Portland Retro Gaming Swap Meet – Treasure Hunt

8-bit Seattle 1

Greetings 3DO Brigade!!

I am going to let you in on a little secret. Don’t tell anyone.

So, the great northwest of the United States is a magical place for retro gaming fans. There are about 40 retro gaming shops within a 3 hour driving radius, a HUGE retro gaming show is held every summer in the city of Seattle (http://www.seattleretro.org/) and another EPIC retro gaming convention is held every fall, only 3 hours away in Portland, Oregon (http://www.retrogamingexpo.com/). There are various dedicated collectors clubs scattered across the region, and if all of that weren’t enough, they have started holding a retro gaming swap meet in downtown Portland every January (https://www.facebook.com/events/1456211384653548/). This thing is BIG! All kinds of vendors rent out space there to sell their wares, from actual retro retail chains to individual enthusiasts looking to sell off portions of their collections. Even game related artists and musicians get in on the act. There is no telling what manner of treasure you are likely to find between the swap meet and the two northwest conventions. Last month, the 3DOverkill team was lucky enough to attend and explore the Portland Retro Gaming Swap Meet. Here are some of the treasures we came away with.

The Haul!

One of the hardest things to do at these retro game shows is keeping yourself to a budget. I went in with the specific agenda of securing an Amiga CD32 system. A CD-I 550 (or 450 with video cartridge) was my second choice. While Amiga had a very healthy presence at the swap meet  (Commodores were everywhere), there was nary a CD32 in sight. Apparently, one had sold at the actual expo a few months earlier in October. I did find a few CD-i 450’s but none with the video cartridge installed. So, having struck out on plan “A” and “B”, I decided to dig deep and see what oddities I could come away with.

Let’s start with the 3DO related merchandise:

I was able to add Rise of the Robots to the 3DO collection for the first time, found a back-up copy of Cyberia, and snagged two Japanese imports: Takeru and ARPM. All of the discs were in beautiful shape!

NOT an exlusive pack-in with the Batman: Arkham Knight Special Edition.

I found a cool looking 3DO controller made by Logitech. I didn’t know Batman played 3DO!

The sweat shirt of the future!

This was the coolest thing I picked up at the meet. It was the end of the day. We were heading for the exit. Out of a desire to add just a few more precious seconds to the experience, we decided to dig into some rough looking bins near the door. I did not expect to find anything. Lo and behold, there was this beauty in all of it’s corporate glory.

Nice embroidery work.

The vendor said it had been given to him by a friend who used to work for 3DO. He sold it to me for $10.

I also took the opportunity to branch out from the 3DO realm for a bit.

Let the nightmares begin!

These CD-i games look absolutely horrible… and I am so excited that I got them! As atrocious as some of these may be, they mark my very first foray into the world of CD-i gaming. It is a place I have wanted to visit for 20 years. Now if only I had a system to play them on…

Green elf shot the food!

Some amazing four player NES action to test out in glorious HD on my newly acquired Retron 5!

The samurai with the strength of 100 men.

My favorite Final Fantasy character. Cyan Garamonde from Final Fantasy 6. Chivalrous, ghost train riding, swordtech samurai master, in magnet form. Courtesy of the artists at “8-bit Babe”.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/8-BIT-BABE/379775135486551

These people are awesome and they take custom requests! Hmm… an 8-bit 3DO logo would be nice. Or maybe a 32 bit Gex!

One more…

They should have run it with Lynch.

To proudly display my Seahawks devotion in true gamer form, an 8-bit Seahawk! Blue and green forever!

So, that’s it folks! Thanks for letting me share the fun with you all. If you have any stories or pictures from retro game shows you’ve gone to and would like to share them, please e-mail them to me at Nint3nDOsage@yahoo.com and I would be honored to include them in a future post!

Oh, and remember, this northwest retro gaming thing? As a certain grey wizard would say, “keep it secret, keep it safe!”

Until next time!

3DO Vigilante Profile

-Nint3nDO Sage

Introduction

Intro - Collection

Yeah, so… I’m on a quest. It’s a long one.

My mission:

“To collect every 3DO title commercially released in the United States.”

Using the RF Generations Collection Checklist as a resource, I estimate that there were 172 distinct games commercially released for the 3DO in the U.S. This is not including compilations, demos or homebrew titles. Just stand alone games commercially released for sale in retail outlets. The number could be incorrect (some of you 3DO guru’s will likely have a more accurate number), but I needed a standard to work from and it serves fine for now. I currently own 109 of the 172 titles. Help me count down the rest of the way to number 172!

I love the 3DO. It is my favorite game system of all time. I proudly proclaim it. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it really is. I have loved it since I first witnessed it’s magnificence first hand, way back in rad 1994. The graphics… oh, the graphics. They destroyed the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, which were both it’s primary competitors at launch. Looking back on it now, I guess it’s laughable, but the first time my eyes beheld the cars in Crash N’ Burn, rendered light effects and all, man, I swore graphics could never get better. There is a tale to tell of how I was introduced to the 3DO system and how it came to find a place of honor amongst my beloved gaming systems, but that is for another day and another post. Tonight I just wanted to articulate what this blog is going to be about.

1) History:

*’New Arrival’ and ‘From the Vault’ features – Documented analysis of game packaging and content.

*’R.E.A.L. Reviews’ – Game reviews will be based on Graphics (both the quality of the graphics for time of release and art style will be weighted), Sound (quality of musical score and use of sound effects will be weighted), Fun factor (intuitiveness of controls and how fun the game is to play will be weighted) and Relevance (what impact, if any, did the game make on the industry). Games will be reviewed for how they stacked up against other games of their era so the graphics of ‘Gex’ will not be compared to the graphics of say… ‘Destiny’. A separate ‘Timelessness’ score will be awarded as an indication of how well the game has held up over time.

I have a very peculiar style of collecting. It runs contrary to your typical collection philosophy. I apologize in advance to all of you purist collectors out there, for the fits of rage and hysteria you will undoubtedly suffer, as you follow along with my journey. You see, I don’t collect for the value of the collection. I collect because I love the games. I collect, because I want to play them. As much as anything else, I am building a time machine. Work with me here.

Mentally transport yourself back to 1994. Imagine you’re a 14 year old and you’re standing outside of a Software Etc. When you walk in, the shelves are lined with SNES, Genesis, PC (big box) and 3DO games. Pretty much the closest thing to heaven for a 14 year old in 1994. You stumble in awe up to the 3DO interactive kiosk. You marvel at the 3D graphics, the FMV, the PC games running on a console. You want it, desperately. But the price… $500. That’s a lot of lawns and not enough summer. You know your parents will never buy it for you. So you dream instead. What would it be like to have all of those games? Man, that collection would be sweet. Would you buy them, then take them out of the bag and place them up on a shelf in their shrink wrap to be a fancy trophy for all time? Heck no! You would rip those suckers out of that shrink wrap (gently, these are expensive and for a 14 year old, irreplaceable), throw them into the system (delicately, these are the pride of your possessions, representing bragging rights to all of your friends) and play the heck out of them (savoring every high fidelity, S-video streaming, headphone jack engaged moment). Then you would place them all up on the shelf, alphabetically, and high enough that you could enjoy them in all of their cardboard longbox glory from anywhere in the room (and high enough to keep them out of reach of your little brother whose aimless wanderings strike as much fear into your heart as Godzilla does to citizens of Tokyo). Yeah, that would be sweet. But it could never happen. You hang your head dejectedly and wander back into the mall. Well, there’s always Sbarro.

Flash forward to 2014. There is this thing. It’s called e-bay. People are selling all of these crazy items online. People are selling 3DO’s. People are selling 3DO games… that are still in their shrink wrap. You are not mowing lawns anymore. All of a sudden, your impossible, 14 year old dream becomes a reality. This can happen. It does.

That’s what I am doing here. When looking for a specific 3DO title, I look for one in the best condition I can find. New and sealed is preferable. Just like it came out of a 1994 game store. Upon receipt, I promptly open the game and remove it from it’s shrink wrap. I know… sacrilege, but I am ever so careful in doing so. The boxes are typically only opened once, to remove the game and review the boxed contents. Then the box goes on the shelf and is rarely ever touched again. My goal, always, is to maintain every part of the game (box, jewel case, sleeve, literature and disc) in the exact same condition that it came to me. So, even though I have obviously devalued it by removing it’s sealed status, it will always remain in a pristine, like-new condition. This method brings with it certain advantages. First of all, obviously, it means I can play the games. (What good are the games, if you aren’t going to play them?). Second, it allows me to record what types of extra materials were originally packaged with the product (ads, survey cards etc.) I was surprised recently when I opened up a still sealed ‘Corpse Killer’ to find ‘Digital Pictures’ tattoos included in the box! My hope is that this blog can become a reference of sorts for other collectors out there. I am sure there will be better, more thorough blogs and websites out there recording this info, but if I can help even one person ensure they have received or built a complete copy of a game by documenting it’s contents here, then it will have been worth it. Even if it ends up not helping anyone else, it will still allow me to pictorially record the details of my collection for posterity.

2) Community:

*’Sage Wisdom’ – Special articles chronicling and remembering important moments in gaming fandom both from within and without the 3DO encampment. Remember the day you purchased Ocarina of Time? The moment Sephiroth made you gasp in shock at the level of his cruelty? Standing in line for the Dreamcast? Playing the Wii for the first time? Yeah, so do we! We will travel through the time machine, share our experiences and earnestly seek out yours.

*Across Enemy Lines – We have assembled a panel of fans from 3DO competitors such as Sega, Atari and Sony, to share their thoughts on the 3DO and provide insight on special moments and critical games from opposing systems. These will take the form of articles, and videos broadcast at the 3DOverkill Youtube channel. This is a 3DO site, but we love all console gaming!

*The Future is Past – Kids of today play the 3DO games of yore and share their thoughts. These kids don’t hold anything back, but some of their thoughts may surprise you. These videos will be broadcast on the 3DOverkill Youtube channel.

I don’t want this to be a monologue. My hope is that other 3DO fans and video game lovers find their way to this blog and participate as much as possible. When you read a post that strikes a nerve or makes you remember something special, please, chime in with comments. Feel free to ask questions or offer your expertise. I know for a fact that there are a good number of 3DO experts out there that are WAAAAY more knowledgeable than I regarding 3DO lore and whose collections reduce mine to the value of pocket lint in comparison. Don’t believe me? Just talk to my good friends over at the 3DO Zone Forums:

http://www.3do.cdinteractive.co.uk/index.php?sid=d95b0b681a238baf43363b179d5cedf1

They are an amazing resource for all things 3DO and the definitive site for the straight dope on the system. If you are wise in the ways of the 3DO force, share your wisdom. If you are passionate about the system, share your love. This is a journey better taken together. Let’s kick back and remember the good old days.

3) Passion:

*’Ramblings from the Nint3NDO Sage’ – There will be times I will just wax poetic on something gaming related. Indulge the incessant ramblings of an old wise man!

This is a casual gig and a labor of love. I have made the mistake before of trying to single handedly maintain a blog with daily updates and a regular content stream.

http://nintendosage.blogspot.com/

Most bloggers can tell you the horror stories of trying to make a living and run a blog at the same time. This one is different. I am not pressuring myself to add daily updates or meet a page hit quota. This is a laid back affair and I am just doing it for fun. I will try hard to never let it become a chore. You hear that? NO CHORES! No weed pulling, or dish washing or car waxing or room cleaning. Just good old fashioned EXTREME 90’s game playing excitement!

Ready? Let’s go! Enjoy the ride!

3DO Vigilante Profile

-Nint3nDO Sage

Prelude

3DO VigilanteThe world of Game was a wasteland. Atari, the fabled kingdom of the west had fallen. Its people had turned on their king in a vicious revolt. Their coffers no longer flowed freely with gold. The land lay in ruin. Crumbling arches and broken pillars dotted the landscape. Once grand halls now lay empty and bare, their tapestries worn, their gleaming floors tarnished and dull. Even their army had disappeared from the battlefield. They had not been conquered. They had simply laid down their arms and walked away. The citizens had lost faith in the empire and had long since fled to other lands. The royal family had moved into hiding. Without a people or a king to strive for, what need was there for an army? So soon after a meteoric rise to power, twilight had fallen on Atari and the gaming world.

In the darkness that followed, two powers rose in the east, the great empire of Nintendo and the powerful Sega clan.

Nintendo were a people who had learned to harness vast reserves of creative energy. The nation rose to prominence under the hand of Emperor Hiroshi Yamauchi. A shrewd and determined leader, his strategies were complimented by the coterie of Samurai who served him. At the head of their defenses was the legendary samurai Miyamoto. His battle prowess and achievements would become the stuff of legend. The nation would come to revere him, and even enemy warriors, moved by wonder and respect, would come to pay him tribute. Under the guidance of the emperor and his champion, waves of samurai were groomed and sent forth to do battle. In those early days, Nintendo was a nation brimming with creative power and their dominance was staggering. Over time, they would become more rigid, beholden to layers of tradition. Though they would continue to innovate, they advanced according to their own code of honor and paid little heed to the technological advancements of rival nations. The heavy armor of their samurai along with the defensive strategies they employed in battle, allowed the empire to withstand generation upon generation of assaults by outside powers attempting to lay them low.

Sega was the name used by an aggressive clan of ninja who emerged from the mist shrouded hills of the east and operated with stealth and speed. They were a band of deadly warriors who were unafraid to challenge the might of the Nintendo Empire. They saw the empire as too stifling and conservative and offered a less restrictive alternative for those who would convert to their cause. The weapons of war they fashioned were fused with mystical energy and were awe-inspiring in their power. Their names still echo down through the ages. The Genesis, the Saturn, the Dreamcast. For four generations they held their own in what would come to be known as ‘The Great War’. Led by two famous assassins, Yu Suzuki and Yuji Naka, they would eventually conquer over half of empire territory, though their conquests would not hold forever.

As the two eastern nations rose in power and influence, trade routes opened with the rest of the world and the people of the west became enamored of them. The popularity of the eastern powers spread like a wildfire throughout the western regions with people proclaiming their allegiance to one or the other. Some saw the vacuum of leadership in the west as an opportunity and made moves to join the fray. The kingdom of Atari had remained in hiding for generations, secretly developing a weapon of great magnitude that could be used in an effort to reclaim their former glory. They were calling it, ‘The Jaguar’ and rumors of its existence and capabilities began circling the lands and those who had secretly harbored a long-suffering devotion to the fallen kingdom began to feel hope burn once again in their breasts. A world war was about to begin. A tumultuous uprising and an epic struggle of powers, whose wake would reshape the landscape such that the world of Game would become almost unrecognizable to future generations.

This is where we will pause for a moment. Assuredly the annals of history carry forward for untold years beyond this point. Later, a broken trade relationship between Nintendo and the Sony aristocracy would lead to another player in the war, the presence of which would move across the face of the earth like a hurricane and reshape the course of history. Much later, the X-bot cyborgs would descend upon the world from the Microsoft mother ship and wage war upon the standing powers of the time. But allow us to focus in on a small part of history that occurred before all of that. Before the world would behold the wonders of Sony or the horrors of Microsoft, in the final days of the third age, there was… a man named Trip.

Trip Hawkins was not a warrior, a ninja or an emperor. He was just a man possessed of a remarkable charisma, a keen intelligence and a burning ambition. One night, Trip Hawkins had a dream. In his dream, Trip saw the future, a future where the world of Game had been altered by a piece of technology unparalleled in power and possessing irresistible allure. It was made clear in his vision that this object could be used as a device for good or wielded as a weapon of war. Though the technology of the item was so advanced and complex as to be almost alien, still, the designs for building the device were given to him in the dream along with a capacity to interpret them. In his dream, Trip saw information no longer being written to cartridges but rather shining optical discs. He saw an information network lacing the worlds infrastructure, connecting people from all corners of the earth and a means for tapping into it. He saw a technology that was adaptable and upgradable such that it would continue to be relevant in succeeding generations. He saw all of this and more. Trip awoke in a cold sweat. The designs for the building of the device were still in his head. It was begging to be built. It was begging him to build it. A name for the device floated down to him from the darkness of the room. It would represent, among other things, the next evolution in the sharing of media and information. Audio to Video to… 3DO. Trip Hawkins climbed out of bed and began building the future.

Trip sought out capital from the world’s leading businessmen and entrepreneurs. He leveraged his charismatic genius to persuade those with power to buy in to his vision. A lesser man would have failed at the start. A lesser man would have sounded insane. But Trips conviction was genuine and although the road he was travelling was an exhilarating mystery, even for him, that conviction was contagious, and soon he possessed a network of associates who shared his vision. A network that consisted of pioneers in electronics, manufacturing, communications and financing. He was even able to convince a former architect of the Atari kingdom to defect to his cause. Such was his gift.

As the device began to take shape, its capability was slowly being made clear. This was a power that would easily rival and diminish the weapons of all of the great nations of the earth. The war machines of the Nintendo empire, the Sega uprising, the Philips colonialists, the NEC and Amiga nations, even the rumored Atari Jaguar, would all pale in comparison to the might of the 3DO. Trip travelled east and persuaded the world’s foremost electronics manufacturer, Matsushita (Panasonic in the west), to begin building the final design. Soon thereafter, the weapon was forged. The 3DO was R.E.A.L. Ultimately, Panasonic and Trip Hawkins turned their weapon on the other gaming nations of the earth and took their place in the war. The 32-bit era of the war, and the fourth age had begun.

Trips estimation of the power potential of his dream device was soon proven right. It easily outclassed all of the competition of its time. The weapon became the pride of the west and many citizens rallied to the red, blue and yellow banner of the 3DO army. When Atari eventually introduced their secret weapon in an attempted comeback, the 3DO was easily able to shrug off it’s advances. There was, however, a fatal flaw. Trip had been given a vision of the future, but he didn’t know from how far in the future it had come. The machine was cutting edge, but its appetite was insatiable. It cost too much to manufacture, to fuel, to repair. The resources required were as staggering as the capabilities of the system itself. In the course of the war, it became evident that the leaner, more efficient weapons of the other nations gave them a distinct advantage. Being less expensive to manufacture meant more enemy weapons were produced than 3DO’s and in time that disparity in numbers became too overwhelming for Trip and his army to overcome.

Soon, rumblings began to emerge of a new weapon being crafted by the Sega clans and something even greater by a spited Sony aristocracy. Doubt began to gnaw at the hearts of the 3DO faithful. But Trip was not finished. He believed that he could forge a path forward and remain competitive if he built a weapon that would be more powerful than anything the other nations could produce. If he could do so while improving some of the 3DO’s inefficiencies, well, all the better. Work began on the Mark II. Exploiting all of the knowledge and experience they had culminated during the production of the 3DO, Panasonic began building a master weapon that again, was far ahead of its time. Initial reports revealed that the M2 system would easily outperform Sega and Sony’s new weapons and be poised to go head to head with Nintendo’s upcoming 64-bit juggernaut. The 3DO Brigade cheered and celebrated. They looked to the future with hopeful enthusiasm. The day was bright.

And then… it wasn’t. Panasonic looked back at the resources spent on the 3DO experiment and looked ahead at what would be required to forge ahead with the M2. In the end, they were not willing to commit the resources required to make the M2 successful and broaden 3DO’s conquest. They cancelled the project. They disbanded the army. The 3DO faithful wept. Eventually, most would ally themselves with one of the other nations engaged in conflict. The war continued as did the story of the Gameworld. Trip moved on to other endeavors, none of which would again influence the history of the war until much, much later, and then only in a minute, insignificant fashion. But the dream of the 3DO carried on.

In later years, ideas that had been introduced by the 3DO would be adapted and perfected by other powers, at a reduced cost due to the unrelenting advance of technology. Those whose lives had been touched by the 3DO, who marveled at its power and fidelity, who pledged their allegiance to the red, blue and yellow, carried their memories with them and never forgot. I was one of those. I am the story teller. The chronicler. I was there to witness the war. I watched it unfold, first hand. I had been a Nintendo loyalist prior to the advent of the 3DO. I became a 3DO believer after only one instance of observing it’s power and glory. I signed up for the cause. Trip, it appears, who had made a believer of so many, had made one of me as well. Though somewhat late to do so, I joined my 3DO brethren in battle and was proud to be counted among them. After that dark day when 3DO fell, I returned to my Nintendo roots, but I never let go. Even still I cling to those halcyon days of youth, and the excitement and wonder the 3DO brought. Now, I am the “Nint3nDO Sage”. We are far passed those days, and yet the war still rages on. The journey is not yet over. Let us look to the future with hope as we dearly remember the past.

-Nint3nDO Sage

Proud member of the 3DO brigade

3DO Vigilante Profile