Thao and Lynn of MAS Systems pass in house fire April 25, 2021 02:45
It's with unfortunate news that we discovered through some colleagues of ours that on Sunday, March 28, there was a house fire that took the lives of Thao and Lynn, the husband and wife that established MAS Systems.
For those who are not aware of what they had accomplished, MAS was the pioneer of the true first arcade stick used for home that used parts and build quality that was found in arcade cabinets.
MAS was established in the early 90's, developing arcade sticks for the Super NES, NEO•GEO, Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast. A MAS Arcade Stick was the go to controller among top ranked players who wanted top notch performance for classic games such as Marvel vs Capcom 2, Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, just to name a few classics.
Other accomplishments were his Super Gun and analog video capture cards, which were the staple used in capturing crisp videos direct from JAMMA feeds. One major accomplishment that Thao worked on, but was given little to no credit for was his NEO•GEO conversions. During the early years of the NEO•GEO MVS, the cost of the arcade cartridges were thousands of dollars and some titles were just not available for the AES (home market). Thao was the first to convert chips from MVS (using the original and later EEPROM chips) to the home AES cart to allow them to be used for the home system.
As the owner of ARCADESHOCK, I have known the MAS family for over two decades and am still in shock by this incident. We were very fortunate to be able to work with Thao and Lynn for so many years as they are truly good people that was about making the best products they could. Our relationship with Thao wasn't just about business. He was a mentor to me in so many ways that has helped shaped ARCADESHOCK's philosophy. He spoke of quality in his work, in his thinking and not settling for a mediocre product just to make quick money. He would turn down many jobs just because many wouldn't respect what he did as a craft and only cared about filling their pockets.
As Thao said to me many times over and over again, "what's the point of me doing this if the quality sucks? Sure, the money helps, but if you're going to do anything, make it the best product you can." In my mind, this simple point of never settling for anything less than the best is a perfect examples of other successful businesses. If the quality is the best you can make it, everything else should follow.
Lynn, Thao's wife was nothing but exceptional in the care, service, patience and understanding that you can expect from anyone. She was the kindest person that I've worked with and I've worked with thousands of people. Lynn always took care of business like no other and without her, MAS could not be complete. We spoke to Lynn just a few short days before the incident to see how they were doing and left a message for Thao to call us back. That was the last time we heard from them.
On the bright side, their children, Anthony and Kristen survived the incident and are now living with their friends and family. They are still in need of help to pay for funeral costs as well as unexpected future expenses to keep them afloat. Only if you are able to help, whatever dollar amount you can donate, they will appreciate it.