Along with writing about…well..writing, I’m also going to be talking about my Retro Game Hunts.
For the last year I’ve been gradually building up my retro gaming collection, and have put together quite the little museum in my upstairs game room. As it stands now, I have over 400 games (snes / nes / genesis / atari / playstation / etc). That is a SMALL number compared to other collectors. After all there are close to 1000 NES games alone (licensed and unlicensed).
Now the one game I have been looking to get my hands on for the last year, is a little SNES game known as EARTHBOUND. Earthbound is one of those games that you either hate with a passion, or you love. It’s had a cult following since its release, and now its one of those rare find SNES games that if you see it, grab it and run.
I personally acquired my first copy of Earthbound at my first job in high school. There was an old copy sitting on top of a shelf in the back room of electronics boutique, and I bought it for $10. The game came in an oversized box and a strategy guide that had around 20 scratch and sniff stickers. It sounds lame, but thats what it was supposed to be. The game itself is a campy RPG that basically makes fun of RPG’s. Imagine playing a RPG as if it were in your hometown – thats what Earthbound is like. You fight hippies that attack you with toothpaste, or rabid dogs that give you rabies. I’m not being sarcastic, you can literally get rabies and have to go to the hospital to get cured. Not to mention you can actually get homesick and you have to call your mom to feel better. I mean what other game puts you through that sort of thing lol.
I made the mistake of selling my copy of earthbound around 5 years ago for around $150..now this was for the game, the box and the strategy guide. Do you know what that sells for now? $400…thats not a joke. Now I’ve been looking for another copy of earthbound since then, and I haven’t had any luck. Sure, I can buy it from Ebay, but I’m waiting for that day where I just find it sitting on a shelf of a thrift store. O’ to be that lucky.
Well, yesterday I encountered that day, and thanks to my stupid conscious and belief in good karma, I let it slip right through my fingers. You see, I was enjoying a brunch with my wife and her friends and one of her friends happened to be given a bag filled with SNES games. Another friend didn’t want it (or it was her brothers or somtehing, not exactly sure) and gave it away. “Oh, awesome” i thought as he rummaged through the games, “Let me value them for you.” – I have enough experience looking for retro games that I can spot worthwhile games from a mile away. He passes over the bag and I start rummaging through. It’s a pretty decent collection and I’ve already pulled out all the Donkey Kong Country’s (which he gave me #3…awesome btw), Yoshi’s Island, and even Secret of Mana. So far, I’m impressed.
Then it happens.
I see it.
There, at the bottom of the bin, sitting alone and unknown, is EARTHBOUND. I pull it out and gasp, and my brain goes on a frenzy. For some reason I blurt out “Dude, this is earthbound! This game sells for like $150 on ebay!” Shut up Tom. SHUT UP. But it’s too late – although he’s never heard of earthbound, now he’s interested. And who wouldn’t be over a game that’s so valuable. Why didn’t I just say “Oh I love this game, do you mind if I have it?” No, i just blurt out its value and congratulate him on his find.
I regrettably place the game back in the bin and hand it back. It’s gone. Now he says that he bring it the next time I see him, knowing that I want it. But you know what, even if he doesn’t it’s not my place to mope over. It’s not my game, it wasn’t my find. (I’ll just keep telling myself THE LABEL WAS RIPPED! – which it was).
So the rest of the night I’m trying to forget it. And of course I go home and on facebook another friend of mine posts a picture of something he just bought on Ebay….a copy of Earthbound.
Seriously? Do you need to pour salt in the wounds?
I’m hoping my stupidity and god karma will rub off and something good will happen to me know. I let earthbound slip through my fingers, but I was honest and I don’t have to live with the guilt now. I’ll find you one day earthbound, one day.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll write a little retro game review on Earthbound, and give a few reasons as to why, to this day, it is still my favorite game of all time.
Tom is an IT whiz by day (just think of one of those guys from Office Space), and a comic book artist, video game buff, and middle-grade writer by night. After a few stints as colorist in the comic book industry, he completed his first major middle grade novel, COPERNICUS NERDICUS, which combines his love for video games and robotic warfare.
When he isn't locked away in his man-cave watching The GOONIES for the 347th time, or catching up on some geek-news on Kotaku, he's probably busy cooking up some chaotic food dishes for his wife and his 100 lb doberman named Braveheart's Dantes Inferno. Yes...that's his dog's real name. Follow Tom on Twitter @CopernicusNerd