Here in England people went mad for Dragons Lair... I was about 11 when it came out, but didn't get to actually play it until a couple of years later due to the floods of people gathered around them and my parents not wanting to wait around for a couple of hours for me to queue up... I eventually got to have as many goes as I wanted in the 90's as my friend and his brother bought a cabinet and had it in their flat... I had a VHS tape that they recorded the whole laser disc on for me... So yeah quite a biggie over here...
So people queued for playing Dragon's Lair? That's the kind of thing I wanted to know! When you say people queued for 2 hours, even if that's a figure of speech, it clearly ilustrates how big it was. Even if I compare the biggest arcade hit in my country, that not even begins to compare to what you are saying. I even imagine people taking notes on other people's gameplay in order to know beforehand which direction to pull the stick when their time came to play.
Probably for the better than your parents didn't let you queue for hours just to spend 5 minutes playing (In the case of spending at least a couple of pounds that is). Also the fact that a friend of your's had the original arcade in their flat, speaks volumes of how much people loved the game, in Argentina Mortal Kombat, is the only game I can think of right now that would make people want to have the original arcade in their houses.
When I went to the Southern tropical areas of Mexico to visit some extended family in the 80s and 90s I remember the woerd looking coins to operate the machines.
Ha! you are talking about "fichas", I suppose the right translation is "tokens", but I don't know for sure.
The usefulness of tokens resided in the fact that the arcade center owner could adjust the price of the credits, so to speak. For example, in some places the cost of 4 tokens would be 1 peso (BTW, in the 90's 1 Peso was worth the same as 1 American Dollar) but in other places they would give you 3 tokens for 1 peso. I always went to an arcade center where they would give you 5 tokens for a peso
Off course, every arcade center had to have their particular kind of token, so you couldn't buy cheap tokens in one arcade center, and spend them in an expensive one... Buuuut, there were some inexpensive places far from downtown that would have the the same kind of tokens that another arcade center in the city, and being that far away these places would sell maybe 10 tokens per peso, so if you could buy like 5 pesos on tokens, you would be a rich man in the city! hahaha, I could never pull that off because I never went far away from the city, but I knew people who were able to do this.