Hey Harvey!

Posted on Jun 24th 2013 at 03:49:55 PM by (slackur)
Posted under CCAG, Fathers Day, Epic Scores, the Hunt, thankfulness

CCAG (Cleveland's Classic Console & Arcade Gaming Show) 2013 has now come and gone.

And wow, I just have so much to say.  First, the non-mushy stuff you care about;

And since I'm a terrible photographer using a tablet camera, here's the breakdown.

Bomberman Inflatable Bomb

Pac-Man Fever Vinyl

Bally Astrocade:
-Bally Pin (CIB)
-Grand Prix/Demolition Derby (CIB)
-Galactic Invasion (CIB)
-Basic w/ built in Audio Interface (CIB)
-Space Fortress

King's Quest VII (CIB)
X-Com Apocalypse (CB)

Who Shot Johnny Rock (CI)

Commandos 2

Sweet Home (repro)
Summer Carnival '92 Raging Fire Recca (repro)

PC Engine CD:
Vasteel (CIB)
Space Adventure II (CIB)

Super Famicom:
Battle Dodge Ball II

Retro Gamer Issues 104-108

Stake: Fortune Hunter (CIB)

Twinke Tale (repro) (CB)
Pulseman (repro)(CB)

Command Control TI 99 Joystick Adapter (CIB)

Bahamut Lagoon (repro)
BS Legend of Zelda (repro)

Virtual Boy:
Virtual Pro Yakyu '95

Root Beer Tapper
Congo Bongo

Ladybug (CI) (Homebrew)
Dungeon (CI) (Homebrew)
SSSnake (CI)
Space Combat
Outer Space
Pressure Cooker
Crash Dive
Summer Games
Sea Hawk (CIB)
Off the Wall (CIB)

Zero Divide (CIB)

Mountain King
Space Shuttle
Robotron 2084

Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Defender 2000

Game and Watch Collection 2 (sealed, though not for long!)

Volguard II
Hector '87
Uchuu Keibitai SDF

Winter Heat (CIB)

Nintendo Power Dynowarz Poster/River City Ransom Map

Dissidia Final Fantasy Soundtrack Excerpt CD

Zaxxon Milton Bradley Board Game, one complete and one missing pieces

Interesting notes:
The A26 Dungeon and Ladybug carts were our first Chinese Auction win, from seven years attending.  Funny enough, my beloved and I were going back and forth about where some of our tickets went when our winning number was called. XD

It was only a year or two ago that we took a real interest in repros.  In fact, it was largely our own Crabmaster turning me onto a Summer Carnival '92 Recca, and Redd McKnight selling me a Mother Famicom translation repro that got me started.  Seeing as how I'm a gamer before a collector, and I have no working knowledge of Japanese, some of these repros fit my interests perfectly, such as Sweet Home and Bahamut Lagoon.  At the right price, I much prefer them over PC emulation.  I even picked up another Recca because of a label and cart variation (not that I hunt down variants per se, but now that Recca is a personal favorite I like having a backup.)  The BS Zelda is a particularly neat find, because it compiles the Satellaview Zelda chapters together into a complete game.  Now I'm looking for an F-Zero Grand Prix cart!

There were many Famicom and Super Famicom games for sale, with the ability to demo them.  The Famicom titles I picked up were shmups that impressed me, especially Uchuu Keibitai SDF.  If I get enough time, I'd enjoy putting up some reviews.

I hear Zero Divide is pretty good, but I actually bought it CIB for a dollar to play the Tiny Phalanx unlockable. Wink

Now, every CCAG my beloved likes to use the advantage of our favorite gaming event taking place the same week as Father's Day.  She's always on the lookout for that cool find that she can surprise me with as a Father's Day present, and boy does she succeed.  Our AES, some rare NES games, and cool Saturn or Dreamcast finds are a few examples of collection gifts she's found over the years. 

Its become an interesting tradition; we get in and she asks what direction I'm going; she goes the opposite and we do our initial scouring run on either side, to meet somewhere in the middle.  That way we cover as much ground as possible as soon as the doors are open, and there's a good chance she'll find a cool Father's Day gift to sneak away before I see it.  This year was no different.

We met up about 45 minutes later, and she had that frown that spoke before she did; no real finds yet.  At least, not that would qualify for what she wanted.

And finally we come to the Bally Astrocade.  An older gentleman had a table with a few refurbished systems, and he was selling them for very good prices.  Near the end of the day he only had one left, and I was very tempted, but I had spent quite a bit.  Not as much as I brought, but enough to make me more conservative.

My beloved saw me chatting with this fellow, Mr. Ken, and came over to check things out.  I started explaining about how impressed I was with the system, and how games like Gunfight were more complex and had better graphics than I expected.  And of course, it was a system we didn't have, which always interests us.

She kind of nodded, and after a few minutes, pulled me away.  She was torn; I certainly seemed interested, but she's never heard me mention the Bally before.  Other finds she had confidence in because we'd chat about a Neo Geo or holes in our favorite system libraries.  I never owned a Bally Astrocade, never knew anyone who had, and never really mentioned it until now.  Sure, its a system we don't have, but...

That wasn't enough.  She looks at me directly, with her 'this is important' body language, and explains that the Fathers Day Gift thing is not just about finding more video game stuff.  I stay at home with the kids; I take care of them and our home.  She tells me that she's not just seeking a gift of something I'd like, another trinket for the pile.  In this annual moment, she seeks to honor me; to do more than show appreciation for the father of our children.  She tells me that she looks to find or do something that displays a deeper respect and kindness for who I am to her, and that often translates to tracking down something that proves she knows me, really listens to my interests, and doesn't just look for something pricey that we don't have.  Would she be honoring me with something she's never heard me mention during my lengthy, excited conversations about video games?

I'm taken aback; I know this wonderful woman better than anyone, and we've been married for almost a decade and a half; and yet she still stuns me.

Mr. Ken, the older gentleman with the Bally table, apparently has better hearing than his age may suggest.  He's a very kind soul, and I've known him from previous years at the convention.  He's been gaming since the literal beginning of the hobby, and some of his work is in the multicart he sells with the system.  We have more than games in common; during previous conversations we've realized we're fellow musicians and believers in Christ. 

Mr. Ken leans toward us a bit, and his finger brushes the handmade wooden cross I wear as it dangles over my chest.  His soft eyes smile as he says that what we should do, as we already know, is to step outside a just give a prayer about it.  He'll be here.  We both nod and accept his sage wisdom.

After clearing our heads from the humid, human-packed convention center, we have a moment of genuine connection over each-other and our shared interests.  And we do pray, not expecting an answer over a toy purchase, but a request for our hearts to be as they should and for our stewardship to be honoring.

When we return inside, Mr. Ken was still there of course, literally coaxing each passerby to smile.  He turns and waves to us as we approach.  He sells us the system, a multicart, and a compilation of software on four CD-Roms (including everything from games to an entire disc of chiptunes) with instructions on how to load them from a normal CD player, through a data cable, and into the BASIC cart he gives us with the system.  He tosses in a free game.  He sells the whole setup for far less than the prices he has on his table.  Then he tells me he hopes our own marriage is as wonderful as his, 38 and 3/4 years before she passed.  He still has a twinkle in his eyes as he talks about her.

I realize Mr. Ken and I have even more in common; we both recognized our own 'gaming' holy grails. 

It was the best CCAG yet.

Posted on May 12th 2010 at 03:17:29 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Collection, Fathers Day, CCAG, Neo Geo, Awesome Wife, Collecting

I have a true gamer's "Holy Grail" in my beloved wife, and I'll tell you why.

This year's CCAG (Classic Console and Arcade Gaming) show was the best since I began attending a few years ago.  I got to chat with dozens of fellow vendors and collectors, play ancient computer games running on systems I still don't own, support a few home-brewers, actually check for data rot before purchasing (I had to put back over fifty games, including half a dozen different copies of TG16 Addams Family), actually play the pinball table 'Sorcerer' and see if my Pinball Hall of Fame mastery carried over to the real world, (Protip-nudge/tilt button moved to a weird Wii-like waggle maneuver) and best of all, I bought a bunch of games.

Maybe too many games.  Way too many games.  Like this many games:

Continue reading CCAG and the Best. Fathers. Day. Gift. Ever.

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