RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jun 21st 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under collecting, collecting, nes, snes, ps2

It's been quite a while since I gave any love to my actual collection, either in real life or on RF Generation. In fact, after recently moving my entire collection for the second time in just under a year, I noted it to be quite burdensome, and I found myself wondering: "Why?" However, in organizing, setting up, and alphabetizing everything after the move, I realized I truly still love the hobby. Holding items in my hands, which I forgot I even had, renewed the sense that I am in fact curating a library of games and items that reflects my personal tastes and curiosities. The room I'm using in our new place is actually smaller than any I've put my games in before, but I actually think this is the best iteration of my game room yet for exactly that reason. The cozy, intimate setting takes me back to huddling around a garbage-picked CRT dinosaur in my parents' basement playing Super Nintendo with my friends and siblings. Let's be honest, the reason we collect is largely to chase that feeling.

As much as we try to organize, there are always odds and ends that fail classification and confound even the most obsessive collectors. Sure enough, after the move I discovered and took a second look at some of the eccentricities in my game library. I imagine we all have odds and ends like this, and they should be celebrated. They make our collections unique. Here's what I have.   

5 copies of Pac-Man - I don't own an Atari 2600. Once upon a time I had one, but I was about four years old and I didn't have any kind of grasp on what a video game was. Fun fact, that Atari 2600 fell off of a tall bookshelf and hit me in the skull, so I guess you can say Atari scarred me for life. I carry that pain with me to this day. I have a small handful of 2600 games, many of which I have had for as long as I can remember (inherited from my uncle when I was an adolescent). Although I don't own a 2600, I have held on to these games for the nostalgia factor of a time when I did play the 2600 somewhat often. Pac-Man was infamously over-manufactured by Atari (they made more cartridges than there were Atari 2600 consoles at the time) so is it any wonder that I have five of the approximately seven million copies which the game sold? I don't know how I accumulated five copies of Pac-Man. They must have been given to me or acquired at garage sales over the years. Though I have very little nostalgia for Atari, I intend to hold on to these five black sheep for as long as I have a collection.

High value empty cases - Have you ever come across a highly valued or rare game's case only to find the game was not inside? Did you buy it anyway in the hopes of some day completing the package? In three instances of this happening to me, I have acquired the game only once, and it was from the same person I got the case from. My copy of Mega Man Legends 2 started as an empty case and manual, when one night I was at a party at a friend's house. Basically, I saw the game on his shelf and asked him if I could borrow it. He told me the disc was missing, so I asked him if I could have the case and manual. He let me have it, and months later when he found the original disc, I had a nerve racking chat with him where he had to decide whether to give me the disc or ask me for the case back (which, just for the record, I would have done). He decided to give me the disc. I now have a complete copy of Mega Man Legends 2 and a few years later, we were both thrilled when it was added to the Playstation Network Store so he could simply download it. It was a win-win.

The other two empty cases I have that I would like to complete some day. One is for Pokemon Diamond Version for the DS (not a very interesting story, a coworker got it for free at a garage sale). It's not very hard to acquire, I just don't want to shell out the money for the game itself.  And the other case is Albert Odyssey for the Sega Saturn. The Albert Odyssy case was given to me by a close friend, and the disc will someday be given to me by a fellow member of RF Generation.

Spindles - I mentioned on the episode of the Collectorcast, which I was a guest on, that I have a spindle full of loose Playstation 2 discs. I would like to elaborate on that a bit. Not only do I have a spindle of PS2 games, but I also have a spindle of random discs from assorted consoles, including everything from demo discs to rare and valuable titles. Once upon a time, I did not even consider adding a disc-based game to my collection, unless it was complete with a case and manual and in great condition all around. I finally decided to change my tune in that regard when Gamestop began selling off all of its Playstation 2 games. Many titles I had been looking for became available for pennies on the dollar, but they were mostly disc only. I decided that I would rather purchase a disc only copy of Kuon, Blood Will Tell, Echo Night: Beyond, or The Adventures of Cookie and Cream (among many, many others) for two or three dollars (or sometimes even less) than wait to find a pristine, complete copy at a good price, which might be never depending on the title. This decision was one of the best I've ever made regarding my collection. It is a huge space-saving measure, and I can afford and play more games because of it.

My Prized Possession, or The Crown Jewel of my collection - The North American version of Dragon Quest, known as Dragon Warrior, was offered as a free bonus with a subscription to Nintendo Power in 1990. What many people may not remember is that free copy of the game also came with a small format strategy guide called the Explorer's Handbook. These are not hard to come by, in fact, at the time of this writing, there are many copies on eBay available for less than ten dollars. Dragon Warrior is a very special title for me as it was one of the first NES games I completed and also because it was my late best friend Jesse's favorite game (that is why the game's cover is my forum avatar). Jesse gave me a copy of the Explorer's Handbook a few years before he passed away. I would come to find out that the copy he gave me was actually from when we were kids. We traded and borrowed our games all the time, so I don't know who it originally belonged to, but the Dragon Warrior Explorer's Handbook is the only thing in my collection from when I was actually a child first playing the NES. That and the fact that Jesse passed it along to me in adulthood, makes it the most important piece of my collection. If my house was on fire, after my wife and cats were safe, I would save the Explorer's Handbook.

So, those are just a few of the odds and ends of my collection. My game library, like anyone else's, has many more stories to go along with it, but I'll save those for a future article.  What are some odds and ends in your collection that you cherish?   

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What I like most about this article is knowing that you still have a passion for collecting. I know that you have sold off a lot of it over the past few years, but nice to see that some items retain a value far above their price tag.  Nice article man!

P.S. I still have my original Dragon Warrior Explorer's Handbook too!
Nice article! There are four things in my collection that I will keep regardless of price:

1. RF Gen signed Silent Service - it reminds me of what a great community we have.

2. Boxed Pitfall 2600 with Walgreens price sticker - It takes me back to when you could find games everywhere and Pitfall was one of the first games I played on the 2600.

3. Ninja Gaiden 2 & Castlevania 3 - My father surprised me with a trip to the Nintendo World Championship when it came to Phoenix and these games always bring back memories of being blown away while playing the prototypes at NWC.

4. Signed NWC shirt by Thor and Robin. Again this brings back memories of my father surprising me with a trip to the Nintendo World Championships.
Looking at all these oddities helps us remember that we collect as part of the hobby, and not a symptom of it. Awesome read, and I look forward to seeing more obscure things from the shelf.
Man, I couldn't agree more.  I still have my Handbook!  I remember when my mom ordered it through Nintendo Power and when it came in.
Really great article, and it's fun to hear about the stories that are attached to items in the collection. While I am sure I have mentioned some of mine before, a couple jump quickly to mind. First, R.O.B. that was my cousins, which is where I first played the NES. Next, a Little Samson that Bil surprised me with one night when we were recording. He found the proverbial needle in a haystack on Craigslist, and passed it along to me without a second though. Lastly, the Sharp NES TV that Crabby won last RWX. Blew me away. The stories and community are what matter.
Thanks for the feedback and thanks for sharing a few of your own odds and ends. This was by far the most fun I've had writing an article for the site. I'll definitely make sure to address the hobby of collecting more in the future.
I really enjoy reading articles like this. The personal backstories are great to hear as a fellow collector!

A couple that come to mind for me are:

1. I grew up in a small town that had a rental store called DK's Videos. Upon the inevitable closing shop that all video rental stores must face, I was able to purchase around 95% of the SNES games really cheap. These were the games my brothers, my cousin & myself would rent every chance we got. Some of my all time favorite games (Chrono Trigger, Biker Mice & Shadowrun) and the exact carts I used to play them on. Recently on Facebook I mentioned having them & basically all of my friends from school rented and played these same games.

2. Childhood copy of FF7 and the walkthrough, which I carried around everywhere like a bible.
The only item in my collection that I can confirm without a doubt was from my childhood is my Pokemon Gold cart. I put hundreds of hours into that game on the old yellow gameboy color, using the pokedex guide to help me catch (nearly) all 251 pokemon. It would have been all of them but at the time I didn't know anyone with a red or blue game which was required to get some Pokemon through trading. Unfortunately I don't have my original box, manual, or the pokedex guide, but I have since replaced the manual and plan on getting the box and possibly guide too.

There's a handful of N64 games which might be from my childhood, but in my early days of collecting I didn't think about recording these sorts of details. I've sold off so much and replaced so many poor condition items that it's hard to say if those carts are my old ones or not. There was never anything distinguishing about them and they all were games with controller pak, not on-cart saves.
several items come to mind however three pieces truely stand above the rest... my beeshu super controller i aquired thru a junk score on ebay for 5 bucks with a ton of other items.  my copy of river city ransom from my childhood CIB wich i have no clue how it survived moving every two years being a military child..  and my xonox double ender spikes peak, chuck norris superkicks. i picked up in a garage sale decades ago for 50 cents way before i was a "collector".  i guess while im here a thanks to my mother for making me pack that nintendo back in its box after i was done playing it so i retain a full CIB nes action set.

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