brandy Rosa said.

“Everyone thinks it’s about reflex, but it’s not. It’s about strategy,” Will Rosa said on the Twitch live stream earlier Friday before he beat the record.

The video game record-keeping organization Twin Galaxies must certify the high score for it to be recognized.

Brandy Rosa said she was ready with a trophy. “From me, no organization donated it,” she noted.

Will Rosa set his previous personal best on Oct. 18, 2015, breaking a 10-year-old record high score during a 19-hour, 42-minute, 24-second marathon session at Full Blast.

According to Twin Galaxies, Will Rosa held 79 high scores in 1970s and 1980s vintage arcade games, including the February 2018 world record in the arcade game Joust, where a knight riding a flying ostrich battles evil knights astride buzzards (world record: 478,150 points).

Will Rosa also has the somewhat-arcane world-record high score in Tapper for players holding a rescue Pomeranian (49,725 points).

And what does “Snowflake” stand for? It’s Will Rosa’s online moniker, taken from a name of his old pet cat, Brandy Rosa said.

The world-record attempts started when her husband “started buying arcade machines for the house,” Brandy Rosa said.

At one point, trying to figure out what to do with all the games, he Googled the world record and came upon the Twin Galaxies online community.

“Since then, it’s been ‘Game Over,’” Brandy joked.

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.
Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @MLinebrinkCT.
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