August 2018, new Xenosaga items

I’m still around, I can’t believe the summer already has come and passed.
And what a summer at that, it has been too hot for me or anyone else to get
anything done around here, expect for playing games of course, nothing can
stop me on that front, hehe. Sadly I never get around to write about them but
I wanted to at least show some kind of life sign and show a few new additions
to the collection, all of them Saga related this time.

I have skipped this item a few times because I always thought it was a
simple A4 paper but it is actually a nice little folder with three pages and
the notes for “Nephilim” on both side, an item given to people in the
Procyon studio “fan club” if I understand correctly.

I expected there could be one of these out there but I haven’t seen it before.
A Xenosaga II Promo edition from Germany! It also includes the bonus DVD,
identical to the retail version. The case is probably not how it was
originally given, they often just come in paper or plastic sleeves but I will
keep it in there anyway.
As for the product number, both discs says SCES-82034, the same as
the retail number for the first disc, hm, I will have to start
these later to confirm that both disc 1 and 2 is present.
Interesting either way!

The best for last, probably one of the rarest items in the collection,
an odd CD case that holds 6 discs (all three games, hehe) made by Idea Factory
and with the Namco logo on the back. I have never seen another for sale
and don’t really know how you got this, probably a lottery as usual but I
would be happy to know more… Super happy to have it in any case, haha.

I hope everyone else survived the summer without melting! Let’s look
forward to Dragon Quest XI in less than two weeks and the new
Xenogears figures sprinkled over the rest of the year!


Xenogears 20th Anniversary merchandise

As usual everything takes longer than expected when I’m involved but here it
finally is, I didn’t think I would ever make a new addition this large
again to the Xeno collection:

Look at them all! I have actually had them for a while but they still seem
unreal and my wallet is still hurting bad. I was prepared for the music box
and assumed that there would be some pamphlets maybe but it was a small
chock when they announced all the other items just a few days before the
20th anniversary concert.

Let’s take a quick look at them all, sadly all of them are new and unopened
and since it is too early to know how rare and expensive it will be to find
sealed copies in the future I don’t dare to open any.

Just a bunch of papers listing the merchandise and some other events etc.

This is a plastic case to hold your tickets, quite pointless I would say but still

This is a set of three file folders to hold your papers, I still don’t understand why they are so fixated about them in Japan, oh well, looking nice

This is the second folder, the third is sealed in between so no picture

Then we have a black cloth bag to hold all the merchandise, hehe

Or maybe a white one? A bit overkill with two different,
I would just have gone with this white one

Now for the good parts, this is a nice set of two key chains, one in the
save point color (memory cube) and one in the party exchange point color,
really nice, I will try to get an open copy in the future but be sure to
look them up!

This might be the highlight, a book with art, info and some new interviews
with both Takahashi and Mitsuda! Best of all, it didn’t come sealed so I
could take a look, more or less a miniature version of Perfect Works,
there is already scans of it to find on the internet
so be sure to take a look at it yourself!

Can’t wait for a translation, quite a long interview.

Ah, finally the little music box, only available to those with a “Solaris” ticket,
I have no idea how many copies that means but I don’t suspect to see too
many of them in a year or two, once again it is sealed but of course
it plays “Faraway Promise” and is just the best as a collector item!

That’s it, amazing! Don’t expect any bigger collection updates for a while,
I will keep working my way towards the 1000 beaten games and will probably
write about a few interesting once that I have beaten recently.

Another 4-pack of soundtracks

Yes, that’s how I buy them, haha.

Let’s just get into the good part:

The Tales of Legendia OST has been on my most wanted list forever, a real
favorite and a soundtrack I have listened to MANY times, the difference
between the actual CD and the files I have on the computer was bigger
than expected, such quality, as if the orchestra was in the room!

I didn bother to unfold it but it was a surprise to see a small poster included:

While on the topic with Legendia and Go Shiina I also had to get the
God Eater soundtrack, sadly I will never finish the games or know
where all this GODly music fits…

Trusty Bell, or Eternal Sonata as we know it over here is another
favorite that I more or less had on repeat after beating the game,
a 4 hour soundtrack for a 15 hour RPG, that is impressive!

Had to show this cute “spine” with art on the back of it:

Lost Odyssey is still sealed, I’m not sure if I want to open an
already 10+ years old soundtrack (!) love it either way!

I have two more soundtracks stuck in customs but after that I will be done
with them for now and hopefully go back to collecting GAMES again.

Next time, the highly anticipated Xeno post!

More boxes, less space

As I said, there will be quite a few posts, this time an update on the boxes
I have gotten this year.

First out is Eldorado Gate, a SEVEN part RPG released on Dreamcast, I have
always been interested in this and always wanted to get the limited box
with all seven games. A friend finally sold his copy to me last month,
many thanks!

The box is a darker green but the camera can’t capture it sadly.
It’s actually made in plastic and not the usual cardboard.

All the games (yes they all have their “spine”) and a small booklet with
Yoshitaka Amano art.

As a bonus I got this one from the same friend:

One of the few boxes like this released on SFC, Angelique Premium box,
a nice item to have in the collection.

Actually from the same friend once again, haha,
my number one supplier of boxes this year:

Officially my first Vita game, I already have the PS4 version
of the game and just wanted the box.

A bit expensive but I do love it, the figurines and the pop-up book
are the best! (even if a real artbook would be even better)

Lastly we have this monster:

There is plenty of pictures to find on the internet so I didn’t bother to
photo the inside but it is filled to the brim, a massive artbook, music box,
Vinyl disc, a pop-up background-screen, making of disc, steelbook! Phew!

I had to do some rearranging to make room for all of these, I should maybe
take some new overview pictures soon.

Next up we have even more soundtracks followed by a crazy Xeno update,
stay tuned!

Added some Xeno posters!

Just a short but cool update today with the latest Xeno items, some of them
arrived a while ago but I wanted to wait until they all got here.

First we have a dual-sided poster from Episode I.II, the DS game:

I regret not getting this a few years ago, not expensive but hard to find.
It only came with a magazine and sadly all copies are folded like this,
still, a really lovely picture with some even more lovely colors.

Next out something that has been high up on my wanted list for years,
the US Episode II promo poster! It is a bit damaged, I paid way too much
including the shipping and custom fees but I’m very happy to finally
cross this of the list, a really nice seller too!

I don’t think I have seen one of these since my early collecting days,
also from the US and not really a poster but a promo cut-out from
Episode III!! You know I love my Episode III items and this one was a
surprise and not really on my list, yay. The “U-DO” colors man!
A big thanks to this seller as well!

Does anyone from the US know if there was another one like this
but promoting the T-elos poster instead?

That’s all for today but both more Xeno and another
soundtrack post is coming up very soon!

Concert (x2)

Before anyone becomes too excited or jealous, no I was not in Japan or the
20th anniversary concert of Xenogears but we have to at least mention it
of course. Firstly, I have seen the recording of the concert and it was
absolutely amazing watching it on the projector, I am eternally grateful
that they decided to record it even if the distribution method leaves
much to be desired… I still cross my fingers for a real blu-ray release.

Secondly the arrangements and the performances were just the best,
I do love Creid and Myth but this was the versions I always wanted to hear,
very true to the original and finally, FINALLY I get to hear Grahf’s theme
in something else than MIDI. Ahhh.

I could go on and on about this but I would just recommend you to watch it
yourself instead. 10/10, a dream.

Also, seeing this I would probably just have stolen it and left the country
before the concert even began, haha:

As consolation there was actually a video game concert here in Sweden
the same day. Me, my sister and her boyfriend all went, seeing Xenosaga
on the “track list” was more than enough to convince us:

I have no pictures from the event but it was in Berwaldhallen, Stockholm,
a nice hall it was, better sound quality in the room itself than the other
concerts I have been to.

A short summary:

-Sonic did not translate well to orchestra
-Wizardry was surprising, not too many have a relation to that over here
-Ni no Kuni was fantastic even if I’m a bit tired of the main theme at
the moment, hehe
-Suikoden was a magnificent highlight, still can’t believe how well the
orchestra did
-Secret of Mana, I have heard this performed better before but still nice
-The Megaman medley was a bit hard to keep track of since it included many
tracks from the NES games but no complaints,
works much better than Sonic in this form

The second act introduced the choir and man did they do a good job with:

-Suikoden II, goosebumps all over, 10/10!
-Last Guardian, even though I just saw my brother beat it and beat it
myself on release I have no feelings for the music.
-Shadow of the Colossus, again the orchestra did an absolutely
fantastic job, so well-performed.
-Xenosaga Gnosis, another dream to hear Xenosaga LIVE, not the most
exciting track BUT still amazing, I have heard the music hundreds of
times but detected no flaws in the performance, pure bliss.
-Xenosaga The Miracle, short and intense, love this in the game but it
became a bit to messy when all instruments and the choir blasted away
in the second half. Still, unreal to hear it live at all just not
perfection like Gnosis or Suikoden.
-Final Fantasy IX medley, sadly a bit messy and a strange choice of
tracks but hearing the ending sequence from the final scene in the game
LIVE was VERY unexpected.
-Liberi Fatali, I have heard this one as well performed live before but
it never gets old for me when the big drums and choir go at it at the
same time!

They also played a Zelda and a Mario song as bonuses, not bad!

A really nice concert with a good mix! I wanted to write about something
else between my “loot” posts because there will be quite a few if all
goes well, at the moment importing things to Sweden is next to impossible
and I’m a bit worried about some incoming items… I do have a few already
arrived ones to post in the meantime at least!

First Xeno items of the year

Well, if you count the Xenoblade Soundtrack in the last post it is technically
the second items, oh well.

If you remember my surprise at finding a Xenosaga Promo / store VHS last year
my surprise doubled when I found ANOTHER one, now I really need a japanese
VHS player, haha.

For some reason these phone cards are still haunting me, I swear, there is
always one more to get, this time from the Animation:

Same goes for these, I was so sure that I had every “not for sale” promo DVD
but I didn’t find this one in any of my pictures so I had to get it.

And last but not least, I finally found him, Ramses:

This completes the laminated card set for Xenogears and not counting the
new soundtrack next month and the figures later this year I’m only searching
for TWO more Gears items at the moment, a japanese promo poster and the
very eluding Brady mini guide from the US, if anyone has it,
please sell it to me, I’m going crazy about that one…

I already have two more Saga items on the way, this will surely be another
good year for the collection at this pace!

Soundtracks x4

Yep, more soundtracks, the Nier Automata vinyl box was not enough!

The Arranged Nier soundtrack arrived a while ago before the others
and it does have a few amazing tracks, it does also have 2 discs but
the second one is just all the different versions of “Birth of a Wish”.
Since I have (almost) all of the Nier soundtracks now I thought it
was time to get Drakengard 3 as well, it is very similar in style
and does have a connection after all, finally I’m able to blast
“Final Song” in perfect quality, ahh.

I can’t believe it took me over 7 years to get the Xenoblade OST!

And lastly we have something that really surprised me,
a soundtrack with both the Lufia and Lufia II’s music,
released last year!!

How beautiful! I opened and listened to all of these but I should probably have
kept Lufia sealed, oh well, then I wouldn’t have seen the discs line up like this.

I should probably do a post with all my soundtracks soon, I don’t really collect
them but by now they are quite a few.

Nier and Automata Vinyl box set

The title already spoiled it but I did get one of these, a Christmas gift from me
to me, always the best ones after all:

A set with not only one, not two but FOUR vinyls of Nier AND Automata tracks!
I dare say amazing. I love the drastic increase in the number of games that
get a vinyl soundtrack these days, quite limited and expensive runs sure
but still cool.

Beautiful “sleeves” to hold the four records and a booklet with song lyrics
for each game, really nice. All of them are of course double-sided with
about 4-5 tracks on each side, I would say that they have manage to choose
my favorite tracks from both games, what luck!

This is where the good news end sadly. Firstly, this is exactly how the
inside of the package looked when I opened it:

Most likely the last time I ever buy anything from the Square-Enix store,
a giant box with a small piece of paper in one corner is NOT how you send
something like this… or anything for that matter.
I can’t believe how bad this is, especially considering
the 25 Euro shipping cost!

I am mad but the damage on the box was miraculously small and not
something I need to get replaced.

Time for the good old setup and enjoy some Nier music:

Or so I thought, the next bad news was the horrible sound quality, I feared
that my old amplifier had finally decided to give up but after a while the
speed of the record player started to get very unstable and I decided to plug
in a CD player instead, the amplifier still sounded godly so “luckily” I only
need to replace the player, I could of course restore it with a new pick-up
and fix the motor problem but at this point I don’t feel like it’s worth it
even if it looks good and match the amplifier.

A picture can’t do it justice, it’s just so gorgeous, one of my absolute
favorite items. One of the first Surround/ 4 channel amplifiers ever made
and the control and balance you can get with it is just ridiculous.
Playing around with this, and some CD soundtracks also reminded me of what
a futile hobby the quest for the perfect sound is, you just end up fiddling
with the levels, placements of speakers and all kinds of variables,
different settings for different songs etc. it never ends and like so many
other things it’s very personal what you consider good sound.

I didn’t plan on going into detail today since I might come back to it but
the speakers I use are two relatively cheap smaller “surround” speakers and
the bigger ones built by me years ago, in fact they are not 100% finished
and both the smaller speakers and my home-built ones are quite mediocre on
their own but for some reason they really complete each other and with the
sound quality of the old amplifier combined with the level of balance it
provides it just blows me away (the quality), the volume could also blow me
and the games away but that would be a bad idea, hehe.

Oh well, I will get back to this when I have a new record player but so far,
an amazing set of amazing music!