Retrogathering 2015

If you live outside of Sweden the chance that you know about retrogathering is
slim but it is… a retro gathering held once a year in the city västerås,
one of few times and places where the collectors and other fans of old
games can come togheter in this country.

The biggest part is probably about buying old games but there is also
a lot of old consoles up and running that you can try out, some
lectures/talks about games, auctions and usually some cosplay
even if I didn’t see any this time.

This year was probably my favorite, it should be my fourth time visiting
and I actually stayed from opening to closing, I usually get tired about
halfway through, hehe.

Since it felt like everyone else took pictures of everything I didn’t bother,
instead this will be a detailed version of my day!

I woke up early after far too little sleep, took the train and actually
started on Dragon Quest IX (really like it so far). Since I was early I had
time to play some more before opening (a bit too cold to play outside, hu).
As soon as they opened I rushed too all the sellers’s tables and looked for
PS2 RPG’s missing in the collection but sadly no luck, instead I found the
James Bond 007 box with the golden controller, wo, so golden,
and the only way to match the Zelda Wiimote, hehe!

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After that a friend finally found me in the chaos and delivered some old
controllers and accesories I might be able to fix and also a copy of Legaia 2
that was missing in the collection. We both decided to join in a Bomberman 2
tournament, since there was many participants I decided to camp near
the tournament and play some more DS, in the end I reached round 3 of 5,
not bad but I am still a bit disapointed, I had hoped to get to the finale!
My friend had to leave after he lost in round 2 but it was fun to see him
and I will probably challenge him in a duel later.

That took a lot of time and it was finally time to find another friend
in collecting and bloging, Mlie. She was helping out her boyfriend who had
some nice items for sale (I only bought the Donkey Kong box from him though).
I was really happy when they had a small surprise for me, this little guy:

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The gyroid keystrap from Animal Crossing!
A small gift maybe but I was very happy that they remembered that
I wanted one of those, especially in the chaos, many thanks!

At the neighbor table I found both Fable and Metroid Prime Hunters, ugh,
now I actually have to play them! Oh well, it is long over due.
By this time I was really hungry and the back pack was starting to feel
heavy from all those controllers from my friend, a short walk for a
classic burger and everything felt better!
I decided to go back and ended up in front of a famicom and fluteded my way
trough Mario 3, haha, some tricks was much harder to pull of in the
japanese version but it was not a terrible run.
I took some more trips around the locale in hope of finding another
collector that I wanted to meet, sadly I never did.
There was quite many games to choose from but I still choose to
Beat Mario 1 as well, haha.
The time before closing was mostly spent around Mlie and company,
the other sellers where starting to pack up (I found Phantasy Star in the
last minute, phew) and I had to wait for my train anyway,
some more Dragon Quest and I was finally home!

A really nice day, I don’t like to be around lots of people but it still
makes me happy to see and speak to some of the people who share my passion!

Lastly a picture of everything I found, I only went over my budget a little:

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The 176 Playstation games

This will probably get a longer post later but this week I finally took care
of a long postponed project, sorting out all the unwanted japanese Playstation
games from the collection! As you guessed I found a total of 176 games that
don’t belong in the collection. Far too many of them are sports games,
pachinko simulators and other “crap” games. So far around 20 of them are
sold and the ones that no one wants will just be sold in a bulk.
I will give it a couple of weeks.

Sure I still have the games but just getting them out of the collection
felt really nice, now there is enough room to complete the PS2 collection, woho!

Speaking of the PS2 collection, I just recieved and added my most wanted item:

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Very few seem to even know about this box, an odd box for an odd game.
Besides the game you get a Haseo figure (main character) and even better than
that a special disc that summarize everything from the first four games and
also tells some intresting information not found anywhere else.
If it’s not enough to find this rare disc you also need to unlock
parts of it with data from your memory card… wow.

I am really happy to finally have it even if most of it is of
course available on youtube.

If you want to see the 176 games here they are:
http://imgur.com/a/OKNd1

Beaten games number 6 and 7 Dark Half

The title says Dark Half but first I must share my joy over finally beating
Harvest Moon!

Yes, Harvest Moon is finally over, the SNES version no less.
My biggest mistake was to play more than one entry in the series but since
many say that the SNES version is the best one I had to play it.
For me this seems to be one of the cases where the game lives on nostalgia,
I believe that the Playstation game Back to Nature is better and improved in
every way even if that too has the same problems. The main problem is of
course the length of the games, it doesn’t have a clock but my guess is
around 70-100 hours which makes it the longest SNES game I have played!
Using a guide and plan ahead would really save a lot of time, not aiming
to get the best “score” would also help a lot, hehe.
The goal is to live on the farm and make it a good one in 300 days,
I had basically done everything necessary in the first 200 days so
then it was just a matter of waiting and keeping the cows happy for the
last 100 days, a real chore and far from a good game to repeat
the same thing 100 times…
Oh well, it is finally over and the game called me a Master Farmer!
I will not return to the series.

More SNES, Dark Half was one of the very first games that I bought to the
collection and ever since then I knew it was an interesting game. Now, nine
years later, there is finally a complete translation of the game thanks to
dedicated fans! Like most games that are released late in the console’s life
Dark Half has some really impressive graphic, I usually prefer the more
classic RPG style but sometimes an isometric view works better and this
is one of those times, good choice Enix!
The interesting part of the game is of course the fact that you both play
as the “good” and “evil” party, a concept I really like in games
(Breath of Fire 4, mmmm). You play one chapter good, one chapter evil,
alternating the entire game, both of them have a soul meter that you need to
keep up, if it hits zero it is game over and this is a quite stressful part
of the game sometimes. As the good party it is quite an ordinary RPG,
you get equipments and some party members, no levels or skills tough,
all magic is used via items and stats are also increased with items.
The soul meter is filled by defeating enemies or paying money at the church
and depleted by walking around outside towns, as the good team it is never
a big problem luckily. The evil team on the other hand need soul energy for
everything, all attacks use energy and also walking around and
solving some puzzles!
There is only one party member in the evil team and no equipments, instead
you can recruit monsters and learn skills from them, it is vital to learn
heal early, be warned! I usually don’t like to recruit monsters but it works
good and you change them for better ones constantly, no breeding or complex
systems etc. To gain soul energy you can defeat enemies OR take the souls of
ALL the NPCs of the game! That is the most interesting part, walking into a
village and just murder everyone, when you return to the village as the
good party next chapter, everyone remains dead and of course you can’t
speak with them anymore. I absolutely love that part!
Sadly some of the dungeons feel a bit messy and I recommend
save states/ a guide, it’s just to easy to waste all your soul energy
trying to solve a puzzle or walking in circles. Overall a solid game,
not a spectacular story or the masterpiece music from Terranigma,
but definetly a game that deserved to be played, and now in english!
No clock in this game either but it felt like a standard
SNES RPG, around 15-20 hours.

More repairs and RPGs

I said that I had three more games on the way to the collection but somehow
that number grew to 10 games!

First up we have some PAL games, not that intresting titles maybe but I
plan to get them all after all, the PAL version of Summoner
doesn’t appear that often:

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Next up, the intresting games:

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The US version of Star Ocean 3 is something that I always wanted but just
never bought untill now, Metal Saga is also a game that I have wanted to
play for a long time. Wild Arms Alter Code F has become quite rare and I look
forward to play it as well even if I doubt it will be better than the original.
lastly Wild Arms 5 is unopened and finally in the collection where it belong!

This was a really big step towards the goal!

As promised I will keep you updated on the cleaning/repairs project.
This time I wanted something easy and decided that the Megadrive controllers
where the best choice. Except the one I posted a while ago I don’t have a
before picture but here they are, drying after a long night of cleaning:

MD på tork

Today, the fun part of putting them back togheter and testing them all:

MD test

Ah, the classic test setup, my megadrive collection is sadly quite small and at
the moment I have more consoles than games… Anyway, Toejam and Earl has
become my test game, it uses all buttons and is funky after all!

MD complete

Somehow all 10 controllers actually works, one of them is a third party
controller and one may need new rubber for the D-pad but still,
far over my expactations! …I need to make an inventory and find a
new way to store all controllers and accesories.

Birthday number 29

Yes, another one of those has passed, one more year before the midlife crisis
where I will sell my collection and move out into the woods, hehe.

As usual for me the day was celebrated at home with my family, pizza and
meringue(?) cake! It’s the best and really simple to make, just buy (or make)
some meringue layers, put mashed bananas between them, cover everything in
whipped cream and add some grapes or your favorite topping.

I don’t know what I have done to deserve it but I did get a really
good gift from a friend:

Ni no box

The freaking Ni no Kuni box!! This is probably on my top five gifts ever,
really generous, it is one of the boxes I really miss in the collection
and he knew it. Of course I gave him one of my finer duplicates as a
counter gift, hehe.

As a bonus these two are added to the PS2 collection:

Balder x2

Not in top condition but good enough, two more off the list and the next
post will probably be all about more PS2-games!

I’m currently trying to finish up Harvest Moon (SNES) but it is really
slow, I still have around 90 days left of feeding, milking and brushing
my cows, ugh.